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to him of the Lord” at Troas, he had no heart to preach, and he says, “I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia." There, at last, the wished-for tidings reached him that the Corinthians had repented of their sin, and returned to their first love; and he gave utterance to his exuberant joy, in these words of generous affection and all-embracing charity, “O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.” No cold constraint, no distance, nor reserve, nor alienation now. The ice has melted under the genial heat, and there are now gushing streams of affection, and welling fountains of gladness. “Great,” he said, “is my boldness of speech towards you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation." Yes, it is the glory of a Christian to pass over an offence, and frankly to forgive injuries and insults. It is the glory of a man of the world to resent injuries, and return evil for evil, to harbour secret grudges, and never to forget an insult. But, if our hearts are “enlarged” with a sense of God's forgiving love, we shall be constrained to treat even our enemies, as God has treated us.
Let all, and especially young men, imitate Paul in his large-heartedness, by laying aside all narrow prejudices, all ungenerous suspicions and uncharitable judgments, and by manifesting in their
whole conduct the elevating and expansive power of a living Christianity.
II. WARM OR TENDER HEARTEDNESS. The combination, in a high degree, of the two qualities of the great and the gentle, of the lofty and the tender, constitutes the highest moral excellence. But the combination of both in the same person, in equal strength, is comparatively rare. On the one hand, large-heartedness or elevation of soul, if possessed alone, has a tendency to isolate a man from his fellows, and to alienate their sympathies, even while kindling their admiration; as we admire at a distance a magnificent mountain, whose summit is covered with perpetual snow. And on the other hand, tenderheartedness, if possessed alone, has a tendency to degenerate into moral weakness and lachrymose sentimentalism. But when the two qualities are combined in a high degree of strength, their possessor, though towering like a mountain above the clouds, sends down, even from the diadem of snow, gushing streams of melting sympathy and love, to refresh the thirsty valleys, and clothe them with verdure and gladness.
In the apostle Paul, the two qualities were admirably combined. He had not only a large but a loving heart. While it was large enough to embrace the world, it was sympathetic enough to feel for every
woe, and to identify itself with every
child of sorrow. He could truly say to his converts, “ We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children ; so, being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the Gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.”
There is a sermon by one of the greatest of modern preachers upon “the tears of St Paul ;" and he notices the fact that, in his farewell address at Miletus. to the elders of the Ephesian church, the apostle refers to his tears no less than three times. First, he had shed tears of suffering; as when he says that, while he was with them, he had “served the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations.” Then he had shed tears of sympathy; as when it is said that, at the final parting on the seashore, after he had prayed, “they all wept sore." And further, he shed tears of pastoral solicitude; as when he says that, “ by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one, day and night, with tears.” . This tender-heartedness showed how closely Paul was conformed to his Divine Master; for He too shed tears of suffering in Gethsemane, when He “ offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears ;” and He shed tears of sympathy with the sorrowing sisters of Bethany at their brother's grave; and He also shed tears of pastoral solicitude,
when He wept over Jerusalem's guilt, and impenitence, and impending ruin. Let us then turn our thoughts for a little to these evidences of Paul's warm or tender heartedness.
1. There were tears of suffering.--He was not like the proud Stoic, who thought it a meritorious thing to suppress natural feeling or painfùl emotion; and he did not affect to be cold and impassive under his manifold afflictions, nor attempt to “stifle the expressions of a grief which he could not help feeling, and which he could not conceal without dissimulation." Nor was he a man of robust frame or of iron mould; but he had a sickly body and a sensitive spirit; and he had “a thorn in the flesh,” which caused him great suffering, and for the removal of which he besought the Lord thrice. And though he had high moral courage, yet he was not remarkable for mere physical courage. Like his Master, he naturally and instinctively shrank from pain, and was often cast down by fear, greatly depressed in spirit, and much grieved by the ingratitude and desertion of his friends. with you,” he says, “in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling;” and again, “ without were fightings, within were fears." Yes, it cost Paul much to be a Christian; and he had to bear a heavy cross of suffering; and many were the tears he shed—not tears of impatience or fretfulness, but tears of anguish and sore affliction.
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2. There were tears of sympathy.--In almost every page of his epistles, he expresses his strong affection for his friends and fellow-labourers, and the great enjoyment which he experienced in their society, and the sorrow which he felt in their absence; and especially when any of them, like Demas, turned their backs upon him. For the comfort, and even for the prejudices of his converts, he showed the tenderest consideration; and treated them with a uniform courtesy and kindliness, which betokened a peculiarly warm and loving heart. His tender attachment to “Luke, the beloved physician,” to Timothy, his “own son in the faith," and to Titus his other son; and his mention by name of so many of those who had ministered to his wants, and helped him in his labours; and his cordial greetings of them at the close of his epistles—all this indicates the warmth of his friendship, and the tenderness and depth of his sympathetic love to his brethren and sisters in the Lord.
3. There were also tears of pastoral solicitude.—Day and night he had warned the Ephesian church "with tears” against prevailing errors and sins. And in reminding the Philippians of those “enemies of the Cross of Christ," " whose god was their belly, and whose glory was in their shame,” he says, “I now tell you, even weeping.” Then to the Thessalonians he says, “ As ye know how we exhorted and comforted,