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and charged every one of you (as a father doth his children), that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory." And then when he received “good tidings of their faith and charity," and of their earnest “ desire to see him, as we also to see you,” he was filled with comfort and joy; "for now," says he, “we live if ye stand fast in the Lord," as if his very existence depended upon their steadfastness in the faith and holiness of the Gospel. Such also, as we have seen, was his warm affection for the Corinthian church, and his earnest pastoral solicitude for their spiritual welfare. And does not this show, that while his “heart was enlarged” to all the world, yet it was also a most tender, kind, and loving heart?
In all this, then, what a bright pattern is exhibited for the imitation of young men ! Their future comfort and welfare depend much upon their setting before them a lofty aim or ideal, and then resolutely following it out, and striving to realise it, in their personal character and conduct. In the admirable address of the Moderator,* at the close of the Free Church Assembly, it was truly said, “Every man becomes like the object of his strongest love and highest admiration, and if a man admires, and trusts, and loves his own vile self, he becomes in every way vile. The one absolutely beautiful object ever disclosed on this earth of ours, is Jesus Christ, wholly admirable from His cradle to His cross, and even those who are not His friends admire His peerless beauty." We must, however, not only admire, but imitate Him; and though we cannot hope in this life to reach His high standard of moral perfection, yet in looking to those, such as Paul, who were made like Him, we are encouraged to hope that what grace did for them, it can do for us. Let us never forget that the Gospel is designed, not only to give peace and comfort to the troubled conscience, and rest to the weary soul, but also to elevate and ennoble our whole character, and so to “enlarge our hearts," as that we shall “run in the way of God's commandments,” even amid trials and temptations, and in danger and death. And let us not forget that true happiness consists, not only in having real fellowship with God, but also in the exercise of holy love, in the interchange of pure affection, and in the doing of generous deeds. It consists, to no small extent, in large-heartedness and kindheartedness toward all men. When we are invited, as sinners, to come to Christ, it is not only for the purpose of being saved ourselves, but also for the purpose of becoming blessings to others, and seeking their salvation. Who ever heard of a deist or infidel weeping because his doctrine was rejected? But Paul wept when his doctrine was rejected by some and perverted by others. It grieved him to the heart, and his grief found vent in bitter tears of sorrow. Such is living Christianity, for it leads us to look not merely on our own things, but also on the things of others.
* Dr Moody Stuart in 1875.
“I seek not yours, but you.' -2 Cor. xii. 14
HESE words of the apostle suggest two addi.
tional features in his character, which we pro
pose to consider in combination, according to the plan already indicated, viz., his transparent unselfishness united with unswerving conscientiousness. He was entirely free from selfish and sordid motives; and no one could ever say or imagine that he sought to make a gain of godliness. If any one, and especially if a minister, were to seek merely his own profit and pleasure, he would soon lose all his moral weight, and destroy his ministerial influence. No doubt he is entitled to his temporal support from those to whom he ministers; and this, not as a matter of charity, but as a matter of right, for “the labourer is worthy of his hire ;” and it is for their own interest to make such arrangements, as will relieve him from the burden of worldly cares and anxieties, and enable him, as far as they can, to devote himself wholly to his proper work. But still
his main object must be the spiritual good of those committed to his charge, their personal union to Christ, and their progressive advancement in all Christian excellence; so that he may be enabled truly to say to them, without the fear of contradiction, “ I seek not yours, but you."
The spirit of selfishness is deeply imbedded in our fallen nature; it forms the very essence of our moral depravity, and is the prolific source of almost every sin. When the love of God, that cardinal and controlling principle, was expelled from the human heart, the love of self rushed in to occupy the void ; and hence it is, that self-conceit, self-righteousness, selfreliance, and self-indulgence, have become the prominent characteristics of fallen humanity. Instead of giving glory to God, man naturally strives to be a god to himself, and to make his own interests, and designs, and wishes, his chief good and the great end of his existence. The main questions, which occupy his mind, and call forth his energies, are not, How shall I honour Christ? or glorify God? or benefit my fellowmen ?—but rather, What shall I eat? what shall I drink? wherewithal shall I be clothed ? how shall I gain wealth, or secure the greatest amount of pleasure, or make to myself a name in the world?
Now, wherever this selfishness predominates in the