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festing a happy co-operation, and a holy harmony, in works of faith and labours of love for the spread of the Gospel. “But this I say" (these are the apostle's words), “He who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity : for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you ;

that

ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

3. Paul's unselfishness appears also in his deep concern for the salvation of his fellow-men. To all, he could truly say, “ I seek not yours, but you.” For this, he was ready to sacrifice his own ease and comfort, his health and strength, his good name, and life itself. To save souls, and promote the spiritual welfare of his converts, he counted no risk too great, and no labour too severe; and even the ingratitude and alienation of those whom he sought to bless, could not quench the ardour of his love to them, or diminish the intensity of his zeal for their good.

“I will very gladly,” he said, “spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."

How different is all this from the natural tendencies of man ! and how nobly superior to his innate selfishness !

Even sinners can love those who love them, or who shower favours upon them ; but to return

good for evil, and requite hatred with love, is a rare achievement. And there is a kind of religious selfishness (if we may use the expression) in which even true Christians indulge, and which prompts them to care solely for their own spiritual welfare, and to feel little concern for the salvation of others, or for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom. Their religion, such as it is, is confined chiefly to their own breast; and their main object, in waiting on religious ordinances, is merely to get comfort to their own minds, and not to be stimulated to zeal and active effort on behalf of others. Such is not the benevolent and expansive spirit of the Gospel. It certainly was not the spirit of the great apostle, whose love to souls constrained him to put forth all his energies for their spiritual good, and to impart to them the blessings with which he himself had been enriched and gladdened. Here, then, is a model for young men. Let them put their hands to some good work, and live and labour, not for themselves only, but for the benefit of others. Let them study to be useful in their day and generation; and seize opportunities of doing good in the sphere allotted to them, and among their friends and companions ; saying, like Moses to his father-in-law, “We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel." Thus it will be manifest that their souls are prospering; and they will be far happier, in giving their time, or their means, or their energies, to works of piety and charity, than the man who grasps all, and grudges every effort and sacrifice in the service of Christ. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

II. UNSWERVING CONSCIENTIOUSNESS. The apostle was not only generous, but he was also just. His unselfishness was tempered and regulated by a conscientious regard to principle and duty, especially in fulfilling the charge which Christ had laid upon him, so that he could say to all," I seek you." There are many men who are unselfish and generous, lavish in their expenditure, and ready even to give away what is not their own, but who are not so remarkable for strict conscientiousness.

Many sad and humbling illustrations of this have been furnished in the records of mercantile affairs for many years past.

But in the apostle Paul, transparent unselfishness was combined with unswerving conscientiousness.

Herein,” he said, “ do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men.” This was the "exercise" or self-discipline which he continually practised, the moral training to which he subjected himself. Whatever his conscience condemned, he strenuously fought against, and sought grace to subdue. Even while he was unconverted, he honestly strove to obey the dictates of his conscience, though it was then unenlightened ; so that he really thought he was doing God service in putting the Christians to death. Even then, his conduct was outwardly irreproachable, and entirely free from gross vices. He was not a profligate, but his conscience had power to restrain him from open sin.

But when he was converted, and when his conscience was quickened and enlightened by Divine grace and truth, he aimed at reaching, and he actually attained, a far higher standard of morality than he had ever imagined before: and there ran, through the whole texture of his subsequent life," the one golden thread of an honest and tender conscience.” In all his epistles, and especially in those to Timothy and Titus, he manifests this ruling principle of his character, and shows how highly he valued the blessing of a pure and good conscience. Thus he says, that “the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience,” that is a pacified and self-approving conscience : and solemnly he charges his beloved son to hold fast “ a good conscience ; which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck.” The importance and the blessedness of maintaining a good conscience, by doing whatever we know to be right, and by shunning whatever we know to be wrong, it is impossible to exaggerate. The neglect of known duty and the wilful indulgence of known sin produce a terribly demoralising influence upon character, by lowering the moral tone, blunting the finer sensibilities of the heart, disturbing and perverting the instincts of conscience, darkening the intellect, and confusing its perceptions of the difference between right and wrong, and leading men to call evil good, and good evil. Young men, especially, should beware of doing violence to conscience, and of acting contrary to its dictates and warnings; otherwise, they will blight even their worldly prospects, and still more, endanger or destroy their eternal interests. It has been truly said by an eminent writer, “I am convinced that open vice among us would be repressed with a firmer hand and a clearer judgment, if there were not among men of high social influence, some whose past lives have left a hollow consciousness of guilt, and therefore a secret faltering, and a weakness, which dare not rise to the Christian standard."

Paul's thorough conscientiousness appears especially in his high and quick sense of honour, with regard to money affairs. When he was the prisoner of Felix at Cæsarea, he might easily have obtained his liberty, if he could have stooped to bribe the governor with the expected gift of money. And his delicacy of con

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