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followers, and to know how mightily His grace wrought in them, so that we may be encouraged and stimulated to "follow those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises."
But our analysis of Paul's character would be very incomplete, without adverting to two additional features by which he was eminently distinguished, viz., his intrepid courage, combined with habitual prayerful. ness. Both of these qualities are obviously essential to enable us to fight successfully the good fight of faith, and to exhibit in our daily conduct the reality and power of the Life of Faith. We need courage to resist and overcome the world, and the devil, and the flesh, in their various seductive forms of temptation; and we need prayerfulness to bring down to our help that Divine power and grace, without which we can do nothing. Every true Christian is most deeply sensible of his own utter weakness, and his total inability to discharge duty faithfully, to bear trial patiently, to encounter danger boldly, or to resist temptation successfully. But then he knows also where the needed strength is to be found; for he can say, Weak and helpless though I be in myself, yet "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENETH ME.”
I. INTREPID COURAGE.
When the apostle said, “I can do all things," this in his lips was not a mere empty boast, but it was a genuine expression of the whole tone and temper of his mind. From no duties, however difficult, and from no sacrifices, however painful, did he ever shrink, but as a true and brave soldier of Christ, he was ready to go anywhere, and to incur any hazard, and fight any battle, to which his marching orders called him. Great as his sufferings, and perils, and persecutions were, he met and bore them all, not only with unruffled tranquillity, but even with holy triumph. He was so elevated above the world by the principles he professed, that he seemed to move in a lofty region, where danger could not reach him, and fear could not disturb his mind; just as a man, on the summit of a lofty mountain, is raised far above the clouds, and can see the storm raging, and the lightning flashing far below, while he himself breathes a calm and pure atmosphere. Having committed the keeping of his soul to Christ, the apostle never had any apprehensions as to his personal safety; and being embarked in the noblest enterprise, and devoted to the service of the best of masters, he counted it a high honour to suffer shame for His sake. Dangers intensified his courage, and death had no terrors for him ; but like Nehemiah, he could truly say, “Should such a man as I flee" from the post of duty and danger?
And all this is the more wonderful when we consider that Paul does not seem to have been remarkable for mere physical courage. With his sickly body and his sensitive spirit, it is evident, from the way in which he speaks of his sufferings, that he felt them most acutely, and that he naturally shrank from them, like any other man; as when he besought the Lord thrice to remove his “thorn in the flesh.” His was not the brute courage of the war-horse which rushes impetuously into the thickest of the battle ; nor the mere animal courage of the soldier, who is so carried away by the excitement of the combat, as to be insensible, for the time, to fear. But Paul's courage had no intermixture of rashness or fool-hardiness.
He never courted persecution, or put himself needlessly in the way of danger ; but when they could be honourably avoided, he never scrupled to do so. His intrepid courage was tempered with consummate prudence. It was moral courage of the noblest type, springing from a strong sense of duty to Christ, inspired by love and gratitude to Christ for His great salvation, and sustained by the promise and the power of that grace which rested upon him, and was made sufficient for him. There are two aspects in which his courage may be regarded.
First-In resisting his enemies. His boldness at Damascus has been already noticed. No sooner was he converted, than immediately (without losing a day), "he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” In the face of obloquy and persecution, he “conferred not with flesh and blood;" but he publicly avowed the change that had been wrought upon him, and braved all consequences, rather than deny his Lord, or cease to proclaim the great salvation. Then after his three years' solitude in Arabia, he went up to Jerusalem ; where “he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.” Nor would he have left Jerusalem at all at this time, unless Jesus himself had appeared to him, as he was praying in the temple, and commanded him to make haste, and depart to the Gentiles (Acts xxii. 21). But so anxious was Paul to continue his labours there, and so convinced was he that his brethren would be sure to receive his testimony, that he ventured to remonstrate with his Lord, and entreated permission to remain in that den of murderers; and it was not till the command was repeated a second time, that he felt constrained to obey. What indomitable courage too did he exhibit amid the perils and persecutions which he endured in Asia Minor, as at Lystra and Ephesus; and subsequently in Europe, especially at Philipp; ; and how signally did he prove his readiness to endure hardships, “as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Secondly—Paul's moral courage appears in opposing his friends, when they were in the wrong. Here we do not refer merely to his stern denunciations of those pretended Christians, those Judaising teachers, who sought to undermine his influence, and who attempted to sow dissension in the churches, and to unsettle their faith, and corrupt their principles. To these men he would not yield subjection; no, not for an hour, nor even by a hair's breadth; but he plainly told them, “If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” That was not the language of a time-server, or a popularity hunter : but it was the language of one, who had courage to follow the right at all hazards, and who, having the fear of God, was not troubled with any other fear.
But his moral courage appears still more conspicuously in his faithful dealing even with friends to whom he was warmly attached. When they fell into error and sin, he never hesitated to rebuke them sharply and yet lovingly. This is a far more difficult thing to do than to resist our avowed enemies. We all like to be on the best of terms with our friends, and we are prone to overlook their errors and faults, and to refrain from telling them our mind openly and frankly. The young are particularly liable to yield to this tendency. They are prone to sail with the stream, and to conform to the wishes and opinions and practices of their friends and companions; and they often lack courage to tell a brother his faults, and to warn him of their consequences, when truth demands plain speaking and stern reproof. But Paul was of a totally different stamp. Those whom he loved best he reproved the