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hold of our affections than the Lord of glory; as if things temporal were more in our eye than things eternal.
We do not complain of our missionaries. They are the most beloved of our brethren; and we confess that Christianity has strong recommendations from the virtues they display, and the part they act. But we wish them all to grow to the stature of Paul. We wish them to imbibe more largely his excellent spirit. We wish them to be as forward in the race, and as valiant in the fight, as he.
We wish our young brethren, who are candidates for this holy employment, to fix their mark by the standard of Paul; to take up their cross with an equal self-denial; and to be determined in the name of their Almighty leader, to run this race with an equal speed.
Let instructors of youth in our Theological seminaries keep this model of missionary excellence before their eyes, and direct their efforts faithfully to bless the world with missionaries of this order. Let them assiduously labor to store the minds of their pupils with correct views of Christianity, as a revealed system of truth: but be at least equally concerned to inspire them with lofty views, with zeal, with an untiring patience, and, with a holy heroism.
“The harvest is plenteous; but the laborers are few.” Let us ever pray the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth such laborers into his
harvest. O, that one might become a thousand, land and ocean be traversed, the darkest places of the earth be explored, and the Gospel be preached as faithfully, as Paul preached it, to every creature. Then we might expect to hear the triumphant, universal shout, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign FOREVER AND EVER.”
my prayers.” “For what thanks can we render to
10. One thing more only I deem it requisite to mention respecting the missionary character of Paul; and that is, his deep humility, in the midst of the evidence that was clearly and continually before him of his interest in the covenant favor of God, of the high standing he held in the estimate of all the followers of Jesus, and of his amazing success in gaining converts to his Lord.
Paul had evidence of his unalterable interest in the salvation of the Gospel, which was as clear to
prayer; it is
him, as it is unquestionable to us.
He always speaks in language of confidence, with respect to his own saving interest in Christ.
His success in preaching the Gospel was great. It is supposed, that there were half a million of Christians before the termination of the first century. There is reason to presume, that Paul was the happy instrument of the conversion of a large portion of them.
His influence in the Church was pre-eminently great. Yet he is never elated. He arrogates nothing to himself. While he does not deny, and certainly it did not become him to deny, his apostolic endowments and authority, he places himself on a level with all his brethren. He is, like his divine Master, the servant of all. He counts himself, he expressly speaks of himself, as less than the least of all saints. He declares that he is not sufficient of himself to think any thing as of himself. He refuses to glory. He even says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
His feelings and his religious habits are in agreement with his instructions to Timothy. “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.”
Upon the whole, my brethren, we have an admirable assemblage of evangelic virtues in the missionary character of Paul.
that it is absolutely perfect. But it is really difficult to
We do not say,