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posed and blasphemed, and probably mocked the pretensions of Jesus, as many of their posterity have done, up to the present day. Paul was therefore compelled to quit them with this solemn declaration: "Your blood,-the blood of your self-murdered souls,-be upon your own heads, I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” Paul accordingly left the house of Aquila the Jew, and entered a certain man's house named Justus, probably a Roman, one that worshipped God. And at this place Paul remained a year and six months, teaching the word of God among the people. Crispus, a chief ruler of the synagogue, one that presided in the Jewish assemblies, who expounded the law, and directed in many things the consciences of the people, believed the truths of the Gospel, and all his house united with him; and many of the pagan Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized; and so was formed the first Christian church at Corinth. Corinth, as is well known, was rich, and learned, and profligate; and the disciples who formed the first Christian church there, were in some degree infected with the character of the place; and hence, as appears from both St. Paul's letters to them, there existed strifes, and divisions, and various irregularities, and pretenders to the wisdom of words, and superior rationality, and who gloried in showy appearances, and who calumniated the Apostle, representing him, in the way Festus did, as a madman, one "beside" himself, a deranged person. To such pretensions and allusions there is frequent reference in both the epistles to the Corinthians, and the last allegation is particularly met in the first sentence which we have chosen as the subject of this discourse; "If we be beside ourselves, it is to God; or whether we be sober, it is for your cause;" i. e. if when we preach to you the sublime truths concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, and the awful realities of eternity, we be accused of enthusiasm, fanaticism, or madness, like people "beside" themselves, we regard not the accusation; for we walk by faith, not by sight; we obey God rather than men; we believe God and not men; we perform a duty which God has laid upon us if we be considered beside
ourselves, the appearances induced arise entirely from our regard to the will of God. Or, on the other hand, if we appear sober, to be dispassionate, and to descend to subjects that are simple and easy, mere common-place topics, to reason with you as carnal persons, to feed you with milk as babes; we are prompted to this line of conduct by regard to your spiritual welfare ;-it is for your cause. And again, when we appear to disregard ourselves, and to neglect the ordinary rules of prudence, as to our own ease. and safety, our own wealth and prosperity, we feel fully justified in our own minds; for in addition to the motives which we have expressed, the love of Christ constraineth us; it is his love manifested towards us, in dying for our eternal salvation, which induces us to pay that little regard to temporalities that we do; it is his love which raises us above the spirit of selfishness which prevails so much in the world. Christ's love bears us away with itself; it causes us to love after the similitude of that love by which we are influenced, Since God so loved the world as to give his Son for it, and since Christ so loved the world as to pour out his life for it; so we, influenced by the same love, desire to spend and to be spent for the glory of God and the salvation of immortal souls. For we thus judge, that since one died for all, then were all dead; the death of Jesus Christ for all, implies that all were dead in trespasses and sins, legally and spiritually dead, and liable to the second death. Jesus died that they might live; he died to atone for their sins, and to deliver them from going down into the pit of destruction, into the lake of fire which will - never be quenched, which is the second death. But, adds the Apostle, Jesus not only died to deliver men from so great a death, he also rose again from the dead, for their justification; and having risen from the grave he ascended to heaven, to confer the quickening influences of the Holy Spirit, to regenerate or give a new life to the children of men, to give a spiritual, holy, heavenly life, to dead, corrupted, sinful souls.
Now then, say St. Paul and his fellow servant, we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that
all those who are made alive in consequence of the death of Christ, should not live to themselves, but to him who died for them. The Christian's not living to himself, is on the supposition that he is no longer his own property, or master, or Lord. What! says St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, Know ye not, that ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. And when addressing the Romans, he says-None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself; for, whether we live we live unto the Lord, or whether we die we die unto the Lord; living, therefore, or dying, we are the Lord's.-The doctrine taught is evidently this; the disciple of Jesus Christ, the true Christian, his person, soul and body, his faculties, the powers of his mind, and the members of his body, belong to Christ; his time, his property, all he is, and all he possesses, belong to the Saviour; and all should be employed not to please or to gratify self; but be used as the Saviour has directed. All must be dedicated or devoted to the Saviour's cause. The love of Christ, the love of God our Saviour, in yielding himself to death for human beings, guilty and vile in the sight of pure and divine intelligences is, without controversy, the astonishment of the universe. Man, when he is called to make a sacrifice, dwells on the worthiness of the object in whose behalf he makes it; or takes into account the nearness of the relation. For a good, benevolent, and meritorious person, some would even dare to die. For a friend, a father, a sister, or a wife, there are men who would suffer much and risk their lives; but God commendeth his love towards us, in that whilst we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Should an earthly monarch die for the vilest wretch in his dominions, a father yield himself to death for the most abandoned and most worthless son, or a master for the basest slave-it were all nothing, O Christian! in comparison of Christ dying for thee! Christ's love, is love that passeth knowledge! O the height of bliss and glory, from which he descended; and O, the depth of misery, from which he raises the penitent and humble soul! In our
present state of imperfect knowledge it is, I imagine, utterly impossible to comprehend the height and the breadth, the depth and the length of the love of Christ. For passing over the consideration of the dignity of his person, and the depth of his humiliation, and the cruel form in which death was inflicted, and the ignominious circumstances attending it; there was, in the Saviour's death, a sting, the venom of which is unknown to us; there was in it, the curse of the law, the wrath of justice, the inconceivable and indescribable agony and anguish which the punishment of sin occasioned; for on him were laid the iniquities of us all, and he bore the mighty load! and this was his own free and unconstrained proceeding-the compassion of his own soul prompted him to this. It was love to perishing sinners that brought the Saviour from heaven to earth, and which led him through a series of sufferings, indignities, and insults, to the cross on Calvary. The tongue of angels cannot express, the mind of angels cannot conceive, the Saviour's love. And Oh! how low are man's ordinary conceptions of this amazing subject.
At times, indeed, when the terrors of an awakened conscience flash in a man's face; when death, and hell, and the unknown horror and miseries of the invisible state cross the imagination; the feeling of gratitude for deliverance is a little aroused, and the perception of the Saviour's love somewhat sharpened. When heaven and eternal bliss, and the rivers of pleasure near the throne of God and of the Lamb, are vividly seen by faith, the workings of a grateful heart to the Saviour indicate some sense of his love; and the Christian mourns with shame on account of his past forgetfulness and daily inattention to so grand a theme; but, after all, O how feeble the impression, how indistinct the perception of the love of Christ which usually exists in the hearts and understandings of Christians. But according to the Apostle, the love of the divine Redeemer should originate in the hearts of Christians a corresponding sentiment, which shall be the master principle, the strongest motive that operates in a man's breast; the constant, never-wearied feeling of attachment and devotedness, which shall grow
more intense as the believer advances in life, and go with him through the vale of death, into the eternal world. In the life, the labours, and sufferings of the Apostle Paul, a striking example is exhibited of the constraining power of divine love. He forsook all, took up his cross, and followed Christ. Being called to the work of the Lord, neither kindred, nor country, nor ease, nor respectability, could allure; nor contempt, nor reproach, nor penury and want, nor bodily sufferings, nor mental anxiety, nor death could intimidate him. In the history of many of the other apostles and disciples, and confessors and martyrs, in every age, there have been bright examples of the constraining power of the Saviour's love; it has carried his servants (sometimes the weakest lambs of his flock) onward with an overpowering force, through all that was becoming, and dignified, and faithful, even in the midst of the keenest opposition, and persecution, with fire and sword; and has made them more than conquerors. He that loved them and redeemed them by infusing his own Spirit into their souls, made them equal to the conflict against earth and hell, and gave them the victory. Ask, in the memoirs of faithful men of God in every age, who have endured afflictions, for the cause of the Redeemer, who have borne great persecutions, who have been exiled from kindred, or banished from their country, or resisted to blood striving against sin? ask, what was the principle that actuated them? and invariably will it be found that the love of Christ was that which constrained them, was that which supported them and carried them through.
The dedication of our persons and services to God might be inculcated on the ground of what is called natural religion. For we belong to the great Creator of all; His property we are, and Him, it is reasonable we should serve. No man can justly say, my tongue is my own, and I will use it as I will, to oppose the truth, or to revile, or to blaspheme. No mere steward can justly say, the property I have in keeping is my own, and I will use it as I please. Divine authority, and Divine right and justice forbid these pretensions; and hence, I say, we might argue