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self-dedication to God, on the ground of simple duty, as creatures. And even in this view of the case, the heart and the affections, and cheerful obedience and devoted ness, are by the law justly required. But notwithstanding that these claims on the part of Heaven can be fairly urged; the blessed Gospel of God our Saviour, as set forth in our text, prefers resting the claim on the powerful influence of the Saviour's love: and it is the recognition of this principle, or spirit of love, as the ruling principle, which is the prominent mark by which all true disciples are distinguished. A spirit of frigid philosophism, and visible disaffection to the Saviour, amounting sometimes to a palpable loathing, and dislike of the very mention of love to Christ, especially mark the formalist, the mere moralist, and the fallacious pretenders to a superior degree of rational Christianity. But he who has not the love of God in him, is in heart a rebel against the Most High; and he who is not constrained by the love of Christ, who does not make this his glory and his delight, is heretical and antichristian. If any man in the Christian church love not the Lord Jesus Christ, he is anathema maranatha : He is accursed, and shall be destroyed, unless he repent of his unnatural resistance of divine love. Love to God is essential to the happiness of an immortal spirit; and to win the human soul, what more could have been done than has already been done? God so loved the world in its ruined condition, as to give his Son Jesus Christ, to suffer and to die for its salvation-that whosoever will, may be restored to the Divine favour; Christ Jesus loved us, so as to die for our guilty race. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. Here is God manifest in the flesh dying for rebel man ;-and here is wretched, puny, proud man, standing aloof and unmoved, and his heart unaffected, and callous and hard, and cold as a stone; but, for a human heart not melted, not influenced by the Saviour's love, it is not possible, we believe, for all heaven, nor will it be possible to all eternity, to furnish a stronger moral motive. If Christ's love melts not man's heart-if it remove not the heart's enmity to God, nothing can; it

must be, (we say it not in anger, but in grief,) in that unhappy case, the soul must be under an anathema; for it has resisted the utmost means that Heaven can employ to subdue its enmity, and remove its curse. As far as the exhibition of the most powerful motives can go, the utmost has been done; and the condemnation of that soul must appear, to the pure and holy intelligences of Heaven, as doubly just-just in the first instance, on account of sin; and just in the second instance, for having neglected, or rejected, so great a salvation.


Oh! the infatuation of sinners, who remain careless, and secure, and unmoved, and destitute of grateful love to the Saviour, after having heard the joyful sound. Alas, who are they that are beside" themselves! The Christian zealots, as they are called, who knowing the terror of the Lord, endeavour to persuade men to flee from the wrath to come? or, they who seem indifferent and at ease, whilst they yet have reason to fear that the wrath of God abideth upon them? Who are they that are "beside" themselves? those who, knowing that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, are ever exercising themselves to preserve a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man? or, those who live as they list, as if man were not accountable to heaven's great Lord; and who, notwithstanding, yet dream of attaining to the bliss of heaven after death? It were, perhaps, only to irritate the feelings, to retort the charge of mental aberration back from the zealous Christian, on the secure and self-sufficient worldling; but it is not difficult to see the folly and insanity of passing through time, absorbed totally in its pleasures, or its business, and entirely neglecting eternity; or, of maintaining a careless spirit of indifference to the cause of God and of Christ, and of the eternal welfare of millions, and the destinies of our own immortal spirits. The supposition and allegation that Paul's zeal approached to madness, or that the zeal of Christians, in every age, exceeded the requirements of the case, must arise from a disbelief of the alleged facts and principles to which the case refers; there must be a lurking disbelief of the evil of

sin; of the danger of everlasting punishment; of the necessity of the Saviour's mediatorial work; there must be a disbelief, that he actually was a divine person clothed with humanity, suffering and dying for the redemption of men; there must be a lurking presumption in the mind, that heaven's future happiness can be attained without Christ's salvation. We thus judge, because we do not think it possible that a right understanding of the case, and a firm belief of the facts and principles adverted to, are compatible with indifference, or an unexcited state of mind. I think it is said of the sceptic Hume, when he heard the zealous Whitfield preach, that if he believed what Whitfield did, he would act as Whitfield acted. The truth is, that both in respect of our personal salvation, and of the salvation of other men, and the evangelization of other lands, the utmost zeal that has ever been manifested in the use of means, such as Paul employed, has not at all equalled what the most sober and dispassionate view of the subject evidently demands. It is the neglect of means, such as teaching and preaching, and the distribution of Bibles, and of pious books, in every accessible part of the world, with a view to instruct, and convince, and convert the children of men, which is chargeable with mental aberration; because it is expecting the end without the means; it is expecting a harvest without sowing the seed; and to act thus, may indeed be denominated fanatical, if that term denotes a totally unfounded expectation of some wished-for good. But he who diligently sows the seed of divine truth early and late, who begins in the morning of life, and in the evening withholds not his hand; who is instant in season and out of season in disseminating God's word; who reproves, and rebukes, and exhorts his kindred, and his friends, and his neighbours; or who goes to the savages of the Southern Sea, or to the civilized millions of Eastern Asia, with Christ's Gospel in his heart, and on his tongue, is not "beside" himself; but is doing what the soberest mind, that is at all well-affected to God and Christ, and the souls of men, must approve. A practice like that of the Apostle Paul;—that is, continually, and at all risks,


teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God; proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation through Christ to Jews and to Greeks; going from house to house making known the Saviour; spending and being spent for his sake; making great sacrifices, and enduring great afflictions, devoting the whole soul to the great work of communicating Christian knowledge, is according to the maxims of the most perfect reason; for it is employing the means which God has appointed to promote the temporal and eternal happiness of man. Nor is a comparative disregard of those things which are seen and temporal, with a supreme attention to those which are unseen and eternal, the mark of being "beside" one's-self. Alas! how much do they mistake, who imagine that a plodding and perpetual anxiety about this world, is a mark of wisdom, and of a sane mind; whilst the never dying spirit and its affairs are neglected. If indeed a supreme regard to things temporal and personal were a mark of wisdom and sound mind, then would the great majority of the men of this generation deserve the character of being wise and rational.

But if a high-toned feeling of affection for the Saviour, a feeling of the constraining power of his love, a sacrifice of self, of personal and domestic considerations for Christ's sake, be a mark of wisdom, then is there not much wisdom or sound judgment in the world; for as yet it may be said, as it was said in the apostolic age, when duty is contrasted with the doings of Christians, "All still seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."

We would not be unjust or querulous; there is some regard with many professors to the affairs of the Saviour's kingdom, and there is much regard with a few; but oh, when the churches bring their conduct, their feelings, and affections to the standard of apostolic precept, and apostolic example, where shall we find the symptoms of that intense zeal which Paul experienced, and that devotedness which he practised? Earthly Monarchs, great Leaders and Captains, and human Patrons, often receive the offer of life and fortune in their service; almost every country, from the rising to the setting sun, has furnished most striking

examples of this sort; and superstition, or false religion, has many devotees, prompted to the greatest sacrifices for the sake of their system. And the Christian cause has, in ages that are past, produced many honoured names, who have not counted their lives dear unto themselves, that they might manifest their gratitude and attachment to the Captain of Salvation; and in the present age (we mean not to deny it) there are many who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and are his devoted and zealous servants; yet, after all this admission, we fear that when the rule is applied generally to professed disciples of the Nazarene, Jesus, the Son of God, it will be found that both men and devils are more zealously served than he is—that living kings and captains, and dead deified heroes and canonized saints, in different nations of the world, have more of men's affections, and time, and property, and actual personal service, than our adorable Redeemer.

When we look round on the ten or fifteen thousands of Christian ministers in this highly favoured land, how great a number is there who exhibit no symptoms of feeling the constraining power of the love of Christ? Is there not reason to fear that personal and domestic comfort, and the aggrandisement of their families, generally take the precedence of all other claims?

And of the private Christians, possessed of wealth and of leisure, how small is the proportion who consecrate their time and their property to the Saviour's cause. The principle seems scarcely admitted that God our Saviour has the first claim upon us. We give not the first fruits of our increase to him, but are satisfied with leaving the gleanings to Christ's cause, after we have appropriated and hoarded up for our own old age, or our posterity, the rich harvest that heaven entrusted to us; and then mark, in many instances, the consequence; the man who distrusted Providence, and filled his own barns, never arrives at old age, and posterity is corrupted by his wealth, for which they never laboured, and in Satan's service is squandered, what Christ's disciple would not spend in his Master's cause. Alas! in this prudent, and I fear ostentatious age, how

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