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sentative, Mediator and Intercessor; and would say that we are uniformly to speak according to the oracles of God, without any deleterious admixture of foreign elements imparted by means of philosophy and vainglorious deceit. They would quote several passages which describe the Gospel message as the simplest thing imaginable—“Look unto me, and be ye saved ;" “ Believe, and live;" “ Wash, and be clean; looking the fact that owing to the corruption of our nature, and the alienation of our hearts, that which is described as so very simple, becomes in practice the hardest thing imaginable.
We may also bear in mind that there are many passages which speak of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid in Christ, which represent the Saviour as the power of God and the wisdom of God, which teach us that into the mystery of redeeming love even angels desire to look. How are we to reconcile this language with the simplicity that is in Christ?
A glance at the context in the original will show the real meaning of the words. St. Paul says (2 Cor. xi. 2.), “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy," —with a jealousy inspired by God-with a sensitiveness for the divine honour and glory-"for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ; but I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty," thus your minds, your understandings and sentiments should be corrupted from your singleness of affection towards Christ. The word ånórns denotes singleness of purpose, integrity, generosity, impartiality; it marks that openness and sincerity of heart which repudiates duplicity in thought or action. There is no idea of simplicity in the ordinary use of the word, except the expression of his desire that the Corinthians should remain simple concerning evil, simple in respect of any attachment which might seduce them from the singleness of devotion, the undivided affection and homage due to Christ. This interpretation so commends itself from its harmony with the context as to render subsidiary arguments quite superfluous. I would, however, remind the critical student that some MSS. insert another word, suggested, perhaps, by the expression, “as a chaste virgin," and thus the passage might be rendered, lest your thoughts should be corrupted from your singleness of devotion and your chastity towards Christ. Christianity, says Archdeacon Wordsworth, is the marriage of the soul to Christ as the
single object of affection, and is distinguished from the spiritual polygamy of heathenism and the spiritual fornication of heresy.
According to this interpretation we may affirm that these words which have passed into a proverb, are misapplied universally. A new and more forcible meaning is extracted from the passage which is involved in the illustration employed. The language of St. Paul is in perfect harmony with the prophets who represent unfaithfulness to the old covenant as spiritual adultery. The jealousy of Paul carries out the teaching of the Baptist (John. iii. 28, 29), “ Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom,” &c. Any one who thinks of competing with the husband for a share in the affections of the bride, is guilty of the basest effrontery and most abominable turpitude. The friend of the bridegroom may rejoice that he is received into a near, intimate, and honourable relation, but the paranymph can never think of claiming the inalienable privileges of the bridegroom. That were an iniquity to be abhorred of all. What a proof does it give of the versatility and subtlety of Satan, that the Church Universal, or any branch thereof, that any human system or organization should claim a share in the devotion which we owe to our living Lord and glorified Head! Who is Paul, and who is A pollos? Was Paul crucified for you, or were ye baptized in the name of Paul ?
The Preacher's finger-Post
FALLING Though Christ was now in BEFORE JESUS OF NAZARETH. heaven, yet his eye followed "And I fell unto the ground,
Saul on his way to Damasand heard a voice saying unto
Little did Saul know me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest that He whom he hated, thou me?"-Acts xxü. 8.
whose disciples he sought This remarkable verse pre to destroy, and whose name sents to us four great general he endeavoured to blot from truths.
the earth, knew all about I. THAT MAN IS THE OB him-not only marked his JECT OF DIVINE INSPECTION. every footstep, but saw his
has to say.
every passing thought and God to reveal his Son in feeling. That the great God knows all about the life and III. TAAT HUMILITY IS THE conduct of the individual man CONDITION OF HEAVENLY COMis obvious, First. From the MUNION. When did Saul omniscience of Hisnature. He hear the voice of Jesus ? who sees all things, sees each When was his soul put en thing—the minute as well as rapport with the Divine the vast. Secondly: From the mind ? When he had fallen history of mankind-Hagar to the ground. Humility in the wilderness, Jacob at implies a deep sense of need, Bethel, Elijah in the cave, and without that sense the and now Saul on his
to soul will never open its eye or Damascus. Thirdly : From its ear to the Divine. We the teachings of the Bible. must take off the shoes from (See Psalm cxxxix. ; Prov. xv. our feet, like Moses—fall to 3.; Heb. iv. 13.) This the dust, like Isaiah-smite solemn fact should make us our breast, like the publican, serious, circumspect, devout. if we would hear what God II. THAT CHRIST IS THE
“ Unto that man ORIGINATOR OF MORAL
will I look who is of a broken FORMATION. What now gave
spirit,” &c. the turning-point to Paul's IV. THAT UNION WITH life? The manifestation of CHRIST IS THE PRIVILEGE OF Christ in the “light,” the THE GOOD. “Why persecutest “voice," the address. “Saul, thou ME ?! What does this Saul,” &c. Conversion does not mean? Personally, Christ originate with self; nor with was in the heavens, beyond the agency of man outside, the reach of mortals. It but always with Christ. It means that so dear are his is a resurrection. Who can disciples to his heart, that raise the dead but He ? It is their sufferings are His. He ? a creation. Who can create bears their infirmities, and but He? This fact agrees, carries their sorrows, even in First : With the consciousness heaven. They are of the good. The good every bers of his body," and no part where, involuntarily, ascribe
be wounded without their goodness to Him. This quivering to the sensorium. is the burden of heaven's (See Matt. xxv. 40, 45.) “Inanthem. Second : This agrees
asmuch as ye
have done it to with the teachings of Scrip the least of these," &c. ture. “Of his own will begat he us," &c. “When it pleased
THE DIVINE ORDINATION OF to it, and lead into it as MAN TO THE HIGHEST LIFE
radia to their centre. ON EARTH.
therefore, the sublimest sub" and he said, The God of our
ject of thought. It expresses fathers hath chosen thee, that the divine nature, it reveals thou shouldest know his will, and the universe. It is, therefore, see that Just One, and shouldest
the great theme for the study hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all of eternity. To the study of men of what thou hast seen and this Paul was thus ordained, heard.”-Acts xxii. 14, 15.
He began it then, he is at it THE verb, poexe pícaro, now, he will continue at it which is here translated, for ever. "chosen," only occurs in this II. To A VISION OF THE form in one other place in HIGHEST EXISTENCE.
* And the New Testament. (Acts see that Just One.” Not only xxvi. 16), where it has the to understand the will which sense of “making,” or
is the law of the universe, pointing.” The
idea here is but to see the Lawgiver Himordination, or setting apart.
self. " That Just One." Ananias tells Paul that the Who? Evidently the MesGod of their fathers had siah-the God-man. (See ordained him to the life Acts üi. 14.) He is called specified in these verses. " that Just One” not merely And truly the life is one of because, as God, he is absothe highest that man can live lutely just, the Fountain of on earth. What is the ordi eternal rectitude. Nor merely nation | It is
because, as man, he “ did no I. TO AN UNDERSTANDING sin, neither was guile found OF HIGHEST SUBJECT,
in his mouth.” But as Media“That thou shouldest know tor who has engaged to make his will." God has a will. A unjust men just. His work will in relation to all existe as mediator is to make a ences—a will in relation to world of unjust men just to every individual man. His themselves, just to their will is at once the spring of fellows, just to the universe, all existence, the rule of all just to God. This is his work, motion, the standard of all and his work exclusively. character. To understand it Hence he is designated" that is to understand the philo- Just One." Paul was orsophy of all being, the cause dained to see Him.
First: of all phenomena, and the To renovate him as a sinner. science of all duty. All true The vision of Christ is the subjects of thought are related soul-transforming force!“Be
what an ecstasy of joy! Every utterance of that voice will then dispel some cloud of mystery from the sky of spirits, and open up some new realm of thought to the intellect, some new domain of beauty to the imagination. What is the voice of your Platos or even of your
Pauls compared to the voice of Christ? The glimmerings of rushlight to the light of day.
IV. To A DISCHARGE OF THE HIGHEST MISSION. What work was He chosen to ? - Thou shalt be his witness unto all men, of what thou hast seen and heard.” First: To bear witness of the highest facts about the Greatest Being. Paul was appointed as witness for Christ.
He was to declare all that he knew from observation and experience concerning the Son of God. This he nobly did. Second : To bear witness of the highest facts about the Greatest Being, to all mankind. 66 Unto all men." To the Jew as well as to the Gentile.
Oh, brothers ! be"ordained" to such a life as this. How earnestly should we aspire to such an ordination !
holding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, we are changed,” &c. Second : To qualify him as an apostle. It would seem that one of the necessary qualifications of an apostle was, that he should have a personal
view of Christ. Hence he says, “ Am I not an apostle; have I not Christ
Lord ?" Thirdly : To consummate his blessedness as a man. What is the heaven of souls? The beatific vision of Christ. The sight of Him thrills all, brightens all, elevates all, enraptures all. (Rev. v. 6, 12.) III. TO A RECEPTION OF THE
COMMUNICATIONS. " And shouldest hear the voice of his mouth." To have a direct communication with Christ seemed necessary in order to put Paul on a level with the twelve apostles. (Acts xiii. 3; Galatians i. 1.) But whilst this was specially required for Paul as an apostle, it is a high privilege to which God “hath chosen," or appointed all good men. And what a privilege ! Who teaches like Christ? “ Never man spake like this man.” So they said who heard Him when on earth, when he spoke only the few things that they could bear. His words on earth were original, suggestive, soul inspiring. But to listen to that voice in Heaven,
GETTING RID OF SIN. “And now, why tarriest, thou ? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the