PAUL'S FAITHFULNESS IN REPROVING.
HIS OBEDIENCE TO CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
Among the many duties which compass the walk of the believer, few are more
difficult to perform, than that of Christian reproof. We might naturally
expect, that the great Apostle would be faithful in the performance of this
duty. And so he was. Under every circumstance, however difficult or
delicate, arising either from opposition or affection, Paul was a Faithful
Reprover. By the light of Truth, he could discern the least deviation from
the path of rectitude; and guided by a spirit of love, he was ever ready to
impart the faithful admonition.
Much wisdom, combined with kindness, is required in the reprover, and much
humility, blended with thankfulness, in the reproved; for, "As an earring of
gold and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover to an obedient
ear." Those who reprove must guard against every feeling, yes, even
appearance of superiority; lest, by exciting the pride of the reproved, the
intended benefit should be lost.
Notwithstanding the delicacy of this Christian duty, faithfulness must guide
its operation when the occasion requires its severe exercise. The
tender-hearted Paul had to perform this painful task in several instances,
which are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and in his own Epistles.
When the Holy Spirit said, "separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work
whereunto I have called them," these holy men were obedient to the heavenly
mandate. Having performed the wont assigned to them, they sailed to Antioch,
from where they had been recommended to the grace of God, for the work which
they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church
together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had
opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. The relation of this missionary
tour gladdened the assembled church, and called forth many thanksgivings
Paul and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of
the Lord. "After some time Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's return to each city
where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new
believers are getting along." Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John
Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in
Pamphylia and had not shared in their work. Their disagreement over this was
so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed
for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and the believers sent them off, entrusting
them to the Lord's grace. So they traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia to
strengthen the churches there."
The heavenly-minded Paul was well acquainted with his own heart, when he
said to the people of Lyconia, "We also are men of like passions with you."
Though we cannot expect perfection in this sinful world, where the holiest
of men are compassed about with infirmities; yet we must bewail that warmth
of temper, which occasioned such excellent men to separate from each other.
How instructive is Scripture Biography– It not only develops the inward
principles of the heart, but makes us also acquainted with the nature and
effects of those actions, which these principles produce.
The Bible is a faithful record. There we see man in his real character,
whether groaning under the slavery of Satan, or rejoicing as the servant of
Jesus Christ. Truth requires no covering, and therefore seeks none. The
faithfulness with which the lives of believers are recorded, forms no small
evidence of the truth of Scripture, which rests its veracity, not on the
excellence of man, but on the immutability of Jehovah. The failings of the
saints are detailed with the same impartiality as their graces, no, are even
more minutely described, with the evident intention of humbling our pride,
and showing us that salvation is of grace and not of works. The sins of
believers, be it ever remembered, cannot be charged upon that holy religion
which condemns them; but, upon their own corrupt nature which produces them.
Holiness is the peculiar characteristic of the Gospel, and proves it to be
The sacred historian bears testimony to Barnabas, that he "was a good man,
and full of the Holy Spirit." He had willingly given up the world for the
Gospel's sake; for, being the owner of land he sold it, and brought the
money, and laid it at the Apostles' feet. John Mark was his sister's son,
for whom he felt, no doubt, much natural affection. He was a young disciple
and not sufficiently strengthened in faith, to endure hardness as a good
soldier of Jesus Christ; hence he shrunk from the trials which awaited the
Apostle in every city; and being most probably overcome by fear, left him at
Pamphylia and returned to Jerusalem.
Barnabas, in the Spirit of that charity which hopes all things, was desirous
to try Mark on another journey, but Paul, who well knew the evil of
faintheartedness in the work of the Gospel, and the absolute necessity for a
man to be willing to run all risks, if ever he would do good as an
ambassador of Jesus Christ, remonstrated with Barnabas upon the instability
of John Mark's conduct, and the unsuitableness of taking him for a companion
in labor, who previously had deserted them in the work. Hence arose the
sharp contention which ended in their separation.
Though he would not desire to justify what is wrong, even in the holiest of
men, yet, it is evident that nothing guided the Apostle, but that
uprightness of principle and that devotedness of heart to Christ, which
rendered him so abundantly useful to the souls of men. Painful as was the
circumstance, it forms another development of Paul's character; while,
through the over-ruling power of God, it was made conducive to a more
enlarged diffusion of the Gospel of peace.
In his last Epistle to Timothy he leaves this satisfactory record- " Take
Mark and bring him with you; for he is profitable to me for the ministry."
Thus Mark proved himself to be a true believer, by his growth in grace, and
his continuance in well-doing. How relevant is the admonition of the
Apostle, to all who feel inclined to expose, rather than to correct, the
failings of a Christian brother, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin,
you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you
also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will
fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is
nothing, he deceives himself." Thus beautifully were the graces of the
Spirit blended in the character of this servant of the Redeemer. He drank
into the Spirit of Christ, and trod in his steps. May we go and do likewise.
Another striking instance of his faithfulness in reproving, is related by
himself to the Galatians, "But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose
him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very
wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who don't
bother with circumcision. But afterward, when some Jewish friends of James
came, Peter wouldn't eat with the Gentiles anymore because he was afraid of
what these legalists would say. Then the other Jewish Christians followed
Peter's hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was influenced to join them in their
hypocrisy. When I saw that they were not following the truth of the Good
News, I said to Peter in front of all the others, "Since you, a Jew by
birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are
you trying to make these Gentiles obey the Jewish laws you abandoned?"
What could exceed the honesty of the reproof here exhibited to our view? Did
the Apostle speak evil of Peter behind his back? No- he withstood him to the
face. Did he shrink from a public, though painful, denunciation of Peter's
conduct on this occasion? No- he rebuked him openly, before them all. Did
his reverence for Peter's age and character, cause him to palliate or
connive at what he conceived to be injurious to the cause of Truth? No- he
boldly reproved him, when he saw that he walked not uprightly, according to
the truth of the Gospel.
This was faithfulness indeed; and no doubt Peter well knew how to value it,
and to love his brother Apostle for it; for "the ear that hears the reproof
of life, abides among the wise." Consistency of conduct is, at all times,
most important, both in ministers and people. On this occasion, there was a
lack of consistency in Peter's conduct, which Paul condemned. If he thought
it right to eat with the Gentile converts, he ought not to have separated
himself from them, when certain Jews came from James. By this act, he either
tacitly acknowledged, that he had done wrong, or he was influenced by an
undue fear of man.
But another and yet more pernicious effect resulted from this inconsistency
of Peter. In this act, he contradicted the glorious design of the Gospel,
which was to break down the middle wall of partition, and to unite both Jews
and Gentiles in one body in Christ; for the kingdom of God is not food and
drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Peter was
the more inexcusable, as the vision with which he had been favored to
prepare his mind to visit Cornelius, and the blessed fruits of that visit,
must have removed his Jewish prejudices, and led him to see, that unto the
Gentiles also, God would grant repentance unto life.
Paul therefore, perceiving the evil which would arise to the Gentile
churches from this conduct of his beloved fellow-laborer, boldly maintained
the liberty of the Gospel; which, while it freed the Jewish Christians from
the ceremonials of the Law, brought the Gentile converts into all the
privileges of the children of God. Hence, he gloried in this blessed truth,
-"you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus- There is neither
Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor
female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
In no stage of our Christian pilgrimage are we removed out of the reach of
temptation, or from the hidden evils of our fallen nature. "By faith we
stand." Nothing but Almighty Power can keep us from falling, and enable us,
under all circumstances to walk uprightly according to the truth of the
Gospel. How faithfully did the zealous Apostle also reprove the church of
Galatia, on account of their being drawn away by Judaizing teachers, from
the simplicity of the Gospel. "I marvel," said he, "that you are so soon
removed from him who called you into the grace of Christ unto another
Gospel, which is not really another; but there be some who trouble you, and
would pervert the Gospel of Christ." And then, with apostolic authority, he
declares- "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel
unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As
we said before, so say I now again; if any man preach another Gospel unto
you, than that you have received, let him be accursed."
Errors in doctrine are seldom unattended by defects in practice. If we
depart from the purity of the Truth, we shall suffer loss, both in holiness
and comfort. This Paul knew, and deplored- "You foolish Galatians! Who has
bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as
crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive
the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so
foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your
goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really
was for nothing? But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how
is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do
you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special
days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have
wasted my efforts on you."
Few things are more painful than that which is experienced by the minister
of Christ, when he beholds his flock carried away by dangerous errors, and
losing their affection for him, through the insinuations and flatteries of
false teachers. No one, not so circumstanced, can fully enter into the
heart-felt grief of such a pastor.
With great tenderness of spirit Paul then appeals to their former affection
for him. "Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the
Good News of Christ. But even though my sickness was revolting to you, you
did not reject me and turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as
though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. Where is that
joyful spirit we felt together then? In those days, I know you would gladly
have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible.
Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? Listen! I,
Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right
with God, then Christ cannot help you. You were getting along so well. Who
has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? It
certainly isn't God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. I only
wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would
With such earnestness did their spiritual father long for their restoration,
that he used the strongest metaphor to express his feelings, "My little
children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I
desire to be present with you, and to change my voice, for I stand in doubt
of you." Who can question the sincerity of a heart which could make such
affectionate appeals, and administer such faithful reproof. His parental
heart was grieved that they should so soon forsake him, and listen to the
voice of strangers, who sought to lead them away from the simplicity that is
This part of the Apostle's history affords a useful lesson to faithful
ministers– to watch over their flocks with jealous care, and not to withhold
the wholesome reproof, though it may deeply wound; for "faithful are the
wounds of a friend."
Of all the offices held by man, none is so important in its nature, and
awful in his responsibilities, as that of the Christian Ministry, however
much it may be despised by an ungodly world, or unhappily dishonored by the
unseemly conduct of some who sustain it. Glorious indeed will be the reward
of that man, who, in the spirit of Paul, takes upon himself the care of
souls, and solemnly engages in the presence, and through the grace of Jesus,
"to teach and to admonish, to feed and provide for the Lord's family; to
seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children, who
are in the midst of this evil world, that they may be saved through Christ
forever." May all who enter into this sacred office, "never cease their
labors, their care and diligence, until they have done all that lies in
them, according to their bounden duty, to bring all such as are, or shall be
committed to their charge, unto that agreement in the faith and knowledge of
God, and to that ripeness and perfection of age in Christ, that there be no
place left among us, either for error in religion, or for viciousness of
The will and ability to perform so great a work, is given of God alone;
hence arises the need for earnest prayer, that the Holy Spirit may impart
those gifts and graces which are peculiarly essential in an ambassador of
"Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly, that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men."
This bright example of a Gospel minister, the Apostle held forth to us in
his own experience, spirit, and conduct. As his labors were incessant, so
also were his solicitudes for the welfare of the Church of God. In
enumerating his trials, he mentions last, as if to mark its peculiar
greatness, that which came upon him daily, "the care of all the churches."
We cannot forbear to mention another instance of his uncompromising firmness
when ministerial reproof was needed. He deeply lamented the evils which
disfigured the Corinthian Church, "Now, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal
to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among
yourselves. Let there be real harmony so there won't be divisions in the
church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
For some members of Chloe's household have told me about your arguments,
dear friends. I had to feed you with milk and not with solid food, because
you couldn't handle anything stronger. And you still aren't ready, for you
are still controlled by your own sinful desires. You are jealous of one
another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled
by your own desires? You are acting like people who don't belong to the
Lord. When one of you says, "I am a follower of Paul," and another says, "I
prefer Apollos," aren't you acting like those who are not Christians? Who is
Apollos, and who is Paul, that we should be the cause of such quarrels? Why,
we're only servants. Through us God caused you to believe. Each of us did
the work the Lord gave us. My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and
Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow. The ones who
do the planting or watering aren't important, but God is important because
he is the one who makes the seed grow."
Discarding all idea of personal merit, the disinterested Apostle strikes at
the root of popular applause and party spirit. By his deep insight into the
human heart, he saw the source from where these evils spring– that love of
change, that fondness for novelty, that captious spirit, that itching ear,
that setting up of one minister above another which divided the Church, and
engendered strifes and contentions among them. With unwearied solicitude he
labored to counteract these growing evils, that all who professed and called
themselves Christians, might be led into the way of truth, and hold the
faith in the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness
Paul was well aware that an enemy had done this. As the kingdom of Christ is
extended by union, gentleness, and love, so Satan increases his dominion by
discord, strife, and hatred. Knowing the depths of this arch-deceiver, and
being jealous for the Truth, he forewarned the Corinthians against his
delusions; "No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of
you have God's approval." Is not this a word in season? Do not errors and
divisions even now weaken the Christian Church, and tarnish her glory?
Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments unspotted from sin.
With equal fidelity he apprized the Christians at Rome to beware of
schismatics, who would endanger their peace and unity- "And now I make one
more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause
divisions and upset people's faith by teaching things that are contrary to
what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving
Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth
talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people."
This unwearied laborer was the more anxious for their preservation from
these evils, as they were in a prosperous spiritual condition- "But everyone
knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want
you to see clearly what is right and to stay innocent of any wrong. The God
of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ be with you."
These instances are sufficient to show, that Paul was a faithful reprover,
that he feared not the face of man. While others were dissembling, or
courting popular applause, he could say with honest Nehemiah, "Even their
assistants took advantage of the people. But because of my fear of God, I
did not act that way."
As a Christian, and a preacher of righteousness, the Apostle was obedient to
the reigning government; and cheerfully submitted to every ordinance of man
for the Lord's sake. His religion was the religion of peace and good order,
not of strife and confusion. "Woe unto him that strives with his Maker. Let
the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth." While the rebellious
sinner exclaims; "Who is Lord over us?" -the humble Christian cultivates a
spirit of reverential love.
In drawing a sketch of the Apostles conduct and preaching we must notice his
important exhortations to the duty of Christian obedience to civil
government. Having revealed to Titus, the glorious appearing of the Great
God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, he subjoins- "You must teach these things
and encourage your people to do them, correcting them when necessary. You
have the authority to do this, so don't let anyone ignore you or disregard
what you say. Remind your people to submit to the government and its
officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They
must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling. Instead, they
should be gentle and show true humility to everyone."
How beautifully does the Christian character shine forth in this admonition.
Were all rulers and subjects brought under the holy influence of the Gospel,
then truth and justice, brotherly kindness and charity, devotion and piety,
concord and unity, with all other virtues, would so flourish among us, that
they would form the stability of our times, and make the Church of Christ a
praise in the earth.
As it is by the will of God that kings reign and princes decree justice,
Paul gives this charge to Timothy exhort therefore that, first of all,
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all
men," -without any distinction of character; for foes as well as friends;
for the turbulent as well as the peaceable; for distant nations as well as
for our own land. To which he adds, and, "for kings and for all that are in
authority;" giving this substantial reason for the performance of this duty–
"that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will
have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
While the governing power was Pagan and persecuting, he gave this admonition
to the Christians at Rome, "Obey the government, for God is the one who put
it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who
refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment
will follow. For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right,
but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get
along well. The authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are
doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be
punished. The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to
punish those who do wrong. So you must obey the government for two reasons:
to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes,
too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they
can keep on doing the work God intended them to do. Give to everyone what
you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor
to all to whom it is due."
With equal force he inculcates on the Corinthians the duty of contentment in
the station in which God had placed them. This admonition is the more
striking, as the word rendered servant, in our version, signifies a slave,
"You should continue on as you were when God called you. Are you a slave?
Don't let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And
remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, the Lord has now set
you free from the awful power of sin. And if you were free when the Lord
called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God purchased you at a high
price. Don't be enslaved by the world. So, dear brothers and sisters,
whatever situation you were in when you became a believer, stay there in
your new relationship with God." What a disregard is here manifested to
outward worldly distinctions, so opposite to the spirit which actuates
professing Christians in general.
To Timothy he also writes, "Christians who are slaves should give their
masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be
shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being
disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping
another believer by your efforts."
The Apostle considered it of such importance to the peace of society, and so
accordant with the spirit of the Gospel, not to render its professors
dissatisfied with their social stations, that he adds- "These things teach
and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words,
even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is
according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing. From such withdraw
yourself." So advised Solomon, "my son fear the Lord and the king; and
meddle not with those who are given to change."
Writing under the immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter strongly
enforced the duty of subjection to the existing powers, on the Christians
who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and
Bithynia, "For the Lord's sake, accept all authority—the king as head of
state, and the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to
punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right. It is God's will
that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations
against you. You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an
excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God's slaves. Show respect for
everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. Show respect
for the king."
And then, in his second Epistle, he cautions believers against such as were
presumptuous, self-willed, despising government, and not afraid to speak
evil of dignities. "It is the corruption and misery of man's nature" as
Leighton observes, "that he does not know, and can hardly be persuaded to
learn, either how to command aright, or how to obey; and no doubt many of
those that can see and blame the injustice of others in authority, would be
more guilty that way themselves, if they had the same power. It is the pride
and self-love of our nature that begets disobedience in inferiors; and
violence and injustice in superiors, that depraved temper, that ties to
every kind of government a propensity to a particular evil; that makes
royalty easily degenerate into tyranny, and the government of nobles into
faction, and popular government into confusion. As civil authority and
subjection to it, is the institution of God; so the peaceable correspondence
of those two, just government and due obedience, is the especial gift of
God's own hand, and a prime blessing to states and kingdoms. And the
troubling and interruption of their course is one of the highest public
judgments, by which the Lord oftentimes punishes the other sins both of
rulers and people. And whatever be the cause, and on which side soever be
the justice of the cause, it cannot be looked upon but as a heavy plague and
the fruit of many and great provocations, when kings and their people, that
should be a mutual blessing and honor to each other, are turned into
scourges one to another, or into a devouring fire, as it is in the parable
of Judges 9:20– Fire going forth from Abimelech to devour the men of
Shechem, and fire from Shechem to devour Abimelech."
May the God of Britain preserve our nation from so awful a catastrophe, by
uniting the hearts of all, as the heart of one man, in holy obedience to
himself, in loyal attachment to our king, and in brotherly love to one
It may be asked; did not Paul violate his own precepts when he so awfully
denounced the high-priest? If the circumstances of the case be considered,
it will be found that he was not aware that Ananias, then sitting in
judgment, was the legally appointed high-priest. Ananias was acting contrary
to the law, in commanding the Apostle to be beaten before he was found
guilty. Paul, who knew his hypocritical character, under the influence of a
prophetic spirit, pronounced his doom, "God shall smite you, you whited
On being informed that Ananias was the acting high-priest, the Apostle
instantly declared his reverence for the office, saying, "I knew not,
brethren, that he was the high-priest, for it is written; You shall not
speak evil of the ruler of your people." Hence it is evident, that he would
not thus have spoken, had he known that Ananias was at that time the
officiating high-priest in Jerusalem.
The following historical fact will serve to elucidate the Apostle's conduct.
Soon after the holding of the first council at Jerusalem, Ananias was
deprived of the high-priest's office for certain acts of violence, and sent
to Rome, where he was afterwards released, and returned to Jerusalem.
Between the death of Jonathan, who succeeded him, and was murdered by Felix,
and the high-priesthood of Ishmael, who was invested with that office by
Agrippa, an interval elapsed in which this dignity was vacant. This was the
precise time when Paul was apprehended; and the Sanhedrin, being destitute
of a president, Ananias undertook to discharge that office. It is probable
that Paul was ignorant of this circumstance. With respect to Paul's
denunciation, God did smite Ananias in a remarkable manner; for about
forty-five years after this, after his house had been reduced to ashes, in a
tumult raised by his own son, be was besieged and taken in the royal palace;
where, having attempted in vain to hide himself, he was dragged out and
stain. "Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily he is a God that
judges in the earth."
The genius of the Gospel is love and unity. These fruits of the Spirit were
the subjects of our Lord's last discourses, and the matter of his
intercessory prayer. In the first ages of Christianity, prayers and tears
were the only arms of the Church, whereby they long defended it from ruin,
and at last advanced it to the most glorious prosperity. The shadows of the
night do not more naturally vanish at the rising of the sun, than the
darkness of Pagan idolatry and superstition fled before the light of the
Gospel. In those days of the Church's first love, no labor was deemed too
great, no sacrifice too costly, to evangelize the world. Thousands gladly
embraced the crown of martyrdom, rather than deny their precious Savior.
Their constancy and patience extorted the admiration of their enemies; the
joyfulness with which they sealed the Truth with their blood, won over many
of their persecutors to the faith of Christ.
With such lively hopes did they descend into the tomb, that the day of their
death was celebrated by their surviving brethren, as the birthday of their
martyrdom; for so the primitive Christians used to call the day of their
death; looking upon it as the true day of their birth, when they were
delivered from this valley of tears– these regions of death, and born again
unto the joys and felicities of an endless life. Happy would it be, were
this primitive spirit universal. It is fervent prayer, faithful preaching,
and the heavenly lives of Christians, that must, and will, through the
blessing of God, evangelize both our country and the world.
May all who bear the name of Christ, bear also his holy image. As subjects
of the Prince of Peace, let us study to promote the blessings of peace.
While thus diffusing around us a spirit of Christian charity, we shall
hasten on that blissful period, when the din of war shall be exchanged for
the harmony of praise; when men shall love as brethren; and when Jesus shall
reign in every heart- the UNIVERSAL KING.
"Jesus, immortal King, go on;
The glorious day will soon be won;
Your enemies prepare to flee,
And leave a conquered world to thee.
Gird on your sword victorious Chief,
The captive sinner's sole relief;
Cast the Usurper from his throne,
And make the universe your own.
Your footsteps, Lord, with joy we trace,
And mark the conquests of your grace;
Finish the work you have begun,
And let your will on earth be done.
Then shall contending nations rest,
For love shall reign in every breast;
Weapons designed for war shall cease,
Only then, be implements of peace."
Hark! how the hosts triumphant sing!
'The Lord omnipotent is King.'
Let all his saints rejoice at this,
The kingdoms of the world are his!