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they do not produce in us such an effect ; if, notwithstanding we call ourselves Christians, we are malicious, unforgiving, and revengeful; we are no better than Heathens; nay, in reality, we are worse, and in a worse state than they. Ignorance may be pleaded, as an extenuation of their sin. But we who “ have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law';" by that law which expressly teaches us to love, to forbear, and to forgive one another, as we hope to be forgiven of God for Christ's sake : and which unequivocally admonishes us of the doom reserved for those wicked and malicious servants, who “ from their hearts forgive not, every one his brother, their trespasses *.”

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SERMON XXII.

THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE A MOTIVE WITH ST. PAUL

TO HUMILITY AND DILIGENCE.

1 Cor. xv. 9, 10. For I am the least of the Apostles, that am not

meet to be called an Apostle, because I perse

cuted the church of God: But by the grace of God I am what I and

his grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain ; but I laboured more abundantly than the

all ; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

am ;

IN the whole compass of the sacred volume, there is no character, after that of our blessed Lord himself, which more strongly calls for our attention, and is more entirely worthy of our imitation, than the character of the holy Apostle Paul. Such zeal for the honour of the Lord God, and such lowliness of soul and selfabasement, appear perhaps in no person, whose actions are recorded in scripture, so conspicuously as in Him. These feelings seem not to have been occasionally indulged, but to have been constantly and habitually cherished by him. It is not merely upon set occasions, that they are formally brought into notice; but they appear to have been the predominant sentiments of his heart, and to have been always ready to start as it were into life, and to vent themselves in suitable language ; whenever the subject of his discourse afforded him a suitable opportunity for expressing them. Does the course of his observations lead him to remark on the fundamental doctrine of the Gospel, that " Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners ?” Smitten with a lowly sense of his own unworthiness, and with gratitude to the Lord, who had intrusted him with the glorious ministry of the Gospel, he immediately subjoins “ of whom I am chiefa."

a 1 Tim. i. 15.

66 less

Does his argument require him to notice the communication of the Gospel-promises to the Gentiles, and his commission to engage in that ministry; he magnifies the

grace of God, which called him to the office, by describing himself as than the least of all saints.” And here again, in the passage before us, being employed in laying before the Corinthians the evidence of Christ's resurrection, and having enumerated the several witnesses, to whom Christ had appeared after his rising from the dead," and last of all” (continues he) “ he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” And thence taking occasion to pass from the more immediate subject before him to that which was most deeply impressed upon his heart, and to commemorate the mercy of God and his own unworthiness ; “ For I” (he adds) “ am the least of the Apostles ; that am not meet to be called an Apostle, beçause I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his

grace which was bestowed

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upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all ; yet not I, but the grace of God, which was with

nie."

This passage will supply us with materials for much useful meditation : let us pray almighty God to grant us his assisting grace, whilst we consider the several branches of the declaration in the order, in which they succeed each other in the text.

I. And here the first thing, which calls for our notice, is the signal humility, that St. Paul evinces in speaking of his situation in the church. "I am the least of the Apostles, that am not meet to be called an Apostle :" nay, in another place, to which I have already referred, he humbleth himself yet more, for he describes himself as “ less than the least of all saints :' not only as inferior to the other Apostles, but as inferior also to all other believers in Christ. And yet this was the man, who, although in his own emphatical language he were “nothing,” yet, as

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