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almighty Head of the church; and, therefore, when he is called away from this scene of labor to his promised rest, the vacant place is filled by the same superintending Governor, from whom his attainments and his usefulness were derived. To that Sovereign of the universe, be content to trust the destinies of his own gospel; and, while you mourn for piety and genius removed from their sphere of influence, let it be with that chastised and complacent feeling, which cries, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."*

Having thus expressed to the Philippians his own cheerfulness in the prospect of death, and exhorted them to contemplate with the same feelings his possible removal, St. Paul proceeds to comfort them with a pleasing intimation. "But I trust," he says, "in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort," or, may be refreshed and exhilarated, "when I know your state." The Apostle, it seems, though looking forward to martyrdom as the probable termination of his career, did not consider this event as just at hand; and, accordingly, contemplated with joy the period, when, by the journey of this faithful messenger, he should receive tidings of their spiritual condition. Such is the encouraging assurance, conveyed by him to these distant brethren; and he next informs them, in brief terms, on what account he had selected, for this journey, an individual so necessary to his own comfort, and to the exigencies of the church in his immediate vicinity. "For I have no man," he declares, "like-minded;" that is, there is none here, with the exception of this person, possessed of the same affectionate spirit an

* Job, i. 21.

views with myself; or, as he explains his meaning, "who will naturally," that is, with sincerity and singleness of heart, "care for your state." Timothy, then, it appears, stood alone, among the friends and laborers by whom St. Paul was surrounded, in that catholic spirit, which travels beyond the bounded circle of personal aims and objects, and is solicitous for distant portions of the church of Jesus. From what immediately follows, it is evident that he formed a perfect contrast with those among whom he was acting. "For all," says the blessed Apostle, "seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's" in other words, each man seems to be bent upon the advancement of his limited and selfish plans; and to have little regard for the general interests of the Saviour's kingdom. Such was the narrow and little feeling, which, according to the description before us, prevailed in the Roman capital and the statement here made affords occasion for one or two practical reflections, which I shall briefly offer to your view.

And 1. In the delineation of Timothy's affectionate anxiety for the spiritual welfare of the Philippians, behold the portrait of every real Christian.-The feature in this excellent person's character to which I would point your eye, is his comprehensive solicitude for the cause of Christ, in all regions where the Saviour's name was honored. The journey from Rome to Philippi, at that period, was attended with no ordinary inconvenience and peril: but so intense was the interest which he took in the progress of its Christian inhabitants, that he overlooked every obstacle; and longed to ascertain, by personal inspection, their growth in the faith and graces of the gospel. In this large and lovely spirit, Timothy was a follower of the

great Apostle of the Gentiles, "even as he also was of Christ:"* and it may safely be affirmed, that, if there be one distinguishing mark of a soul renewed by the grace of Jesus, it is that feeling by which it is ever awake to the universal prosperity of Zion; seeks and prays for the increase of all parts of Christendom, in the saving knowledge of Christ; and is constantly striving for the wider extension of sanctifying truth, into the territories of the Prince of darkness, and the dismal "habitations of cruelty." In these desires for the enlargement of the Redeemer's spiritual kingdom, the servant of God is carried beyond that particular sphere, however important it may be, in which Providence has cast his lot. His heart roves abroad over the face of the earth: wherever there are brethren in the bonds of the same covenant, of these he thinks with interest: wherever there are beings, locked in the slumber of idolatry and superstition, them he wishes to see visited, like himself, with the "day-spring"t of gospel truth, and the illuminations of the Holy Spirit of God. My Christian friends, is this your expansive mind? Seek, through divine grace, to make it your own: for if any man profess to be Christ's servant, and yet, in the largest sense of the expression, "loveth not his brother," he is "none of his."||

But 2. In how sad and revolting a light does the Apostle represent the character of some of those primitive professors, who were numbered among the real servants of God! Let us turn again to the language of St. Paul. "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." It is the picture of entire and invincible selfishness; and the most melancholy reflection connected with it is, that it relates to those * I. Cor. xi. 1. † Ps. lxxiv. 20. Luke, i. 78. § I. John, iv. 20. || Rom. viii. 9.

who were not merely the disciples, but the commissioned ministers of Christ, to a guilty and miserable world. Invested with this sacred office, so significant of universal love for men, what is the course which they pursue? They travel on their own private ends of fame and aggrandizement ; they consult their ease as the great object; they have no feeling to bestow upon a distant corner of the church, and upon persons dwelling on another soil. Humbling as is this representation, it must be received as the literal and sober truth; it is recorded by the finger of the Holy Spirit himself; and, unhappily, it wants not counterparts in these latter days of the gospel dispensation. Some examples are to be found in every Christian land, of persons who, in the course of their ministerial walk, never travel out of the confined and uniform track, to which their avocation has called them; who seem to imagine that they have no duties to accomplish, and no sympathies to exercise, save those which belong to their own professional sphere; and pass onward to the grave in a sluggish inactivity and indifference, exactly the opposite of that unbounded affection for a fallen world, which is so completely the spirit of the gospel. While over such examples we heave the sigh of lamentation, let us, the ministers of the Lord, pray for deliverance from their spirit! Let us seek to imbibe the unrestricted benevolence, that sent down Jesus from heaven, and burned within the hearts of Timothy and of St. Paul: and, as we look abroad over the earth, breathe for all portions of it the apostolic ejaculation, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."*

In the two concluding verses of the portion under review, * Rom. x. 1.

the Apostle repeats the assurance of his intentions in regard to Timothy; and accompanies it with the memento, that the Philippians already knew, by personal observation, the faithful character of this servant of the Lord. "But ye know," he declares, "the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me;" that is, when the probable issue of my present troubles shall have been more distinctly unfolded. These words of St. Paul describe a character of exceeding loveliness. When the Apostle planted the church of Philippi, Timothy was his fellow-laborer in the work: and he is here described as a person, who was ready, under the guidance of his superior, for every exertion and sacrifice; who willingly, and with glad mind, followed St. Paul's directions; and spared not himself in any one respect, that he might bring sinners within the holy and peaceful influences of the gospel of Christ. Such was the testimony which these primitive disciples could themselves yield, to the character of that youthful servant of the Lord. He was full of burning zeal: for the Apostle represents him as one, who, with filial reverence, copied his own bright example in his daily walk and ministry; and what the pattern was that St. Paul exhibited, let his history and writings declare. He was a model of gentleness and meekness: for you are here informed, that to the counsels of his spiritual father he bowed with cheerful acquiescence; and, instead of being proud, and conceited, and self-willed, exemplified the spirit of his divine Master; did not "strive nor cry ;"* and put on the ornament of a quiet and lowly mind, " which is in the sight

* Matt. xii. 19.

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