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if not in the same degree, yet with equal sincerity—" I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live-yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Let it never be supposed that this is a speculative subject-it is eminently practical, and the person who is so far infatuated as to imagine that the name, the profession, and the external observances of Christianity, may be substituted for that genuine faith in the Redeemer which worketh by love, is indeed diametrically opposed to the inspired Apostle, who thus writes to the Church at Corinth, "the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."-2 Cor. v. 14.
But this will lead us to notice another distinguishing feature in the private character of the Apostle, proposed for our imitation.
(3). His unremitting pursuit after that holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. The doctrines of the gospel are doctrines according to godliness. They are as much calculated to produce personal holiness in ourselves, as they manifestly vindicate the right
eous authority of the moral Governor of the world. If on the one hand, they exhibit the abounding mercy of God, reconciling the world unto himself by the vicarious sacrifice of his Son-they do not less forcibly depict on the other hand, the genuine consequences of a cordial reception of the gospel. That same spirit which sanctified the Son that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and make us a peculiar people zealous of good worksis stated in the Scriptures to be the great agent in effecting a moral renovation, in enlightening the mind, subduing the passions, and purifying the heart-" Know ye not," says the Apostle to the Corinthians, (1 Cor. iii. 16) "that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you"-" if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." And the same Apostle writing to Titus, lays it down as a general and incontrovertible position, "that the grace of God that bringeth salvation, teacheth us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." Let us, however, advert to the illustrious pattern before us. If it be the design of the gospel to engage us to aspire at perfection, to renew us after the image of him that created us, to make us even in this life approach the nature
of glorified Saints, and, to say, all in one word, if we are called "to be perfect as our Father who is in Heaven is perfect"-if this be the definition of living Christianity, then was it fully justified in the Apostle of the Gentiles. You have heard his utter renunciation of any righteousness of his own-his fixed determination of cleaving to the cross of Christ;-now let us attend to his holy purpose of pursuing with unwearied diligence and unabating ardour, his heavenly career. "Brethren, (we are quoting the 13th and 14th verses) I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Let this be contrasted with what he has stated in the 20th verse, of " his having his conversation in heaven"-and you cannot fail to observe, if I may use the expression of an eminent writer, that "his master, his model, his original, his all, was Jesus Christ;—and he copied every stroke of his original, be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."* St. Paul, so to speak, was an hero in Christianity-the same principle that engaged him
to embrace the gospel, diffused itself through all his life and conversation. In him was exemplified the work of faith, the patience of hope, the labour of love-he had learned in whatever state he was, therewith to be content-he knew both how to be abased and he knew how to abound, every where, and in all things, his actions verified the sincerity of his profession-yet, this meek, this humble, this holy, this ardent Christian, who triumphs in the consideration that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him-informs us in the chapter before us, that disregarding all his past attainments, and despising all his former services, he was still aiming, by further labours, by increasing diligence, and by higher advancements in holiness, to finish his course, and obtain the prize,—and as the racer in the Isthmian games, seemed to forget the ground over which he had run, and the competitors whom he had left behind, and put forth all the vigour and agility of his limbs to outstrip such as were before him-so the Apostle by still greater exertions, pants as it were to press forward with unremitting speed, to the victor's crown suspended before him. One thing engaged his undivided attention, he forgot the things which were behind, he pressed forward to those things which were before-and using
the same metaphor on a similar occasion, he tells us, "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away." 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27.
Such were the views, and such was the character of the Apostle Paul-and such, though in a very inferior degree, is the judgment and the experience of every sincere Christian. No measures of personal holiness-no habits of self-denial-no triumphs over indwelling sin, constitute any claim to personal desert. He counts all but loss, that he may win Christand while he thus approves, and cordially accepts the divine method of justification, he pours contempt upon all his attainments, and becomes continually humbled for his manifold defects and defilements. In his Christian course he endeavours "to walk by the same rule and mind the same things." A perpetual progress in the divine life, is the object of his ambition-and unsubdued by the allurements as well as by the frowns of the world, he is seeking to be prepared for the second coming of his Lord, that "he may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless." There will be great and distinctive disparities among