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by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
Another metaphor, to which for its peculiarity we cannot help making a distinct reference, occurs in the twelfth chapter of the first of Corinthians. The figure with which he there instructs the church of Corinth in the nature, use, and variety of spiritual gifts, whilst it bears a strong resemblance to the celebrated apologue with which Menenius Agrippa appeased the tumult of the Roman populace in the infancy of the Consular government, is still much superior to it. Saint Paul reproves their dissentions in a long chain of argument, where he illustrates the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in his distribution of gifts, by a similitude taken from the component parts of the human body; which, though distinct and various, make up by union one harmonious whole. He explains their incorporation into Christ by the interest which the body has in the several members, each of which by its specific office contributes to the general good. He proves the excellence of the dispensation to consist in that very variety which had produced the con tention; and shews that, had the same powers been given to all, the union would have been broken, as each portion would have been useless in a state of detachment from the rest, which now contributed to the general organization of the human frame.
As an orator, Paul unquestionably stands in the foremost rank. When the renowned Athenian so "wielded the fierce democracy," as to animate with one common sentiment the whole assembly against Philip; when his great rival stirred up the Roman senate against their
oppressors, and by the power of his eloquence made Catiline contemptible, and Anthony detestable; they had every thing in their favour. Their character was established: each held a distinguished office in the state. They stood on the vantage-ground of the highest rank and reputation. When they spoke, admiration stood waiting to applaud. Their characters commanded attention. Their subject ensured approbation. Each, too, had the advantage of addressing his own friends, his own countrymen-men of the same religious and political habits with themselves. Before they started, they had already pre-occupied half the road to success and glory.
Now turn to Paul!-A stranger, poor, persecuted, unprotected, unsupported-despised before-hand, whether he were considered as a Jew or a Christian; solitary, defenceless, degraded even to chains-yet did he make the prejudiced King vacillate in his opinion, the unjust judge tremble on his seat. The Apostle of the Gentiles owned none of his success to an appeal to the corrupt passions of his audience. Demosthenes and Cicero, it must be confessed, by their arguments and their eloquence, but not a little also by their railing and invective, kindled strong emotions in the minds of their respective audiences. Now these vituperations, it must be remembered, were applied to other persons, not to the hearers, and men find a wonderful facility in admiring satire not directed at themselves. But in the case of Saint Paul, the very persons addressed were at once the accused and the judges. The auditors were to apply the searching truths to their own hearts; te
fook inward on the mortifying spectacle of their own errors and vices: so that the apostle had the feelings of the hearers completely against him, whilst the Pagan orator had those of his audience already on his side.
To crown all, Saint Paul has nobly exemplified the rule of Quinctilian. He owed the best part of his oratory to his being "a good man," as well as a good speaker. "Otherwise," says that great crític, "though the orator may amuse the imagination, he will never reach the heart."
Conviction was the soul of his eloquence. He has no hesitation in his religious discussions. Whenever he summoned the attributes of his mind to council, decision always presided. His doctrines had a fixed system. There was nothing conjectural in his scheme. His mind was never erratic for want of a centre.
sus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,”— "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning," is the sun of his system, and round this centre every doctrine issuing from his lips, every grace beaming in his soul, moved harmoniously. Whilst he did not; like the exploded philosophy, invert order, by making the orb of day dependent on the lesser fires, which owe to him whatever light and heat they possess; he did not shrink, like the restorer of astron imical truth, from the most decisive and effectual avowal of his opinions. It is curious to observe, that both these persons shared a similar fate. The astronomer was rewarded for his discoveries with being thrown into a prison by a pontiff of Rome :-for the diffusion of moral light, the apostle was thrown into prison by an
Emperor of Rome. But mark, in the sequel, the superior influence of revealed truth over the conduct, to that of the clearest and best founded deductions of human reason. The philosopher was irresolute; the apostle persevered. Copernicus recanted what he knew to be truth, and was set free; Paul disdained liberty upon such terms, and was put to death.
This resolute avowal, this predominant conviction of the sublimest of truths, enabled Saint Paul to throw into his eloquence a heart and a life unknown to other orators: " as a dying man, he spoke to dying men ;” and pleaded to the feelings of immortal beings for the life of their souls. Others have selected noble objects, objects well worthy their genius and their zeal,-the love of their country, liberty, and life. Paul embraced the same topics, but how ennobled in their nature! He taught his hearers " to desire a better country, that is, an heavenly," He shewed them "the liberty where. with Christ had made them free." He pointed them to "life everlasting.”
In the various counsels or reproofs, founded upon these divine doctrines, can we be surprised at the fre quent interruption of an ejaculation or an apostrophe, which he seems wholly unable to repress? Often do we participate those feelings which, as it were, break in upon his most subdued moments, and impel him to magnify that name, which is above every name, with ascription of glory, and honour, and praise, and sainted adoration. With a kindred joy and elevation of soul, we seem to make even the most highly wrought devo
tional and practical effusions of so great a writer our own: and so far from coldly condemning what we almost believe our own, we realize something of the observation of the finest critic of antiquity, “that when the mind is raised by the true sublime, it rejoices and glories as if itself had produced what it has so much delight in contemplating." "No real Christian can read the doctrinal part of the Epistle to the Ephesians, without being impressed and roused by it, as by the sound of a trumpet."*
David, between whose temper and genius, and those of Saint Paul, there seems to have been a great resemblance, frequently manifests the same inextinguishable energy of soul. His heart, like that of the Apostle, is hot within him; the fire burns while he is musing. Many of the Psalms under such an influence, become only one varied strain of laudatory prayer. In the nineteenth, for instance, he breaks out in admiration of the Divine law, almost to appearance on a sudden, and in such an inexhaustible diversity of expression, as if he could never unburden the fullness of his overflowing heart. He describes it in no less than six different forms of perfection: and with every form, still resem. bling his great fellow-saint of after-ages, he connects a practical deduction. Thus by infinite variety he proves that his mental opulence is above tautology, and at the same time shews that spiritual riches should be devoted to moral purposes. "The law of the Lord so extolled converts the soul,-gives wisdom to the simple,-re
* Macknight's Preface.