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them. The apostle therefore reminds the Corinthians, whom he now addressed as Christians, of their former state as heathens. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. They had been idolaters, worshippers of stocks and stones, of images which could neither see nor hear; and which gave the most base and degrading ideas of the Deity; for the most exalted notion which they conveyed was that the object of worship was altogether like its worshipper, a being of the same description, though armed perhaps with greater power or force than men can wield. The idols of the heathen were frequently the most hideous figures. The sight of them was calculated to fill the mind of the beholder with terror. The most sublime idea attached to them was, that they were armed with the thunders of omnipotence. But the malignant passions which the heathen usually ascribed to their false gods, showed that they worshipped devils, and not God; devils to whom the worst of human passions properly belonged. A consciousness of sin had filled their minds with apprehension of the just judgment of God, and therefore they represented the Divine Being to themselves in the most terrific character, and were anxious only to appease His wrath; which they were willing to do with the most revolting and cruel offerings, even to the burning of their own children in the fire. That God is love they knew not. It was reserved for Divine revelation to exhibit the God of glory in this most interesting and delightful character. Here alone it is made known, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, but having made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Or, as our blessed Saviour declared, God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. To which doctrine also, the Spirit beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. And this is the record, or witness, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son; he that hath, or believeth in, the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

For which reason our apostle remarks, Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed. To call Jesus accursed is to reject His salvation, to refuse to acknowledge Him as the Saviour, or to trust in Him as such. The Jews would not allow Him to be the promised Messiah, notwithstanding the undeniable proofs which He gave them that this was indeed His character, by the mighty works which were wrought by Him. They anathematized Him as an impostor for claiming this high title and character. The apostle Paul was one of those who had thus reviled the Lord Jesus, before his wonderful conversion to the faith of Christ. He declared to king Agrippa, I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which thing I also did in Jerusalem. And to this state of his, I apprehend, he refers, when he said to the Romans, I could, or rather, did wish that myself were accursed from Christ. This was his wish, his boast, in the days of his ignorance. He then anathematized Christ and His people, and dreaded not His anathema. But when he was brought to the knowledge of Christ, he compassionated the state of his countrymen as being in the same sad condition in which he had himself been in the days of his ignorance. Here he shows that, while he felt and expressed an abhorrence of Christ, he was not under the influence of the Spirit of God, notwithstanding the high opinion he then entertained of himself, but was actuated by the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience.? So likewise it may be said, that none who are opposed to the doctrine of salvation by Christ alone, and indeed none who are careless about the salvation of their own souls by faith in Him, are the children of God, or partakers of the Spirit of God.

2 1 John iv. 8; v. 6, 11, 12. 3 2 Cor. v. 19, 21. 4 John iii. 16. 5 Acts xxvi. 9, 10.

6 Romans ix. 3, 5.

7 Ephesians ii. 2. 8 Romans ix. 5; x. 9, 10.

ever.

On the other hand, No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. This is the testimony of the Spirit of God, that Jesus is the Lord, or Jehovah, who is over all, God blessed for

Amen. He is the Lord, or the Governor of the universe in general, and of His church and people in particular; as He said, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.9 Whoever therefore makes this confession, that Jesus is the Lord, declares what is agreeable to the testimony of the Spirit of God respecting Him; and he who says this from a principle of subjection to His authority, seeking Divine grace to enable him to live in obedience to His holy will and commandments, is accounted a member of the mystical body of Christ, a child of God, and an heir of the kingdom of heaven. It is not the mere declaration of the lips that is here spoken of, but the language of the heart, expressed with the mouth, and acted upon in the life and conduct. As the apostle says at another time, If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.8

The apostle, having made this statement respecting the confession of faith, which is made by

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9 Matthew xxviii. 18.

every member of the mystical body of Christ and partaker of the Holy Ghost, adds that the members of the church of Christ are possessors of various gifts, which are all, notwithstanding their diversity, derived from the same Divine Spirit. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. He bestows all spiritual gifts upon believers in Christ, as it seemeth fit to His godly wisdom. The nature of these gifts is described afterwards. It is said also, There are differences of administrations, or ministries, but the same Lord. Christ is the Lord, or Head of His body the church, to whom belongs the ordering of its administrations. It is from Him that the ministers of His church derive their office. He is the Door, through which the shepherds of the flock must enter into the sheepfold. Faith in Him, and love to Him, and subjection to His authority, are the primary qualifications for the pastors of the flock of Christ; without which they have climbed up some other way than by His appointment to the office which they have taken upon themselves. The differences of ministries are, I conceive, the divers orders which Christ hath appointed in His church, respecting which it is said, He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers ; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.10 The various orders of ministers are appointed in the church, to be in an especial

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