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that he took the part of his kinsman. In the kingdom of Christ there is no carnal kindred. No man is to be known after the flesh. No man is to be brought into a church, or kept in it, or put into office, on account of carnal relation. Paul, it appears from the document, acted not from private hostility, but from the conduct of Mark. There was good reason to be reluctant to employ the man who had already, in a manner, deserted his post. He might be still reckoned a Christian, yet be accounted unfit for any office or place of trust. Paul, however, on another occasion, shows that he acted towards Mark from no improper motive, as he fully recommended him to the reception of the brethren, as soon as he was convinced of his returning to his devotedness and duty. “ Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandment;) if he come unto you, receive him.”
We are sometimes told that infallibility is not impeccability, and reminded of the contention between Paul and Barnabas. Very true, impeccability is not to be expected in man.
But there is a mighty difference between impeccability and monstrosity of vice. The best of God's servants have their faults. But monsters of iniquity none of them can be. With all the evil and infirmities of the children of God, still they must ever be distinguished by their fruits. All who are imbued with the gospel must deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly in this world.
PAUL PROTECTED BY GALLIO'S ENLIGHTENED VIEWS
OF THE DUTIES OF THE MAGISTRATE'S OFFICE Acts xviii. 14.
As the world, in general, are enemies to the gospel, it might be supposed that protection to the Christian might be impossible under despotic governments. Shall the lamb be safe under the paws of the lion ? Yes, as safe as by the side of the dam in an inclosed fold. Divine Providence can devise means of protection when there is no protection but in the capricious resolves of an absolute tyrant. Paul was brought before the judgmentseat, but the philosophic and enlightened views of Gallio refused to hear their eomplaint. Yet Gallio, as a philosopher and man of learning, would have been as great an enemy to the gospel, had he taken the trouble to inquire into its nature and pretensions, as were the Jews themselves. Indeed, the men of science and pretended virtue are usually more virulent enemies of the gospel than are the vilest of the vulgar. They have something to lose, and the gospel strips them of all their glory. But Gallio seems to have been a man who did not trouble himself to inquire into the nature of the dispute between the Jews and the Christians, and this was the protection of Paul. Gallio justly considered that it did not belong to the office of the magistrate to judge between different systems of religion. He had nothing to do but with crime, considered with respect to society. In this he was much more enlightened than many Christians. Gallio, then, was the very man that fitted the situation, according to the purpose of Divine Providence at this time. The character and views of this magistrate were among the wise appointments of an overruling Providence to deliver the herald of salvation on this occasion. From the character and views of Gallio, Paul had deliverance from his enemies. Gallio fitted God's purpose on this occasion as exactly as if he had been an angel of heaven. “ And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat, saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you : but if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drave them from the judgment-seat.”-Acts xviii. 12-16. There is one remarkable providential circumstance in this fact, to which I would call particular attention. Paul was ready to speak, and to defend himself. Who is it that at first is not inclined to regret that he was not permitted ? He would have doubtless, in his defence, declared the gospel, and testified before the governor and
Christ. This privilege, on other occasions, he availed himself of to great purpose, and commended the truth to the consciences of many who would not otherwise have had an opportunity of hearing him. Yet, on this occasion, Gallio prevented this. He very justly considered it as unnecessary, because the very accusation alleged by his enemies contained no crime. The governor, then, was not called to hear the defence, as he was not called to examine the accusation. No doubt, had God had any good purpose to serve by Paul's speaking, an opportunity would have been given him to speak. But his silence on this occasion served the purpose of Providence more than his defence would have done. Gallio needed no arguments to acquit the prisoner; and if Paul had proceeded to exhibit the distinguishing features of the gospel, the cool, the impartial, the enlightened judge, might have been turned into the furious persecutor. Nothing will make a philosopher grind his teeth but the gospel. His icy soul will boil like a furnace when he speaks of the doctrine that humbles the pride of man. The man who will apologize for the extravagance of the most frantic fanatics will denounce the friends of Paul's gospel as the enemies of mankind. This, in fact, is exemplified in the two great Roman historians, Suetonius and Tacitus. These writers can find no words adequately to express their contempt and hatred of the followers of Christ. And in modern times, is there not more virulence used
by philosophers in speaking about the friends of a pure gospel, than there is when mention is made of Joanna Southcote ?
Yet it is wonderful to find this enlightened governor, who so plainly pointed out the unreasonableness of calling men to account to the State for their religious opinions, unable to distinguish the true province of the magistrate in matters to which it really extends, “ Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment-seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things.” Here, Gallio, you are wrong. Though it is not your duty to judge in matters of other men's religion, yet you should judge in matters of assault. Whether Sosthenes was a friend or an enemy of Paul, he should have been protected from violence, and his assaulters should have been severely punished. A magistrate has no right to judge in disputes about religion, but he has a right to judge in acts of violence committed about religion. Yet, with all the superior light of our times, instances might be found, in which civil authorities refuse to take cognizance of a matter of violence, because it has been committed about religion. Even in Parliament we will hear it more than insinuated that the religion of the great mass of the people should not be spoken against. Even those who are eternally canting about the freedom of religion may often be detected in speaking thus. Is there no part of the British dominions in which violence