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endeavoured to undervalue his divinelyappointed ministry, and to bring him into contempt among his converts. Full of humility as St. Paul was, he invariably asserted his apostolic authority with dignity and vigour, and sharply rebuked all attempts on the part of false teachers to set themselves up in opposition to him. Hence we have, in the three or four last chapters of his Epistle more particularly, a continued interchange of professions of love for the souls of the Corinthian Christians, and self-abasing acknowledgments of his own infirmities, mixed up with bold and energetic affirmations of his own apostolic authority given to him by the Lord for the edification of the Church; and while he earnestly deprecates their pursuing so disobedient a course of conduct as might produce severity of reproof and condemnation on his part whenever he came to visit them in person, he warns them at the same time that he feared lest, when he came, he should not find them such as he would; "lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, back bitings,

whisperings, swellings, tumults;" and that if such were unhappily the distracted state of the Church when he came, he would not spare, but would exert the power which Christ committed to him to the ex-communicating of offenders, and the casting out of the Church those who sought to intrude other discipline or other doctrine than that which he preached among them. them. With regard to himself personally, he declares that it was not because he was anxious to vindicate his own conduct, or to set himself up, but to prevent their committing a great sin, in rejecting the authority of an apostle of Jesus Christ, which the Lord of the Church had decreed to be an authority against which none might legally rebel.

Think ye," he says, "that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ; but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying." At the close of the Epistle, therefore, he solemnly calls the attention of the Corinthians to their own duties and their own responsibi


"Examine yourselves," he says,

whether be in the faith; prove your


own selves; know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates; but I trust ye shall know that we are not reprobates." The meaning of the apostle here is plain— "You may occupy yourselves as you will," he would say, "with questionings of my authority, and endeavours to find fault with my bodily presence, and speech; you may deceive yourselves with the notion that you are merely using your Christian liberty in thus taking upon yourselves to judge your minister, and even go so far as to pronounce him a reprobate, and yourselves alone in the right way; all this is a device of Satan, and a snare of designing men, who for their own evil purposes draw you away from the truth, and corrupt your minds from the simplicity which is in Christ; take heed lest, while you are eagerly listening to their counsel, you do not lose the substance of religion, and make shipwreck of faith and

"Examine your

of a good conscience. selves whether ye be in the faith-prove your own selves"-look well to the state. of your souls in God's sight-see that the light of divine truth be not dimmed, and the purity of faith polluted in your hearts-consider whether all this strife and division does not proceed from an evil root of pride and bitterness in your secret soul, which in time will overrun every goodly plant of holiness, and choke the good seed, that it will never bring forth the fruits of "love, joy, and peace in believing." Consider that unless Christ be formed in you, unless you have the mind that was in Him-a mind of humility, meekness, gentleness, and peaceyou must be reprobates; and that it will avail you little, even though you could prove that " we be as reprobates," if you yourselves are found evil-doers, seeing that we must all give account of our own works, and answer for ourselves; the righteousness of others will be of no service to us, neither will their wickedness afford

any cloke for our sins." Thus the apostle argues, my brethren, and thus he brings all his previous vindications of his own apostleship, and reproof of those who troubled the Church of Christ, to a practical lesson of the last importance.

Much has been said to you, brethren, from time to time, by myself and my brother minister, concerning the claims of our Church upon her members, as a branch of the Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ; and believing, as I firmly do, that those claims are founded in truth, and that those who presumptuously separate from us, for no just cause, incur a risk of sinning, which I grieve to see any of my flock bringing upon themselves, seeing they are thereby guilty of introducing a schism into the body of Christ which did not before exist, to the great danger of their own souls, and the misleading and unsettling of the faith of others-believing this, I say, I should ill discharge the duty which I owe to God and to you, if, upon the

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