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The Grounds of True Patriotism.

The Grounds of True Patriotism.

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Published by glennpease

Rom. ix. 3—5.

Rom. ix. 3—5.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE GROUDS OF TRUE PATRIOTISM.BY EDWARD MEYEICK GOULBUR, D.D.Rom. ix. 3—5.OF all mere men who have ever lived, the Apostle Paulwas perhaps the most remarkable in natural, as well asspiritual, endowments. In him we find that fulness andcomprehensiveness of character which embraces at oncetwo opposite extremes. Great revolutions in the sen-timents of mankind, such as St. Paul was God's in-strument for making, are generally made by hard men,who have little tenderness or sensitiveness in theirnature. And St. Paul was hard in the good sense of the term, — able and willing to "endure hardness as agood soldier of Jesus Christ," — " in labours abundant,in stripes above measure, in prisons frequent, in deathsoft." But only in the good sense. With his hardnessas regarded bis own person the Apostle united thetenderest sensibility for others, — a sensibility which is sooften noticed in the Acts, and expressed iu the Epistles,Q 2d by Google228 The Grounds of True Patriotism.that a late preacher made the " Tears of St. Paul " thesubject of a long and eloquent sermon.Our text suggests to us another instance of the unionof opposite graces in the character of St. Paul. Theaflfeotions of some men are expansive, hut not concen-trated ; of others (and these are the majority) concen-
trated, but not expansive. Vehement attachment tofamily, to country, to personal friends, is not often foundunited with a large sympathy which embraces the wholehuman race. If man ever entertained such a sympathy,it was St. Paul. He was the Apostle of the Gentiles,and he loved the Gentiles ; represented their interestsamong his colleagues ; maintained their perfect equalitywith the Jew in respect of the redemption which is inChrist Jesus. Yet the universal affection had not inhim extinguished the particular ; with all his abundantwillingness to recognize Gentiles as " fellow-heirs, andof the same body, and partakers of God's promise inChrist by the Gospel," St. Paul was still an ardentJew, after (as before) his conversion; and the onlypassage in the writings of the Apostles, which bespeaksthe affection of Patriotism, comes from his pen. Andwhat Patriotism it is— how intense ! how fervent ! "Weknow that he writes as a holy man of God, swayed, notby the impulses of mere natural feeling, but by theHoly Ghost ; and we know, too, that all overstrained,unreal, exaggerated sentiment is foreign to the tone of Inspiration. This, then, is the real, sober expression of his mind as regards his countrymen : " I could wishthat myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren,my kinsmen according to the flesh : who are Israelites;to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, andthe covenants, and the giving of the law, and the serviceof God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of d by GoogleThe Grounds of True Patriotism. 229whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is overall, God blessed for ever." "This from the Apostleof the Gentiles ! " the reflective reader will he apt to
exclaim. Yes ; this from the Apostle of the Gentiles.Diffusive sympathies had not neutralized in him hiswarm attachment to kith and kin.We observe the same combination of features in theone perfect model of human character. Although JesusChrist was a minister of the circumcision, yet Hisheart of love towards all mankind continually breaksout, while He is fulfilling that ministry. He goes intothe coasts of Tyre and Sidon, apparently for the solepurpose of drawing to Him a Syrophcenician woman,and giving her an opportunity of displaying the faith,which He purposed so liberally to reward. On the cen-turion of Capernaum He passed the commendation, " Ihave not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Hedistinctly recognizes Gentiles as His sheep in thosewords recorded by the Apostle Jdhn : "And other sheepI have, which are not of this fold; them also I mustbring, and they shall hear My voice ; and there shallbe one fold, and one shepherd.' ' While in His high-priestly prayer, He finds room for Gentile as well asJewish believers : " either pray I for these alone, butfor them also which shall believe on Me through theirword ; that they all may be one." And yet with thisuniversal sympathy, our Blessed Lord was a man of friendship, and a man of Patriotism. Among HisApostles He had one peculiar and intimate friend, "thedisciple whom Jesus loved," and who at supper lay onHis Bosom. And His love of Jerusalem, the metropolisof His country, found vent in tears, and in such tenderaccents of commiseration as mere human Patriotismcan never rival : " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou thatd by Google230 The Ground* of True Patriotism.

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