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Love's Anathema.

Love's Anathema.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
REV. JOSEPH WELLAND, B.A.,



1 CORINTHIANS XVI. 22.

" If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him he

Anathema Maran-atha,^^
REV. JOSEPH WELLAND, B.A.,



1 CORINTHIANS XVI. 22.

" If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him he

Anathema Maran-atha,^^

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 09, 2013
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LOVE'S AATHEMA.REV. JOSEPH WELLAD, B.A.,1 CORITHIAS XVI. 22." If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him heAnathema Maran-atha,^^Heat, they say, is but transmitted motion, and a cannonball, suddenly arrested in the midst of its impetuousflight, instantly glows with a burning heat. So, verily,is it with the affections, in proportion as they are realand earnest and freely poured forth ; so, if they bebaffled, disappointed, despised, forbidden, do they be-come a consuming fire. To give real love, to give theheart, is to give all ; and not to be moved when thegift is vain, is to esteem that all as worthless, as he didwho despised it ; and to call it worthless is to denounceoneself as a deceiver and a hypocrite, who, under pre-tence of giving that most valued, gave what was knownto be utterly valueless.love's anathema, 25When the lord of the vineyard, after sending in vainservant after servant to the wicked husbandmen, whowithheld the fruit, sent at last his son, it was with thisthought, " they will reverence my son," and this hopethat they would thus repent, and render no severitynecessary ; but when they seized that son and cast himforth from the vineyard and slew him, to leave the foulmurder unavenged would have argued, on the part of the lord of the vineyard, a contempt for his own honourand his son's life scarcely less than that shown by thewicked husbandmen. That could not have been calledreal forbearance, real long-suffering, real kindness,which, when it had spent its all, could have trifled withthe loss and not asserted the value of what others haddespised. And, perhaps, there might have been room
 
to doubt whether it was, indeed, the blood of the Son of God that was shed on Calvary if no vengeance markedGod^s regard for that which men so despised ; but, justbecause it was the very and eternal Son of God, theonly-begotten, the well-beloved, that there was put todeath, just because of the value of the sacrifice the loveof God had made, was it impossible that that sacrificeshould pass away unavenged. The Jews that wouldnot acknowledge God's love with tears, were compelledto do it with blood, after space for repentance — the\^tmost that one generation could see — when the Saviour'splea, " they know not what they do," had lost its force,26 love's anathema.because they were no longer ignorant, though still im-penitent ; when it could no longer be concealed thatlong-suflfering was indeed in vain, then God bore thelast terrible testimony to the reality and intensity of His own love by that unutterable woe which crushed,as if to powder, the Jewish nation. The terrors of thefall of Jerusalem are beyond description, and it is notby any means the worst of them — though, perhaps, themost significant — of which an eye-witness tells us, thatthe Roman " soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred theybore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after oneway and one after another, to crosses, by way of jest — 500 every day and sometimes more — when their multi-tude was so great that room was wanting for the crossesand crosses for the bodies." (Jos. "Wars," B. V. II. 1.)Oh ! it was terribly true that love may be driven tovindicate itself by such dread extremes, that it werebetter never to have been loved at all than to have beenloved in vain. Build up the jasper walls, the pearl-bright gates of the new Jerusalem, pour out upon theinhabitants of its golden streets everlasting joy andpeace, admit them to the felicity of God Himself tomeasure His love in eternal happiness ; or look back tothe love which spared not the only Son, and dwell onthe mystery of Gethsemane and the amazing wonder of Calvary, and tell of all that by His precious blood-shedding Christ hath purchased for us ; but, remember
 
love's anathema. 27still, that all this love cannot be real, if to reject ittring no corresponding loss ; if its immensity may not"be read in the ruin its contempt involves. Oh ! re-member that a religion of love — if only the love bereal — creates hell as well as heaven, pronounces sentenceof everlasting destruction, by the same necessity whichconstrains it to bestow eternal joy.If every man was informed by the spirit of theGospel, so that his every act expressed it, his everyword announced it, and his whole life expounded it,that man was St. Paul. Who has ever equalled hiswonderful expositions of the love and grace of God ?Who has ever rivalled either the intensity or catho-licity of his love to men P Besides all this, he was anApostle of Jesus Christ — he was inspired by the HolyGhost of God. Being such, then, he was moved, whilein the city of Ephesus, to write to the Church atCorinth on various subjects belonging to their peaceand ours. ow, St. Paul, apparently had a weak-ness of vision, which some trace to that first glorywhich shone about him, on the road to Damascus,blinding him with its brilliancy ; others to that thornin the flesh sent to buffet him, when, being caught upto the third heaven, he beheld things unutterable.Some notice of this is found scattered throughhis history and writings : as, for instance, in theintentness of the gaze with which he beheld the28 love's anathema.Council in Jerusalem, when addressing it ; or his testi-mony of the Galatians, that they were ready — were itbut possible — to pluck out their own eyes and givethem to him ; but more clearly in that same epistle,when he says, " Ye see how large a letter (or ratherhow large letters — in what large characters) I write untoyou ;" and because, as it is supposed, of this weaknessof vision, St. Paul was wont to employ an amanuensiswhen he wrote, contenting himself with a few words inhis own handwriting, at the end of the epistle, assecuring its authenticity. Thus we find him saying tothe Thessalonians : " The salutation of Paul with mine

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