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Christian Zeal.

Christian Zeal.

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Published by glennpease

STEPHEN OLIN, D.D., LL.D.,



It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not
only when I am pi'esent with you. — Gal., iv., 18.

STEPHEN OLIN, D.D., LL.D.,



It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not
only when I am pi'esent with you. — Gal., iv., 18.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 19, 2013
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CHRISTIA ZEAL.STEPHE OLI, D.D., LL.D.,It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and notonly when I am pi'esent with you. — Gal., iv., 18.The proposition contained in this text is so obviously anduniversally true as to have passed into a current maximamong men. Zeal is an indispensable condition of successin all human enterprises. To enter with coldness and irres-olution upon any work of moment and difficulty, is to insure,at the outset, a tardy and joyless progress, and ultimate dis-comfiture. othing greatly useful to ourselves or the world — nothing truly and permanently honorable, can be achievedwithout that concurrence of single, unwavering purpose, andanimated, urgent pursuit, which is here denominated zeal.Without this, the best natural talents and the most favor-able circumstances will be insufficient to produce any valu-able results, and this is no less true of humble and laboriousemployments than in the highest intellectual and moralundertakings. "Whoever engages in a study, or business, orprofession for which he neither feels, nor tries to feel, anystrong predilection — upon Avhich he will not or can not con-centrate his attention and energies, labors in vain. He isdestitute of the one qualification which alone can give unityand efficiency to the exertion of his powers of body and mind.It is in accordance with the analogy of God's dispensations,that an attribute so essential to our success in the active pur-suits of life should be recognized by the Gospel, and calledCHRISTIA ZEAL. 383into lively and frequent exercise m the performance of Chris-tian duties. This would be inferrible from the origin, ob-
 
 jects, and agencies of the Gospel. And we find that rehg-ious zeal is repeatedly and earnestly enjoined in the HolyScriptures, as indispensable to the perfection and success of our religious efforts. It is not so much a duty or Christiangrace by itself, as it is an important element and needful ac-companiment of all other Christian duties and graces. It maybe said of zeal as of faith, that whatsoever is not imbued andsustained by its life-giving spirit is sin — that without it "itis impossible to please God." It is a part of " the first andgreat commandment, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God withall thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,"*Zeal belongs to every act of true worship ; for " God is a Spir-it, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit andin truth."! " Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."$ Pray-er without zeal is worthless. Hence we are commanded tobe " instant (pressing) in prayer." Prayer is earnest. It isthe fervent prayer of the righteous that " availeth much."^" Above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves. "||Zeal is inculcated in a more general way throughout theBible ; as, " the kingdom of heaven sufiereth violence," &c.ir" Strive to enter in at the strait gate."** " I know thy works,that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou wert coldor hot. Be zealous, therefore, and repent. "ftTruly pious men have ever been distinguished by greatreligious zeal. David exclaims, "The zeal of thy househath eaten me up."$$ " My soul longeth, yea, even faintethfor the courts of the Lord."H John the Baptist, from the fer^or of his appeals, was called " the voice of one crying in thewilderness." Christ said it was his " meat and drink to do* Matt., xxii., 37, 38. t John, iv., 24. t Rom., xii., 11.§ James, v., 16. || 1 Pet., iv., 8. H Matt, xvi., 12.** Luke, xiii., 24. tt Rev., iii., 15-19. tt Fs. Ixix., 9.$6 Ps. Ixxxiv., 2.
 
384 CHRISTIA ZEAL.his Father's will." He prayed all night, and, being in anagony, he sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. Paul count-ed not his life dear unto himself — was ready not only to bebound, but even to die for Christ — served him with manytears — was constrained by his love.Zeal made early Christians powerful. It gives efficacy tothe labors of illiterate preachers — removes the obstacles,solves the difficulties of piety — lifts Christians above theworld and the snares of Satan.True religious zeal especially imphes,1. Unwavering steadfastness of purpose. A man can donothing without resolution, yet men sometimes try to be re-ligious without any settled purpose, to appease conscience.2. Universal and hearty obedience to God's commands inall things — in small things as well as great : no other obe-dience is genuine, since it proceeds not from reverence forthe lawgiver.3. Supreme devotion of heart and life to Christ. " Ye arenot your own. Ye are bought with a price." " Ye are dead,and your life is hid with Christ in God." " The love of Christconstraineth us, because we thus judge that if one died forall, then were all dead, and that he died for all, that theywhich live should not henceforth live unto themselves, butunto him which died for them and rose again." " He thatloveth father or mother, son or daughter, more than me, isnot worthy of me."=^ "If any man come to me, and hatenot his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and breth-ren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he can not be mydisciple. "t This is the condition of discipleship. Zeal whichcan not do all this is not Christian zeal. He who is not readyfor any sacrifice, to go to any duty, to encounter any danger

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