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UNION IS STRENGTH..pdf

UNION IS STRENGTH..pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. COGSWELL, D. D


And, when it was'day, certain of the Jews banded together, and
bound themselves under a curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor
drink till they had killed Paul, And they were more than forty, which
had made this conspiracy. — Acts xxiii, 12, 13.
BY J. COGSWELL, D. D


And, when it was'day, certain of the Jews banded together, and
bound themselves under a curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor
drink till they had killed Paul, And they were more than forty, which
had made this conspiracy. — Acts xxiii, 12, 13.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 13, 2013
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12/03/2013

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UIO IS STREGTH. BY J. COGSWELL, D. D And, when it was'day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul, And they were more than forty, which had made this conspiracy. — Acts xxiii, 12, 13. The union and zeal, the boldness and perseverance of those, whom we often see engaged in the accom- plishment of the basest of purposes, show us what men are capable of doing, and how they ought to act when objects of the greatest magnitude and value are present- ed to their minds. Such, however, is the state of the church, so imperfect and feeble are the graces of Chris- UIO IS STREGTH. 3j tians that we find among them much less union and zeal, decision and boldness in their labors for the sal- vation of their fellow creatures, than in the ambitious for their ruin and destruction. The time has come, when Christians ought to be united by the firmest ties, when with zeal, decision and boldness they ought to fight the battles of their Lord — when their efforts to do good ought to corres- pond with their ability and opportunities. They must not look for rest till death closes their life. The objects exhibited to their minds are infinitely great and glorious. They are of sufficient importance to call into exercise all their powers. Their own happiness, which is not to be overlooked, is not to be so much regarded as the conversion of millions. When one nation feels that she has been injured by
 
another nation, or when she has a fair prospect of ob- taining some desirable object ; her wisdom, physical strength, and treasures are all united and made sub- serviant to the defence of her rights and honor, or the measures, adopted for the execution of her designs. Here we see the harmonious operation of schemes, sometimes the most extensive and complex — an en- thusiastic ardor manifested by all, who approve them, and a settled purpose not to abandon them, however great the labor and expense required, till the end sought is attained. Thus men feel and thus they act, when seeking temporal aggrandizement, and also when butchering their fellow creatures. Surely the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. Ought not Christians to blush, when they compare their exertions in the best of causes with the exertions of those, who are 34 UIO IS STREGTH. only seeking fading honor and perishing riches? When a plan is proposed for the benefit of our fellow men, though approved, too frequently it only awakens repulsive feelings in them, who profess to love their neighbor as themselves. The great good, which might be done, is too often left undone because not attempted. One and the same spirit seems to influence the enemies of the truth, while iis friends are divided into various contending parties. When Saul of Tarsus was at the head of a company, who were determined, if possible, to annihilate the in- fant church of Christ, and to murder his innocent and peaceable disciples; there were found enough to co- operate with him, who instantly caught the flame, burning in his breast, and did not refuse to meet any danger and to submit to any privation in the perpetra-
 
tion of the most cruel deeds. But the change, eflTected in the views and feelings of this man by the mighty and special operations of the Spirit of God, occasioned an entire change in the treatment he received from his former companions, and also a change in the treat- ment he received from those, whom he had wickedly persecuted. His old friends, though he had been their favorite, became his bitter enemies, and those, whom he liad endeavored to destroy, received him with a for- giving spirit and heart-felt joy. The infant church, though hunted, as if they had been a band of robbers, or the vilest malefactors, were so far from exercising a revengeful spirit, or from seek- ing in any way to injure those, who had endeavored to imbrue their hands in tlieir blood, that when most exposed to suffering, they only sought to conceal them- selves, or resolved to die as martyrs for the honor of UIO IS STREGTH. 35 the gospel. As soon as they were satisfied that Saul of Tarsus had become a Christian, they did not hesi- tate to bid him welcome to a participation of all the privileges they enjoyed. But as soon as the fact of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus was known to the Jews, a host of enemies rose up against him, whom they had highly esteemed and whom they had willingly followed. Had he kindled fires in their beloved city and been the cause of its destruction and of the destruction of many of its in- habitants, or had he raised the standard of rebellion and labored to subvert their government, they could not have been more enraged against him than they were on account of his conversion. They had no reason to fear that he would take from them their gold and silver, or that he would injure their persons. His only

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