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St. Paul's Closing Retrospect and Prospect.

St. Paul's Closing Retrospect and Prospect.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THE COUNTRY PARSON.

" For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure
is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I
have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at
that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His
appearing." — 2 Tim. iv. 6-8.
BY THE COUNTRY PARSON.

" For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure
is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I
have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at
that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His
appearing." — 2 Tim. iv. 6-8.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 10, 2014
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ST. PAUL'S CLOSING RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT. BY THE COUNTRY PARSON. " For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." — 2 Tim. iv. 6-8. NEED not tell any of you, in the hope of tell-ing you what you did not know before, that the books of the New Testament do not at all stand in the order in which they were written. The Book of Revelation, which stands last in the Bible, was written by St. John many years before he wrote his Gos-pel. And in like manner, though St. Paul's Epistles to Titus, Philemon, and the Hebrews, come in our Bibles after his second Epistle to Timothy, it is quite agreed by all those who have studied St. Paul's history and writings most carefully, that this second Epistle to Tim-othy is the very last that ever came from the aged Apos-tle's dictation. And so, this closing chapter of the sec-ond Epistle to Timothy, contains the latest inspired
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14 314 ST. PAUL'S CLOSING words that were written or dictated by the great Apostle Paul. You would readily think so, apart from any precise information. The special solemnity of these words which form my text, is such as might well characterize some-thing said or written, under the inspiration of the Blessed Holy Spirit, by a Christian man to whom the last sol-emn realities were drawing very near. Sometimes, my friends, we have presentiments of things coming : pre-sentiments which are occasionally right and perhaps more frequently wrong : and the whole question of such fanciful yet impressive premonitions lies within a field of which we know little or nothing. But there is noth-ing fanciful in St. Paul's words here. They are not like the baseless conviction sometimes found in a person stricken with illness, that this illness will be the last: not like the groundless belief, that clings to some through
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many years of life, that they are to reach some partic-ular place in life before they die. Such convictions and beliefs, with no rational ground to rest on, do, we know, sometimes come most surprisingly true. But the great Apostle has risen to another region altogether. It is not the sunset of life, that gives him some mystical lore : 'it is something quite other, here, than the Celtic seer dreamt he traced on the mountain mist, or the Chaldiean shepherd in the stars. There is something here, that is quite different, even, from the hesitation as to the Fu-RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT. 315 ture which St. Paul himself showed, when he wrote that he would do such a thing " as soon as I shall see how it will go with me." The Apostle writes here as one who has special and thorough information, about which there was no uncertainty at all. He writes by divine inspira-tion : quite firmly now, as one well informed : aware of the Present ; not afraid of the Past ; sure of the Future ! He has very nearly done his work : the resting-place is in view at length. The thorn in the flesh has not to be
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