Romans 10:14


When the great heart of the Apostle Paul burned within him as he wrote his Epistles to the Churches, he threw aside, as it were, the calm and stately prose of the quiet thinker and careful writer. He became an orator. He saw before him - even in his prison cell - immortal souls, whom he wanted to awaken and arouse. He asked questions, as if he expected an answer to them all. Such questions are frequent in this Epistle to the Romans, and on looking carefully over them we see that they are not only full of eager earnestness, but also of profitable instruction. In the four questions before us the apostle seeks to press home upon Christians the absolute necessity of mission work. In the previous chapter he is sorrowing for the unbelief of the Jews, and he begins this chapter by saying that his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. Then, as he goes on, he is led to think of the salvation, not only of the Jews, but also of the whole world. He says, "There is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." And then, as he thinks of the heathen world lying in darkness, he asks these four questions.

I. "HOW SHALL THEY CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED?" In the ordinary dealings of daily life a certain amount of faith in another person is necessary before we can make any request of him. Unless we believe that he hears us, unless we believe that he is both able and willing to give us what we want, we are not likely to ask anything of him. So in spiritual matters, faith in God - the belief that he is, that he hears us, and that he is able and willing to help us - is necessary to successful prayer. It is necessary to salvation. But the heathen cannot call upon this gracious God of ours. As a matter of fact, they do not. No doubt, even amid heathen darkness, there are some earnest seekers after God. Certainly, if they call upon him, they shall be saved. But the vast majority of the heathen are without the knowledge of the true God. They are bowing down to pieces of silver and gold, of wood and stone, which cannot hear, or help, or save. Their very worship is a degradation in itself. Their religious rites are for the most part horrid cruelties, or foul and unspeakable lusts. And as for Buddhism, to quote only one authority, Sir Richard Temple, lately Governor of Bombay, tells us that however excellent and attractive the poetic accounts of it may be, as in the well-known poem, 'The Light of Asia,' the actual Buddhism of India is as degrading as can well be imagined. What they need to know is that there is a God who will hear them when they call upon him. They need to know that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, that the abominations of their land may be put away. They need to know of the Lamb of God who beareth away the sin of the world, that they may turn from their useless ceremonies and cruel penances. They need to know of a Saviour who gives to all who call on him salvation, holiness, everlasting life. But "how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?

II. HOW SHALL THEY BELIEVE IN HIM OF WHOM THEY HAVE NOT HEARD?" Even Christians need to have the importance of hearing about God more impressed upon them. Some professing Christians seem to imagine that the heart instinctively turns to God, and that in some mysterious way the heathen who have never heard of God will come to him. This mistake is fallen into because in Christian lands we have been so accustomed to hear about God from our childhood that we can hardly imagine it possible not to know about him. But the simple refutation of this idea is the actual state of heathen nations. St. Paul, in this very Epistle (Romans 1:21, 25, 28), assures us that though the heathen had at one time a knowledge of God from his works of nature, yet they glorified him not as God, but changed the truth of God into a lie, and therefore lost the knowledge of God. This is confirmed by the testimony of travellers in heathen lands. Missionaries often find it very difficult to convey to heathen minds an idea of what God is, so degraded have been their notions. It is a long time before a heathen can grasp the ideas of God's holiness and truth and purity, so accustomed is he to think of gods whose qualities are the very opposite of these. Even in our Christian land, unhappily, there are places in our large cities so neglected and degraded that children have grown up without hearing about God. And in such cases it has been found very difficult to convey at first an idea of God's being - his greatness, his holiness, his mercy, and his love. "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? Hence, when the heathen learn of the love of God and the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, they often ask the question, Why did you not send and tell us sooner?" No wonder that with sorrowful hearts they ask the question, as they think of loved ones who have passed away without hearing the glad tidings. How sad is the condition of millions of the heathen without the knowledge of the crucified Saviour!

III. HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER?" Yes, the preaching of the gospel is still the agency that is to regenerate the world. It was the preaching of the gospel that was the means of converting thousands upon the Day of Pentecost. It was the preaching of the gospel which overthrew the idols of ancient Rome. It was the preaching of the gospel which brought about the Protestant Reformation. "The Word," said Martin Luther over and over again, "it was the Word that did it all." It was the preaching of the gospel that overthrew the idols of Madagascar, and that has already brought civilization and peace and contentment into many of the islands of the sea. It is good to circulate the Word of God in every language. But it is necessary also to have the living preachers. "Go ye therefore into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." It needs the living preacher to be a living witness to the truth and power of the gospel - the full heart overflowing with love to Christ and love to souls; the ripe experience; the fulness of the Spirit. The Ethiopian treasurer had the Word of God in his hand as he returned in his chariot from Jerusalem. But he was not savingly converted until Philip began at the Scriptures which he was reading, and "preached unto him Jesus" (Acts 8:36). But the number of missionaries is still very small in comparison with the millions of heathen who have not yet heard the gospel message. "How shall they hear without a preacher?"

IV. "HOW SHALL THEY PREACH, EXCEPT THEY BE SENT?" This is the intensely practical question. If we realize the darkness and misery of heathen lands, if we are really thankful for the unspeakable blessings which the gospel has brought to us, what are we doing to send the message of salvation to those who sit in darkness?

1. We can help to send out missionaries by our prayers. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

2. We can help to send out missionaries by our gifts. We need to understand, not merely the duty of giving, but the privilege of giving. Surely it is a glorious privilege to be a labourer together with God. Upon the Christian Church is laid the responsibility of preaching the gospel to all nations. And there is this blessed encouragement:

3. If the last of these parts of mission work, of which the apostle speaks, is fulfilled, the rest are all sure to follow. If missionaries are sent, then there will be the preaching, the hearing, and, in God's own good time, the believing and the salvation of souls. His Word shall not return unto him void. Thus by our sending we may be the means of saving. - C.H.I.









How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
I. SALVATION BY GRACE.

1. We all hope to be saved. Salvation cannot be of merit for anybody that you or I have ever known. It must be of grace, if grace be possible: there is no other way. And there is this way — an old way, an eternal way — prepared and opened far back behind all time, when the Lamb was slain. This takes us back into mysterious and awful depths. But revelation leads the way. Surely we narrow God, unless we think of Him as Triune. Surely we slander God, unless we make atonement as much the work of the Father and the Spirit, as of the Son.

2. How to be square and clean, how to be considerate and generous, how not to be selfish and self-willed; how not to be afraid or ashamed to die: this is the great problem of life. Tell me how to do this and you will tell me how to be saved. Grace tramples down no law. Salvation by grace is through faith, working by love, which, like fire, cleanses the heart and cleanses the life.

3. The salvation of society, menaced now, menaced always, by human appetite and passions in their disorganising play, must come by the same road. No one form of government rather than another, no mere selfish forces, is the thing required. Till society shall have become unselfish it has not been saved, nor can it be. And to become unselfish, it must learn, not of socialistic reformers, who pronounce unselfishness impossible, but of Him who was unselfishness incarnate.

II. THIS SALVATION MUST BE PREACHED.

1. Christianity is one of the great Book-Religions, of which there are pre-eminently three — Judaism and Mohammedanism being the other two. This word "Book-Religion" means a great deal.(1) It means, that we have something definite and immutable by which to measure whatever calls itself Christian, holding it to the rule.(2) It means that the poor, swearing, shipwrecked sailor that floats ashore on his chest, if he has in that chest the Bible his mother gave him, and dries its leaves in the sun, and reads the third chapter of John's Gospel, with streaming eyes, and breaking, believing heart, may be saved all alone there on the sandy beach of the desert island. And if he dies there all alone, no ship sailing that way to see his signal of distress, he will go as straight to heaven as Whitefield himself went from the sermon he preached in Exeter.

2. And yet Christianity did not start as a volume, but as a voice. Christ Himself probably wrote nothing, not a line. Meanwhile, the kingdom of Christ has been marching and conquering, north and south, towards the rising and towards the setting sun. Its snow-white banners, chasing the Roman eagles, had outflown those eagles beyond the Danube, the Euphrates, and the Indus. What wrought that triumph? The foolishness of preaching wrought it. Christ is no Confucius, or Socrates, or Solon, but God Incarnate. He that saves us spake, and as never man spake. So the sacred message ran, and runs, from lip to lip. It is in the air all the time.

3. A Bible in every human habitation is something well worth trying to achieve. But I can tell you of something better still. It is Christ Himself, in any one of the humblest of His disciples, casting His shadow on the wall. Breathing men, not breathless books, must carry salvation round the globe. It must be preached; preached by men who have had it preached to them; preached to sinners by men who have sinned themselves; by dying men to dying men.

III. THE PREACHERS MUST BE SENT.

1. Our text does not say by whom, but the context makes it plain enough. God must send them.

2. Whom God sends to preach, He first converts. And then He kindles in him, beyond the average, what we have been in the habit of calling a love for souls; call it, if you please, enthusiasm, a great, good heart, quick sympathy with men as men, and with the daily wants and ways of men.

3. In the apostolic and early Church, which wrought such wonders, preaching was not exclusively an official prerogative. Strictly speaking, there was no order of preachers. Anybody might preach who had anything to say worth saying. Not till near the close of the fourth century were laymen forbidden to preach. And then the Church had got far along in the bad way. I confess I do not see how Christianity is ever to carry the day, unless the great bulk of our Church membership becomes also a ministry. A Grecian army, with or without leaders, might possibly have stood its ground all the same at Marathon, saving Greece, and saving the civilisation of the Occident. But Miltiades alone there, with his handful of officers, would not have stayed for a moment the Persian march on Athens.

(R. D. Hitchcock, D.D.)

Belief is impossible, where it is impossible to convey any knowledge of the subjects of belief; the body cannot digest without nutriment to engage its digestive functions; the mind cannot believe without facts and propositions to occupy its believing faculty (ver. 17). The voice of God, the hearing of man, the consequent belief, are the three necessarily successive links in the golden chain of revealed salvation. Sever the continuity of any two, and the electric spark cannot be transferred across the interval.

(W. Archer Butler, M.A.)

How shall they hear without a preacher?
I. ITS ADVANTAGES.

1. Economy of exertion. How much is done with comparatively little speaking.

2. Many receive religious instruction who would otherwise have none.

3. Religion is kept a conspicuous thing.

4. All are made witnesses to all they have heard.

5. There is something in it for popular opinion to lean upon.

6. It tends to secure for religion deep study, at least in some parts of the community.

II. ITS REQUISITES.

1. Power of thought.

2. Facility of expression.

3. Knowledge of the Scriptures.

(John Foster.)

I. THE NECESSITY OF A MINISTRY TO OFFICIATE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD.

1. The settling and preserving a ministry to officiate in the Church is an instance of our respect to Almighty God. God is the God of order, not of confusion, and expects that His service should be performed after a regular and decent manner, free from negligence on the one hand and foppery on the other; especially He requires that acts of public adoration should be accompanied with a reverence and solemnity suitable to the majesty of such a presence. Now this cannot reasonably be supposed to be so exactly performable by those who are frequently embroiled in the affairs of the world, and by that means have their thoughts and affections the more estranged from heavenly contemplations. It has therefore been the universal practice of all nations to appoint some peculiar persons to attend upon God's service more immediately, who, by continually applying themselves to such things as were acceptable to Him, were supposed to have some interest in Him, to be qualified to understand His will, and to be authorised to reveal it to others. Now as this was done by the common consent of all heathen nations in relation to their false divinities, so was it more eminently put in practice by those who had a clearer notion of the true Deity; one tribe in twelve being set apart by the Jews and consecrated to the service of God and His Temple, no worldly concerns being suffered to interfere, but the whole employment and business of their lives being to study His will and the methods of His worship.

2. I proceed, next, to enforce the necessity of a ministry to officiate in the Church of God from the great advantages accruing thereby to the other members of Christ's body.(1) Consider it in relation to prayers or intercessions for the obtaining of mercies or diverting of judgments.(2) A second advantage which accrues to the whole Church from the office of the ministry is that of instruction and reprehension, the impartial declaring of their duty to them and seasonably reproving them for the neglect of it.

II. THE AUTHORITY BY WHICH THEY ACT. "How shall they preach except they be sent?" Our blessed Saviour, in order to carry on the universal design of our redemption, thought fit to select a certain number of men to be His missionaries or apostles, investing them with some part of His own authority (Mark 3:14). From Him, then, "who is a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" is derived to His ministers a plenitude of power proportionable to the majesty of so august a Founder. We have His own Word for it, who cannot lie (John 17:18). Since, therefore, the Author and Finisher of our faith has thus expressly testified in relation to His ministers that as He was sent even so did He send, the questioning that authority by which they act will cast an imputation upon Christ Himself, and a doubting the validness of their mission will unhappily glance and reflect upon His. I shall now close up all that has been said with a word or two of application. Can they not hear without a preacher? Is the necessity and advantage of an established ministry so very great? Let us, then, most heartily pray the great Lord of the harvest that He will still continue to send forth able labourers into His harvest. Let us also consider how many miserable souls are deprived of those benefits which we possess. And let this consideration cause in us gratitude and thanksgiving for the happy enjoyment of such inestimable blessings. Can they not preach except they be sent? Can they not officiate except their calling be from above? Then it extremely stands them upon to make good their mission. And the surest way of proving that to be undeniably true is by accommodating their doctrine to the Word of God and squaring their lives according to their doctrine. But farther — Is their commission so full and their authority so large? This, then, should oblige us to put some distinction between those who come so duly authorised and others who intrude into the same employment.

(N. Brady.)

You take up a book and read a poem. Slowly, carefully you distil the meaning, admire it, appropriate it. Very likely you imagine that you have obtained the author's full significance, and extracted therefrom all the enjoyment and profit possible. But let some friend recite it, enunciating clearly, articulating sympathetically, giving to each line its appropriate expression, and the probability is that you will see and feel more than you did previously. An experienced and able missionary has remarked, "I have never seen a Chinaman weep over a book; but I have seen a Chinaman weep under a sermon. I have myself many times made a Chinaman weep by the proclamation of the gospel." We have the sermons of George Whitfield and the orations of Edward Irving, and what is the first experience of those who peruse them? In the majority of cases it is disappointment. "Can this be the renowned man who moved so mightily the spirits of his contemporaries?" Such is our astonished question. Yes, it is the renowned man; but cannot you see how it is that you are not affected by his discourses as others were? It is because they heard, whereas you only read. Wisely, then, is it ordained that the gospel shall be preached.

(T. R. Stevenson.)

1. Preaching is God's ordained method of communicating Divine knowledge.

2. Without Divine knowledge men cannot believe.

3. Without faith men cannot call upon God.

4. Without calling upon God they cannot be saved.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

The gospel should be preached to every creature it being a universal message from heaven to earth. A commission thus universal should have had at our hands a universal fulfilment; but we have only to open our eyes and see how palpably short it has come of this. And yet we affect to wonder that the blessings of Christianity are limited to so small a portion of the human family. But surely it is not time to charge the Almighty, or to arraign the methods of His administration — till we have inquired in how far this precept has been carried into operation; and then what the instances are in which, when the precept was fully acted up to, this promise has ever been withheld. Verses 14, 15 give the first and readiest answer to the question — How is it that the whole earth is not Christianised? God could, by an act of sovereignty, achieve this result at the instant bidding of His voice — even as He said Let there be light, and there was light. But God hath, in the exercise of a wisdom, in perfect analogy with the many processes of nature and providence, chosen to ordain an instrumentality for the diffusion of the Christian religion over the world. Now it so happens that men are the chief parts of this instrumentality; and we should first inquire how they have done their part — so as to ascertain whether it be not we the men who are in fault, before daring to lay the fault upon God. It is a sound doctrinal theology which acknowledges, amid the countless diversity of operations around us, that it is God who worketh all in all. But God worketh by means; and when a certain prescribed human agency enters into that system of means which He hath instituted, it is a sound practical theology to labour as assiduously in the bidden way as if man worked all. God could have worked a saving faith in the heart of Cornelius by an immediate suggestion from His own Spirit, or through the mouth of an angel. And He did send an angel to Cornelius, not however that he might preach the gospel to him, but that he might bid him send for Peter, and receive that gospel at the lips of a fellow-mortal. And God also sent to Peter a communication from heaven to prepare him for the message — thus doubling as it were the amount of miraculous agency, in order that the gospel might be heard by a yet unconverted child of Adam, not through the medium of a supernatural and angelic, but through the medium of a natural and a human utterance. Yet not so as that the natural should supersede or displace the super-natural — for while Peter spake, the Holy Ghost fell on all them who heard. The function of Peter was the same with that of a minister or missionary in the present day — it was to tell Cornelius the words by which he and all his house should be saved. And the function of the Holy Ghost for the purpose of giving demonstration and efficiency to the word, is the same now as ever — He falls on us still even as He did on them at the beginning. Let no man put asunder the things which God hath joined. The application of all this to the question of missions, whether home or foreign, is quite obvious. Let these be multiplied to the uttermost, yet all will be useless and effete, if unblest or unaccompanied by the Spirit of God, Some there are, men of devotion, who have a contempt for machinery, and who think to succeed by prayer alone for the extension of our Redeemer's kingdom. Others there are, men of bustle and enterprise, who think to succeed by the busy prosecution of schemes and societies. Both must be conjoined, and it is to this prolific union of devout and desirous hearts with busy hands, that the Church of Christ stands indebted for all its prosperity.

(T. Chalmers, D.D.)

And how shall they preach except they be sent?
It is not a man's skill in state affairs that makes him an ambassador, nor ability in the law that makes him a magistrate, but the call to these places: neither do gifts make a man a minister, but his mission.

(W. Gurnall.)

are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace! — This is a picture on the canvas of the imagination. In a time of intense anxiety and imminent peril, many are the earnest and wistful looks that are directed to the mountain pass in the distance. At length when hope deferred was turning into despair, the messenger is descried. He is striding in haste, waving a token of the glad tidings he is commissioned to communicate. The feet which bear him rapidly along, are beautiful to behold — beautiful to the eyes of the hopeful.

The preacher's feet beautiful: — Three things make them so:

1. The preciousness of his message.

2. The ardour of his zeal and love.

3. The holy consistency of his life.

(T. Robinson, D.D.)

I. HIS COMMISSION.

1. From God.

2. From the Church.

II. HIS MESSAGE.

1. Glad tidings.

2. Of peace.

3. Of good things.

III. HIS WELCOME.

1. By the perishing world.

2. By the penitent sinner.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I.HOW NECESSARY HIS MISSION!

II.HOW WELCOME HIS COMING!

III.HOW GLORIOUS HIS MESSAGE!

IV.HOW BEAUTIFUL HIS TRACK!

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
I. THE GENERAL IMPORT OF THE GOSPEL. Good news, or glad tidings. A message which bears this designation —

1. Must relate to something that is really and substantially good. Bad news may find the ear open, but the heart will be shut. Now the gospel unfolds what is truly good for our immortal souls. Its promises and provisions are inestimably precious. It lays pipes close to the fountain of goodness, and through them pours a profusion of blessings.

2. Must relate to a good that immediately concerns us. To tell a man in penury, of abundance; or a man in sickness, of healing; or a man in danger, of deliverance, which is placed utterly beyond his reach, is but to aggravate his distress. But the religion of Jesus supplies healing and help and adequate relief.

3. Must be true and certain. What avail great and good things, held out to us in a precarious manner? The good news, which we publish, is well authenticated. Omnipotence has confirmed and ratified it.

II. SOME REASONS WHY THE SACRED WORD IS EMPHATICALLY CALLED THE GOSPEL OF PEACE. Peace is a blessing of the highest value. In our text it is used in its most comprehensive acceptation, as denoting —

1. Peace with God, or reconciliation (Colossians 1:19-21). The terms of this reconciliation are set forth in Romans 5:1-3.

2. Peace with ourselves, or peace of conscience. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." They try a variety of expedients, which all utterly fail of success. It is necessary that the gospel be actually received, to tranquillise the heart (Hebrews 10:19).

3. Peace with our brethren, or the peace of amity. Christianity is a religion of peace. It allays the fury of those passions which are the springs of strife and bitterness. Its doctrines and principles of Christianity breathe a spirit of universal benevolence.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

1. The effect of the preaching of the gospel is joy in them which hear it. So at Antioch there was great joy; so in Galatia, and elsewhere.

2. This effect is set forth under a comparison of the less; for Isaiah (Isaiah 52:7) speaks of the royal receiving of the messengers of Israel's deliverance from the captivity of Babylon. If, then, the tidings of such temporal deliverance was so welcome, much more must be welcome the glad tidings of the gospel: and as those messengers were from God, so much more these. In these words are two things.

I. A COMMENDATION OF THE GOSPEL. "How beautiful" — as if he were not able to express such beauty — "are the feet!" Some take feet for men; some for the affections, being that to the soul which feet are to the body: these affections appearing in the apostles, by their sweet delivery and utterance; some for the velocity of the apostles in converting the world; some their constancy and courage. Some take beauty for the holiness of the apostles; some for a fleshly beauty by ornaments, as slippers embroidered with gold and pearl; as this Scripture is abused to the consecrating of the Pope's toe. But the plain meaning is that the coming of the apostles with the glad tidings of salvation was acceptable: he saith feet because they are the instruments of going; as we familiarly say of poor men, they get their living by their fingers' ends, which are the instruments of their labour. Beautiful. The Hebrew word may signify to be desired and longed for, or beautiful and welcome. The beauty of a thing causeth it to be desired, as the beauty of Christ makes the Church sick of love. The Greek term comes of a root which signifies —

1. Time. Generally time, or seasonable time: and so some read it, "How seasonable!" A word spoken in season is beautiful. Everything is beautiful in his season. Many of our daintiest meats are not, but the gospel is always in season; in the winter of adversity, in the summer of prosperity, in the spring of youth, and autumn of age.

2. The spring: and therefore some have compared the coming of the preachers of the gospel to the spring. For as the fields in the spring begin to be adorned with flowers, in which all creatures rejoice, so the preaching of the gospel turns our winter-like barrenness into fruitfulness, making us to flourish with heavenly graces and virtues.

3. Ripeness, and so some have likened the coming of the apostles to ripe fruit. Unripe fruit is dangerous, and not so well coloured, but that which is ripe is both well tasted and well coloured. No dainty-coloured fruit so beautiful and wholesome as the gospel.

4. Comeliness; that which we call the pride and flowers of life; also youth, wherein is that mixture of white and red which is called beauty. As Christ is said to be fairer, so also is the gospel.

II. A REASON. Because it is the gospel of peace and glad tidings of good things. This redundance serves to make us the more to esteem of it. It is the Ghost's spell, a comforting and soul-saving word.

1. Peace. We are by corruption of nature enemies to God; the gospel reveals a threefold peace — with God, with ourselves, with men; according to the song of the angels at the birth of Christ.

2. Good things. Yea, the best in the superlative degree, celestial good things: a freedom from all evil of sin, of punishment.Conclusion: Nothing should be so welcome as the preaching and preachers of the gospel. That Christ came to save sinners is a faithful saying, and worthy of the best welcome (1 Timothy 1:15). It is called the word of life, of salvation, the gospel of the kingdom. Even the key of heaven; for life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel (2 Timothy 1:12).

1. The essential duty of a minister is to preach the gospel. The law is to be preached also, both as an introduction to the gospel, and for a direction how to lead our lives when we have received the gospel, because sin breaks God's peace; but chiefly we are sent to preach the gospel.

2. Not riches, nor dignities, but to preach the gospel is the chief honour and beauty of a minister, who, though highly advanced, if he preach not the gospel, shall be despised.

3. Some love their ministers because they keep hospitality, which is commendable; some because they gain by them, which is carnal; some because they never preach, which is abominable; some because themselves would be well accounted of, which is hypocritical. But to love them for their work's sake is conscionable, and according to the commandment (1 Thessalonians 5:13). It is an argument of great corruption to esteem meanly a preacher; when he that brings tidings of a good bargain, or is an instrument of our pleasures, shall be highly welcomed and rewarded.

4. If the minister have weak gifts, yet if he preach the gospel thou must account his feet beautiful. It is not the gifts of men, but the Word of God which works the feat in our conversion.

5. If it be the gospel of peace, the professors are to be peaceable.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

What music is there ever heard in this world to be compared with the music of the gospel? It goes to the heart of universal humanity. It is richer in its tones than all the voices of men. It is more thrilling far than all the symphonies of Handel and Mozart, of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Rossini, and of all the mighty masters of song. It is softer than the murmur of the evening breeze; more soothing than the sound of the distant waterfall. It is sweeter than the warblings of summer birds; more harmonious than the chorus of the forest's rustling leaves. It is grander than the hallelujahs of the waves of the ocean; more overpowering than the organ roll of the reverberating thunder. Aye, and more melting and delicious than the harping of those heavenly intelligences whom God designates as the "morning stars." The gospel steals over the bosom of the desolate and inexpressibly sad. It drops its assuaging balm on the ear of the broken and the weary, the forsaken, the bereaved, the solitary. It charms away the despondency of the labouring and the heavy-laden. Its minstrelsy penetrates within the prison bars of the captive, and floats to the ear of tyranny's fettered victim in the subterranean dungeon. Its solace cheers those who sit in ashes, who are clad in the vestments of mourning, and are swooning under the spirit of heaviness, It comes with resistless force to the bankrupt, the ruined and undone, to the guilty, the betrayed, the despairing, the polluted, and the lost. When all other voices are still, with gentler than a mother's accents, it breathes out hope and retrieval for the fallen and the outcast. No fabled Orpheus ever so affected rocks, trees, and wild beasts, by harp and song, as Christ by the music of the gospel has drawn after Him, in blissful captivity, the dullest, rudest, and most savage of mankind, constraining them to leave their carnal instincts, their habits of depravity, their ways of sin, so that, forsaking all besides, o'er all the world they follow Him.

(J. Somerville.)

It is a great mercy to enjoy the "gospel of peace," but a still greater to enjoy the peace of the gospel.

(J. Dyer.)

The meanness of the earthen vessel, which conveys to others the gospel treasure, takes nothing from the value of the treasure. A dying hand may sign a deed of gift of incalculable value. A shepherd's boy may point out the way to a philosopher. A beggar may be the bearer of an invaluable present.

(W. Cecil, M.A.)

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