CLXXV. Helpers of your Joy.

2 COR. i. 24. “Not
for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of
your joy.”

THIS Epistle much taken up with the subject of his own
ministry. Paul’s ministry, from our knowing so much
about it, has become practically the dominant and ideal
type of the Christian ministry.
I. The negation, what is disclaimed. He repudiates
and disclaims supreme religious authority over them and
their faith.
It is true he was divinely commissioned to reveal by
speech and pen Divine truth, to preach the Gospel, to
legislate for the Church, to guide and rule the lives of men.
But he saw round each individual a sphere of responsibility,
whole and entire, which no other might assail.
Strange that men should boldly arrogate to themselves
what the inspired apostle distinctly disclaims—infallibility
in everything on which they choose to speak.
II. The position that he claims. Helpers of your joy.
In these days there is hindrance along the whole line of
movement.
1. Intellectual hindrances. Facts and doctrines are
questioned. Maintaining these we are helpers of each
other.
2. Hindrances rising from the pressure of life. People are
more on the move, less at rest, less at home, more liable to
change than formerly.
God’s day of rest was never more needed; and welcome
both to preacher and people should be the hour that brings
them into the great Presence.
3. Hindrances arising from the continual shortcoming
of the Christian life. Discouragement has a darker sister
named Despair, who glides gently up behind her. We are
to bear and overmatch all by the glad tidings of Divine,
unwearying, invincible love.
4. Hindrances rising from trouble and sorrow.
We only can tell of immortal joy.
5. Dark inevitable death waits for each.
We can come to the very brink of the river, with such as
are going away, and can tell them such things as when
believed will rob death of its terrors.
Alexander Raleigh, D.D.

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