CXCII. Zeal.

GAL. iv. 18. “But it is good to be zealously
affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am
present with you.”
LET us dwell upon the nature, upon the perpetuity, and
upon the profitableness of Christian zeal.
I. Zeal may be defined as the heat or fervour of the mind
indignant towards evil, full of desire towards what it
imagines to be good. In itself it has no character at all.
It becomes Christian zeal only when it springs from
Christian motive, when it is displayed in a Christian
manner, when it is used for Christian ends. The con-
straining motives must be the love of God shed abroad in
the heart, an expression most tolerant and merciful as it
becometh the Gospel of Christ. All the objects on behalf
of which its energies exercise must be according to the
mind of Christ.
II. The pith of the apostle’s warning lies here: “It is
good to be zealously affected always.” The Galatians
in the presence of the apostle were warm and extravagant
in their professions of attachment, but they needed his
presence. He therefore reminds them that zeal to be
valuable must be permanent. Our zeal for Christ must be
as the vestal fire of old, never suffered to go out either by
day or night.
III. Christian zeal is good. No higher praise can be
given to it. It is good ! the very thing that was said of
the fairly finished earth on the morning of Jehovah’s rest
and pleasure. It is good! the very thing that is spoken of
God Himself, “Thou art good, and doest good.” It is
good in itself; it is good in its influences. Who shall
estimate the effect upon the progress of the Redeemer’s
kingdom when the Church is filled with the spirit of
Christian zeal?
W. Morley Punshon, D.D.

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