2 Corinthians 6:11-13
O you Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, our heart is enlarged.…
Of this enlargedness of mind the apostle was an eminent example. All his worldly prospects he cheerfully relinquished for the service of Christ.
I. ITS NATURE AND OPERATIONS. The enlarged Christian —
1. Entertains comprehensive and connected ideas of the religion of the gospel, and regards the several parts of it according to their comparative usefulness and importance.
(1) There are some who confine their zeal to certain favourite sentiments and usages, and these not the most important, like those primitive believers whose attachment to the rites and ceremonies almost excluded charity to their more liberal brethren.
(2) The enlarged Christian imbibes his religious sentiments fresh and pure from the deep fountain of Divine truth, not from the shallow, variable stream of human opinion. Contemplating the perfect character of God, he concludes that all religion must consist in rectitude of heart and holiness of life; that love to Him and benevolence to men must be its leading principles.
2. Judges freely and independently in matters of religion. He will not receive doctrines as the commandments of men, nor, on the other hand, will he cavil and object against them to show his superiority to the opinions of men.
3. Yields an unreserved submission to the Divine government. To a contracted mind the ways of God are subjects of daily complaint, but the man of an enlarged heart contemplates the ways of God on a more extensive scale. He therefore acquiesces in all the allotments of providence, and rejoices that his interests are in better hands than his own.
4. Is of a humble mind. The man of a narrow heart thinks highly of his own worth, is tenacious of his own opinions, and devoted to his own interest; but the man of liberal sentiments thinks soberly, speaks modestly, and walks humbly. Influenced by this spirit, the Christian reveres the word of revelation, and receives its instructions with submission.
5. Has a benevolent heart. He whose feelings are contracted within himself views with indifference the misfortunes of a neighbour, or takes advantage from them. But the enlarged Christian considers all men as his brethren. He can sacrifice his own interest to the superior happiness of his fellow-men, like Paul, who sought not his own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved.
II. THE PROPER MEANS OF OBTAINING AND IMPROVING IT.
1. An intimate acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures. It is not any and every kind of knowledge that will enlarge the mind, but only-that which is great in its object and useful in its tendency.
2. Sub, mission to the power of the gospel. Knowledge is highly useful, but this alone will rather swell than enlarge the mind. It is charity which edifies.
3. Social inter. course, especially social worship.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.