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let it be said, that the various forms of church government and the different modes of external worship which pervade the Christian world, or even articles of faith, dissimilar in some particulars, are appearances difficult to be reconciled with this oneness of the Christian character. For these appearances are no more strange than that, in the animal and intellectual constitution of man, the same general principles should exist under such a variety of external forms. Man is the same, as to body and mind, amid all the diversities which these two parts of his nature present to our view. The Christian is the same, as to real holiness of heart, amid all the various outward appearances his piety may assume, while exhibiting itself in persons of different conditions or circumstances in life. Nor is the wisdom of providence more to be arraigned in the latter case than in the former.." He hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth;' and

yet he hath so ordered events, that the diversities of the human countenance, and structure, and mind, are infinite. " Christians have been all made to drink into one spirit;" yet “unto every one is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ :'' and hence the external varieties which are discernible among the members of the Christian church. In both dispensations, God, no doubt, has wise purposes to answer, which may, perhaps, hereafter be disclosed to us. Without being too curious, therefore, to inquire into the reason why He permits so much apparent difference to exist among Christians, let us look, my brethren, at a brighter view of our subject. Let us “ endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," while we consider, first, What abundant proof there is that all the true followers of Jesus have fellowship with one another, and with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: and, secondly, In what this fellowship consists,

I. There is abundant proof that all the true followers of Jesus have fellowship with one another, and with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are full of testimony on this point. They use the boldest metaphors, when speaking of the relation which subsists between Christians and their Divine Master. He is the Vine, and they are the branches. He is the Corner-stone, and they are the superstructure. He is the Bread which is necessary to support their spiritual life. He is the Head, and they are the members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones, and members also one of another. They are all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and have been all inade to drink into one spirit. In our Saviour's prayer for his disciples, on the night preceding his crucifixion, he uttered these memorable words : “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word : that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us : that the world may believe that thou hast sent

And the glory which thou gavest me I have


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given them, that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me." Christ here prayed for all his followers, through the successive ages of the Gospel dispensation, down to the end of time. His prayer was heard and answered. And if any one doctrine of the Scriptures is capable of the most complete and overwhelming proof, it is this—that all sincere Christians are one; that they are one in God and Christ; one in spirit, even as the Father and the Son are one.

How fully, too, is this truth confirmed and illustrated by the experience of all believers ! The humble follower of Jesus, on whom calamity hath brought poverty, and poverty obscurity, cut off from the comforts of this world, draws all his consolations from the resources of Faith. He unfolds the sacred volume, and wonders, with holy delight, at finding the saints of old engrossed with the same objects of confidence, and hope, and love which now cheer and animate his own breast. With Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, his mind is stayed upon God. He sings with Moses the song of deliverance, and with David the hymns of praise. He enters into all their feelings of devotion. He mingles his soul with theirs. With them, he surrounds their own altar, and offers up the sacrifice of a broken and a contrite heart, and the incense of a pure and spiritual worship. As he approaches the ad

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vent of our Saviour, he exclaims with the mother of Jesus, " My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." He catches the holy rapture of Zecharias, saying, “ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” He glows with the gratitude of Simeon, and with him is ready to exclaim,“ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” But why need I proceed? The time would fail me to tell of all the saints of whom the Scriptures speak; of the illustrious martyrs, whose blood was the seed of the church ; and of the pious of succeeding ages, in whose steps the follower of Jesus finds himself now walking, and in whose history he sees reflected the experience of his own heart.

And cannot you also, my Christian brethren, testify to the delight which you have often felt in this fellowship of the saints ? Have not your hearts sometimes burned within you while reading the lives of the pious dead, or while holding converse with a fellow-pilgrim to the heavenly Jerusalem ? And have you not then realized, that there is indeed

one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called, in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all ?" It would be pleasant to dwell longer on this delightful theme; but it becomes necessary, in the second

place, to consider in what consists the fellowship which Christians have with the Father and his Son, and with each other.

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II. Here, my brethren, we approach a subject calculated to fill the soul with wonder and joy. Here, too, we may well feel the darkness of our minds, and realize the narrowness of the circle which confines the extent of our moral vision. Here reason fails, and faith, “ which is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen,” asserts her undivided empire in the heart. Recal to your minds the emphatical words of our Saviour, in his prayer for all his disciples,—" that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us," “ that they may be one, even as we are one: I in

: I them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one.” What a stupendous thought! The infinite, the eternal, the incomprehensible Jehovah, the high and holy One that inhabiteth the praises of eternity, and his Son, 6 who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person,"condescend to unite themselves with every believer in Jesus. Man is admitted to communion with his Maker. By faith in Christ, “ he is joined unto the Lord, and is one spirit with him.”

The precise nature of this oneness, which Christians enjoy with their God and Saviour, "it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive." It is, however, most real, intimate, imperishable, endearing. To

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