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Moreover, as the Saviour is one so there is one faith. Truth is one. There has been from the beginning
a form of sound words as St. Paul calls it,-committed as a deposit into the hands of faithful men, who are bound by every sacred obligation to keep it undefiled, and intrust it, in their turn, to future generations, to be preserved in violate to the world's end. That is the truth, one and the same always. That is the one faith, written and expounded in the old creeds, and professed in Holy Baptism, which all Christians must believe and keep, and in keeping and believing it, be one. Of course, too, as they must keep the one faith, so they must refuse to communicate with those who reject it. The same Scriptures which command unity in mind and doctrine, command also that no fellowship should be kept with those who teach other doctrine, and that those should be avoided who cause divisions contrary to sound truth. So that, positively, the Church is one as holding fellowship with all who agree in all substantial verities, negatively, as standing off from those who reject the one hereditary faith.
Also, there is one and the " same rule” of life by which all the members of the body are required to walk. The will of God, as made known in His Word and by His Law, interpreted in the fulness of its spiritual import, and perfectly exhibited in the blameless life of His incarnate Son, is the one pattern which all the followers of Christ must copy, the one way by which they must approach to God. And from this it follows that that is
one hope.” Having the same rule of life, the members of the Church have also the same promises to encourage them in the discharge of their proper duty, and the
same high and everlasting rewards to which they can look forward, as the fruit of their labours, and the crown of all their desires.
Further, the Church is held together in the bonds of a common love. “ By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another," is the declaration of the Church's Head. The multitude of them that believe are
of one heart and one soul,” so that if “ one member suffer all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured all the members rejoice with it.” The Church is one because it is animated by the spirit of love. And being one in love it is one in life, one in common sacraments, common labours, common aims, common discipline; the several branches of the Church agreeing together in all questions of great and universal interest, though following the instincts of a measured liberty, and varying in those lesser matters of custom, form, or ceremonial, where variety may exist without conficting with essential principles of order, and without endangering the primary and fundamental truth.
And, finally, there is one ministry, appointed by the Church's Head to lead the members of the body, to be stewards of the heavenly mysteries, to expound the Word, to administer the Sacraments, and preserve the Truth. The ministry—in its three-fold order of bishops, priests, and deacons, emanating from the Twelve Apostles whom our Lord Himself commissioned, and carried on in a direct succession to our own day, is the bond which holds the Church together,linking the present to the past, and maintaining the order and discipline of the kingdom, upon the principles established for its guidance by those who were inspired to be its founders, and who were led infallibly into all the truth. There is one ministry. The ministry of the Church Catholic is the same ministry which our Lord founded. Each generation has handed on the commission to that which succeeded it. The ministry of this day is one with that of the Apostles; one in order, one—excepting that which was miraculous and extraordinary—in gifts, in efficacy, in glory, in power.
The Church, then, is one because God is one; one because it has one Lord who joins its members to the one Father of all, and sheds upon them the one allquickening Spirit; one as having one faith once for all delivered to the saints; one as having one rule of life; one as having one hope, one love, one life; and finally, one as gifted with an apostolic ministry, inheriting the commission first intrusted to the Twelve Apostles whom our Lord Himself anointed to their high office, and carried down to the present day by the sacred rite of ordination.
II. But what is this Church which is thus essentially one? It is a body. It is not spirit only. It has flesh and bones. It is outward, it is visible, it is measurable, it is intelligible. Like a man, it has a body and a soul; not a soul only, nor a body only, but a body and a soul,—both. “There is one body
" and one Spirit.” By one Spirit, it is said, ye are all baptized into one body. Again, “We being many are one body in Christ.” Again, “We being many are one bread and one body." Again, “Ye are the body of Christ and members in particular.” And again it is said, “The Church which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”
In all these passages the Church is actually called a body. In a multitude of other passages the same truth is implied. The most common of all names for the Church is kingdom. Our Lord continually speaks of it as “the kingdom of heaven.” Now a kingdom is a body of men united in a society, under a king as their head. The Church is spoken of as a net enclosing fishes, as a field in which wheat grows, as a fold, as a flock, as a house built upon a rock, as “ the mountain of the Lord," as “a holy nation,” a
peculiar people," as a vine tree, as a city-New Jerusalem,—and the like; all of them outward things, all of them suggesting the idea of many parts united in one associated whole, and all condemning that spurious kind of spiritualism, which, not content to set the spirit above the letter, and to assert the intrinsic superiority of inward life to the outward form which manifests and gives it permanence, explains away whatever is outward as beyond the reach of spiritual influence, and puts asunder that body and spirit which God has joined in one.
In fact, the Church is the temple of the Holy Ghost. There is one Spirit and that Spirit has one body. The Church is a society, an holy corporation, a vast and sacred city filled with citizens, a tree spreading out its green and shadowing branches into all corners of the earth, a great family covering earth and adopted into heaven. It was the idea of Him whose plans are as great as they are profound, to establish and to create a vast society—call it what you will, a family, or a kingdom, or a state-which should exist in all places, and include all people, and last for all time. That was the purpose of God, and it is a purpose so great and so magnificent that it could not have emanated from any lower origin. It was God's counsel, formed in the beginning before worlds were made, to make men one. To accomplish this, He would form a great society, of which His Son should be the king and head. He would send His bishops, called to a coequal apostleship, with no head but their Head in Heaven, into the four continents and to the islands which emerge from every sea, and with them the Christian priesthood, associated in the duties of their office yet subordinate to them, and deacons, to serve in the ministry of the Gospel, and hold the lowest place in the work of Christ. The world was to be their field of labour. In every land, to every man, they were to teach the one truth, dispense the same sacraments, build up the one Church, until the world's end. They were not to interfere with politics, not to fight with weapons of carnal warfare, not in such wise to spread our Lord's kingdom as though it was one of the kingdoms of the earth. “ My kingdom is not of this world,” was to be their motto, and the cross was to be their sign and crest.
The kingdom which they were sent to propagate was to be an universal kingdom, and could only become universal by leaving all particular and national kingdoms to do their own work, and do it in their own way. This was God's purpose. This is God's purpose still. It has been thwarted. Sin has interfered with its development. The mercy which proposed to itself to hallow all kingdoms, and elevate all governments, and bring in a reign of peace, and make earth an elysium, in which - happy men might love each other, and the cockatrice grow harmless, and the lion lie down with the lamb, has been frustrated by man's perverseness, who would not see his own bliss and would not trust the wisdom of his heavenly Father. The counsel has been realized in a very imperfect manner, by reason of man's wilful obstinacy and