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land to land. This question is easily answeredanswered by his sending them out two and two, by his parables of the mustard-seed, and of the net, and by a multitude of his discourses. Jesus foresaw that this would be the case, he intended that it should be the case for such an Association was a necessary means to his end, and such an Association lay as a necessity in the very nature of the gospel.
And when it came, it came as a necessity. The apostles and disciples did not found a Church, but they found themselves in a Church. They were driven together by outward persecution - they were drawn together by an inward impulse. Read the first chapters of the Book of Acts and see how the Church of Christ was formed. Those disciples and women who had attended Jesus in his journeys and constituted his family, kept together after his resurrection. One great thought filled all their minds, one commanding truth ruled their lives. They had known Jesus, and the memory of his life and truth filled to overflowing their intellect; the influence of his wonderful character was stamped upon theirs forever. Another and more mysterious influence had changed them inwardly had given them courage for cowardice - heroism for weakness-a commanding eloquence in place of a stammering timidity. "We cannot but speak of the things that we have seen and heard." Herein lay the necessity of the Church. The Church at first was an Ecclesia Docens very literally,
a missionary Church altogether, a Church devoted in every member and person to preaching Christ, the Saviour, the Redeemer of men.
Men under the law of such a necessity as this must keep together, must work in union-how could it be otherwise? Gathered out of a social life composed of the hard bigotry of the Pharisee, the cold scepticism of the Sadducee, or the desperate sensuality of Heathenism and finding within their souls such a faith in an entire salvation from sin-a new life of love-free, earnest, ennobling-having such a sympathy, and such a common aim-here was laid the basis of the most noble friendship. Well might each repeat to the rest what Christ had said to them all: "Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever will do the will of God, the same is my mother and sister and brother."
The early Church was thus a household of faith; a family of brothers and sisters. How touching the description of that first love! "The multitude of
them that believed were of one heart and one soul; neither said any of them that aught that he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common."
The favorite idea with the first Christians of the work of the Church, was this: that it was to replace Christ's body - it was to be the earthly body by which his ascended spirit should still speak, teach, and act in the world, still heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and bless mankind. Every Christian
was a living member of this body while in communion with the rest, and his life was received from Christ"he lived by faith in the Son of God." The Lord's Supper was the bond of union and brotherhood. "The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body, for we all are partakers of that one bread." Hence the argument for mutual toleration. As the foot and hand and eye and tongue have each a different office, yet all are necessary to the integrity of the body, so may the various tendencies of character and opinion among Christians be controlled toward a common aim by that living faith in Christ which is the principle of life in all.
The organization of the early Church was partly adopted from that of the Jewish synagogue worship, and was partly originated as any necessity occasioned it. We happen to have an instance of this in the origin of the office of deacons. "In those days (we read in Acts vi.) when the number of disciples increased, there rose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily ministrations. called the multitude together and
Then the twelve said: It is not
reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Wherefore, look out men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. And the saying
pleased the whole multitude," and so they chose cer
We see, in this instance, how gradually the organization of the early Church arose. It was not fixed immutably from the first in Canons and Rubrics by the apostles — but each part of it came when it was wanted, and was based on the reason of each particular case, and was confirmed by the assent of the whole multitude.
Such was the Church of Christ at first- simple in its organization, noble in its aim, full of a profound life and an immense energy. Its only Creed was Faith in Christ. Its organization was flexible, enlarging as its wants were multiplied. It was a living, loving, and working Church.
Now let us pass on. Many centuries go by, and instead of that simple body of earnest believers, we now find an immense and consolidated Organization - a powerful Hierarchy-spread through many lands, but bound together by the cohesive attraction belonging to a sacred order of persons. It had noble Cathedrals, every stone of which was carved with reverence, and laid with religious awe.
"The hand that rounded Peter's dome,
Himself from God he could not free.
He builded better than he knew;
The conscious stone to beauty grew."
So that we repeat to-day, in these our edifices, the ideas of those Mediæval Christians; and until we can build something to express the Christian ideas of our own age, we cannot do better than repeat theirs. This Church had a solemn ritual, adapted to every part of human life. It met the newborn babe at its entrance into the world, washed from its brow the taint of hereditary evil, and placed those tender feet in the way of salvation. It blessed the marriage vow of love, and invested the earthly tie with the sanctity of a diviner meaning. It opened its solemn Cathedrals, as sanctuaries for the sinner-it opened a listening ear for the confessions of the penitent, and gave him pardon-it gave in the Eucharist a present God as food for the soul-it brought to the sick bed a sacred comfort, touched the forehead of the dying with the sign of safety—it laid the dead in a consecrated grave. Did youth grow sick of youthful folly, did the maiden long for more than a virgin sanctity— it opened its Religious Houses, where in the calm pursuits of piety life might move upward as it moved onward — upward toward an eternal joy. Thus beneficent and tender toward its children, the Church was awful in its rebuke of the tyrant and the oppressor. It planted its foot on the neck of the despot, and restrained him whom no other force could check. It collected libraries, and opened schools, and taught sciences to a barbarous people, and stood a beacon light of knowledge in a benighted age. Such was