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cious ointment upon the head of Aaron, that is to say, it is like the good and delight of Heaven pervading the inmost life of a good man and descending thence by regular and orderly degrees through his whole scale of existence, even to the very skirts thereof. When righteousness and peace have kissed each other in a man's heart, their bright reflection shines upon all his external circumstances. For while the most perfect worldly arrangements can afford no lasting delight from their own sources, the commonest objects look beautiful and are a joy for ever in the sunshine of Heaven.

Truly this delight is like the dew of Hermon. For the dew of those snow-white peaks, visible over the whole land of Canaan, which is here poetically said to descend on the city-crowned mountains of Judea ; that gentle dew is the representative of Divine Truth descending from the Lord and uniting itself in a sweet conjunction with those celestial principles of goodness in the human mind which are in men the Mount Zion that the Lord loves.

Such is the perfect picture. It is not truth without goodness, for that is dead. Nor is it goodness without truth, for that is blind. It is the conjunction of goodness and truth which is the source to man of all his happiness, both internal and external, both temporal and eternal. For here it is, and here alone, that Jehovah has commanded that blessing which indeed includes all blessings, even life for evermore.

We will now transfer the application of this Divine song from principles to persons. In this sense a brother signifies one who is in charity. And if, therefore, all the members of the Church are in charity together, they are here meant by the brethren. “ One is then your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren” (Matt. xxiii. 8).

The conjunction of goodness and truth is furnished with one of its most forcible representatives in the unity of the brethren. Moreover, there cannot be any real unity among the brethren until the brethren are themselves, each and every one, living personifications of the unity of goodness and truth. There can be no real unity among unregenerate men. To preach unity and concord to such, and to leave them in their unregenerate state, is an attempt to make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter. If it succeeds, it is a vain success, for the cup and platter are still full of abominations. It is no use to say Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

There is no peace, suith my God, to the wicked. A unity among men which is brought about by means of mere external restraints, is like a scalled happy family of various heterogeneous creatures, which may indeed appear to live together in peace, because they are under the influence of strong fear, but as soon as that fear is removed, the once peaceful family is converted into a scene of indiscriminate massacre. Men can be trained in a similar manner. Men who hate each other can be taught to repress every external sign of their feelings, to shake by the hand with precisely the same emotion in their hearts that they would stab with the dagger, to give a kiss with the same inward feeling as they would give a cup of poison, and while they inwardly rejoice at the misfortunes of those whom they at heart regard as enemies, to drop around on the desecrated earth the hypocritical tears of the crocodile. Men can be trained to do all these things. But wherein are they the better for such a training ? Hatred is not improved by having deceit and hypocrisy added to it. Such mere external training can therefore produce no unity of the brethren. The influx of love which is the cause of unity must begin in the heart, and must then flow out into external manifestation. All other manifestations of love are sickening. If, therefore, one of the brethren should have bad feelings for another of the brethren, what he must do is not to cover them up, so that no one can see them, but what he must do is to put them away, to cast them out behind him, to conquer them, to resist them, to fight against them as he would fight against hell itself. And if he succeeds in doing this, and in fairly putting those evil spirits to flight, and if his brother succeeds too in doing the same thing with his evil spirits, then those two brethren can be really brethren, and can shake each other by the hand and look each other in the eye in the unaffected love and real unity. Oh how good and pleasant it is to see it !

Unity, which is the product of love, is always delightful. It is delightful in God. The unity of God is one of His first and most essential attributes. Men inwardly long for a unity to worship. There is something in the human heart which is revolted at the bare idea of disunion or separation in the nature of that Being whom we are required to worship as the embodiment of all perfection. But here we find, if we desire it, a perfect rest for our souls. God is Unity Itself because He is Love Itself. And this not only as to His Essential Divinity, for in Him His own Divinity and our humanity are unity itself. His whole work in the world was to unite them. And He accomplished this stupendous union for the very purpose of ren


dering possible a corresponding unity among men, and as is said of Him in the Word, that He "should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad(John xi. 52). The Lord's prayer for His church is ever therefore the same, Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those rohom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are(John xvii. 11). That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, and the glory which Thou gavest Me I have 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 (John xvii. 21-23).

The unity of the brethren is then the same thing as the unity of the Church, and the unity of the Church can be accomplished only by means of the unity of the brethren. We need not, therefore, look in the direction of external changes for the advent of that much desired unity. If all the Churches in the world were rolled into one, with the same doctrines, the same institutions, and the same forms of worship, there would be no more unity than there is now. There would only be more quarrelling. For the unity of the Church is not the unity of doctrines, institutions and worship, but the unity of the brethren. And the brethren are united only by mutual love and charity. If, therefore, there be an amalgamation of external institutions and of doctrines, and no more mutual love and charity than there is now, there is no more unity than there is now; but, on the other hand, if there be an increase of mutual love and charity there is also an increase of unity, whether external institutions be amalgamated or not. External institutions will take care of themselves when all men are united in the effort to become regenerate [to cease from doing whatever is a sin against God and an injury to the neighbour, and to cultivate mutual prosperity by the active performance of uses towards others from a religious principle]. Until then, we may believe it to be a wise permission of the Divine Providence that men should be separated from each other by external divisions.

If unregenerated men are, as we know they are, wild beasts in spirit, then we also know how it is best to deal with them. No wise keeper of wild beasts puts them all into one cage. It is, no doubt, our duty to promote, as far as we can, the unity of the Church. But let us not forget what it is that we are trying to promote. Let us not confound the unity of the Church with the amalgamation of external institutions, for if we do we shall probably find that in our misdirected zeal we have promoted, not the unity, but the quarrelling and contention of the Church, by bringing closer together elements which, from their very unregenerate nature, must necessarily be at war with each other as soon as they come into contact. Let us be careful to direct our efforts towards the right point, and to make them coincide with the operation of Divine and unalterable laws. Let us ever begin with the head and not with the skirts of the garments. We cannot make the precious ointment of love flow uproards. Let us, in one word, endeavour to lead men to be good first, to be united in good ness, for then, and only then, can their unity be pleasant.

But it may be said that it is not the mere amalgamation of external institutions that New Churchmen think of when they speak of the unity of the Church, but that they include in their idea agreement of true doctrine also. Let us then, in the next place, examine this point. Now it is evident that if agreement in true doctrine would produce unity in the Church, then all New Churchmen would be in unity, for they all agree together in their views, and in correct views of the essential doctrines of the Word of God. Yet what is the fact? Are they all united as brethren? Do they invariably dwell together in unity ? Have the histories of their Societies been the histories of peaceful and united communities, without jarring, discord, enmity, or strife? If, therefore, we cannot secure the unity of the Church among a few who all worship the same God and acknowledge the same way of salvation, what probability is there that we could secure it among a greater number? Agreement in doctrine, therefore, can no more than amalgamation of institutions, produce unity in the Church.

But that which can produce unity both of spirit and of action in the Church, is that which comes by nature to no one, which cannot be learned, cannot be joined, cannot be put on. It is

regeneration. Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must be born again. Except a mun be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. The Church is the Lord's Kingdom here, and no man can therefore even see it, much less enter into it, and be one with it, except in proportion as he becomes regenerate. Whenever, therefore, the old man shows any inclination to become demonstrative, he must be put down. It will not do to tame him, to train him. Can the leopard change his spots ? The leopard must be banished altogether, and man must become a new creature. We have all great need constantly to pray, “CREATE in me, create in me, a clean heart, O God."

As soon as this has been done, we shall find it a very easy thing to secure the unity of the brethren. And the unity of the brethren will produce the unity of the Church. That will necessarily follow. We

shall then know what perfect unity is, because we shall know what perfect love is. If differences of opinion arise—and they will always arise wherever intelligent men meet together—they will not cause dissension, because we shall then no longer be under the government of that self-love which desires that all men should worship itself, and its own way of thinking. But, on the contrary, we shall still glow with mutual kindness towards all our brethren, even when they oppose us, and we shall be able to discuss and to debate with each other with the utmost stress and energy, and we shall be willing even to find ourselves in a minority, without any diminution of that mutual kindness which is the type of Heaven upon earth. The unity of the Church will then be so far an accomplished fact, and the Lord, looking down from Heaven, His dwelling-place, will see that His ardent prayer has been fulfilled, and that we are one, even as He is one.

The realization of this heavenly unity must, however, from the very nature of the case, be difficult for us to attain in this life. Nor ought we to be too much surprised to find that even those who profess to regard charity as an essential to salvation may often fall far short of the standard they acknowledge. If unity and the spirit of unity is only possible among the regenerate, and if it grows only as regeneration advances, it is obvious that it would be unreasonable to expect perfection in this virtue from men, who, like ourselves, are as yet at the best only beginning to live the life of the New Church.

It is a common saying that it takes two to make a quarrel. But it is equally true that it also takes two to make a unity. This circumstance, therefore, adds to the difficulty of our dwelling together in that good and pleasant state. One may be ready for unity and not another. In this world good, bad and indifferent are mixed together. But it will not always be so. The Lord's prayer for the unity of His Church cannot fall to the ground. And as for us, who will soon be here no more, if we, in our day of earthly labour, are faithful to our duty, if we do all we can to promote unity with each other, as a result and as a part of personal regeneration, then, even though we should now be shrouded to some extent in the mists of disappointed or unsatisfied affections and hopes, yet a bright and glorious ETERNITY is before us :

“ When the mists have rolled in splendour

From the beauty of the hills,
And the shin warm and tender,

Falls in kisses on the rills,

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