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and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.'* · Thus the heart of every Christian ought to represent in miniature the Catholic Church, since one spirit makes both the whole Church and every member of it to be His Temple. As He makes the Church one, which, left to itself, would separate into many parts; so He makes the soul one, in spite of its various affections and faculties, and its contradictory aims. As He gives peace to the multitude of nations, who are naturally in discord one with another, so does He give an orderly government to the soul, and set reason and conscience as sovereigns over the inferior parts of our nature. As He leavens each rank and pursuit of the community with the principles of the doctrine of Christ, so does that same divine leaven spread through every thought of the mind, every member of the body, till the whole is sanctified. And let us be quite sure that these two operations of our Divine Comforter depend upon each other, and that while Christians do not seek after inward unity and peace in their own breasts, the Church itself will never be at unity and peace in the world around them ;-and in somewhat the same manner, while the Church throughout the world is in that lamentable state of disorder which we see, no particular country, which is but a part of it, but must be in great religious confusion too, within its own limits. .
This is a point much to be kept in view in this day, as it will moderate our expectations, and sober us: we canno hope for peace at home, while we are at war abroad. We . cannot hope for the recovery of dissenting bodies, while we are ourselves alienated from the great body of Christendom We cannot hope for unity of faith, if we at our own private will make a faith for ourselves in this our small corner of the earth. We cannot hope for the success among the hea
* 2 Cor. x. 5.
then of St. Augustine or St. Boniface, unless like them we go forth with the apostolical benediction. That we are thus at disadvantage may not be our fault; it may be our misfortune; but at any rate it is not, what we too often consider it, our boast. Break unity in one point, and the fault runs through the whole body. There is a jar and a dissonance throughout; from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness. The flood of God's grace keeps it level, and if it is low in one place it is low in another. Surely we have abundant evidence on all sides of us, that the division of Churches is the corruption of hearts.
As then we would forward that blessed time, when the knowledge of the Lord, as the text speaks, will in its ful, ness cover the earth, as the waters cover their bed, let us look at home, and wait on God for the cleansing and purifying of ourselves. Till we look at home, no good shall we be able to perform for the Church at large; we shall but do mischief, when we intend good, and to us will apply that proverb—“ Physician, heal thyself.” Let us learn first to “ come” diligently “ to the waters,” and ask for that gift of God, which will be “ a well of water in us springing up unto everlasting life."* And let us not doubt that, if we do thus proceed, we shall advance the cause of Christ in the world, whether we see it or not, whether we will it or not, whether • the world wills it or not. Let us but raise the level of religion in our hearts, and it will rise in the world. He who attempts to set up God's Kingdom in his heart, furthers it in the world. He whose prayers come up for a memorial before God, opens the “ windows of heaven, and the fountains of the great deep," and the waters rise. He who with Christ goes up into the mountain to pray, or with St. Peter seeks the house-top, or with Mary, the mother of Mark, is gathered with many, praying, or with Paul and Silas, sing praises
* Isaiah lv. 1.
John iv. 14.
at midnight, they are overcoming the world, let the world do what it will. Elijah went up to Carmel, and cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and bid his servant look towards the sea seven times, till at his prayers a little cloud rose out of the sea like a man's hand, which at length covered the whole heaven, and there was abundance of rain.*
Let these instances be our encouragement now. Let us try to serve God more strictly than heretofore; let us pray Him to send down that influence which converted the world in the beginning, and He surely will answer our prayers far beyond what we think or hope. He will raise up for us saints and guides in this dreary time, when sanctity and wisdom seem well-nigh to have failed ; He will bring together the different parts of the Church, and restore peace and unity as at the first. He will give us that true and perfect faith which was once delivered to the saints, and which our sins have forfeited. “ He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.”+
And mean time we shall have our true reward, which is personal, consisting in no mere external privileges, however great, but in the “ water of life,"1 of which we are allowed to take freely. “How excellent is Thy mercy, O God, and the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of Thy house, and Thou shalt give them drink of Thy pleasure, as out of the river. For with Thee is the well of life, and in Thy light shall we see light.”S We shall be as “trees planted by the water-side, that will bring forth their fruit in due season ;"|| “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”T Let the high mountain, and the awful solitude, and the sunbright clime, and the rich and varied scene, be the boast of the foreigner and the heritage of the south. Enough for us, if we are allowed what Scripture singles out as the choicest of God's blessings, the green meadow, and the calm full stream, and the bounteous rain, and the thick foliage, and fruit in its season. Enough for us, in this age and country, if so be, to “ dwell in a peacefal habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places ;'* “to be fed in a green pasture, and led forth beside the waters of comfort.”+ “The mountain of myrrh, and the hill of frankincense, the orchard of pomegranates, the camphire with spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices,"I let others taste, for it is their portion. But who shall find, except at home, “the rivers of water in a dry place, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land ?''S Who shall find us elsewhere, “butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat ?"|| Let us be content with what supports life, while that is given us, though we dwell in a humble place, and have not the riches of the world. Let us “take no thought for our life what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or wherewithal we shall be clothed; but let us seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto us.”T “Let our conversation be without covetousness, and let us be content with such things as we have, for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Let us nourish ourselves “in the words of faith and good doctrine, whereunto we have attained.” Let us be “ filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God.” And let us not doubt, that “if in any thing we be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto us."*
* 1 Kings xviii. 42-46. Rom. ix. 28. Rev. xxii. 1. & Psalm xxxvi. 7-9. . || Psalm i. 3. Isaiah 1xi. 3.
* Isaiah xxxii. 18 Psalm xxiii. 2. Cant. iv. 6.13, 14. § Isaiah xxxii. 2. | Deut. xxxii. 14 [Matt. vi. 25–33. ** Heb. xiii. 5. 1 Tim. iv. 6. Phil. i. 11. iii. 15.
John xiv. 18, 19.-" I will not leave you comfortless: I will come
to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more ; but ye see Me."
When our Saviour was leaving His disciples, He told them that He would soon return to them, that their sorrow might be turned into joy. He was going away, yet they were to see Him, though the world saw Him not; for they were to be blessed with the presence of Him who was equal to Him and one with Him, and would unite them to Him, the Third Person in the Eternal Trinity, God the Holy Ghost.
He said that He was going away, and yet was coming again ; for the Holy Ghost came, and His coming was really the coming of Christ. Christ said that it was to be but a short interval between His departure and His return; and such it was, ten days. He went on Holy Thursday: He returns on the day of Pentecost.
But, though our Lord and Saviour sent His Holy Spirit to be with us on His going away, still there was a difference between the Spirit's office, and that which He Himself graciously fulfilled towards His disciples in the days of His