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again the head to the feet, I have no need
you-that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another; and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." And then applying what he had said, the apostle adds, " Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." Now, brethren, if this comparison is true as respects the whole church of Christ; if we are all bound to consider ourselves not only as fellow-creatures with the whole human race, which is the first and largest bond of union, and takes in all of every country, colour, and religion-barbarian, heathen, Jew, infidel, and heretic-but as more especially linked together with those who, together with ourselves, are members of the one true and indivisible church of Christ ;-if, wheresoever a Christian man may wander in foreign lands, he carries with him this bond of union, which, like a sort of holy religious free-masonry,
entitles him to the protection, the assistance, the fellowship, the communion of all those who in every land and every clime "call upon the name of Christ, their Lord and his;"-if this be the privilege of each Christian, viewing himself in the most extended sense of the word as a Christian-how much closer a bond of union, how much warmer a spirit of mutual regard, how much more intimate a communion of love, ought to subsist between those who, while they profess the same faith, worship also at the same church, partake together of the holy sacrament at the same altar, live in the same parish, and are connected together by so many hundred different and minute ties of kindred, neighbourhood, and interests!
I could picture to myself, brethren, and often upon these occasions when, with sincere pleasure, and every good wish for your temporal and spiritual welfare, I have welcomed you, on your annual day of festival, within these holy
walls-I have often pictured to myself a club founded upon truly christian principles. I have thought how close a bond of union might be wrought out of such a society. I would have it a society based and founded, beginning, continuing, and ending in the fear of God. I would have each member bound to contribute, not only, as now, to the temporal necessities of his brotherhood, but to their spiritual wants also. I would admit none whose lives and habits did not give a fair pledge that they would never bring disgrace and loss upon the society by their misconduct, either publicly by breaking the laws of God or man, or privately by their neglect of their families. I would exclude the drunkard, the profane, the sabbath-breaker, the bad father, the careless and unkind husband, the undutiful son, the lawless despiser of the " powers that be, which are ordained of God," the idle and the dissolute. I would have a club of christian brethren, bound by their rules to admonish and advise and call
each other to account in a spirit of love, such as that which St. Paul teaches when he saith, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness consider thyself, lest thou also be tempted; bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."* Not, indeed, that we have any right to judge each other; but it is clearly our duty to admonish our brethren, and not to suffer their sin to pass unreproved. We are too much afraid of offending each other, and too apt to take offence at each other's freedom but it is surely pride and a haughty spirit which make us angry at the unasked advice of others, which we are apt to call impertinent interference and meddling, whereas the motive which produced it might be a real desire for our welfare, and the observations themselves might be true and wise: and, on the other hand, it is surely false fear, and shrinking from our duty both to God and man, if when we see sin we hesitate to express * Galat. vi. 1, 2.
our disapprobation of it, for fear of giving offence, or drawing upon us the ill-will of others. I do not mean that we ought to go hither and thither to spy out the faults of our neighbours; for a "talebearer" and a "listener" are characters reprobated in Holy Scripture. Nor should we heed every idle speech which may be made about us by any who delight to find an occasion of slandering us but we ought to be honest ourselves, and not to be afraid of speaking our minds, though the truth may be unpleasant; nor ought we to be above taking advice and receiving reproof, when we are conscious of doing wrong: and at all events I do believe that a club formed upon that principle would be really productive of the best effects in all classes of society.
But perhaps, my friends and brethren, you will be thinking with yourselves, that it is all very well for me to picture this to myself; but that, in point of fact, the thing is not possible; that men's tempers are so hasty, and their spirits so high, and their good opinion of themselves so