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RELIGIOUS WORLD.

THE FAMIXY CHURCH. - (By J. G. BOWRAN.) "In love of the brethren be tenderly affeetioned oue to another, in honour preferring one another." —Bom. -ii. 10. We marvel at the toils of Paul the Apotnle. What a life he lived! It is romantic now as we think of it. He was a pioneer. He was the herald of a unique mission. For the first time in the ears of men he was telling the most astonishing and sweetest story. He was the creator of Churches. In _*.l the cities he visited he gathered the converts into fellowship. The new experience of faith and love brought them together and kept them together. He was an enthusiast for the Church. He was an ardent Churchman. The Church was the home of the Christian heart. ■He never conceived of a Christian remaining outside the Church. The Church was the communion of believers. ■For years, and till he died, his heart was "in love with the churches. And erven tbe churches in the formation of which he had no part were dear to his heart. The Church in Rome was not of his inception, but he was elated that Jesus had a Church in Rome. He wanted to reach Rome. Now. here we see his ideal of the Church. The Church was a family. From Jewish homes some came; to Roman families some belonged, and many to Grecian; but, since they were in Christ, new creations of His Spirit, they were one family in the Church. The Church was their common home. And in the home church there will be jealousy for the honour of one and all. "Whoever beard of a son scandalising his father? Whoever heard of a daughter vilifying her mother's name? AA'hoever heard of a brother playing the sneak to his sister, or the sister making mischief for her brother? Love is jealousy of the Divine order. God is jealous. And in the church there will be this keen sense of honour, this concentrated sensitiveness to the a-ood name of one and all. And. if the Church be so completely the family of God. this code of courtesy, as it has been called, will be easy. AYe ehall be more than willing to stand aside that- another may be honoured. This family-afiVetionateness will extend to every branch of the family. It is wonderful to see how one family can absorb many. AA'e are Protest—nts and Free Churchmen. AA'hat bonds these aTe! These things are of the essence of religion. Why should we feel strange when we vi6it each other's Churches? AA 7 e are all in the. same great family. And, wider still, the faith of Jesus is the family bond. Now, all this must be cultivated, and it is not easy. AA'e need to keep these thoughts in mind. AA'e shall have to keep vigilant watch over ourselves. We must put restraint upon ourselves. AA'e must cultivate patience—patience with ourselves and others. Especially do we need this for people who do not think as we think. AA'e are all apt to be intellectually dictatorial. A great deal of mischief has been done by impatience. Dr. Dale used to say that all young fellows with brains become in time meta3>hysica4 Sometimes |hey find therii6elves in doubts. AA'e err when we hastily conclude that their speculations are convictions, deliberate and final. We must practise love. It is with love as with all the otheT arts. Practice makes perfect. 'We must make a creed of kindness. I have known Churches that were families. There was the home atmosphere always. AA T hat joy ■there was in the fellowship! Churches lik-e this will woo and win the world. Men and women, beaten and battered in life, come to the Churches where there is glow and warmth and homeliness. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love, one to another." All this is not impossible. Love should be easy. We are Christians because of love. Love has redeemed us.

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RELIGIOUS WORLD. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909

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