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The True Sheep.

The True Sheep.

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ST. JOHN x. 14.

" I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known
of Mine."

ST. JOHN x. 14.

" I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known
of Mine."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE TRUE SHEEP.BY HERY EDWARD MAIG, M.A,ST. JOH x. 14." I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am knownof Mine."OUR Lord here says, that He and His sheep knoweach other ; that His knowledge of them is one of the tokens of the Good Shepherd ; and that theirknowledge of Him is one of the tokens of the truesheep. " Verily, verily, I say unto you, He thatentereth not by the door into the sheep-fold, butclimbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the dooris the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porteropeneth ; and the sheep hear his voice ; and hecalleth his own sheep by name ; and leadeththem out. And when he putteth forth his ownsheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep followhim : for they know his voice. And a strangerwill they not follow, but will flee from him : for22 THE TRUE SHEEP. [SERM.they know not the voice of strangers." " I amthe Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and amknown of Mine." " But ye believe not, becauseye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. Mysheep hear My voice, and I know them, and theyfollow Me." 1ow what is this knowledge by which His truesheep are known ?There are many kinds of knowledge, of whichonly one can be the true.There is a knowledge which even fallen angelshave of Him. St. James tells us that " the devils
believe and tremble." St. Luke, that the spiritof an unclean devil cried out in Christ s presence" with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone ; whathave we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of azareth?art Thou come to destroy us ? I know Thee whoThou art ; the Holy One of God ;" and that" devils came out of many, crying out, and saying,Thou art Christ the Son of God. And He rebuking them suffered them not to speak ; for theyknew that He was Christ." And others a<raino" cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee,Jesus, Thou Son of God ? art Thou come hitherto torment us before the time ?" 2 This is a knowledge of the spiritual intelligence, which mav be1 St. John x. 1-5, 14, 26, 27.2 St. Luke iv. 33, 34, 41 ; St. Matt. viii. 29.II.] THE TRUE SHEEP. 23possessed in energetic wickedness, and with directresistance of the will against the will of Christ.Again, there is also a knowledge which all theregenerate possess. The preaching of the Church,the reading of Holy Scriptures, the public commemoration of fasts and festivals, the traditionof popular Christianity, and all the knowledgewhich from childhood we unconsciously imbibe,give us a general knowledge of the evangelicalfacts and of the history of our Lord. But besidesand before all this, there is a knowledge whichis in the grace of regeneration itself. There is inevery living soul, born again of the Holy Ghost, agift of enlightening. The great truths and lawsof God s kingdom are as a germ implanted in theconscience ; latent, indeed, and undeveloped, butthere in virtue and in power. For this cause, baptism is called our illumination. 1 It is impossibleto say what it may bestow upon the spiritual capacities of the soul ; what faculties and perceptions,
what passive and subtil qualities may be infusedinto us by our regeneration.There seems to be in those who are baptized,whether holy or unholy, an inward sense whichhardly so much answers to truth as anticipates it.They know it almost before they hear it. They, asit were, forebode it before it is declared. As the1 Heb. x. 32.24 THE TRUE SHEEP. [SERM.whole power of number seems by nature to existin children, needing only to be wisely elicited byquestions and leading thoughts ; so in those whoare born again, the first axioms and principles of truth seem mysteriously impressed by the grace of baptism.The knowledge of Christ, of His name andperson, that He is the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, born of the Virgin, crucified, buried,risen, ascended into heaven, and coming again to judge both the quick and the dead, all thesethings seem as a sort of second consciousness,which men may sin against, but cannot get rid of.It clings to them whatsoever they do, wheresoeverthey go, howsoever they deny it. The worldly,trifling, lightminded ; the impure, false, and sensual ; even blasphemers, scoffers, infidels, all areheld in a bondage of consciousness, which, likethe unseen but all-seeing Eye, follows them everywhere. It pierces them with fear, and, when theysin, turns their hearts within them into stone. Itis this that makes evil men so irritable, sullen, reck less, and desperate. When they are most raincrO J73and vehement against the truth, it is because it isthen most intensely torturing them. We often think that men are beyond the power of truth, becausethey turn with so much wrath against it, defying

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