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The Mind of the Church.

The Mind of the Church.

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Published by glennpease

REV. H. S. HOLLAND, M.A.


— St. John vi. ii, 12.

REV. H. S. HOLLAND, M.A.


— St. John vi. ii, 12.

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Published by: glennpease on May 23, 2013
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THE MID OF THE CHURCH.REV. H. S. HOLLAD, M.A. — St. John vi. ii, 12.The mind with which our risen Master for everinfluences the living Church from His throne throughHeaven is to be detected in glimpses and flashes throughthe records of His deeds while still living as a Jewamong Jews. And this because the acts and thewords which then He did, make known to us a single,and definite Person, possessed of a certain final cha-racter, type, mind, will, purpose. Just as a man isalways the same whatever he does and wherever he is,changing his time without changing himself, so withthe Lord. His personality reveals in one set of cir-cumstances what He for ever is ; and this is why weare justified in considering actions done on earth astypical of His eternal activity in the Church. WhatHe was then that He still is ; and we therefore readthe gospel story, not merely as a record of past facts,but also, that so reading, we may look up to highHeaven, like birds that sip at pools and lift their112 The Church in the Gospels.heads, — may look up and say, " Lord Jesus, I knowThee now, as Thou art before God in glory." Andhere, in the miracle of the loaves. He seems to havelet His secret, repressed till then, break out for amoment — the secret of His Church. He allows Him-self to exhibit for one short hour the plan and purposewherewith He looked to use after Eesurrection thoseTwelve whom He had chosen. Here, then, we canlook close into His mind ; here, then, we can see,indeed, the mystery of that anticipated Kingdom.We can watch the Master as He founds, and builds,and orders. Let us look at Him closely.First, what is the motive from out of which He setsHimself to ordain a Church ? It is compassion forcrowds. It had been compassion for crowds that hadfirst bent Him to call and send out those Twelve.
 
" When He saw the multitudes, He was moved withcompassion, because they fainted, and were scatteredabroad as sheep having no shepherd," and He calledunto Him His Twelve, and gave them power to healand to preach. So it had been ; and now it is thestarving of the crowds that impels Him to set thoseshepherds in motion. Compassion for hungry crowds — this, then, is the everlasting secret behind the Churchof Christ ; this is the motive which puts all in action ;this is its primary spring and source ; this is the formand fashion in which God makes Himself knownthrough the Church. The Church is the steadywitness and abiding proof of the compassion of God — of God, the great God and Father of all. Whoseeternal character displays itself in helping them toThe Mind of the Church. 113right who suffer wrong, and in feeding the hungry;Who never, at any time, left His compassion withoutwitness, in that He always sent upon all rain fromHeaven ; and now that same God sends from HeavenHis Son that He may build for the poor and needya city in the wilderness and gather Himself houseslike a flock of sheep. So wide, so universal, is thecompassion of that One Father, Who made all to be of one blood, sending His rain upon the just and uponthe unjust, and making His sun to shine on thethankful and the evil.Let us consider this in its depth, and width, andheight. It is the compassion of the entire Godheadthat builds the Church — the compassion of God, thegreat Father, made known to us through the tender-ness and tears of a human heart, in flesh and blood, inJesus Christ, His Son, our Brother. That compassion,as it is in Christ Jesus, offers itself in a shape thatenthrals and subdues with a touch of human kinship ;but, nevertheless, it is, still, in Him but a revelationof that supreme compassion which moves the Fatherto send His Son into the world. The compassionatemercy of the Father sends His Son ; and it is mademanifest and sealed to us in that hidden, yet feltSpirit, whose very ame is given Him for His pity,the Advocate, the Spirit of Consolation, the Comforter.
 
The Ministry of the Church, then, issues out of thedeep compassions of the Triune Godhead. And whatis the active force which animates, and sustains, andfills, and advances it ? Thanksgiving. Jesus, takingthe bread, lifted up His eyes, and blessed and brake— I114 ^^^ Church in the Gospels.all which St. John sums up in the words, " Jesus gavethanks : " He made His Eucharist. The thanksgivingof Jesus was the power that was infused into thebread, by which it swelled and grew and multipliedand sufficed. The thankso^ivino^ of Jesus is the breathof the Church. Just as His compassion is the form inwhich His Godhead looks out upon us through theChurch; so, in thanksgiving, Jesus makes known tous the perfection of the Creature, the crown and gloryof His Manhood. As God He comes down in pity ;in the name of mankind He looks up and gives thanks.And consider how solemn is the act. For the entirecreation grew together to reflect and repeat the gloryof God; and yet the echo of God slumbered in thehollow bowels of the dumb earth until there was onewho could wake up the shout by a living voice. Manis the first among the creatures to deliver back fromthe rolling world this conscious and delicious response,the recognition of the Father Who begat him. He,and he alone, is ature's priest, her spokesman, hermediator. It is his part, in the midst of her silence,to lift up in her name the voice of thanksgiving. Thelife that passes into him from its far home in Godis redelivered out from his lips back agam in thesound of thanks. Through thanks it completes itscircle, moving from God to God. In that thanks-giving man makes the discovery, the full disclosureof his sacred origin. Always he is in God and existsby God, but in thanksgiving he sets his own seal tothe work of God within him ; he gives back love forlove ; and there is no other end to which man ever

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