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A Wide Circle.

A Wide Circle.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY SARAH S. BAKER


We have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship
Him. — Matt. ii. 2.

BY SARAH S. BAKER


We have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship
Him. — Matt. ii. 2.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 16, 2013
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A WIDE CIRCLE.BY SARAH S. BAKER We have seen His star in the East, and are come to worshipHim. — Matt. ii. 2.OUR Saviour was, in His teaching and in Hislife, both democratic and cosmopolitan.ot that it was His object to overturn existingforms of government. Loyalty, not lawlessness,is the spirit of the Christian religion. OurElder Brother was democratic in the sense thatthe distinctions of life — high and low, rich andpoor, socially respectable or simply repentant — were as nothing in His sight. At His very en-trance into this world, this tendency was em-phasized. He lay in the manger of a waysideinn, a carpenter His foster-father, His mother ahumble young woman, made a wife through theloving pity and firm faith of her betrothed. Tosimple shepherds, pursuing their modest callingat night, bands of angels announced His coming.A Jew by blood and birth, limiting the sceneof His earthly ministry to His native land andcondemned to death in the sacred city of His48 OUR ELDER BROTHER.people, He was yet, from the beginning of Hiscareer below, to be not only the king of the Jews,but the Eedeemer of all mankind. He rever-enced the law and institutions of Israel's race,and so loved the doomed capital that he criedout with tears, "0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, howoften would I have gathered thy children to-gether as a hen gathereth her chickens under her
 
wings, and ye would not! Behold your houseis left unto you desolate ! " Yet in Him all thefamilies of the earth should be blessed. He wasnot the prophet or Messiah of one people only,but the ends of the earth should praise Him!That lone star that guided those seekers of truthfrom the far East to come with their offerings tothe stable of Bethlehem was the first flash of thelight that was to lighten the Gentiles, and thepromise of the distant day when all nationsshould bow the knee to Jesus, and lift up to Himunited prayer and praise. How constantly, — bydirect teaching, by miracle, and by example, — our Lord rebuked that selfish kind of patriotismwhich would arrogate to itself all honor, and allclaim on the Divine blessing, to the contempt of outside strangers and foreigners, and their exclu-sion from the partaking of the richest blessingsof Heaven !The spirit that limits the circle of true Chris-tians to this cluster of believers here, conductingA CHILD. 49their public worship according to this establishedrule, clothing their priests precisely so at thealtar, celebrating this feast in this authorizedmanner, or giving that doctrine the supreme pre-eminence, is quite foreign to the spirit of theGreat Founder of our religion. The glad revela-tion of the Gospel of love and self-sacrifice comesto us with a freedom that fits it for all times andall nations. Many are the vessels and many theforms that can convey its life-giving essence.Away with the narrowness that divides brotherfrom brother by the church walls, which to Himwho sitteth in the heavens are but as are to us
 
the irregularities on a polished surface, invisibleto the naked eye. Let us love and give andpraise, walking in the purity of God's law, andaccepting the great redemption through Christ,for all who will believe on His name and followHis example!True religion begins in the family, makingdearer every tie of blood, and through love oblit-erating self and joining master and mistress, chil-dren and servants, in one glad household, walkingheavenward together, each in its place, but with-out pride of place, or murmuring rebellion, orservile obsequiousness. Where love reigns thereare order and obedience and mutual help and sym-pathy. Such households are the little templesin which the Great High-Priest is ever present.450 OUR ELDER BROTHER.After the family comes friendship. He wholoved Martha and Mary and Lazarus, and com-panied specially with Peter and James and John,understands this need of the human heart, andprovides for its innocent gratification. He givesthat Christian love and fellowship which canmake the room where two or three are gatheredtogether in love and prayer, as well as wheremany are joined in the great congregations, asthe entrance gate of heaven !But true Christian love is not shut up to thedomestic hearth, or limited to the circle of friend-ship. It is like the fountain that leaps to thesunlight, and scatters refreshing drops not onlyon the rich greenness that encircles it, but on the

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