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The Good Shepherd, And His Sheep.

The Good Shepherd, And His Sheep.

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"/ am the Good Sheplierd^ and Tcnow my STieep^ and am
Mown of Mine.''^ — St. John, x. 14.

"/ am the Good Sheplierd^ and Tcnow my STieep^ and am
Mown of Mine.''^ — St. John, x. 14.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 18, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AD HIS SHEEP. REV. HOKATIO SOUTHGATE, D. D., "/ am the Good Sheplierd^ and Tcnow my STieep^ and am Mown of Mine.''^ — St. John, x. 14. TT is Christ who speaks, — the one Shepherd of the one Fold, which is His Church. He speaks of His Disciples, and says, that they are His Sheep^ and are known of Him, and know Him. He says, that He is the Good Shepherd,, one who careth for the Sheep, who is no hireling, whose the Sheep are, whose voice they know, and whom they follow. He is the Good Shepherd, — there is but one, — the Fold has no other Head, — there is no other Shepherd over the whole Flock. He is one and alone, in His rule and right, even as _ there is but one Fold. Let us trace, for a few moments, these character- istics of the Shepherd and His Sheep, especially their mutual knowledge, — for, that is the founda- SER. XII.] THE GOOD SHEPHERD, ETC. 185 tion of all their relations — the condition of His care and of their obedience. "I know My Sheep," He says, "and am known of Mine." "They hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." And not they alone who were then present with Him, and were counted as His Disciples, and heard His words. For, He says, " other Sheep I have, which are not of this Fold," that is, not of this nation of the Jews, to which the true Church was then confined ; " ihem.^
also, I must bring, and they shall hear My voice ; and there shall be one Fold and one Shepherd." This speaks of other nations and of other people, of sons yet to be born, of Sheep yet to be gathered into the Fold. They are those for whom the Good Shepherd prayed, just before His last sufferings and His death; when He said, "either pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their (the Apostles') word."* And here we find two things implied: First, that they who were to compose His Flock were they who should helieve on Him ; and, secondly, that they were to believe through the word of His Apostles^ among whom He was then praying. Their word, then, is Christ's word : and thus it is, that we may hear His voice, though we see Him not in the * St. John, xvii. 20. 1S6 THE GOOD SHEPHERD, [SERM. flesb, and know Him on\y tlirough the testinaony of His appointed Witnesses. For, He Himself says of them, " He tliat receiveth you, receiveth Me."* And thus it is, that we must be "in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship," if we would be in Christ's Fold. Hence, they who talk of hearing Him, and listen not to His Apostles, or boast of belonging to His Flock, and yet are not in the Apostolic Com- munion, talk and boast not only of what is obvi- ously untrue, but of what is plainly impossible. For, Christ's voice reaches us only through His Apostles' words, and His Flock is gathered only by their labors, — so that, without them, we neither hear His voice, nor follow Him, nor are included in His Fold. They would do well to think of this who talk of personal union with Christ, and yet for-
get, and care not for, that fellowship with the Apos- tles through which such union is created and main- tained. But, on the other hand, we must not forget that it is, also, through a personal and living faith in Christ that we know Him, and are known of Him. Without this, whatever may be our outward com- munion, we are not His : and, though we may be in His Fold, we are not of it ; since, we hear not His voice, and do not follow Him. This is the * St. Matt. X. 40; St. John, xiii. 20. XII.] AD HIS SHEEP. 187 true criterion of Discipleship,— that we hear His voice and follow Him, or, in other words, that we bring forth much fruit ; for, so it is, He says, that we are His Disciples.* The bringing forth fruit is the same as following Him, only under another figure ; and it is thus alone that, being in His Fold, we prove, that we know Him, or that He knows us. It is only to the Sheep who folloio Him, that He acts, or can act, the part of a Good Shepherd. Otherwise, we wander in devious ways, are left to the prowHng wolf, and listen to the voice of stran- gers. But to those who know Him, and, knowing, fol- low Him, He is, indeed, the Good Shepherd, — leading them to green pastures and by the side of the still waters of His. love, bestowing upon them the care of a Defender and a Helper, living with them, and abiding with them, evermore. In this character, let us now contemplate Him. He is the " Good Shepherd:' In those countries

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