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The Representative Ministry.

The Representative Ministry.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

EDITED BY REV. HENRY NEWLAND,


1 Peter, ii. 25.

" For ye were as sheep going astray ; but are now
returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls"

EDITED BY REV. HENRY NEWLAND,


1 Peter, ii. 25.

" For ye were as sheep going astray ; but are now
returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls"

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 25, 2014
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THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.

EDITED BY REV. HERY EWLAD,
1 Peter, ii. 25.
" For ye were as sheep going astray ; but are now
returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls"
I some respects, the lesson which we find in
this Epistle for this day is precisely similar to
many of those which have been impressed
upon us between Christmas and Easter. We
are called upon, in it, to endure afflictions;
and we are shown how to endure them by the
example of Christ, that same example which
has been held forth to us throughout the
whole teaching of the Church. But the text
opens to us a type which, common as it is in
the Scripture, appears in the Weekly Gospel
now for the first time. Men had not always
been called upon for such great acts of endur
ance and resignation as St. Peter speaks of
in this Epistle, but they were called upon for
them now, because they were no longer like
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 251
sheep going astray, but they were now
returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of their
souls. The new image is that of a flock and
a shepherd. In the teaching of the Church
from Christmas-tide up to the present season
men have been considered as individual Chris
tians, and have been trained to follow the ex
ample of Christ, as He walks before each one
of us, just as individually as if there was not
another Christian in the world. But all great
efforts are to be made by those who are
gathered together in His ame, by those who
form the flock under the shepherd, and thus,
under His guidance, help each other in their
journey through the wilderness.
There is no figure so universal throughout
the whole Bible as that of a flock led by a
shepherd, because the whole Bible is the re
velation of a Church led by a Saviour; and
there is no type in the whole world which
conveys so lively an idea of a Church as that
of creatures whose sole idea of safety or com
fort lies in keeping together and following a
leader. There is no man here, who knows
anything about sheep, who, when he sees a
sheep separated and cast out from the flock,
as it were, does not know that that sheep is
sick, and will die, and that the only proof of
recovery is the being restored to the flock.
252 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
Therefore it is that the sheep is the Scrip
tural type of the Christian as a Churchman.
The image of the flock repeats the doctrine of
the ark, and of the march through the wilder
ness, by a type that is familiar to everyone,
and daily before our eyes. As those who
were within the ark were saved, while those
without perished in the flood; as those who
remained with the host entered the Promised
Land, while those who were separated from it
must have perished in the wilderness ; so those
who are in the fold are in safety, under the
care of the Shepherd, while those who stray
from it, and are not recovered, and those who
are cast out from it, are cast into outer dark
ness."
This new image, therefore, the flock, is the
type of the Church. Everything in the
Church s teaching is revealed to us in order;
not one word of all this is shown us in the
earlier part of the Church s teaching, as the
Lord did not reveal these things to His dis
ciples before the Resurrection ; so the Church
does not reveal them to us before Easter, and
that for the same reason, because, till we had
mastered the doctrines of Easter, our minds
were not open to receive them. We can no
more receive our faith at once than we can re
ceive the full daylight at once. Spiritual light,
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 253
like the light of the sun, must dawn upon
us gradually, for the Word of God is its own
interpreter. One dark saying revealed, if only
it be laid to heart, if only it be acted upon in
truth and in sincerity, is that which throws
light upon another.
One of these dark passages is the Gospel for
this day, and its illumination is the dark pas
sage which was explained to us last Sunday.
But is the Gospel for the day a dark
passage? It seems perfectly plain and easy.
You would say that you understand it already,
that every one understands about the good
Shepherd, who lays down His life for His sheep.
There are many things in Scripture which
lie under the surface, and the difficulties of
which are not, at first sight, apparent. Re
member how confident the Apostles were that
they understood the Lord. " Lo," said they,
" now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no
proverb ; now we are sure that Thou knowest
all things ; by this we believe that Thou earnest
forth from God." But the Lord knew their
hearts better than they did themselves. " Do
ye now believe?" He said, " behold the hour
cometh, yea, is now corne, when ye shall be
scattered each man to his own, and shall leave
Me alone."
Let us look a little deeper into this day s
254 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
Gospel. Who is the Good Shepherd? You
will say at once, the Lord Himself, and you
will say right, for it is He who has told you
so. But if He is Himself the Shepherd, who
is the Door by which the Shepherd enters?
For the Lord says also, " He that entereth in
by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep."
Who, then, is this door? On this you can
have no doubt either ; for then saith Jesus to
them again, " Verily, verily, I say unto you,
I am the Door of the sheep." Can the same
Lord, then, be the Shepherd and the Door
also?
The very Apostles, we are told, the very
men who heard this from the living lips of
the Word of God, understood not those things
which He spake unto them. Do you under
stand them? Scripture may seem easy to
him who looks at it lightly, not to him who
searches into it ; for Scripture treats of God,
and the more we know of Him, the more we
find there is to be known.
There is no way of understanding this at
all, except by the light of that revelation
which the Lord Himself made to His disciples,
when they were met together on the evening
of that great First Day of the Week, that He
was at the same time absent from, and present
with, His Church.
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 255
This, which \ve considered last Sunday,
seemed at first absolutely contradictory to
itself; and while it remained so, everything
which depends on it must be uncertain, and
unsatisfactory also. The doctrine of this day s
Gospel is one of these things which depends
on it. Hence it was, that when the disciples
heard it, u they understood not what things
they were which He spake unto them." When
the Lord told them, " I am come forth from
the Father, and I am come unto the world;
again I leave the world, and go to the Father,"
they imagined they understood Him, they said
He spoke plainly. Yet how did they recon
cile this with the equally plain declaration,
" Lo, I am with you alwa} T s, even to the end
of the world?" With them, and with the
Father! in the world, though He had left it!
Can we wonder that they understood not these
things? Could we have understood them had
they not been revealed to us in the Gospel of
last Sunday ? Revealed, I say, not explained ;
for the things of God are not capable of ex
planation to us, who in this world, " see as
through a glass darkly." Unless the risen,
but invisible, and, so to speak, absent Christ,
had revealed His actual Presence among the
two or three who were gathered together in
His ame, and had announced to them by
256 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
actual vision, " Lo, [thus] I am with you
always, even unto the end of the world."
By the light of this visible and palpable
revelation, we begin to understand with the
Apostles, that in some mysterious manner,
absolutely incomprehensible to our senses,
what the Lord said of His human nature is
distinct from what He said of His divinity,
that " He does go to the Father, and that He
does abide with His disciples; but that He
goes to the Father in His human nature, and
abides with us in the form in which He is
equal to the Father." (Bede.)
This is the key to the whole; when the
mind has once taken in this, and stored it up
as a matter of faith, the rest is easy. Having
realised the fact that our Blessed Lord, at the
same time, and in the same Person, is absent
from us, and present with us, we begin to
comprehend next, how He is Himself the
Head of His own Church, how He governs as
a King His own kingdom, how, by His own
inspiration, He issues His own laws, chastises,
forgives, remits sins, and retains them, rules
in fact, really, and personally; and yet, while
he does all this, at the very same time rules
by His representatives; how His Bishops and
Priests are His stewards and His ambassadors ;
how they sit upon thrones and judge the tribes
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 257
of Israel ; how they bestow peace their peace,
though it is the peace of God; how they re
mit sins, and they are remitted, and retain
sins, and they are retained.
Thus far had we proceeded last Sunday,
and now, taking this second revelation also as
our key, we proceed yet farther, and unlock
the difficult and mysterious declarations which
we meet with in the Gospel of this day, and
say that Christ is Himself the Shepherd, and
that Christ Himself is the Door by which
alone the Shepherd enters; and the solution is
this, Christ and His Church are, as we have
seen, one, and thus, in order to show us that
the marriage of the Lamb is complete, that
the union between the Bridegroom and His
Spouse the Church, is actual and indissoluble,
He speaks of Himself and His representatives
by the same name, and under the same figure.
He, the Shepherd, and he that entereth in by
the Door alike, is the Shepherd of the sheep;
so we read it, but so did not St. John write it.
His words are, a shepherd, not the Shepherd,
Christ alone is that, " I am the good Shep
herd," he says ; not the Shepherd, then, but a
shepherd that enters by the Door and the
Door is Christ.
The very same idea is carried out whenever
the Lord acts through man, " How shall they
258 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
preach except they be sent? o man taketh
this honour upon him, except he be called of
God, as was Aaron." o man can be an
ambassador, unless his king has commissioned
him, nor a steward, unless his master has ap
pointed him; but when he has entered by the
appointed means, he is a preacher, a priest, an
ambassador, a steward, or a shepherd; he re
presents his master, and acts for him, and by
him at once.
We, then, are the shepherds, holding of
Christ, sent by Christ, authorised by Christ,
and called shepherds only because we represent
the Great Shepherd. And as the object of the
last Sunday s lesson was to show us how it is
that the Lord in Heaven is present with us on
earth, and how the departed King governs His
Kingdom, and the absent householder dis
tributes to his household their me/it in due
season, so the object of the present Sunday is
to show, who are the shepherds to whom the
Lord has given the commission to feed His
sheep, and who are not. ow, the true shep
herd enters by the door, and the Door is
Christ. "As My Father hath sent Me, even
so send I you," to him the porter openeth.
" He breathed on them," as if He should say,
" Receive ye the Holy Ghost, for the office of,
and work of, a priest in the Church of God ;"
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 259
that office, and that work, is " to make dis
ciples of all nations, baptising them in the
ame of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost," and the authorisation of it
is that which we heard last Sunday, u Whose
soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto
them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are
retained." These are the true shepherds, and
thus they enter the fold ; all that have entered
in by any other way, are thieves and robbers.
Christ, therefore, is the Door of the sheep-
fold. u But," says Augustine, u if lie is the
Door, how doth lie enter in by Himself?
Just as He knows the Father by Himself, and
we know the Father by Him, so He enters
into the fold by Himself, and we enter into
the fold by Him. A light shows other things,
indeed, but it shows itself too. There is but
one Shepherd, for though the rulers of the
Church, those who are her sons and not hire
lings, are shepherds, it is because they are all
members of that one Shepherd. His office of
a Shepherd He hath permitted His members
to bear. Peter is a shepherd ; the other
Apostles are shepherds ; all good Bishops are
shepherds ; but none of us calleth himself the
door of the fold." That emphatically is Christ
alone. The ministers, the Sacraments, the
Church itself, derive their life from Him.
260 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
The Word of God would be to us but the
word of man, were it not for Christ, who is
the Door by which we have access to the
Councils of the Father, the Door by which
"we go in and find pasture;" therefore said
the Lord to His Apostles, when He was about
to leave them, " I am with you always, even
to the end of the world."
In these words there is something far be
yond the promise which He had made before,
" I will not leave you comfortless, I will come
unto you;" that promise had been kept; He
was come; and this is a consequence from it.
He had sent them as His representatives, to
bear the very office which He had borne Him
self, to proclaim the law of God, to speak
those words of forgiveness or condemnation,
which spoken on earth would be confirmed in
Heaven. But it was no separate or inde
pendent authority, that He had made over to
them : as in the old times the law had been
given from Mount Sinai, the base of which
was visible, itself of the earth and resting
visibly upon it, while the head was above the
clouds, so was it now; the Spiritual Sinai was
built upon the Apostles and Prophets, and
these were on the earth and were visible;
while their head, that which alone united them
into one, and formed them into a Spiritual
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 261
mountain, was unseen and beyond the clouds.
From this one mountain, on earth yet in
Heaven, proceeded the Word of God the
law of God s Church. " It was not that the
Apostles were to be the delegates of an absent,
but the visible representatives of an invisibly
present Lord. He was not to go away alto
gether, though He left them in the flesh ; He
was to be Himself the present unseen King,
even in the long and toilsome days of sorrow
and fasting, when the Bridegroom should seem
to be taken away from them, and the Church
should wait in patience and earnestness for
His reappearing."*
Therefore it was that the sheep heard their
voice, the voice, indeed, of the visible and de
legated shepherds, but the inspiration of the
one Good Shepherd, who had laid down His
life for the sheep, for this Voice, like that in
the wilderness, was given from the Mountain.
Year after year, century after century, the
Lord added to the Church daily such as should
be saved. The stone out of this mountain
without hands, grew, indeed, as had been pre
dicted of it, and filled the whole earth; but
there never was a change in it still as it was
at first, so it remains now built upon the visible
foundations of the Apostles and Prophets, still,
* Moberley.
262 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
as at first, the invisible but present Lord is its
head; wider and wider did the voice resound,
beginning at Jerusalem, the ambassadors of
the Great King continued and still continue to
make disciples of all nations, baptising them
in the ame of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost; but that Voice was
still the same. As it was in the days of the
Apostles, such it was in the days of the
Apostolic men, and such it is in ours ; and the
sheep heard the Voice and flocked to it. Paul,
and Peter, and James, and John, had indeed
gone to their rest, but the brethren " stood
fast, and held the traditions they had been
taught, whether by word or by their Epistles,"
the Lord s Promise came true, u they were
followers of them, even as they themselves
had been of Christ," and u kept the ordi
nances," even as those who had received them
first, had delivered them.
And so it is to our own days, still there are
Apostles on earth holding their commissions,
and deriving their authority from the Lord in
Heaven, and from Him alone ; sent, as He was
sent, by the Father; ordained of God, as was
Aaron; and still also the sheep hear their
voice, the one unchanged and unchangeable
voice, that now as then proceeds from the
Spiritual Sinai, the Holy Catholic and Apos-
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 263
tolic Church. These the sheep follow, for
they know the voice.
But a stranger they will not follow, but will
flee from, for they know not the voice of
strangers. Few of us have considered the
true bearing of this prophecy, for prophecy it
is; when they look round them and see, or
think they see, that the sheep do follow
strangers, they imagine that the promise of
the Lord is become of none effect ; when they
" see all Israel scattered upon the hills, as
sheep that have not a shepherd, they imagine
that the Lord says now, as He said by His
Prophet Micaiah, " These have no master, let
them enter every man to his house in peace,"
and thus think that there is no longer a
Church of Christ, but that every man may
return to his house, and build his own church
according to his own interpretation of the
Voice which spoke indeed in former times,
but is silent now and without interpreter.
It is not so. This is not the meaning of the
promise. From the days when Korah, Dathan,
and Abiram " gathered themselves together
against Moses and Aaron, and said unto them,
Ye take too much upon you, seeing the con
gregation are holy, every one of them, and the
Lord is among them," from those days until
that dispensation had passed away, and from
264 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
the day, when one boasted himself of Paul,
another of Apollos, and another of Cephas,
to our own days ; and from our own days even
to the end of the world, there have been, there
are, and there will be those, who, like Theudas
and Judas, " boast themselves to be some
body," and " draw away much people after
them." While human nature is human nature,
this must be so ; as in matters of duty, men
follow their own wills rather than the Will of
God, so will they also in matters of faith.
When we hear that there are no longer thieves,
and murderers, and adulterers in the world,
then we may expect that there will be no
more heretics and schismatics; but not till
then. St. Paul tells us that there must be
heresies among us. He tells us that it is our
temptation, the trial of our faith. It must be
so, he says, " in order that they which are
approved, may be made manifest among us."
Our Lord Himself predicts it. " Woe to the
world," He says, " because of offences, for it
must needs be that offences come, but woe to
that man by whom the offence cometh." And
therefore it was, that St. Paul knew, and we
know it, too, by sad experience, that " that of
ourselves men arise, speaking perverse things,
to draw disciples after them," and that dis
ciples are drawn.
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 265
When we see this, we think that the sheep
do hear their voice, and that the Lord s Word
is nought. It is not so. We are thinking of
the present day only, we are thinking of that
which we see, we are measuring the existence
of the Church by our own short space of life ;
we are forgetting that this Church has already
endured for eighteen hundred years, holding
fast the very same traditions which it received
from the Apostles, without the loss or the
change of one single doctrine ; that during
these eighteen hundred years, more sects,
and heresies, and schisms, than any single
man can even name, much more remember
and describe, have seemed to rend it; that
they have all had their day, have risen,
flourished, faded, and have been forgotten; so
that it was in appearance only that they rent
the Church, in reality it was that they were
rent from it.
To convince yourselves of this, you need
not study Church History; look only at the
Athanasian Creed. Can you understand it?
Do not almost all its clauses seem strange to
you ? Have you yourselves the smallest
doubt on any one of the points which it par
ticularises so minutely? Does any one of you
imagine that there are three Gods, or three
Lords, or three Fathers, or three Sons ? Does
54
264 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
the day, when one boasted himself of Paul,
another of Apollos, and another of Cephas,
to our own days ; and from our own days even
to the end of the world, there have been, there
are, and there will be those, who, like Theudas
and Judas, u boast themselves to be some
body," and " draw away much people after
them." While human nature is human nature,
this must be so ; as in matters of duty, men
follow their own wills rather than the Will of
God, so will they also in matters of faith.
When we hear that there are no longer thieves,
and murderers, and adulterers in the world,
then we may expect that there will be no
more heretics and schismatics; but not till
then. St. Paul tells us that there must be
heresies among us. He tells us that it is our
temptation, the trial of our faith. It must be
so, he says, a in order that they which are
approved, may be made manifest among us."
Our Lord Himself predicts it. " Woe to the
world," He says, " because of offences, for it
must needs be that offences come, but woe to
that man by whom the offence cometh." And
therefore it was, that St. Paul knew, and we
know it, too, by sad experience, that " that of
ourselves men arise, speaking perverse things,
to draw disciples after them," and that dis
ciples are drawn.
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 265
When we see this, we think that the sheep
do hear their voice, and that the Lord s Word
is nought. It is not so. We are thinking of
the present day only, we are thinking of that
which we see, we are measuring the existence
of the Church by our own short space of life ;
we are forgetting that this Church has already
endured for eighteen hundred years, holding
fast the very same traditions which it received
from the Apostles, without the loss or the
change of one single doctrine ; that during
these eighteen hundred years, more sects,
and heresies, and schisms, than any single
man can even name, much more remember
and describe, have seemed to rend it; that
they have all had their day, have risen,
flourished, faded, and have been forgotten; so
that it was in appearance only that they rent
the Church, in reality it was that they were
rent from it.
To convince yourselves of this, you need
not study Church History; look only at the
Athanasian Creed. Can you understand it?
Do not almost all its clauses seem strange to
you ? Have you yourselves the smallest
doubt on any one of the points which it par
ticularises so minutely ? Does any one of you
imagine that there are three Gods, or three
Lords, or three Fathers, or three Sons ? Does
54
268 THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY.
speaketh the ame they had, the reality
they had not."
But if they enter not in by the Door, they
had climbed up some other way; they were
strangers, and a stranger the sheep will not
follow, but will flee from him, for they know
not the voice of strangers.
Other sheep the Lord has, which are not of
this fold. He has other means of saving men
besides those which He has revealed to His
Church, and has commissioned His ambassa
dors to declare; but these are the means by
which He saves you. The Good Shepherd laid
down His Life for the sheep of His fold, but
not for them only He laid down His Life for
all mankind. Other sheep, therefore, He has,
and them will He bring; when, how, and from
whence, it matters not to us to inquire, so long
as we do the duty that has been commanded
us, and hold fast the faith that has been re
vealed to us. Many of these has He brought
already, through our own means and those of
our predecessors ; many also has He brought,
and will bring, by means of which we know
nothing. One thing we do know, and that is,
that He will bring them, that the fold is here,
the one Catholic and Apostolic Church in
which we believe ; that when brought, and not
before, they, as well as we, shall hear His
THE REPRESETATIVE MIISTRY. 269
Voice, and that then we shall all be one fold,
under one Shepherd. It is not for us to ask,
how can these things be ? who, beyond the pale
of the visible Church, shall be saved? with
men these things may be impossible, but with
God all things are possible. This, and this
only, does concern us who have entered already
by the door, that we abide in the fold in which
God has placed us ; that we follow the shep
herds whom Christ has appointed for us ; that
we hold fast the faith that the Holy Ghost
has revealed to us ; and then, without choos
ing out leaders for ourselves, or following
novelties of which we have no such custom,
neither the Churches of God, " that we tarry
the Lord s leisure, and wait in faith and in
humility, till He accomplish the number of
His Elect, and hasten His kingdom." Amen.
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