U IO . BY SARAH S.

BAKER

That they may he one ; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they may he one in us. — John xvii. 21. OUE, Elder Brother, in His teaching, now lifted up the poor things of earth to be the symbols of things heavenly, and now solemn mysteries from above were allowed to be examples for our humble imitation in our simple, everyday life. The household objects about us in our homes were thus taught a speech by which to remind us of holy counsel and a heavenly dwellingplace. Great truths, too deep for our full comprehension, were made to be to us in our earthly walk a source of guidance and consolation. There is, there must be, much in the Bible that exceeds our poor comprehension; but our Saviour has illustrated and simplified much that it is difficult for us to grasp. We might not have dared to compare the divine unity with our poor fellowships here below. Our Lord, who so well knew the oneness of the God of Love,

ASCE DED. 225 has set it before us as an example. He prayed for all who should believe in His name "that they may be one as we are one." God has given us the family as a perpetual embodiment of the truth that love is the one principle of real unity in the midst of diversity. It has been said that for the exercise of the

highest affection there should be love between two, and a mutually shared affection for a third object or some great outside interest. This is specially exemplified by the structure of the family. The husband and wife, dear to each other, have a common devotion to their little ones. Brothers and sisters have their reciprocal affection and their filial love. Yet how often the seeds of discord spring into rank, unwholesome growth in the very bosom of the family. Where there should be oneness there may be envy and jealousy, contention and alienation. Selfishness may prompt husband or wife to be dissatisfied with the way influence or rule is shared between the heads of the family. The shy husband ma} r even feel himself cast into the shadow by the brilliant conversational powers of the wife. Even a loving wife may sometimes find herself almost crushed by the force and wisdom and attainments of the husband. She may be depressed and extinguished in the presence of him whom she so cordially admires. 15

226 OUR ELDER BROTHER. Self dies hard in human nature. The once strong-minded father may think it trying to see in his declining years that it is his brilliant son who now draws around him the eager, listening circle, while the remarks of the old man are hardly heard at all, or little regarded. The mother may be wounded as she sees time after time the love of her early friends grow cold towards her, while it has taken new life towards her winning daughter.

Envy, jealousy, and selfishness cause these painful feelings, which are not the less sinful and destructive of inner peace because they are hidden from human eyes, in the depths of the turbulent heart. Among brothers and sisters the struggle for pre-eminence, or the contests about mine and thine, may creep in, even to make the nursery a scene of quarrels, — the promise of the lifelong bickerings and small rivalries that take the place of true brotherly affection. Mutual love makes a family a blessed unity. Without love a family is only an aggregate of uncongenial items. Our Lord prays for His followers, "That they may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me." To reach this loving unity must be the aim of the Church Catholic !

ASCE DED, 227 When one throb of love for our Elder Brother and for all His true followers passes round the world as the electric current speeds from land to land, then will all the nations begin to be indeed of the kindgom of our Lord and His Christ. We can each do something to bring about that happy day, by suppressing in ourselves party prejudice, and using our influence against the animosity of a contentious spirit of division.

We can join hand in hand with all them who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth, and give them a brotherly greeting. We can own the likeness of the Master wherever we see it. We can acknowledge a fellow-disciple who does not use the same attitude in prayer that we do, or sing the same sacred songs, or have the name of the same country or the same man as the label of the Church to which he belongs. Let us "love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous;" and true Christian sympathy will increase by exercise, and win responsive warmth. So shall we grow in likeness to the God of Love, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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