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tell us the truth, we are forced to the conclusion that all who are not thus made one, and who yet plead for sects, are not sanctified, not in possession of the glory.

But let us hear the testimony of the Word once more: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”. Eph. 4:11-13. Here again this beautiful fruit of perfected holiness is recorded; namely, unity. The various gifts of the ministerial calling are all given of God, and all center in the paramount object of the perfection of the saints, in which experience they “all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,” a perfect body. Christ “made of twain [Jews and Gentiles] one new man," a new church; and, thank God, he has provided for the perfect holiness and unity of this church of the new covenant. The perfection of the saints is attained in entire sanctification (Heb. 10:14), and “the unity of the faith” is its inevitable fruit. The language implies two things: first, they are all brought into the one faith, the faith once for all delivered to the saints; second, they are not left in various and conflicting views and interpretations of the one faith. Nay, the “unity of the faith” implies one faith and a perfect uniformity in the understanding of that faith.

So we plant our feet on the sure Word of God and by its authority affirm that God has made full provision, in every respect, for the perfect harmony in faith, life, and teaching of all who honestly wish to know the truth and obey the same. Therefore perfect unity is a law and characteristic of God's church in its normal condition.

But before we pass from this point, we must expose the perverse reasonings of modern heretics. In one strain of logic they affirm that it is all right for the Christian world to be divided into so many different shades of belief and to have such a variety of church organization; that thereby the gospel has been more extensively spread and more people evangelized, because everybody can find a church to suit him. And when the Word of God is brought forward to show that all God's people should be one, they seek to cover the enormous sin of schisms by saying, “All God's people are one.” Now while it must be admitted that in the hearts of all who possess any degree of saving grace there is a measure of inward fellowship and a tendency to draw together, it is equally true that there is such a thing as the sin of division. Had not Christ seen that it was possible for divisions to be brought in among his disciples, he would not have so earnestly prayed that they should all be one. It is also true that although there are men and women in the various organized divisions who have passed from death unto life, they can only "live at a poor dying ratewhile they are fenced apart by the party names and creeds. As we have said, the tendency of all who profess any measure of the love of God is to draw together and assemble together; but this very inward bent of the Spirit of God is denied this course by the control of party interests and party lords. And so the Spirit, grieved and hindered, gradually dies out of the heart, and the sectarian spirit only is left to animate the profession.

So, then, be it understood (1) that perfect unity is the order of God's church and his will in all that believe; (2) that disciples of Christ may be in a scattered condition in sects, and are in all the Protestant sects, so far as real Christians compose their membership; (3) that where separations of any kind are brought in between truly converted men, the church is not in the normal state, and spiritual death must sooner or later ensue to the body thus disintegrated; and (4) that the forming of sects, or the organizing of divisions, both destroys the church and prevents the salvation of the world.


The church of God contains all true believers. As salvation constitutes us members of it, all the saved are its members. No one can be a Christian outside of the divine church. The church is the body of Christ, and the body of Christ includes all the redeemed in heaven and earth.

This is one of the principal distinguishing features between the true church and the false, between the divine ecclesia and man-made institutions. This one truth, the catholicity of the church of God, locates every sect. The church of God includes the family of God, and it is but one family in heaven and on earth; therefore it includes in its membership every Christian, all the redeemed in paradise and all the saved on earth. Including all Christians, it is not a sect, but is the whole. Now, a church that does not include in its membership all Christians in heaven and earth can not be God's church, and hence it is a sect. All the religious denominations taken together come far short of including all Christians. Before any of these institutions arose, there were millions of Christians. None of the blood-washed saints in paradise are now members of any of these earthborn institutions; and right here upon earth there are tens of thousands of happy saints in robes of righteousness who have come out and stand clear of creed-bound churches, and there are many thousands of others who are saved from sin and have never joined any of them. Therefore all denominations put together, both Roman, Greek, and Protestant, do not constitute the universal church, but are only sects.

In holding membership in the one universal church and in no other, we stand clear of the

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