Ephesians 4:3
and with diligence to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Sermons
Advantages of UnityW. Attersol.Ephesians 4:3
Exhortation to UnityAnon.Ephesians 4:3
False UnityT. Guthrie, D. D.Ephesians 4:3
How to Get and Maintain PeacePaul Bayne.Ephesians 4:3
How Unity is to be AttainedH. G. Salter.Ephesians 4:3
Love of Christian UnityEphesians 4:3
Need of HarmonyEphesians 4:3
Need of UnityEphesians 4:3
Real UnityF. W. Robertson, M. A.Ephesians 4:3
Si Collidimur, FrangimurJ. Trapp.Ephesians 4:3
Spiritual UnityHamilton.Ephesians 4:3
Strength of UnionEphesians 4:3
The Fulness of the UnityJ. Pulsford.Ephesians 4:3
The Promotion of Unity Among Members of Thy Same ChurchC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 4:3
The Unity of the ChurchJ. H. Evans, M. A.Ephesians 4:3
The Unity of the Church of ChristA. Mackennal, D. D.Ephesians 4:3
The Unity of the SpiritC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 4:3
The Unity of the SpiritPaul Bayne.Ephesians 4:3
The Unity of the Spirit and the Mode of its KeepingT. Croskery Ephesians 4:3
The Unity of the Spirit: the Bond of PeaceR. S. Candlish, D. D.Ephesians 4:3
Unity Aids WorkDr. Cumming.Ephesians 4:3
Unity Among DissimilaritiesF. W. Robertson, M. A.Ephesians 4:3
Unity in the Bond of PeaceEphesians 4:3
Unity is StrengthT. Guthrie, D. D.Ephesians 4:3
Wherein the Unity of the Church ConsistsF. W. Robertson, M. A.Ephesians 4:3
Walking WorthilyW.F. Adeney Ephesians 4:1-3
Walking Worthy of Our VocationD. Thomas Ephesians 4:1-3
ExhortationR. Finlayson Ephesians 4:1-16
The Unity of the ChurchR.M. Edgar Ephesians 4:1-16
The Unities of Christianity a Reason for Union Amongst ChristiansD. Thomas Ephesians 4:3-6
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond- of peace.

I. CONSIDER THE NATURE OF THIS UNITY.

1. It is not the unity of the body, the Church. That is an immutable unity which man cannot keep. God alone keeps it. Neither are we commanded to make the unity of the Spirit, but simply to keep it - for it exists, in a sense, independently of man's fidelity; but in the degree in which it is kept in the bond of peace, it will eventually lead to visible oneness.

2. Much less is it a unity of external organization. That unity existed already at Ephesus. It is rather a unity in view of internal differences, which must have existed at Ephesus, as in other Churches which had a mixed membership of Jews and Gentiles. Christ did undoubtedly make both one on the cross, but the apostles allowed a considerable diversity of order and usage to exist in the Churches, according to the dominance of the Jewish or the Gentile element in them. There were Churches that followed the rule of Moses - the apostles themselves holding by the ceremonial law till the end of their lives (Acts 21:20-26). And there were Churches that did not observe days nor follow Jewish usage, but took a course authorized by apostolic command itself. If the differences that existed in the days of the apostles did not destroy the unity of the body, it is difficult to see how similar differences in order and worship can destroy it now.

3. The unity of the Spirit is that unity of which the Spirit is the Author. Its indwelling is the principle of unity in the body of Christ. Man, therefore, cannot make it, nor can he destroy it, though he can thwart or disturb its manifestations. The use of the word "endeavoring" implies that it may be kept with a greater or lesser degree of fidelity.

II. CONSIDER HOW THIS UNITY IS TO BE PRESERVED, "In the bond of peace." That is, the bond which is peace, springing out of humility, meekness, and forbearance. Just as pride, arrogance, and contention are separating elements, the opposite dispositions are conducive to unity. The peace which is the element of Christian society is that to which we are called in one body; for we are called by the God of peace, redeemed by Christ who is our Peace, sanctified by the Spirit whose fruit is peace, and edified by the gospel of peace, that we may walk as sons of peace. Thus the unity is preserved and manifested by peace, as it is marred or lost sight of amidst conflicts and jars. The apostolic injunction is very inconsistent with the Darbyite principle that the unity of the Spirit is to be preserved by separation from evil, theological, ecclesiastical, or moral. It is strange that the apostle never hints at such a thing as separation, but speaks only of such graces as "lowliness, meekness, with long-suffering," which are but little exemplified in many of the separations brought about by such a principle. The Darbyite principle is not a bond of peace. It multiplies separations and divides the saints of God. There is uniting power in a common belief or in a common affection, but there is none in mere separation from evil. The common rejection of Arianism can never become a center of union for Protestants and Roman Catholics, because they are still so fundamentally apart in the whole spirit of their theology. The unity of the Spirit which we are enjoined to keep is, therefore, a unity compatible with minor differences, and ought to be the grand means of throwing the unity of the body into more glorious distinctness before the world. - T.C.







Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
By virtue of his having the Spirit, the believer is in union with every other spiritual man, and this is the unity which he is to endeavour to keep.

1. This unity of the Spirit is manifested in love. A husband and wife may be, through providence, cast hundreds of miles from one another, but there is a unity of spirit in them because their hearts are one. We, brethren, are divided many thousands of miles from the saints in Australia, America, and the South Sea, but, loving as brethren, we feel the unity of the Spirit.

2. This unity of the Spirit is caused by a similarity of nature. Find a drop of water glittering in the rainbow, leaping in the cataract, rippling in the rivulet, lying silent in the stagnant pool, or dashing in spray against the vessel's side, that water claims kinship with every drop of water the wide world over, because it is the same in its elements; and even so there is a unity of the Spirit which we cannot imitate, which consists in our being "begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," bearing in us the Holy Ghost as our daily quickener, and walking in the path of faith in the living God. Here is the unity of the Spirit, a unity of life, nature working itself out in love. This is sustained daily by the Spirit of God. He who makes us one, keeps us one. Every member of my body must have a communion with every other member of my body.

3. The unity of the Spirit will discover itself in prayer.

4. There is also a unity of praise.

5. This unity will soon discover itself in co-working. It was a motto with Bucer, "To love all in whom he could see anything of the Lord Jesus." It is said of some men that they appear to have been born upon the mountains of Berber, for they do nothing but cause division; and baptized in the waters of Meribah, for they delight in causing strife. This is not the case with the genuine Christian; he cares only for the truth, for his Master, for the love of souls; and when these things are not imperilled, his own private likes or dislikes never affect him.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Let us here inquire —

I. INTO THE STATE AND CHARACTER OF THOSE TO WHOM THE ADVICE OF THE TEXT IS GIVEN. The persons to whom the advice is given are all members of one body; they are members of Christ and of one another. All inhabited by one Spirit. Called in one hope of their calling. The property, the subjects, the servants of one Lord. Professing and possessing one faith. This God is "above" them "all," superintending and governing them, although infinitely exalted: through them "all," and they live and move and exist in Him; and "in them all," for they are "an habitation of God through the Spirit."

II. WHAT THIS ADVICE IMPLIES.

1. The "unity of the Spirit," of which the apostle speaks, it should be observed, is an internal unity, an unity between the spirits of men. It may subsist, therefore, between persons of different nations, educations, conditions, etc.

2. It is an unity of affection — mutual love, viz., desire of, and delight in, each other — mutual sympathy.

3. It is an unity of intention; one and all must have the same end in view, the glory of God in our own salvation, and the salvation of others.

4. It is an unity of resolution to prosecute that end.

5. It is an unity of operation (1 Corinthians 3:9), their work in the field.

III. THE REASONABLENESS OF THIS ADVICE. Inhabited as they are by one Spirit, which can no more set them at variance with each other, than the soul which resides in the human body can set the members of it against each other. Called from similar misery to a similar state of safety and happiness, in the same way and manner: having one object of hope, and one hope, is it not reasonable they should be united?

(Anon.)

1. Christians should strive for unity in faith and opinion. Lowliness of mind and patience will conduce to this; as pride, self-love, and impatience make men easily dissent in affection and opinion. Satan is constantly trying to stir up strife in the Church.

2. Means to be taken for the attainment of unity.

(1)Abandon a striving spirit.

(2)Renounce vainglory.

(3)Esteem others better than self.

3. It is not enough for us to entertain peace; we must give diligent endeavour to compass and maintain it.

(1)Because the wisdom from above is peaceable.

(2)A contentious nature is bred within us, and must be rooted out.

(3)The devil is always ready to sow discord.

(4)Unity is a comely thing, and a credit to religion.

(5)God takes to Himself the title of "the God of peace" (Romans 15:33; 1 Corinthians 13:11).

4. A peaceable disposition is an excellent means of concord.

(Paul Bayne.)

1. Take heed of giving offence.

2. Avoid taking offence.

3. Guard against beginning any contention.

4. To keep peace, get pure hearts.

(Paul Bayne.)

I. WHAT IS TO BE KEPT. "The unity of the Spirit" — the unity of which the Holy Spirit is the Author: that oneness of believing men in Christ which is the Spirit's new creation. It must be an unity corresponding in its nature and character to the nature and character of Him who is its Author and Creator.

1. Look at its outward manifestation.

2. The real seat of this unity is within, in the heart.

II. THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IS TO BE KEPT.

1. There must be an endeavour to keep it. And the endeavour must be most earnest and most strenuous.

2. There is a bond provided for keeping this unity. The bond of peace. The endeavour, strenuous and sustained as it must be, is not to be the endeavour of violence or excitement. It is no desperate groping and struggling in the dark that is required. The unity of the Spirit is to be sedulously kept. But the keeping of it is to be quiet, calm, peaceful. The bond, the girdle, which is to be the means of keeping it, is peace.

(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)

I. Observe, in the first place, THERE IS MUCH SAID IN THE WORD OF GOD ON THIS VERY SUBJECT OF THE TRUE UNITY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD (John 17:20-23; Romans 14:19; Romans 15:5; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 3:1-3; Colossians 3:12-15). But there is an expression in the text, that I would not pass over: the apostle speaks of it us "the unity of the Spirit," because He secretly inclines heart to heart in the children of God.

II. But, observe, secondly, SOME OF THOSE HIGH MOTIVES THAT WE HAVE. The world thinks that we are full of discrepancies; that our differences are unutterable, and that we have no real unity. But we say that in the midst of it all there is a solid, real, substantial, veritable unity.

1. It is the unity of a flock. Many folds; but one flock.

2. It is the unity of one body. There are many members in that body.

3. It is the unity of a temple.

4. The unity of a family.

III. Observe we now, beloved, THE PRECEPT GIVEN TO US IN THE WORDS OF THE TEXT — "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." And here I would desire to give tender counsel, that in order to bear with infirmities and to avoid all needless separations, all causeless divisions, I must be effectually called and renewed by the Holy Ghost. Observe, further, that the words imply difficulty. "Endeavouring." It is a hard thing; it is easy when the love of Christ constrains, but in itself we find abundance of difficulty. How little can I understand my brother's position! How little can I see a secret principle of his spirit! How little can I comprehend the prejudice that works through him; that he has been brought up in from his infancy. Labour for it in all things possible. It is not the surrender of principle; it is not the sacrifice of truth; it is not the giving up of conscience. No, beloved; that is a sort of union the Spirit of God never would sanction. Do not attempt that which is actually impossible. We may "endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit" in a way that never can be attained. It is the unity of a flock; various are the grades in that flock. It is the unity of a temple; various are the stones in that temple. It is the unity of a body; various are the members of that body. It is the unity of a family; but all the family do not speak alike, all the family do not think alike. To attempt it, is to attempt that which is unattainable; and we forget that, although these things have their source in our sin and ignorance, yet the eternal God overrules them for good, and brings good, and educes good out of evil.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

So long as imperfect men are gathered together in a Christian society — men of different types of character sad different powers, and with a special fondness for their own way; men liable to mistake excited feeling for intensity of conviction, and to treat their own opinions with the reverence due to absolute truth — they will require to be admonished to "endeavour," etc.

I. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. Spiritual — not formal.

1. Unity of life. Bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit; their affections set on things above, etc.

2. Unity of service. Christians have one Lord, towards whom they cherish one faith. He inspires the same loyalty; it is into His service they have been all baptized.

3. Unity of worship. We have not an unknown God; he that hath seen Christ hath seen the Father. We know Him to be righteous in all His works, and holy in all His ways. To worship is to perceive His excellence, and to love Him for it; to be strengthened by communion with Him, calmed by submission to Him.

II. HOW TO PRESERVE THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT.

1. By recognizing it.

2. By cherishing a peaceful mind.

(A. Mackennal, D. D.)

If we are to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in the same Church, then we must avoid everything that would mar it. Gossip — gossip is a very ready means of separating friends from one another. Let us endeavour to talk of something better than each other's characters. Dionysius went down to the Academy to Plato. Plato asked what he came for. "Why," said Dionysius, "I thought that you, Plato, would be talking against me to your students." Plato made this answer: "Dost thou think, Dionysius, we are so destitute of matter to converse upon that we talk of thee?" Truly we must be very short of subjects when we begin to talk of one another. It is better far that we magnify Christ than detract from the honour of His members. We must lay aside all envy. Multitudes of good people liked the Reformation, but they said they did not like the idea of its being done by a poor miserable monk, like Martin Luther; and so there are many who like to see good things done, and good works carried on, but do not care to see it done by that upstart young brother, or that poor man, or that woman who has no particular rank or state. As a Church let us shake off envyings; let us all rejoice in God's light; and as for pride — if any of you have grown vainglorious of late, shake it off.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

This unity, whereof the apostle speaks, consists in submission to one single influence or spirit. Wherein consists the unity of the body? Consists it not in this, that there is one life uniting, making all the separate members one? Take away the life, and the members fall to pieces; they are no longer one; decomposition begins, and every element separates, no longer having any principle of cohesion or union with the rest. There is not one of us who, at some time or other, has not been struck with the power there is in a single living influence. Have we never, for instance, felt the power wherewith the orator unites and holds together a thousand men as if they were but one; with flashing eyes and throbbing hearts all attentive to his words, and by the difference of their attitudes, by the variety of expressions of their countenances, testifying to the unity of that single living feeling with which he had inspired them? Whether it be indignation, whether it be compassion, or whether it be enthusiasm, that one living influence made the thousand for the time one. Have we not heard how, even in this century in which we live, the various and conflicting feelings of the people of this country were concentrated into one, when the threat of foreign invasion had fused down and broken the edges of conflict and variance, and from shore to shore was heard one cry of terrible defiance, and the different classes and orders of this manifold and mighty England were as one? Have we not heard how the mighty winds hold together as if one the various atoms of the desert, so that they rush like a living thing across the wilderness? And this, brethren, is the unity of the Church of Christ, the subjection to the one uniting Spirit of its God.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Unity, is that which subsists between things not similar and alike, but things dissimilar and unlike. There is no unity in the separate atoms of a sand pit; they are things similar; there is an aggregate or collection of them. Even if they be hardened in a mass they are not one, they do not form a unity; they are simply a mass. There is no unity in a flock of sheep; it is simply a repetition of a number of things similar to each other. If you strike off from a thousand five hundred, or if you strike off nine hundred, there is nothing lest of unity, because there never was unity. A flock of one thousand or a flock of five is just as much a flock as any other number. On the other hand, let us turn to the unity of peace which the apostle speaks of, and we find it is something different; it is made up of dissimilar members, without which dissimilarity there could be no unity. Each is imperfect in itself, each supplying what it has in itself to the deficiencies and wants of the other members. So, if you strike off from this body any one member, if you cut off an arm, or tear out an eye, instantly the unity is destroyed; you have no longer an entire and perfect body, there is nothing but a remnant of the whole, a part, a portion; no unity whatever. This will help us to understand the unity of the Church of Christ. If the ages and the centuries of the Church of Christ, if the different churches whereof it was composed, if the different members of each Church were similar, one in this, that they all held the same views, all spoke the same words, all viewed truth from the same side, they would have no unity; but would simply be an aggregate of atoms, the sand-pit over again.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Great is the force of unity, peace, and concord. One man serves to strengthen and stablish another, like many staves bound together in one. Many sticks or staves bound together in one bundle are not easily broken; but sever them and pull them asunder, they are soon broken with little strength. Thus the case in all societies, whether it be in the Church, or commonwealth, or in the private family.

(W. Attersol.)

An apparent union may be produced by none thinking at all, as well as by all thinking alike; but such a union, as Leighton observes, is not produced by the active heat of the spirit, but is a confusion rather arising from the want of it; not a fusing together, but a freezing together, as cold congregates all bodies how heterogeneous soever, sticks, stones, and water: but heat makes first a separation of different things, and then unites those that are of the same nature.

(H. G. Salter.)

1. All real unity is manifold. Feelings in themselves identical find countless forms of expression; for instance, sorrow is the same feeling throughout the human race; but the Oriental prostrates himself upon the ground, throws dust upon his head, tears his garments, is not ashamed to break out into the most violent lamentations. In the north we rule our grief; suffer not even a quiver to be seen upon the lip or brow, and consider calmness as the appropriate expression of manly grief. Nay, two sisters of different temperament will show their grief diversely; one will love to dwell upon the theme of the qualities of the departed; the other feels it a sacred sorrow, on which the lips are sealed forever. Yet would it not be idle to ask which of them has the truest affection? Are they not both in their own way true? In the East, men take off their sandals in devotion; we exactly reverse the procedure, and uncover the head. The Oriental prostrates himself in the dust before his sovereign; even before his God the Briton only kneels: yet would it not again be idle to ask which is the essential and proper form of reverence? Is not true reverence in all cases modified by the individualities of temperament and education? Should we not say in all these forms worketh one and the same spirit of reverence?

2. All living unity is spiritual, not formal; not sameness but manifoldness. You may have a unity shown in identity of form; but it is a lifeless unity. There is a sameness on the sea beach — that unity which the ocean waves have produced by curling and forcibly destroying the angularities of individual form, so that every stone presents the same monotony of aspect, and you must fracture each again in order to, distinguish whether you hold in your hand a mass of flint or a fragment of basalt. There is no life in unity such as this. But as soon as you arrive at a unity that is living, the form becomes more complex, and you search in vain for uniformity. In the parts it must be found, if found at all, in the sameness of pervading life. The illustration given by the apostle is that of the human body — a higher unity, he says, by being composed of many members, than if every member were but a repetition of a single type.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

The union for which the Lord Jesus prayed was a union of spiritual men — a union not of mere professors but of His true disciples — a union in the Lord. Any other union is little worth. A union of professors with professors of one dead Church with another dead Church is but a filling of the charnel house, a heaping of the compost pile. A union of dead professors with living saints, this union of life and death is but to pour the green and putrid water of the stagnant pool into the living spring. It is not to graft new branches into the goodly vine, but to bandage on dead boughs that will but deform it. It is not to gather new wheat into the garner, but to blend the wheat and chaff again together. It is not to gather new sheep into the fold, but it is to borrow the shepherd's brand and imprint it on the dogs and wolves and call them sheep. The identifying of christened pagans with the peculiar people has done much dishonour to the Redeemer, has deluded many souls, and made it much more difficult for the Church to convince the world. It was not this amalgamation of the Church and the world which the Saviour contemplated when He prayed for His people's unity. It was a union of spiritual men — a holy unity springing from oneness with Himself. Union with Christ is an indispensable preliminary to union with the Church of Christ. An individual must be joined to Christ before he can be a true member of the Church of Christ. And those individuals and those Churches which are the most closely joined to Christ are the nearest to one another, and will be the first to coalesce in the fulfilment of Christ's prayer — "May they all be one!"

(Hamilton.)

"Ane stick'll never burn! Put more wood on the fire, laddie; ane stick'll never burn!" my old Scotch grandfather used to say to his boys. Sometimes, when the fire in the heart burns low, and love to the Saviour grows faint, it would grow warm and bright again if it could only touch another stick. "Where two or three are gathered together" the heart burns; love kindles to a fervent heat. "Ane stick'll never burn" as a great, generous fire will be sure to.

"If we clash, we are broken," according to the old fable of the two earthen pots swimming in the sea. "The daughter of dissension is dissolution," said Nazianzen; "and every subdivision in point of religion is a strong weapon in the hand of the contrary party," as he (the historian), upon the Council of Trent, wisely observed. Castor and Pollux, if they appear not together it presageth a storm.

(J. Trapp.)

By union the pyramids of Egypt, the gates of Thebes, and the columns of the Parthenon were reared, and oceans crossed, and valleys filled up.

(Dr. Cumming.)

There was a small band of three hundred cavalry in the Theban army, who proved a great terror to any enemy with whom they were called to fight. They were companions, who had bound themselves together by a vow of perpetual friendship, determined to stand together until the last drop of their blood was spilled upon the ground. They were called "The Sacred Battalion, or the Band of Lovers," and they were bound alike by affection for the State and fidelity for each other, and thus achieved. marvels, some of which seem almost fabulous. What a name for a militant Church, "The Sacred Battalion!" It is when she is thus animated by one spirit that she is victorious.

The attachment of the Rev. John Elliot, usually called "The Apostle to the Indians," to peace and union among Christians was exceedingly great. When he heard ministers complain that some in their congregations were too difficult for them, the substance of his advice would be, "Brother, compass them. Brother, learn the meaning of those three little words — bear, forbear, forgive." His love of peace, indeed, almost led him to sacrifice right itself.

Separate the atoms which make the hammer and each would fall on the stone as a snow flake; but welded into one, and wielded by the firm arm of the quarryman, it will break the massive rocks asunder. Divide the waters of Niagara into distinct and individual drops, and they would be no mere than the falling rain, but in their united body they would quench the fires of Vesuvius, and have some to spare for the volcanoes of other mountains.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Divisions are bad things. Do not fancy that I have any sympathy with those who, confounding charity with indifference, regard matters of religion as not worth disputing about. Such a state of death is still worse than war. Give me the roaring storm rather than the peace of the grave. Division is better than such union as the frost produces, when with its cold and icy fingers it binds up into one dead, congealed, heterogeneous mass, stones and straws, pearls and pebbles, gold and silver, iron and clay, substances that have nothing in common. Yet divisions are bad things. They give birth to bad passions. They cause Ephraim to envy Judah, and Judah to vex Ephraim. Therefore, what we ought to aim at is to heal them, and when we cannot heal them, to soften their asperities.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Bind not thine hands, but bind thy heart and mind. Bind thyself to thy brother. They bear all things lightly who are bound together by love. Bind thyself to him, and him to thee. For to this end was the Spirit given, that He might unite those who are separated by race and diversity of habits: old and young, rich and poor, child, youth, and man, male and female, and every soul become in a manner one, and more entirely so than if they were of one body. For this spiritual relation is far higher than natural relation, and the perfectness of the union more entire; because the conjunction of the soul, being simple and accordant, is more perfect. And how is this unity preserved? "In the bond of peace." It is not possible that unity should exist in enmity and discord. St. Paul would have us linked and tied one to another; not simply that we be at peace, not simply that we love one another, but that in all there should be but one soul. A glorious bond is this: with this bond let us bind ourselves together, alike to one another and to God.

( Chrysostom.)

The following incident in the life of Lord Nelson contains a lesson for Christians. On the day before the battle of Trafalgar, Nelson took Collingwood and Rotherham, who were at variance, to a spot where they could see the fleet opposed to them. "Yonder," said the Admiral, "are your enemies; shake hands and be friends like good Englishmen."

Were all Churches and church members concerned to "keep the unity of His Spirit," a bond of peace, strong as the everlasting firmament, would encircle them. But how is it possible that we should worthily conceive of the riches comprehended in "the unity of the Spirit"? We have seen a company of a thousand musicians and singers playing and singing one tune in harmony. The persons were distinct, the instruments distinct, and the voices very distinct, and yet all were a composed unity. An army of a hundred thousand men, in movement and operation, may be a perfect unity. But in order to form an idea of the "unity of the Spirit," we must imagine that the whole universe, visible and invisible, with all its distinctions, elements, powers, and virtues were dissolved in one sea of being. For all have sprung from such a sea, and, in the Spirit, are such a sea of living, blissful unity. Even in the sphere of striving, corrupt nature, we see enough to make us wonder at the variety which the Spirit carries in the bosom of His unity. For all the variety, in earth and heaven, is wrought "by One and the self-same Spirit." The new growths, the joy and the glory, which constitute our summer, are so much of the fulness of the Spirit opened to our view. The creatures in different elements and latitudes are so distinct that they have no communion with each other; but they are all One in the Spirit which animates them. The sea and its contents, the innumerable tribes of the air, and all the species found on our hills and in our plains and valleys, are but very partial manifestations of the wealth and variety of the Spirit. The all things of the Father, and all things of Creation, and the all things in Christ's finished work are included in the Spirit's unity. Pause and contemplate "the river of God's pleasures," "the fulness of joy" which the perfect know above. Whatever our understandings may hold as truth, is but a mere division of this unity. "The unity of the Spirit" is "the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus," and can only be apprehended by the affections.

(J. Pulsford.)

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