We have pointed out repeatedly the tendency of Christian people toward Union; showing, too, that such a union is predicted in Scripture; but that its results, while designed to be good, will really be bad; and this because it will be a mechanical union instead of a heart unity. The following clip from the Pittsburg Times, February 22d, shows that worldly people discern that the various denominations, while crying aloud for union, are far from united in heart or head.
"We have read with care most of the last number of The Church Union, and seldom anything more melancholy. The object of this paper is to induce believers and congregations everywhere "to manifest to the world their essential unity in faith and spirit," and almost every article in it is evidence that the object is unattainable.
"A distinguished Bishop of the Episcopal Church writes that there are two theories of the ministry, personal and official, that his denomination [R1504 : page 85] holds to the latter, 'and enjoins it upon her members as the one exclusive ministry, which they must accept or fall under discipline as law-breakers.' To the many who deny this 'one exclusive ministry' there is not much hope for unity in that quarter.
"Another writer lays down as prerequisites to unity, belief in the Bible as the sole guide to spiritual life, faith in the divinity of Jesus, and baptism; but a third writer, mocking at creeds as they exist, says: 'Let us have more thinking, then, upon the higher criticism, evolution, the intermediate state, the duration of future punishment, and such like matters, but whenever anyone rises to impose his opinions in regard to such subjects upon the brotherhood, let us resist him to the uttermost.' The latter permits the discussion and the overthrow, if it comes to that, of what the former sets forth as final truths, without the acceptance of which there can be no union.
"A fourth writer asks: "Why not come together in a loving fellowship of worship and work on the basis of the Christian religion as propounded by Jesus and his elect ones in the New Testament?" Upon this a fifth writer remarks that upon it all churches, Greek, Roman, Protestant orthodox and Protestant heterodox, ought to be able to unite, as they one and all "claim to hold a primitive belief and to practice the primitive ordinances." Whether he meant it or not he revealed the absurdity of attempting to find a basis of union in that which in its very nature is the cause of disunion, and which was never more incisive than now."
"A good land and a large, a land flowing with milk and
Blest land of Judea!
Thrice hallowed of song,
Where the holiest of memories pilgrim-like throng:
In the shade of thy palms, by the shores of thy sea,
On the hills of thy beauty, my heart is with thee.
There sleep the still rocks, and the caverns which rang
To the song which the beautiful prophetess sang,
When the princes of Issachar stood by her side,
And the shout of a host in its triumph replied.
I tread where the twelve in their wayfaring trod;
I stand where they stood, with the chosen of God
Where his blessing was heard, and his lessons were taught,
Where the blind were restored and the healing was
Oh, here with his flock the sad Wanderer came
These hills He toiled over in grief are the same
The founts where He drank by the wayside still flow,
And the same airs are blowing which breathed on His
And what if my feet may not tread where He stood,
Nor my ears hear the dashing of Galilee's flood,
Nor my eyes see the cross which he bowed Him to bear,
Nor my knees press Gethsemane's garden of prayer.
Oh, the outward hath gone!but in glory and power,
The spirit surviveth the things of an hour;
Unchanged, undecaying, its Pentecost flame
On the heart's secret altar is burning the same.
J. G. Whittier.