Christian Fellowship

1. Blest be the tie that binds,
Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship o Christian minds
Is like to that above.
2. Blest are the sons of peace,
Whose hearts and hopes are one.
Whose kind designs to serve and please
Through all their actions run.
3. Before our Father's throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims, are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
4. We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
5. When we asunder part,
O may our mutual love
Encourage every fainting heart.
His zeal and faith to prove.
6. Our glorious hope revives
Our courage every day.
While each in expectation strives
To run the heavenly way.

The Closest Bond of Fellowship

Long ago men learned that "in union there is strength." We see this in the guilds of the past, in the trades-unions of the present, and in the fraternal organization of Masonry, Odd Fellowship, etc. In every case the attempt is to bring together only those having a common interest; and in many instances this signifies a selfish interest. Indeed, without the selfish interest, we imagine that all the great social, political, financial, and trades organizations would immediately fall to pieces.

Even along religious lines of fellowship and brotherhood, selfish interests often play an important part. How many join an earthly church, not because they believe the creed, but because they wish fellowship, and financial and social advantages which membership in such an organization will gain them! Indeed, if we take them at their own word, the majority of ministers of all denominations, and the majority of church members, would speedily desert their creeds if the social and selfish influences disappeared; for they often tell us that they do not believe their professed creeds.

When we sing, "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above," we are describing a different kind of church-membership, a different kind of tie, which unites all of "like precious faith" in the one "church of the living God, whose names are written in heaven," in the "Lamb's book of life." Those who can sing this hymn with the spirit and with the understanding, are, of course, comparatively few—the saints of God, sons of God, members of the body of Christ, the royal priesthood. They are not to be found in any one denomination; but so far as we may judge a very few are to be found in every denomination, and some outside of all denominations. Their hearts are bound together by the truth, by sympathy, and by glorious prospects for the future (Luke 10:20; 1 Peter 2:9; Phil. 4:3).

We are unable to go into any gathering and pick out the saints of God, because we cannot read the heart, we cannot know which are making true professions and which false. Only the Lord is able to do this; as the Bible declares, "The Lord knoweth them that are his." We prefer to take each at his profession, and let each live up to the perfect standard to the best of his ability. The Lord's decision as to who will be of the royal priesthood, and who of the antitypical Levites, will be shown by and by, in the resurrection, when he will give the rewards (Rev. 11:18).