A Fourfold Calling

1 Pet. 2:9.---' Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.'

Looking at these four things, we see that they represent four different aspects of the Christian. A chosen generation---that tells about a new life. A royal priesthood---that tells about a new service. An holy nation---that tells about a new relationship to the world. A peculiar people---that tells about a new relationship to God.

I would like to concentrate on 'an holy nation'. The word used here for nation means a great body of people bound together into a vast community by all the manifold ties and vital connections by which a great society can be welded together. Many races, descended from different ancestors, may form one nation. The term was used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which became the Bible of the Jews of the Dispersion, and was also the Bible of the early Church, to denote the heathen world, with its countless numbers, over against the people of Israel. They formed the nations---the Gentile world---one vast whole encircling with its mutitudious lives and multiform powers the small society of Israel. Now, this very comprehensive term is applied to the Christian Church. It is a nation. This implies that the Church of Christ possesses such a comprehensiveness of life and character as to be able to form a society great and expansive enough to contain and unite all the nations of the world. Within the Church, families, tribes, nations, and empires are to find their true life and true destiny. Consequently the Christian Church is to solve all the problems of man---individual, social, national, international, world-wide.

The ideal of the modern world is brotherhood---the federation of the world into the unity of righteousness, love, and peace. But the unifying of the human race is to be realized in and through the growth and expansion of this spiritual community. Here is the nucleus of a federated humanity. The key to the solution of the problem is found in the unique character of this nation. It is holy. Holiness denotes that ethical perfection or moral sublimity in God in the presence of which the human spirit prostrates itself in awe, reverence, and worship. Then we come to know that God can communicate a measure of His holiness to man. This holiness is shown and embodied in the moral spendor of the God-inspired soul. As this holiness enters into and permeates the life of society and nations, there will be created out of the chaos of human selfishness, discord, and struggles a world order, beauty, and harmony. The kingdoms of the world are to become the Kingdom of God and His Christ. The goal of the world's progress is a theocratic commonwealth on whose manifold life, interests, and ideals will be written, 'Holiness unto the Lord.' The Church of Christ is to grow and expand into the world-unifying, world-comprehending and world-glorifying society in which humanity will realize its true ideals and know the plentitude of life.

There have been many confessions recently from quite unexpected quarters, confessions wrung from thinking men who know this country and its problems in the world, that the body of the nation needs not only a brain, but a conscience and a soul, that for the upbuilding of the new generation we need creative faith, that for guidance over new ground and among infinite perplexities we need a moral guide, that to establish anything approaching a brotherhood among men we need the sense, the inspiring sense and the commanding authority of a Fatherhood; that for bridging the chasms that separate the nations with their differences in MORALE and culture and stages of civilization, to say nothing of their national ambitions, we need an institution that is spiritual, universal and super-national, disinterested as to material things and devoted to the wide ideals of humanity. What is all this really but the cry for a Church, not a mere collection of scattered groups, but an organized community, a body, a new race, a holy nation, as Peter says, a phalanx knit together by the Spirit of God and moving out with mind and heart in active service for the things of God?

In Christ, timothy. maranatha