That magic name!
Bonar, "The Night of Weeping"
God has many names for His people.
He calls them His flock, which implies
tender watchfulness on His part, and
dependent helplessness on theirs.
He calls them a vine, denoting their
oneness, as well as the unceasing
nourishment that is ever circulating
through them from the parent stem.
He calls them a temple, signifying their
compactness of structure, symmetry of
design, beauty of form, and above all,
fitness for the inhabitation and worship
He calls them a body, to set forth, not
merely their lovely proportions, but their
marvelous unity and conscious vitality
of being, as well as the closeness of
the binding tie, and their various
serviceableness to each other.
He calls them a city, intimating their
happy community of privileges and rights
and well ordered government; the security,
peace, abundance which they enjoy, the
comforts of neighborhood with all its
cheerful greetings and mutual offices of love.
He calls them a kingdom, as expressive
of their high and honorable estate, of the
royalty, the glory, the dominion, of which
they have been made the heirs.
But it is that well known word, that magic
name, family, which alone can express all
that God sees of what is lovely and tender,
loving and lovable in the Church of Christ
into which He is pouring His love through
which He delights to see that love circulate
unhindered, and out of which he expects
that love to flow abroad.
The family of God- as such He dwells in the
midst of it, cares for it, and watches over it.
His dealings with it are those of a father;
fond yet strict; loving yet wise; sitting
among His children, having His eye on
each, and ordering in His gracious wisdom
all the concerns of His household.
His heart is there! Yes, it is in His family
that God's heart may be said specially to be.
There it unfolds itself in a way such as it can
do amid no other order of His creatures. There
it shows itself in all its manifold fullness such
as it has no scope for elsewhere. It is in the
family alone that the one thing we call affection
or love is divided and spread out, like a sunbeam
into the rainbow's sevenfold hues, there to
display itself in all the rich tints of hidden beauty.
So it is in His family alone that the love of
God is fully seen, not merely in all its intensity,
but in all its varied riches. All kinds of love are