Our Blessed Son took occasion to teach his disciples both by precept and example. Hence, when the disciples had been tempted to discuss the question as to who should be seated in the kingdom of Heaven, "He taught them that he who would be first must be last of all, and servant of all, and that the road to honor is humility. Then taking a little child and setting him in the midst of them He said: "Whosoever shall receive this child in my name, receiveth me; and whosoever receiveth me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great." Ah, my brother, this disposition for precedence is human and not divine. It manifested itself in forbidding those who walked not with them, but the Son rebuked them. Jesus had taught them not to follow the example of the Scribes and Pharisees, for says he, "One is your Master, even the Christ; and all ye are brethren."
These clear and positive utterances of our blessed Son are confirmed and enforced by the apostle Paul, when he argues, that the body is not one member but many, and that each has his own legitimate office to perform, and that upon the uncomely parts we bestow the more abundant comeliness. And this is the logical conclusion he deduced from that great argument he employs in the fourth chapter of Ephesians, where he says, "the Lord gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." He then proceeds to tell the reason why he gave these officials to the body, the church, namely, "for perfecting the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up the body of the Christ."
This service then belongs to the Saints, not to particular individuals of them; those special gifts ceased since they fulfilled their functions, and all we remain equally brethren, with no right to lord it over each other, and any effort to so do, only leads to carnality, namely, divisions, envyings, strifes. We are yet equally in the school of our risen Lord, to be disciplined and perfected by the instrumentalities He has provided; and when thus perfected and meet for the Master's garner, we have performed our mission here, because our building up agency, results from the reflex action of life and character on one another. And not till our Lord appears in His glory will we be called upon to act officially, and then not over our brethren, but the world. Let us then learn to walk as brethren towards each other. G. B. S.