Samuel Miller: No such thing as a solitary religion

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Following up on yesterday’s post, Samuel Miller concurs with T.V. Moore that Christianity is not a lone wolf faith, but a corporate, and social, religion.

The Bible knows nothing of a solitary religion. The spirit and duties of Christianity are, characteristically, social. Man, in his state of primitive rectitude, was made a social creature; and redeemed and restored man, when he shall reach that holy heaven which is in reserve for him hereafter, will find it to be a state of perfect and most blessed society. It is true, the Christian, in the course of the spiritual life, is required, and finds it to be as profitable as it is delightful, to be often alone with his God. But the object of this retirement is, like that of Moses in ascending the mount, — not that he may remain there; but that he may come down with his face shining; his heart expanding with holy love; and all his graces refined and invigorated, and thus prepared the better to act his part in those interesting relations which he sustains to his fellow men. Accordingly, the visible Church, with which we are all bound to be connected, and which is the means of so many blessings to its members and to the world, is a social body. It is called in our text a “flock," under the care of the great "Shepherd and Bishop of souls," and under the immediate superintendence of the under-shepherds, commissioned and sent for this purpose.

Read Miller’s complete 1832 sermon on “Ecclesiastical Polity” from the Spruce Street Lectures here. And consider how Christians are not just born again as “isolated units” (Moore) but are meant to be children of the family of God, that is, his body, the Church.