We know so well what the unique quality was that held this great and beautiful pride and exquisite humility together. It lay in the relationship he held with God. We know the familiar idea of Jesus' oneness with God: only we deal with it too much as a doctrine of the Church, not as an element in Jesus' own experience. If we never find it in reality, in life, we cannot reveal the true Christ-like character at all -- we will always be trying earnestly to be something, but on too superficial and obvious a plane. ... The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn June 28, 1996 Feast of Irenêus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200 The Church exists, and does not depend for its existence upon our definition of it: it exists wherever God in His sovereign freedom calls it into being by calling his own into the fellowship of His Son. And it exists solely by His mercy. God shuts up and will shut up every way except the way of faith which simply accepts His mercy as mercy. To that end, He is free to break off unbelieving branches, to graft in wild slips, and to call "No people" His people. And if, at the end, those who have preserved through all the centuries the visible "marks" of the Church find themselves at the same board with some strange and uncouth late-comers on the ecclesiastical scene, may we not fancy that they will hear Him say -- would it not be so like him to say -- "It is my will to give unto these last even as unto thee"? Final judgement belongs to God, and we have to beware of judging before the time. I think that if we refuse fellowship in Christ to any body of men and women who accept Jesus as Lord and show the fruits of His Spirit in their corporate life, we do so at our peril. It behooves us, therefore, to receive one another as Christ has received us.