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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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The church of Jesus is so often spoken of in Scripture under the figure and similitude of a flock, that I could not think myself justified in passing it by unnoticed. That Jesus is himself called the Shepherd of Israel. (Psalms 80:1) and sometimes the good Shepherd. (John 10:11) and chief Shepherd, (1 Peter 5:4) and the great Shepherd. (Hebrews 13:20) and the one Shepherd. (Ezekiel 34:23) These are familiar names, by which Christ is well known to his church in Scripture. And consequently, as every shepherd is supposed to have a flock, otherwise his very character of shepherd ceaseth; so the church hath various descriptions also as the flock of Christ by which she is known. The church is said by Jesus himself to be his sheep, which his Father hath given him, and which he hath also purchased by his blood, and made them his by the conquests of his grace. Hence he saith, he called them all by name. He knoweth all their persons, state, and circumstances; goeth before them, and them into wholesome pastures, and causeth them to lie down in safety. He undertakes for all their wants, heals the diseased among them, brings home wanderers, restores the misled, and is so watchful over the whole of his flock, that they must all pass again under the hand of him that telleth them. (Jeremiah 33:13) and hence it is impossible that any of them should perish, but he giveth them eternal life. (John 10:1-16)

And what tends, if possible, to endear yet more this view of Christ's church as his flock, is the several properties of it. The flock of Jesus is but one. (Song of Song of Solomon 6:9) though scattered in various parts of the earth, and divided into several folds. Both Jew and Gentile are brought into it, and hereafter will form "one in the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven." (Hebrews 12:23) And this flock of Christ is not only one, but it forms a separate and distinct one. For separated by distinguishing grace and gathered out of the world's wide wilderness, Jesus hath pent it up, and hedged it in; so that it is for ever separated from the wolves and beasts of prey. Hence Jesus is represented as calling to his church in those sweet words: "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon; look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir, and Hermon, from the lions' dens, and from the mountains of the leopards." (Song of Song of Solomon 4:8)

There is another great feature of Jesus's flock, and this is, in the present life, compared to the world, they are but small and inconsiderable in number. Jesus himself calleth it a little flock. "Fear not, little flock, (said that gracious Shepherd), for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32) But overlooked and despised as the flock of Jesus is by the great ones of the earth, and low and humble as they are in their own view; yet when they are all brought home, and housed in his eternal kingdom, they will form a blessed company. John, the beloved apostle, in his days, when admitted in that glorious vision of the Lord to see heaven opened, related to the church, that he saw "a multitude, whom no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." (Revelation 7:9) And who shall say what millions since, the Lord hath gathered and taken home to his everlasting sheepfold above? Oh! the blessedness of belonging to the flock of Christ! Well might the prophet in the contemplation, as if speaking to Jesus, the Israel of his people, cry out, "Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?" (Jeremiah 13:20) And how beautiful, indeed, in the eyes of Jesus, must the flock appear, when made comely in his comeliness! How spotless like the whitest fleece, when washed in his blood, covered in the garment of his righteousness, and made all glorious within by the indwelling residence of the Holy Ghost! Hear what the Lord saith to his church: "Thou art beautiful as Tirzah, O my love! comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which come up from the washing, whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them." (Song of Song of Solomon 6:4; Son 4:2)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Flock'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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