Christ appears as a Shepherd to his own sheep

Christ appears as a Shepherd to his own sheep, not to others. As soon as he appears, his own sheep perceive him—they trust him, they are prepared to follow him; he knows them, and they know him— there is a mutual knowledge—there is a constant connection between them. Thus the one mark, the sure mark, the infallible mark of regeneration and adoption is a hearty faith in the appointed Redeemer. Reader, are you in doubt, are you uncertain whether you bear the secret mark of God’s children? Then let not an hour pass over your head till you have said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.”

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