by Asa Mahan

To Which Is Added
The Enduement of Power
by Charles G. Finney

The Electronic Editions
From A 1972 Reprint
Containing Both Publications



The following treatise has been before the Christian public for
many years. During this period it has been read by very many
individuals on both sides of the Atlantic, and that, as the author has
the best reasons for believing, with much affirmed interest and
profit. During this period also the central theme of the treatise,
"the Promise of the Spirit," "the Baptism of the Holy Ghost," the
promised "Enduement of Power from on High," which became real in the
experience of the apostles and their associates at the Pentecost, and
had never been vouchsafed to the Church in such forms before, has
become throughout Christendom a subject of thought, inquiry, prayer,
and waiting expectation, unknown in centuries past. That this treatise
has contributed something to bring about this desirable and most
propitious and hopeful consummation, is not a matter of doubt. That it
may hereafter continue to exert an important influence to prepare the
way for the approaching "brightness of the Divine rising," is still an
object of hope.

The special doctrine of the treatise takes specific form from the
following declaration of our Saviour to His disciples: -- "If ye love
Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall
give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even
the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth
Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with
you, and shall be in you." The Holy Spirit had convinced these
disciples of sin, had induced them to believe in Christ, to love Him,
and to "keep His commandments." From the hour of their conversion He
had been with them, and their bodies had been His temples. During the
ten days in which those disciples "tarried in Jerusalem," waiting "the
promise of the Father," the same Spirit was with them still,
perfecting their obedience, intensifying their aspirations, unifying
their "accord," and completing their preparation for the inward
enlightenments, "enduements of power," Divine fellowships and
fruitions, which were to result from the approaching "baptism." All
that preceded the Pentecost was preparatory to this baptism, but no
part of it. The conversion and subsequent preparation were the work of
the Spirit, just as much as the baptism, and the former was
indispensable to the latter. Had the apostles continued in the
preparatory stage of experience, or had they gone forth to their work
prior to the reception of "the promise of the Spirit," they would have
remained to the end of life as they had been before, a feeble folk,"
and the world would never have felt their influence. Waiting, on the
other hand, "the promise of the Father," and going forth, as Christ
did, "under the power of the Spirit," they soon "turned the world
upside down."

The same holds true of all believers, the least as well as the
greatest, under the present Dispensation, the Dispensation of the
Spirit. As with the apostles and their associates, so with every
believer in Jesus. After inducing "repentance toward God, and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ," the Spirit abides with and works in
him, as He did in them prior to the Pentecost, and for the one
purpose, to perfect his love and obedience and inward preparation,
that "the Holy Ghost may fall on him as He did on them at the
beginning." If the convert stops short of this great consummation, and
if he does this especially under the belief that he did receive "the
Baptism of the Holy Ghost" in conversion, and that, consequently,
nothing remains for him but a gradual increase of what he then
received, he will almost inevitably remain through life in the
darkness and weakness of the old, instead of going forth to his life
work under "the enduements of power," spiritual illuminations,
transforming visions of the Divine glory, "fellowships with the Father
and with His Son Jesus Christ," and "assurances of faith," "assurances
of hope," and "assurances of understanding," peculiar to the New

Here this great doctrine is met by the counter one, that every
newborn soul does receive the promised "Baptism of the Holy Ghost,"
and all accompanying enlightenments and "enduements of power," at the
time of his conversion. In confirmation of this doctrine such passages
are adduced as those which affirm that the bodies of all believers
"are the temples of the Holy Ghost," "that all have been baptized into
one body," and that "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
none of His." All this, we teach, is true of every convert now, and
has been true of every converted person since the fall. The Holy Ghost
had given the disciples "repentance unto life," and "was with them" as
a sanctifying presence, had made their bodies His temple, and had
"baptized them into one body," prior to the Pentecost. They must have
had "the Spirit of Christ, or they could not have been His." Yet, in
the New Testament sense of the words, "the Holy Ghost was not given,"
and they were not "baptized with the Holy Ghost," until " the
Pentecost had fully come." So of all converts in this dispensation.
They "have the Spirit of Christ," "the Spirit is with them," and their
bodies, as those of all the holy have ever been, are "His temple."
This was true, and must have been true of all the converts in Samaria
before Peter and John came there. Yet "the Holy Ghost had not fallen
upon one of them." How any person can contemplate the revealed results
of "the Baptism of the Holy Ghost," and then affirm, in the presence
of palpable facts, that every such convert has received "the
enduements of power" included in "the promise of the Spirit," is a
mystery of mysteries to us.

But while all believers have been "baptized into one body," are we
not also told that "there is one baptism?" If the believer was in his
conversion, with all others, baptized "by one Spirit into one body,"
and may afterwards be "baptized with the Holy Ghost," is there not, it
is asked, more than one "baptism of the Spirit?" If we are to infer
from such language that there is one and only "one baptism," what
shall we do with the argument of the Friends, that water baptism
should be dispensed with? The apostle does not say that there is "one
baptism" of the Spirit; but "one baptism." While he says this, he
speaks in another place of "the Doctrine of Baptisms." While baptism
in all its forms is "one," just as "he that planteth and he that
watereth are one," that is, one in purpose, spirit, and aim, so
baptism may, for aught that appears in such expressions, be as diverse
in its forms as are the individualities employed in planting and
watering the churches. As there is "one body with many members," and
"one faith" in many forms, so there may be "one baptism" in many

According to the doctrine under consideration, two blessings as
simultaneously given to every convert at the moment when he believes
-- the pardon of sin, and "the Baptism of the Holy Ghost," with all
its attendant "enduements of power," and this is the doctrine which
the apostles intended to teach, and did teach. If this were so, why
did Peter and John pray for the converts in Samaria, that they might
receive the Holy Ghost, and not that they might receive the
forgiveness of their sins?

Are we anywhere told in the New Testament that any have "received
the Word of the Lord," believed in Jesus, openly confessed His name,
and yet have not received the pardon of their sins? We do read of
numbers, however, who thus believed, not one of whom had received the
Holy Ghost at the time of believing, or after they had believed.

Take another case. Paul did put this question to the twelve
believers whom he met at Ephesus; namely, "Have ye received the Holy
Ghost since ye believed?" or, as some render the original, "Did ye
receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed?" Why did he put this, and not
the other question equally pertinent, if this doctrine is true, in
each case, to wit: "Have ye received the pardon of your sins since ye
believed?" or, "Did ye receive the pardon of your sins when ye
believed?" Had he held and taught the dogma that both blessings are
always and at the same moment given the instant an individual
believes, he would have been just as likely to have asked if one
blessing had been received, as whether the other had been, and the
inquiry would have been infinitely absurd in either case.

The case of these twelve disciples is entirely clear from the reply
often made to the argument based upon the revealed fact, that the
Baptism of the Holy Ghost was given to the Jews at the Pentecost, to
the Samaritans, and to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, not at
the moment of regeneration, but "after they had believed." This was
necessary, it is said, to verify for Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles,
common rights and privileges in the Church of Christ. After this the
Holy Ghost is never given in this form, but always in regeneration.
The question of Paul (Acts 19:1-7) was put to these believers many
years after the baptisms above referred to, and after the New
Dispensation had been established; however, these individuals did
receive the Holy Ghost, not only "after they had believed," but after
they had, as believers, been baptized (Acts 19:5,6). The case is too
plain to require comments.

No, reader: the apostles rightly understood our Saviour, and so
taught, to wit, that the condition of pardon is "repentance toward
God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," and that the condition
on which "He will baptize with the Holy Ghost" is "love and
obedience," and "waiting the promise of the Father," after we have
believed. Hence they taught that the Holy Ghost is given not with
forgiveness, but to "those who obey God." In Ezek. 36:27 and 37, we
are absolutely taught that Christ as the Mediator of the new covenant
will "put His Spirit within" believers; that is, "baptize them with
the Holy Ghost," "when He shall be inquired of by them to do it for
them." Language is without meaning, if "the promise of the Spirit"
does not await the believer after he has entered into a state of
justification, and then in a state of "love and obedience," and
supreme consecration to Christ, "tarries" before God until he is
"endued with power from on high." Having carefully weighed the
contents of this introduction, the reader will be fully prepared to
enter into the interior of the work itself.

* * * * * * *



Introductory -- The Christian Character, and How to Attain it

Experience and Teachings of our Saviour
on the Baptism of the Holy Ghost

Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost
Explained and Elucidated

Baptisms of the Spirit Under the Old
and New Dispensations Compared

Baptism of the Spirit Under the New Dispensation

The Preparation for the Baptism of the Spirit

Miscellaneous Suggestions in Regard to this Doctrine

The Fellowship of the Spirit

The Unity of the Spirit

Witness, Demonstration, and Power of the Spirit

The Fountain Opened for Sin and for Uncleanness,
or the Cleansing Power of the Spirit

The Consolation of the Spirit,
or the Uses of Afflictive Providences

* * * * * * *


[I have renumbered the four chapters of the "The Enduement of
Power" by Charles G. Finney as Chapters 13-16, so that no two chapters
in this double-publication will be identified by the same number. --


Reasons Why the Power is Not Received

An Exhibition of the Power From on High

Who May Expect this Enduement of Power

The Conditions of Receiving this Power

* * * * * * *

by Asa Mahan

Chapter 1

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He
that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly
shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit,
which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was
not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" -- John

"What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not
after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the
righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the
law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the
works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone." -- Rom.
9: 30-32

When Moses was about to build the Tabernacle, he received from God
a solemn and specific admonition to "make all things according to the
pattern shown him in the Mount." We are divinely taught and admonished
in this requirement that when we attempt to accomplish any specific
work which God has assigned us, we must, if we would not have the work
fail in its accomplishment, strictly conform to God's revealed pattern
and method of operation.

In the Scriptures there is very distinctly revealed a
divinely-developed and perfected pattern or model of Christian
character, to which every believer is required to conform. God has
also therein disclosed, with equal distinctness, the method by which
that Christian character may be acquired, and take on the prescribed
forms of beauty and perfection. This character is represented by the
words "new man," as opposed to "the old man," our previous unrenewed
moral and spiritual nature. The latter we are required to "put off,"
and the former to "take on." If we have failed to realize in our
Christian character and experience all that is represented by the
words, "new man in Christ Jesus," it must be for one of two reasons,
or for both united. Either we have not attempted obedience to the
command before us, or we have attempted in ways not conformable to His
revealed method.

Two inquiries of vital importance here present themselves, viz.,
What is this "new man in Christ Jesus?" and, What is the revealed
method by which we may "put off the old," and "put on the new man?" To
each of these questions we will now proceed to give a concise and
specific answer.


In Old Testament prophecy we have a very distinct revelation of
God's ideal of the New Testament saint. He is a redeemed sinner who,
under the provisions and influences of "the new covenant," has been
divinely cleansed "from all filthiness and from all his idols," and
whose "iniquities shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and
his sins, and they shall not be found." In "his feebleness he is as
David," and in his strength "as the Lord, as the angel of the Lord
before Him." "The sun is no more his light by day, neither for
brightness does the moon give light unto him; but the Lord is unto him
an everlasting light, and his God his glory. His sun does no more go
down, neither does his moon withdraw itself: for the Lord is his
everlasting light, and the days of his mourning are ended." In his
experience has been realized, and is being realized, all that was
spoken of by the prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last
days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh; and your
sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see
visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on My servants and
on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they
shall prophesy."

In the New Testament this "new man" is revealed as "after God
created in righteousness and true holiness," and as "renewed in
knowledge after the image of Him that created him;" as "beholding with
open face the glory of the Lord, and being changed into the same image
from glory to glory;" "as comprehending the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height, and knowing the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge, and being filled with all the fullness of God;" as "walking
in the light, as God is in the light;" as "having been made perfect in
love;" and as "having fellowship with the Father, and with His Son
Jesus Christ."

To him "Christ manifests Himself," and is formed within him "the
hope of glory." He is "crucified with Christ," and "by the cross is
crucified to the world, and the world to him." "He is in the world as
Christ was in the world," and "in the name of Christ asks and receives
until his joy is full;" and "believing in Christ he rejoices with joy
unspeakable and full of glory." "Out of his belly flow rivers of
living water." "When weak, he is made strong," and "in tribulation,
distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, and
life," he is " more than conqueror, through Him that hath loved us."

In him "tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and
experience hope;" and "all things work together for his good." When
"troubled on every side, he is not distressed; when perplexed, he is
not in despair; when persecuted, he is not forsaken; and when cast
down, he is not destroyed." In every condition of existence he finds
deep content in the center of the sweet will of God, and verifies in
experience the great central fact of the Divine life -- that "we can
do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us."

Clad in the panoply of God, "he stands in the evil day," and
"quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked." "His faith groweth
exceedingly," and his "charity aboundeth;" and he is constantly
growing "into the stature of the fullness of Christ." He also "has
power with God and with men." "He asks what he will, and it is done
unto him." As reflecting the image and glory of Christ, he is "the
light of the world" and the "salt of the earth." Such is God's
revealed pattern of the New Testament saint, "the new man" whom we are
required to "put on."


No one will question the correctness of the above presentation of
God's revealed pattern of the New Testament saint, or affirm that we
have given any unauthorized coloring to that representation. How shall
we obey the command requiring us to "put off the old," and to "put on
the new man?" Have we a revealed method of attaining this character?
In answer to such inquiries, we remark: -- -

1. That whenever any of the leading characteristics of "the new
man" are referred to in the Bible, they are specifically represented
as produced by the indwelling presence, special agency, and influence
of the Holy Spirit. Do we "behold with open face the glory of the
Lord?" and are we thereby "changed into the same image?" It is "by the
Spirit of the Lord;" and this "liberty," this cloudless sunlight, we
are expressly taught, is enjoyed where, and only "where the Spirit of
the Lord is." Do we "have fellowship with the Father and with His Son
Jesus Christ?" Does God "dwell in us and walk in us?" and do Christ
and the Father "come to us" and "make their abode in us?" All this, we
are expressly taught, is the "fellowship of the Spirit;" the
fellowship which the Spirit induces and sustains.

Do we enjoy "assurance of hope?" It is because "the Spirit
testifies to our spirit that we are the children of God." Have we
power in prayer It is because "the Spirit maketh intercession for the
saints, according to the will of God." Do we call Jesus Lord? It is by
the Holy Ghost. Have we no condemnation? It is because we are in
Christ Jesus, and walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Do
we bear love, joy, peace? &c. They are said to be "the fruit of the

Do we "mortify the deeds of the body?" It is "through the Spirit."
Do we "comprehend the breadth, and depth, and length, and height, and
know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge?" It is because we
have been previously "strengthened with might by the Spirit in the
inner man." Does Christ become to us "wisdom, righteousness,
sanctification, and redemption?" It is because He is made such to us
"of God;" that is, by the Spirit of God -- the Spirit "revealing
Christ in us," and showing us His grace and glory.

When Christ promises to every believer that "out of his belly shall
flow rivers of living water," we must bear in mind that "this He spake
of the Spirit." If, then, we would "put off the old man with his
deeds," and "put on the new man, who after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness," it must be through the prior
indwelling of the Spirit in our hearts. On no other condition can we,
in full conformity to God's revealed pattern, become New Testament

2. This indwelling presence of the Spirit in our hearts, through
which all these revelations of the Divine grace and glory occur, and
all these moral and spiritual transformations are effected; through
which all these Divine fellowships are possessed, and these
assurances, "everlasting consolations and good hope, through grace,"
and this fullness of joy, are vouchsafed -- this indwelling presence
of the Spirit in our hearts, we say, is given to us after we have,
through His convicting power, "repented of sin, and believed in

Nothing is or can be more plain than the teachings of inspiration
on this subject. "Faith cometh by hearing;" "the sealing and earnest
of the Spirit" are received "after we have believed." When Christ
"spoke of the Spirit," He spoke of a blessing which "they that believe
were afterward to receive." The Spirit "convinces the world of sin, of
righteousness, and of judgment," and thus induces "repentance toward
God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," but He "comes upon,"
"falls upon," or "endues with power from on high" only such as have
already believed.

The inquiry which inspired apostles put to those who were believers
was this: "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"

As soon as individuals were recognized as real believers in the
Lord Jesus, special prayer was offered for them that "they might
receive the Holy Ghost." No believer can fully realize in experience
God's revealed pattern of the Christian character until he is "endued
with power from on high." Then, and not till then, will he comprehend
the height, and depth, and length, and breadth of Divine love, and be
"filled with all the fulness of God."

3. The indwelling presence and power of the Spirit are to be sought
and received by faith in God's word of promise, on the part of the
believer, after he has believed; just as pardon and eternal life are
to be sought by the sinner before justification. "How much more shall
your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him."
Between the believer and the baptism of the Spirit lies "the promise
of the Father." If this promise is not embraced by faith, the gift
will not be vouchsafed.

Hence the apostles, as soon as a sinner was converted, and became a
believer in Christ, turned and fixed his eye upon "the promise of the
Spirit" as the crowning blessing of Divine grace, as the blessing
without which he could not witness with power for the Lord Jesus.
Before Christ would allow His disciples to enter upon their world
mission, He commanded them to "tarry in Jerusalem, until they were
endued with power from on high." So He requires every believer, before
he enters upon his life-work as a Christian, to tarry before God, and
pray and wait, and wait and pray, until "the Holy Ghost shall fall
upon him," as "He did upon the disciples at the beginning."

Here, then, we have God's revealed method of attaining this ideal
of the Christian character -- that is, of rendering real, in our
experience and life, His divinely-developed and perfected pattern of
the New Testament saint. If, in our endeavors to render that model
real in our experience, we "make all things according to the pattern
shown us in the Mount," and if those endeavors accord with God's
inspired plan, our characters and lives will be constantly taking on
new and higher forms of radiant beauty and perfection. If, on the
other hand, we fail to put forth the necessary endeavors, or if those
endeavors shall take a wrong direction, God will utterly reject us as
"reprobate silver;" or our spiritual lives will manifest a feeble and
sickly growth, and when we should be risen "into the measure of the
stature of the fulness of Christ," we shall be as "babes in Christ."


"My life is a complete failure," said a very aged man, and the most
wealthy that had then lived in the American nation. This term
"failure" represents one of the most affectingly melancholy ideas that
ever entered human mind. Life may be a failure for various reasons. No
effective endeavors may be put forth in any direction. A purposeless,
dreamy, effortless life is, of course, a dead failure.

A life full of purpose and activity may be a failure, because its
direction has been towards worthless or unworthy ends. The ends and
aims of the Christian life are the most worthy and important known,
even to the infinite and eternal mind. To fail here, is to render
existence itself a failure; and we do fail so far as we come short of
our available privileges and advantages.

Not a few fail totally, because their so-called religious life is
void of holy purpose, aim, and activity. Others, with the Jew, "follow
after the law of righteousness," without "attaining to the law of
righteousness," and that because their activity is self-originated,
and void of faith as its central principle. Others still have in
reality holy purposes and aims, and their lives take on some forms of
real Christian activity. They have, also, a form of saving faith.
Their lives, however, are comparative failures, because they live far
below their privileges, and never possess or exercise "the power with
God and with men," which is divinely offered them to possess and

Let us for a moment turn our attention to the twelve disciples whom
Paul met at Ephesus -- who had believed, but not "received the Holy
Ghost since they believed." Suppose that for want of better
instruction they had continued till death in the same state in which
they then were. They might have been saved at last; but their lives as
Christians would have been melancholy failures as compared with what
they were after the Holy Ghost came upon them."

When Apollos first came to Ephesus he was "mighty in the
Scriptures," was "instructed in the way of the Lord," was "fervent in
spirit," and "taught diligently the way of the Lord." Like the twelve
above referred to; however, "he knew only the baptism of John," and as
a consequence "had not received the Holy Ghost since he believed." If
no one had "expounded to him the way of God more perfectly," he would
probably have continued as before. He might have been saved himself,
and done some good: but his life would have been in many important
respects a vast failure, as compared with what it did become after he
was instructed in the "way of God more perfectly."

Christian reader, shall your life, in any form, be a failure? To
prevent this, to "teach you the way of God more perfectly," if you do
not yet know it, and to insure to you a life of which God shall not be
ashamed, is the end for which this treatise has been prepared.

In no era of Church history, since the primitive age passed away,
has the mission and "promise of the Spirit" occupied so much attention
among all classes of believers as now. We regard this as a glorious
sign of the times. We pray that the results of this attention may be a
Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost upon all churches throughout the
Christian world.

There are two distinct forms of instruction upon this subject,
which we briefly notice.

According to one, "the promise of the Spirit" as an indwelling
Spirit is always fulfilled at the moment of conversion. What is
subsequently to be expected is merely a continuation and gradual
increase of what was then conferred.

According to the other view, the Spirit first of all induces in the
sinner "repentance towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ." Then, "after he has believed," that is, after conversion,
"the Holy Ghost comes upon," "falls upon," and is "poured out upon
him," and thus "endues him with power from on high" for his life
mission and work. In this baptism of power, this "sealing and earnest
of the Spirit," "the promise of the Spirit" is fulfilled.

This is the view which we shall endeavor to sustain in this volume.

It seems undeniable that if this last is not the correct view,
inspired men have fundamentally erred upon this Subject. With them
conversion was not prima-facie evidence that the convert had received
"the sealing and earnest of the Spirit." Hence the question which they
put to converts, viz., "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye
believed?" The apostles did not deny or depreciate the importance or
necessity of the Spirit's influences in conviction, conversion, and
the whole work of justification. Nor would we by any means be supposed
to entertain such an error. The Spirit is in the world to "convince of
sin, of righteousness, and of judgment," to induce "repentance toward
God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," and thus perfect the
work of justification. Nor does the Spirit leave the convert when this
necessary work is accomplished, but is ever present, preparing him for
the promised baptism of Himself which is yet to be received by him.

Repentance and justification, and the Spirit's influences in
producing the same, are necessary prerequisites for this great
consummation When the sacred writers employed such terms and phrases
as the following: "The Holy Ghost was not yet given," "The Holy Ghost
had not fallen upon any of them," "The promise of the Spirit," "The
sealing and earnest of the Spirit," "Have ye received the Holy Ghost
since believed?" and "Baptized with the Holy Ghost," they referred to
the promised baptism of Spirit, by which we are "endued with power
from on high," "after we have believed." As "the promise of the
Spirit" awaits the believer after conversion, the apostles did not
regard the fact of conversion as certain proof that the convert had
"received the Holy Ghost" in His baptismal power.

The fact stands recorded, that many individuals were truly
converted in Samaria under the preaching of Philip, and that upon not
one of them "had the Holy Ghost fallen" when Peter and John first
appeared among them. There were many holy men and holy women among the
followers of Christ prior to His crucifixion. The Holy Ghost, as
promised in the New Testament, however, was not given, as we are
positively informed, until after "Jesus was glorified." The New
Testament saints were "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" "after
they believed," and not when they were converted. This is sufficient
for the present, as the whole subject will be fully elucidated in
subsequent pages.

How many thousands there are in the churches who have been
converted, but are yet without the baptism of the Holy Ghost! They
have been baptized with water, and believed according to the use of
that term; but ask their hearts and their lives, "Have ye received the
Holy Ghost since ye believed?" Their doubts and fears, their
lukewarmness and Selfishness, their bigotry and worldliness, their
errings and falls, give the answer.

Those who sustain the sacred relations of pastors and teachers have
received a special commission to "feed the Church of God, which He
hath purchased with His own blood." This commission is rendered
specially sacred by the fact that of this flock "the Holy Ghost has
made us overseers." When we come to this blood-bought flock, what
direction shall our teachings take upon the subject under
consideration? If there is any subject that we need to understand, it
is this. If there is any subject on which we should borrow our light
from "the sure word of prophecy," and on which our instructions should
absolutely accord with that word, it is this. On no subject is wrong
instruction more certain to render the religious life a failure.

If "the promise of the Spirit" is fulfilled in conversion, and we
teach that "the baptism," "the sealing," and "the earnest of the
Spirit" are to be sought and received "after we have believed," then
we instruct believers to fix their hearts upon what they are never to

If, on the other hand, believers are to "receive the Holy Ghost" as
promised, and are "endued with power from on high," not in conversion,
but "after they have believed;" and we impress upon their minds the
opposite view, then we impart a life-long misdirection to their
seekings, prayers, and activities. We send them in the direction of
darkness. instead of "marvelous light;" of weakness, instead of
strength; of doubt, instead of "full assurance of hope;" of emptiness,
instead of the "fulness of God;" and of the "bondage of corruption,"
instead of "the glorious liberty of the sons of God." Will you not
attend us in a careful investigation of this great theme? If we go
wrong, will you not expose the error? If we shall speak "the words of
truth and soberness," will you not hold up the light before the Church
of God?"

Reader, the subject before us is not one of mere speculative
interest. It is, on the other hand, one of vital importance relatively
to the life of God in your soul. If, when you have read what we hope
to write, you do not find yourself nearer to God than you now are; if
you do not find yourself in full "fellowship with the Father and with
His Son Jesus Christ," and if "your joy shall not be full," or you
shall not be earnestly moved to "seek with all your heart and with all
your soul" until you find this infinite good; then so far we have
written, and you have read, in vain.

If you have not "received the Holy Ghost since you believed," you
need to know certainly whether there is not in reserve for you "some
better thing" than you have yet obtained. Will you not read these
pages with the fixed purpose to know, if possible, the truth upon this
whole subject, and, if you find the light, to follow it, until you are
"filled with all the fulness of God?"

* * * * * * *

Chapter 2

"This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received
of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this,
which ye now see and hear." -- Acts 2:32-33

"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God
giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." -- John 3:34

In Christ there were two forms of manifestation equally conspicuous
-- viz.: Deity "in the brightness of His glory," and "the express
image of His person;" and humanity in absolute beauty and perfection.
In the former relation He is "the Lord our righteousness." In the
latter, He is our divine-human Exemplar, teaching us not only what we
should do and become, but how to do and become all that is required of

Here arises a new question, which, to our knowledge, has not been
put before. The question is this: Did the development or manifestation
of the spiritual life in Christ depend upon the baptism, the
indwelling, and the influence of the Holy Spirit, the same in all
essential particulars as in us? Did He seek and secure this Divine
anointing as the necessary conditions and means of "finishing the work
which the Father had given Him to do" -- just as we are necessitated
to seek and secure the same "enduement of power from on high," as the
means and condition of our finishing the work which Christ has given
us to do?

A reference to prophecy furnishes a definite answer to all such
questions: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of his roots, and the Spirit of the Lord
shall be upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit
of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the
Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the
Lord." Isa. 11:1-3. Here we are positively taught that the Divine
manifestations which shone through Christ were the result of the power
of the Spirit which rested upon Him.

The same truth is taught in Isa. 42:1: "Behold My servant, whom I
uphold! Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit
upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." In Isa.
61:1, Christ thus speaks of Himself in the first person: "The Spirit
of the Lord God is upon Me; because He hath anointed Me to preach good
tidings unto the meek, He hath sent Me to bind up the heart-broken, to
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to
them that are bound." The fact that Christ was thus baptized of the
Spirit implies that He needed that baptism, and that without it, in
the relations in which He then was, He could not have "finished the
work which the Father had given Him to do." In seeking, and obtaining,
and acting under that baptism, Christ is our Exemplar in respect to
the spiritual and divine life which is required of us.

We find the same truth set forth with equal clearness in the New
Testament. In John 3:34, we are told, for example, that the reason why
Christ spake as He did, and what He did, was owing to the measureless
effusion and power of the Spirit which was vouchsafed to Him: "For He
whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the
Spirit by measure unto Him." God does not bestow gifts or influences
where and when they are not needed. Christ received this measureless
effusion of the Spirit at the beginning and during the progress of His
mission, because it was a necessity to Him -- just as similar baptisms
are a necessity to us in our life mission.

We have here, no doubt, one reason for the fact, that our Saviour
spent so much time alone with God and in prayer to Him. Christ teaches
us that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask, and seek, and
knock at the door of mercy for this anointing. In this respect, also,
God has made Christ our Exemplar, giving the Spirit to Him when he
consciously needed His special Divine influence and sought for it,
just as He gives us the Spirit as we consciously need and seek Him at
His hands.

Not to be misled here, we must carefully distinguish between the
state of Christ when, as the eternal Word, He dwelt with the Father,
and when, as the same Word, He "was made flesh and dwelt among us." In
the former state, He had infinite all-sufficiency in Himself; in the
latter, He "was in all respects made like unto His brethren," and had
the same need of the baptism of the Spirit that we have, and obtained
"power from high" on the conditions on which the same blessing is
promised to us.

We now turn to the recorded facts of the public life of our Saviour
which bear upon our present inquiries. At the time of His baptism by
John, the Spirit descended upon Him in answer to special prayer on His
part: "Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him."
This was His first special baptism.

At the close of the temptation in the wilderness, after Satan had
fled discomfited from His presence, and angels had descended and
ministered unto Him, the final and great baptism appears to have been
given, and "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee."
Then under this special Divine influence is thus presented by the
sacred historian: "And there went out a fame of Him through all the
region!' round about. And He taught in their synagogues, being
glorified of all." But the effect of this baptism is still more
manifest in the account which follows of His visit to Nazareth. We
give the account in full:

"And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and, as His
custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood
up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the
prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place
where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He
hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor: He hath sent Me to
heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are
bruised; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the
book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of
all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began
to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.
And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which
proceeded out of His mouth."

Our Saviour was here among the people, who had known Him from
childhood up. Hitherto He took no part in their worship but what was
ordinary. Nor does it seem that His prior reading or discourses had
been marked by peculiarities which excited very special observation,
much less the envy of any. But now there was a mysterious something
even about His reading, which fixed the eyes of all present upon Him.
But their surprise and wonder reached their consummation when they
listened to "the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth."

In His intellectual, moral, and spiritual manifestations He stood
before them as completely transformed as He was physically to the eyes
of the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. Now this wonderful
transformation Christ attributes, in fact and form, to the baptism of
the Spirit which He had just before received. One of the main objects
of reading that passage unquestionably was to explain to that people
the cause of that transformation -- a transformation so great as to
excite their envy. We are in no danger of being misunderstood here.
The life and character of our Saviour, prior to that event, were as
absolutely pure as now. He was no less then than now, "God manifest in
the flesh." Yet He had, through that baptism of love, knowledge, and
power, ascended from some forms of perfect human and perfect Divine
manifestations, to others far higher and more impressive.

The great truth which we would impress upon all minds through this
revealed fact is this If Christ the pure and spotless One, Christ the
Eternal Word, was thus transformed through the baptism of the Holy
Ghost," who must be the transformation in believers when they for
their life work shall be endued with power from on high This is the
transformation which Christ is ready to effect in all His people. "He
shall baptize you says John Baptist with the Holy Ghost." On another
occasion, when John saw Jesus coming unto him he gave utterance to
these memorable words: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man
which is preferred before me: for He was before me. And I knew Him
not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I
come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the
Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him, and
I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same
said unto Me: Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and
remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

We, then, are to look to Christ for the gift of the Spirit, just as
He looked to the Father for the same baptism of power. As Christ spent
forty days and forty nights in fasting and prayer preparatory to the
reception of a full and final baptism, we should not think it strange
if a considerable time should pass before such preparation in us is

Let this truth, however, be continually in our minds. The power of
the Spirit was a necessity even to Christ for the full accomplishment
of His life mission. How much more so to us if we would accomplish our
life work. Christ would not enter upon His mission until He could "go
forth in the power of the Spirit." Would it not be presumption in us
to enter upon ours without tarrying before God "until we be endued
with power from on high?"

We have now arrived at the main object of the present chapter --
viz., what Christ Himself said and taught in regard to the Holy Spirit
and His mission. On this part of our subject we would present the
following facts and considerations: -- -

1. He taught expressly that all believers may seek and obtain this
unspeakable gift, and upon the same conditions on which He obtained
it. In Luke 11:4-13, we have specific instructions on this subject.
Read the whole passage: "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be
given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto
you. For everyone that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh,
findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If a son ask
bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if
he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent or if he shall
ask an egg will he offer him a scorpion? If ye, then, being evil know
how to give good gifts unto your children how much more your heavenly
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

All, then, are without excuse who go forth to the mission of life
without doing so under "the power of the Spirit as Christ went out
from the wilderness. The heart of God, only in greater strength, is
towards us, in respect to this gift, as the parental heart is toward
the child in respect to needed food: "How much more shall your
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him!"

2. The Holy Spirit, when given and not subsequently grieved or
quenched, remains with us, not as a mere divine influence, but as an
abiding personal presence. Everywhere our Saviour speaks of the
Spirit, not as an influence, but as a Person As a Person He is sent --
comes, speaks, teaches, shows things to the mind, and abides with
believers, as Christ "dwelt among us." He requires the ordinance of
baptism to be administered in "the name of the Father and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost." No such language is applicable to mere
influence in any form.

The Spirit, also, when He comes to us, comes to abide with us as a
permanent personal presence. Christ "came forth from the Father," came
into the world, and "dwelt among us" for a little season. Then He
"left the world, and returned to the Father." The Spirit comes to the
believer to "abide with him forever." As a consequence, "all our work
should be wrought in God," and all our activities should be under His
immediate control. "I will pray the Father for you, and He shall give
you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." "Ye know
Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

3. Another truth of great moment taught by our Saviour on this
subject, is this: -- The benefits which we may all receive through the
Spirit dwelling in us are far greater than His disciples did derive,
or could have derived, from Christ's personal presence, teachings, and
influence, when He was upon earth, and Himself under "the power of the
Spirit." This we could hardly believe but upon the express testimony
of our Saviour Himself. Until after "Christ was glorified," the Holy
Ghost could not be given, even to believers. Hence the highest good of
His disciples demanded that He should return to the Father, that the
abiding presence of the Spirit might be vouchsafed to them:
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go
away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but
if I depart, I will send Him unto you." Christ did not undervalue the
light and privileges enjoyed by His disciples under His ministrations.
On this subject He thus speaks: "And He turned Him unto His disciples,
and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye
see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see
those things which ye see, and have not seen them; to hear those
things which ye hear, and have not heard them." But what they thus saw
and heard was only preparatory for the higher light and glory and
blessedness which they were to receive and enjoy after Christ was
glorified and the Holy Ghost was given unto them. Of the present
privileges of all believers in common, our Saviour thus speaks: "He
that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly
shall flow rivers of living water." "But this," the apostle adds, "He
spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive;
for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet

None, we are taught here, could have had this blessedness
consummated in their experience before "Jesus was glorified." No
prophet, or king, or disciple ever did enjoy, or could have enjoyed,
prior to the time when the Holy Ghost was given, the light,
privileges, and blessedness which all believers may now enjoy under
the dispensation of the Spirit.

Such are the express teachings of our Saviour upon this subject.
According to the equally express teachings of prophecy also, "He that
is feeble among you at that day shall be as David, while the house of
David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before Him." Those
things, also, after which "the prophets inquired and searched
diligently," were not the sayings or works of our Saviour prior to His
crucifixion, but "the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should
follow" --follow after "the Holy Ghost was given." The most important
utterances of our Saviour were like enigmas, even to the disciples,
until after "the Spirit took of the things of Christ and showed them
unto them."

4. The special mission of the Spirit, as revealed by our Saviour
Himself, next claims our attention. His mission is set forth in such
words as the following: "He shall teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you;" "He shall
glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you;"
"He will guide you into all truth;" "He shall testify of Me;" "I by
the Spirit will show you plainly of the Father;" "He will reprove the
world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment;" "He shall not speak
of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He
will show you things to come;" "And they shall all be taught of God."

The mission of the Spirit, then, is to put the mind in full
possession of that "eternal life," which consists in "knowing the only
living and true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent." It is one
thing to study the Word of God with human helps; it is quite another
thing to have in addition to these the Spirit of God, first to
strengthen His truth in "the inner man," and then to open it to our
vision, especially "the image of the glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ." The Church, under the power of the Spirit's indwelling and
teaching, is "the light of the world." While the Church is laboring
for the salvation of the race, the Spirit is in the world to convince
men of sin and lead them to Christ. After they have repented and
believed in Him, He sends the Comforter to enlighten, teach, help,
guide, and dwell with them forever.

Prior to conversion the Spirit comes to men without being sought,
and convinces them of sin, even against their will. After repentance
and faith in Christ, believers receive "power from on high," "the
power of the Spirit," by asking, seeking, knocking, and waiting for
His coming upon them as the disciples did at the Pentecost, and as
Christ did in the wilderness and in mountain solitudes.

The Spirit in Christ, in the prophets and in the apostles, gives us
the whole circle and volume of revealed truth. The Spirit in the world
acts as a convicting and persuading power to lead men to Christ. The
Spirit in the Church abides in the hearts of all believers who seek
and obtain Him, as a transforming, all-illuminating, and personal
presence, through which we apprehend the things of Christ, and all
truth requisite "to life and godliness," through which, as stated by
the apostle, "we behold with open face the glory of God," are "changed
into the same image from glory to glory," and "are filled with all the
fulness of God." Such is the mission of the Spirit, as set forth by
our Saviour Himself.

5. What has Christ authorized us to expect, through the abiding
presence and power of the Spirit? This is the question which should
next engage our attention. We have already spoken of the forms of
Divine illumination promised by our Saviour, and which are to be
received through the Spirit.

Let us now contemplate other forms of blessedness, which are
pledged to us, and which are to descend to us under His ministration:
"And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it
you. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in My name: ask and receive, that
your joy may be full." "At that day ye shall know that I am in My
Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and
keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be
loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to
him. Judas, not Iscariot, saith to Him, Lord, how is it that Thou wilt
manifest Thyself to us, and not to the world? Jesus answered and said
to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will
love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him."

All this is Spoken with direct reference to the results which were
to attend the mission of the Spirit. After speaking of the
illumination which believers are to receive under the teachings of the
Spirit, our Saviour thus speaks of their blessedness through the
Spirit's indwelling presence: "Peace I leave with you, My peace [the
peace which I Myself enjoy] I give unto you." In His intercessory
prayer, He thus speaks upon the same subject. "And now come I to Thee;
and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy
fulfilled in themselves." Again He adds, "And the glory which Thou
hast given Me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are
one. I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one;
and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved
them, as Thou hast loved Me."

The power of the gospel in the hands of Christians, when they go
forth "under the power of the Spirit," our Saviour thus describes:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works
that I do shall He do also; and greater works than these shall he do:
because I go unto My Father." The Saviour is not here speaking of His
miraculous deeds, but of the power of the gospel under His immediate
ministration, as compared with the glory which was to follow His
Sufferings, and follow through the agency of believers when under "the
power of the Spirit."

Of two individuals aiming at the same general results, one may move
in a far wider sphere, and may touch a far greater number of minds,
and in this sense exert a far greater influence than the other; while
the influence of the latter within his narrow sphere may be in itself
more efficient than that of the former. This is the great truth set
before us in this memorable utterance of Christ. Each believer, the
least as well as the greatest, has received from Christ a life mission
and work, and has, under the power of the Spirit, an influence in
itself more efficient than Christ wielded during His public ministry.

The following, then, are some of the high and glorious privileges
which Christ has absolutely promised to us, provided we receive the
Holy Ghost after we believe: --

Not only a perfect union with Him, and with the Father in Him, "the
Father in Him, and He in us, and we in Him" but we are to know that
this union between us and the adorable Trinity does exist.

2. Not only is the Spirit to "abide with us forever," but Christ
and the Father will "come to us and make their abode with us;" "our
fellowship," in the language of the Apostle John, "being with the
Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

3. We are to enjoy a similar access to the throne of grace, and
have the same power in prayer in our life mission and work, that
Christ possessed while prosecuting His mission and work -- we "asking
in His name," and asking and receiving until "our joy," as His was,
"is full."

4. Under the power of the Spirit we are to "bring forth much fruit"
to the glory of God, and to the honor of Him that "loved us, and gave
Himself for us," and thus to share in full measure the glory which the
Father has given to Christ.

5. In the prosecution of our life mission and work, we, abiding and
walking in the Spirit, are to be possessed of a full fruition of that
peace in God, and fulness of joy, which Christ Himself possessed,
while "finishing the work which the Father had given Him to do." We
should not dare to write such thoughts, did not the express words of
Christ to that effect lie out in distinct utterances before our minds.

We notice, in the next place, the plan of our Saviour, as far as
the agency of the Church is concerned in the work, of saving lost men,
and bringing the world back to God. This plan may be thus stated: --

1. To organize the entire membership into one divinely-anointed
sacramental host, all of whom, in their individual and social
relations, are to labor with supreme devotion for this great end.

2. To impart to each and everyone, through the Spirit, such a full
and special baptism of power, as will perfectly qualify for, and adapt
him to, the peculiar and special mission and work appointed him. Each
individual is to be so "endued with power from on high," and so
"filled with all the fulness of God," that there shall not be "a
sickly or feeble one in all that host;" "the feeble among them being
as David, and the house of David" (the leaders under the Great Captain
of our salvation), "as the Lord, as the angel of the Lord before Him."

3. Through the abiding presence of the Spirit, and through Him of
Christ and the Father in each heart, there shall exist such a visible
unity of spirit, purpose, and mutual love among all the sanctified
family, that the world shall believe in the divinity of our Saviour's

4. To secure in all such peace, assurance, and fullness of joy,
that "the Gentiles shall come to the light of the Church, and kings to
the brightness of her rising."

Such is the plan, as no one will deny. What did Christ do and teach
to render this plan real in the experience of the Church? In His
relations as our atoning God and Saviour, He has made full provision
for the complete sanctification, adequacy for every good word and
work, and fullness of joy in every believer. He has purchased for each
and all "the promise of the Spirit," through Whom God can do for
everyone "exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think."

He has, by His own example, shown us how we may obtain the "sealing
and earnest of the Spirit;" and how we must live and act when we go
forth to our life-work under His power. He has said everything that
could have been said to induce in us, first of all, supreme
consecration to our life-work, and then a waiting upon God, as Christ
waited before the Father, for that "enduement of power from on high"
which is the immutable condition of accomplishing our
divinely-appointed mission. Among His earliest instructions we are
absolutely assured of God's willingness and desire to bestow upon us
this anointing when we seek and pray for it as required. We are also
assured that when this baptism shall come upon us, "the days of our
mourning shall be ended," and we may rejoice evermore.

Then as the time of His departure approached, His last discourse
and prayer with His disciples seem to have but one leading end and
aim, viz., to prepare their hearts for the reception of the Comforter,
and to fix their desires and expectations upon "the glory which was to
follow His sufferings."

On His first meeting with them after His resurrection, His first
act, after His peace salutation, was to breathe upon them, saying,
"Receive ye the Holy Ghost." After being seen of them forty days and
speaking to them of the things pertaining to the "kingdom of God,"
after admonishing them not to "depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
promise of the Father," and assuring them that they should "be
baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence," He finally led them
out of the city as far as Bethany. There having delivered to them His
final commission, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to
every creature," and His last command, "But tarry ye in Jerusalem
until ye be endued with power from on high," He "lifted up His hands
and blessed them," and then ascended upward and took His place at "the
right hand of God," "leading captivity captive, and giving gifts unto

Now, reader, from beneath those sacred hands uplifted to bless us
as well as them, those never-to-be-forgotten words, "Go," but "Tarry,"
come directly and personally to you and to me. Eternity is lost to us
if we go not as bidden, and barrenness and spiritual blight will rest
upon us if we tarry not as required. But the light of God shall attend
us, and glory infinite shall encircle us at last if we do go forth as
bidden on the one hand, and tarry as required on the other.

* * * * * * *

Chapter 3

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that
cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to
bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose
fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather
his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with
unquenchable fire." -- Matthew 3:11-12

"He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye
believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether
there be any Holy Ghost." -- Acts 19:2

The preceding chapters have, we trust, opened the way for an
exposition and elucidation of the doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy
Ghost, as set forth in the New Testament.

In attending to this we will first of all quote the various
passages of Scripture in which this doctrine is clearly set forth, and
then suggest the various lessons which they appear to teach.

The first passage to which we refer is Acts 19:1-6: "And it came to
pass that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through
the upper coasts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he
said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And
they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any
Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what, then, were ye baptized?
And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily
baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that
they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on
Christ Jesus. When they heard this they were baptized in the name of
the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy
Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied." This
passage teaches several truths of great importance in respect to the
subject under consideration.

1. We learn that the gift of the Spirit was not received in but
after conversion -- "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye

2. We are taught that in the judgment of inspired men, believers
are not fully qualified for their sphere of Christian activity until
this baptism is received.

The men whom Paul met he distinctly recognized as Christians, but
in want of the chief qualifications for Christian usefulness until
they had been "endued with power from on high," through this Divine

Nor was this view peculiar to Paul. It was the view of the other
apostles, as we may learn from Acts 8:14-17: "Now when the apostles
which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of
God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they were come
down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost, for as
yet He was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptized in the
name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they
received the Holy Ghost."

3. We learn from the passage before us, as well as from others,
that when believers do receive this Divine Baptism, they enter at once
upon forms of Christian activity and usefulness otherwise impossible
to them. It was so with the twelve individuals referred to, and with
the apostles and their associates at the Pentecost, and also with
Apollos after he was instructed by Priscilla and Aquila.

4. We learn also that where the Holy Ghost is received such a
change is wrought in the subject, that he himself is distinctly
conscious of it. This change is also, with equal distinctness, seen by
others. The transformation which took place in the believers in
Samaria was observed even by Simon the sorcerer.

The change produced in the apostles and their associates at the
Pentecost, was not only manifest to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but
to the multitudes assembled from surrounding nations. The new forms of
life and activity which followed the descent of the Spirit upon the
believers assembled at the house of Cornelius were at once obvious to
Peter and his companions from Joppa. Acts 10:44-47: "While Peter yet
spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the
word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as
many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured
out the gift of the Holy Ghost, for they heard them speak with tongues
and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that
these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as
well as we?" That the change wrought by the gift of the Spirit should
be visible to others, as well as to believers, was foreshadowed in
prophecy: 'The Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen
upon thee."

5. The gift of the Spirit does not ordinarily come to believers
unsought or unexpected, but where and when they are seeking it and
waiting for it. We have but one case recorded in the New Testament in
which this blessing came when not definitely sought. This is the case
presented above -- the case in which the Gentiles first received this
"unspeakable gift." Here it was thus given for reasons that at once
disappeared. To us, the great truth stands plainly revealed, that "the
sealing and earnest of the Spirit" will not be given to us, but upon
the condition that we seek it and wait for it, as the apostles and
primitive Christians sought and waited for it.

The second passage to which we call attention is Eph. 1:13: "In
whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the
gospel of your salvation; in whom, also, after that ye believed, ye
were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Here we have the order
of facts as occurring in actual experience, viz., hearing, then
believing, then, after believing, "the sealing with that Holy Spirit
of promise." All is plain here but the meaning of the term "sealed."
Reference is had, in the use of this term, to the final act of parties
rendering permanently valid and mutually obligatory written covenants,
in putting their hand and seal to the document.

When a penitent believes in Christ, "he sets to his seal that God
is true;" then God gives His Holy Spirit unto him to seal on his
heart, the fact that he is "accepted in the Beloved," and is brought
into covenant relations with "the Father of lights." Until this is
done he has no witness from God that his sins are blotted out and that
his name is written in Heaven. It would evince great presumption in us
to call ourselves His renewed and adopted children, without the
testimony and sealing of His Holy Spirit. "Because ye are sons, God
hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba,

A third passage which we find on this subject is in 2 Cor. 1:22,
where we read that God both "seals us and gives the earnest of the
Spirit in our hearts." In Eph. 1:14 we read that in the gift of the
Spirit we receive not only a seal of our title to sonship with God,
but "the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the
purchased possession."

The term "earnest" implies, in our language as well as in the
original, two ideas -- a part of the inheritance given in hand, and
that as a pledge of an ultimate possession of the whole. The part
received being the same in kind as the remainder, puts the recipient
in possession of the same blessedness in kind which he is afterwards
to receive in its fullness. This, then, is true of all who receive the
"sealing and earnest of the Spirit in their hearts." With them glory
is begun below. Heaven itself has dawned upon their inner life.

The fourth passage to which we invite attention is Eph. 3:1421. The
passage is rather long, but will repay a careful consideration, as it
throws great light on our present inquires, "For this cause I bow my
knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole
family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you,
according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by
His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by
faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to
comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth,
and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto Him
that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in
the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

The reader will notice the various stages of Christian experience
here presented, and how each is preparatory to that which follows next
in order, until the whole culminates in the soul being "filled with
all the fulness of God." It will also be observed that this fullness
results primarily from one originating cause -- the indwelling of the
Spirit in our hearts. Let us now contemplate these great central facts
of the spiritual life, in the order here presented.

1. When we "receive the Holy Ghost, after we have believed," the
first result is an expansion and accumulation of intellectual, moral,
and spiritual power. Our faculties of apprehension and comprehension
are greatly enlarged. In other words, we are "strengthened with might
by the Spirit in the inner man." We become "strong in the Lord, and in
the power of His might." We are able to think, to pray, to suffer, to
submit, to do and to endure as would otherwise be impossible to us.

2. When our bodies thus become "the temples of the Holy Ghost," and
we are "builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit,"
Christ then "dwells in our hearts by faith," and is "in us the hope of
glory." He and the Father "come to us and make their abode with us,"
and then "truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son
Jesus Christ." We thus enjoy "the fellowship of the Spirit," and in
this Divine fellowship we come to know and believe the love that God
hath to us"' and by this means our "love is made perfect," our
characters take form after the Divine image, and we become "confirmed,
settled, and strengthened;" that is, we become "rooted and grounded in

3. When thus "walking in the light as God is in the light,"
"beholding with open face the glory of the Lord," and having
"fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ," we at
length attain to "a comprehension of the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge." We, then, know by experience what our Saviour meant when
He said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the
only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."

4. As a further result, all our powers and susceptibilities, and
activities become pervaded and filled with "the light of God." Our
dwellingplace is now in the center of an infinite fullness, where
every want is met, where the "effect of righteousness is peace, and
the fruit of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever," and
where "God is our everlasting light, and the days of our mourning are
ended." In other words, we are "filled with all the fulness of God."

5. he inspired caution which follows must not be overlooked in this
connection. When our thoughts, desires, and prayers turn towards God,
we must never "limit the Holy ONE." We must never suppose that the
measure of grace, which He shall give, will be limited by what we "ask
or think."

We are to bear in mind, on the other hand, that the measure of our
real necessities, not as seen by ourselves, but as they lie out under
the eye of God, is the limit with which He is able to fill us, and
which He will confer when we "put our trust in Him." "According to the
power" -- that is, by means of the power of the Spirit -- "that
worketh in us," God is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that
we ask or think." This is "the way of holiness," along which all are
advancing who "receive the Holy Ghost after they have believed," and
who do not "grieve" or "quench the Spirit," but "walk in the Spirit."

In addition to the above, there are various passages which speak of
the power of the Spirit demanding special notice. The Spirit, as
imparted to Christ, is called "the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the
fear of the Lord." Jesus commanded His disciples to "tarry in
Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high." Again, "Ye
shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."

"Through the power of the Holy Ghost" we are "filled with all joy
and peace in believing," and "abound in hope." Through the power of
the Spirit the truth of God has an all-transforming influence over our
whole moral and spiritual being and character. "We all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the
Same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

The Spirit also has absolute control of all the elements of moral
and spiritual power within us. He can purify our emotions and
affections, quicken into immortal life and vigor our intellectual and
executive activities, transform character and consolidate virtue, and
thus render us "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" for
all purposes of thought, action, and endurance. But more of this in
another chapter.

Let us now turn our attention to the memorable utterance of our
Saviour, found in John 7:38,39: "He that believeth on Me, as the
Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him
should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that
Jesus was not yet glorified." The following important truths,
undeniably revealed in this passage, deserve particular attention:

1. The Spirit, with all that shall follow His reception, is here
promised absolutely to every believer to the end of time. "If any man
thirst," says Christ, in the verse preceding, "let him come unto Me,
and drink." "He that believeth on Me" -- that is, every individual
that shall believe "as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall
flow rivers of living water." No promise can be more universal.

2. The Spirit, as here promised, was given to no believer until
after Jesus was glorified, and never at that time in conversion, but
only and exclusively after he had believed to the saving of his soul.

3. Let us now think of the moral and spiritual state, "the
everlasting consolations," the assurances of hope, the immortal
fellowships, and fullness of joy, represented by such language as
this, "Rivers of living water." "Whosoever," says our Saviour again,
"drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but
the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water,
springing up into everlasting life." All that such language imports
becomes real in the experience of every believer who "receives the
Holy Ghost" after he has believed.

On no other condition can such a form of life and blessedness
become real in the experience of any individual. "But this He spake of
the Spirit." You may possess all this, reader, because you may "be
filled with the Spirit," and may "walk in the Spirit." You must
possess all this, or your Christian life, in its essential
particulars, will be a melancholy failure.

The object for which the Spirit is given is also specified in the
New Testament. 1 Cor. 12:7: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is
given to every man to profit withal;" that is, to render him
efficiently useful as a member of the sanctified family. "To one," we
are told, 1 Cor. 12:11, "is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to
another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another, faith
by the same Spirit; to another, the gifts of healing by the same
Spirit; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to
another, discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of tongues;
to another, the interpretation of tongues,' but all these worketh that
one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He

All who receive this baptism, we are taught (verse 13), "by one
Spirit are baptized into one body," and "made to drink into one
Spirit." All have not imparted to them the same gifts; but each
receives, in connection with what is common to all, special gifts and
influences, which adapt him to his particular place as "a member of
the body of Christ." The specific object of the entire chapter before
us is to elucidate this one truth.

The spirit of prophecy which attends this baptism requires special
attention. Acts 2:18: "And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will
pour out, in those days, of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy." Acts
21:9: "And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did
prophesy." The particular meaning of the term "prophesy," in the New
Testament, is not to foretell future events, but, as we are informed,
1 Cor. 14:3,4, to utter Divine truth under the illumination of the
Spirit, so as to edify those that hear -- the Church especially: "But
he that prophesieth, speaketh unto men to edification, and
exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue,
edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth, edifieth the Church."

The effect upon worldly minds of the spirit of prophecy in the
Church is set forth in verses 23 and 24 of the same chapter: "If
therefore the whole Church be come together into one place, and all
speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or
unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy,
and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is
convinced of all, he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his
heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship
God, and report that God is in you of a truth."

This prophetic power, the power of utterance for the edification of
the Church and the conversion of sinners, is in all such passages and
in other Scriptures represented as the common privilege of all
believers. Let any worldly person enter a circle whose hearts are full
of the Holy Ghost, and he will at once recognize himself as
encompassed with the light of God, and will he impressed with the fact
that the kingdom of has come nigh unto him. When any one speaks there
will be an unction about his utterance, which all will recognize as

Another portion of the New Testament, which has an important
bearing upon our present inquiries, is the first baptism of the Spirit
after "Jesus was glorified;" that which occurred at the Pentecost. A
full account of this event is given in the first and second chapters
of Acts. The following facts in this account deserve attention: --

1. The apostles and their associates, knowing well that the promise
of the Holy Spirit was about to be fulfilled, made every possible
arrangement to receive Him; such as completing the required number of
apostles, and the preparation of their hearts for His glorious

Having done this, they met together in perfect unity of prayer and
expectation to receive "the promise of the Father." "And when the day
of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one
place." Here is a revelation to us of the spiritual state in which we
may expect this Divine baptism -- viz., a state of total consecration
to Christ, and a waiting and praying for it with all our hearts.

2. We notice also the signs which immediately preceded the baptism
itself. First of all, the place was shaken as by a mighty rushing
wind; then appeared the cloven tongues; and lastly, the internal
manifestation, when all in common "were filled with the Holy Ghost."
We have, we believe, but three instances in which the bestowment of
this blessing was preceded by external manifestations -- the anointing
of Christ, the case before us, and the one after the release of Peter
and John, recorded in Acts 4:31: "And when they had prayed the place
was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with
boldness." In all other instances the manifestation was wholly

3. We notice, again, the social and the common effects of this
baptism -- the speaking with tongues and prophesying, or the utterance
of Divine truth under Divine influence. The former was a miraculous
power granted to the few; the latter, a special gift granted to all in
common. Few spake with tongues; all uttered "the wonderful works of
God," and "spoke the Word of God with boldness."

4. We notice, finally, in this connection, the universality of "the
promise of the Spirit." This is manifest in the condition on which
this gift of God was promised to those addressed by Peter on this
occasion. Acts 2:38: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be
baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Here we are taught that all who repent and believe in Christ, and
openly confess Him, become, for this reason, graciously entitled to
this promise. So the apostle positively affirms in the next verse,
"For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are
afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call." Here we
have universality in its strictest and most absolute form.

One and only one other aspect of this great theme demands our
notice in this connection; we refer to the doctrine of the Spirit as
an abiding presence in the Church, and in all the membership of the
same. On this subject the teachings of our Saviour are very specific.
John 14:16: "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another
Comforter, that He may abide with you forever."

The visible presence of Christ with His disciples was temporary:
that of the Spirit was to be perpetual: and the blessings received
through the presence of the Spirit were to be much greater than those
received through the personal presence of Christ. Jno. 16:7:
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I o
away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but
if I depart, I will send Him unto you."

Such is the doctrine of the Spirit, as presented in the Scriptures
of truth. Let us now attend to certain general suggestions tending to
elucidate still further this great subject.

We will consider: --


1. The Spirit, as the crowning glory and promise of the New
Dispensation, is not, although supernatural, any form of miraculous
power. As a miracle-working power, He had been in the Church ever
since the fall, and had been imparted as such to the disciples prior
to the death of Christ; yet as promised by our Saviour, and foretold
by the prophets, He was not given until after "Christ was glorified."
The baptism at the Pentecost was the beginning of the fulfillment of
this promise.

2. The Spirit sustains one relation to the world and quite another
to the Church. To the former He was a convicting and converting power;
to the latter He is an all-illuminating, all sanctifying, and
all-strengthening presence, through whom we are continuously
transformed into the Divine image "from glory to glory," brought into
"fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ," have a
continuous earnest of eternal fruition, and are "filled with all the
fulness of God."

3. The promise of the Spirit does not pertain merely to the
apostles, the Primitive Church, or a favored few in subsequent ages.
It is, on the other hand, the common gift to all who believe in
Christ, the least as well as the greatest, and that to the end of
time. Nothing can be more specific than the teachings of the
Scriptures on this subject. "All thy children shall be taught of the
Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children;" "The promise is
to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even to as
many as the Lord our God shall call;" "He that believeth on Me (as the
Scriptures have said), out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water. But this He spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him
should receive."

4. While all who believe become thereby entitled to this promise,
its fulfillment is to be sought by faith after we have believed in
Jesus; just as pardon is sought in conversion. The promise is as
absolute in one case as in the other. There is nothing which God so
desires to bestow upon sinners as pardon, and with it eternal life.
Neither is there any gift He is more willing to bestow upon believers
than this Divine Baptism. Here all who ask receive, and all who seek
find. Nothing but unbelief can prevent pardon; and nothing but a want
of faith in the promise of God can prevent an "enduement of power from
on high."

5. There is no natural, or intellectual, or educational, or moral,
or ecclesiastical gift which can be a substitute for this. It is the
all-essential and absolutely supreme gift of God in this dispensation.
As the sun in the solar system, and life in the human body are the
highest good, and nothing can supersede them; so this baptism is the
noblest blessing of Christianity, and no other can fill its place.


In reference to the effects of this baptism, we would remark in
general, that permanence and power are the leading characteristics.
Without this, feebleness characterizes the strongest among us; with
it, "he that is feeble among us is as David, and the house of David,
as the Lord, as the angel of the Lord before him." In the former
state, "our souls can neither fly nor go;" in the latter, "we mount Up
on wings as eagles, we run and are not weary, and walk and are not
faint." In the former state "we walk in darkness," in the latter "God
is our everlasting light, and the days of our mourning are ended." In
the former state we are weary, "tossed with tempests, and not
comforted;" in the latter, "our peace is as a river, and our
righteousness as the waves of the sea." In the former state doubts and
fears prevail, in the latter we walk in the cloudless sunlight of "the
full assurance of hope." In the one state we groan and sigh, and "weep
for sorrow of heart," in the other "we sing for joy of heart,"
returning and coming "to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon our
heads." To be more particular, we remark -- i. In this state all our
natural powers are quickened and developed into unwonted activity and
energy. When in the presence of great minds, great thoughts, deep
emotions, and vast energies of action, all our mental powers take on
forms of activity otherwise impossible to us. What, then, must be the
effect upon our mental faculties when they are all brought consciously
under the influence of the infinite and eternal mind, and move and act
under the power of God's thoughts, emotions, and activities?

These statements are all sustained by universal observation and
experience. Whenever anyone receives this baptism, a radical change is
immediately observed in the forms which his actions assume. Thought is
expanded, emotion deepened, and activity energized as never before.

2. Especially is there an increase of moral and spiritual power to
endure and accomplish all things according to the Divine will. Without
this baptism the mind remains in servitude to the natural
propensities, faints under chastisements, is overcome when tempted,
and rendered despondent through broken resolutions. Under this baptism
we have a sovereign control over our spirit, we endure when tried,
overcome when tempted, and when weak in ourselves find everlasting
strength in God.

Power with God and with men is an invariable result of this
anointing. After Luther received it, his enemies were accustomed to
say that he could obtain anything from God for which he asked. After
Knox received it, Mary Queen of Scots was accustomed to say that she
feared the prayers of that one man more than she did the fleets and
armies of Elizabeth. So it was with the apostles and first Christians
after the Pentecost. Who among men could "resist the wisdom and the
spirit with which they spake?" The same is true of the weakest in the
churches when thus baptized with the Holy Ghost.

3. Soul-transforming apprehensions of truth is another marked
result of this baptism. Void of this anointing, the Bible, in its
spiritual teachings, seems to be a sealed book, or a dead letter. With
it, every truth has an all-vitalizing power to quicken and enlarge
thought, to deepen spiritual emotion, to quicken the mental faculties,
and to transform the whole moral and spiritual being and character. We
walk in the light of God, which, shining upon the sacred page, gives
to its truth a cleansing, illuminating, elevating, and energizing
effect upon our souls. We realize the force of what Paul teaches as
the result of receiving the Spirit in 1 Cor. 2:9-16.

4. Absolute assurance of hope is another equally marked result of
this baptism. This assurance is represented by such forms of
expression as these: "We know that we are of God," "we know that we
have passed from death unto life," "we know in whom we have believed,"
and "truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus
Christ." "Now we have received, not the spirit which is of the world,
but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which
are freely given to us of God." After the believer has received the
witness of the Spirit, he can no more doubt his adoption than he can
doubt his own being. There is nothing of which he does or can enjoy a
more absolute assurance.

5. Another result of this baptism is conscious "fellowship with the
Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." Before the believer has
received the Holy Ghost, Christ is to his apprehension far off in
Heaven, and God is at an infinite remove. After this baptism, the soul
becomes a temple of the Triune Deity. God then "walks in us and dwells
in us." The Father and the Son "come to us and make their abode with
us," and we are thus "filled with all the fulness of God." Christ is
in us the hope of glory, and dwells in our hearts by faith. In prayer,
we speak to Him as a personal presence, and inwardly "see His face."
God "shines in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." We know then, and only
then, what Christ means when He says, "I will come to you," "I will
manifest Myself to him," and "I will come unto him and sup with him,
and he with Me," and "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to

6. We mention as another result, deep and permanent spiritual
blessedness. This blessedness is set forth by such Divine expressions
as "joy in God," "joy in tribulation," "rejoice evermore," "pleasure
in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in
distresses for Christ's sake," "everlasting consolations and good hope
through grace," joy unspeakable, and full of glory," "the peace of
God, which passeth understanding, keeps our minds and hearts through
Christ Jesus," peace as a river, and righteousness as the waves of the
sea," and "the Lord shall be their everlasting light, and the days of
their mourning shall be ended." In short, when we have received the
Holy Ghost after we have believed, our interior life will fully
correspond with Christian experience, as foreseen by the ancient
prophets and as described in the New Testament.

7. Christian unity and love is another result which will follow
this baptism. We shall "have fellowship" not only "with the Father,
and with His Son Jesus Christ," but also "one with another;" and the
prayer of the Saviour in behalf of His people will be fully answered:
"That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee,
that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou
hast sent Me;" "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made
perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me,
and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me."

It is vain to look for such a condition of unity and concord as
here prayed for only as the glorious fruits of a baptism of the Holy
Ghost. Any other spirit than this will produce division and strife;
but this running through every member will bring the whole as a body
to the Head, fitly joined together and compacted, so that there shall
be no schism in the body.


In the expositions above given, the conditions on which this Divine
baptism may be obtained have been rendered so plain, that only a few
particulars need be specified under this division of our subject. It
may be stated as a general principle of the Divine administration, and
especially in connection with the gift of the Spirit, that no such
blessing is conferred until its value is appreciated, until there is
faith in the provisions and promises of grace in respect to it, and
until it is specifically sought as a supreme good. What, then, are the
conditions on which we may receive this all-owning gift of Divine
grace? They are, among others, the following: -- -

1. It must be clearly separated in thought from all miraculous
endowments, and from that form of Divine influence which issues in
conversion and justification. What if the disciples, when told to
"tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high,"
had replied, "Lord we have the Spirit already, we have His miraculous
gifts, and His converting influence has never left us." Would they
have obtained the Pentecostal baptism? Assuredly not. Having such a
state of mind, would any of the individuals subsequently addressed by
the apostles upon this subject have been filled with the Spirit?

So with us at the present time. God has so clearly distinguished
and separated this from all other gifts of grace and forms of Divine
manifestation that, until we have distinctly recognized and credited
what He has revealed upon the subject, we are not prepared to receive
the blessing, and have no reason to expect it.

2. We must distinctly recognize ourselves, on account of our having
exercised "repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus
Christ," as formally entitled to plead "the promise of the Spirit,"
with the absolute certainty of receiving it. This is the distinctly
revealed birthright of every believer.

3. In a state of supreme consecration to Christ, we must plead this
promise before God, and watch for it and wait for it, as the disciples
did at Jerusalem, until the baptism comes upon us. Here, all reap who
faint not. Reader, "the highway of holiness" is now open before you.
Will you walk in it? Will you tarry before God until you, for your
life-mission and work, are "endued with power from on high?"

4. If as churches or as a body of believers we seek this baptism of
the Holy Ghost, we must each meet the conditions above-named, so that
we may appear before God for this blessing as the apostles and their
associates -- viz., "all continue with one accord in prayer and
supplication." "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they
were all with one accord in one place." Thus must we wait, pray,
supplicate, and believe until the promise of the Father fall upon us
as upon them at the beginning. And thus waiting, it will not be "many
days" ere the Heavenly Gift come down, and we shall all be "filled
with the Holy Ghost."

* * * * * * *

Chapter 4

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my
spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see
visions: "And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those
days will I pour out my spirit." -- Joel 2:28-29

"But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him
should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that
Jesus was not yet glorified." -- John 7:39

At "sundry times" of the Old Testament Dispensation, we have
accounts of baptisms of the Spirit analogous to those which occurred
after "Christ was glorified." Yet we are told that until after this
event "the Holy Ghost was not yet given." There must be something very
peculiar about this last baptism. To show the nature of this
peculiarity is the object of this chapter. In doing so, we will first
of all give the historic facts as they occur in the Scriptures.

Of Enoch we read that for three hundred years he "walked with God."
To have done this he must have enjoyed certain forms and degrees of
"the communion and fellowship of the Spirit."

When Abraham (Gen. 15:7) was made distinctly conscious that God was
"his shield and exceeding great reward," he must have entered into a
new form of spiritual life in God. This was to him a special baptism
of the Spirit; and he had others equally memorable during the progress
of his natural life.

Jacob also received a baptism of the Spirit, such as was given
under the Old Testament Dispensation. During his sojourn at Bethel, he
obtained a baptism which gave an entirely new direction to his inward
experience and outward conduct. It was through this baptism that
afterwards, "as a Prince, he had power with God and with man, and

One of the most memorable instances of an Old Testament baptism of
the Spirit is recorded of Moses in Exodus 33 and 34. After informing
us that "The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh
unto his friend," we have the following remarkable statements: -- "And
Moses said unto the Lord, See, Thou sayest unto me, Bring up this
people: and Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet
Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in
My sight. Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy
sight, show me now Thy way, that I may know Thee, that I may find
grace in Thy sight: and consider that this nation is Thy people. And
He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
And he said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up
hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have
found grace in Thy sight? Is it not in that Thou goest with us? So
shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are
upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do
this thing also that thou hast spoken; for thou hast found grace in My
sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech Thee, show me
Thy glory. And he said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee,
and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be
gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I
will show mercy. And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there
shall no man see Me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a
place by Me, and Thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to
pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of
the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by; and I will
take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts; but My face
shall not be seen."

Here, then, we have the waiting and supplication of Moses, with the
express promise of Jehovah to him. Let us now see the baptism itself,
in which the Divine promise was fulfilled (Exodus 34): -- "And the
Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed
the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and
proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious,
longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for
thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will
by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third
and to the fourth generation, And Moses made haste, and bowed his head
towards the earth, and worshipped."

From that moment onward Moses was a new man. He felt, spoke, and
acted as it was impossible for him to have done before. Prior to this
he had known God as the Creator and universal Lawgiver, and had
received from Him the power of working miracles, together with the
Spirit of revelation, Yet he had never, in the true and proper sense,
"known God" or "understood His way;" and more especially was he
ignorant of what constituted the essential glory of the Divine
character. Thenceforth the glory of God was the everlasting light of
his soul.

We would now direct attention to Num. 11:24-30, where we have an
account of the baptism given to the seventy elders, who were selected
to aid Moses in ruling and teaching the people. The prophetic spirit
here vouchsafed was not that of foretelling future events, but of
speaking Divine truth under special Divine influences. Let us read the
passage attentively: -- "And Moses went out, and told the people the
words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the
people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the Lord came
down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was
upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass,
that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not
cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the
one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested
upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out
unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a
young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in
the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his
young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses
said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord's
people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon
them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel."

We learn from this passage that none do or can prophesy, as God's
servants, who have not this baptism, and that all who do receive it
are so filled with Divine truth and power that they must speak forth
"the wondrous works of God," and "magnify the Lord." Truth apprehended
through the illumination of the Spirit is "as a fire shut up in the
bones." All such must speak of their views and feelings of God, of the
love of Christ, and of the glories of redemption.

The next case to which we would call attention is the baptism given
to Saul, after Samuel had anointed him king (1 Sam. 10:9-13): -- "And
it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God
gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And
when they came hither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met
him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among
them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that,
behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to
another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also
among the prophets? And one of the same place answered and said, But
who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among
the prophets? And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to
the high place."

The new heart given to Saul was not, we suppose, a holy but kingly
state of mind, by which he was fully qualified for his new office. The
prophetic Spirit, of which he became at the time possessed, was the
common result of a temporary or permanent baptism of the Spirit. One
great truth is presented in this passage in regard to the Divine
anointing. It always imparts special qualifications for specific
spheres of usefulness. In 1 Sam. 19:18-23, we have a striking instance
in which temporary baptisms come upon wicked men: -- "So David fled,
and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul
had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. And it
was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. And Saul
sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the
prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the
Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also
prophesied. And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and
they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third
time, and they prophesied also. Then went he also to Ramah, and came
to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are
Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.
And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon
him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in

A similar spirit, we are told, came upon Balaam, under which he
uttered, for the time, just such truths as God dictated.

In 2 Kings 2:9-15 we have an account of the special baptism which
Elisha received, and by which he was prepared for the prophetic
office: -- "And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah
said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away
from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy
spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing:
nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so
unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as
they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot
of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah
went up by a whirlwind into Heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried,
My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent
them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell
from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took
the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and
said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? And when he also had smitten
the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And
when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him,
they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to
meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him."

From the moment the spirit of Elijah fell upon Elisha his prophetic
life commenced. Under the baptism then received, and which was
perpetuated, he became the most wonderful man of his age and country.

The preceding account is of considerable importance, as indicating
the state of mind in which this baptism is obtained Elisha was fully
impressed with the conviction that he was to succeed Elijah as the
prophet of the Lord. Hence his firm determination not to be separated
from him until through him he had received the requisite "enduement of
power from on high." So when we regard ourselves as "called of God to
be saints," and as such also called to fill some sphere of usefulness
in "God's kingdom," then under a deep impression that "we are not
sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but that
our sufficiency is of God," we resolvedly fix our hearts, as Elisha
did, upon "the promise of the Spirit, the baptism of fire is near at

Let us now glance at those instances of special baptisms of the
Spirit which are recorded in the New Testament, and which occurred
before the time when Christ was glorified. In Luke 1:67-79, after the
circumcision of John, we have the following account of the baptism
received by his father Zacharias: -- "And his father Zacharias was
filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the
Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and
hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant
David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been
since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and
from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to
our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He
sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we
being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without
fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our
life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for
thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give
knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins,
though the tender mercy of our God, whereby the dayspring from on high
hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the
shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." The
following (Luke 1:39-55) is an account of the baptism and its results
which came upon Elizabeth and Mary when they met in the house of the
former: -- "And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill
country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of
Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that, when
Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a
loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the
fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the m other of my
Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy
salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of
those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul
doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold,
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is
mighty hath done to me great things: and holy is His name. And His
mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath
showed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the
imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their
seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with
good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen His
servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spake to our
fathers, to. Abraham, and to his seed forever."

Flow similar are the results stated in the above cases to those
which followed the gift of the Holy Spirit after "Christ was
glorified!" "They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God." "And
they spake with tongues, and prophesied." "And the disciples were
filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost." "Out of his belly shall flow
rivers of living waters." Also the leading idea included in the term
"prophesy," as that term is used in both Testaments, is brought out in
the passages above quoted. It is not revealing future events, though
this often attended this baptism, but an uttering divine truths under
the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit, and, as Paul says,
speaking unto men to "edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1
Cor. 14:3.) Neither does this gift necessarily include any miraculous
endowment, though this has sometimes accompanied it; but it is that
inward divine illumination and manifestation in which "God becomes our
everlasting light, and the days of our mourning are ended."

But while "the baptisms of the Spirit" under the two dispensations
were thus similar, we shall find an essential difference between them
if we consider what is said upon the subject in the New Testament. The
following is Peter's statement: -- "Of which salvation the prophets
have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace
that should come unto you; searching what, or what manner of time the
Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified
beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they
did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that
have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from
Heaven, which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Pet.

Paul informs us that God has reserved better things for us than the
ancient saints enjoyed, and that it was only by anticipating and
believing in what we have received that they were rendered perfect: --
"And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received
not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that
they without us should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:39,40.)

John, in his gospel (7:39), teaches us that the Holy Ghost, as
promised under the New, was not given under the Old Dispensation.

We may now glance definitely at the difference between these two
forms of baptism, and show in what sense the Holy Ghost was not given
until after Christ was glorified. As preparatory to this, let us read
that special prophecy, of the fulfillment of which the baptism at the
Pentecost was the commencement.

Acts 2:14-18: -- "But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up
his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell
at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for
these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour
of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And
it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of
My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall
dream dreams; and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out
in those days of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy."

These two forms of baptism differ essentially from each other in
the following particulars:

1. In extent. Under the Old Dispensation such special anointings
were granted only to a few individuals; but under the New this gift is
universal as a privilege to be enjoyed by all Christ's people. What
Moses desired might be universal then becomes universal now; "Would
God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would
pour His Spirit upon them." "The promise of the Spirit" now hangs over
"all flesh." All God's people under the gospel are privileged, and
require to become "the Lord's prophets;" and being all in common
"filled with the Spirit," to "speak unto men to edification, and
exhortation, and comfort." In this important form the Holy Ghost had
never before been promised or given.

2. There is another distinction equally important. We refer to that
of permanency. Under the Old Dispensation the prophetic baptisms were
"like angels' visits, few and far between." For long periods, we are
informed, the Church had no prophets and "no teaching priests." Under
the New Dispensation the Spirit is to be in the Church as a
perpetually abiding presence to the end of time; "I will pray the
Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide
with you forever."

The essential design of God, in this dispensation, is that the
prophetic office, as we have defined it, shall never cease, and that
it shall be as extensive as the real membership of the church. What an
important difference we have here between these two dispensations!

3. But the great peculiarity which distinguishes these two
dispensations is the relative power of the Spirit's manifestations in

Under the Old Dispensation, the glory of God was only partially
revealed. Hence the power which the Spirit could use for these ends
was comparatively feeble. Under the present Dispensation, through the
revelation of "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," all of
God that can be revealed to creatures in our circumstances has been
made manifest: "Life and immortality have been brought to light
through the gospel." "No man hath seen God at any time." "The only
begotten SON who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."

When, therefore, "the Spirit takes of the things of Christ and
shows them unto us," so that we "behold, with open face, the glory of
the Lord;" when He brings us into "fellowship with the Father and with
His Son Jesus Christ," and God and Christ, through the Spirit, come to
us, and make their abode with us;" when He unveils to our vision "the
New Jerusalem coming down from God out of Heaven;" when He enables us
to comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to
"know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," and "fills us with
all the fulness of God" -- then the communion and fellowship," "the
sealing and earnest," and all "the manifestations of the Spirit," are
so new, so removed from, and so infinitely superior to anything known
in the Church before, that it may truly and properly be said, that
until after Christ was glorified, "the Holy Ghost had not yet been
given." After this event we have a New Dispensation, and, as a
consequence, a new mission of the Spirit. We now clearly see why it is
that many Christians magnify the privileges of Old Testament saints,
and especially those of the apostles prior to the death of Christ, and
speak of these as even more highly privileged than we now are. The
former were witnesses of wondrous miracles, listened to the prophets,
and sometimes even to angels; while the latter heard Christ Himself,
and were eyewitnesses of His mighty works. No wonder that they were
"holy men of God."

No Christian who "has received the Holy Ghost since he believed"
ever entertained such a thought as that. The means of sanctification,
consolation, and "fulness of joy" within the sphere of our faith and
use, were wholly unknown to them; nor had the chiefest apostle, after
Christ was glorified, any advantage in these respects beyond the least
of all the saints now. The high and holy blessings of this
Dispensation are not obtained and enjoyed through "mighty signs and
wonders," talking with prophets, or through "angels' visits," but "by
the power of the Holy Ghost;" and this all-sanctifying power God is
ready to pour out upon us, in all the fullness that He did upon the
apostles. "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that

We may now judge of the degree of spiritual power which was
expected under the Old, and is expected under the New Dispensation.
The lowest that may now be expected is equal to the highest then;
while the highest may make us like the sons of God before the throne.
"He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David, and the
house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before Him."

What, then, is the main cause of the present feebleness of our
churches? It is because this great truth is not sufficiently
recognized and believed, and still more, because its experience is so
little sought, and much less enjoyed. What meaning do most Christians
now attach to the question: "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye
believed?" Almost as little as if they "had never heard whether there
by any Holy Ghost."

We notice, also, the difference between the experience of the
primitive and the modern Church, and the cause of that difference. The
leading theme of the former was the doctrine we are now considering.
Hence the disciples were then "filled with joy and the Holy Ghost."
Now this doctrine has gone into a deep and dark eclipse. As a
consequence, many believers "walk in dark and have no light," sigh
after their first love, weep in sorrowful widowhood under the bondage
of sin, and know almost nothing of the hidden life in the soul, but
"an aching void." When the primitive Church was scattered abroad, all
its members "went everywhere preaching the Word;" now, when our
members emigrate to' another land, or even change the locality of
their residence in their own country, many of them leave not only
their religion, but their profession behind them of them carrying not
the love of Christ, but of gold, in their hearts. This state of things
will continue until this glorious doctrine of the Spirit is everywhere
understood, preached, and realized in the Church. But this condition
of the Church shall not continue. In answer to the waiting, the
praying; and the believing of His faithful people, God will baptize
His Church with the Holy Ghost, and she will make in these last days
rapid strides towards the millennium. Then shall the glory of the Lord
cover the nations. "Conceive." says Mr. Barnes, "of the brightest form
of experience known to the best Christian in his best hours now.
Conceive of this state as increased to the full extent of the soul's
capacities, and then conceive of this as the common and perpetual
experience of all the Church, and then you may have some feeble
conception of the coining millennium." We will only add, "Even so
come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen." We add but one thought more.
We. refer to "the power of the Spirit," for sanctification,
consolation, and fullness of joy, now, and in apostolic times. That
power, instead of being less, is much greater now than it was then.
All that they had, we have, together with all of "our God and His
Christ" that has been made manifest through the word and providence of
God since that time. The power of the Spirit, as represented in
prophecy, is a perpetually accumulating power. This, great central
truth of the present dispensation is specifically set forth in the
47th chapter of Ezekiel by means of the emblem of "a pure river of the
water of life," issuing from the threshold of the house of God; a
river flowing eastward, with perpetual accumulations, filled with life
and food for man, fertilizing the whole country through which it
flows, and healing even the waters of the Dead Sea. We cite a few
verses from this wonderful chapter:

"Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and,
behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house
eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and
the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at
the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the
gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the outer gate
by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on
the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went
forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me
through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a
thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the
knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the
waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was
a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters
to swim in, a river that could not be passed over." "The golden age"
of the Church is not in the past, but in the future. There should be
no sickly nor imbecile believers now. Everyone should be strong in the
Lord and in the power of His might -- should be able to do all things
through Christ who strengtheneth him. May this all-empowering baptism
come down upon every believer in the Lord Jesus!

* * * * * * *

Chapter 5

"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren
beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to
salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the
truth:" -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13

"God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us
should not be made perfect." -- Hebrews 11:40

In the last chapter some light, we hope, was thrown upon the forms
and degrees in which the baptism of the Spirit was and is given under
the Old and New Dispensations. But so much superior is this gift under
the latter, that the apostle's statement is proper and significant --
viz., "the Holy Ghost was not given until after Jesus was glorified."
This superiority is a leading theme of the inspirations of the
prophets and of the apostles.

This baptism, with its results in the Church and upon the world, is
"the glory which was to follow the sufferings of Christ." These are
"the better things that God hath reserved for us." They comprise the
glory of this Christian age. "What sort of persons ought we to be,"
upon whom and to whom this glory has descended? That far more is
expected and justly required of us than was possible to the saints
under the Old Dispensation we argue from the following considerations:

1. We live in a dispensation of far greater light and knowledge
than they did. They had the Old Testament only. We' have the Old and
the New combined. The former differs from the latter, as the first
glimmer of dawn differs from the light of cloudless noon. They knew
nothing of Christ but what was obscurely hinted through types and
shadows, and prophetic revelations, which the prophets themselves did
not fully comprehend. "We behold, with open face, the glory of the
Lord." The way of holiness was to them very obscure and intricate. We
walk in the King's highway, in which a "wayfaring man, though a fool,
shall not err." With them, midday light was but a feeble twilight.
With us, even "at evening lime there is light." r' moon far outshine
their sun. "Life and immortality are brought to light through the

2. The law of duty is revealed to us in far dearer and more
attractive and impressive forms than it was to the To them it was
revealed almost exclusively in the perceptive form, "line upon line,
precept upon precept, here a little and there a little." That same law
comes to us not merely in the form of command and prohibition, but
also as exemplified in all its applications, through the pure and
spotless example of Christ. They were taught what to do. We are taught
not only what to do, but how to do it.

3. The forms of truth, hidden from them and revealed to us, have a
quickening and transforming power which they did not possess as
revealed and believed under the Old Dispensation Through the greater
light now shed upon them, they are far more effective in this age than
they were in the times of the patriarchs and the prophets. The Apostle
John, in comparing the present with the former Dispensation, tells us
that "the darkness has passed, and the true light now shineth." Peter
tells us that the prophets, who stood amidst the clearest light then
vouchsafed, "inquired and searched diligently, searching what, or what
manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,
when it testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the
glory which should follow. Unto whom it was revealed that not unto
themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now
reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you, with
the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven, which things the angels desire
to look into." (1 Pet. 1:10,11.)

How impressive is the contrast which Paul draws between these
dispensations: "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be
touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness,
and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words." "But
ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the
heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the
general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in
Heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men
made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to
the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of
Abel. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh; for if they escaped
not that refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we
escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from Heaven." (Heb.

The Scriptures everywhere represent the gospel as not only shedding
new light upon questions pertaining to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit,
duty, sin, holiness, redemption, and immortality, but as revealing
forms of truth which have power before unknown, for conversion,
sanctification, consolation, and fullness of joy.

One prophet speaks of these new revelations as "a fountain opened
to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin
and for uncleanness." Others speak of the gospel as "a new covenant,"
in the fulfillment of which God is to cleanse His people "from all
their filthiness, and from all their idols;" and so completely to
sanctify them, that when "their iniquity shall be sought for, there
shall be none," and their sins, and they shall not be found." In the
New Testament, Christ is affirmed to be "the power of God and the
wisdom of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth," and that
"the weapons of our warfare are mighty, through God, to the pulling
down of strongholds."

Now the special mission of the Spirit is to take truth, in all its
forms, as revealed in both Testaments, and to render it most effective
for the sanctification and edification of the Church, and the
salvation of men. The Spirit knows absolutely what we need for these
high ends, and what forms of truth to present for the realization of
them, and how to present these truths for the most perfect
accomplishment of these benign purposes. Surely we ought to rise as
far above Old Testament saints as the New Testament towers above the
Old. Of this fact we shall he still more deeply impressed when we have
considered some of the historic results of the Baptism under this

The case of the apostles. If we take the apostles as examples, and
contrast their intellectual, moral, and spiritual states before and
after the Pentecost, we shall probably acknowledge that such
transformations of character had never occurred in the history of the
world. All along, up to the crucifixion, how dull were their
apprehensions, bow limited and obscure their visions of truth, how
feeble their faith, what cowards they were; how worldly their
affections; how weak their mutual love; and how like ropes of sand
were their most sacred fixed resolutions!

But how opposite in all these respects were they "after that the
Holy Ghost came upon them." "In a moment," as it were, "in the
twinkling of an eye," "they were crucified to the world, and the world
to them;" and their characters took forms of glorious beauty and
perfection, which rendered them "a spectacle to the world, and to
angels, and to men." Their visions of truth seemed to be as cloudless
as the kingdom of light. Their speech and their preaching brought the
world on its knees before God. Peter, in faith, courage, and strength,
became a rock. James and John vindicated their right to be called
"sons of thunder." "They were all conquerors, and more than
conquerors, through Him that loved them."

Power was one of the most striking characteristics of this baptism.
All who received it "were endued with power from on high." Such was
the power which they wielded, that the world stood in awe before them,
devils fled from their presence; rulers, priests, and kings, were
overcome by them. They planted the gospel in all nations. Their sound
went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
They were called, "The men that turned the world upside down."

Unity of spirit was another distinctive characteristic of this
baptism. Before its descent, ambition, jealousy, and disputation among
themselves about who should be greatest, and even anger towards one
another, often divided their hearts. Now they were all "one in Christ
Jesus," and nothing could interrupt their mutual love, fellowship, and

Boldness and courage were marked effects of this baptism. No power
in Heaven or earth could induce them to "deny the Lord that bought
them." They witnessed for the Lord Jesus everywhere. Their peace in
God, their "assurance of hope," their "everlasting consolations,"
their triumphs of faith and "fulness of joy," nothing could interrupt
or diminish. "They walked in the light, as God is in the light."

If we turn from the apostles and their immediate associates and
converts to the Primitive Church, we shall find among countless
thousands of its membership examples in whom the results of this
baptism were equally conspicuous and striking.

For the first three or four centuries of the Christian era, the
doctrine of the gift of the Spirit, after conversion and believing in
Christ, was a great leading theme of thought and teaching. Hence there
was a very general experience of this baptism during these periods.

This was the martyr age of the Church, the era, also, of her power,
of her glory, and of her "victory through the blood of the LAMB and
the word of His testimony." Such persecutions and fiery trials, such
patience and endurance, such brotherly love, such charity to the poor
and goodwill to men, such faith in Christ, such meek submission to the
Divine will, such "assurance of hope," such deathless zeal, such
courage, such peace in God, such "everlasting consolations" and
"fulness of joy," the world never witnessed until after "Jesus was
glorified," and "the Holy Ghost was given." "The light of the Church
had come," and "the glory of the Lord had risen upon her." As a
consequence, "the Gentiles came to her light, and kings to the
brightness of her rising." "Her righteousness went forth as
brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth." No amount of
suffering and torture, threatened or inflicted, could induce a denial
of the faith, or draw from the sufferers any sentiments but those of
goodwill towards even their judges and tormentors. "The holy martyrs
of Christ," says Cyprian, "evidently show us that during this sad hour
of suffering they were strangers to their own bodies; or, rather, that
our Lord Himself stood by them, and familiarly conversed with them;
and that, being made partakers of His grace, they made light of these
temporal torments, and by one short your delivered themselves from
eternal miseries.

Take a single fact illustrative of the Spirit and manner in which
believers then "endured even unto the end." At Sebastia, in Armenia,
in a cold and frosty night in the depth of winter, forty martyrs,
stripped of all their clothing, were placed together in a lake. As
death came on, they thus conversed together: "Is the weather sharp?
but Paradise is comfortable and delightful. Is the frost cold and
bitter? the rest that remains is sweet and pleasant. Let us but hold
out a little, and Abraham's bosom will refresh us; we shall exchange
this one night for an eternal age of happiness. It is but the flesh
that suffers; let us not spare it. Since we must die, let us die that
we may live!"

"By reason of our strange and wonderful courage and strength" says
Lactantius, "new additions are made to us; for when people see men
torn to pieces with infinite variety of torments, and yet maintain a
patience unconquerable, and able to tire out their tormentors, they
begin to think (what the truth is) that the consent of so many, and
the perseverance of dying persons, cannot be in vain; nor that
patience itself, were it not from God, could hold out under such racks
and tortures. Thieves and men of robust bodies are not able to bear
such tearing to pieces; they groan and cry out, and are overcome with
pain, because not endued with divine patience; but our very children
and women (to say nothing of men) do with silence conquer their
tormentors; nor can the hottest fire force the least groan from them."
So manifest did the fact become, that the places where the Christians
were tortured were the holy places where the greatest numbers of
converts were made, that the Roman Emperors at length prohibited all
public executions of the saints of God. Had this Divine baptism
continued in the Church, long before the first thousand years of the
Christian era had passed away "the kingdoms of this world would have
become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ." If we leave this
era of light and power, and pass through the dark ages that followed,
in which this and all other vital truths of the gospel were allowed to
sink into a deep eclipse, we shall find that even then God did not
leave Himself without witnesses. Men and women, "full of faith and the
Holy Ghost," arose in all Christian nations as "burning and shining
lights," bearing their testimony to the sanctifying power of the Holy
Ghost. These attained to the full "liberty of the sons of God,"
"walked in the light of God," and had "fellowship with the Father and
with His Son Jesus Christ."

Such individuals as Thomas a Kempis, Catharine Adorna, and many
others, were not only Christians, but believers who had a knowledge of
the mysteries of the higher life, and who through all coming time will
shine as stars of the first magnitude in the firmament of the Church.
In their inward experiences, holy walk, and "power with God and with
men," they had few if any superiors in preceding eras of Church
history. "The unction of the Spirit" was as manifest in them as in the
apostles and primitive believers. They also made their attainments in
the Christian life under distinct apprehensions of the doctrines of
the Spirit, as set forth in these chapters.

Look now at the state of the Church since the Reformation. Among
Roman Catholics there have been a few, and among Protestants many, who
have fully known this baptism. It is a singular fact, that while the
fundamental doctrine of Protestantism was "justification by faith,"
the equally essential doctrine of "sanctification by faith" was first,
in modern times, distinctly announced and taught within the circle of
the Roman Church by such individuals as Madame Guyon and Archbishop
Fenelon. It is equally true that in all the churches of every name the
men and women who have been most distinguished for "power with God and
with men," are the individuals who did receive the "sealing and
earnest of the Spirit" after they believed. Luther, for example, Knox
and his associates, "the Scotch worthies," who, with him, brought
Scotland out from under the power of the "man of sin," and rendered
it, for a long period, the crowning glory of Christendom, received
this Divine baptism in this form, and "here was the hiding of their

Let us first consider the case of Luther. Subsequently to his
conversion he had many and hard struggles after the "higher life."
While studying the Epistle to the Romans, these words, "The just shall
live by faith," sent new light through his soul. On a subsequent
occasion, when clouds and darkness hung over his mind in regard to the
subject of personal holiness, the same words, "The just shall live by
faith," came again to him with new force, and filled him with the
light of Heaven.

"The Pentecost" with him, however, was not yet fully come. He had
heard that all who, upon their knees, would climb Pilate's staircase
at Rome, would thereby attain to full salvation. While painfully
creeping up from stone to stone that ascent, he suddenly heard in the
depth of his soul a voice as of thunder, "The just shall live by
faith." In a moment he leaped on his feet, the free man of the Lord.
"Then," be says, "I felt myself born again as a new man, and I entered
by an open door into the very paradise of God. From that hour I saw
the precious and holy Scriptures with new eyes. I went through the
whole Bible. I collected a multitude of passages, which taught me what
the work of God was. Truly this text of St. Paul was to me the very
gate of Heaven." Here we have the secret of Luther's subsequent
courage and power. Here, too, we have one special form in which "the
baptism of the Spirit" is commonly received: the opening, in new and
divine forms, of some special truth of God upon the mind, and that in
connection with some particular passage of the Divine Word.

"The memoirs of the Scotch Worthies" disclose three central facts
in their spiritual history: their conversion, followed by the common
forms of Christian experience; a subsequent heart-searching, breaking
up of the fountains of the great deep of the soul, and a baptism, in
which they were filled with "the light of God;" and, finally, forms of
the Divine life so new, and so far transcending anything before
experienced, that they were utterly at loss in regard to the nature
and character of their first conversion.

It was after this great change that they became the mighty men of
God, who revolutionized that kingdom. It was no uncommon event then
for one, two, and sometimes as many as five hundred souls to be
converted under single discourses delivered by these men, who evinced,
by their subsequent lives, that they belonged to "the people of whom
God is not ashamed to be called their God." It was the eclipse of this
glory that left the Scotch Church the comparatively "dead letter"
which it now is.

Who is not aware that no one ever led a more laborious and
comparatively fruitless life than did Mr. Wesley before his enduement
with power by this Divine baptism, and that very few ever led a more
laborious and fruitful life than he did after he received the gift of
the Holy Ghost? The time of his barrenness ended, and of his amazing
fruitfulness commenced, at the same moment. The same is true of his
associates. The experience of these men of God should be a solemn
admonition to all believers, never to go forth to their life mission
and work but under "the power of the Spirit." It were as impossible to
account for the marvelous results of the labors of Wesley and hi
coadjutors without this baptism as to account for the extraordinary
accomplishments of the apostles without it

The Tenants --William especially -- were the wonder of the age in
which they lived. The secret of the influence of God that everywhere
encircled them, and of their wonderful power as "ministers of the
word," was the fact that "after they believed they were sealed with
the Holy Spirit of promise."

On one occasion, during the interval of worship on the Sabbath, Mr.
William Tenant retired to a grove near by for private meditation and
prayer. When the congregation re-assembled, and their pastor did not
appear, several individuals went to the grove to find him. They found
him lying helpless upon the ground, under the visions of God which had
there opened upon his mind. In their arms they carried him to the
pulpit, where he lifted up a prayer that God would veil His power and
love a little, so that he might tell the people of the "glory
manifested to him." The prayer was answered, and "no man" not thus
illumined "ever spake as did this man" on that occasion. Such
manifestations were of common occurrence in the experience of these
men, and they ever spoke and acted under their influence.

John Fletcher, of Madeley. Could any other gift of God have made
him such a holy saint of the Lord Jesus; such a faithful minister of
the gospel; such an effective writer in the things of salvation, whose
life was so profuse with Divine influences, whose death was so
magnificent, and whose posthumous power will live through all ages?

President Edwards thus describes the baptism which rendered his
subsequent life so holy and powerful for good. "One day, when walking
for Divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view, that for me was
extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God
and man, and His wonderful, great, full, pure, and sweet grace and
love, and meek and gentle condescension. This grace, that appeared so
calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens, the Person of
Christ appeared also ineffably excellent, with an excellency great
enough to swallow up all thought and conception, which continued, as
near as I can judge, about an hour, which kept me the greater part of
the time in a flood of tears, weeping aloud. I had an ardency of soul
to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and
annihilated, to lie in the dust and to be filled with Christ alone, to
love Him with a holy and pure love, to trust in Him, to live upon Him,
and to be perfectly sanctified, and made pure with a divine and
heavenly purity."

Of the lady who afterwards became his wife, and who, during her
married life, often had visions of the Divine glory and love, under
the power of which she would lie helpless for hours, President Edwards
thus writes: --

"They say there is a young lady in, who is beloved of that great
Being who moves and rules the world, and there are certain seasons in
which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her,
and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delights, and that she hardly
ever cares for anything, except to meditate on Him; that she expects
after a while to be received up where He is, to be raised up out of
this world and caught up into Heaven, being assured that He loves her
too well to let her remain at a distance from Him always. There she is
to dwell with Him, and to be ravished with His love and delight
forever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the
richest of its treasures, she disregards it, and cares not for it, and
is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in
her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and
conscientious in all her conduct, and you could not persuade her to do
anything wrong or sinful if you would give her all the world, lest she
should offend this great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness,
calmness, and benevolence of mind. She will sometimes go about from
place to place, singing devoutly, and seems to be always full of joy
and pleasure, and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone,
walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible
always conversing with her."

All are aware that the savor of the writings of Merle D'Aubigne has
been, throughout Christendom, "as ointment poured forth." What was the
cause of this? Several years after his conversion, when at Kiel, in
company with Rev. F. Monod, of Paris, Rev. C. Riell, of Jutland, and
Klenker, Biblical Professor of the University there, in the course of
their conversation upon the Scriptures, the aged Professor refused to
enter into any detailed solution of difficulties presented, saying
that the first step was to be "firmly settled in the grace of Christ,"
and that "the light which proceeds from Him will disperse all
darkness." "We were studying," says D'Aubigne, "The Epistle to the
Ephesians, and had got to the end of the third chapter. When we read
the last two verses, 'Now unto Him that can do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in
us,' &c., this expression fell upon my soul as a revelation from God.
He can do, by His power, I said to myself, above all that we ask,
above all, even, that we think, nay, exceeding abundantly above all. A
full trust in Christ for the work to be done in my poor heart now
filled my soul."

They then all knelt together in prayer. "When I arose," he adds, "I
felt as if my wings had been 'renewed, as the wings of eagles.' All my
doubts were removed, my anguish was quelled, and the Lord extended
peace to me as a river. Then I could 'comprehend with all saints what
is the breadth, and depth, and length, and height, and know the love
of Christ, which passeth knowledge.' Then was I able to say, 'Return
unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with

About thirty or forty years ago, there died, in the city of Newark,
N.J., a man of God, named Carpenter. At his funeral in the First
Presbyterian Church in that city, it was publicly stated by one of the
ministers present, that from the most careful estimate, it was fully
believed that the deceased had been directly instrumental in the
conversion of more than ten thousand souls. This man was a layman of
very limited common-school education, and was very simple and
ungrammatical in his conversation and public addresses Before the time
of his anointing, he had a mere "name to live" in the Church. As soon
as he received that anointing, "as a prince he had power with God and
with men."

At one time, for example he with another Christian friend entered
the coach to pass from Newark to New York. They found seven other
individuals, all impenitent, with them in the vehicle. While on the
way, or very soon after, all those seven individuals were hopefully
converted, and that through the influence exerted during the journey.
Such was the influence everywhere exerted by this "holy man of God."
To a very intimate friend, a little time before his death, he made
these statements: that for the previous ten years he had walked
continuously under the cloudless light of the Sun of Righteousness;
that the doctrine of Entire Sanctification was true; that he had been
in that state during the period referred to; and that the truth would,
ere long, be a leading theme in the churches.

The extraordinary power which attended the preaching of President
Finney, during the early years of his ministry, was chiefly owing to a
special baptism of the Spirit, which he received not long after his
conversion. Hence it was that when through him "the violated law spoke
out its thunders " it did seem as if we had in truth "come unto the
mount that might be touched and that burned with fire, and unto
blackness and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and
the voice of words." But when he spoke of Christ then indeed did his
"doctrine drop as the rain, and his speech distill as the dew, as the
small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the mown
grass." The reason, also, why he is bringing forth such wondrous
"fruit in his old age" is, that while his whole ministry has been
under "the power of the Spirit," his former baptisms have been renewed
with increasing power and frequency during a few years past.

Many more instances similar to the above might be averted to, but
they are sufficient to illustrate the point we had in view.

In drawing this chapter to a close, we would refer to some of the
peculiarities which distinguish, and have distinguished, Christians in
all churches, who have received "the baptism of the Holy Ghost."

1. One of these is a peculiar and special savor about their lives
and utterances, which is recognized by others as unearthly and divine.
When the light comes, the glory will be seen by the Church and the
world. The prophet Elisha had made but a few calls at the house of the
Shunamite before she knew him as "a holy man of God." A very bigoted
Irish Roman Catholic had occasion to board for a time in the family of
a friend of ours, whose wife had for years "walked in the light of
God." This man had from childhood been taught, and had believed, that
"out of the Mother Church salvation is impossible." His attention,
however, was soon arrested by the peculiar spirit and sanctified
conversation of that woman. He would frequently stop after meals, and
continue conversations with her upon Christ, purity, and Heaven. At
the close of such a conversation one day, he said, "Madam, you will
get to Heaven before you die." That man was as profane and wicked as
he was bigoted; yet such a character as hers could not lift its benign
form before his mind without his recognizing it as unearthly and
divine, and as advancing Heavenward.

Here is a divine something which must be possessed in order to be
manifested. A preacher, for example, who is a stranger to this
anointing, may be very able, exciting, and even instructive, in his
discourses. But the peculiar influence which attends the unction of
the Spirit only accompanies the utterances of those who "have received
the Holy Ghost since they believed," and those who have received this
anointing "cannot be hid." Logic, education, oratory, eloquence,
physical force, all excellent in themselves, cannot take the place of
the influence of the Spirit. These may have power with the
understanding, but not with the conscience and the heart. This is
mighty to the pulling down of strongholds which defy all other powers
of men and angels.

2. All such Christians have a peace, quietude, assurance, and
fullness of joy in God, which not only lift them above all worldly
vicissitudes, but remain with them alike in all circumstances. "Their
sun does not go down, neither does their moon withdraw itself. The
Lord is their everlasting light, and the days of their mourning are
ended." In the storm and the tempest, when "they go up by the
mountains," they are consciously going nearer and nearer to Heaven,
and when "they go down by the valleys," they are as consciously going
down deeper and deeper into the bosom of God. "They have learned, in
whatsoever state they are, therewith to be content." "They can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth them."

Madame Guyon, for proclaiming the doctrine of sanctification by
faith, spent some fourteen years, as a culprit, in the prisons of
France, and a large portion of these in the Bastille, with "the Man in
the Iron Mask" passing daily the door of her cell. But prison walls
could not shut out from her heart the light or the peace of God. In
such words as the following she shadows forth her blessed experience:

"A little bird I am,
Shut out from fields of air,
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because my God, it pleaseth Thee.

"Nought have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please
Doth listen to my song;
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
But still He bends to hear me sing.

"Oh! it is good to soar,
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose providence I love;
And in Thy mighty will to find
The joy, the freedom of the mind."

Oh, when will believers generally get so near to God that "the sun
shall be no more their light by day, neither for brightness shall the
moon give light unto them: but the Lord shall be unto them an
everlasting light, and their God their glory?"

3. A peculiar and special form of self-control and balance of
spirit attend all who receive this baptism. We refer to that
self-mastery and divine equanimity of temper described in such
statements and forms of expression as the following: "Being reviled,
we bless; being persecuted, we endure it; and being defamed, we
entreat;" "none of these things move me;" "I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in
distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong;"
and "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be
content." As the infant Jesus lay in His mother's arms, so with
similar quietude, self-composure, self-control, and hopeful trust,
does the soul, when filled with the Spirit, lie in the center of the
sweet will of God.

"President Mahan," said a clerical friend, years ago, "I wish you
could see my mother. To give you some idea of what a monument of grace
she is, I would state, that in early life she was spoiled by training.
She had one of the worst and most ungovernable tempers I ever knew.
For years past she has been wholly confined to her bed from nervous
prostration. During the early part of this period, it did seem that
nobody could take care of her, or endure her continued manifestations
of irritability, impatience, fretfulness, and furious anger. Right
there, she became fully convinced that through grace and the baptism
of the Spirit, she could have perfect rest, quietude, and
self-control. She set her whole heart upon attaining that state. Such
was her fervency of spirit, and earnestness in prayer, that her
friends thought she would become deranged, and urged her to cease
seeking and prayer. 'I die in the effort,' was her reply, 'or I obtain
what I know to be in reserve for me.' At length the baptism of power
came gently upon her. From that hour there has not been the slightest
indication of even the remains of that temper. Her quietude and
assurance have been absolute, and her sweetness of spirit 'as ointment
poured forth.' It is no trouble to anyone now, but a privilege to all,
to care for her. Many come, even from long distances, to listen to her
divine discourse."

Years passed on, and again we met. "What of your mother?" we asked.
"Does her faith hold out?" "She is gone," was the reply. But from the
hour of that baptism to that of her death that quietude and assurance
remained, and that ineffable sweetness of temper was never for a
moment interrupted. I witnessed the closing scene. She died of
cholera, and in the greatest conceivable agony. Yet such patience,
serenity of hope, and such quiet waiting for the coming of the Lord, I
hardly before deemed possible. 'My son,' she would say, 'nature has
had a hard struggle; but it will be soon over, and I shall enter into
the est that remains for the people of God."'

"This," reader, "is the victory that overcometh the world, even our
faith." The feeblest among us may be "more than conquerors through Him
that hath loved us." Even "at evening time there shall be light" to
all who "walk in the light of God." By the grace of Christ and 'the
power of the Spirit" we can "rule our own spirits." "We can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth us."

Yes; there is no temper, appetite, passion, or circumstance, but
this baptism can subdue into calmness, sobriety, peace, and love. All
things can be done, within the will of God, by this strength of Israel
resting upon us.

4. A peculiar and special degree of moral and spiritual power, with
God and with men, is the only other characteristic which we would
present, as distinguishing those who receive this baptism. The form of
power possessed by each is in certain respects unlike that possessed
by others. Yet in all it has this one common tendency -- an almost
resistless influence to draw others toward God, purity, and Heaven.
Some are "sons of thunder;" others are "sons of consolation." Some
have special wisdom as teachers of truth; others are endued with the
special power of exhortation. Some have peculiar forms of courage and
faith, by which they have special power to "strengthen weak hands, and
confirm feeble knees;" others have equally special forms of power in
ministering to the necessities of the sick and afflicted. Others still
have special power in exciting in believers the spirit of hunger and
thirst for the bread and waters of life. "What do you think of Mr. --
?" said one Christian to another? "I have not heard him?" The
clergyman referred to was a man "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost."
"Well," replied the other, "if you will hear this man a few times, and
not feel such a hungering and thirsting after righteousness as you
never felt before, your experience will differ from mine." Others have
special power in drawing sinners to repentance.

Power to prophesy -- that is, to "speak unto men for consolation,
for exhortation, and edification" -- this is universal among all who
receive this anointing. When one or more individuals in a given Church
have this baptism, there will be a constant Divine influence drawing
the whole body Heavenward. When the Church generally shall be endued
with this power, "Gentiles will come to her light, and kings to the
brightness of her rising." If, then, we would "serve God and our
generation" according to His will in Christ Jesus our Lord, we must,
one and all of us, tarry in the place of prayer, and struggle here
with "strong crying and tears," until we are "endued with power from
on high."

* * * * * * *

Chapter 6

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I
go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he
will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"
-- John 16:7-8

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy
Spirit to them that ask him?" -- Luke 11:13

When our Saviour came to His disciples and breathed upon them,
saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," He did so, not because there was
any virtue in that breath, or in the mere words spoken, or because the
"gift of the Spirit" was then conferred as He had promised. A
considerable period intervened between the time of the events here
recorded, and that of the Pentecostal baptism. These events occurred
(See John 20:22) at the first meeting of Christ with His disciples
after His resurrection; whereas the baptism of the Pentecost was quite
forty days afterwards. What, then, was the object of our Saviour in
what He then did and said? It was evidently this, to induce in their
hearts that state of waiting expectation and inward preparation which
are the necessary prerequisites to the reception of this all-crowning
gift of God. The same object our Saviour had in view in His last
promise and admonition to His disciples, "And behold I send the
promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
until ye be endued with power from on high." "And He led them out as
far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them." What
was said and done here, and on the occasions above referred to,
created the heart preparation, described by the words, "They were all
with one accord in one place." To secure the same mental and spiritual
preparation for the gift to be received, was the exclusive object of
the apostles in the "laying of hands" upon those who sought this
blessing at Ephesus.

Had this ceremony not secured a preparatory state in the
recipients, it would have been dead and useless. This baptism was then
frequently received, in connection with the ordinances of water
baptism, the Lord's Supper, and special prayer. Hence the Church, in
her departures from the living God, retained her belief that saving
efficacy was in these and kindred ordinances, irrespective of the
spiritual state of the administrator or subject. From this we see the
origin of formalism. When the Church regains her primitive faith, we
have no doubt that the same Divine influence will attend the
ordinances as attended them at first. When we use the religious
ordinances appointed by God, in which He promises to meet His people
with His special presence, with the required inward preparedness, they
should be to us means of receiving the baptism of this heavenly gift.
But if our faith, go no farther than the ordinances, a blight will
come over our spirits in the very place where we should he "filled
with the Holy Ghost." The ordinances, however, are not our present
theme, but that peculiar preparation of mind and heart which is
necessary to the reception of this baptism.

If we carefully examine the cases in which this anointing has been
given, we shall find this important fact, that prior to its bestowment
the recipient was brought into a state of fervent desire, earnest
seeking, importunate prayer, and waiting expectancy. The mind realizes
a deep inward want, "an aching void," a soul-necessity, which must be
met. At the same time it is assured of an available fullness in Christ
to meet this great necessity of the soul. As a consequence, there
arise an intense desire and a fixed purpose of heart to seek, to pray,
and to wait until the promised blessing is vouchsafed. Our Methodist
brethren formerly called this state "being convicted for
sanctification." O that all the membership of all the churches were
thus convicted! Then would Zion "arise and shine, her light being
come, and the glory of the Lord being risen upon her." In cases in
which this baptism was received without being specifically expected,
this prerequisite state was induced. Cornelius, for example, after his
conversion, became possessed with the deep consciousness of inward
necessities which God only could meet. He had also the inward
persuasion that through faith in God and prayer to Him, his
necessities would be met from the Divine fullness. Hence his
continuous fasting and prayer. The angel of God now appeared, and gave
to the suppliant these directions: -- "And now send men to Joppa, and
call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter; he lodgeth with one Simon,
a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; he shall tell thee what thou
oughtest to do." How adapted this message was to excite within him the
intense desire and waiting expectation for the approaching blessing!
The interval was consequently spent in heart and outward preparation
for the coming of the Lord. When Peter arrived, this preparedness is
thus announced by Cornelius: -- "Now, therefore, are we all here
present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of
God." It is no matter of wonder that the discourse of Peter was so
soon interrupted by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the listeners,
there being such an inward preparedness in his congregation for the
reception of this heavenly gift. Let us now consider some facts
illustrative of the subject before us.

Take the case of Moses. We have already alluded to the special
baptism which he received after Israel had sinned in the matter of the
golden calf. We allude to that circumstance again for the purpose of
disclosing the preparatory state of mind in which he was found when
the new baptism of power was received. Having secured for the people
deliverance from judgments impending over them on account of their
great sin; having obtained the promise that God would continue with
the people as their God; having received a special communication that
he was to be their leader, ruler and revelator; and being deeply
impressed with the consciousness of his own inadequacy for such
responsibilities, his whole being became fixed and centered in one
supreme desire to obtain from God a baptism of knowledge, wisdom, and
power to the full measure of his necessities. We can now read with
understanding and profit the following memorable statements: "And the
Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
And he turned again into the camp; but his servant Joshua, the son of
Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. And Moses said
unto the Lord, See, Thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people; and
Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast
said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
Now, therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, show
me now Thy way, that I may know Thee, that I may find grace in Thy
sight, and consider that this nation is Thy people. And He said, My
presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said
unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For
wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have found grace
in Thy sight? Is it not in that Thou goest with us? So shall we be
separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the
face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing
also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in My sight, and
I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech Thee show me Thy glory."
One addition to this intense desire and earnest prayer was needed -- a
state of waiting expectation and full preparation, such as our Saviour
secured in His disciples prior to the scene of the Pentecost. This
state was induced by the promise and direction which followed. The
promise, among other things, contained these words, "I will make all
My goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of the Lord
before thee." Moses was then directed to hew out two tables of stone,
like unto the first, "and when these were finished, to come up in the
morning, unto Mount Sinai, to present himself there to God in the top
of the mount." How all this tended to intensify desire, to bring the
mind into a state of waiting expectation and interest, and to insure
all inward and even outward preparation for the promised Divine
manifestation! When that preparation was perfected, the power of the
Spirit came upon him. Here we have the real meaning of the Divine
declaration, "Ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me
with all your heart." Those who do not value "the gift of the Spirit"
enough thus to seek for it, will never receive, and those who know
their privileges, and do not avail themselves of them, may well fear a
final rejection as "reprobate silver.'

We are here reminded of the case of a little child, in the era of
the great revivals in the days of President Edwards and the Tenants, a
child so young, that none expected that she would be converted. Two
facts in her appearance and conduct attracted, at length, the
attention of her mother the fact that she spent most of her time alone
in her bedroom, and the deep sadness upon her countenance whenever she
came from that place. "What is it, my daughter," the mother inquired,
"that makes you appear so sad?" "Why, mother," the child replied, "God
won't come to me. I call to Him, and He won't come to me." A little
time after the precious one came from her room, and with unspeakable
joy upon her countenance exclaimed, "Mother, God has come. He comes to
me now when I pray to Him." From that moment onward that child was
"the wonder of many." In prayer especially, she had a freedom and
power of utterance which old disciples could hardly equal. Nor did
this distinct consciousness of the presence and light of God ever
leave her, nor did the consequent savor of God cease to encircle her,
until death, which occurred when she was upwards of sixty years of
age, removed her within the veil. Reader, if God is not thus
consciously present to you when you call upon Him, it is because you
have not called to Him as that child did.

The case of Elisha presents an appropriate illustration of the
subject before us. From the moment he became aware of the fact that he
was to occupy the responsible place of being Israel's leading prophet,
as successor to Elijah, he was most deeply impressed that without a
full measure of the power of the Spirit that rested upon his
predecessor, he would be wholly disqualified for his sacred mission.
As a consequence, the reception of this baptism became to him the
object of increasing intensity of desire. He was also impressed with
the conviction that this anointing, if received at all, must be
secured before Elijah was taken away from him. Hence his fixed
determination not to be separated from him until the blessing was
obtained. As the time "when the Lord would take up Elijah to Heaven by
a whirlwind" drew on, the faith, and desire, and purpose of Elisha
were put to the severest possible test. In three successive instances,
Elijah said to him, "Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent
me" to such a place. To each entreaty the same answer was returned,
"As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee."
Then they came to Jordan, where the last miracle of Elijah occurred.
As they passed over, or rather through, the divided river, the
following memorable scene took place: "And it came to pass, when they
were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for
thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee,
let a double portion (a full measure) of thy spirit be upon me. And he
said, Thou hast asked a hard thing; nevertheless, if thou see me when
I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall
not be so." (2 Kings 2.) This last condition secured the intensity of
desire, the waiting expectation, and heart preparedness which were
necessary prerequisites for the baptism of power which Elisha sought.
Had his faith wavered, had his purpose faltered, had the intensity of
desire slackened, or had the required waiting expectation and
watchfulness relaxed at all, "the spirit of Elijah would not have
rested on Elisha." Are you thus waiting, reader, for "the sealing and
earnest of the Spirit?" In due time "you will reap, if you faint not."
But if you draw back, God will "have no pleasure in you."

An aged minister. Several years since we met a very aged and
venerable clergyman, who asked, on our first introduction, if we did
not recognize him. On receiving a negative answer, he replied that
years before, while we were at Oberlin, he, being then a ruling elder
in a Presbyterian Church, heard of the work of God among us there.
After reading for a time the Oberlin Evangelist, he determined to
visit us, and know for himself what was the character of the work of
which he heard so much. After conversing with Brother Finney, myself,
and others, he became fully convinced that God was with us of a truth,
and that the baptism which we had received was in reserve for him. He
accordingly set his whole soul upon the attainment of that Divine
anointing, with the determination never to cease seeking and praying
until he was really and truly "endued with power from on high." After
searching his heart, consecrating himself to Christ, and waiting in
earnest prayer, and "strong crying and tears," for the promised
blessing, he entered his closet one day, under the full assurance that
then and there he might "receive the Holy Ghost." He accordingly
determined never to leave that place until he should receive the gift
of God, after which he was seeking. He had been in the place but a
little time when he seemed to himself to be sinking down into infinite
depths, into the bosom of God. Here the waters of life began to rise
and overflow in his heart, and to the full extent of his capabilities
he knew himself to be "filled with all the fulness of God." The glory,
the love of Christ, and the infinite riches of His grace now occupied
his whole being. He began to tell others of the good hand of God that
was upon him, "of the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is
Christ in believers, the hope of glory;" and such power everywhere
attended his testimony, that he was urged to take out a license to
preach. As he could not do so in his own church, he obtained one from
another in his vicinity. As the results of a few years' labor, more
than one thousand souls were gathered into the fold of Christ. So the
Lord continued to bless his labors, until his voice and strength
failed. As a consequence, he was then quietly waiting the time when
his Divine Master should call him to the kingdom of light. The baptism
which he had at first received was often renewed, and never had been
diminished, as a life-imparting power. The same anointing, reader, is
for you. If you would obtain it, however, you must appreciate its
value, and "seek it with all your heart, and with all your soul," and
never rest, and give God no rest, until the Spirit of glory and of God
rests upon you. The circumstances in which Paul received, if not his
first, yet a very special and abiding baptism of the Spirit, is given
by himself, 2 Cor. 12:7-12. After he had commenced his ministry, he
found himself greatly embarrassed in his work by some visible natural
infirmity, which operated as a hindrance, and a reproach from his
enemies. That such a hindrance might be removed, he sought God in
prayer, thrice "beseeching Him that it might depart from him." In each
instance he received the same answer: "My grace is sufficient for
thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness." As this answer was
repeated, the truth sounded in the depths of his soul, that what he
needed was not the removal of natural infirmities, but the grace and
strength of Christ to rest upon him. From that moment the fullness of
Divine grace and strength became the central life of his soul, and
natural infirmities and external obstacles became objects of joy and
triumph to him: for whenever these were to be encountered, then and
there would the grace and power of God be vouchsafed to him in
superabundant measure. "Most gladly, therefore," he exclaims, "will I
rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon
me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for
when I am weak, then am I strong." From that moment not only did the
inward experience of Paul take a new and more triumphant direction,
but his ministry took on forms of power which it did not possess
before. In all his tribulations he not only himself received
"everlasting consolation and good hope through grace," but was able to
impart similar refreshings to all believers in all "the fiery trials"
which came upon them. "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who
comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort
them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves
are comforted of God." 2 Cor. 1.

It was under the influence of this specific baptism that he learned
the wondrous lesson to which he refers in Phil. 4:11-13; "Not that I
speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I
am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know
how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be
full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth me." We may learn two
important lessons from the experience of Paul as it thus lies before

1. The manner in which the baptism of the Spirit is often given
--viz., by the presentation of some great and essential truth of the
gospel to the mind, in such form and vividness, as ever after becomes,
an all-vitalizing principle in the soul, and a great central light,
which renders all other forms of revealed truth equally luminous and

Luther tells us, for example, that from the hour when the truth
embodied in the words, "The just shall live by faith," came home with
such life-giving power to his mind, he "saw the precious and holy
Scriptures with new eyes."

2. We may also learn from this experience of Paul to carry all
difficulties which we meet with in the divine life directly to Christ.

In that case they will be taken from us, or we shall receive such a
revelation of the fullness of the Divine grace and strength of Christ,
that with Paul we shall "most gladly glory in our infirmities, that
the power of Christ may rest upon us.

We have before referred to Mr. Carpenter, the individual who
exerted such wonderful power for the sanctification of believers and
the conversion of sinners. We refer to his case again for the purpose
of disclosing the state of mind in which he received such a baptism of
power. He had become deeply impressed with the consciousness of moral
and spiritual impotency, and of the absence of any assured hope, or
settled confidence, or trust in God. He, consequently, set his whole
heart upon attaining, through grace and the power of the Spirit, a
permanent and settled faith, and assurance of hope, such as Abraham
possessed. This became the fixed and continued theme of his thought,
reading, desire, and importunate prayer. For a considerable time he
gave himself and God "no rest, day nor night." At length he was drawn
out into a distinct and conscious dedication of himself and family,
and all his interests, to Christ. Then the baptism of power came upon
him, the reason being that the conditional preparation was complied
with. From that time his faith wavered not, the light of Heaven
encircled him, and "he had power with God and with men."

The memory of J. B. Taylor, to all who knew him, and his memoir, to
all who have read it, have been "as a sweet savor from God." No memoir
published during the progress of the present century has been more
extensively read, or has made a deeper impression upon the Church than
his. His early Christian experience had the same characteristics as
those of most converts -- sinning and repenting, resolving and
resolving, and making little or no progress. Arriving at length to the
full conviction that "God has reserved some better things for us," he
set his whole heart upon attaining to the "full liberty of the sons of
God." The struggle and the victory which ensued he thus describes in a
letter to a friend: "For some days I have been desirous to visit some
friends who are distinguished for fervor of piety, and remarkable for
the happiness which they enjoy in religion. It was my hope that, by
associating with them, and through the help of their prayers, I might
find the Lord more graciously near to my poor soul.

"My desire was that the Lord would visit me, and 'baptize me with
the Holy Spirit;' my cry to Him was 'Seal my soul forever Thine;' I
lifted up my heart in prayer that the blessing might descend. I felt I
needed something which I did not possess. There was a void within
which must be filled, or I could not be happy. My earnest desire then
was, as it has been ever since I professed religion six years before
-- that all love of the world might be destroyed, all selfishness
should be extirpated; pride banished, unbelief removed, all idols
dethroned, everything hostile to holiness and opposed to the Divine
will crucified: that holiness to the might be engraven in my heart,
and for evermore characterize my conversation.

"My mind was led to reflect on what would be my future situation.
It occurred to me, I am to be hereafter a minister of the gospel. But
how shall I be able to preach in my present state of mind? I cannot
-never, no, never shall I be able to do it with profit, without great
overturnings in my soul. I felt that I needed that for which I was
then, and for a long time had been hungering and thirsting. I desired
it not for my benefit only, but for that of the Church and the world."

Such was his ardency of desire for the baptism of the Spirit, and
for consequent perfect moral and spiritual purification.

In another letter to an aged Christian sister, who enjoyed all the
light and privileges of the higher life, he thus writes about this
time: "O my friend! I feel tired of living by the halves. God says,
'Son, give Me thine heart.' I respond, 'Oh, for an entire surrender!'
Of late my soul has panted more for complete deliverance from
remaining corruption than ever before. Oh, for perfect love! Oh, for
complete sanctification in soul, body, and spirit! I beg your earnest
prayers. I believe it attainable, and my soul thirsts for it; and
until I possess these qualifications, I feel I shall not be fit to be
a minister of Jesus Christ." Such was his mental state of intense
desire, earnest seeking, and fervent prayer.

Let us hear the result as detailed in the letter from which the
first extract was taken. "At this juncture," he says, "I was most
delightfully conscious of giving up all to God. I was enabled to say,
Here, Lord, take me -- take my whole soul, and seal me Thine -- Thine
now, and Thine forever! 'If Thou wilt Thou canst make me clean.' Then
there ensued such emotions as I never before experienced; all was calm
and tranquil, and a solemn heaven of love possessed my whole soul. I
had a witness of God's love to me, and of mine to Him. Shortly after I
was dissolved in tears of love and gratitude to our blessed Lord. The
name of Jesus was precious to me. "Twas music to the ear.' 'He came as
KING, and took full possession of my heart,' and I was enabled to say,
'I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me.'"

On a subsequent occasion he thus speaks of the new form of life
which resulted from this baptism: "People may call this blessing what
they please -- faith of assurance, holiness, perfect love,
sanctification; it makes no difference to me whether they give it a
name or no name, it continues a blessed reality, and thanks to my
heavenly Father it is my privilege to enjoy it. It is yours also, and
the privilege of all." How true are the words of the prophet, "Then
shall ye seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all
your heart!"

The case of the Rev. A. Mahan. When "the hands of the Presbytery"
had been laid upon me, and I found myself under a charge to "feed the
flock of God," I soon felt myself pressed down under the consciousness
of many great deficiencies, especially in respect to the sacred
function of "building up believers in the most holy faith."

Under my ministry many, very many sinners were convicted,
converted, and "led quite to Christ," in the matter of justification.
But how after this to induce in the convert that form of the Divine
life which I knew to be portrayed in the New Testament and foretold in
the Old -- here I felt myself "weighed in the balance and found
wanting." The reason I knew to be the want of that life perfected in
my own experience. Hence the subject of personal holiness became with
me the great central object of thought, inquiry, reading, and prayer.

When alone with God one day in a deep forest, for example, I said
distinctly and definitely to my heavenly Father that there was one
thing that I desired above all else -- the consciousness that my heart
was pure in his sight; that if he would grant me this one blessing, I
would accept of any providences that might attend me. This I said
"with strong crying and tears."

In this state I came to Oberlin, as the President of that College.
I had been there but a short time, when a general inquiry arose in the
church after the Divine secret of holy living, and a direct appeal was
made to Brother Finney and myself for specific instruction upon the
subject, which induced in me an intensity of desire indescribable
after that secret. Just as my whole being became centered in that one
desire, the cloud lifted, and I stood in the clear sunlight of the
face of God. The secret was all plain to me now, and I knew also how
to lead inquirers into the King's highway.

Since that good hour "my sun has not gone down, neither has my moon
withdrawn itself." Christ, reader, will never "write upon you His own
new name," and give you "that new white stone, which no man knoweth
but him that receiveth it," until you come to value above all price
the possession of His moral image and likeness, and until you seek
that image and likeness with immutable fixedness of desire and
purpose. "Then shall ye seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for
me with all your heart."

The memoirs of the Wesleys, Madame Guyon, and indeed all recorded
cases of the baptism of the Spirit, present most impressive
illustrations of the necessity of heart-preparation before this
unspeakable gift is vouchsafed. How intense were "the hungerings and
thirstings of the Wesleys after righteousness," how fervent their
prayers for Divine illumination, and how teachable their spirit before
"the Lord rose upon them, and His glory was seen upon them," and how
did their righteousness and salvation shine forth after "the
brightness of their rising!"

For a considerable period prior to her baptism, Madame Guyon was
deeply impressed with the conviction that God intended for her some
specific and special mission. With continuous fasting and prayer,
reading and meditation, she sought to know what that mission was, and
to receive "power from on high" for its fulfillment. At length the
nature of that mission opened upon her mind with such distinctness and
vividness, that she uttered the words aloud, "Sanctification by

From that moment not a doubt rested upon her mind that to
elucidate, exemplify, and proclaim this doctrine was her Heaven-given
mission. That revelation also was attended with a baptism of such
"power from on high," that only a few years passed before Europe felt
the influence of her godly example, spiritual utterances, and holy
writings. We must recur here to a case which came under our
observation years ago, "among the annals of the poor." A woman in poor
health, poor in this world's goods, pressed down with the care of a
large family, with the merest "name to live" in the Church, when
moving about amid her domestic cares, had these specific reflections
one day pass with wonderful impressiveness through her mind: "I shall
die soon and stand in the presence of God. I do not desire to meet my
God there on a short or slight acquaintance. I desire to know Him
fully before that time. From this moment it shall be my supreme object
'to know God, understand His way, and find grace in His sight."'
Without relaxation of fidelity in family duty, she set her whole heart
upon knowing and walking with God. When about her daily cares, she
would have her Bible open upon a shelf, so that as she passed around
she could stop a moment and read a passage, and then make it the
subject of meditation and prayer. With the same diligence she read the
most spiritual works that she could obtain. In prayer her importunity
would admit of no denial. In a short time the baptism came, and
visions of God filled her whole soul. She beheld "with open face the
glory of the Lord, and truly her "fellowship was with the Father and
with His Son Jesus Christ." As a consequence, her character became
mildly and gloriously radiant through that whole community. Even
infidels, and there were numbers of them in the place, confessed that
there was Christian character in its genuineness and perfection of
beauty. In the revival of religion which followed, none had such power
with the people as she. The sisters of the Church came together and
did her fall and winter sewing, that she might visit from house to
house. All the cavils of infidels, Universalists, and worldlings were
silenced under the power of her appeals and the Divine radiance of her
character. Her pastor, who was a man of superior education, talents,
and piety, said to us, that whenever he came into the presence of that
woman, he felt that he, and not she, was the learner. At the same time
he never saw an individual more humble and teachable than she was. In
everything which pertains to "the life of God in the soul of man," he
was conscious that her vision and experience far transcended his. Our
object in giving the above illustrations has been to impress this fact
on the reader, that all who receive this Divine baptism do so in
consequence of a previous compliance with the conditions on which God
had promised the blessing; and that without it none can fulfill his
life-mission, or be duly prepared for the kingdom of glory.

Speaking of this very gift, God says that "He will yet for this be
inquired of by believers, to do it for them." If we do not thus
inquire, and "search for God with all the heart, and with all the
soul," we shall never find Him, or receive from Him "the gift of the
Holy Ghost." "If the vision tarry," and we do not "wait for it," it
will never come to us.

If Christ with the Father comes to us, manifests Himself to us, and
makes His abode with us, it will be because we keep His Word, prepare
His way before Him in our hearts, and wait and watch for His coming as
"those who watch for the morning." If our "bodies become the temples
of the Holy Ghost," if God shall "dwell in us and walk in us," and
care for and bless us as His "sons and daughters," it will be because
His indwelling presence has with us a priceless value, and is sought
as the soul's supreme portion.

Some are strangers to this baptism, because they never seek it at
all. Others seek, but not "with all the heart and with all the soul."
Others begin right, run well for a time, and then relinquish the
pursuit. Others, still, dedicate themselves fully to Christ, as they
suppose, pray for the Spirit, and then wait to experience the effect.
"If the vision then tarries," they become impatient, unbelieving,
despondent, and give over further seeking and effort. This is a very
common and fatal error. We are to wait in earnest seeking and prayer,
until the promised baptism descends upon us. Look not backward, but
forward, until you "behold with open face the glory of the Lord." "In
due time you will reap, if you faint not."

* * * * * * *

Chapter 7

"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them
the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between
us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." -- Acts 15:8-9

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto
the day of redemption." -- Ephesians 4:30 (This reference mistakenly
given in the printed volume as Eph. 4:28 -- DVM)

Individuals who set their hearts upon obtaining this anointing, not
infrequently find themselves perplexed with certain difficulties and
temptations, which beset their inquiries and prayers, arising from
their inward, experiences. and from doubts brought to their mind from
without. Permit us to give certain cautions to such as are in this

1. Avoid forming any conceptions of the manner in which this
baptism will come upon you, or of the peculiar experiences which you
might have under its influence. Christ told His disciples that they
should "receive power" after that "the Holy Ghost came upon them" and
to "tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on
high;" but of the manner in which the Spirit should be given, and of
the special forms of their inward experiences and outward lives after
they should be "filled with the Holy Ghost," He left them in total
ignorance. Had they, instead of spending their time in preparing their
hearts, dedicating their lives, and waiting in prayer and supplication
for the fulfillment of the promise, perplexed their minds with
inquiries, How will the Spirit be given, and what will be the effects?
we doubt whether the promise would ever have been realized in their
experience. Let no such thoughts have place in your minds; but seek,
and search, and watch, and pray, until the "Comforter is sent unto
you." Then, as you "read the precious Scriptures with new eyes," as
you "behold with open face the glory of the Lord," as your faith in
Christ fills you "with joy unspeakable and full of glory," and as
"your fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ,"
then, and not till then, will or can you know the effect of His
incoming to your souls.

2. Our second caution and admonition is this, Do not be perplexed
or alarmed at your inward experiences and your emotions, especially
while seeking this baptism. Individuals are often amazed and
discouraged by the disclosure to their minds of internal corruption,
"secret faults," and evil tendencies and habits, the existence of
which they had hardly suspected. They are frequently led to doubt
their conversion, and almost despair of ever being delivered from the
condition of unworthiness in which they see themselves to be placed.
No such experiences should create alarm or irresolution. God is
preparing His own way within you, and the glory of His manifestation
will be proportioned to the thoroughness with which "the fountains of
the great deep" of the soul have been previously broken up. The inward
state of the soul during the preparatory process is often like the
appearance of a house at the time of the annual or semi-annual
cleansing. All is confusion, disorder, and dustiness, but the prudent
housewife is not alarmed or perplexed at the appearance of things
around her. She foresees universal order and cleanliness as the final
result, and knows that everything is tending to that desired end. For
the same reason none of the experiences to which we have referred
should disturb the soul seeking "the renewal of the Holy Ghost." Only
let your heart be fixed on the "mark set before you." Put away sin as
it appears, dedicate all to Christ, and seek, and watch, and pray
until God shall come and make "your bodies temples of the Holy Ghost."

3. Our last caution is this: Do not be discouraged at the time
occupied in this preparatory process. The apostles and their
associates waited more than forty days for "the promise of the
Father." Do not give up if you have to wait through even a longer
period. God in this way may prove and try you, to see whether you will
or will not "seek Him with all your heart, and with all your soul,"
and with all "patience and perseverance." He will fulfill His promise
in you, if You do not "become weary and faint in your minds" while
seeking Him.


1. Settle definitely and fully in your own minds "whether there be
any Holy Ghost," any special baptism, "sealing and earnest of the
Spirit," any special "enduement of power from on high," to be expected
and sought by believers, and assured to them by Divine promise, after
"they have believed in Christ." If God has given no such promise, it
is presumption and vain in us to plead it at the throne of grace.

If God has given such a promise, and we are not fully assured of
the fact, we shall seek for the blessing in a hesitating, doubting,
and double-minded state, which will prevent our receiving anything of
the Lord." First of all, then, "be fully persuaded in your own minds"
whether God has, in fact and form, given such a promise. When you find
that He has done so -- and you will thus find if you carefully and
prayerfully "search the Scriptures whether these things are so," then
take hold of the promise with the firm hand of faith, and plead it in
earnest prayer as the unchangeable Word of God.

2. While you, in fixed purpose of heart, separate yourselves from
all sin, and unreservedly dedicate yourselves to Christ, never for a
moment after that entertain a doubt of your acceptance with God, or of
your title to all the privileges of the sons of God, until you are
conscious of taking that consecration back. Our faith in the promise,
and our interest in it, will be weak and unsteady if we doubt of our
sonship. When we thus give up sin, and accept of Christ, we have the
assurance from His Word that we are, and shall be, "accepted in the

When you are conscious of thus giving up your sins, and dedicating
yourselves to Christ, reckon yourselves as children of God, and as
having a direct and personal interest in all the promises. Never
suffer your mind to doubt or halt on this question.

3. From that moment contemplate your title to the gift of the
Spirit as absolute, by virtue of your faith in Christ, and sonship
with God. "The promise is to you." Hold it up before your own heart,
and before the throne of grace, as such. Never permit your assurance
here to waver for a moment; you are in covenant relations with Christ,
and Christ is bound to you by covenant, to "send you he Comforter,
which is the Holy Ghost."

4. Finally, while you thus place yourselves as sinners, "saved by
grace" within the circle of "the everlasting covenant," continue to
search and inquire, and wait and pray, and pray and wait, until "the
Holy Ghost shall fall upon you." Continuing thus "in prayer and
supplication," "God will do exceeding abundantly above all that you
ask or think." You "will be filled with the Spirit," and God will
become "the everlasting light of your souls." Only be steadfast in
faith, enduring in patience, and persevering and instant in prayer,
and ere long "your light will go forth as brightness, and your
salvation as a lamp that burneth."


Individuals who receive "the sealing and earnest of the Spirit"
sometimes find their inward experience not to accord, in certain
important respects, with their prior anticipations. They fail to keep
in mind that God is "leading them in a way which they know not," and
that the Spirit cannot do for them all that they need, unless He leads
them through various forms of external and internal experience. The
present is preparatory to an endless future. That this preparation may
be fully consummated, the Christian virtues in all their diversified
forms, must be fully developed and perfected.

Each virtue takes form only under specially adapted circumstances
and influences. That character may be "perfect and entire, wanting
nothing," "patience must have her perfect work." Patience is the
outgrowth of endurance under the pressure of heavy responsibilities,
"fiery trials," and "great tribulations." It would not be wisdom or
love on the part of the Spirit to free us from those "trials of faith"
requisite to our perfection in the highest forms of Christian virtue.

"Everlasting consolations and good hope through grace" can come to
the soul only when it is burdened with some great sorrow. The Spirit
will not spare us the latter, when we must be led through it to reach
the former. Victory, "through the blood of the Lamb and the word of
his testimony," implies prior conflict with temptation. To prepare us
for "a crown of glory which fadeth not away," and that we may stand
revealed to eternity as having been "more than conquerors through Him
that loved us," He will lead us to "fight the good fight of faith," to
"stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." In short, we
are to expect, under the teachings and discipline of the Spirit, just
those forms of external and internal trial necessary to the
development and perfection in us of all forms of Christian experience
and character.

The believer is not only being fitted for immortality under the
leadings of the Spirit, but is also to be employed in this life for
special work in the edification of the Church and the good of the
ungodly, and is constantly being prepared for the exigencies of his
high and holy calling. No one can be qualified for such a work without
being led through many and diverse forms of experience, both joyful
and afflictive.

Paul had great perplexity and trouble through "the thorn in the
flesh." That trouble, however, resulted not only in immortal benefits
to him personally, but in incalculable good to the Church and the
world. By means of the discipline through which he then passed he was
fitted for a higher sphere of influence and usefulness than was
otherwise possible to him; and by means of the Divine consolation
which he received in all this discipline, he was rendered "able to
comfort them who were in trouble, by means of the comfort wherewith he
was comforted of God."

Every trial of faith, patiently endured, not only increases and
establishes our graces, but enlarges our capacities for every good
word or work. In all the different forms of discipline to which we are
subjected, the Spirit leads us on to higher and higher degrees of
Divine life, and into special ways of usefulness; and He will lead us
through every phase of experience requisite to bring us to these ends

We need to keep all these facts before us. Otherwise we may not
only fail to "walk in the Spirit," but may quench Him also, and thus
put out the Light of our souls. When we open our hearts to receive the
Spirit, we give ourselves wholly up to Him, to be molded, guided and
disciplined by Him, not according to our ideas, but according to His
infallible knowledge of our various necessities, and according to the
diverse exigencies of our sacred calling.

But while our experiences under the guidance of the Spirit may and
will be, in the respects referred to, endlessly diversified, in
certain other respects they will be fixed and permanent. In every
"trial of faith" "patience will have her perfect work," because "as
our day is so shall our strength be." In every conflict with the
world, the flesh, and the powers of darkness we shall be "more than
conquerors." In every furnace of affliction we shall "learn obedience
from the things which we suffer." When "troubled on every side," we
shall "not be distressed;" when "perplexed," we shall "not be in
despair;" when "persecuted," we shall "not be forsaken;" when "cast
down," we shall "not be destroyed;" when "weak, we shall be strong;"
and even when "bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord
Jesus," "the life also of Jesus will be made manifest in our bodies."

Nor will the light of God ever go out in our hearts while this
baptism remains in us: Our peace in Him, our conscious sonship with
Him, our acquiescence in His will, our resignation under every
allotment of Providence, our quietness and assurance, our "fellowship
with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" will never be
interrupted. We shall "serve God without fear, in righteousness and
holiness before Him all the days of our lives."

Nor will our experiences be without their raptures. In seasons, not
few nor far between, there will be "the shoutings of a king" in the
center of our hearts. "Visions will come and go." This side of the
celestial city, "the glory of God will shine" in our hearts, and "the
LAMB be the light thereof." "Our joy will be full." Remember, reader,
"all things are possible to him that believeth." "Have faith in God,"
and "you shall be established."


The Christian life as well as the worldly has its peculiar and
special inward temptations, and its peculiar and special liabilities
to attack from human and Satanic influences from without. Every
advance into the Divine life, from the nature and circumstances of the
case, subjects the mind to forms of temptation and trial not incident
to the same life in its lower developments. When the soul receives
"the sealing and earnest of the Spirit," it has new and higher power
than it had before, for every form and exigency of the Christian life
and warfare; but is still subject to its own peculiar forms of trial
and temptation. To be prepared to meet such trials and temptations, we
need to understand our state and relations when we have received the
Holy Ghost. In this state, for example, we are not free from all
liability to sin; nor are we released from the necessity of
watchfulness and prayer against temptation to sin. We may quench and
"grieve the Holy Spirit, whereby we are sealed unto the day of
redemption." All warnings and admonitions of the New Testament
indicate the truth of these statements. Nor are we free from liability
to error on subjects not essential to the purity and perfection of the
Christian life. Paul and Barnabas were both "good men, full of faith
and of the Holy Ghost." Yet they differed in judgment in respect to
Mark, and separated in their mission on account of that difference.
Both were honest, but Paul was in the wrong, and afterwards in his
epistles did full justice to Mark. When on his last journey to
Jerusalem, he met with disciples who admonished him, "through the
Spirit," that "he should not go to Jerusalem." Yet he went, "bound in
the Spirit, to Jerusalem." Nor did they, in what they said, nor he, in
what he did, grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. On such subjects the
Spirit does not impart infallible guidance. On a very few questions in
moral philosophy and theology, Brother Finney and myself have arrived
at opposite conclusions. Yet each has the same assurance as before,
that the other is "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," and never
were our mutual love and esteem stronger than now. We differ just
where minds under the influence of the purest integrity and the
highest form of Divine illumination are liable to differ.

We may be "full of the Holy Ghost," and pressed beyond measure to
utter the truths which are burning within, "as a fire shut up in our
bones," and yet have need of circumspection, and be liable to error in
regard to the times and seasons when we shall prophesy. To this
liability the apostle refers when he gives directions how those who
are under Divine illumination must conduct themselves in the Church
assemblies, affirming that "the spirits of the prophets are subject to
the prophets;" that "God is not the author of confusion, but of
peace;" and that "all things must be done decently, and in order." Nor
does the gift of the Spirit supersede the necessity of education and
careful study. Timothy had received this gift; yet Paul exhorts even
him to "give attendance to reading," to "meditate upon these things,"
and to "study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." What,
then, are some of the errors and temptations incident to this higher
life? They are, evidently, among others, the following: --

1. Temptation to Spiritual Pride.

Every believer who receives the gift of the Spirit becomes a new
Christian, renewed in the essential elements of the inner and outer
life, and has a form of life which will attract the attention of the
Church and world. "His righteousness will go forth as brightness, and
his salvation as a lamp that burneth." Hence the danger of making self
the object of thought and conversation, and of thinking and speaking
of self in the spirit of self-glorification. It is proper, and a duty,
to tell others what the Lord has done for us, provided the supreme
motive is not to glorify self, but to magnify the grace, and love, and
saving power of Christ. When the mind begins to revolve about self as
its center, it ceases, to the same extent, to revolve about Christ;
and when it glories in self, it ceases to glory in the cross of
Christ, and will soon be the object of Divine reprobation.

2. Spiritual Presumption.

When the power of the Spirit comes upon us, we walk forth in "the
liberty of the sons of God," and have a sovereign control over all our
propensities, and all forms of temptation. In such liberty, we are
liable to forget "wherein our great strength lieth," to relax in our
watchfulness and prayer, and thus our hearts are exposed to "the fiery
darts of the evil one." When in this liberty we must ever keep in mind
that "we stand by faith," and must "not b highminded, but fear." We
must gird ourselves with the whole panoply of God, and "watch unto
prayer," if we would "stand in the evil day."

3. Mistaking the true and proper sphere of Divine teaching and

When the Spirit is given, and we begin to "read the precious
Scriptures with new eyes," we may be tempted to undervalue all other
forms of knowledge, and to neglect study, and all proper use and
cultivation of our own powers. In the whole process of the spiritual
life we are "laborers together with God." Divine teaching does not
supersede study and research in us, any more than our own proper
activity supersedes Divine teaching.

We have known individuals who have attained to the highest forms of
the higher life afterwards "make shipwreck of the faith," by assuming
that they were infallibly taught all forms of revealed truth, and then
bitterly denouncing as unspiritual, worldly, sensual, and devilish,
all who questioned any of their nudest absurdities. We have known
individuals, once deeply spiritual, by imperiously placing themselves
above all need of human teaching, under the claim that they were
taught of God, manifest the most proud, boastful, fanatical, and
hateful spirit and character of which we can conceive.

We have known ministers of bright promise, and who were once "full
of faith and of the Holy Ghost," become empty and void in their own
hearts, and utterly powerless with the Church and world, and that
because they relied upon Divine teaching to the neglect of study,
inquiry, watching unto prayer, and the diligent use and cultivation of
their own faculties. The best and safest state possible to us is to
"receive the Spirit," and "walk in the Spirit." The worst and darkest
state into which we can fall is to have the light of God kindled in
our hearts, and then to quench it.

If you, reader, shall "receive the Spirit," and "walk in the light,
as God is in the light," you will continuously "behold with open face
the glory of the Lord, and be changed into the same image from glory
to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord;" you will, as "the sons
and daughters of the Lord Almighty," "stand perfect and complete in
all the will of God;" every virtue, in its purest and divinest
developments, will take form in your character. "Giving all
diligence," you will "add to your faith, virtue; to virtue, knowledge;
and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to
patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to
brotherly kindness, charity;" and after you have finished your work of
fruitfulness, goodness, and duty, "an entrance shall be ministered
unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ." But if at any time you shall lack these things,
it will be because you have become "blind, and cannot see afar off,
and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your old sins." If you
continue thus blind and forgetful, "God will have no pleasure in you,"
and Christ will "take your part out of the Book of Life."

4. Pride of Character, which manifests itself in an unwillingness
to confess error, or sin when actually committed, is another form of
temptation, against which all who attain to this higher life should be
specially on their guard. With the Spirit in our hearts, we need not
sin, but we may sin. We may even "grieve" and "quench the Holy Spirit
of God." Should we sin, there is but one way to escape the
consequences, and recover what we have lost -- "repentance toward God,
and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Yet the reputation which we
possess, and the profession we make, will present a strong temptation
to cover, instead of confessing, our sins.

Let the strictest integrity always be manifested right here, and
God, if we have sinned, will "restore to us the joy of His salvation,
and uphold us by His free Spirit," and never "take the Holy Spirit
from us." So, when we err in judgment -- and the Spirit does not
render us infallible -- let our meek humility always manifest itself
in a prompt and ingenuous confession of the fact. We shall, in such a
case, never fail to "serve God unto all pleasing."


As far as the discussion and elucidation of doctrine are concerned,
we here draw this treatise to a close. Other topics of great
importance connected with the whole subject will be presented in
subsequent pages. If the reader has derived as much benefit in the
perusal of these chapters thus far, and from the great truth which
they are designed to teach, as the author has in their preparation, he
and yourself, no doubt, will have cause of mutual thanksgiving for an
eternity to come. The eclipse of this great doctrine to the Church
ever has been and ever will be an eclipse of her faith on the one
hand, and of her vision of "the glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ" on the other.

But the unveiling of this doctrine to the faith and experience of
the Church will be to her "the brightness of her rising," to which
Gentiles, and kings, and the ends of the earth shall be drawn. The
movement of the sacramental host has been, hitherto with glorious
exceptions, very much that of a dead march or a funeral procession.
Our favorite hymns have breathed notes of sorrow and sadness, rather
than notes of gladness and joy. We have made a virtue of speaking and
singing of our burdens under the heavy yoke of sinful propensities, of
"aching voids within" -- induced by the remembrance of "peaceful
hours" once enjoyed, but long since passed away, and sighings after
the "blessedness we knew when first we saw the Lord." The remembrance
of that early blessedness seems to present the highest Christian joy
of which the mass of believers now have a conception. Ever since that
good hour when the writer "beheld with open face the glory of the
Lord," he has had no form of experience answering at all to that just
referred to. "The days of our mourning are ended." So will yours be,
reader, when through the baptism of the Spirit you shall comprehend,
as is your privilege, "what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Nor is
the day distant, we trust, when all Christians "will cease their
mourning," and "the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with
singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they
shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee

We all, reader, shall enter into that blessedness as soon as the
way of the Lord is prepared in our hearts. If you "have not received
the Holy Ghost since you believed," and have read this treatise
without the conviction that such a blessing is yours by promise, then
an impenetrable veil hangs between you and all the blessedness of the
higher life. If the reading of this treatise has induced in your mind
the conviction that you may be "sealed with the Holy Spirit of
promise," and you go on your way without making the attainment of this
crowning blessing of the Christian life your fixed and immutable
purpose, you will, for less than "one morsel of meat," part with your
birthright to "the glorious liberty of the sons of God." If, on the
other hand, you have found that "these things are so," and from this
moment onward shall watch, and wait, and pray, until Christ shall
"send the promise of the Father upon you," then will you also
"comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and know
the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, and be filled with all
the fullness of God." You shall rejoice evermore; pray without
ceasing; in everything give thanks; prove all things; hold fast that
which is good; and the very God of peace shall sanctify you wholly,
and your whole spirit, and soul, and body shall be preserved blameless
until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:16-23.

* * * * * * *

Chapter 8

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye
might be filled with all the fulness of God." -- Ephesians 3:19

"If any fellowship of the Spirit ..." -- Philippians 2:1

"The communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all ..." -- 2
Corinthians 13:14

"And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son
Jesus Christ." -- 1 John 1:3

The Apostle John is the only Scripture writer whose writings have
an avowed reference to his own personal observation and experience. Of
Christ he speaks so far only as he hath himself "seen, and heard, and
handled, of the Word of life." Of no forms of truth does he speak but
of those only which he has personally "known and believed." He speaks
of no degree or form of spiritual attainment or experience but such as
have been fully realized in the interior of his own mind: "That which
we have seen and heard declare we unto you."

The range over which the experience of the apostle conducts us is a
very wide one. It commences with that simple form of faith which
results from "seeing, hearing, and handling" Christ, as "God manifest
in the flesh," and terminating in that anointing of the Spirit in
which "love is made perfect," "fear is cast out," "joy is full," and
"the soul's fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus
Christ." In laying before us his own experience as a believer in
Christ, the apostle had in view a fourfold end -- (1) that we may
have, and "know that we have, eternal life;" (2) that our love, with
his, "may be made perfect;" (3) that with him we may "walk in the
light, as God is in the light;" and (4) that, as a final consequence,
"our joy may be full." This fullness of joy all flows out of the state
towards which real Christian experience, in all its forms, is tending,
and in which it finds its ultimate consummation, viz., 'friendship
with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." By sin man has lost
this infinite good, and the object of the whole plan of redemption is
to recover fallen humanity to this one relation to the infinite and
eternal mind; and this plan is fully consummated only when God thus
becomes the everlasting light of the soul. This brings us to the
special object of the present chapter, which is to elucidate the great
truth represented by the words, "Fellowship with the Father, and with
His Son Jesus Christ," together with the kindred topics which circle
round it.

We inquire, in the first place, what is the idea represented by the
term "Fellowship?" Evidently, a far higher meaning is intended than
mere companionship, the existence of two or more minds in the same
locality, or the interchange of thought between such minds; or
partnership, that is, co-operation for the promotion of common ends,
and the participation of common interests, or, indeed, any form of
mere external connection. All this, and far more, is signified by this
term. Two minds may be connected in the most endearing external
relations, as husband and wife, for example; they may often
interchange thoughts with each other; they may even co-operate
together for common ends, and mutually partake of common interests.
Yet they may never, in the true and proper sense of the term, have
fellowship one with the other. While thus related, there may be
principles of opposition between them which may render each to the
other the object of inward aversion.

Two minds, we will suppose, are brought together in the same
locality, are associated in the pursuit of common ends, and become
mutual partakers of common interests. As they interchange thoughts,
each finds in the other a character, spirit, and sentiment, fully
agreeable to his own. In their inter-communication there is a
consequent sympathetic blending of thought with thought, feeling with
feeling, and purpose with purpose; an intercommunion in which each
becomes to the other, as it were, another self, making the other the
beloved depository of his own mental treasures, and becoming a full
participant of the other's joys and sorrows. This deep and sympathetic
intercommunion of mind with mind is represented by the term
"fellowship." In this relation, minds are said to "make their abode"
one with the other, each finding its happy dwellingplace in the heart
of the other.

Notice the conditions in which two minds can enter into fellowship.
There must be, in the first place, as a medium of fellowship, a unity
of knowledge, feelings, and sentiments, in respect to some common
objects of mutual interest and regard. We meet, for instance, with an
individual, and find that no such medium exists between us. However
genial to each other our characters and mental states may be, while
this medium is wanting there can be no fellowship, no blending of mind
with mind between us. Suppose this medium to be established, and that,
as we come to know each other, it is found that we have no objects of
common interest and regard, and. no common sympathies on any subject.
Real fellowship in such a case is absolutely impossible. If, on the
other hand, the objects which one regards with supreme interest, the
other regards with aversion, such minds will naturally repel each
other, and no blending of heart with heart can occur. But if, on a
mutual acquaintanceship, it is found that there is a union of views
and sympathies in regard to leading objects of thought, and each
approves of the other's relations and character, their minds naturally
blend in the most loving intercommunion and fellowship; and this is
the idea represented by the term under consideration.

We may now state the extent and limits within which such fellowship
is possible. So far as minds have common thoughts, sympathies, and
experiences, so far they can have fellowship one with another. If the
knowledge and experience of one extend into a sphere which the other
has not entered or traversed, so far all fellowship is barred, however
mutually genial their characters and experiences in other respects may
be. In such cases, the fellowship of the latter may be constantly
taking on new and more endearing forms, as the wider visions and
experiences of the former open and expand upon his mind. In
"fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ," the soul
will be eternally advancing, deeper and deeper, into "the fulness of
God," as His thoughts, His emotions, His plans, and His purposes of
love shall expand upon its beatific vision.


There is no form of blessedness so full and complete as that which
results from the fellowship of pure and kindred minds, in respect to
objects of spiritual and happifying mutual interest. Such a state is a
primary demand of our social nature. Such is the strength of this
principle within us that we can scarcely enjoy any form of good when
separated from other minds. Happiness departs, and leaves us desolate
and sad, when we have no kindred minds with which to sympathize. Such
fellowship not only intensifies our joys, but has sovereign power to
turn our deepest sorrows into the most perfect and abiding forms of
gladness. Minds in fellowship become possessed to the full extent of
their capacities, each of the blessedness that dwells in the heart of
the other. "In fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus
Christ," the human spirit will, to the fullest extent of its
ever-growing capacities, he filled with the blessedness that dwells in
the divine mind.

The most marked peculiarity, perhaps, of such fellowship is the
perpetual assimilation of charade which thereby arises between kindred
souls. When two minds are in such endearing intercommunion, the
virtues and excellences of each are perpetually taking form and
embodiment in the character of the other. A mind of lower, in
fellowship with one of a higher order, is being perpetually raised to
the conscious possession of the superior excellences of the latter.
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise." God, by bringing
sanctified spirits into fellowship with Himself, will be eternally
elevating them to higher and higher resemblances to His own infinite
excellences, and to higher and higher fruitions of His own infinite
blessedness. If we would be God-like in our character, we must seek
and attain to that state in which "our fellowship shall be with the
Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

Here the question might arise, Is such fellowship possible? Can the
finite enter the fellowship with the infinite? "As the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are not God's ways higher than our ways, and
His thoughts than our thoughts?" How then can we enter into communion
with God's ways and God's thoughts? "With men this is impossible; but
with God all things are possible." In the text at the head of this
chapter this very fellowship stands revealed as an accomplished fact:
"And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus
Christ." With Moses God "spake face to face, as a man speaketh with
his friend." For "three hundred years Enoch walked with God." In
Christ "God was manifest in the flesh," and "dwelt amongst us." God,
who knows perfectly the relations between the finite and the infinite,
affirms that He does thus dwell with "the humble and contrite in
spirit," and that He "will dwell and walk" in such. "If a man love
Me," says Christ, "he will keep My words; and My Father will love him,
and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him."

To consummate this fellowship, the Spirit is in the world, and is
promised to all believers. That we may possess and enjoy this
fellowship, He can and will "strengthen us with might in the inner
man," and so reveal and manifest Christ and the Father unto us, that
we shall enter into real and ecstatic communion with God's thoughts,
purposes, and love. In elevating the creature into this Divine
fellowship, God does not oppress him with the full weight of His own
infinity. "No man can see the face of God and live." The Spirit knows
how to bring, and He does bring, the soul into fellowship with those
forms of Divine manifestation which it can comprehend and commune with
-- a fellowship which may become real in the experience of every
believer, the child as well as the man.

Let us now turn our attention to the wonderful form of speech
before us: "And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His
Son Jesus Christ." We read of a strange form of love conferred upon
believers, by which "we are called the sons of God." We read, also, of
a brotherhood with Christ, of a co-heirship with Him, and of our being
"heirs of God." Such forms of speech, however, represent merely the
common privileges of all the saints in all stages of their experience.
The passage before us refers to a still higher and nearer relation to
God, which the believer attains when, and only when, he has "received
the Holy Ghost after he has believed;" when, by means of that Divine
baptism, he has been "cleansed from all unrighteousness," has "been
made perfect in love," and "walks in the light as God is in the
light." Then he comes into that relation with God properly represented
by the term "fellowship."

You will observe that it is not said that "our fellowship is with
the Father, with the Son, and with the Holy Ghost," but "with the
Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." It is not with the Spirit that
the soul has direct intercommunion; but, through the Spirit, with the
Father and with Christ. The Spirit, when received, does not "speak of
Himself," but "takes of the things of Christ, and shows them unto us,"
and "shows us plainly of the Father." "Where the Spirit of the Lord
is," "we behold with open face," not the Spirit, but "the glory of the
Lord," "the love of Christ," and "the fulness of God." When we have
received the Holy Ghost after we have believed," we comprehend what
the Saviour meant when He said, "And this is life eternal, that they
might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast
sent;" what God means when He says, "1 will dwell in them, and walk in
them;" and what the apostle means when He says, "And truly our
fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." You
have read, reader, of "the communion of the Holy Ghost." Here it is:
"Christ in you, the hope of glory;" "We will come to him, and make Our
abode with him;" "walking with God;" "God dwelling in us, and we in
Him;" and "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."
Let us see if we cannot form some apprehension, more or less distinct,
of this peculiar state of Christian privilege. It will be our aim to
tell all we know about it; all, we mean, that can be told in a few
sentences. The work of the Spirit, as we have said, is to bring the
soul into direct and immediate fellowship with God. To believe that
God exists, to apprehend His attributes, and to be assured that we are
the objects of His love and favor, and at the same time to contemplate
Him as a Being afar off, dwelling alone in His infinity, is a state of
experience beyond which thousands of Christians have not gone. To be
directly conscious of Him as an immediate personal presence,
encircling us with His love, "showing us His glory," and opening upon
our vision an immediate apprehension of His thoughts, emotions, and
purposes of grace in respect to us, and of His deep sympathy with all
our joys and sorrows, cares and interests; to be conscious when we
pray that we are "speaking to God face to face, as a man speaketh with
his friend," and that His ear is bent tenderly towards us in all our
confessions, giving of thanks, and petitions; and that all things
within and around us are full of God, and that we have our
dwellingplace in the very center of the Divine fullness -- this,
certainly, is a very different relation between us and God from that
above described; and all this is real in our experience when "our
fellowship is with the Father." So, also, to know that Christ died for
us, and that "we have redemption in His blood, even the forgiveness of
our sins;" but to apprehend Him as far off, "at the right hand of God"
in Heaven, and never very nigh to us, and "formed within us, the hope
of glory," is the only relation to Christ in which most believers find
themselves for the greater part of their lives. How much more blessed
is that in which we sensibly and consciously realize a present Christ
meeting and satisfying directly every susceptibility and want of our
immortal natures; in which we "behold with open face His glory, and
are changed into the same image from glory to glory;" in which "we
comprehend the breadth, and depth, and length, and height, and know
the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge;" in which Christ "comes
to us, and manifests Himself unto us," reigns in us the Sovereign of
all our affections and activities, and communes with us as an elder
brother, strengthens us in our weaknesses, succors us in our
temptations, confirms our faith, perfects our love, and teaches us the
Divine lesson of deep content in every allotment of Providence. This
is fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ. Oh, how very different is
this from that realized in the first, and also in the too common
developments of the Christian life!

Herein, dear reader, is "fellowship with the Father, and with His
Son Jesus Christ." This is "walking with God," and "dwelling in God,"
and having God "walking in us, and dwelling in us." Here we blessedly
know what our Saviour meant when He said, "I in them, and Thou in Me,
that they may be made perfect in one;" and "I will come in unto him,
and sup with him, and he with Me."

In this Divine fellowship the mind is not free from temptation. In
Christ, however, it realizes "the victory which overcometh the world."
Nor is the believer free from external affliction. But in the fire and
in the flood "patience has her perfect work." This end being
consummated, there comes to the mind at one time a revelation of
Christ in the exercise of this one virtue, patient endurance and meek
submission to the will of the Father. One desire now possesses the
whole being -- to endure as Christ endured, and with Him, if need he,
to be "made perfect through suffering." Again there opens upon the
mind a vision of the eternal future: "These light afflictions, which
are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal
weight of glory." Now the mind "glories in tribulation," while "the
love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, who is
given unto us."

Nor, we add again, is the mind in this state wholly, and at all
periods, free from real heart sorrow. At times, if need he, it may be
in heaviness through manifold temptations," or "fiery trials." God,
for wise reasons, may now and then sound the depths of the soul with
some great sorrow. In such a state the mind, first of all, adjusts
itself fully and perfectly to the Divine will, losing self in the
heart of God, and in sweet and unreserved acquiescence consenting to
do, and to endure, and to suffer all that God wills. "Not as I will,
but as Thou wilt." "The cup which My Father giveth Me, shall I not
drink it?" When "patience here has had her perfect work," the Spirit
at one time pens upon the mental and spiritual vision distinct and
melting apprehensions of Christ as a sufferer in Gethsemane, when
climbing Calvary's mournful mountain, and upon the cross "bearing the
sins of many, and making intercession for the transgressors." Here the
mind forgets and loses its own sorrow in its sympathy and love for
Christ in His atoning sufferings and death. To sorrow now, to "fill
out the measure of Christ's sufferings," seems a privilege. At another
time, in the depth of some great distress, there comes to the mind a
deep assurance and sense of God's presence and love, and of the
absolute security of all its interests under the divine protection;
and all this with a distinct and soul-melting consciousness of the
deep and present sympathy of every Person of the Godhead with every
form and degree of grief with which the heart is burdened.
"Everlasting consolations, and good hope through grace," now fill and
occupy the entire capacities of the soul, and "sorrow and sighing flee
away." At times, the way in which the mind is being led seems dark and
gloomy. Here, the Spirit brings blessedly home to the heart such a
thought as this --

"Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before."

This thought dawns in with such sweet and mellow light upon the
soul, that earth's most shady places appear now as peaceful and
hallowed precincts of Heaven itself. How often have you dwelt in
thought upon such words as these --

"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are,
While on His breast I lean my head,
And breathe my life out sweetly there."

Yes, reader, and Jesus can make a living bed, although a bed of
thorns, feel equally soft and downy. Have you never, when weary with
labor and care, when weighed down with the crushing burdens of vast
duties, responsibilities, and perplexities, or when overshadowed with
some great sorrow, had such a form of experience as this? -- Jesus
seemed to approach you, and to drop such words as these down into your
heart, "Child, you are weary, very weary, and sorrowful. Lean your
head upon My bosom, and rest there." And as you lean your head upon
the bosom of His love, His rest enters into your heart. This, you say,
is the beginning of that "rest that remains for the people of God." If
the earnest is so peaceful, what must Heaven be? -- in which "the LAMB
which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead
them unto fountains of living waters, and God shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes."

With a mind in fellowship with God, there are periods of triumph
when the fountains of the great deep of the soul are broken up, and
when it "rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory." At other
times, the whole spiritual being rests in perfect quietude and
assurance, "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeping
the heart and mind through Christ Jesus." Then, in a state of
"heaviness through manifold temptations," the soul appears "like
patience on a monument smiling at grief." Again, under the baptism of
"power from on high," it goes forth "strong in God, and in the power
of His might," strong to do and to endure; or upon its knees in
prayer, and under the outpouring of "the Spirit of grace and of
supplication," "as a prince it has power with God and with men." In
every state alike God is its fixed and changeless center, God its
dwellingplace, and God its everlasting light, while "the days of its
mourning are ended." We do not think that we have overdrawn the
experience of any soul whose "fellowship is with the Father, and with
His Son Jesus Christ."

In making a due improvement of this subject, we would direct
attention, in the first place, to an important declaration found in 1
Jno. 1:7, -- viz., "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we
have fellowship one with another." Among worldly minds there is very
little real fellowship. Selfishness is incompatible with such
relations, especially in their higher and more sympathetic forms. A
selfish mind sees very little in its own image, when reflected from
the heart of another, to approve or delight in, or in its own mental
states with which to have fellowship, such as pride, ambition, envy,
covetousness, devotion to vanity, and the lusts of the flesh. Hence
among such minds there is very little that can properly be called

Also among Christians who have not "received the Holy Ghost since
they believed," "fellowship one with another" can obtain but in a very
limited degree. In all such minds there is so much intermingling of
the had with the good, and of darkness with the light; such obscure
reflections of the Divine image and glory, together with the beauties
of holiness; and such meager manifestations of the Divine love; and at
the same time thoughts of God and of things unseen and eternal have so
seldom and unillumined a dwellingplace in the heart and the mind, that
it is only occasionally, and that within a very limited sphere, that
there can he such sympathetic blending of thought with thought,
emotion with emotion, and heart with heart, as can properly be called
"fellowship." This is the exclusive reason why Christian fellowship
has such a limited and feeble existence in our churches. There is
among them "envying, strife, and divisions," because, for the most
part, they "are carnal, and walk as men," in other words, are "mere
babes in Christ." There is very little fellowship, because the basis
for such experience is wanting.

When a company of believers, however, "have received the Holy Ghost
since they believed," and each, under this all-renovating and
all-purifying baptism, "walks in the light, as God is in the light,"
then, verily, they "have fellowship one with another." The reason is
obvious. While perfect love banishes discord, each manifests a
character that all approve and delight in, each reflects upon the
others "the image and glory of Christ." Each, also has a rich inward
experience, into which the hearts of the others naturally blend in
sympathizing and ecstatic intercommunion. Brotherly character
manifested is the exclusive object of brotherly love. Where the former
is wanting, the latter, but in forms of general goodwill, cannot

What should we think of ourselves, reader, if "our fellowship is
not with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ?" This we reply:
Such must be the state of our hearts, that moral purity cannot
approach them. "The pure in heart see God," and "with the pure in
heart God dwells." If God does not dwell with you, there can he but
one reason for this melancholy fact. Internal impurity shuts Him out.
"God never draws nigh to me when I pray to Him," said a professing
Christian to us years ago. "As soon as I kneel in prayer, He seems to
remove Himself to an unapproachable distance from me." "Friend," we
replied, "there must be reasons of infinite weight for such relations
between you and your 'Father in Heaven.' We exhort you, as you value
your soul's eternity, to find out those reasons, and to put them
away." A similar admonition would we present to you, reader, if God is
not consciously very nigh to you when you call upon Him, if your
fellowship is not "with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

To understand fully the First Epistle of John, we must recognize
the two classes of believers to whom the apostle in fact, though not
in form, refers, viz., those who had, and those who had not, received
"the unction of the Spirit;" those who had, and those who had not,
been "made perfect in love;" and, consequently, those who did, and
those who did not, have "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son
Jesus Christ." Of the one class he speaks as having a full knowledge,
by means of their anointing, of the fullness of joy to which he
refers, and as having "no need" that "anyone should teach them" upon
the subject. His object in respect to the other class was to draw them
into the light of God in which he was walking: "That which we have
seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye may have fellowship with
us." "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." This
last is our exclusive object relative to you, reader, if you have not
yet received "the anointing."

We may now understand the limits of practicable Christian
attainment in this life. They extend from the beginning to a full
fellowship with the apostle, in perfect love, freedom from fear and
heart condemnation, and in that fullness of joy which he possessed
when "walking in the light as God is in the light," and when his
"fellowship was with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."
Nothing but unbelief in us can prevent our advancing onward and upward
into the cloudless sunlight before us. The apostle has not only
revealed to us the goal to which we may attain, but has made us know
the way: "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us" --
the love of God in giving His Son to die for us," and also in giving
"the anointing" by which we know, too, "the things that are freely
given us of God." "Herein is our love made perfect." To receive, with
simple trust and assurance, God's testimony to His own love to us, and
to seek, "with all the heart, and with all the soul," "the unction of
the Spirit," through whose illuminations and sanctifying power we may
walk in the light, as God is in the light" -- this is the way to that
Beulah of perfect love and fullness of joy, where "God is our
everlasting light, and the days of our mourning are ended." Reader,
the way is before us. Let us walk in it.

* * * * * * *

Chapter 9

"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were
assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and
they spake the word of God with boldness." -- Acts 4:31

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace." -- Ephesians 4:3

By the phrase, "unity of the Spirit," we are to understand that
form of Divine oneness which the Holy Spirit produces among those
individuals in whose heart He dwells -- that form of oneness to which
our Saviour I refers in those wonderful words, "I in them, and Thou in
Me, that they may be made perfect in one." This unity is effected when
Christ, by the Spirit, is enthroned and reigns supreme in the heart of
each individual. The fact that we are required to endeavor to "keep
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," implies two things:
First, that without our endeavor this unity will not be preserved;
and, secondly, that this unity may exist for a certain time, and not
be perpetuated. Sameness of spirit among any number of minds is one
thing; this unity "in the bond of peace" is quite another. Many
suppose that if the former obtains, the latter will result, as a
matter of course, if not of necessity. This is by no means true
universally. The oneness of heart and character which the Spirit
creates tends to foster bonds of peace among the brotherhood; but, in
some instances, it may, for a time at least, fail of that result from
differences of opinion on important subjects -- differences arising
from a limitation of the human faculties, even in sanctified minds.
Paul and Barnabas, for example, had both in common, as we have
formerly said, "received the Holy Ghost since they had believed," and
were by a special revelation from the Spirit separated to the work
which for a long period they had jointly prosecuted; but a temporary
separation, if not alienation, obtained between them, in consequence
of a difference of opinion in respect to a question regarded in common
as involving an essential principle of our holy religion. Paul judged,
that if they received Mark a second time to a companionship in the
work, they would fellowship one who, by his former conduct, had proved
himself untrustworthy. Barnabas judged, that in rejecting him they
would deny fellowship with one who may have had good reason for the
act of which Paul accused him, who was called of God to the work of
the ministry, who had special qualifications for the work before them,
and had been "endued with power from on high" for its prosecution.
Here was a conscientious difference of opinion, and we have no reason
to suppose that either quenched the Spirit in the separation which
occurred between them. In the controversy, Paul was wrong, that is,
misjudged, as his subsequent testimony in regard to Mark clearly
evinces: "Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is profitable
unto me for the ministry." This error in judgment, and the consequent
disastrous separation from an eminent servant of Christ, was, no
doubt, of great use to Paul during his subsequent life, and was
unquestionably the only error of the kind that he ever fell into. To
it we may refer the many exhortations to Christian forbearance with
which his epistles abound, especially the exhortations in the text,
"endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." If
two inspired men, each of whom had received the Holy Ghost after
believing, did differ in judgment, and did separate the one from the
other, and thereby injure the cause of Christ both in and outside of
the Church; and if, as Christ affirms, visible unity in the bonds of
peace among the brotherhood is the condition on which the world will
believe in Him, of what infinite moment is it that all the brotherhood
in the Church should endeavor each to be one with and in Christ
through the Spirit, and to be at peace among themselves. The object of
the present chapter is to elucidate the great doctrine of "the unity
of the Spirit in the bond of peace," and to impress upon all believers
a conviction of the duty and importance of making it their study and
prayerful endeavor to induce and preserve this oneness.

This unity of the Spirit of which we speak does not imply that form
of sameness which excludes all peculiarities of individual character.
Who would desire to find in our forests and parks, or on our prairies
and in our gardens, an absolute likeness in every tree, plant, and
flower to every other? Or would desire to see a similar sameness among
all human forms and countenances? Equally unwise would it be in God to
produce a similar unity in the realm of mind and Spirit. Thought would
stagnate, and all mental activity come to a dead standstill in a
universe thus constituted. The Divine Spirit, when He dwells in a
diversity of hearts, does effect a unity in all essential particulars.
This unity, however, will he like that which His creative and
sustaining energy produces in the external universe -- a unity in
which each mind differs from the other, just as one star differs from
another star in glory. Nor does the unity of the Spirit imply, among
individuals in whom He dwells, an absolute sameness of thought,
feeling, and judgment, on all subjects mutually deemed important. Paul
and Barnabas, as we have seen, had in common received the Holy Spirit
since believing, and both in common were filled with the Spirit; yet
they came to opposite conclusions on a subject mutually deemed
important. Here we have unity of spirit and opposition of views in an
important sphere of thought and judgment. What did obtain in this case
may obtain in multitudes of other cases, and thus render necessary
special endeavors "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of
peace." All who have the Spirit are in fundamental particulars
"perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Other departments of thought and activity, however, God has left to
the discretion of individuals. In the former relations unity, and in
the latter diversity of thought and judgment, are to be anticipated.

What, then, is this unity of which we are speaking?

In general, let us say that it implies that expression of oneness
of thought, feeling, and sentiment on moral and spiritual subjects,
which produces the highest possible forms of moral and spiritual
excellence in the individual, and in the social relations of life.
Character adorns itself with the loftiest attributes of beauty and
perfection, when, amid a great diversity of minds, each exercises, to
the fullest extent, the prerogatives of independent thought and
action; at the same time all having a supreme respect for the judgment
of God, and regarding it as a small matter to be judged by man's
judgment, even that of the brotherhood; and meanwhile, on subjects of
essential importance, all are perfectly "joined together in the same
mind and in the same judgment," no diversity or opposition obtaining,
but in respect to things non-essential, and this diversity and
opposition creating no discord. Now this is the Divine unity which the
Spirit always effects when His influence gains complete ascendancy. To
be somewhat particular, this unity of the Spirit implies: --

1. A common and readily understood likeness of spirit and character
to those of Christ. "We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass
the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image." Converse with
any number of believers you please who "have received the Holy Ghost
since they believed," and however diverse their circumstances,
capacities, natural dispositions, and attainments, you will easily
notice in all an essential and predominant unity in one important
point -- a spirit and temper, views and aims, altogether Christ-like.
In all there will appear the same meekness and gentleness, the same
patient endurance of wrong and afflictive providences, the same spirit
of condescension and universal philanthropy. the same love to God and
love of truth, the same purity of life and uncompromising opposition
to sin in all its forms, the same unconditional subjection to the will
of God, and the same implicit obedience to the law of duty, that dwelt
in Christ, and beautified His life and character. In these respects
there will be in all a fundamental unity or likeness, because that
each takes his nature and form from a common origin and pattern which
is all-powerful to conform every honest mind that submits to it as it
is, to its own resemblance. Everyone who has received the Holy Ghost
possesses and exhibits that Spirit in such measure and degree as to
show Him to be the leading and all-controlling power of his life and
character. Here we have "the unity of the Spirit" in its most
important characteristics and manifestations -- a common oneness with
Christ, and likeness to Him.

2. Another peculiarity of this "unity of the Spirit" of which we
speak is found in the supreme affection and regard that all have for
Christ. All have in Christ one and the same common center, about which
their thoughts, affections, and activities perpetually revolve in
similar supreme love and devotion. Through Him all have a crucifixion
to the world, and the world to them. In Him all have common hopes and
joys, which never "make ashamed, because the love of God is shed
abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost given unto us." They alike lean
upon their Beloved. The voice of each is to Him, "Draw us, and we will
run after Thee; my Beloved is mine, and I am His." Ritual names, all
that is human and earthly, are lost sight of in Him.

"Names, and sects, and parties fall,
And Christ, our Lord, is all in all."

A third feature of this "unity of the Spirit" is, all have in
common "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ:"
"Christ in you, the hope of glory;" "I will dwell in them, and walk in
them, and be their God, and they shall be My people;" "I in them, and
Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one;" "We will come unto
Him, and make Our abode with Him." What a divine and blessed unity
must be induced in kindred minds, all of whom have such identical
inward experiences and fellowships as these!

4. The last element and characteristic of "the unity of the Spirit"
to which we would refer, is this: a common and superlative regard for
the image and Spirit of Christ in whomsoever it may exist, and from
whomsoever it may be reflected. That, in character, which a truly
sanctified mind esteems and values above all other things, is the
image and Spirit of Christ, the beauty of holiness manifested and
reflected in the inward experience and outward life. "Whosoever shall
do the will of God, the same is My brother and sister, and mother."
This was the Spirit of Christ, and this is the ruling spirit and
leading sentiment of all in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells. It is
this spirit of impartial regard for moral purity in character that
lays the foundation for that Divine form of Christian practice and
experience denominated Christian fellowship, or brotherly love.

We have dwelt sufficiently upon the doctrine of the unity of the
Spirit to show what it is. The next thought which demands attention is
that form of oneness represented by the words, "unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace."

Peace exists where harmony prevails to the exclusion of discord,
and the bitterness of strife and division. "Bond of peace" implies a
form of unity which not only excludes strife and discord, but resists
and overcomes the strongest temptations to division and separation.
Friendship is strong when neither absence nor the tongue of slander,
diversity of opinion, nor seeming opposition of interest, can sunder
or weaken the ties which unite loving hearts together. Take, for
example, the friendship of David and Jonathan. Absence could not cool
the ardor of their mutual love; nor could the tongue of envy, or
rivalry of interest, sunder the bonds of peace by which their hearts
were united. Christian unity and brotherly love imply friendship in
the strongest form in which kindred minds can, by any possibility, be
brought together. It is love, the same in kind as that which unites in
one the ever blessed Persons of the sacred Trinity: "As Thou, Father,
art in Me, and I in Thee; that they may be one in us;" "That they may
be one, as we are one." Worldly minds may be at peace one with the
other, and may be united by ties of friendship apparently tender and
strong. Such bonds, however, will stand but a feeble test. Slight cues
of discord will sunder completely and forever such minds one Iron the
other. The same holds true of that form of friendship which has its
basis and source in the domestic affections. Fraternal love here will
seldom endure even a division of a parental estate. But brotherly
love, which has its basis and source in the "unity of the Spirit," is
a bond of peace that endures to eternity, and which can by no
possibility be sundered but by one of two causes, or both united a
loss of Christian virtue, or an eclipse of Christian character -- in
which, from misunderstanding, or other reasons, sanctified minds for a
time appear to each other as they are not. "The unity of the Spirit"
not only induces peace among the brotherhood, but "bonds of peace."
"The unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" is kept when sanctified
minds maintain their oneness with Christ, and have "fellowship one
with another."

There is one peculiarity which distinguishes this unity from
worldly friendship in all its forms. The broken ties of the latter
form of love are seldom or never reunited. A friend once cooled repels
all attempts at a reunion. Not so with Christian fellowship or
brotherly love. Broken ties, rejoined, live when the causes of
separation are fully removed, and reunited bonds of peace remain
stronger than they ever existed before. The duty enjoined next claims
our attention -- viz., to make it our constant endeavor: --


Obedience to this principle implies two things: that it be our
constant aim and endeavor to preserve in our own hearts, and in all
sanctified minds around us, "the unity of the Spirit," or the oneness
with the Spirit," or the oneness with Christ before described,
unalloyed and untarnished, and to perpetuate among such this unity in
the bond of peace: that is, to preserve Christian character wherever
it exists untarnished, and to blend and keep all Christian minds in
the one accord of Christian fellowship or brotherly love. Conceive of
a certain number of associated minds and hearts, each "walking in the
light as God is in the light," and all "having fellowship one with
another;" while it is the steady endeavor of each and all to
perpetuate and cement more and more this oneness with Christ on the
one hand, and this mutual fellowship on the other, while all are
watchfully guarding against all causes of corruption and discord from
within and without this sanctified circle. We have here the identical
state intended by the apostle when he penned the words of the text.
That each believer should make it his steady and prayerful endeavor to
induce and perpetuate among all the members of the household of faith
"the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," will appear evident
from the following considerations: --

1. It is, in itself, the highest, the most perfect, and the most
blessed state in which rational beings can exist and act. In this
state, such minds not only have fellowship "one with another," but
they all in common "walk with God, their fellowship being with the
Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." There is no other state
conceivable so exalted, so perfect, or so blessed as that. Now, if we
ought to aim to induce in ourselves, and among the household of faith,
the most perfect forms of virtue and the highest blessedness
attainable, it should be our fixed and prayerful endeavor "to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" among believers in all
churches of the Redeemer.

2. The importance which Christ attaches to this state should impel
every believer to use his constant and best endeavors to induce and
perpetuate it. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,
if ye have love one toward another." "Neither pray I for these alone,
but for them also that shall believe on Me through their word; that
they all may be one: as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that
they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast
sent Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me, I have given them,
that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me,
that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that
Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me." Who,
in the presence of such melting revelations, would sow discord in the
household of faith? Who can avoid making it his constant endeavor to
cherish and perpetuate a state, for the existence and continuance of
which Christ thus intercedes with "His Father and our Father, and with
His God and our God?" especially when, according to the judgment of
Christ, the destiny of the world is suspended upon the existence and
action of such unity among believers.

3. The revealed example of God Himself should be to us an
all-constraining motive to influence us to the most earnest, constant,
and prayerful endeavor to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace." "Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as dear children; and
walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and given Himself for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savor."
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for
us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." When a duty
lies before us, upon the object of which the interests of the world
are suspended, and obedience to which is urged upon us by such motives
and by such an example, we surely should be prompt and tireless in its

4. We urge, as another reason for the duty before us, the fact that
without our watchful endeavor "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace" will not be kept among the brotherhood of the household of
faith. Unless believers "watch unto prayer," "the serpent who beguiled
Eve will corrupt their minds from the simplicity of Christ." So
without their prayerful endeavor to "keep the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace," "that old serpent the devil," will create
misunderstandings, and strife, and discord in the family of Christ. A
purposeless life never was, and never will be, a loving or a peaceful
one. Let it, then, be our fixed and prayerful endeavor "to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love,"

And palsied be the tongue or the hand that shall sow discord and
strife among the children of God.

5. We remark, finally, we should endeavor "to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace," because that when we cease to walk in
the light, so as to have fellowship one with another, we lose all
proper evidence of Christian character. "We know that we have passed
from death unto life, because we love the brethren." "If any man love
not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath
not seen?" "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye
have love one to another." "He that hateth his brother is a murderer,
and we know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." Here,
then, we have a fundamental test of Christian character. "Love is of
God, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him." "He
that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." In the conscious
exercise of brotherly love, we have the witness of the Spirit that "we
are the children of God." In the absence of such love, we lose all
proper evidence that we are of God. In the opposite state, we have
absolute proof that we have not eternal life abiding in us. How
important, then, that we endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace."

1. In conclusion, we perceive clearly, in the light of our subject,
that the duty imposed in the text has a far wider application than is
commonly supposed. The words "unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace" imply "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus
Christ" in the first case, and "fellowship one with another" in the
next. Universal unity in both these respects is, according to the
text, to be the object of our constant endeavor. Brotherly love merely
is commonly understood as referred to in this passage. The keynote of
Christian fellowship or unity is a common oneness with and in Christ:
"I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one."

2. We see, also, how discord in the household of faith should be
regarded. It is in itself the root and consummation of all evil, and
should be so considered, and that for two reasons. It tends to break
up fellowship with God in the first case, and in the next, eclipses
the glory of the gospel of Christ before the world.

3. We are now prepared to state definitely the true and proper
conditions of Christian fellowship. It is not a mere profession of
Christian character, but the presentation of valid evidence of the
possession of genuine Christian virtue, or oneness with God. Sin is to
be tolerated nowhere, and especially not within the Church of Christ.
If an individual professes Christianity, and yet "walks disorderly,"
we are absolutely commanded to disfellowship him. If, on the other
hand, an individual gives valid evidence that he has "fellowship with
the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ," we must receive him into
cordial fellowship, whatever his peculiarities in other respects may
be; or we are in peril of parting company with God.

* * * * * * *

Chapter 10

"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:
who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the
devil; for God was with him." -- Acts 10:38

"And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is
truth." -- 1 John 5:6

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God:" -- Romans 8:16

"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of
man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:" -- 1
Corinthians 2:4

There are certain peculiar and special forms of speech employed by
the sacred writers to represent the relations of the mind to the truth
of God when under the illumination of the Spirit. The word know is
most commonly employed for such purposes. We give the following
passages as examples: -- "We know that we are of God." "And hereby we
know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before
Him." "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the
Spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely
given to us of God." "At that day ye shall know that I am in My
Father, and ye in Me, and I in you."

Assurance is another form of utterance by which the same relations
are expressed: "And shall assure our hearts before Him." So also the
sacred writers speak of "the full assurance of hope," "the full
assurance of faith," and of the "full assurance of understanding."

In the last text at the head of this chapter the apostle speaks of
"the demonstration of the Spirit." Demonstration produces conviction
which absolutely excludes doubt. No term more emphatic and powerfully
expressive could possibly be employed to represent the mental results
to the Christian of the inward illumination of the Spirit.

Those who are thus Divinely taught are denominated spiritual "He
that is spiritual judgeth all things: yet He Himself is judged of no
man." This Divinely-imparted knowledge has in it what no other has the
elements of life everlasting: "And this is life eternal, that they
might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast
sent." Let us endeavor to attain an apprehension of the forms of
knowledge under consideration.

There are different forms and degrees of conviction which the mind
may have in regard to a given truth. At one time a proposition may
appear as possibly, and at another as probably, true. Here conviction
takes on the form of belief or opinion. In other cases conviction
takes on forms still higher and more positive -- those of certainty,
which excludes doubt. We here find ourselves within the circle of
knowledge proper, and begin to affirm that we know that this and that
proposition is true or false. Knowledge, in its absolute forms, is
intuitive or demonstrative. Of the former kind is that in which we
have a direct and immediate perception or knowledge of a given object
-- such as the consciousness which we have of our own existence and
mental states, and of objects of direct and immediate perception in
the world around us. Knowledge is demonstrative when we perceive that
a given proposition not only is, but must be, true.

Here we attain to an apprehension of the character of all
convictions induced by the illuminations of the Spirit. In all such
cases there is a direct and inward beholding of Divine truth, followed
by convictions which arise even above ordinary demonstration. In such
beholdings doubt has no place. Nothing remains but absolute certainty.
We "know the things which are freely given us of God." "Now the Lord
is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the
Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by
the Spirit of the Lord."

Let us now contemplate a few facts and illustrations of the various
forms of Divine teaching and illumination. You have, no doubt, reader,
been subject to experiences like the following: A given truth of God
has for years, it may be, laid in the outer circle of thought. Doubt,
and even unbelief, may at times have had place in your mind in regard
to it; nor was it possible to render it the object of impressive
apprehension. It lay, as a dead letter, at an infinite remove from the
heart. All at once, and in a manner not at all understood, that truth
makes an advance from the circle and sphere of doubt and disbelief
into an open and impressive view, and we now know it as a Divine
verity. It is a matter of inexpressible wonder now that we ever could
for a moment have had a solitary doubt in respect to it, or could have
regarded it with indifference. Disbelief, doubt, and indifference, on
the other hand, appear infinitely absurd and criminal. No other forms
of intuitive knowledge, and no demonstration, can induce such absolute
and impressive conviction.

The wife of a friend of mine was passing away through the gradual
advance of consumption. From childhood death had been to her mind "the
king of terrors." During her sickness, also, she had been greatly
alarmed with the idea of dying. As her husband entered the room one
day, she exclaimed, with an unearthly glow upon her countenance, "My
dear husband, there is nothing fearful about dying. Death has no
terrors. The idea of dying is sweet to me now." From that moment she
adjusted her spirit for the approaching change with all the sweet
equanimity with which she had before adorned herself for the bridal
hour. Indeed, the embrace of death was to her mind the bridal hour of
her immortal spirit. Here we have one illustration of the effects of
Divine illumination. All truth, as apprehended through the Spirit,
passes from those outer spheres of thought and apprehension where
disbelief and gloomy doubts prevail, and where vision is dim and
unimpressive, into the inner circle of open and all-impressive vision,
and of absolute knowledge. "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the
ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee."

We have special examples and illustrations of the form of
illumination in the experience of converted men -- that of infidels,
Universalists,, and moralists, especially -- when under the convicting
power of the Spirit. When walking in carnal security, amid the deep
midnight of unbelief, impregnably fortified, as they supposed, in
their opinions and beliefs, and doubly armed against all the arguments
and weapons of "the truth as it is in Jesus," in a moment of deep and
solemn thought, such as from time to time comes over all minds in
common, the cloud is lifted, and they find themselves in the clear
sunlight of truth itself. Their arguments, reasonings, and objections
to the gospel appear lighter than "airy nothing" -- as only so many
absurdities. The evidences in favor of Christianity, on the other
hand, stand out before the mind as immovable as the everlasting
mountains. Such individuals cannot themselves tell how this sunlight
came to them. But when it did come they found themselves at once
within the sphere of absolute knowledge, the circle where doubt
forever disappears.

A very intelligent gentleman in Boston, years ago, requested me to
visit him. During our interview he made this statement: -- "For fifty
years of my life up to a few weeks since, I was a confirmed atheist. I
had no idea that my belief could be shaken. As I lay upon my bed from
a slight indisposition, the following reflections passed through my
mind. There are in the Bible a vast number of predictions which no
human foresight could have divined. Every one of these, when the time
specified arrived, was fulfilled to the letter. The same Book
foretells for the soul a future state of eternal retribution. These
last predictions will come to pass just as all the others have done.
All this came before my mind with such distinctness and force as to
render doubt impossible; and I am here, a believer in Jesus."

A distinguished moralist, who had long and openly gloried in the
all-sufficiency of his own self-originated righteousness, determined
at one time, in conformity to a suggestion which he had heard from an
evangelical pulpit, to take a careful survey of his life, write down
his good deeds in one column and his bad ones in another, and then
strike the balance between them. He sat down with the most undoubting
assurance of finding the result immensely in his own favor. With much
self-congratulation he wrote out a long catalogue of meritorious acts.
But when he commenced putting down his acts of sin, one and another
suggested itself, until this last catalogue far outnumbered the first.
Still his sins, in appalling succession, came rushing in upon his
memory. Their number appeared to be infinite. I must have forgotten
many of my good deeds, he said to himself. I will run over the record
of these, that others may thereby be suggested. As his eye rested upon
the first set down to his own credit, that act, he said again to
himself, is sinful. The motive which prompted it was wrong. So of
every other of the same class, until his whole life stood out before
his mind as "evil, and only evil, continually." Truth, under the
searching power of the Spirit, having become "a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart," the man apprehended not only his
general sinfulness, but his absolute totality in sin. At the same time
he perceived, with equal distinctness, the infinite criminality of
such a life. Now he knew his need of Christ, and was soon found a
trembling, trusting, hoping, and believing penitent, at the foot of
the cross. Throughout the whole process there was, instead of former
darkness and unbelief, absolute conviction, which totally excluded
doubt. Similar results obtain in the experience of all impenitent
persons when under the convicting power of the Spirit. They know, as
by direct and absolute intuition, their sin and ill desert, their ruin
in sin, and need of the redemption of Christ.

The effects of Divine illumination, however, become still more
manifest in the experience of the believer when "the Holy Ghost comes
upon him." A real Christian may, for example, continue in long and
painful doubt in respect to the genuineness of his conversion, and the
question of his acceptance with God. Inquiry, and even prayer, tend
but to dim vision and intensify doubt upon the subject. All at once he
emerges from all this chilling fog into a bright spot, where more than
sunlight shines upon the question about which his mind has so long
hung in the agony of doubt and uncertainty. He knows that he is
accepted in the Beloved," and without fear hangs his eternity upon
that assurance. Were he asked the question, how and why he knows this,
he might be at a loss for an answer. Of the fact of his adoption,
however, he has an assurance as absolute as he has of his own
existence. "Behold," he exclaims, "God is my salvation; I 'will trust,
and not be afraid. For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song. He
also has become my salvation."

The believer reads upon the sacred page such passages as the
following: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore,
with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." "As the Father hath loved Me,
so have I loved you." "The hairs of your head are all numbered." "Fear
not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you
the kingdom." Such passages, as everyone knows, represent a form of
love "which passeth knowledge." Yet to the unillumined mind that love
i no real. God seems to be afar off. He does seem to love Christ, and
angels. and glorified spirits. It appears, however, as if He had
forgotten and forsaken me. I cannot make it real that His ear is bent
toward me when I pray to Him All at once the veil is lifted from the
face of God, and with open vision we behold His glory. Nothing seems
so real now as God's love to us and His care for us. God is love; and
our dwellingplace is in the fullness of that love. All that the sacred
writers affirm of "the fellowship of the Spirit," of 'God's d welling
in us, and we in Him," of "Christ in you, the hope of glory," of His
manifesting Himself unto us, and with the Father "making His abode in
us," of "the Father in Him, and He in us," and of the Father loving us
even as lie loves the Son, all is consciously real to the mind now. We
"comprehend the length, and breadth, and depth, and height," and "know
the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." We "know and believe the
love that God hath to us. The same holds true of Divine illumination
in all its forms. When the Spirit comes, He "takes of the things of
Christ, and shows them unto us," and "shows us plainly of the Father."
Christ, with the Father, is to us a real and manifested personal
presence, and "with open face" we "behold His glory." We receive from
Christ "eye-salve, that we may See." "We read the precious Scriptures
with new eyes;" and have a direct immediate and open vision of their
great revelations. When we speak of these' things, "what we have seen
and heard," of these we give testimony.

We are now prepared to apprehend what is meant by the witness of
the Spirit to the truth. There are two revealed objects to which His
testimony pertains: to the truth as revealed in the Sacred Word, and
to individuals in regard to the fact of their Divine adoption. That
first designated is the form of testimony of which we are now to
speak. "It is the Spirit that heareth witness, because the Spirit is
truth," trustworthy, giving testimony only to what is true. There are
various forms in which this testimony is given. The Spirit is the
Author of the Bible. "The holy men of old" who wrote it "spoke as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost." In giving us this revelation, we have
His testimony to its truth. Doubting what is written, we "make God a
liar." We have similar testimony in the stupendous Spirit-wrought
miracles, and in the numberless Spirit-inspired prophecies which
encircle the Sacred Word and affirm its Divine origin.

In the nature of the production itself, the Spirit has also given a
form of testimony to the truth equally absolute and impressive. It
would be no more absurd to 'affirm that man originated the solar
system, than is the dogma that the Bible is a mere human production.
"The footprints of the Creator" are as manifest here as in the
organization of the universe. Through the work produced, the Spirit
has given absolute testimony to the truth.

The form of testimony of all others the most impressive, however,
is that which is constantly being witnessed in the interior of the
mind itself when under the special influence and illumination of the
Spirit. We call a physician, who prescribes a certain medicine, and at
the same time designates certain specific effects which will follow
its administration. In the experience of those identical results, we
have proof of that physician's knowledge and integrity. The Scriptures
map out beforehand endlessly diversified forms of experience and
character, as resulting from our believing and obeying the gospel. As
these experiences follow our faith and obedience -- call in exact
accordance with "what is written" -- and as these results do and can
follow under no other influences, we know, and cannot but know, that
"the Spirit is truth." As these results are Divine in their nature, we
also know that the truth which induces them must, through the Spirit,
"come down from the Father of lights." The "everlasting consolations,"
the immortal hopes the Divine fellowships, the moral virtues, and the
fullness of joy all consciously received through a superhuman and
Divine influence, 'are so many witnesses within, that we are being
led, and taught, and filled by "the Spirit of the living God." "we
have the witness in ourselves."

"The Spirit," we are also told, "beareth witness with our spirit
that we are the children of God." How is this testimony borne? Of this
we are, in one particular, informed in the context. "For as many as
are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have
not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." The apostle
then adds: "The Spirit beareth witness with "that is, in connection
with or through -- "our spirit" -- the spirit of adoption which He
induces in us -- "that we are the children of God." In the exercise of
the spirit of adoption, we recognize God as our Father, and ourselves
as His children. In effecting this spirit within us, the Holy Ghost
superadds His testimony to the fact that we are God's sons and
daughters. If we were not such, the Holy Ghost would not create the
spirit of sonship in our hearts.

The believer, as he advances onward "in the light of God" -- and we
always walk in that light when we have the Spirit -- receives at
length an absolute inward assurance of His Divine adoption. From that
moment "he knows that he is of God," and can no more doubt it than he
can cease to be conscious of his own being. In giving us that
assurance, the Spirit gives us with it His testimony that "we are
children of God," and we distinctly recognize His testimony to that

The believer often passes through a form of experience in which
"patience has her perfect work," and in which "tribulation worketh
patience, and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope
maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our
hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." When the Spirit thus
"sheds abroad" that love, He gives with it His absolute testimony to
the fact that "we are the children of God." In conducting us through
such hallowed experiences, He testifies to and with our spirit that
God is dealing with us "as with sons," disciplining us "for our
profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness."

So, when "the Spirit helpeth our infirmities," we, "not knowing
what we should pray for as we ought," "He maketh intercession for us
according to the will of God;" and thus influenced and directed, we
"ask and receive" "until our joy is full." In inducing these filial
and parental relations between us and God, the Spirit, in the most
absolute form conceivable, "testifies with our spirit that we are the
children of God." During the era of deadly persecution in Scotland,
when "the baptism of the Spirit" was the common experience of
believers, and the myrmidons of the persecuting power were marauding
the whole country to murder the saints and breakup the religious
assemblies, a young woman, on her way to such a meeting, was met by a
company of cavalry, and required to give her destination. She could
not "deny the faith," and would not reveal the place of meeting. At
that moment this promise presented itself to her mind: "It shall be
given you in that same hour what ye shall speak." She lifted a secret
prayer that God would then give her what she should speak. Instantly
these words presented themselves, and she uttered them as presented:
"I am going to my Father's house. My elder Brother has died. His will
is to be read today, and I have an interest in it." The commander bid
her go on her way. "I hope," he added, "you will find a rich portion
left to yourself." Could the Spirit have given that young saint any
more absolute testimony that she was a child of God? At that same era,
two brethren were helping their loved pastor, who was crippled with
rheumatism, on to such a meeting. On their way, they discovered a
troop of those murderers approaching. As they could not in time carry
their pastor to a place of safety, he entreated them to leave him, and
save themselves. They replied that they should stay and die with him.
As they would not be persuaded, he lifted a prayer that God would
interpose, and conceal them from their persecutors. Instantly a thick
cloud came over the top of the mountain, and covered them, so their
murderers passed close by their victims without seeing them at all.
Did those individuals need from the Spirit any other testimony that
they were "the children of God?" Every answer we receive to prayer is
a testimony of the same kind.

We remark once more, when the Spirit brings us into conscious
"fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ;" when He
enables us to "know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," and
"fills us with all the fulness of God:" when we "behold with open face
the glory of the Lord," and are "changed into the same image from
glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord;" and when, by His
indwelling presence and illumination, "God becomes our everlasting
light, and the days of our mourning are ended" -- in all this we have
the absolute testimony of the Spirit to our adoption. We need, as Mr.
Wesley says, no voice without, and no words within, to know that we
have this witness. What we do need is, "full assurance of hope," "full
assurance of faith," and "full assurance of understanding." These the
Spirit gives us; and in these we have His testimony that "we are the
children of God."

Truth in all its forms, when apprehended through the Spirit, has
not only an all-illuminating and all-convincing, but equally an
all-vitalizing power -- a power to quicken into the highest possible
activity every faculty and susceptibility of our nature. Every truth
of God, and at the same time all that we are capable of being and
becoming through Divine influence, lie out with perfect distinctness
under the eye of the Spirit. At each successive moment, therefore, He
is able, we co-working with Him, to produce in us those specific
apprehensions, desires, and purposes, which will render our activity
the most perfect, our blessedness the most full, and our virtues the
most divine. Nothing possible to our natures lies beyond His power to
induce in us, and to enable us to accomplish. He knows us as we do not
and cannot know ourselves; and not what we know of ourselves, but what
He knows us as capable of being, becoming, doing, and enjoying, is the
limit and measure of His power to do in and through us.

As "laborers together with God" for His kingdom and glory, the
Spirit knows how to produce in us just those apprehensions of God,
Christ, life, death, duty, redemption, eternity, and retribution, just
those emotions, desires, purposes, forms of utterance, and modes of
action, which will render our agency the most efficient for the
purposes of our "high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Yes. reader,
God by His Spirit is "able to make all grace abound toward you, that
you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto
every good work." Girded by the power of the Spirit, the weakest among
us may do valiant service "for the great Captain of our salvation."
The same Almighty power which the Spirit "wrought in Christ, when He
raised Him from the dead, and set Him at the right hand of God in the
heavenly places, far above all "principality, and power, and might,
and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world,
but in that which is to come," we are absolutely assured, is equally
mighty to usward in reference to all our spiritual necessities and
exigencies; yes, equally mighty to do in and for us "exceeding
abundantly above all that we ask or think." Nothing can exceed the
impressiveness of the language of the apostle upon this subject, viz.,

"Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus,
and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making
mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding
being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling,
and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and
what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe,
according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in
Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right
hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power,
and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in
this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things
under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the
Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in

There are two distinct and opposite states and relations in which
the believer in Jesus may be contemplated. In the one state he has
repented of sin, "believed to the saving of his soul," entertains
sincere purposes of obedience, and is not utterly barren of good
works. In the other state he has all these, with "the power of the
Spirit" superadded. As a necessary consequence, a fundamental
difference arises in the forms which Christian experience and action
take on. In the former state the leading characteristics of such
experience are imbecility, inward emptiness, and want; doing what we
would not, and not doing what we would; a perpetual "laying again the
foundation of repentance from dead works to serve the living God;"
intervals of light, with longer continued periods of darkness and
gloom; periods of hope and assurance, but more of doubt and fear;
occasional joys, "but much of sorrow, much of woe;" much of crying
after God, but very little, if any "communion of the Spirit;" and many
fightings, but very few "victories by the blood of the Lamb and the
word of His testimony." In the latter state the equally marked
characteristics of that experience are courage and strength;
"everlasting consolations and good hope through grace;" "victories by
the blood of the Lamb and the word of His testimony;" "the light of
God, and with it full assurance of faith," "full assurance of hope,"
and "full assurance of understanding;" "all-sufficiency in all
things," and thereby "abounding unto every good work;" immortal
fellowships and "fulness of joy;" and God as our "everlasting light,"
while "the days of our mourning are ended."

"The Church of the living God" should ever be in that state in
which "he that is feeble among us is as David, and the house of David
as God, as the angel of the Lord before Him," On what conditions can
we be girded with this everlasting strength? We must, in the first
place, fully appreciate our own weaknesses and insufficiency in
ourselves, and utterly and forever renounce and repudiate the
principle of self-sufficiency and dependence. "We are not sufficient
of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves." This truth must be
omnipresent in our mind. In the next place, we must as fully
appreciate the available strength which exists for us in God. "Our
sufficiency is of God," and in Him we have "all-sufficiency for all
things." We "can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth us."
In our assurance of available "strength in the Lord, and in the power
of His might," we must never waver. Lastly, our hope and our trust
must be, "not in ourselves, but in God." "If we will not believe, we
shall not be established." If we do believe, our "light will go forth
as brightness, and our salvation as a lamp that shineth." At all times
and in every exigency "the grace of Christ will be sufficient for us."
Here lies the grand secret of holy living. "Have faith in God." We
believe, and therefore speak." "If thou canst believe: all things are
possible to him that believeth." Self-distrust and "faith in God."
Here is the Divine secret, which "none of the wicked," and too few
believers "understand;" but which the "wise do understand." May you,
reader, know this Divine secret!

As far as "the full assurance of faith," "the full assurance of
hope," "the full assurance of understanding," and that form of fear
which is "cast out by perfect love," are concerned, fear should have
no place whatever in Christian experience. All in common should "serve
God without fear, in righteousness and holiness before Him, all the
days of their lives." Yet there are certain possibilities and perils
attendant on the Christian life which should induce that sober
vigilance and wakeful circumspection and watchfulness, represented by
the words "godly fear" and "fear and trembling." Notwithstanding the
availability, the all-sufficiency of Divine grace, and "the power of
the Spirit," we may "cast away our confidence," "sell our birthright,"
"quench the Spirit," and be "corrupted from the simplicity that is in
Christ." The immutable condition of final salvation with us is, that
we "hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast, even unto the
end." For the want of proper diligence in "stirring the gift of God
which is in us," the gift of the Spirit, we may fail to glorify God by
"bearing much fruit." We must "keep our bodies under, and bring them
into subjection," or ourselves be "castaways." In every department of
the Christian life and work, we are "laborers together with God," and
encircled with adversaries ever wakeful, watchful, and of mighty
power. Such considerations, while they should not dim our hopes,
weaken our assurances, or lessen our fullness of joy, should render us
"sober-minded" and "watchful unto prayer." "There is no time for
trifling here," for anything but sober-minded circumspection. If we
will be thus "sober and vigilant," Christ through the Spirit will
"make all grace abound toward us," so that we shall "always have
all-sufficiency in all things." But "if we will not watch, Christ will
come upon us as a thief," and "remove our candlestick out of its

* * * * * * *

Chapter 11

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" -- 1
Corinthians 1:30

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." --
Zechariah 13:1

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to
his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of
the Holy Ghost." -- Titus 3:5

In Palestine and surrounding countries, the people, in ages past,
were sometimes in great peril from want of water, occasioned by either
of two circumstances -- drought, or the besieging of cities, when the
usual supply was cut off by encircling foes. Hence it was that the
greatest pains were then taken by the inhabitants exposed to such
evils, to provide against them.

The method generally adopted was to dig out in the solid rock
beneath the surface on which such cities were built, vast reservoirs,
which, in periods of rain, were filled with water and then sealed up,
so as to be preserved pure until times of extremity should come. Then
they were opened to quench thirst, and for external cleansing.

In searching amid the ruins of such cities, vast rows of such
fountains or reservoirs have been found. Some of these fountains are
from one to three hundred feet deep, and as many in diameter. We seen
a city was well furnished with such sealed fountains, they would be to
all the inhabitants a source of great blessedness, because they would
see in them abundant security against evils which were certain to
impend at some time.

When the ordinary supply of water was cut off for either of the
reasons assigned, then all minds would be turned with intense desire
to the sealed fountains within the city, and the opening of the same
would be the object of one common, all-pervading prayer to the public
authorities, to whose control such fountains were subject. While the
keeping of those fountains closed at such times would be the occasion
of general sorrow and regret, the opening of them would be as the
first note of the trump of jubilee to the people. Such an event
brought deliverance from two forms of death -- thirst within, and
uncleanness breeding pestilence, without.

Sometimes, when the fountains were opened, it would be found, to
the amazement and horror of the expectant multitude, that through some
fissures in the rocks the waters had escaped, and the fountains were
dry. These were the "broken cisterns," or fountains "that could hold
no water." Hence it is that these fountains afford some of the most
beautiful and impressive figures found in the Scriptures. When, for
example, a person was to an individual a source and cause of great
serenity, peace, and consolation, and at the same time the object of
most endeared affection, the former would be said to be to the latter
"a fountain sealed;" "a fountain sealed is My beloved unto Me."

When individuals were subject, from any cause, to very great joy
and triumph, or to great deliverances from impending dangers, the
cause of such joy and deliverance was compared to a fountain opened
during the straits of drought or of siege, "Thou wilt open unto him
the fountains of life."

As in the land of oppressive heat, the water, cool and fresh,
welling up from the heart of the earth, was, in itself, more
refreshing than the rainwater drawn from the hewn-rock fountains,
invaluable as the latter was in times of extremity, so when an object
was to the mind the source and cause of the greatest conceivable good,
it was compared to "a fountain of living water." On the other hand,
when an object had been the source and cause of the highest hope, and
had flagrantly wrecked and disappointed that hope, it was compared to
a "broken cistern," a fountain opened in time of pressing necessity,
and to the horror of the expectant multitude found empty.

When an individual was seen abandoning that which would be to him
the source of the greatest good, and pursuing with eager haste that
which would be to him the cause of certain ruin and death, he was
compared to one who "forsakes a fountain of living water, and hews out
to himself a broken cistern that can hold no water;" as if a man
should refuse to taste of living water welling up from a perennial
spring near him, and was seen laboriously striving to hew out for
himself, in a visibly shelly and split rock, a cistern, to receive the
rainwater that might run into it from the clouds above.

We may now apply the impressive figure in which the redemption of
Christ is set before us in the text, together with the attitude of the
heart of the Church in respect to that redemption, as the latter-day
glory dawns in. The text, you will bear in mind, sets before us, in
one and the same figure, the salvation of Christ, in what may be
called its objective and subjective relations -- that is, salvation as
it is in itself, and the state of the heart relatively to it, when
Christ becomes "the power of God and the wisdom of God unto the

In itself, whether men avail themselves of it or not, that
salvation is "perfect and entire, wanting nothing." It contains and
reveals provisions, full and complete, for all the moral and spiritual
necessities of the soul. These provisions, however, only become
efficacious to this end when the soul, supremely desirous to be wholly
free from the condemnation, power, and inbeing of sin, sees in Christ
a sovereign remedy for this death-plague, and comes to Him, and trusts
in the virtue of His blood as the "fountain opened for sin and for

Think of the inhabitants of an Eastern city in a time of extreme
droughts, when the living fountains and wells within and around are
completely dried; or in the straitness of a siege, when all
watercourses are stopped, or turned aside by the encircling foe. In
this state, everyone is perishing with a burning thirst, and
terror-stricken with the apprehension of the all-pervading presence of
the death-plague from uncleanness.

In the sealed fountains within the city is the only sovereign
remedy for both these forms of impending death. One desire now
pervades all minds, and one prayer goes up to the ruling authorities.
It is, that these fountains may be opened to save the people from
these terrible calamities. When the fountains are opened, what a
universal rush there is to them, to obtain those waters of life! and
with what eagerness are they applied to quench the burning thirst, and
cleanse away the external impurity!

Such is the state of the hear relatively to the provisions of
saving grace in Christ, when they become efficacious for the pardon of
sin, and for moral and spiritual purification. When the mind is
divided by the attractions of things seen and temporal, and drawn by
"the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of
life," away from God, and holiness, and Heaven; when
self-righteousness or unbelief closes the avenues of the heart to
Christ and the Spirit of grace -- then these provisions in Christ have
no more efficacy for the salvation of the soul than if they had no
existence at all. Christ is then to the soul, not a "fountain opened
for sin and for uncleanness," but a fountain closed.

When preached by the Holy Ghost, Christ was "to the Jew a
stumblingblock, and to the Greek foolishness," because the "Jew sought
for a sign, and the Greek for wisdom." That is, each held in supreme
regard something incompatible with the outgoing of the heart in a
supreme desire and choice towards Christ and His salvation. But to
everyone that believeth, He was, and He is, "the power of God and the
wisdom of God unto salvation," because all such appreciate the
infinite value of His grace, and seek it in Him with all the heart and
with all the soul. Such is the salvation of Christ in its subjective
and objective relations, as it is in itself closed, and as it is
unsealed to the believing heart "a fountain opened for sin and
uncleanness." When Christ is formed within the soul, the hope of
glory, and with perfect quietness and assurance reposes in Him for all
future necessities, receiving everlasting consolation and peace
through His grace, then He is to such a "fountain of living waters."

When one predominant desire possesses the mind, to be wholly free
from the condemnation and power of sin, and in perfect purity to be
"filled with all the fulness of God;" and when in Christ it apprehends
a present and perfect sufficiency to meet all its desires and
necessities, then Christ is to the soul "a fountain opened for sin and
for uncleanness." The soul realizes the blessings of a present Christ
immediately, fully, and specifically flowing into every susceptibility
and want of its immortal nature.

It is to a state of hunger and thirst for righteousness, to an
inward panting and crying out of the whole inner being for God and the
light of His countenance, that the "exceeding great and precious
promises" are addressed, by which we become "partakers of the Divine

When all the powers of the soul are preoccupied and filled with
worldly attachments incompatible with the indwelling of the Holy
Ghost; when worldly pride, the spirit of self-righteousness and
unbelief, repel the approach of the doctrine of Christ crucified for
our redemption; the individual who reasons with him upon
righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to come, and commends to him
the full salvation in Christ "for sin and for uncleanness," is to him
as a mocker or one that bring strange things to his ears.

I our cities are various reservoirs, the contents of which are in
reserve in case of fire. What if the authorities should open these,
and invite the people to use them for quenching their thirst and for
external purification. You would regard your rulers as demented. Your
wells and your cisterns are filled with living or pure cloud water.
You have no liking for the filthy water in the reservoirs referred to
and you would condemn as an Insult an invitation to partake of them

With somewhat similar feelings do men who think they have all and
abound, regard- the provisions of grace for their redemption They
esteem it quite meritorious if for once a week when convenience
serves, they attend upon the services of the sanctuary where these
provisions are urged upon their acceptance while the majority of men
contemn even so much regard for sacred things as that

But suppose God should send a drought in which all moisture should
be burnt out of the earth beneath and the atmosphere above and around
you. Your wells and cisterns and rivers are dried up and your lakes
even have become stagnant pools of death poison one want presses upon
the people water Even the street water in your reservoirs would then
be regarded as of priceless value

But suppose that the public authorities should now open sealed
fountains, filled with the pure liquid which the clouds and dews of
Heaven had rained down among you How would you then regard the cry,
"Ho! everyone that thirsteth come ye to the waters, With similar
feelings do men regard the provisions of life in Christ when they
become conscious of their real condition as sinners, and it is, we
repeat, to this poverty of spirit, this inward cry for the waters of
life in Christ, that the invitations and promises of Christ are

We now advance to a very important inquiry -- viz., what are we to
understand by the declaration, "In that day there shall be a fountain
opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for
sin and for uncleanness?" The text implies that the time is coming
when the Church is to attain to a new form of experience in Christ,
not common, and by no means general in any preceding age. "In that day
there shall be a fountain opened." There is great meaning in these
memorable words "that day."

Let us inquire for the meaning of this prophecy. Christ in Himself,
and in the fullness, completeness, and efficacy of the provisions of
grace in Him for all the wants of the soul, "is the same yesterday,
and today, and forever." "Ye are complete in Him," will hold equally
true of the Church, as far as Christ's power to save is concerned, at
any one moment from the beginning to the end of time, as at any other.
In consequence of a change of relations of the heart of the Church,
however, He may be to her in degree and in fullness a Saviour such as
He had never before been.

Such a change did occur in the experience of the disciples and
Primitive Christians at the Pentecost, and such a change does, in
fact, occur in the experience of all believers when they "have
received the Holy Ghost after they have believed." Prior to this
consummation, the vision of truth is dim, and the faith of the soul
takes but a feeble hold of things unseen and eternal. As a
consequence, the evidence of justification is obscure, and but small
degrees of virtue proceed from Christ for moral and spiritual

To do, or to endure, the soul has but very little strength; and
with feeble and oft-slipping footsteps, it treads its weary way in the
paths of obedience and of life. In such a twilight of Divine
illumination the is hope; but doubt oftener predominates than
assurance. There are, also, joys and consolations; but not "peace as a
river, and righteousness as the waves of the " There is rather more of
doubt than of hope, of fear than of assurance, and "an aching void
within the soul," rather than "joy' unspeakable and full of glory."

But when the Holy Ghost falls upon the believer, and his soul is
"filled with the Spirit," in that baptism of fire, of love, of light,
and joy in God, there is a cloudless apprehension of truth, and every
truth apprehended has a transforming power upon the heart and
character. The face of God, the love of Christ "the glory of God and
of the LAMB," are unveiled to the open vision of the mind. Hope
dispels doubt, and assurance banishes fear. Weakness gives place to
strength in God to do and to endure "all the good pleasure of His
goodness, even the work of faith with power."

Instead of an aching void within, an infinite fullness of "living
water springs up into everlasting life." In other words, there is in
that day "a fountain opened to the house of David and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."

Now it is to this higher form of experience, this outpouring of the
Spirit promised to the Church in these latter days, that special
reference is had in the text. You will observe that it is to "the
house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem -- "that is, for
believers within, and not for sinners without, the circle of the
Church, that the fountain here referred to is to be opened.

In the context we read, that the time of the fulfillment of this
prophecy is to be a period of great moral and spiritual power in the
Church: "He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David,
and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord
before them." It is also to be a time of total moral and spiritual
purification: "In that day there shall he upon the hells of the
horses, Holiness unto the Lord." Prior to that event, the instances of
such high attainments would be few and far between. Then, this is to
become the common experience of the Church universal.

This era of universal and total purification in the Church, this
era of mighty power for the subjection of the world to the reign of
Christ, is the theme of all the prophets, 'when they testify
beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and of the glory that was to
follow." St. John calls its introduction, "The marriage of the Lamb."
"Let us be glad, and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage
of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her
was granted to be clothed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine
linen is the righteousness of the saints." Referring to this era of
Divine illumination, God, through the prophet Isaiah, thus addresses
the Church: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the
Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the
earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon
thee, and His glory shall he seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall
come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."

What a contrast in the state of the Church, as it has been in ages
past, as it now is, and as it is to be in that day of light, and
glory, and blessedness! Now, whatever of Divine glory she possesses is
hardly recognized by the world, so feebly does her light shine. Then,
that glory is to become visible and all-impressive to the world -- so
visible, and so impressive, that the race shall be drawn from the
gross darkness with which they are encircled, to the light which is
radiated from the face and throne of God upon the Church; just as the
people were drawn from the darkness of Egypt to the light which
illumined the Land of Goshen. And then this era of illumination is
never to be eclipsed. "The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and
the days of thy mourning shall be ended."

In that day, according to the word of God through the prophet
Jeremiah, God is to make a new covenant with. His Church, and this is
to be that covenant: "I will put My law in their inward parts, and
write it in their hearts;" that is, sanctify them permanently and
wholly. "Then," says God through the prophet Ezekiel, "will I sprinkle
clean water upon you, and ye shall he clean; from all your filthiness
and from all your idols will I cleanse you."

Of the degree of sanctification referred to in all these
prophecies, we are distinctly informed in Jer. 1:20: "In those days,
and at that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall he
sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they
shall not be found." The prophet Joel refers to the same state of
moral purification under the representation of a universal diffusion
of the Holy Spirit upon the entire body of believers: "And it shall
come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit
upon all flesh" [upon the entire company of believers], "and your sons
and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see
visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and
on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit, and they
shall prophesy."

No careful reader of the Scriptures can fail to perceive that the
fountain referred to in the text is to be opened within the Church,
and to and for believers as such; that they all, having "washed their
garments, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb," may be, in
Christ, "perfect and entire, wanting nothing." When the Church has
thus attained, then will she become, in deed and in truth, a power in
the world for its redemption. Ignorance and unbelief have hitherto
kept the mass of believers straying in the wilderness with the flocks
of Christ's foes. There their "follies have filled them with weeping."

In all ages, there have been a few who "have known and have
believed the love of God to them," and thus knowing and believing,
"their love has been made perfect." To the entire mass of believers,
however, Christ is then to be "a fountain opened for sin and for
uncleanness." In that day and at that time the love of all in common
will be made perfect.


The most important inquiry suggested by the text here presents
itself -- viz., By what means and under what circumstances will
believers find in Christ this opened fountain? In other words, on what
conditions does the grace of Christ, and the revelation of His glory
and love, act upon the soul as an all-renovating power, emancipating
it from "the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the
sons of God?"

We all know on what conditions and under what circumstances Christ
becomes a fountain opened to the sinner for the pardon of sin. Through
the power of the Spirit in connection with external and internal
influences, he is led to think on his ways. In thus thinking, he
distinctly apprehends the fact of his sin and of his hopeless ruin in
sin. One want now presses upon him, and centers in itself the supreme
desire of his soul -- viz., pardon and acceptance with God. In this
state he opens the Scriptures, and reads of Christ as the sinner's
friend, the sinner's hope; or he meets with a Christian friend who
points him to "the Lamb OF God which taketh away the sin of the

The Spirit now so presents Christ to his sin-burdened soul that it
apprehends in Him a present, immediate, and all-sufficient fullness
for the overwhelming want with which it is burdened. Christ is now to
that mind a fountain opened for sin; that is, for pardon, full and
free. This convert meets some other sinner, and tells him of Christ as
a Saviour from condemnation and the fear of death. That sinner,
convinced of his own sin, and ruin in sin, beholds in Christ the
needed redemption. Christ becomes to him, as in the former, a fountain
opened for sin. Whenever the soul apprehends in Christ a present
fullness for any pressing necessity, then He is to that mind "a
fountain opened" for that want. Now, when the soul has found in Christ
"a fountain opened" for the forgiveness of sin, and when the joy and
peace of its first love have passed away, it begins to feel the
pressure of another want, more agonizing, if possible, than the first.
It experiences an inward hunger and thirst for another blessing, more
important even than pardon and the peace which the assurance of
reconciliation with God can bring to the mind. It wants deliverance
from "the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons
of God." It wants to be "pure in heart," that it may "see God." It
wants to find in Christ, and in the gospel of His grace, a power not
only for pardon, but for. moral and spiritual renovation.

It reads in the Scriptures of an "eye-salve" by which we may see,
and of an "anointing" by which we "know the things which are freely
given us of God." It reads still further of Christ in the soul, "the
hope of glory," and of God dwelling in us and walking in us, and thus
becoming "our everlasting light," while the "days of our mourning are
ended." It reads of a baptism of the Spirit -- a baptism by which and
in which "we all, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are
changed into the same image from glory to glory," and are enabled to
"comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to
know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," and thus be "filled
with all the fulness of God." In the midst of such revelations, and in
the presence of such "exceeding great and precious promises," one
desire possesses the whole powers of the soul -- the desire to realize
in its experience the fullness thus revealed to its faith and hope.
Its one inquiry in great earnestness is, how and where can this
fullness be obtained?

To receive an answer to this question, the individual sets about a
most diligent and prayerful research. He makes inquiry of the most
spiritual believers in the ministry and out of it, and reads the
memoirs of such men as Brainerd and Payson. But all in vain. The Bible
is a sealed book. In it he finds no present Christ addressed to the
one present want of his whole being. "With strong crying and tears" he
asks this single blessing of the Father in Heaven -- that he "may know
Him, and understand His way, and find grace in His sight;" that he may
possess and be filled with the righteousness after which he now so
inexpressibly hungers and thirsts, and be "endued with the power from
on high," for which he is now waiting with such intense expectancy.

While thus praying, waiting, searching, hoping, and trusting, there
is, through the Spirit, a direct manifestation of the glory, the love,
the grace, and the fullness of Christ to his mind. In Christ he
apprehends a present available and infinite fullness for every want of
his immortal nature. The faith of his soul takes such a hold of the
strength and fullness of Christ, as to become at once "strong in the
Lord and in the power of His might," to do, to endure, to think, to
feel, and to act for Christ. "All things have become new." Hope
becomes changed into absolute assurance, and faith almost into a
vision of things unseen and eternal. The veil is taken away from the
Word of God. Its varied revelations of truths well out in "rivers of
living water." Every truth realized has a quickening, vitalizing, and
renovating power upon the mind. In other words, the believer, by a way
which he knows not, now finds in Christ and in the gospel of His grace
"a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness."

Now this individual, thus, without learning, teaching, or external
help, led to Christ, begins to speak to others of "the riches of the
glory of this mystery," "which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
He speaks of Divine manifestations, of a "witness of the Spirit," of
"a shedding abroad of the love of God in the heart," of a Divine in
dwelling in the soul, of a "fellowship with the Father, and with His
Son Jesus Christ," of "everlasting consolations and good hope through
grace," and of "joy unspeakable and full of glory," to all of which
they are comparative strangers. Yet he speaks in a manner which
renders them sensible of the fact, that "what he hath seen and heard,
that he testifies." The hearing of such an experience awakens in them
a thirst for these waters of life, and Christ, in this one mind,
becomes to them "a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness." God
shines into one heart, and thus gives to all around "the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

So also when the membership of any one church becomes thus washed
and purified, and made white "in the blood of the Lamb," Christ, in
that church, becomes to all the churches and the world around, "a
fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness." Thus streamlet
intermingles with streamlet, till the waters of life, issuing from
multitudes of sanctified hearts, become, in accordance with Ezekiel's
vision, a mighty' river that cannot "be Passed over," and "the
redeemed of the Lord return and come with singing unto Zion, and
everlasting joy upon their heads; they obtain joy and gladness, and
sorrow and sighing flee away."

You may now see, dear reader, when it is that you may regard
yourself as standing upon the very banks of the river of life, where
God is about to become the everlasting light of your soul. It is when,
and only when, you have such a quenchless thirst for God, for
holiness, and for the indwelling of the Presence of Christ in your
heart, that nothing else will satisfy you, or divert your thoughts or
desire from this one infinite good, and when your whole being is
centered in the immutable purpose to attain it. When the disciples
were "all with one accord in one place," the set time had come when
they were to be "endued with power from on high." Are you, reader, in
a similar state? "Then lift up your head: your redemption draweth
nigh!" But if you have no such purpose or desire, remember that you
have no lot or part in this matter.

You also perceive "'hen and how it is that Christ, in and through
one individual, becomes to others "a fountain opened for sin and for
uncleanness." It is not in the holding or the public advocacy of a
form of doctrine or system of faith which accords with the truth that
anyone occupies this Divine relation. It is, on the other hand, the
holding and the advocacy of "the truth as it is in Jesus," and an
inward experience and an outward life which accords with that truth.
Were we an inquirer after the higher life in Christ, one of the last
individuals that we would go to for light upon the subject, would be
one who holds and advocates the doctrine of full redemption, and yet
knows nothing of that truth as an all-vitalizing and renovating power.
The most injurious influence that can exist in any church and
community goes out from that person who zealously advocates that vital
truth, and yet connects such advocacy with an unholy and corrupt life.
The brightest jewel in Christ's crown of glory in any church, on the
other hand, is the individual who holds and advocates that truth, and
who has "received the Holy Ghost since he has believed." In him God
dwells and walks, and Christ abides as an all-purifying, quickening,
and life-imparting presence; and through him Christ and the provisions
of His grace are perpetually revealed to the Church and the world
around, as "a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness" -- the
Divinest mission ever fulfilled by men or angels.

We also understand when it is that in any particular church Christ
is revealed to other churches and the world around, as the fountain
opened, of which we are speaking. That revelation is not made in and
through the creed, or through the ministrations of the Church, however
accordant both may be with the truth of God. There is no more
unvitalizing power on earth than resides in a dead orthodoxy. To the
sinner pressing the inquiry, "What must I do to be saved?" There is no
spot where he is less likely to find the truth he seeks than in that
place where the truth, and nothing -- but the truth, is held,
advocated, and preached, and where that truth is belied and
neutralized by a dead faith in the ministry and membership. To the
inquirer after the higher life, there is no spot to him more dark than
he finds in a church, and under a ministry, where this soul-renovating
and heart-vitalizing truth is held, advocated, and preached, but where
it exists in no hearts as "a well of water, springing up into
everlasting life." The very truth itself then becomes to such a mind a
mass of darkness, and nothing else, being presented as having no
efficacy for moral and spiritual renovation. To the revelation under
consideration; in and through any given church, two condition must e
fulfilled. The truth as it is in Jesus, in the first place, must be
internally credited and openly advocated. It is "by the foolishness of
preaching" that God saves those that believe. "Faith cometh by
hearing." In the next place, the power, and renovating efficacy, and
peace-giving and joy-imparting influence of the gospel, must be fully
manifested in the inward experience and visible example of that
church. Then, indeed, will that church be "a light in the world," and
"have power with God and with men." Then, in and through such church,
will Christ be to all encircling churches and to the world around, "a
fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness." And when the churches of
our God in general shall be similarly illuminated, "washed and made
white in the blood of the Lamb," and all her membership are filled
with the Spirit, and together "walk in the light of God," then will
the Gentiles come to her light, and kings to the "brightness of their
rising." In all the world, the spot where one such church is located
will be the brightest, and, "to all who look for salvation in Israel,"
the most attractive, because that there the glory of Christ is
revealed in this one Divine relation.

We may now clearly perceive what will hereafter constitute the
glory or the shame of Methodism. The central article of her creed is
the great central truth of the gospel, to wit: full and free
redemption in Jesus Christ. In the holding and advocacy of that truth,
her ministry and membership glory before the world. In her early
founders and favorite memoirs, Christ and the promises of His grace
are fully and distinctly revealed to all her membership and to all the
world as "a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness." Now, if this
denomination shall remain true to her Heaven-descended mission, by
continuing to hold and advocate this great truth, and by a living
faith shall exemplify its all-purifying influence both before the
Church and the world, this will be "her wisdom and her understanding,"
in the judgment of all nations, who shall hear of this great
salvation. But if she should renounce faith in this great truth, or
cease to advocate it, and above all, should hold it as a dead faith,
instead of an all-vitalizing power, this would be her shame before God
and the world. When in all the churches, in the sense explained,
"there shall be a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness" then is
the millennium near. even at the door.

* * * * * * *

Chapter 12

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." -- Matthew 11:29

"I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in
the furnace of affliction." -- Isaiah 48:10 (Mistakenly shown in the
printed volume as Isaiah 48:19 -- DVM)

This one principle universally obtains in respect to the refinement
of metals, that the severity of the process requisite to their
purification is proportionate to their preciousness. No metal can be
brought to a state of purity but by a trial of fire. Those of the
least value can be melted and purified by comparatively small degrees
of heat. Those of the highest value can be refined but by being placed
in the central fires of the glowing furnace when heated to the
greatest intensity. Silver may be placed in the furnace, but the heat
of the common crucible is all that is requisite for its highest
purification. The meaning of the text, then, is obvious. God says to
the sanctified believer, this class being especially here addressed:
"I have refined thee, but not with silver." "The virtues which I have
purposed to develop in you being of all others the most precious and
valuable in My estimation, I have subjected you to the action of the
central fires of the furnace of affliction. Because I loved you, and
saw in you a capacity to become possessed of the brightest and the
best graces that adorn My kingdom, I placed you, for this purpose, in
those central fires; and because you there lost all your tin and
dross, and became the thing I desired, I chose you, when you were in
that furnace, as My own peculiar treasure, and you shall 'be Mine in
that day when I make up My jewels."' There are some virtues which
bloom up to maturity in circumstances of almost continued prosperity,
and freedom from the pressure of strong temptation. Others, of a
nobler birth, are matured and consolidated under the weight of great
trusts and responsibilities. But those which take on the brightest
possible forms of beauty and perfection are those which are refined
and purified amid the glowing and melting heat of the furnace of

It is an immutable principle of the Divine government that all
forms of real excellence shall be the result of endurance which
severely tests and taxes the human faculties. A mind, for instance,
stands before you, "with Atlanteon shoulders, fit to bear the weight
of mightiest monarchies." How did that mind attain to such preeminence
of power? It early began to think, to think strongly, and by long
habit to the endurance of the weight of great thoughts, it towered up
to its present overshadowing greatness. Endurance which brings such
visible rewards men subject themselves to from choice. They delight to
continue in it, because their nature is adapted to it, on the one
hand, and on account of the "great recompense of reward" resulting
from it on the other. The opposite in all respects obtains in regard
to afflictive providences. They are objects of fear, and not of
desire. They always come unsought, and descend upon the mind suddenly,
as crushing avalanches from the heights above us. And what is still
more peculiar in respect to them, is the fact that they are in
themselves grievous burdens, with no visible or apparent benefits
attending or issuing from them. Yet no events appear to come so
directly from God as these. They seem to drop down upon us immediately
from His hand, crushing our fondly-cherished hopes, smiting our
persons till all our sensibilities quiver with excruciating agony,
smiting also those most dear to us, and causing our hearts to bleed
for sufferings we cannot relieve, and then taking from us even "the
desire of our eyes with a stroke." These providences also most
frequently, perhaps, strike that department of our nature most
susceptible to suffering. How often do we hear individuals exclaim,
"Anything but this! Why did God smite me in this one spot?" Yet,
judging from appearance, God thus smites for no good reasons. What
apparent good, for example, is there in that terrible bereavement by
which the orphan is left, homeless and penniless, to the charity of
this cold world? But, reader, it is amid the central fires of just
such furnaces as these that the divinest virtues known in the universe
of God are refined and perfected; and those who are "made perfect
through suffering" are the individuals who stand nearest the eternal
throne in the kingdom of light.

This brings us to the subject of the present chapter -- viz., the
Divine uses of afflictive providences, acting, as they do, as
disciplinary fires for the purification and perfection of the saints
of God.

Before we proceed to a direct consideration of this subject, there
is one thought to which very special attention is invited. Afflictive
providences are in themselves, as above seen, crushing evils coming
upon us for no visible reasons, and apparently tending to no good
results. To appearance they are death-strokes falling upon our
sensitive natures. Whether they shall issue in life or death to us,
depends wholly upon the moral state in which they are received and
endured. If, while we are in the crucible or in the furnace, "patience
has her perfect work," we then become "perfect and entire, wanting
nothing." If, in the same circumstances, the mind loses its spiritual
balance, becomes chafed and fretted, restless and despondent; above
all, if it loses hope and faith in God, then it loses its reward, and
Satan takes its crown. In the history of the prophet Ezekiel we have a
conspicuous example of a trial of faith successfully endured. God,
through the prophet, desired to foreshadow to the nation the
calamities which were impending calamities so terrible, that even
domestic bereavements, under their influence, would become matters of
utter indifference; and God took this strange means to secure the
result -- to take suddenly from the prophet the wife of his youth,
requiring him at the same time to move among the people as if no
affliction had befallen him.

"Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, behold I
take away from thee the desire of thy eyes with a stroke: yet neither
shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear
to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thy head upon
thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and
eat not the bread of men. So I spoke to the people in the morning: and
at evening my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded."

In every afflictive providence that befalls us, we are always
distinctly addressed by duty in some specific form -- more specific
than in almost any other circumstances. Now it is when we do the
specific thing then and there required of us, that we gain the virtues
that ensure to us the crown of life. When racked with torturing pain,
or smitten with domestic bereavement, we always hear in the depth of
the soul the voice of God saying to us, "I have done this. Trust My
will now, fully and distinctly; consent to suffer and endure, till I
choose to remove the pain, or cease to bereave;" and we must "do as we
are commanded." If loss of temporal good befalls, or temporal
perplexities encircle us; if disappointments drop down upon us, or
"hope deferred makes the heart sick" -- then God again speaks within,
saying to us, "Let your spirit now lie down and be still. Let no
sentiment of discontent have place in your heart." Here, also, we must
"do as we are commanded." When revilings, and falsehoods, and
persecutions for righteousness' sake, encircle and descend upon us,
the same voice within calls us from strife to prayer, from cursing to
blessing, and from wrath to love. When reviled, we must bless; when
defamed, we must entreat; and when persecuted, we must endure it,
doing and enduring as we are commanded: "Hold fast till I come, and I
will give thee a crown of life." Such is the command of the great
Captain of our salvation. Holding fast, as required, we ensure the
crown of life. Failing in this, we miss that crown.

We will now suppose that a believer has thus endured. What will be
the uses of such Divine providence's in his experience? This is the
question to which a specific answer will now be attempted.

1. Afflictions render things unseen and eternal real to the mind.
One of the most important of all these uses is the direct and
immediate contact into which the mind is then brought with God, duty,
redemption, and immortality. Continued prosperity, abounding wealth,
and freedom from pain and afflictive bereavements too often induce,
not only a forgetfulness of God and of things unseen and eternal, but
a proud denial of our accountability and dependence. When, on the
other hand, afflictive providences come upon us, thought is suddenly
arrested and fixed upon these objects of infinite concern. Under no
other circumstances do they come so near, and give the mind such
impressive opportunities and motives to adjust itself fully and
rightly in respect to them. Philip of Macedon desired never forget, in
the midst of his superabounding prosperity, the fact of his own
mortality. Hence he appointed a herald, whose exclusive mission was to
repeat in the hearing of his sovereign, every time the latter left his
palace, the words: "Philip, thou art mortal." Now, afflictive
providences are divine monitors, speaking to us with voices as from
God out of Heaven, reminding us of God, duty, death, eternity,
redemption, and retribution; and calling upon us to adjust the
present, and future of our lives to these eternal verities. When mind
has thus adjusted itself then these truths have a power over the
thoughts, feelings, mental and moral activities, such as they could
not otherwise acquire. As a consequence, they have corresponding power
to refine, purify, and bless the soul, and fully prepare it to receive
those "everlasting consolations" and immortal hopes with which God is
ready to fill the utmost capacities of our inner being, whenever the
heart is prepared to receive them. How many individuals have occasion
to say with the psalmist, "It is good for me that I have been
afflicted: for before I was afflicted I went astray. But now I have
learned to keep Thy precepts." Thus it is that even in our afflictions
"God dealeth with us a with sons," first teaching us the lesson of
obedience, and then drawing us close, very close, to the bosom of His

2. They discipline the human into subjection to the Divine will. We
are all aware, also, that the highest purity and blessedness of the
soul depend mainly upon the right adjustment of the will of the
creature relatively to the will of God. Now, afflictive providences
bring the human into a more direct, immediate, and impressive contact
with the Divine will, than any other. Here let the creature learn
obedience, here "let patience have her perfect work," and he "becomes
perfect and entire, wanting nothing." He that walks with God amid the
consuming heat of the glowing furnace, and there fully consents to
endure and to suffer all the will of God: he that finds amid these
central fires deep content, as his spirit lies down in the center of
God's will, and is still -- attains to a disciplined consolidation in
Christian virtue, which renders his acquiescence in the Divine will,
in all other relations, absolute. The soul now is permanently at peace
with God, and, as a consequence, is fully prepared to be kept as
permanently by "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."
Christian brethren, have you never had such a hallowed form of
experience as this? A dark and impenetrable cloud came over you and
completely shut you in. You could not penetrate to the brightness
which radiated from the upper surface of the cloud where all is turned
towards the face of God. In the midst of the deep midnight around you,
you dropped down into the center of the Divine will. Let me suffer now
your heart exclaims, let me suffer here, and anywhere, till God is
fully satisfied. In this stillness of deep acquiescence, the first
thought that begins to make melody in the depths of the soul, perhaps,
is this: a moving apprehension of the sweet will of God. The sweet
will of God, you begin to repeat, the sweet will of God. Let all my
allotments be as God wills.

Then there comes gently over you a sense of infinite security in
God. The darkness around you is "but the shadow of His wing," beneath
which you feel yourself to be "almost sacred." God is "covering you
with His feathers," while beneath His wing you are fixing your trust,
and resting there with perfect "quietness and assurance forever." You
know now, as you otherwise could not have known, that under the
all-shadowing protection of your God, "no evil can befall you; neither
can any plague come nigh your dwelling." Light begins to penetrate
through the cloud above you, till the deep midnight around becomes
itself "all light, and its essence love." The cloud above has become
all luminous. Through it you seem to see the face of God smiling with
love ineffable into the depths of your soul. You know now why God
afflicted you; your perfection in virtue, and your consequent entrance
into the hallowed precincts of that rest which "remains for the people
of God." Such are the unvarying issues of afflicted providences when,
under their pressure, we "do as we are commanded."

3. They strengthen and confirm Christian virtue. These providences,
also, tend very peculiarly to strengthen and confirm the faith and
hopeful trust of the soul in God. When our own power and resources
visibly fail us, we naturally turn from self to power out of and above
ourselves. When finite confidences fall from under us, we are almost
irresistibly impelled to lean upon the infinite. Now, afflictive
providences are those Divine jostlings of the soul by which it is
continually reminded of the power above, where our strength and safety
lie concealed. As a consequence, they pre-eminently tend to induce the
fixed habit of trust and hope in God. Did days of darkness never come,
fullness of bread might induce forgetfulness of the Giver, and of
dependence upon Him. Conscious weakness and want, however, center and
fix the faith and hope of the soul in the power and fullness of God,
and the frequent exercise of those virtues confirm, settle, and
strengthen the mind in the same, till faith and hope in God become
continuously habitual in the inward experience. Now mark the result.
Leaning upon the Infinite, the soul becomes "strong in the Lord, and
in the power of His might." Trusting in the Divine fullness, it
receives of that fullness to the full measure of its conscious
necessities. Hoping in God, hope deferred does not make the heart
sick, and that "because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by
the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." As hope and trust in Christ
become the fixed habit of the soul, in all our necessities the angel
of His presence strengthens us, as the angel of God strengthened Him
in the hour of His extremity. Everywhere, and under all circumstances,
"the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeps our hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus."

4. They impart assurance of hope. When the mind is put into the
furnace of affliction, and learns obedience there, it attains, we
remark, not only to a Divine purity and acceptance with God, but also,
in the next place, to a more distinct assurance of its own gracious
state, that it can hardly obtain in any other circumstances. Under no
other circumstances, as we have seen' is the will of the creature
brought into such direct and distinct contact with the will of God.
Nowhere else, as a consequence, can the mind be so distinctly
conscious of absolute acquiescence in the Divine will, and subjection
to it, as here: "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt." "The cup which my
Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" The character of such
hallowed mental exercises as these cannot be misapprehended. Hence it
is that, in the exercise of the same the mind has an absolute
consciousness of its own gracious state, and of its consequent
acceptance with God. Now this absolute assurance of the genuineness of
our faith necessarily issues in corresponding assurance of hope: "And
when tribulation has worked patience [confirmation in Christian
virtue]: and patience, experience [assurance of our own gracious
state]; and experience, hope," God never fails to lift upon the soul
"the light of His countenance." "Hope," we repeat, "maketh not
ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the
Holy Ghost which is given unto us." That state of meek, mild, and
quiet submission which the patient endurance of suffering induces,
fully prepares the mind to receive and appreciate God's manifested
sympathy and love. The Holy Spirit now makes the soul distinctly
conscious that "in all our afflictions God is afflicted, while the
angel of His presence saves us," and we know, as we otherwise could
not have known, how deeply God sympathizes with us and loves us. The
light of God in which we now live and walk, sanctifies even the
furnace through which we have been conducted, into this state of
perpetual quietness and assurance, where "the days of our mourning are

5. They impart blessed visions of the eternal future. There are
also certain visions of the eternal future and of other kindred truths
which nothing but the patient endurance of afflictive providences can
prepare the mind to receive, and which the Holy Spirit never fails to
impart when "patience has had her perfect work." Take the following as

"These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." "All things work
together for good to them that love God." "And God shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." "They shall
hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light
on them, nor any heat. For the LB which is in the midst of the throne
shall feed them, and shall lead them unto fountains of living waters."
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or
sword?" "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor
things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall
be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ
our Lord." It is only as the mind passes through great tribulation,
and becomes refined and purified in the midst of the same, that it can
fully apprehend and appreciate the truths contained in such
revelations as these; revelations which, when received, impart a
fullness of joy otherwise impossible to us. Whatever our condition may
be, let the Holy Spirit but open upon the mind such visions of the
soul's eternal future, and render them conscious realities to its
apprehension, and "the days of its mourning are ended." It is thus in
genuine Christian experience that our most enduring joys well out from
our deepest sorrows, and our most abiding consolations descend to us
in the midst of our greatest tribulations, while the brightest hopes
that gladden our hearts are "born, like the rainbow. in tears."

6. They impart soul-satisfying visions of Christ. As your heart has
been pressed down under the weight of some great sorrow, did the Holy
Spirit never open upon your spiritual vision an apprehension of Christ
as a world-sufferer, of Christ in Gethsemane, in the judgment-hall, or
upon the cross? In the presence of such a revelation, suffering and
sorrow lose all power to distract the mind. On the other hand, they
become sanctified in the mind's apprehension, and to "fill out the
measure of Christ's sufferings" seems a privilege; and when sorrow for
Christ's sake becomes a hallowed thing in the mind's regard, how
infinite does the joy of the soul in Christ become! Thus, as in our
deepest humiliation we find ourselves furthest within the precincts of
Heaven, so in our greatest sufferings and sorrows do we behold most
distinctly the face of God. In the furnace -- strange kind of life
that! -- "we walk in the light of God."

7. They develop the divinest virtues in their divinest forms. We
must not fail here to refer to the character of the divine virtues
which are refined and perfected in the furnace of affliction. Nowhere
else in the universe of God do we find such things of beauty as they.
That meek submission, that subdued quietude of heart, that sweet and
prompt turning of the soul to every indication of the Divine will,
that tender sympathy with suffering in others, and readiness "to heal
the broken-hearted," that deep and fixed trust in God, that serenity
of hope, that crucifixion to the world, that mild purity of thought
and life, and, above all, that fixed devotion to Christ; all these,
blended in unison, render character a thing of beauty and perfection
that even God loves to look at. Now, when the mind comes into this
state it is then fully prepared to receive that fullness of joy for
which God has been refining and perfecting it. In entering into this
state the leading sentiment which pervades its whole inner being is
what seems to be a feeling of infinite quietude and assurance. Then
thoughts of ineffable consolation begin to drop down into the soul.
Soon "visions of glory infinite come and go." At length the Sun of
Righteousness rises upon the soul "with healing in His wings." In the
everlasting light of that Sun, which continuously comes nearer and
nearer to the soul, it moves onward, wondering with unutterable wonder
that God should thus deign to shine upon a worm of the dust. God comes
to dwell in the soul, and to walk in it, and make His abode there.

8. They teach the soul what sorrow and affliction mean. In such
experiences the soul comes to learn, at length, what sorrow and
affliction mean. They even become things of beauty to the mind. "We
glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
and patience experience; and experience hope; and hope maketh not
ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the
Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

9. They impart power for good to the Christian. Nor are the Divine
uses of afflictive providences confined to the subject who suffers.
They fit him, as he otherwise could not be, to comfort them who are in
any trouble, by the "comfort wherewith he is comforted of God." And
never has the religion of Christ such power over worldly minds as when
it is seen turning earth-born sorrows into Heaven-born joys.

Do you ask me, reader, when it is that you may regard patience as
having had its perfect work in your experience? We answer, when you
are deeply conscious that your will is so perfectly identified with
the will of God, that you have no wish to possess any more of earthly
good than God has appointed you, nor to diminish one jot or tittle of
the full amount of affliction which He has allotted you. For myself, I
should regard it as greatly criminal in me to entertain for a moment
the wish that one throb of pain, one disappointed hope, a single
bereavement, a single external affliction, that God appointed me,
should fail to become real in my future of life, or to accomplish its
divine mission in my experience.

We now understand the light in which we should regard ourselves
when causes of great sorrow fall upon us. First of all, we should
carefully inquire whether these providences have come down from God
out of Heaven, as judgments for wrongdoing, or as merely disciplinary
trials of faith, and seek unto God accordingly. In neither case should
we lose heart, or hope, or faith in God. We should conclude, at once,
on the other hand, whatever the immediate cause or occasion of our
sufferings may be, that God sees in us something which He desires to
refine and perfect into a thing of beauty and perfection, for His own
glory and ours, too; that He sees in us undeveloped capacities for
good -- capacities which He desires to perfect for the reception of
those great and eternally enduring joys which He has prepared for us.
Why should we be afraid of causes of sorrow, when, if we hold fast our
integrity and faith in God, they are only the birth-throes of
everlasting consolations, and deep and ever-enduring joys otherwise
impossible to .

We also now understand how a truly sanctified mind -- one fully
disciplined in "the furnace of affliction" -- comes at length to
regard such providences. To such minds they are "clouds of glory,
coming from God who is our home" -- clouds of glory, tinged all around
their surfaces with light ineffable, and spreading over us the shadow
of God's wing, beneath which, as we have said, we feel ourselves
almost sacred. As light breaks through the cloud, and sweet and
melting thoughts begin to gladden the heart, and heavenly consolations
one after another drop down into the depths of the inner being; as the
light of the Divine countenance is lifted up, and the sympathizing,
loving smile of God becomes the feast of the soul -- it exclaims,
"Lord, it is good to be here!" and if God should so will, it would
build its tabernacle and make its abode in this consecrated spot.

Perhaps some of my readers may be inclined to think that in the
present chapter the picture has been overdrawn; that what has been
presented never has been, and never can be, realized in actual
experience. To test the question, let us go back, for a few moments,
some eighteen hundred years, and speak with Paul upon the subject. You
see him yonder, as he sits resting for an hour. He sits there m his
chain, by the side of the soldier who keeps him. Let us approach him.
How pale, and wan, and weary he looks! and yet what a halo of deep and
abiding joy beams from his countenance and encircles his brow! Permit
me to address him in your behalf. "Paul, we have heard much of that
wonderful life and experience of yours, and have come to converse
personally with you upon the subject. Will you impart to us the
information we desire?" "With all my heart. But where shall I begin?"
"Tell us first about your sufferings." "Well, I think that God hath
set forth us, the apostles, last, as it were "appointed unto death;
for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and unto
men. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are
naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace. We are
made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things
unto this day. But among the many who, in common with our Divine Lord,
have been made perfect through suffering, I have been in labors more
abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in death
oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes, save one. Thrice
was I beaten with rods; once was I stoned; thrice I suffered
shipwreck; a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings
often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of mine
own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in
perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false
brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger
and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those
things which are without, that which cometh upon me daily -- the care
of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended
and I burn not?" "But, Paul, what has been your state of mind in the
midst of these sufferings?" "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as
poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all
things. I have learned, in whatsoever state I am therewith to be
content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:
everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be
hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through
Christ which strengtheneth me." "But when you see that 'the foxes have
holes, and the birds of the air have nests,' and in common with your
Divine Master, you 'have not where to lay your head;' when you see
other men dwelling in princely mansions, clad in costly array, and
faring sumptuously every day; do you not sometimes, to say the least,
envy their better lot, and feel dissatisfied with your own?" "I have
coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel." "But when you go abroad
with the distinct apprehension 'that bonds and afflictions abide you,'
does not your sensitive nature sometimes shrink from the vision of the
sufferings in prospect?" "None of these things move me, neither count
I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy,
and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify
the gospel of the grace of God."

Please answer this question also: "How do you now regard suffering
for Christ's sake?" "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake; for
'when I am weak then am I strong."' "How did you attain to this
blessed state?" "By simple faith in God. 'We believe, and therefore
speak."' "'I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I
live by the faith of the Son OF God, who loved me, and gave Himself
for me."'

Tell us this also, Paul. "May we thus attain?" "Most assuredly. 'He
is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him."'
"Paul, you appear very weak and exhausted; would to God we could come
to you, and let you rest your weary head upon our bosom!" "I have just
had a season of deep repose upon the bosom of Christ. As I sat here a
few hours ago, He came to me in spirit, and said, 'You are weary, very
weary. Lay your head upon My bosom, and rest there.' That season of
deep intercommunion and fellowship 'with the Father, and with His Son
Jesus Christ,' has left me in a strait betwixt two; and what I shall
choose, I wot not, 'having a desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is far better; nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more
needful for my brethren. And having this confidence, I know that I
shall abide and continue with them all for their furtherance and joy
of faith.' I am refreshed now, and must attend to the multitude of
converts and inquirers whom you see yonder coming to me for
instruction. Farewell."

This, reader, is the glorious gospel of the blessed God. This is
what that gospel did for Paul, what it has done for me, and what it is
able to do for you. "if thou canst believe, all things are possible to
him that believeth." Suffering and sorrow have no place in the kingdom
of light. In Heaven there is no more pain, sorrow, sighing, sickness,
or death; no disappointed hopes, nor any form of heart-sickness from
hope deferred. The conception of suffering and sorrow, however, and
the remembrance of the same, constitute one of the central elements of
the blessedness and glory of that kingdom. All the saints there wear
upon their heads and carry in their hands crowns and palms of victory
-- victory through the blood of the Lamb, and in "great fights of
affliction." Separate from that state the remembrance of afflictive
providences, and from Christ the idea of a suffering God for human
redemption, and you deprive Heaven itself of more than one-half of its
light. The vision of glory which intensifies the rapture of the
celestial hosts is that of Christ manifested through the emblem of a
"Lamb slain from the foundations of the earth." We would request the
reader to consider carefully the following passage, as an illustration
of the truth before us: -- "And I beheld, and lo! in the midst of the
throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a
Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which
are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He
came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the
throne. And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and
four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of
them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of
saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the
book and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain, and hast
redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and
people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests:
and we shall reign on earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of
many angels round about the throne, and the beast and the elders; and
the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands
of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was
slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and
honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in Heaven,
and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and
all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory,
and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb
forever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the
four-and-twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth
forever and ever."


Hereafter, when days of darkness come, when pain afflicts, when
bereavements melt and adversity chastens our hearts, when the floods
purify and the furnace refines our spirits, and the weight of great
sorrow presses us down upon the bosom of God, let the fixed language
of our souls be, "Welcome, Cross of Christ! welcome everlasting life."

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