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much as lift up his eyes unto heaven. Such an one need in no wise despair. Though his heart may accuse him, God is greater than his heart and knoweth all things'. Let him redouble his diligence, and leave the rest in the hands of his Redeemer. The merciful Saviour never yet cast out a single person, who claimed his assistance and who besought his intercession.
5. I cannot better conclude this description of the fruits of the Spirit, than with the beautiful delineation which St. Paul has given us of Christian love: a delineation, which, if I may use the expression, is a miniature portrait of every sincere believer.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things'.
11 John iii. 20.
21 Corinth. xiii. 4.
THE CONSTANT INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT NECESSARY TO CONVEY US IN SAFETY TO THE END OF OUR PILGRIMAGE.
WHEN a man has been once deeply convinced of the extreme sinfulness of his heart, and has discovered from repeated lapses his utter inability to walk in the way of God's commandments by any inherent strength of his own; he will naturally be anxious to learn, how he is to arrive in safety at the end of his pilgrimage. He knows too well by bitter experience, that, the moment he is left to himself, he is sure to fall more or less from that degree of Christian perfection, to which he had previously attained. When the supporting arm of God is withdrawn, as a trial of his faith, and in order to convince him of his frailty, his strength withers, his spiritual fa
culties decay, and he becomes weak like any other man1. He finds that the occasional assistance of the Spirit is not sufficient: he finds, that he requires it every day, every hour, every minute 2. minute. As the body is unable to perform its functions, unless constantly supplied with the breath of life; so does the soul constantly require the vivifying inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
I. In Scripture, spiritual ideas are conveyed to our mind by natural objects; nor is it possible to form a conception of them through any other medium, than that of some one of
If the Holy Ghost bore no other denomination than that of the third person of the Trinity, we should be unable from such a title to form any definite notion of his attributes. But when he is styled Ruach and Pneuma, words which primarily signify the
1 Judges xvi. 17.
2 Opus est nobis quotidiana sanctificatione, ut qui quotidie delinquimus, delicta nostra sanctificatione assidua repurgemus. Cyprian. de Orat. Domin. Oper. vol. i. p. 143.
air in motion, we are led to conclude, that there must be some analogy between his influence upon the soul and that of the atmosphere upon the body. This persuasion is strengthened by finding, that the same terms are invariably used to describe the action both of the divine Spirit and of the material spirit. The play of the lungs, by which the atmosphere is received into our animal frames, is termed inspiration; the very name, by which the conveyance of supernatural powers to the mind, is uniformly designated. But we are not to confine the term inspiration merely to the gift of prophecy: our Church teaches us, to give it a much more extensive meaning, and to apply it to that ordinary assistance of the Spirit which every believer is entitled to expect. She directs us to pray, that the thoughts of our hearts may be cleansed by his inspiration1, and that by his holy inspiration we may think the things that be good2; thus clearly showing, that our reformers, though
1 Collect in Communion Service.
2 Collect to the 5th Sunday after Easter.
they rejected all vain and fanatical pretensions to the gift of prophecy or to the authority of revelation, yet decidedly maintained the necessity of the constant ordinary inspiration of the Spirit. What that inspiration is, hath already been abundantly shown in considering those operations of the Holy Ghost, which take place in the soul of every believer: I mean the enlightening of the understanding, the rectifying of the will, the purification of the affections, and the production of those graces which the Apostle terms fruits of the Spirit'.
1 We find in the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament, that the persons of the eternal Three, and their economical offices and operations in the spiritual, are represented by the three conditions of the celestial fluid, and their operations in the material world. Thus the peculiar emblem of the Word, or second Person, is the Shemesh or Light: and he is, and does, that to the souls or spirits of men, which the material or natural light is and does, to their bodies. The third Person has no other distinctive name in Scripture, but Ruach in Hebrew, and Pneuma in Greek, both which words in their primary sense denote the material spirit, or air in motion; to which appellation the epithet Kadesh, Hagion, Holy, or one of the names of God, is usually added: and the actions of the