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The Spirit of Pentecost

The Spirit of Pentecost

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Published by glennpease
By Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.


" And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were
all with one accord in one place." ACTS ii. I.
By Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.


" And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were
all with one accord in one place." ACTS ii. I.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 14, 2013
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THE SPIRIT OF PETECOSTBy Stopford A. Brooke, M.A." And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they wereall with one accord in one place." ACTS ii. I.IT is not on a day like this, when, from time im-memorial, both in the Christian and Jewish Churches,men have kept spiritual festival a day full of emotion, when the Christian Church was born intoits active life ; full of remembrance of Christ Jesus ;full, too, of all the great hopes which mankind hascherished -it is not on such a day that I am likelyto enter into the historical criticism of the details of the story, of what is doubtful in it, and what im-probable. evertheless, I shall say nothing in thissermon which may not fairly be said to have anhistorical foundation.On this feast-day of the Divine Spirit in the soulof man we prefer to lift our hearts into the faith,worship, hope, love, and noble joy which werekindled in the hearts of the little band of Christ'sdisciples. The new life which came upon themshook and filled with fire their house of life ; amighty rushing wind of hope and joy dispersed thefalse ideas of their past, and poured into them true337 22338 THE SPIRIT OF PETECOSTideas for the future ; words of flame came to theirlips which were to enkindle the soul of the world ;and love, unquenchable by suffering, unweariable byopposition the love of God and man in Christ, thatSpirit of immortal power changed all their being,and, through them, changed, and still avails tochange, the world.The change which swept them into a missionarylife was not so sudden as it seemed, was naturalrather than supernatural. The same change, in
 
kind, has occurred a million million times in thesouls of men, and has been named conversion. Itis common, but as it occurred this day it was notcommon. For it then belonged, not only to thehistory of the personal souls of the disciples, but tothe history of the world. It was the beginning of the Christian Church. The same in kind, therefore,with countless other conversions, and as natural asthey, it was amazingly different in the degree of itsimportance, and of such vast results that it hasseemed to belong to the supernatural.I have pictured the Apostles' state of mind asthey waited in Jerusalem, their inward confusion,their steady prayer and hope in the midst of their confusion, the slow crystallization of the ideasChrist had given them, and at last the breakingof the ideas into light and power at Pentecost.The sudden realization of such growing ideas seemsto be surprising. It is, in reality, the natural resultof a long series of states of the soul, changing anddeveloping day by day. It is like the flowering of THE SPIRIT OF PETECOST 339a plant in a single night, which seems so wonderful,but which is the natural result of many processes of growth, continued from seed to shoot, from shootto branches, from branch to leaves, and finally toflower.Pentecost was for the Apostles the flowering of the ideas, the seed of which Jesus had sown, thefoliage and blossoms of which he had daily quick-ened, nourished, and excited into life during hisministry. On a certain day the faith which accom-panied these ideas reached its point of expansion.The house where the Apostles had met continuallyfor prayer seemed to tremble with the rush of amighty wind, and lights to burn upon their heads inthat hour of ecstasy.Men have called these phenomena unreal,imaginary creations of the excited souL How thatmay be I cannot tell ; but one thing was real, no
 
mere imagination that God Himself was the causeof their deep emotion ; that Jesus, from his heavenlylife, came surging into their spirit with overwhelmingpower, and filled them with his love, with the passionof his humanity, with a spirit which drove themforth to preach his Gospel. They felt that thetruth they now possessed was fit to redeem and toovercome the world. That, at least, is history. Itis certain they won this prophetic passion ; that itdrove them forth to preach Jesus and the resur-rection ; that they breathed their faith and love intoothers, and those into more, until the little bandbecame a mighty army. And one quotation from340 THE SPIRIT OF PETECOSTthe prophet Joel, put into the mouth of Peter,expresses the emotion and results of this day of Pentecost the vitality, youth, joy, intense activityof the early Church ; their boundless hope, theirconsciousness of the Divine power of their truths.It spoke of the outpouring of the Spirit of God onall flesh ; of the sons and daughters of men break-ing into prophecy, of young men seeing visions, of old men dreaming dreams, of the servants and hand-maidens filled with the Spirit of the Lord, of a greatnotable time coming on the earth.So, then, the coming of the Spirit was no dream.The heart of the story is historically true. Yes,God was in these men and the life and work of Jesus. They were born into power. In a rushingwind of inspiration, and with fire on their tongues,because of fire in their hearts, they went forth, in arapture of faith in Christ, to save the world ; andthen it was not only the little house in Jerusalemwhich was shaken, but the whole Jewish andRoman world. Its paganism and its philosophywere dissolved, so mighty is the Spirit of the livingLove when He renews the face of the earth.What was it which the Spirit brought them,what faiths, what convictions? What had wroughtthis mighty change ? The first conviction was thatJesus had risen into an active, personal life with his

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