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Resisting the Spirit.

Resisting the Spirit.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. ERSKINE MASON, D.D.,


" My Spirit shall not always strive with man." GENESIS vi. 3.
BY REV. ERSKINE MASON, D.D.,


" My Spirit shall not always strive with man." GENESIS vi. 3.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 03, 2013
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07/03/2014

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RESISTIG THE SPIRIT.BY REV. ERSKIE MASO, D.D.," My Spirit shall not always strive with man." GEESIS vi. 3.THE agency of God in all his works, in all placesof his dominion, is a first principle of truth, whichon the present occasion, I may consider as unquestioned. How that agency is exerted, throughwhat channels that influence, which upholds, anddirects, and controls all things, and evolves allresults, is put forth, no man may be able positivelyto determine. Here we may have our theories,varying from, or if you please, opposed to eachother, and they are all perfectly harmless, so longas they do not shut out from the view of men thefact itself of the divine agency and control. Thismuch is clear and certain : God s hand is in everything. This physical system is upheld by hispower, and moves at his bidding, and each individual part of it, demands for itself, in order to itsexistence and motion, the po\ver of God, as trulyas does the wondrous whole. The moment it iswithdrawn, each and all sink and revert to theiroriginal nothingness.This characteristic of dependence is not, however,RESISTIG THE SPIRIT. 341peculiar to the physical or inanimate creation ; it astruly pervades and marks with equal distinctnessthe intellectual and moral world. God s influenceruns through every department of being, upholding each, and controlling and regulating the movement of each according to the laws which he him
 
self has given to each respectively. I am as trulydependent upon God for thought, as I am for muscular action; and in the exercise of my mentalpowers, and in the play of my varied feelings, according to the laws of my own mind, God is asreally engaged as in the motions of the planets,the revolutions of the earth, or the changes of theseasons.The moral or spiritual world has precisely thesame attribute of dependence. The nature of thedivine influence here, and the mode of its exercise,may be somewhat different, growing out of a difference in the constitution of the subjects upon whichit acts ; but the dependence here is as real as inthe other case. I can no more do without God, asa spiritual being, than I can do without him as anintellectual or merely animal being ; and I will notstop to quarrel with a man respecting his philosophical theory of dependence, so long as he doesnot on the one hand deny its existence and absoluteness, nor on the other reduce dependence tofatalism.For every proper thought then, for every holyemotion, for every right purpose and action, weneed the power of God. We need it as creatures,but oh ! we need it especially as sinful creatures.342 RESISTIG THE SPIRIT.Man wakes to righteousness only at the bidding,and under the influence of him who gives life inthe spiritual world ; and holiness is sustained onlyas the same power which originated, nourishes andpreserves it. If this be so, and if every Christianknows, however far he may have advanced in theexperimental knowledge of Jesus Christ, that,
 
" When God withdraws, his comforts die,And all his graces droop ;"surely if he ceases to act, if his peculiar influenceas a renewing God be withheld from a lost andruined world, not a single ray of light will break in upon the darkness in which it is shrouded, nora single element of life break the deep repose of spiritual death to which it has been hushed.The peculiarity of the gospel, therefore, as arecovering system, is, that it is a dispensation of the spirit of God, and as such it is the only sourceof hope to apostate man ; and it cannot surely bean uninteresting or an unprofitable occupation forourselves, to study for a few moments our positionand our circumstances, as subjects of this dispensation ; and keeping distinctly in view the fact of anabsolute dependence, to ponder some truths whichthe gospel has revealed respecting the agency of the Spirit ; truths of deep moment to us, and whichshould have a very effective and decided influenceupon the movements of our minds and the feelingsof our hearts in our spiritual relations.My object, then, upon the present occasion, is tolay before you three distinct trains of thought, allRESISTIG THE SPIRIT. 343leading to one and the same general result. Thefirst, relating to the fact itself, will direct your attention to some indications of the reality and powerof the Spirit s influence upon the human mind.The second, relating to the suspension of that influence, will furnish the evidence of the position, thatthe Spirit of God does not always strive with man ;

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