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The Testimony of the Spirit.

The Testimony of the Spirit.

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Published by glennpease
BY ALPHEUS W. WILSON, D.D.,



" But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you
from the Father, even the Spii-it of truth, which proceedeth from
the Father, he shall testify of me." John xv. 26.
BY ALPHEUS W. WILSON, D.D.,



" But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you
from the Father, even the Spii-it of truth, which proceedeth from
the Father, he shall testify of me." John xv. 26.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 10, 2013
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THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT.BY ALPHEUS W. WILSON, D.D.," But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto youfrom the Father, even the Spii-it of truth, which proceedeth fromthe Father, he shall testify of me." John xv. 26.THE world was about to enter upon the last stageof the long conflict between the serpent andthe seed of the woman. The enmity became morepronounced as the words and works of the Son of Man gave more full and complete illustration of the righteous and gracious purpose of God, andevinced itself in an intenser hate and a more ma-lignant persecution. The issue was soon to be joined at the cross; and the event to be determinedin other regions, where through death he shoulddestroy him that had the power of death, and de-clared to the world by the resurrection from thedead. Nor was the world's hate even then to besatisfied. It was to stand in the same attitude of antagonism to his disciples and let fly against themthe same fiery darts of persecution. To them, inthe absence of their Master, the fortunes of thestruggle would seem doubtful, if not hopeless.The majesty of his presence and his absolute(173)174 THE WITNESSES TO CHRIST.command of all the resources of earth and heavenhad sustained and assured them, and they hadlearned to depend entirely upon him. Against thecombined forces of earth and hell the powers com-mitted to them would without him seem to be alto-
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gether inadequate. He gives them no promise of relief or respite from the strife. The world would — for his name's sake, because it knew not him thatsent him — do to them as it had done to him. Overagainst this sin and hate and persecution of theworld he set the testimony of the Comforter — theParaclete — which should be their strength andguarantee of success. It is the final provision forhis Church, the exhaustion of his resources in theassertion of his right and the extension of hiskingdom.It is no disparagement or depreciation of theforegoing plan and movement of God that bringsus, in the development of our faith, to this prom-ise of our Lord as the strength of the Church andthe last hope of men. It is but in recognition of the fact that the proportions of the struggle trans-cend the possible calculations of men and requirefor its continuance and for the final success of theSon of Man an abiding energy of divine powerquite equal to all that was at his command and un-embarrassed by the limitations and hindrances of hisTHE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT. 1 75incarnate life. We have seen in the record alreadymade how insufficient to effect the purpose of Godwas all the marvelous wealth of revelation and ac-tion that had been lavished upon men. As the re-sult of it we have the terse statement of the evan-gelist: "He [the Word] was in the world, and theworld was made by him, and the world knew himnot. He came unto his own, and his own receivedhim not." More than that, the men whom he hadchosen out of the world, to whom he had giventhe words that his Father had given him and madeknown all things w r hich he had heard from his Fa-ther, and had said, "Ye have loved me and havebelieved that I came out from God," when the
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hour of his trial came, forsook him and fled, andwere scattered every man to his own. His per-sonal presence and teaching and their faith and thelove they had for him were not sufficient to savethem from this shameful lapse. Not yet were theymade perfect.Nor is it as a desperate resort, failing all else,that we are driven to this last refuge and hope forthe faith of the world. Rather it was in contem-plation from the beginning and incorporated as anindispensable factor in the plan of God and wasthe complement, in the order and experience of human life, of the incarnation. In the old rec-176 THE WITNESSES TO CHRIST.ords the Spirit of God was the suggested groundof the law and life of the world and the declaredsource of prophetic inspiration, and takes his placeat the last as the fulfillment of that which was spo-ken by the prophet Joel: " It shall come to passin the last days, saith God, I will pour out of myspirit upon all flesh." It is in perfect agreementwith all that we know of the thoughts and ways of God that every element in his life, every personal-ity of his being, should be participant in his work of building up and redeeming the worlds. " Herethe whole Deity is known."The place which the Holy Spirit fills in the lifeof the Son of Man is briefly but suggestively stat-ed. He was the immediate agent in the incarna-tion. " The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,and the power of the Highest shall overshadowthee " is the announcement of the angel, uponwhich is founded the article of the Church's con-fession, " Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,born of the Virgin Mary." John's testimony at thebaptism was the product of the word of God and
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