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The Strivings of the Holy Spirit

The Strivings of the Holy Spirit

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY EDWARD IRVING
BY EDWARD IRVING

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 03, 2013
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07/29/2014

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THE STRIVINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.BY EDWARD IRVINGIF, as hath been declared upon the authority of Christ, therebe in human nature no more than the hints and inti-mations, and at the best the earthly types and degenerateforms of those divine principles and graces, tempers and dis-positions, which the Holy Spirit produceth at the new birth,and if the outward world, in its best conditions of prosperityand loveliest dresses of beauty, avail not, however studied, toawake from their deep sleep those spiritual faculties, but dothin general engross and embrute us more and more the morewe converse with it, it becomes most important to know — andHe who thus strips us of our natural prerogatives is beholden toteach us — ^by what other means that better being shall be pro-duced within our souls, and that new birth which is unto eternallife be accomplished upon the poor creatures, whom He haththus cut out of all those natural resources. To answer thisquestion, you have but to remember that which hath beentaught you as the constant doctrine of the Scriptures, that theHoly Spirit, by which we are sealed unto the day of redemption,doth proceed from the Father and the Son, of whose willing-ness to send Him forth we have the most ample assurances inthe word of truth. Christ teacheth that the Father's will togrant the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him is stronger thanthe strongest of the affections, passions, or instincts whichthe human breast containeth, or the life of man in all itsvariety doth exhibit : " If a son shall ask bread of any of youthat is a father, will he give him a stone ? or if he ask afish, will he for a fish give him a serpent ? or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion ? If ye then, being evil,know how to give good gifts unto your children, how muchDigitized by VjOOQ IC
 
470 MISCELLANEOUS DISCOURSES.more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to themthat ask him ?" Than which, I think, language cannot em-body an assurance more sure, a care more strong, a pro-mise more cheerful, a resolution of doubt and uncertainty socomplete. For it is not possible that a father should refusethat meat, of which he has plenty, to his hungry and cravingchild. Nay, he were not a father who would not divide hislast morsel with his craving, hungry child. But for a fatherto sport with the craving want of his child, when he himself had store, is beyond all accident or possibility of nature.That he should make it the occasion of mocking it with astone, or staying it with a scorpion, or administering to itsravenous appetite some noxious and poisonous thing, is notin the annals of crime, or amongst the wild wanderings of madness. I suppose that such a thing was never dreamt of by the moodiest and most melancholy spirit, nor imagined bypoet or orator for the sake of illustration, nor in words embodieduntil it was embodied in the discourse of the most tender-hearted Being, in order to represent, by the wildest, wickedest,most unnatural of all human possibilities, the still more wildand more unnatural creed, that our Father in heaven, who islove, who is light, who is bounty, should refuse His HolySpirit, who is also love, light, and bounty, — not enriched bybeing withheld, not impoverished by being given, — ^to the'prayers of any one of His needy children upon earth, whoshould lift up a true prayer, a fervent desire to possess Hisblessed presence. So much for the Father's willingness, who,having given us His only-begotten and dearly-beloved Son,will with Him freely give us all things.Then for the willingness of the Son, whose divine preroga-tive it is along with the Father to dispense the Holy Spiritunto men, who can doubt of the largeness and unweariednessof His love, who bowed the heavens and came down to theearth ; who from the bosom of the Father came to the very
 
dust of death, for no other end than to make atonement forsinners, and effectual intercession for the transgressors, whichwas greater than the love of man ; according to His ownwords, " Greater love hath no man than this, that a man laydown his life for his friends ! " To represent His love to usDigitized by VjOOQ ICSTRIVINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 471the extremes of human affection did not afford to Paul asimilitude, who in a rapture of amazement exclaimed, " Oh,the height and the depth, the length and the breadth of the love of Christ," and who thus laboureth to expressthe measure : " When we were yet without strength, indue time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for arighteous man will one die ; yet peradventure for a goodman some would even dare to die. But God commendethhis love to us, in that while we were yet sinners Christdied for us. Much more then, being now justified by hisblood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if,when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by thedeath of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall besaved by his life." And how saved by His life? In thisVery way of sending forth His Spirit, according to His owntender declaration to His disciples sorrowing over His de-parture, — "I will pray the Father, and he shall give youanother Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever,even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, be-cause it seeth him not, neither knoweth him ; but ye knowhim, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Andagain, — '* Because I have said these things, sorrow hath filledyour heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth : it is expe-dient for you that I go away ; for if I go not away, the Com-forter will not come unto you ; but if I depart, I will sendhim unto you." And accordingly, it was the first act of His

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