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The Inner Witness.

The Inner Witness.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
The Holy Spirit is our inner witness.
The Holy Spirit is our inner witness.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 15, 2012
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06/15/2012

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THE IER WITESS.BY WILLIAM CLARK There are very few subjects of study whichare of merely speculative interest. Even al-though, at first sight, this might seem to be thereverse of the truth, a deeper investigation willconvince us that it rests upon a sure foundationof experience. Even those sciences which atone time seemed to have little connexion with thepractical life of man, have now declared theirpower of ministering to every day activity. Forexample, Metaphysic, which was once supposedto dwell in the clouds, now stands at our doors :Astronomy, which, at one time, was claimed ashis own by the charlatan, has now become aguide for every day work.But if this can be said of those sciences which |seem the furthest removed from man's daily life, jwhat shall we say of those which deal with thevery springs of human thought and action ? Of the science of man and the science of God ? Of the supreme science in which all sciences findtheir centre, the science of Theology ? And yet,for all this, there are human beings who willread about religion, and talk about religion, andargue about religion, without for one momentconcerning themselves about their own relation
 
to the Most High. There are many who are,professedly at least, worshippers in our sanc-tuaries and hearers of the Word of God, whohardly concern themselves with the question:What is their place in the family of God?But this question is brought home to us withgreater force when we are thinking of the HolySpirit of God — not so much of the absolute GodWho dwells in the high and lofty place, or of themanifested God in the person of Jesus Christ, butof God abiding in us, dwelling in our hearts. Whois present to make all that Christ has doneeffectual for us. Surely it is impossible for us tomeditate on the work of the Third Person of theHoly Trinity without considering what part weourselves may have in His work. It is He whografts us into the Body of Christ and makes usto live in Him; and it is He who gives theassurance that we have not received His gracein vain. '* The Spirit Himself beareth witnesswith our spirit that we are children of Gkxi."Here is a means for putting an end to our doubts,final and unquestionable, the testimony not of our own hearts only, or of our fellow-man, butof God.ow, it is easy to see, when we approach asubject of this kind, dealing at once with themysteries of spiritual experience and of Divinegrace, that we encounter two different kinds of danger. On the one hand, we find a criticalrationalism which would reduce the Divine tomere human states and emotions; and on the
 
other, a mystic fanaticism which refuses anyplace to human judgment or reason. It is suffi-cient to mention these dangers that we may beon our guard, whether in our interpretation of spiritual experience or of sacred Scripture.Then there is another kind of opposition inregard to the nature and value of the testimonyhere spoken of. For, while there are some whodeclare that the assurance produced by the wit-ness of the Spirit is a necessary part of trueDigitized byGoogle810 THE PARACLETEfaith, 80 that no one can be thought to have aliving faith in Christ without such assurance,there are others who declare that this is unde-sirable and should not be sought for. It isimportant that these subjects should be consid-ered and settled as far as we can do so beforewe proceed to consider more nearly the natureand meaning of this witness of the Spirit of whichthe apostle speaks.i. These, then, are the two preliminary points

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