This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. — Eph., iv., 30. The Holy Spirit convinces of sin, and regenerates and sanctifies the soul. It applies and makes available the provision made for man's salvation by the death of Christ. Its agency is indispensable, because men are "without strength" — are " dead in sins" — because they have neither inclination nor ability to become holy. It is also spirit acting upon spirit, the only conceivable instrument. It operates upon impenitent sinners by producing concern and alarm — by showing the vanity of earthly good. But it more especially convinces them of unbelief — of the sin of rejecting Christ. And when the Comforter is come, " he will reprove the world of sin, because they believe not on me."* "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil."t An enlightened conscience may convince of other sins, but moral men feel no guilt for unbelief. This, all but the most hardened sinners confess. The Spirit regenerates and sanctifies believers — dwells in them. They live by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit visits all men, and dwells in believers ; yet it effects no valuable and permanent results, except with the consent and concurrence of the soul which it seeks to save. It " strives with men," but may be resisted, grieved, vexed, quenched, and utterly exjyelled. It is God's "free Spirit," and we too are equally free. We possess the perilous ability * John, xvi., 9. t John, iii., 19.
O GRIEVI G THE HOLY SPIRIT. 387
to follow its drawings with humble and sincere obedience, or to repel them with stubborn opposition. Our treatment of the Holy Spirit, then, is a matter as important as the salvation of the soul. Let us consider briefly : I. Our DUTY ; and, II. Our DA GER in reference to the operations of the Holy Spirit. 1. It is our duty to render to the Holy Spirit cheerful and universal obedience. This is shown by its dignity and objects, and by our utter dependence. The Holy Spirit is our leader and guide. We must follow implicitly. It leads into all truth. It leads to duty by enlightening conscience — by vivid sensibility to our obligations — by special drawings and indications — by unusual seasons of feeling. We must obey with eager desire — promptly — must watch for leadings. The light thus becomes brighter. Otherwise, the light grows dim, the impression of duty indistinct and feeble, and is finally lost. We then look back, and suppose we were mistaken, but have, in fact, quenched the Spirit, and driven it away so far as that duty was concerned. Young converts often believe they should devote themselves wholly to God — in the ministry, perhaps — are unwilling — resist till the. Spirit leaves them doubtful or blind. Such persons usually become mere formalists. They even fear to have more of the Spirit, lest this disagreeable conviction of duty may return. 2. The Spirit is the great Sanctifier. It conforms our sinful, polluted nature to the spotless image of God. It encounters our constitutional tendencies, and strives against our natural corruptions. In the language of Paul, the " flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." In this controversy, which the Spirit is pleased to carry on in our behalf, our duty is manifest from the nature of the case, and from the context. We must work mightily with the Spirit, by
watchfulness — desire — prayer — self-denial — good habits.
388 O GRIEVI G THE HOLY SPIRIT.
3. " The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temioerance''' "We must co-operate diligently in the production of these fruits, and struggle incessantly against every feeling and habit that is at variance with these graces. Love, in the order of time, is the first-fruits of regeneration. We must love even our enemies — how much more our neighbors — our brethren — all Christians. This charity must embrace all within the sphere of our affections, though that may, perhaps, be narrow even in sincere Christians. The Spirit is quenched by hatred, wrath, unforgiving tempers, resentments, long-cherished dislikes, denunciations, uncharitable judgments. These must be resisted and destroyed, or the Spirit Avill forsake us. Prayer is our great weapon. Joy. The Spirit is the Comforter. We must not prefer or seek other joys, to the neglect of this, which should be our chief joy. Peace. " The works of the flesh are variance, emulation, strife," &c. The Spirit loves a calm, equable frame — a repose of soul. Long-suffering. The Spirit is quenched by impatience, peevishness, &c. Faith — in opposition to worldly-mindedness — love of money — applause — pleasure — influence. Faith is concerned for spiritual things.
Temperance. All excesses in sensual indulgence quench the Spirit. They strengthen the carnal nature — ^the deeds of the flesh. All impurity in act, word, and deed, tends to extinguish the light of the sanctifying Spirit. A wandering eye — impure conversation — a thought — a vile song, may oflbnd and expel the Spirit ; for its intercourse and its controversies are with the heart, Covetousness and love of the world are sinful, because they
O GRIEVI G THE HOLY SPIRIT. 389 quench the Spirit. This is a test of acts and sentiment — proofs that the Spirit is grieved or quenched. II. Our danger. 1. The way to heaven grows brighter as we advance, " The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." His light, his hope, and his joy constantly increase ; but his road, at the same time, grows narrow. The Spirit shows him, from time to time, new evils to be shunned — new sacrifices to be made. His principles become more and more strict, his habits more uniform, his obedience more universal. Some things, which he did not, at first, think evil, he avoids, because they hurt his devotions ; others, for they offend a brother ; others, because they injure his usefulness. The man who has quenched the Spirit becomes more and more loose in his views. His light grows dim. He no longer has a quick sense of approaching evil. He gradually adopts evil habits, at which he would have shuddered at first. He shows this in his levity — worldliness — company — Sabbath-breaking. He looks upon his former strictness as over-scrupulous, and congratulates himself that he has become more enlightened. 2. He who walks in the Spirit feels the pressure of new
and increasing obligations. As his vision grows clear, he sees new and deep fountains of inbred corruption, and new fields of usefulness without. As his strength improves, his labors multiply — he grows more prayerful — liberal. But those in whom the light is dim or extinct, neither see nor heed spiritual dangers. The list of duties to be performed grows more and more brief. They see little to do for God, or his cause, or themselves. Slight causes, trivial hinderances, keep them from church, or class, or the closet. Idle company, avoidable intrusion, any plausible pretext satisfies, and even gratifies them. The Bible — self-examination — devotional reading — holy converse — heavenly meditation, are neglected. They belong to a region of light and heat which they have left.
390 O GRIEVI G THE HOLY SPIRIT. 3. Religious sensibilities are blunted. The fire that warnried and melted has decayed or become extinct. A growing Christian may sometimes Qiianifest less feeling, but it is because it has sunk deeper into his heart. Love to God and his cause are his ruling passion. He is intensely alive to religion, " "Walking in the Spirit," he sees more of glory and mercy, till it becomes his meat and drink to do God's will. It is not so with him who has quenched the Spirit, His perceptions are blunted — his feelings benumbed — his heart hard and cold. He is no longer glad when they say unto him, " Let us go into the house of the Lord." The word of God is no longer " quick and powerful." Truths, that once filled his heart and his eyes, no longer move him. The blessed hope of heaven — the touching compassions of Christ — the joy of the Holy Ghost, do not affect him. He has quenched the Spirit — he has paralyzed the sense by which these glorious ideas reach the soul. Perhaps he congratulates himself that his piety has grown more sober and rational ; or he takes for religious emotions the infrequent and periodical excitements which he experiences under some of the imposing circumstances of Christian worship.
4. How far any of us may have gone in resisting the Spirit, God alone knows. We know, how^ever, that this sin may attain such an enormity that even the blood of Christ can provide no remedy for it ; for "it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance."^ " For if we sin willfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins."t It is not certain, perhaps it is not probable, that these fallen souls will put away all the forms of religion. After the Spirit of God had departed from King Saul, he still busied himself, in the midst of his iniquitous deeds, with offering * Hebrews, vi., 4. t Ibid., x., 26.
O GRIEVI G THE HOLY SPIRIT. 391 sacrifices and seeking responses at the hands of the Lord. There is reason to fear that a deep delusion rests upon them to the end, and that they cling to their false hopes till they enter eternity. This unspeakable curse, which the falling Christian brings upon himself, commonly by slow degrees, by refusing to cooperate with the Spirit, the impenitent sinner more frequently incurs by direct and obstinate resistance. He drives aivaij serious impressions. When deeply affected at heart, he often seeks company, business, amusement, to relieve him. He knows what is the cause of his anxiety — his duty — his danger, but resolves to resist. He will not submit. He opposes stern resolution, and fell, unyielding purpose to the striving Spirit. In times of revival, of great light and strong impulses, we have reason to fear the soul's destiny may be fixed by one conflict. Many who resist great light and strong impressions seem never to feel again. There is ground to fear that the majority of men who pass middle age without conversion, have finally expelled the Spirit. In all other re-
spects, their circumstances seem most favorable to their conversion. The hoi passions and the visionary hopes of youth are passed away. The judgment is mature — the morals often correct. Why, then, are so few of them converted, but that the Spirit has left them ? I close wdth a few practical observations. 1. There is great encouragement in this doctrine of the Holy Ghost. He can do all things for us. He is God in us. The hardest heart, the most untoward nature, present no insuperable obstacles to Him. Let us lean upon the Holy Ghost. Let us fully believe and trust. Let us expect the greatest results from this agent. 2. Let us reverence the Holy Ghost within us. Let us fear to offend. Let us obey every intimation. Let us, at all hazards, follow this guide. Let us rather suffer or die than offend Him.
3. Let us seek for the fullness of the Spirit. It is the "Gift" which Christ promised when he had "led captivity captive." It is enough if we enjoy it, though all else were taken away. 4. Let us pray for the descent of the Holy Ghost. Above all, let us cry unto God, " Take not thy Holy Spirit from us."
1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books
2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000