The Holy Spirit
James Smith, 1860
How much we are indebted to the Holy Spirit, and how apt we are to forget, or lose sight of our obligations to him! Jesus, who knew all about our nature, and who knew all that would happen to his people in this world — in order to allay their fears, comfort their hearts, and fortify their souls — promised them the Holy Spirit. What he promised, he performed — and the Holy Spirit is in the Church, and in every true believer, as the gift of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit . . .
helps our infirmities,
testifies of Jesus,
sympathizes with us,
and will never leave us.
I wish to dwell for a few minutes, and to write a few lines on this subject, for the benefit of my own soul, and for the profit of others. Lord, help me! Let no unworthy thought enter into my mind. Let no improper word drop from my pen. I would honor the Blessed Comforter, and glorify his most holy name.
The Holy Spirit is with us for the most important purposes, and to perform a most glorious work.
The Holy Spirit is with us to animate us in conflict. We have to do battle with most determined foes. With indwelling sin, the god of this world, and the evil world itself — all being in league against us — we would faint and give up the contest often, were it not that the Holy Spirit points us to our great Captain, fixes the eye on the crown, and brings home the precious promises, which animate and stimulate us afresh.
The Holy Spirit is with us to strengthen us in duty. Many of our duties are very arduous, and exceedingly trying to flesh and blood. We would shrink from them, or fail in them — but that the Holy Spirit, by fresh communications of grace, and supplies from the fullness of Christ — strengthens us with strength in our souls.
The Holy Spirit is with us to console in sorrow. He is entitled, "the Comforter." And as such, he administers the choicest consolation to us. Our sorrows are at times very deep. They appear to be overwhelming. We fear we shall sink under them, or dishonor God from our impatience in them — but the Holy Spirit leads us to Gethsemane, or to Calvary — to have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. Or he directs our thoughts forward to the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls, and so administers consolation to us.
The Holy Spirit is with us to sanctify in joy. As our sorrows may fill us with gloom, and overwhelm us with distress — so our joys may unduly elate, or make us light and vain. To prevent this, the Holy Spirit reminds us of what we were, or what we would have been — but for the grace of God. He refers us to many who have fallen, or have become carnal and vain — and so preserves us serious, watchful, and prayerful.
The Holy Spirit is with us to enlighten in perplexity. This he does . . .
by throwing light upon our path,
by unfolding the Word of God,
or by shining into our minds.
Then we stand in the ways to see. We wait for the Lord. We look out to see our Father's hand clearing our road. We listen to hear the voice behind us, which says, "This is the way — walk in it."
The Holy Spirit is with us to help in prayer. For, with the Apostle, we can say, "We know not what to pray for as we ought," therefore "the Spirit helps our infirmities." We have neither light to see what we need, nor faith to believe the promises made to us, nor power to plead with God and prevail — but as the Holy Spirit renders us assistance. He teaches us for what to pray for, and how to pray. He prompts, suggests, and renders us successful at the throne of grace.
The Holy Spirit is with us to inspire in praise. Our praises are often very dull. Gratitude is a scarce thing with us. But our praises would be dullness itself, and gratitude to God would be a stranger to our bosom — but for the Holy Spirit. Blessed Comforter . . .
animate me in all my conflicts,
strengthen me in every duty,
console me under all my sorrows,
sanctity me in all my joys,
enlighten me in all my perplexities,
help me in all my prayers,
and inspire all my praises to my covenant God and Father!
The Holy Spirit imparts penitence for sin, working in us repentance unto life.
He produces aspirations after holiness, so that we pant to be made pure in body, soul, and spirit.
He gives love to duty, so that we choose the things that please God, esteem all his precepts concerning all things to be right, and hate every false way.
He leads into correct views of truth, so that we escape the errors that float around us, and are preserved from damnable heresies.
He generates humbling thoughts of self, so that we are not inflated with pride — but lie low before God in self abasement, admiring his free and sovereign grace, which has made us to differ from others.
He unfolds gladdening views, so that we at times see the King in his beauty, and get a glimpse of our future glorious inheritance.
He takes the eye off the saddening and depressing, and fixes it on the cheering and animating.
He gives us liberty in prayer, so that we plead with God, as a man pleads with his friend; and at times, we feel no where so much at home, as at the mercy-seat, when alone with God.
The Holy Spirit produces delight in God's law, he shows us its beauty and excellency, assures us that we are delivered from its curse, and shall ultimately be so sanctified, that every vibration of the soul will be in exact conformity with it. Then we say, "O how I love your law — it is my meditation all the day!"
He fills us with confidence and joy in Christ — then every tear is dissipated, peace and profound happiness are enjoyed, foretastes of Heaven are realized, and we often long to depart and be with Christ — which is far better.
Spirit of Jesus . . .
give me penitence,
produce in me strong aspirations after holiness,
impart to me a love to every duty,
lead me to correct views of divine truth,
give me humbling thoughts of self,
and gladdening views of Jesus,
grant me liberty in prayer,
delight in God's law, and
confidence and joy in Christ!
Reader, have you received the Holy Spirit? Do you know anything of receiving supplies of the Spirit of Christ? Does the Holy Spirit dwell in you, work in you, and endear Jesus to you? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life — and without him we are dead in sin, alienated from the life of God, and are totally unfit for Heaven!
As there is no pardon — but through the blood of Christ; so there is no holiness — but through the Spirit of Christ. And as the blood of Christ will not avail for us, unless it is applied to us; so the Spirit of Christ will not sanctify us, unless he dwells in us.
We cannot get to Heaven without a pardon;
nor obtain a pardon but through the blood of Jesus;
no more can we see God without holiness;
nor be made holy — but by the Spirit of Jesus.
We do not more need a dying Savior on the cross — than we need the living, and life-giving Spirit in our hearts!
See to it then, that you have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you, and if you have not, make sure of the blessing as you may, for Jesus has said, "If you being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children — then how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit unto those who ask him." Ask then, and receive — and so you will be safe!