THE HOLY SPIRIT, An Experimental and Practical View by Octavius Winslow

"Jesus the True God, and His Work All-sufficient"
or  "The Witness of the Spirit"

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. 1 John 5:10

Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. 1 John 5:10

All who believe in the Son of God know that this is true. 1 John 5:10

The Spirit witnesses to the atoning work of Jesus in His priestly office. We have already seen that the foundation of the work of Christ is the Godhead of His nature. It is important that the eye be kept immovably fixed upon this, as we survey the atoning work of our Lord. Every step we take in developing that work introduces us to new wonders as we keep the glory of the person of Christ in view. The transcendent efficacy of the sacrifice arose from the infinite dignity of the Priest. The priests under the law could impart no personal efficacy or glory to their sacrificial offerings. Their sacrifices were only available for the atonement of transgression, as they were offered up in obedience to the command of God. But the sacrifice which Christ presented derived all its efficacy and glory from His person. It is this doctrine that attaches such importance to the death of Jesus and that throws such surpassing glory around His obedience. The blood of the Lord Jesus "cleanses us from all sin" because it is the blood of the God-Man; the righteousness of the Lord Jesus "justifies us from all things" because it is the "righteousness of God." From this arises the costliness of the sacrifice which Jesus presented to God.
It was also an entire sacrifice. It was Himself He offered. "Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor." Eph. 5. 2. It was Himself He offered up. More He could not give, less would not have sufficed. He gave Himself- all that He possessed in heaven, and all that belonged to Him on earth, He gave in behalf of His people. His life of obedience, His death of suffering, He gave as "an offering and a sacrifice to God." It was an entire surrender. It was a voluntary offering. "He gave Himself." It was not by compulsion or by constraint that He surrendered Himself into the hands of Divine justice; he did not go as a reluctant victim to the altar, they did not drag Him to the cross. He went voluntarily. It is true that there existed a solemn necessity that Jesus should die in behalf of His people. It grew out of His covenant engagement with the Father. Into that engagement He voluntarily entered. His own ineffable love constrained Him. But after the compact had been made, the covenant of redemption ratified, and the bond given to justice, there was a necessity resting upon Jesus compelling Him to finish the work. His word, His honor, His truth, His glory, all were pledged to the entire fulfilment of His suretyship. He had freely given Himself into the power of justice; He was therefore, on His taking upon Him the form of a servant, under obligations to satisfy all its claims; He was legally bound to obey all of its commands.
And yet it was a voluntary surrender of Himself as a sacrifice for His people. It was a willing offering. If there was a necessity, and we have shown that there was, it grew out of His own voluntary love to His church. It was, so to speak, a voluntary necessity. See how this blessed view of the death of Jesus is sustained by the Divine Word. "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth." Isaiah 53. 7. His own declaration confirms the truth. "Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." John 10. 17, 18.
Nor was it a voluntariness founded on ignorance. He well knew what the covenant of redemption involved and what stern justice demanded. The entire scene of His humiliation was before Him, in all its dark and somber hues- the manger, the blood-thirsty king, the scorn and reproach of His countrymen, the unbelief of His own kinsmen, the mental agony of Gethsemane, the bloody sweat, the bitter cup, the waywardness of His disciples, the betrayal of one, the denial of another, the forsaking of all; the mock trial, the purple robe, the crown of thorns, the infuriated cry, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him, crucify him"; the heavy cross, the painful crucifixion, the cruel taunts, the vinegar and the gall, the hidings of His Father's countenance, the concentrated horrors of the curse, the last cry of anguish, the bowing of the head, the giving up the spirit- all, all was before the omniscient mind of the Son of God, with a vividness equal to its reality, when He exclaimed, "Save him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom." And yet He willingly rushed to the rescue of ruined man. He voluntarily (though He knew the price of pardon was His blood) gave Himself up thus to the bitter, bitter agony. And did He regret that He had undertaken the work? Never! It is said that it repented God that He had made man, but in no instance is it recorded that it repented Jesus that He had redeemed man. Not an action, not a word, not a look betrayed an emotion like this. Every step He took from Bethlehem to Calvary did but unfold the willingness of Jesus to die. "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished!"
Oh, how amazing was the love of Jesus! This, this was the secret why He loved not His own life unto the death. He loved sinners too well. He loved us better than Himself. With all our sinfulness, guilt, wretchedness and poverty, He yet loved us so much as to give Himself an offering and sacrifice unto God for us. Here was the spring head where flowed these streams of mercy. This was the gushing fountain that was opened when He died. And when they taunted Him, and said, "If you be the King of the Jews, save yourself," O what a reply did His silence give: "I came not to save myself, but my people. I hang here, not for My own sins, but for theirs. I could save myself, but I came to give My life a ransom for many." They thought the nails alone kept Him to the cross; He knew it was His own love that fastened Him there. Behold, reader, the strength of Immanuel's love. Come, fall prostrate, adore and worship Him. O what love was His! O the depth! Do not be content merely to stand upon the shore of this ocean: enter into it, drink deeply from it. It is for you, if you are truly feeling your nothingness, your poverty and your vileness; this ocean is for you! It is not for angels, it is for men. It is not for the righteous, but for sinners. Then drink to the full from the love of Jesus. Do not be satisfied with small supplies. Take a large vessel to the fountain. The larger the demand, the larger the supply. The more needy, the more welcome. The more vile, the more fit to come. Then plunge into this ocean, and count all things else but loss for Jesus, and sing, as you do so-
The cross! the cross! oh that's my gain,
Because on that, the Lamb was slain;
'Twas there my Lord was crucified,
'Twas there my Savior for me died.
What wondrous cause could move Your heart
To take on You my curse and smart?
Well knowing that my soul would be
So cold, so negligent to Thee!
The cause was love, I sink with shame
Before my sacred Jesus's name;
That You should bleed and slaughtered be,
Because, because You lovest me. (Clare Taylor.)
We have yet to show in what way the Spirit witnesses to the atoning work of Jesus. He does so by leading the guilty, condemned and broken-hearted sinner to rest on Jesus alone for salvation. In this way He testifies of Christ. He first convinces the soul of sin, bringing the holy law of God with a condemning, slaying power into the conscience; then, having wounded and laid low, He leads the soul to Jesus as an all-sufficient Savior. He opens the understanding to comprehend, and the heart to welcome, His own recorded testimonies of that all-sufficiency, and the readiness of the Lord Jesus Christ to save the vilest of the vile. He leads to the fountain of Immanuel's precious blood, plunges the guilty sinner beneath its cleansing stream, and then raises him to newness of life- "washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." And this is the testimony: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3. 14-16. "All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6. 37. "He that believes ... shall be saved." Mark 16. 16. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him." Heb. 7. 25. What a witness is this to the power and readiness of Christ to save! And this is the testimony of the Holy Spirit to the blessed Son of God. But He does more than this. He brings home the record with power to the soul. He Writes the testimony on the heart. He converts the believing soul itself into a witness that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
And what a gospel is this for a poor sinner! "There is not," says an old divine, "an ill word in it against a poor sinner stripped of his self-righteousness." It speaks of pardon, of acceptance, of peace, of full redemption here, and unspeakable glory hereafter. It proclaims a Savior to the lost; a Redeemer to the captive; a Surety to the insolvent; a Physician to the sick; a Friend to the needy; an Advocate to the criminal- all that a self-ruined, sin-accused, law-condemned, justice-threatened, broken-hearted sinner needs, this "glorious gospel of the blessed God" provides. It reveals to the self-ruined sinner, One in whom is his help, Hos. 13. 9. To the sin-accused, One who can take away all sin, 1 John 1. 7. To the law-condemned, One who saves from all condemnation, Rom. 8. 1. To the justice-threatened, One who is a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, Isa. 32. 2. To the broken-hearted, One who binds up, and heals, Isa. 61. 1. That One is Jesus. O name ever dear, ever sweet, ever precious, ever fragrant, ever healing to the "poor in spirit"!
The blessed Spirit witnesses to the all-sufficiency of Christ, for all the needs of His people. He testifies that "it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." He takes of the things of Christ, and shows them to the believer. Perhaps this is His greatest witness to a child of God in reference to Jesus. And why? because the highest act by which a believing soul glorifies Christ is a life of daily faith upon Him. There is a vast difference between an acknowledgment of Christ in the judgment, a bowing of the knee to Him outwardly, and a real, experimental, daily living upon Him. The very essence of experimental religion is living upon Christ daily as a poor, empty sinner. We live in a day of easy and splendid profession, a day in which the many can speak well of Christ and "profess and call themselves Christians." But all is not gold; there is much tinsel, much that is only dross, much that is counterfeit. And while many a man has been applauded for his money, admired for his philanthropy, worshiped for his talent and followed for his eloquence, God has said, "I see no lowliness of spirit, no brokenness of heart, no humbling views of self; I hear no voice of prayer, no acknowledgment of My power; I behold no crowning of My Son, no honoring of Me with the glory." And while many a man has been as the scum and the offscouring of all things; despised for his feeble gifts, his poor talents, his humble sphere; looked down upon by the great and the wise and the haughty; the " high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy," has said, "I see a broken heart, I see a lowly mind, I see the work of My Spirit, I see the image of My Son, I dwell with him that is of a humble and contrite spirit." O yes! a poor believer, going to Jesus in all his emptiness and weakness; going to Him, leaning on His blood and righteousness, going to Him in the face of all opposition, pleading His worth and worthiness; going with all his sins, with all his infirmities, with all his backslidings, with all his wants, has more real glory in it than all the glory of all worlds collected in one blazing focus. What a witness, then, is this which the eternal Spirit bears to Jesus l He assures the believer that all he can possibly want is treasured up in Christ, that he has no cross but Christ can bear it, no sorrow but Christ can alleviate it, no corruption but Christ can subdue it, no guilt but Christ can remove it, no sin but Christ can pardon it, no want but Christ can supply it. Lift up your heads, you who are poor, needy and disconsolate! Lift up your heads, and rejoice that Christ is ALL to you, all you need in this valley of tears, all you need in the deepest sorrow, all you need under the heaviest affliction, all you need in sickness, all you will need in the hour of death and in the day of judgment. Indeed, Christ is in all too. He is in all your salvation, He is in all your mercies, He is in all your trials. He is in all your consolations and in all your afflictions. What more can you want? What more do you desire? A Father who
loves you as the apple of His eye! A full Savior to whom to go, moment by moment! A blessed indwelling, sanctifying, comforting Spirit to reveal all to you, and to give you Himself as the "earnest of your inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory"! "Happy is that people that is in such a case: yes, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord."
Another and an important witness which the eternal Spirit bears for Christ is when He impresses upon the believer the image of Christ. It is the peculiar work of the Spirit to glorify Christ; and this He does in various blessed ways, but perhaps in none more strikingly than in drawing out the likeness of Christ upon the soul. He glorifies Christ in the believer. He witnesses to the power of the grace of Christ in its influence upon the principles, the temper, the daily walk and the whole life of a man of God. The image of Christ- what is it? In one word, it is HOLINESS. Jesus was the holiness of the law embodied. He was a living commentary on the majesty and purity of the Divine law. The life He lived, the doctrines He proclaimed, the precepts He enjoined, the announcements He made, the revelations He disclosed; all, all were the very inspiration of holiness. Holiness was the vital air He breathed. Although in a world of impurity, all of whose influences were hostile to a life of holiness, He yet moved amid the mass of corruption, not only untouched and untainted, but reflecting so vividly the luster of His own purity, as to compel the forms of evil that everywhere flitted athwart His path either to acknowledge His holiness and submit to His authority or to shrink away in their native darkness. And this is the image the Holy Spirit seems to draw, though it be but an outline of the lineaments, upon the believing soul. What a testimony He bears for Christ, when He causes the image of Jesus to be reflected from every faculty of the soul, to beam in every glance of the eye, to speak in every word of the tongue, and to invest with its beauty every action of the life! O that every child of God might more deeply and solemnly feel that he is to be a witness for Jesus! A witness for a cross-bearing Savior, a witness to the spotless purity of His life, the lowliness of His mind, His deep humility, self-denial, self-annihilation, consuming zeal for God's glory, and yearning compassion for the salvation of souls, a witness to the sanctifying tendency of His truth, the holiness of His commands, the purifying influence of His precepts, the elevating power of His example. It may not be that all these Divine characteristics center in one person, or that all these lovely features are reflected in a single character. All believers are not alike eminent for the same peculiar and exalted graces of the Spirit. It was not so in the early and palmy days of the Gospel, when Jesus Himself was known in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit descended in an extraordinary degree of sanctifying influence upon the church. It would therefore be unwise to expect it now. And yet we have a right to look for one or more of the moral features of our dear Lord's character in His people: some resemblance to His image; something that marks the man of God; some lowliness of mind, gentleness of temper, humility of deportment, charity, patience in the endurance of affliction, meekness in the suffering of persecution, forgiveness of injuries, returning good for evil, blessing for cursing- in a word, some portion of "the fruit of the Spirit" which is "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." If one or more of these are not "in us and abound, so that they make us that we shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ," and in a resemblance to His likeness, we have great reason to doubt whether we have ever "known the grace of God in truth." That is indeed a melancholy profession in which can be traced nothing that identifies the man with Jesus; nothing in his principles, his motives, his tone of mind, his spirit, his very looks, that reminds one of Christ, that draws the heart to Him, that makes the name of Immanuel fragrant and that lifts the soul in ardent desires to be like Him too. This is the influence which a believer exerts who bears about with him a resemblance to his Lord and Master. A holy man is a blessing wherever he may go. He is a savor of Christ in every place. It is a mercy to be brought in contact with him. We extract a blessing from him. We get, it may be, a drop of oil from his vessel, or a single ray from his heart. And although it is more blessed to possess the solar beam, to ascend to the "fountain of light," yet a reflected warmth in this wintry world is too valuable and blessed to be lightly esteemed. Would that the saints of God who may have drawn largely upon the fulness of Christ, who have been made to possess some peculiar manifestations of His loving kindness, some special revivings of His Spirit, were more ready to pass on the same blessing to others. A believer is not his own, nor is he to live to himself. And when the Lord imparts a gift or a grace to any one member, it is for the edification and comfort of the whole body. "Come and hear, all you that fear God, and I will declare what he has done for my soul" is an invitation that has often refreshed the spirit, revived the heart, kindled the love and "strengthened the things that remained that were ready to die," in the saints of God. Thus is the Spirit a Witness for Christ in His people by conforming them to His image.
(The history of American revivals presents a striking and beautiful illustration of this fact. The author can testify, from personal observation- and experience, that some of the most gracious and remarkable outpourings of the Spirit with which that honored land has been favored, have resulted from the simple testimony to a special reviving of the Lord's work in his own soul, borne by some individual member of the church, moving, it may be, in a humble and limited sphere of influence. God has honored his testimony. His narrative has awakened interest, his zeal has rebuked indolence, his fervor has excited to prayer, his tears and pleadings have moved to exertion; and thus an impulse has been created which has gone on strengthening and expanding until it has embraced and blessed an entire community. It was but as a small pebble cast into the stagnant water: yet the circle included a family, it widened, until it embraced a church, and still it grew wider, until an entire village, or town, felt the power of the Spirit, and every house became vocal with "thanksgiving and the voice melody.")
It would only be presenting a limited view of the Spirit's work as a witness if we confined His work in this character to the testimony He bears for Christ. He is not only a witness for Christ, but He witnesses to the saints of God. This is clear from His own sacred word, "He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself." "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit." "Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." But the most direct allusion to this truth is this: "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. 8. 16. Let us present a brief outline of this subject; beyond this, we cannot venture.
The doctrine of an assured belief of the pardon of sin, of acceptance in Christ and of adoption into the family of God, has been, and still is, regarded by many as an attainment never to be expected in the present life; and when it is expressed, it is viewed with a suspicion unfavorable to the character of the work. But this is contrary to the Divine word, and to the actual experience of millions, who have lived and died in the full assurance of hope. The doctrine of assurance is a doctrine of undoubted revelation, implied and expressed. That it is enforced as a state of mind essential to the salvation of the believer, we cannot admit; but that it is insisted upon as essential to his comfortable and holy walk, and as greatly involving the glory of God, we must strenuously maintain. Otherwise why do we have these marked references to the doctrine? In Col. 2. 1, 2, Paul expresses "great conflict" for the saints, that their "hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding." In the epistle to the Hebrews, the writer says, "We desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope, unto the end." And he exhorts them, "Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith." And to crown all, the apostle Peter thus earnestly exhorts his readers, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election SURE." No further proof from the sacred Word is required to authenticate the doctrine. It is written as with a sunbeam that "the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Let us present a brief explanation of these words.
Three important things are involved in them, first, the Witness; second that with which He witnesses; and lastly, the great truth to which He witnesses.

First, THE WITNESS. "The Spirit Himself bears witness." The great business of making known to a poor sinner his acquittal in the high court of heaven and his adoption into the King's family is entrusted to no inferior agent. No angel is commissioned to bear the tidings, no mortal man may disclose the secret. None but God the Holy Spirit Himself! "The Spirit Himself!" He that rests short of this testimony, wrongs his own soul. See that you rely on no witness to your "calling and election" but this. Human testimony is feeble here. Your minister, your friend, schooled as they may be in the evidences of experimental godliness, cannot assure your spirit that you are "born of God." God the eternal Spirit alone can do this. He alone is competent, He alone can fathom the "deep things of God," He alone can rightly discern between His own work and its counterfeit, between grace and nature, He alone can make known the secret of the Lord to those who fear Him. All other testimony to your sonship is uncertain, and may fearfully and fatally deceive. "It is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth." Again and yet again would we solemnly repeat it; take nothing for granted touching your personal interest in Christ; do not rest satisfied with the testimony of your own spirit, or with that of the holiest saint on earth; seek nothing short of "the Spirit Himself." This alone will do for a dying hour.
The second thing to be observed in the declaration is, THAT WITH WHICH THE SPIRIT WITNESSES- "the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit." It is a personal testimony, not borne to others, but to ourselves, "with our spirit." The adoption of the believer into the family of God is so great a privilege, involving blessings so immense, for beings so sinful and in all respects unworthy, that, if their heavenly Father did not assure them by His own immediate testimony of its truth, no other witness would suffice to remove their doubts, quiet their fears and satisfy them as to their real sonship. The eternal Spirit of God descends and enters their hearts as a witness to their adoption. He first renews our spirit, applies the atoning blood to the conscience, works faith in the heart, enlightens the understanding, and thus prepares the believing soul for the revelation and assurance of this great and glorious truth- his adoption into the family of God. As it is "with our spirit" the Holy Spirit witnesses, it is necessary that, in order to perfect agreement and harmony, he who has the witness within himself should first be a repenting and believing sinner. He who says that he has this witness, but who still remains "dead in sins"- a stranger to faith in the Lord Jesus, to the renewings of the Holy Spirit, in a word, who is not born of God- is wrapping himself up in an awful deception. The witness we plead for, is the holy testimony, in concurrence with a holy gospel, by a holy Spirit, to a holy man, and concerning a holy truth. There can be no discrepancy, no lack of harmony between the witness of the Spirit and the Word of God. He witnesses according to, and in agreement with, the truth. Vague and fanciful impressions, visions and voices, received and rested upon as evidences of salvation are fearful delusions. Nothing is to be viewed as an evidence of our Divine sonship which does not square and harmonize with the revealed Word of God. We must have a "thus says the Lord" for every step we take in believing that we are the children of God. Let it be remembered, then, that the Spirit bears His testimony to believers. His first step is to work repentance and faith in the heart; then follows the sealing and witnessing operation: "In whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise."
The last aspect is the great truth to which He testifies, namely "that we are the children of God." The Spirit is
emphatically spoken of as a Spirit of adoption. "For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Rom. 8. 25. And again, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Gal. 4. 6. Now it is the peculiar office of the Spirit to witness to the adoption of the believer. Look at the blessed fact to which He testifies- not that we are the enemies, the aliens, the strangers, the slaves, but that we are "the CHILDREN of God." High and holy privilege!
"The children of God"! Chosen from all eternity- "having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will," all their iniquities laid on Jesus their blessed Surety, justified by the "Lord our righteousness," called by the effectual operation of the eternal Spirit, inhabited, sanctified and sealed by God the Holy Spirit. O exalted state! O holy privilege! O happy people! Pressing on, it may be, through strong corruptions, deep trials, clinging infirmities, fiery temptations, sore discouragements, dark providences and often the hidings of a Father's countenance- and yet "the children of God" now, and soon to be glorified hereafter.
Reader, in closing, let me ask you, have you the witness of the Spirit? Has He convinced you of sin by the law? Has He made you acquainted with your guilt and pollution? Is it written upon your conscience as solemnly and as undoubtedly as it is written in the Bible, that you are guilty and condemned, lost and undone, and must finally and awfully perish, without Christ? Have you sought a secret place for humiliation and confession and supplication before God, the eternal and holy God, the Sovereign of all worlds, the judge of the living and dead, at whose tribunal you soon must stand? Ah, solemn, searching questions! You may evade them, you may frame some vain excuse, you may wait for "a more convenient season," you may even seek to stifle the seriousness and the thoughtfulness which these questions have occasioned, by another and a deeper plunge into the world; but they will follow you there, and will be heard amid the din of business and the loud laugh of pleasure. They will follow you to your dying bed, and they will be heard there, amid the gloom and the silence and the terror of that hour. They will follow you up to the judgment-seat, and will be heard there amid the gatherings and the tremendous disclosures of that scene. They will follow you down to the abode of the lost, and will be heard there, amid the "weeping, and the wailing, and the gnashing of teeth." Sinner! from an enlightened, but guilty and accusing conscience, you can never escape. It will be the "worm that never dies"! From the wrath of God you can then find no shelter. It will be the "fire that never shall be quenched." Again we earnestly inquire- have you the witness of the Spirit? Has He testified to you of Jesus, of His renewing grace, pardoning love, sin-cleansing blood, justifying righteousness and full redemption? Have you joy and peace in believing?
To the child of God we would say, covet earnestly the witness of the Spirit. Do not be cast down, nor cherish rash and hasty conclusions as to your adoption, if you do not possess it so fully and clearly as others. The holiest believer may walk for many days without the sun. Read the record of the experiences of David and of Job and of Jeremiah, and of the last moments of our dear and adorable Immanuel, and mark what shadows at times fell upon their souls, how a sense of comfort failed them, how joys fled, and they mourned an absent God. But were they the less dear to the heart of Jehovah? Were they the less His beloved children because they were thus tried? No! God forbid! Still, we plead for the full enjoyment of the witness of the Spirit. It is the high privilege of the children of God- let no one rob them of it to look up to God, and humbly yet unceasingly cry, "Abba, Father!"