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

"The Indwelling of the Spirit" or "The Believer a Temple"

    What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Cor. 6:19

    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Cor. 6:19

    Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 1 Cor. 6:19

That the religion of our adorable Immanuel is a reality- no  airy fiction, as is the Mohammedan, and no "cunningly devised fable," as is the Romish- many, conclusive and precious are the evidences. There is however, to the true believer, one evidence which, apart from, and superior to all others, affixes the seal of credibility; this is the conviction of its truth arising from the indwelling of the Spirit in the heart. There is in this great truth, something so palpable, so undoubted and so self-evident, that no sophistry of man, no ingenuity of Satan and no knowledge of the deep evil of our fallen nature can weaken or overthrow it. It is God Himself, as it were, taking the witness-stand and, setting aside all other testimony, challenging everything that would reduce His own work to a mere non-entity and exclaiming, "Who is he that condemns?" Clad in the armor of this evidence, the feeblest disciple of Jesus takes higher ground in vindication of the truth of the Gospel than the acutest reasoner who is destitute of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is true that the conviction arising from this source of evidence is the strongest and most convincing to his own mind; yet there is, in the simplicity, the honesty and the boldness with which his belief is declared, that which carries a powerful conviction to the minds of others. He may be challenged by the sceptic, there may be objections which he cannot meet, arguments which he cannot answer, difficulties which he cannot explain and sophisms which he cannot unravel; and yet the "witness within himself" shall throw such vigor into his reasoning and tenderness into his spirit, and shall invest his whole demeanor with an air of sincerity so touching that his accusers shall be compelled to pay him the tribute once awarded to his Lord, "he speaks as one having authority." He believes and has experienced what he declares, and thus God has given him a "mouth and wisdom, which all his adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."
But let it not be supposed that we regard the indwelling of the Spirit in the believer as presenting merely, or even mainly, an evidence in favor of the truth of the Gospel. This undoubtedly demands a distinct and grateful recognition. But we must not rest here. We are to take a more enlarged view of the glory of God, as unfolded in this most holy and blessed doctrine- His glory as secured to Him in the comfort, holiness and filial walk of the believer who is conscious that he is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We feel the subject to be one of great and solemn importance. Its vastness is almost overpowering. The bare thought that the "high and lofty One, inhabiting eternity, whose name is Holy," should dwell with man, yes, in him- that He should take out of the fallen race of His creatures a people whose hearts should be so renewed and sanctified as to form a dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit- that this heavenly visitant should take up His abode there in all His regenerating, sanctifying, sealing and comforting influences- the bare thought of this seems almost too illimitable and glorious for a poor finite mind to grasp! And yet, reader, the consolation flowing from this subject is so great, and the motives to holiness drawn from it so persuasive, and God so glorified by it, that we feel constrained to place it in the foreground of this treatise. May He Himself draw near, unfold His own truth to our minds, and sanctify us through its holy influence!

The first thought that presents itself to the mind as we look into this great subject is that suggested by the passage placed at the head of this chapter: "Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you?" The great idea here conveyed is that THE BELIEVER IS A TEMPLE, THE RESIDENT OF THAT TEMPLE BEING GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. With the converted Corinthians, to whom these words were addressed, the figure would be at once striking and significant; the magnificent city in which they dwelt abounded with gorgeous temples erected to the honor of supposed deities, at whose idolatrous and superstitious rites they had frequently attended in the days of their ignorance. Drawing their minds away from the service of idols (while at the same time using the concept of a heathen temple as an illustration of his fine idea) the apostle, by an easy and a beautiful transition of thought, leads them to consider themselves as temples in an eminent and holy sense- formed, consecrated and adorned for the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit. There is a depth of important and spiritual truth in this idea which we desire to unfold, as the Divine Teacher shall Himself "anoint us with that anointing which teaches us of all things."
In contemplating the believer as a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is natural and proper to consider the condition of the soul previous to the entrance of the Spirit of God. Man, in his original constitution, was a glorious temple. Two facts will prove it. First, he was like God in his moral image; and second, God dwelt in him. He was in every respect worthy of such a resident. He was the holy temple of a holy God. Not a flaw was there. The entire man was holy. There was perfect knowledge in the judgment, perfect holiness in the will, and perfect love in the heart. "Holiness to the Lord," was the inscription written on every window and every door, yes, on every part of this temple. A beautiful structure was man in his original state! Well did the mighty Architect, as He gazed upon His work, pronounce it "very good"!
But behold what sin has done! Man has lost his original
resemblance to God. It is true that he still retains his spiritual, intelligent and immortal nature, these he can never lose. But as for his moral likeness to God in knowledge, purity, justice, truth and benignity, these glorious lineaments are blotted from his soul, and darkness, impurity, desolation and death reign there. With the obliteration of moral resemblance, the soul has lost all love to God. More than this; there is not only the absence of love but, as we have shown in a former chapter, there is positive enmity. "The carnal mind is enmity against God," that enmity showing itself in a thousand ways, principally in its seeking to dethrone God. From his affections he has dethroned Him. To eject Him from the throne of His moral government in the universe is the great and constant
aim of the carnal mind. If this is not so, why this perpetual war against God- against His being, His law, His will, His
supreme authority to govern and reign? Why this refusal to
acknowledge and obey Him? "Who is the Lord God, that I should obey him?" Oh, there is no mystery in the case! Man has revolted from God and, having thrown off all allegiance to Him as his Sovereign, he seeks to be a God to himself. Self is to him what Jehovah once was- the object of supreme delight. Having cast out God, he moves in a circle of which he himself is the center- all he does is from self, and for self. From this all the lines diverge, and to this they all again return.
It needs not the argument or the illustration of a moment to show that such being the moral destitution of man, God has ceased to dwell in him. The temple polluted, defaced and destroyed, the Divine Resident has gone, and the heart, once so sweet a home of Deity, is now the dwelling-place of all sin. Another occupant has taken possession of the ruin; and, like ancient Babylon, it has become the den of every ravenous beast, a habitation of dragons and the impure abode of every foul, malignant passion. Reader, it is as impossible that God can make your heart His dwelling-place, while every thought and feeling and passion is up in arms against Him, as it would be for Christ to dwell with Belial, or light to commingle with darkness. You must be renewed in the spirit of your mind. You must be born again.
But it was God's eternal and gracious purpose to restore this temple. Satan had despoiled His work, sin had marred His image; but both usurpers He would eject, and the ruin of both He would repair. Oh, what mercy, infinite, eternal and free, was this that set Him upon a work so glorious! What could have moved Him but His own love, what could have contrived the plan but His own wisdom, and what could have executed it but His own power? In the restoration of this temple, man was no auxiliary. He could be none. His destruction was his own, his recovery was God's. He ruined himself; that ruin he could not himself repair. The work of restoration is a greater achievement of Divine power than was the work of creation. To repair the temple when ruined was more glorious than to create it. In one day He made man; He was four thousand years in redeeming man. It cost Him nothing to create a soul; it cost Him His dear Son to save it. And who can estimate that cost? He met with no opposition in creating man; in re-creating him, Satan, the world, even man himself, is against Him.
We have said that it was God's gracious and eternal purpose to restore this ruined temple. The first step which He took in accomplishing this great work was His assumption of our nature, as though He Himself would be the model from which the new temples should be formed. This was one of the profoundest acts of God's wisdom, one of the greatest demonstrations of His love. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us " (marg. tabernacled among us). His human body, the temple; his Godhead, the indwelling Deity. Was ever a temple so glorious as this? "Immanuel, God with us." "God manifest in the flesh." O awful mystery! what imagination can conceive, what mind can fathom it? We can but stand upon the shore of this vast ocean of wisdom and love, and exclaim, "O the depth!" "Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh." This was the first step towards His work of replenishing the earth with spiritual temples, to be filled now and eternally with the Divine presence and glory. The entire success and glory of His undertaking rested here. This was the foundation of the structure. He could only obey the law, as He was "made of a woman"; He could only "redeem those who were under the law," as He was God in our nature. The absolute necessity, then, of His Godhead will instantly appear. Had the basis of the great work He was about to achieve been laid in any other doctrine, anything inferior, less holy, less dignified; had the foundation been laid in mere creature excellence, however exalted that excellence might be, there could have been neither strength, permanency, nor glory in the temple. It would have fallen before the first storm of temptation, and fearful would have been its destruction. God well knew at what cost the work of redemption would be achieved. He knew what His violated law demanded, what His inflexible justice required, and through what costly channel His love must flow; therefore "He laid help upon one that was mighty" - "mighty to save." And what was the secret of His might? His absolute deity. Take a lower view than this, and you reduce the work of Christ to nothing; you tear the soul from the body, pluck the sun from the firmament, wrench the keystone from the arch and the foundation from the building. But look at His work through His Godhead, and oh, how vast, how costly, how glorious does it appear; what a basis for a poor sinner to build upon; what a resting-place for the weary soul; what faith, hope, and assurance does it inspire; how perfect the obedience, how infinitely efficacious the blood, and how prevailing the intercession- all derived from the Godhead of Jesus. Glorious temple were You, blessed Son of God!
But this temple was to be destroyed. Jesus must die! This was the second step in the accomplishment of the great work. Thus did he announce the fact to the obtuse and incredulous Jews: "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." "He spoke of the temple of his body." His death was as necessary to the satisfaction of justice, as His life of obedience had been to the fulfilling of the law. As the Substitute of His people, He must yield up His life; as the Surety of the covenant, He must completely surrender Himself into the hands of Divine justice; as the Testator of His own will, there must of necessity be His death, otherwise the testament would have been of no force at all while He lived. There was no possible avenue for His escape, even had He sought it. He or His people must die. He must taste the bitterness of the death that was temporal, or His elect must have tasted of the bitterness of the death that was eternal. O yes, Jesus wished to die. Never for one moment did He really shrink from the combat. He well knew the conditions upon which He had entered into a covenant engagement on behalf of His people. He knew that the price of their pardon was His own blood, that His death was their life, and that His gloomy path through the grave was their bright passage to eternal glory. Knowing all this, and with the awful scene of Calvary full in view- the cross, the sufferings of the body, the deathly sorrow of the soul- He yet panted for the arrival of the moment that was to finish the work His Father had given Him to do. How ready was Jesus thus to die? Where this eagerness? It sprang from His great love to sinners. Oh, this was it! We must go down to the secret depth of His love, if we would solve the mystery of His willingness to die. "God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Thus was the "temple of His body" destroyed, that "through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." See, reader, the source of your free pardon, the ground of your humble trust, the secret of your "strong consolation." It is all involved in the death of Jesus. You cannot ask too much, you cannot expect too much, you cannot repose too much at the foot of the cross. All is mercy here- all is love - all is peace. Sin cannot condemn, Satan cannot tempt, the world cannot allure, conscience cannot accuse; "there is no condemnation" to a poor soul that shelters itself beneath the cross of Jesus. Here every dark cloud withdraws, and all is sunny; here every tear is dried, but that of joy; and every voice is hushed, but that of praise.
But a third step in the accomplishment of this stupendous design was the resurrection of Christ. This formed an essential and glorious part of His work, in preparing a way for the personal and permanent residence of the Holy Spirit. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." Great stress is laid upon this doctrine in the Word. And the child of God may be but imperfectly aware what an essential pillar it is to his hope, and how sanctifying and comforting the blessings are that spring from a full belief in it. The resurrection of Jesus is the great seal to the character and perfection of His work. Indeed, without this Divine attestation His work would never have effected our salvation. His perfect keeping of the law and His suffering unto death were but parts of the vast plan, and, taken separately and distinctly, were not capable of perfecting the salvation of the church. The apostle so reasons. "And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished!" 1 Cor. 15:14-18. A moment's reflection will justify the conclusions which the apostle deduces from the supposition that Christ had not risen.
Our dear Lord endured the "curse of the law"; a part of that curse was death- death legal, death temporal, death eternal. He was "made a curse for us," and died. So long as He remained imprisoned in the grave, "death had dominion over him." We would have looked in vain to His obedience and sufferings for the proof of the all-sufficiency and acceptableness of His satisfaction, as long as the iron scepter of the king of terrors held Him in subjection. O what a momentous period were the three days that intervened between the giving up the spirit upon the cross, and the bursting of the tomb! The salvation of the whole church hung upon it. All who had already "fallen asleep" in Him, and all whom it was the purpose of God yet to call, were deeply interested in this one fact. But on the third day the destroyed temple was raised again; death had no more dominion over Him, its sting was extracted, its scepter was broken, the curse was rolled away, and the redemption of the church was complete. "He was delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification."
Let the Christian reader fully believe this one truth, that Jesus is alive again, and it will afford to his soul greater confirmation of the veracity of God's character, of the truth of His Word, and of the perfection and all-sufficiency of Christ's work, than all other truths beside. Is Jesus alive at the right hand of God? Then the debt is paid, and justice is satisfied. Is Jesus alive at the right hand of God? Then the Father is well pleased in the work of His Son, and He "rests in His love, and rejoices over His church with singing." Is Jesus alive? Then every promise shall be fulfilled, and all the blessings of the everlasting covenant shall be freely bestowed, and I, a poor worthless sinner, yet resting upon His atoning work, shall live also. May the Holy Spirit lead you into the full belief- the belief of the heart as well as of the judgment- of this glorious truth. It is the keystone of the temple. Press it as you will, the more you lean upon it, the stronger you will find it; the more you rest upon it, the firmer will grow your hope. Only receive it in simple faith, Jesus is alive- alive for you; all you need in this valley of tears is here; all your temporal mercies are secured to you here; all your spiritual blessings are laid up for you here. Such is the great charter, such are the immense, untold blessings it contains, that, come how you will, come when you will, and "ask what you will, it shall be granted you of the Father," because Jesus is at His right hand. Well may we take up the dauntless challenge of the apostle, "Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died; yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Your salvation is complete, your heaven secure, and all victory, happiness and glory bound up in this one great fact. Then may we not again exclaim with Peter, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Thus have we briefly traced the successive steps which God took to prepare the way for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit in the believer. Through the incarnation, obedience, death, and resurrection of Christ, a way was opened by which God could again dwell with man, could resume His abode in the very temple that sin had destroyed, and show forth the riches and glory of His grace far more illustriously than when this temple stood in its original perfection and grandeur. Here was the foundation of every successive temple that grace was about to raise. "Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation." "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." On the dignity of His person, finished righteousness, perfect atonement, all-sufficient grace and inviolable faithfulness, believers, "as living stones, are built up a spiritual house." (1 Pet. 4. 5), for the everlasting indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.
In passing now more specifically to the consideration of the indwelling of the Spirit, we proceed to adduce the testimony He Himself has borne to the doctrine. In the following passages the truth is unfolded. Looking into the Old Testament, shadowy as the period was in which that part of the inspired Word was written, we yet find clear intimation of the doctrine before us. Ezek. 36. 27: "And I will put my Spirit within you." Ezek. 37. 14: " And I shall put my Spirit in you, and you shall live." In the New Testament the doctrine opens upon our view with increasing power and brightness. Our Lord's own words are familiar. John 14. 16, 17: "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you." Rom. 8. 9: "But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you." Ver. 11: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you," etc. 1 Cor. 3. 16: "Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" 1 Cor. 6. 19: "What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?" 2 Cor. 6. 16: "And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them," etc. Eph. 2. 22: "In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." We will not multiply quotations; it is sufficiently clear that the indwelling of the Spirit is a revealed doctrine of Scripture. We proceed to develop it.
When does the Holy Spirit enter a soul? We reply, at the moment of its regeneration. This is His first gracious act. Previous to this, all is dark, desolate and dead, as we have in other places fully shown. What pen is adequate to describe the moral desolation, the fearful dilapidation of the soul of man, before the Spirit enters, bringing in His train, life, light and order? One brief sentence of Divine truth will more correctly and vividly describe it than the most elaborate human production. "Sensual, having not the Spirit." But the Spirit enters. He comes, in accordance with the eternal purpose, in harmony with the covenant of grace, borne on the wings of His own love, and traveling in the greatness of His own strength. What a triumphal entry, when He takes possession of the temple, already purchased by the Savior's blood! At His approach, darkness, enmity, pollution and death retire, and are succeeded by light, love, holiness and life. It is true that He meets with fierce opposition from within, for "the strong man armed keeps his palace," and "his goods are in peace"; but "a stronger than he comes," and puts to flight all opposition, bends the will, subdues the enmity, dissolves the heart and implants the sweet response, "Come in, blessed of the Lord, why do you stand outside? Enter, and take full possession for Yourself. Long have I closed my heart against You, too long have I resisted all Your importunities. But now You have conquered and prevailed; come in, blessed Spirit, and seal me for Your own." O blissful moment, when the Spirit enters, convincing of sin, breaking the heart with godly sorrow, laying the soul low in the dust in the spirit of self-abasement and self-condemnation before God, then leading it to the atoning blood of Jesus and speaking pardon and peace to the conscience.
The Spirit dwells in the believer as a manifestation of the Divine glory. The temple that Solomon built was one of great magnificence and splendor. But it was an earthly glory; and although He who "dwells not in temples made with hands" condescended to reveal Himself in it, yet it possessed no glory in comparison with the glory that was to exist in the new spiritual temple which the Holy Spirit was to erect and inhabit. Speaking of the legal dispensation, with which the temple prepared by David and built by Solomon was designed to harmonize, the apostle argues that it possessed no glory in comparison with the Gospel economy. And why? Because there was less of the Spirit in the former than in the present dispensation. It was the enlarged manifestation of the Spirit, especially His indwelling of the saints, which constituted the peculiar and far-surpassing glory of the new economy. "How shall not (says he) the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excels."
The superior glory of the new dispensation then is that it is more spiritual; there is a more enlarged and rich effusion of the quickening, sanctifying and sealing influences of the Holy Spirit; there is more of Christ, more of the holy liberty of adoption, a more simple, spiritual and child-like approach to God. But especially does the indwelling of the Spirit in the saints form a distinguished feature of the new economy. Here is an especial manifestation of the Divine glory. That the Spirit should, on the broad basis of Immanuel's finished atoning work, call a poor sinner by grace, regenerate, sanctify and then take possession of him forever, dwell in him, witness in him, work in him and make him fit for the inheritance of the saints in light- this is a marvellous display of the Divine glory. The electing love, infinite wisdom and omnipotent power of God are glorified; the atoning work, all-sufficient grace and unspeakable compassion of Jesus are glorified, the irresistible power, infinite patience and efficacious work of the Spirit are glorified in the soul that becomes "a habitation of God through the Spirit." We even dare assert that the conversion of a soul, the sustaining of the work wrought in that soul, the keeping of the believer through a long life of holy, upright and close walk with God, and the bringing of him safe to eternal happiness, are greater displays of the mighty power of God and more glorify Him than the creation of ten thousand worlds like ours.
The Spirit dwells in the believer as the ever-living Spirit of all grace and comfort. All that is really holy and gracious in a child of God is found in the work of the indwelling Spirit. All the holy breathings and desires of the soul, all the longings for God and for conformity to His will and image, all that is lovely and like Jesus in the saint, are the result of this gracious act of the eternal Spirit. The Lord Jesus Himself would direct us to this truth. John 4.14: "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." That this well of water is the indwelling of the Spirit, seems clear from the loth verse: "Jesus answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God," etc.; that "gift of God" was the Holy Spirit, alluded to again still more emphatically in ch. 7. 38, 39: "He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which those who believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.")
Here is a gracious truth. The Spirit in every believer is a deep and living well of all spiritual blessings. He dwells in the soul "not like a stagnant pool, but like an ever-living fountain that flows at all seasons of the year, in heat and cold, and in all external circumstances of weather, whether foul or fair, wet or dry." Nature could not produce that which the indwelling Spirit accomplishes in the saints of God. The hungering and the thirsting for righteousness, the rising of the heart in filial love to God, the sweet submission to His sovereign will, the longing for more knowledge of Christ, the constant struggling with the law of sin, the mourning over the indwelling principle of sin; all this is above and far beyond nature. It is the fruit, the precious fruit, of the indwelling spirit.
It may be, reader, that your heart is often anxious to know in what way you may distinguish between nature and grace, how you may clearly discern between that which is legal and that which is spiritual, between that which is the work of man, and that which is the work of God. In this way you may trace the vast difference- that which at first came from God, returns to God again. It rises to the source where it descended. Divine grace in a sinner's heart is a springing well- "a well of water springing up into eternal life." Did nature ever teach a soul the plague of its own heart? Never! Did nature ever lay the soul in the dust before God, mourning and weeping over sin? Never! Did nature ever inspire the soul with pantings for God and thirstings for holiness? Never! And did it ever endear the throne of grace, and make precious to the soul the atoning blood, the justifying righteousness of Jesus? Never! never! All this as much transcends the power of nature as the creating of a world. Is this your real state, reader? O look up! "Flesh and blood" did not reveal it to you- but the eternal God has revealed it and that by the indwelling of His own blessed Spirit in your heart.
We must not overlook His indwelling as a Spirit of holiness. This is His great and crowning work in a believer. It is in vain that we look for Him as a Witness, or as a Spirit of comfort, if we slight Him as a Sanctifier. Although we have assigned a distinct chapter to the subject of the sanctification of the Spirit, we would yet briefly allude to it in connection with His indwelling of the saints. The work of holiness forms a great and glorious part of His operation as the Indweller of His people. He has come to restore, not only order, but purity to the temple. He has come to restore the reign of holiness, to set up the law of God in the soul, to unfold its precepts, and to write them upon the heart, and, shedding abroad the love of Christ, under its gentle but powerful constraint to lead the believer to "run the way of God's commandments." He is pre-eminently a "Spirit of holiness" in the believer. For a more full unfolding of the manner in which the Spirit carries forward the work of holiness in the soul, the reader is referred to the chapter on that subject.
Nor must it be forgotten that He dwells in the believer as an abiding Spirit. It is a permanent indwelling. Our dear Lord laid especial stress upon this feature. When on the eve of leaving His disciples to return to His throne, He promised them "another Comforter," whose spiritual presence should more than make up for the loss of His bodily presence. And lest there should be any painful apprehensions as to the time of His dwelling with them, He assures those who the Spirit should abide with them forever. "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." Do not overlook this truth. Let no spiritual darkness, no workings of unbelief, no sense of indwelling sin, rob you of the comfort and consolation which a believing view of it will impart. There may be periods when you are not sensible of the indwelling of the Spirit. Clouds and darkness may be around this doctrine; there may be severe trials, gloomy providences, foreboding fears, the way rough and intricate, the sky dark and wintry, faith small, unbelief powerful, and your soul, from its low depths, led to exclaim, "All these things are against me. Will the Lord cast off forever? and will he be favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? does his promise fail for evermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? has he in anger shut up his tender mercies?" Oh do not forget that even then, dejected saint of God, then when all is dark within and all is desolate without, then the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier and the Comforter and the Glorifier of Jesus, dwells in you, and shall be with you forever. True, you may be assailed by powerful corruptions, the "consolations of God few and small" with you, and your prayer like David's, "Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me"; yet He, the blessed Indweller, is there, and His still, small and soothing voice shall soon be heard amid the roaring of the tempest, hushing it to a peaceful calm. He shall "abide with you forever." No wanderings, no neglect, no unkindness, no unworthiness, no unfaithfulness shall ever force Him from your bosom. He may withdraw His sensible presence; He may withhold His comforting influence; He may be so grieved by a careless walk as to suspend for a while His witnessing and sanctifying power, permitting indwelling corruptions for a moment to triumph; but He restores the soul; He brings it back again; He breaks the heart, then binds it up; wounds, then heals it, fills it with godly grief, then tunes it with thanksgiving and the voice of melody. "For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you." "He restores my soul."
I can present, in this chapter, a mere outline of the remaining operations of the Spirit as the Indweller of the saints. I regret this the less because some of those parts of His work are more fully discussed in the chapters especially assigned to them in this treatise.
As a Spirit of adoption He dwells in the believer. Gal 4. 6 "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
As a Witness He is there. Rom. 8. 16: "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
As an earnest and pledge of future glory He is there. Eph. 1. 13, 14: "In whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance," etc.
As a Teacher He is there. John 14. 26: "The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my
name, he shall teach you all things." "He shall guide you into all truth."
As a Remembrancer He is there. Verse 26: "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance."
As a Glorifier of Jesus He is there. John 16, 14: "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."
All these gracious operations works that one and self-same Spirit, dwelling in the hearts of all believers.
In reviewing this subject, the following important reflections suggest themselves to us.
How amazing the grace of God that makes the heart of a poor sinner His dwelling-place! O what grace is this! How it prostrates all high thoughts of self, how it brings down the lofty look, and lays the soul where it should ever lie, "low in
a low place." "Will God in very deed dwell with man?" "I will dwell in them," says God, "and will walk in them."
Let us not forget that it is the humble broken heart that forms the true temple of the Holy Spirit. He only dwells here. And here He does dwell. It may be a temple despised by man, but God prepares and chooses it for His abode. The proud and haughty spirit of self-righteous man may overlook it as valueless; the tear that falls in silence, the sigh that is breathed in secret, the heart that mourns over sin may be thought little of by the passer by, but with God it is of "great price." He has a bottle for that tear, a record for that sigh, and that mourning is music in His ear. "The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts." Isaiah 57:15. Perhaps your cry is, "Come, blessed and eternal Spirit, into my heart; make it a temple, now and forever, for Your abode worthless though the offering be, yet it is all I have to present You; enter, with all Your humbling, sanctifying, sealing and comforting influences, and take full possession for Yourself."
O blessed cry! O sweet fruit of that loving, faithful Spirit, who already has entered (unknown and unsuspected, it may be, by you) and has planted there this desire, the sure and certain pledge of future glory! Be assured, precious soul, that this cry, feeble as it is, is an evidence of the indwelling of the Spirit. It is the first gentle springing up of the living fountain within you, and it shall continue to spring up even unto eternal life. Cherish it as you would your greatest blessing. Pray that it may be increased and strengthened more and more, and closely watch against the slightest thing which would tend to enfeeble it.
How holy should the temple of the Spirit be! Reader, are you a temple of God the Holy Spirit? Then dedicate yourself unreservedly to God. You are not your own. Your body, your spirit, your family, substance, time, talents, influence, all, all belong to God. He dwells in you- lives in you- rules in you, and calls you His dwelling-place. "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" Then what a separation should there be between you and the world that lies in wickedness! How should you guard against every unnecessary entanglement with it; how cautious and prayerful, lest, by contracting an unholy alliance with it in any form or degree, you should defile the temple of God, "whose temple you are!" Oh, what heavenly wisdom, holy circumspection and ceaseless prayer do you need that you may walk with unspotted garments- that no rival should enter your heart- that no lofty views of self, no spirit of worldly conformity, no temporising policy, no known sin, no creature idolatry should enter there- that, like the heavenly temple, nothing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, should be cherished or entertained in the abode and in the presence of the Holy Spirit; for "what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
Reader, whose temple are you? Solemn question! Does
God or Satan dwell in you? Christ or Belial? Light or dark ness? Either the one or the other has, at this moment, possession of you. You cannot serve two contrary masters; you cannot entertain two opposite guests. You are living either for God or for Satan. You are traveling either to heaven or to hell. Which? On your bended knees before God, decide; and may the Lord the Spirit renew you by His grace, and if renewed, make you "a vessel unto honor, sanctified and fit for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work."