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

"The Sealing of the Spirit" or "The Believer an Epistle"

    Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 2 Cor. 3:2

    You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 2 Cor. 3:2

    But the only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves! Your lives are a letter written in our hearts, and everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 2 Cor. 3:2

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephes. 1:13

    And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Ephes. 1:13

    And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. Ephes. 1:13

What an inestimable gift is God the Holy Spirit, and how vast is His work! Each successive step we take in unfolding it does but more deeply convince us of this. New rays of light are reflected, new aspects of importance present themselves, and new features of interest and beauty are brought to view, as we pursue our research into this essential and important department of Divine truth. The more thoroughly and prayerfully we are led to investigate the operations of the Spirit upon the soul, especially if we watch closely His work in our own hearts, the more powerfully will the conviction press itself upon the mind that all real advance in Divine knowledge, in righteousness, joy and peace, is inseparably connected with His indwelling and sanctifying power. In the previous chapter, we endeavored to unfold this. We have seen Him as the Author and Finisher of holiness in the soul- beginning the great work, carrying it forward, strengthening it when feeble, reviving it when drooping, and thus preparing the believer for the "inheritance of the saints in light." Closely connected with this part of His work is His sealing operation. As various opinions have been held regarding the nature of the Spirit's sealing, as it is a subject of a highly spiritual and practical tendency and (to an inquirer after a more perfect knowledge of the truth) of much importance, we enter upon the discussion of the subject the more readily, and, we trust, with earnest prayer for Divine assistance in unfolding it.

What do we understand by the sealing of the Spirit? What does the Word of God teach upon the subject? There are various passages in which the same figure is employed, but which do not convey the idea we ascribe to His present operation. For example, there is a sealing spoken of in 2 Tim. 2. 19: "Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows those who are his." We think it clear that the seal here alluded to has respect to the Father's sealing His people in election with the seal of His foreknowledge, which, of course, is an operation anterior to the existence of faith in the soul, and is within Himself, and not upon them. It is, so to speak, His secret designation of His people, known especially and only to Himself.
There is also a sealing spoken of in the Song of Solomon 8. 6: "Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm: for love is strong as death." It is equally clear that this cannot refer to the work of the Spirit, but must refer to Christ's strong and unchangeable love to His people. They are set as a seal upon His heart, the dwelling-place of love; and upon His arm, the instrument of power; unchangeable love and omnipotent power are pledged to their eternal security. As a seal set upon His heart and worn upon His arm, they are precious to, and valued by, Him.
Nor are we to interpret the sealing under consideration to mean the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; for it is a remarkable fact, already alluded to- and it speaks solemnly to those who are forming a higher estimate of gifts than of graces- that the Corinthian church, the most distinguished for its possession of the gifts of the Spirit, was at the same time most remarkable for its lack of the sanctifying graces of the Spirit. It was the most gifted, but at the same time the least holy community gathered and planted by the apostles.
The question still recurs- what are we to understand by the sealing of the Spirit? It is that act of the Holy Spirit by which the work of grace is deepened in the heart of the believer, so that he has an increasing and abiding conviction of his acceptance in Jesus, and his adoption into the family of God. It is a clearer and more undoubted manifestation of Christ to the soul, a larger degree of the sanctifying, witnessing and anointing influences of the Holy Spirit, evidencing itself in a growing holiness of character. Let us not be misunderstood. We are not speaking of some peculiar and sudden impulse on the mind, of some immediate suggestion or revelation to the soul, some vision of the night, or voice in the air. No! we speak of a growth in a knowledge of Christ, in sanctification of heart, in holiness of life, in an increasing and abiding moral certainty of the believer's "calling and election." "In whom also after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." The Holy Spirit is both the seal and the sealer; even as Jesus was both the sacrifice and the priest. He deepens the work of grace in the heart; He witnesses to the believer that he is born of God; He seals the soul to the day of redemption, and by His indwelling and anointing influences enables him to say, "I know whom I have believed- He has loved me and given Himself for me."

With this brief and simple definition of the nature of the sealing of the Spirit, we proceed to unfold the manner in which it is effected.
It is sometimes a sudden work of the Spirit. A soul may be so deeply sealed in conversion, may receive such a vivid impression of Divine grace, such an enlarged communication of the Divine Spirit, as it never afterwards loses. It is sealed "unto the day of redemption"; and that too, in the most simple way. In the hearing of a single sermon, the reading of a single chapter of God's Word, some promise brought with the power of the Holy Spirit and sealed upon the heart, in a moment the soul is brought into the full assurance of understanding and of faith. Take, for example, that one precious promise which the Spirit has sealed, never to be effaced, upon many a poor sinner's softened heart: "him that comes unto Me I will in no wise cast out." O what a sealing is this! God speaking to a poor, distressed, and disconsolate soul, assuring it of a cordial welcome and of a free pardon- that though no tongue can express its vileness and poverty, and no imagination conceive its deep sorrow, yet, coming to Jesus just as it is, it shall in no wise be cast out! Is not this an impression of the seal in the hands of the great Sealer, which is unto the day of redemption?
Sometimes it takes place as the Holy Spirit unfolds to the anxious soul the great truth that Christ is the Savior of a sinner. You have been long waiting for some offering, some gift, some price with which to come; long lingering on the margin of the fountain, waiting for some preparation to enter- in other words (for it amounts to this), waiting to feel less vile, less unworthy, in order that you may be more welcome. And now, the blessed Spirit opens to your mind that great and precious truth, that "Christ died for the ungodly," that He is the mighty and the willing Savior of a sinner; that no gift, no price, is asked; no previous fitness or self-preparation is necessary; that the more vile and unworthy, the more fit and the more welcome. O what an impression of the seal is this upon a wounded heart! When the glorious announcement is brought home to the soul- a full and free pardon for a poor sinner- the blood of Jesus cleansing from sin- is it any marvel that no change of time or circumstance can obliterate the impression or the remembrance of that moment from the mind? It was a sealing of pardon upon a heart which God had made soft, and which was the sure prelude to, indeed the beginning of, eternal glory.
But in most cases the sealing of the Spirit is a more gradual work. It is a work of time. The soul is placed in the school of deep experience and is led on step by step, stage by stage. The knowledge of self and of Christ increases, deeper views of indwelling sin are discovered, the heart's treachery is more acutely felt, the devices of Satan are better known, the mystery of God's gracious and providential dealings with His children is more clearly unfolded and better understood. And all this, it may be, is arrived at through a process- the deep, painful, yet sanctified discipline of the covenant- so that years may elapse before a child of the covenant attains to the full sealing of the Spirit. And yet, blessed be God, the work of regeneration is so perfect in itself, the blotting out of all a believer's sins so complete, and his justification so entire, that a saint of God dying in the first stages of the Divine life is safe forever. May we not refer to the thief upon the cross as an example illustrating and confirming this?
There are, then, degrees, or progressive stages of the Spirit's sealing. The first impression is made in regeneration. This is often faint, and in numerous cases, scarcely perceptible. Especially is it so in ordinary conversions. We mean by ordinary conversions those that occur under the common influences of the Spirit, in the use of the stated means of grace. Where the Holy Spirit descends in an especial and extraordinary manner (as the history of the American churches and, more recently, of many in our own land testifies that He sometimes does), conversions assume a more marked character and type. They are clearer, more perceptible, and undoubted. The work is of a deeper kind, views of sin are more pungent, the law-work of the soul more thorough, and, when the soul emerges from its gloomy night of conviction into the glorious light of pardon, it seems more like the "perfect day" of God's forgiveness. There is, in a work of grace transpiring during an especial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a deeper impression of the seal of the Spirit upon the heart, a clearer and more manifest sense of pardon and acceptance, than in the normal conversions of ordinary times. Nor is this difficult to account for. There is a greater and richer manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This is the grand secret. He gives more of Himself. He imparts more of His anointing influences; and the larger the degree we possess ok the quickening, sanctifying influences of the Spirit, the more in proportion do we know of His sealing operation. How this thought should awaken the desire, and impart power and fervency to the prayer, for a more enlarged communication of the Holy Spirit! Ceaseless should be the cry, "Lord, fill me with the Spirit!" But, as we have remarked, in conversions occurring under the more ordinary instrumentalities, the first impression of the seal of the Spirit is often but little beneath the surface. The work of grace is feeble. It may be compared to the faint outline of a picture: the design is there, the idea of the artist is seen, but the fulness of its parts, the coloring, the light and shade, are lacking to the perfection of the whole. It may be compared, also, to the first streak of morning light, before it deepens into "perfect day," or to the gentle rising of the rivulet, before it widens into the "broad river." Its beginnings are feeble, and yet real. The light is not less light because it is but a faint and struggling ray, nor is the rivulet less a rivulet because its issues are feeble and almost unseen. Grace loses nothing of the greatness and glory of its character in the smallness of its degree. An infant loses nothing of its identity with its species because it is not a "perfect man," nor does the father disown it as his child because it is the smallest and the feeblest of his family. O no! feeble grace is still Divine grace; and he who touches but the hem, is as much saved, and shall be as surely glorified, as he whose faith removes the mountain and casts it into the sea. The first impression is as much the work of the Spirit as any deeper one in after years. Let not the weak believer overlook or undervalue what God has done for him. That feeble light, that little strength, that faint and flickering ray, that touching but the hem- oh, it is the blessed product of God the eternal Spirit. Nature never taught you your sinfulness, your worthlessness, your vileness, your nothingness; "flesh and blood " never revealed to you the absolute necessity of a better righteousness than your own, nor led you to Jesus, as your "wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption." Then "give glory to the Lord your God" for what He has done. Praise, O praise Him for the work He has wrought in you. Tell to others the wonders of His love, His grace and His power. Confess his name before angels and men. Be very diligent in seeking large and yet larger supplies of that "river that makes glad the city of God." "In whom also, after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise."
But a yet deeper impression of the seal is made, when the believer is led more fully into the realization of his sonship, when he attains to the blessed sense of the "adoption of children." Although it is most true that the moment a sinner believes in Jesus, he becomes actually an "heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ," and enters into the family as an adopted child, yet the clear and undoubted sense of this vast mercy may not be sealed upon his heart until later years. He may long have walked without the sweet sense of God's adopting love in his heart; the frame of his spirit and the language of his soul in prayer may have been more akin to that of the "son of the bond-woman" than the "son of the free-woman." He may have known but little of the "free spirit," the spirit of an adopted child, and may seldom have gone to God as a kind, loving, tender and faithful Father. But now the Divine Sealer- the eternal Spirit of God- enters afresh, and impresses deeply upon his soul the unutterably sweet and abiding sense of his adoption. O what an impression is then left upon his heart, when all his legal fears are calmed, when all his slavish moanings are hushed, when all his bondage spirit is gone, and when under the drawings of filial love, he approaches the throne of grace and cries, "My Father!" And his Father responds, "My child!" "You shall call me, My Father, and shall not turn away from me." Jer. 3. 19. "In whom also, after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise."
In the process of sanctified affliction, the soul often receives a fresh and a deep impress of the seal of the Spirit. The furnace works wonders for a believer. O that he should ever wish to be exempt from it! Indeed, it may be remarked that real grace is inseparable from a state of trial. Where there is real faith, the Lord will try it. Where there is the true ore, the Refiner will prove it in the furnace. There is not a grace of the Spirit but, more or less, and at one time or another, Jesus tries that grace. "The Lord tries the righteous." He tries their principles, tries their graces, tries their obedience, proves His own work, brings out the new man in all its muscular fulness, develops the nature and character of His work and shows it to be His mighty product, and in all respects worthy of Himself. Much, then, as we would wish at times, exemption from a state of trial, anxious for the more smooth and easy path, yet, if we are really born of God, and His grace has truly made us one of His family, like them we have been "chosen in the furnace of affliction," and with them in the furnace we are brought into the possession of some of the most costly blessings of our lives.
Real grace, then, is tried grace. And note how, in the process of its trial, the blessed and eternal Spirit more deeply seals the believer. The hour of affliction is the hour of softening. Job bore this testimony: "He makes my heart soft." The hardness of the heart yields, the callousness of the spirit gives way, the affections become tender, conscience is more susceptible. It is the season of holy abstraction, meditation and prayer, of withdrawal from the world and from creature delights, while the soul is more closely shut in with God. The heart, now emptied, humbled and softened, is prepared for the seal of the Spirit; and what an impression is then made, what discoveries of God's love to the soul, what enlarged views of the personal glory of Christ, of the infinite perfection of His work, of the preciousness of the atoning sacrifice, of the hatefulness of sin, and of the beauty of holiness! His own personal interest in this great work of Christ is made more clear and certain to his soul. The Spirit bears fresh witness to his acceptance, and seals him anew with the adopting love of God. It was the psalmist's wisdom to acknowledge, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted." Let it not then be forgotten that an afflicting time is often a sealing time.
We would remark in this connection that the sealing of the Spirit does not always imply a rejoicing state. It is not necessarily accompanied by great spiritual joy. While we cannot forget that it is the believer's privilege to be "always rejoicing," "rejoicing evermore," and that a state of spiritual joy is as much a holy as it is a happy state, yet we cannot suppose that the "sealed " are always in possession of this "fruit of the Spirit." It is perhaps more a state of rest in God, a state of holy quietude and peace, which, in many cases, seldom rises to that of joy. There is an unclouded hope, a firm and unshaken resting on the finished work, a humble reliance on the stability of the covenant and on the immutability of God's love, which is never moved even when there is no sensible enjoyment and when comfort seems to die. It is a state corresponding to that which David thus expresses, "Although my house do not be so with God; yet he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow." Perhaps it is more akin to job's frame of soul when he exclaimed, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." A sense of comfort may be withdrawn, joy may be absent, the Sun of righteousness casting but a faint twilight over the soul, and yet, such is the power of faith grasping the cross of Christ, such is the firm resting of the soul upon the stability of the covenant, upon what God is, and upon what He has promised, that, without one note of joy, or one ray of light, the believer can yet say, "I know whom I have believed." And why, we ask, this strong and vigorous reliance? Why this buoying up of the soul in the absence of sensible comfort? We reply that it is because that soul has attained unto the sealing of the Spirit. This forms the great secret.
This conducts us to another reflection. The believer will never lose the sealing of the Spirit. The impression of God's pardoning love made upon the heart by the Holy Spirit is never entirely effaced. We do not say that there are no moments when the "consolations of God are small" with the believer, when he shall have no severe "fightings within and fears without," when the experience of the church shall be his, "I opened to my beloved: but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spoke: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer"- all this he may experience, and still not lose the sealing of the Spirit. In the midst of it all, even in the lowest depth, there shall be the abiding conviction of an interest in God's love which sustains, animates and comforts. It will be seen, by reverting to the state of the church alluded to above, that although there was the consciousness of her Beloved's withdrawal- though He was gone, and she sought Him but could not find Him, called Him but He gave her no answer- yet not for one moment did she lose the impression that He still was her Beloved. Here was the glorious triumph of faith in the hour when all was loneliness, desolation and joylessness. Here was the sealing of the Spirit which never left her, even
though her "Beloved had gone." And while not a beam of His beauty glanced upon her soul, nor a note of His voice fell upon her ear, she still could look up and exclaim, "I am
my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine." O mighty power of faith that can anchor the soul firm on Jesus in the darkest
and wildest tempest! And this, reader, is indeed the sealing
of the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit so deeply impressing on the heart a sense of pardoning love, so firmly establishing it in the faithfulness of God, in the finished work of Christ, in the stability of the covenant, and in the soul's adoption into the one family, that in the gloomiest hour, and under the most trying dispensation, there is that which keeps the soul steady to its center- Jehovah Jesus. And even should his sun go down behind a mist, he has the sustaining assurance that it will rise upon another world, in peerless, cloudless splendor. O yes! the sealing of the Spirit is a permanent, abiding impression. It is "unto the day of redemption"- the day when there shall be no more conflict, no more darkness, no more sin. It is not to the day of pardon, for he cannot be more entirely pardoned than he is; it is not to the day of acceptance, for he cannot be more fully accepted than now. No, it is to the glorious "day of redemption," the day of complete emancipation longed for by the sons of God, and even sighed for by the "whole creation": "and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." O shout for joy, you who are sealed of the Lord! Tried and afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, you who find the world to be but a wilderness, a valley of tears- the path rougher and rougher, narrower and narrower- lift up your heads with joy; the hour of "your redemption draws near," and the "days of your mourning shall be ended." And this is your security: a faithful covenant-keeping God, "who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
In closing this chapter, we would remark in the first place that it is the duty and the privilege of every believer diligently and prayerfully to seek the sealing of the Spirit. He rests short of his great privilege if he slights or undervalues this blessing. Do not be satisfied with the impression which you received in conversion. In other words, do not rest content with a past experience. Many are satisfied with a mere hope that they once passed from death unto life, and with this feeble and (in many cases) doubtful evidence, they are content to pass all their days and to go down to the grave. Ah, reader, if you are really converted, and your soul is in a healthy, growing, spiritual state, you will want more than this. And especially, too, if you are led into deeper self-knowledge, into a more intimate acquaintance with the roughness of the rough way and the straitness of the strait path, you will want a present Christ to lean upon and to live upon. Past experience will not do for you, but only as it confirms your soul in the faithfulness of God. "Forgetting those things that are behind," you will seek a present pardon, a present sense of acceptance; and the daily question, as you near your eternal home, will be, "How do I now stand with God? Is Jesus precious to my soul now? Is He my daily food? What do I experience of daily visits from and to Him? Do I more and more see my own vileness, emptiness and poverty, and His righteousness, grace and fulness? And should the summons come now, am I ready to depart and to be with Christ?" As you value a happy and a holy walk, as you would be jealous for the honor and glory of the Lord, as you wish to be the "salt of the earth," the "light of the world," and to be a savor of Christ in every place- O seek the sealing of the Spirit. Do not rest short of it, reach after it, press towards it- it is your duty. O that the duty may be your privilege: then shall you exclaim with an unfaltering tongue, "Abba, Father;" "my Lord and my God!"
Again, I remark, this blessing is only found in the way of God's appointment. He has ordained that prayer should be the great channel through which His covenant blessings should flow into the soul. If it is your anxious desire to attain to this blessing, I would quote for your direction a remark of that eminent servant of Christ, Dr. Thomas Goodwin: "Be sure of this," says he, "that, before God ever communicates any good to a soul, He puts that soul in a state of holiness to
receive it." To confirm and illustrate this thought, let me ask- what was the state of the apostles when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in His witnessing, anointing and sealing influences? It is described in these words- "these all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Acts 1. 14. What is the important lesson thus taught us? That God would have His child in a waiting, seeking, supplicating posture; and in this holy state prepared to receive the high attainment we plead for. Do you earnestly desire the sealing of the Spirit? "Ask, and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find." As surely as you petition for it- sincerely, humbly, believingly, seeking it in the name of Jesus- through the Cross of Christ, you shall have it. The Lord the Spirit is ready to impart it to you. It is the fresh gift of His love, without respect to any worth or worthiness on the part of the soul that receives it. It is a gift of grace for the poor, the dependent, the unworthy, those who are little in their own eyes, and little in the eyes of others; and if this is your conscious state, then is it for you. And O, the blessed results! Who can describe them? Sealed! How will all your legal fears and unbelieving doubts in a moment vanish away; your soul, so long fettered and imprisoned, shall now go free; the cross you have so long looked at, not daring to bow your shoulder to it, shall now be taken up with a cheerful mind; Christ's yoke, so long resisted, will now be easy, and His burden, so long refused, will now be light; and, with a heart enlarged with the love of Jesus, you will "run the way of His commandments," esteeming His precepts better than life. Prayer, importunate prayer, will bring the blessing we plead for into your soul. Seek it with your whole heart, seek it diligently, perseveringly. Seek it by day and by night, seek it in all the means of grace, in every way of God's appointment; especially seek it in the name of Jesus, as the purchased blessing of His atoning blood. "Ask what you will in My name," are His own encouraging words, "and it shall be granted unto you." Then ask for the sealing of the Spirit. Ask nothing less; more you do not need. Feel that you have not "attained" until you possess it, that you have not "apprehended that for which also you are apprehended of Christ Jesus" until you have "received the Holy Spirit" as a Sealer.
It is, and has long been, the solemn conviction of the writer, that much of the spiritual darkness- the lack of spiritual consolation, the stunted piety, the harassing doubts and fears, the imperfect apprehensions of Jesus, the feeble faith, the sickly drooping state of the soul, the uncertainty of their full acceptance in Christ which mark so many of the professing people of God in this our day- may be traced to the absence of a deep sealing of the Spirit. Resting satisfied with the faint impression in conversion, with the dim views they then had of Christ, and the feeble apprehension of their acceptance and adoption, is it any marvel that all their life-time they should be in bondage, through slavish doubts and fears? Fears that they should never attain to the "stature of perfect men in Christ Jesus," that they should never rise to the humble boldness, the unwavering confidence, the blest assurance and the holy dignity of the sons of God? O no! They rest short of this blessing. They stay at the door of the ark; they remain upon the border of the goodly land, and not entering fully in, they experience the effects which we have described. But the richest ore lies buried the deepest; the sweetest fruit is on the higher branches, the strongest light is near the sun. In other words, if we desire more knowledge of Christ, of our full pardon and complete acceptance, if we desire the earnest of our inheritance, and even now would taste the "grapes of Eshcol," we must be "reaching forth unto those things that are before." We must "press toward the mark," and not rest until our rest is found in a clear, unclouded, immovable and holy assurance of our being in Christ; and this is only experienced in the sealing of the Spirit. Again, we say, with all the earnestness which a growing sense of the vastness of the blessing inspires, seek to be sealed of the Spirit. Seek the "earnest of the Spirit "; seek to be "filled with the Spirit"; seek the "anointing of the Spirit"; seek the "Spirit of adoption." Do not say that it is too immense a blessing, too high an attainment for one so small, so feeble, so obscure, so unworthy as you. O do not thus malign the grace of God. All His blessings are the bestowments of grace; and grace means free favor to the most unworthy. Anyone who reads this page may, under the blessed sealing of the Spirit, look up through Jesus to God as a Father. Low views of self, deep consciousness of vileness, poverty of state or of spirit, are no objections with God, but rather strong arguments that prevail with Him to give you the blessing. Only ask, only believe, only persevere, and you shall obtain it. It is in the heart of the Spirit to seal "unto the day of redemption  all who believe in Jesus. May it be in the heart of the reader to desire the blessing, seeing that it is so freely and richly offered.
Reader, whose superscription do you bear? It may be your reply is- "I want Christ; I secretly long for Him; I desire Him above all beside." Is it so? Then take courage, and go to Jesus. Go to Him simply, go to Him unhesitatingly, go to Him immediately. That desire is from Him, let it lead you to Him. That secret longing is the work of the Spirit; and having begotten it there, do you think that He will not honor it and welcome you when you come? Try Him. Bring Him to the touch-stone of His own truth. "Prove me now herewith" is His gracious invitation. Take His promise, "Him that comes unto Me I will in no wise cast out"; plead it in wrestlings at the mercy-seat, and see if He will not "open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Go to Him just as you are. If you cannot take to Him a pure heart, take an impure one; if you cannot take to Him a broken heart, take a whole one; if you cannot take to Him a soft heart, take a hard one; only go to Him. The very act of going will be blessed to you. And oh, such is the strength of His love, such is His yearning compassion and melting tenderness of heart for poor sinners, such is His ability and willingness to save, that He will no more cast you out than deny His own existence. "Precious Lord Jesus! set us as a seal upon Your heart, and by Your Spirit, seal Yourself upon our hearts; and give us, unworthy though we are, a place among "those who are sealed."