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She lay quiet and patient her sick daughter would recover. I day long, while her mother went She remembered that lately the earn money out-of-doors. It was child had spoken much more cheerpring, and early in the morning, fully than before, that in the last ist as the mother was about to go few days she had risen up in bed of ut to work, the sun shone mildly her own accord and had sat upright, nd pleasantly through the little looking with delighted eyes at the indow, and threw its rays across little garden in which only one plant he floor, and the sick girl fixed her grew. A week afterward the invalid yes on the lowest pane in the for the first time sat up for a whole pindow.
hour. Quite happy, she sat there "What may that green thing be in the warm sunshine ; the window hat looks in at the window? It is was opened, and outside before it moving in the wind.”
stood a pink pea-blossom fully And the mother stepped to the blown. The sick girl bent down window and half opened it.
and gently kissed the delicate leaves. said she, “on my word, that is a This
day was like a festival. little pea which has taken root here, “The heavenly Father himself and is putting out its little leaves. has planted that pea, and caused it How can it have got here into the to prosper, to be a joy to you, and crack? That is a little garden, with to me, also, my blessed child !” said which you can amuse yourself.” the glad mother; and she smiled at
And the sick girl's bed was moved the flower as if it had been a good nearer to the window, so that she angel. could always see the growing pea;
But about the other peas? Why, and the mother went forth to her the one who flew out into the wide work.
world and said, “ Catch me if you “Mother, I think I shall get well,” can, ;" fell into the gutter on the said the sick child in the evening. roof, and found a home in a pigeon's "The sun shone in upon me to-day crop; the two lazy ones got just as
The little pea far, for they too were eaten up by 18 prospering famously, and I shall the pigeons, and thus, at any rate, prosper too, and get up, and go out they were of some real use; but the into the warm sunshine."
fourth, who wanted to go up into “God grant it !” said the mo- the sun, fell into the sink, and lay ther; but she did not think it would there in the water for weeks and be so; but she took care to prop weeks, and swelled prodigiously. with a stick the green plant which “How beautifully fat I'm growhad given her daughter the pleasant ing!" said the pea. “I shall burst thoughts of life, so that it might not at last; and I don't think any pea be broken by the wind; she tied a can do more than that. I'm the piece of string to the window-sill most remarkable of all the five that and to the upper part of the frame,
were in the shell." so that the pea might have some
And the sink said he was right. thing around which to twine, when But the young girl at the garret it shot up; and it did shoot up i
in. window stood there with gleaming deed—one could see how it grew
eyes, with the roseate hue of health every day.
on her cheeks, and folded her thin * Really, here is a flower coming!” hands over the pea-blossom and said the woman one day; and now
thanked Heaven for it. she began to cherish the hope that
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
JOAN XIy. 16, 17. How and whence do believers get the Holy Spirit ? “I will pray the Father," says Jesus," and He will give you another Comforter."' We receive the Holy Spirit as a gift from the Father, obtained for us by Jesus, as the fruit of His intercession. We are warranted, therefore, to go
direct to Jesus, or to the Father in the name of Jesus, and ask for the Holy Spirit. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” The intercession of Jesus for us does not supersede the necessity of our asking in our own behalf
. It is rather our warrant and encouragement to draw near the throne of grace with boldness. The Spirit intercedes within us, the Son intercedes for us; they both intercede according to the will of God In the confidence of faith we expect and receive the answer. We may, we should, unceasingly pray for the Holy Spirit. We have both the Saviour's promise and the Saviour's example as our encouragement. Let no specious argument employed by modern heresy defraud us of this precious boon. If we have not the Spirit, it is because we hare not asked for Him, or because we have asked amiss. Lord, teach us how to pray aright.
Jesus and the Father are one: hence in several passages of Scripture, Jesus Himself is said to send the Comforter. We owe the precious boon of the Holy Spirit to the love and kindness of God our Saviour. “ Nevertheless," says Christ to His disciples, “I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."
I. WHO AND WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT ?
He is truly and properly A PERSON. There are some who erro. neously teach, and others who seem to imagine, that the Spirit is nothing more than an emanation, influence, or mere quality. Such
, however, subvert the plainest declarations of the word of God. It is most clearly, dogmatically, and unambiguously “noted in the Scrip; ture of Truth, that the Holy Spirit is one Person
in the essence of the Godhead.' We can readily understand how that GOD THE FATHER is a Person, because His work's declare Him. We see all around us, everywhere, the operations of His hands. All creation proclaims an ever-living, ever-ruling, personal God. We can believe that Jesus, GOD THE Son, is a Person, because He became incarnate, and taber nacled here below in human flesh. We know He lived, and died, and rose again, and now ever liveth at the right hand of His Father, God over all, blessed for evermore.
It is not, however, so easy to understand the PERSONALITY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. because He works unseen and mysteriously. When we endeavour to
This is difficult
omprehend His operations we get beyond the sphere of sense and eason, and enter the region of faith. If we come to the Word of tod with childlike simplicity and
trustfulness, seeking information on his important subject, every difficulty will soon disappear, and we shall be able to receive, with undoubted confidence, the revealed docrine as to the distinct and proper personality of the Holy Spirit. In Scripture, personal acts are attributed to the Spirit. He is said to be rrieved, vexed, resisted. A mere quality, emanation, or influence, can either be grieved nor vexed. Believers are baptized into the Name of he Spirit, equally with that of the Father and the Son; to deny therefore the personality of the Spirit, is to render null and void the believer's baptism. It is absurd to imagine that the name of a mere influence should be associated with the Name of the Father and of the Son.
The Holy Spirit is a DIVINE PERSON. He is truly and properly God, co-equal with the Father and with the Son. In sacred Scripture the attributes of God are said to be possessed by the Holy Ghost. He is declared to be Omnipresent. “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit ? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?” He is Omniscient. *God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." He is Eternal. “ Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God." He is Omnipotent. “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God.” " The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." He took part in Creation. “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” He is the Inspirer of the Scriptures, which are the Word of God. Ananias and Sapphira his wife lied unto “ the Holy Ghost," and Peter declares they had not lied unto men, but unto God.” Believers are born of the Spirit; He alone is the author of their regeneration, and they are born of God. Is it not clear the Holy Spirit is God?
The Spirit is “ANOTHER COMFORTER.” “And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter.”' The children of God have two Comforters. The ascended Jesus in the presence of God
for them, and the Holy Spirit who constantly abides within them. The remembrance of this will comfort us in all our distresses, and under The Holy Spirit is "THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH.” As such He stands in direct antagonism to the evil spirit, the father of lies, the author of all delusions, who, in the days of Ahab, prevailed on four hundred prophets at once to agree in prophesying lies, and who now seduces and works in all who depart from the truth of the living God. “The Spirit of truth” inspired the writers of the Word of truth, who spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. He guides all believers to Jesus, who is “THE TRUTH." He directs ministers into the truth, and enables them to declare the whole counsel of God. He preserves the truth against all the assaults of error. Let us ever value the Spirit's Book," the Scripture of Truth," which has God for
all our temptations.
its author, salvation for its object, and truth, free from any taint of error, for its matter. As we seek to know the truth, so the truth shall make us free. As we possess“ the Spirit of Truth," so shall we enjoy gospel liberty.
II. WHAT THE SPIRIT WILL DO FOR US, AND IN US.
He will comfort us. We cannot separate the personal Name and the work of the Holy Spirit. He is called the Comforter, because His work is to comfort the children of God. This implies they will need comfort, and assures them they shall have all the comfort they need. They have trials, losses, bereavements, but let them be of good cheer, they have the abiding Comforter to aid them.
The Comforter will abide with believers for ever. His work does not consist in a few transient impressions ; it is an everlasting work. He is the author of the work of grace in the soul, and also its sustainer.
“The Spirit of Truth" will guide into all truth all who yield themselves to His instruction. He will do for them what the world cannot do; for “the world cannot receive Him, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." There is nothing a carnal man stumbles at more quickly than at the work of the Holy Spirit. How this puzzled the "master in Israel," Nicodemus! This explains the state of all who are unconverted. They know not their need of the Holy Spirit, of a new heart, of regeneration, of the Spirit's indwelling. Here is the solemn, the vital, distinction between a converted and an unconverted man; the one has, the other has not, the Holy Spirit.
My reader, what personal experience have you of the indwelling of the Spirit ? Believers know Him: for He dwelleth with them: and not only so, but He shall be in them. They shall have a larger and ever increasing measure of His indwelling. He shall be in them to give them the light of truth in all times of difficulty; to comfort them in all seasons of sorrow. Let us ever be on our watch-tower, lest we quench, grieve, vex, or resist the Holy Spirit of God. We need His presence with us constantly, in our closets, in the sanctuary, when we are searching the Scriptures, when we would see Jesus in the communion of the memorial supper. As without Jesus, so without the Spirit, we can do nothing. Evermore then let us pray the Father, that He may give unto us the Comforter, that He may
abide with us and in us for ever, to the praise of the glory of His grace.
O HOLY SPIRIT ! now descend on me,
As showers of rain upon a thirsty ground;
May all Thy precious fruits in me be found.
The length, breadth, depth, and height of Jesus' love,
Raising my thoughts and heart to things above.
Oh gently soothe my sorrows, calm my grief ;
In every hour of trial, sure relief.
Be Thou my GUIDE into all truth Divine ;
Give me increasing knowledge of my God;
And make my heart the place of His abode !
To pray according to God's holy will;
And my whole soul with heavenly longings fill.
And WITNESS with me I am God's own child,
By Jesus' merits fully reconciled.
And purify and cleanse my every thought ;
And be my will to sweet submission brought.
Each drooping grace, so prone to fade and die ;
And loosen more and more each earthly tie.
Do for me more than I can ask or think;
Christina Forsyth, 1861. Landport, Portsmouth.
THE LENT HALF-CROWN.
FOR THE YOUNG. "What are you crying for?” said “ Come with me, and I'll get you Arthur to a little ragged boy that he something." Arthur turned back, overtook on his way home from the and the boy followed him. He had village school. There was something a few halfpence in his pocket, just in the kind of crying that led Arthur enough, as it proved, to buy a loaf to think there was some serious of bread. He gave it to the boy, Cause for it.
and told him he would go home with "I am hungry," said the boy, him. The boy took the loaf, and "and can't get nothing to eat." though he did not break it, he looked "He don't go to our school, or he so wishfully, that Arthur took his would have said, Get anything to
knife and cut off a piece, and gave eat." But Arthur did not stop to it to him to eat; he ate it in a mancriticise his language.
ner that showed that he had not "Why don't your mother give you deceived Arthur, when he told him i something to eat ?”
he was hungry. The tears came "She hasn't anything for herself
, into Arthur's eyes as he saw him and she is sick, and can't get up.” swallow the dry bread with such “Where is your father ?”.
eagerness. He remembered with “I haven't any; he was drowned some self-reproach, that he had
sometimes complained when he had "Where do you live?”
nothing but bread and butter for tea. "Down there," pointing to a miser- On their way to the boy's home, able but in a distant lane.
Arthur learned that the family had