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do you know but that your present darkness of soul comes of the fact, that you have been grieving the Holy Ghost. Is it not for a grief that the Holy Ghost has been sent by Jesus as a substitute for Himself, and that some of you are living without even knowing that He is in you—without even acknowledging His presence and power? What a loss do such suffer! For it is “where the Spirit of the Lord is," (not where He is in fact, for He dwells in every believer, but where He is in felt presence,) “there is liberty"-liberty of soul, liberty of entrance before God, liberty of utterance, liberty in the affections, liberty in prayer, liberty in labour_“ where the Spirit of the Lord is”-dwells, and works unhindered -" there is liberty.”
But there is one thing more, said Jesus. “He will abide with you FOR EVER”—not subject to an end or departure. The present age is one of separation from the Lord, and is to have an end, at which end, when the Lord
the saints are to be taken away, to be for ever with Him. Meanwhile, the Spirit is with them here, and will remain here, until, the desert past, they are brought, by Him, into the presence of their descended Lord.
But some one may say, Will there be no Holy Ghost in the millennium ?' Was there no Holy Ghost in the olden time; that is, before this time of indwelling ? Surely yes. He was with Noah, Enoch, Moses, and David. “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
The Holy Ghost will be with the Jews and the converted nations in the millennium as He was in the old dispensation, only, doubtless, much more constantly and mightily, also universally. There is no difficulty to the mind that understands dispensational truth. The Holy Ghost now dwells in the Church here on earth. He abides to effect good and to hinder
evil. Hence this evil age cannot head up into its greatest manifestation whilst He is here! The man of sin cannot head up in his iniquity while the Holy Ghost is here, who, in the Church, acts as salt and as light—as salt, purifying and keeping alive, and as light, revealing and making manifest. While the Church is on earth the Holy Ghost abides in it, but when the Church, as in 1 Thess. iv., is caught up, then “ He that now letteth will be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked be revealed," and destroyed. But after his revelation and destruction, the world, as in Zech. xiv., will have its millennium; meanwhile, its condition will be one of deepening evil, as described in Matt. xxiv. But I need not enlarge. I have given you what I have been feeling deeply, that many believers are living in practical ignorance of this truth, so that in this sense of it they might say, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost;" and I feel it is because the Spirit is so little known by us that there is so little power
in us, and that so many are going on from day to day in anxiety, perplexity, and doubt, waiting-yes, waiting—for the Spirit to come down !
And now, mark, the Holy Ghost came not to the world. He came to the Disciples, to the Church; and when He came, they went forth preaching the Gospel to the world in the power of the Spirit; and every soul that believed was saved. The disciples never told the people they must wait for the Spirit; albeit, on believing, He did come into their dark, dead souls. Their cry was, “ BELIEVE.” Not that I mean to say a soul is ever converted until quickened by the Spirit. No; the first act in the salvation of a sinner is of and by God. But as to our duty to the sinner himself, this is the Gospel
“ He that believeth, hath everlasting life”—which duty we have seen in these days to be so wondrously blessed. Wherever the grand truth is preached—salvation on believing—there souls are saved.
This was the Gospel Peter preached at Pentecost when three thousand souls were converted. He said“ This Jesus, whom ye have taken and, by wicked hands, have crucified and slain, hath God raised up to give remission of sins; and [believing] they were pricked to the heart, and as many as heard the word believed, and there were added to the Church about three thousand souls."
If the anxious sinner wants to know what is there for him to do, we tell him there are three things for him to do. First, let him own that his sins were laid on Jesus ; second, let him own that they were atoned for and expiated on the cross; and, thirdly, let him own (God so declaring it) that they were completely put away. There is no peace, no rest, no assurance, until the sinner believes that ; and he may believe it all
I can never get peace by looking in here. Oh, the nest of evil, life more and more discloses to be there; but I look at the cross, and there sceing sin, not merely borne but put away, I have peace. If a soul feels a longing and yearning for the Spirit, and prays for the Spirit, that soul is not a dead soul, but a divinely quickened soul; and God will give the desire of the heart; but the first duty of an enemy whose life has been forfeited, and to whom salvation is freely offered, is not so much to weep, or promise, or ask even, but to receive.
And now, beloved, how practical are all these truths. If the Holy Ghost be another Comforter, is He so to you? If a Sanctifier, is He such to you? His work, on entering His temple, is to subdue it—that is, to keep under the evils which are found in us. Hence, if we walk in the Spirit, we shall mortify the deeds of the body: in proportion as this is done, is our growth in a personal holiness, a practical sanctification, which however, because of the flesh in us, is never complete. Our only completeness is in Christ, who of God is made
unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. If you are indwelt by the Holy Ghost, are you living in the Spirit? walking in the Spirit ? and waiting on the Spirit ? Just imagine a Christian opening the Bible, without waiting on the Spirit to guide him in reading it! You never think of asking the Spirit to guide you in reading the Times. You smile at that; but many a person opens his Bible just as he would his newspaper, without ever seeking blessing or direction : and yet," what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him ? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” If I speak to you of myself, I speak of what I know; but if I speak to you of God and of Jesus, I must wait on the Spirit in the Word. How intensely blessed some of you found this to be at the Lord's table this morning! May the Spirit of God put us all more practically into the happy experience of what it is to be “ filled with the Spirit.”
And now once more cast your eyes on Rom. viii. 14, where it is said, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Are you being led ? Are you at all led from the world to God—from self to Christ? Then it is the Spirit in you, and you are
, Also on verse 26—“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities : for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Do you thus groan? Do you groan after God and against sin? Then it is the Spirit in you. Those groans are not inborn or self-begotten. The groans, moreover, tell you of His presence in you, which presence to you, and in you, is a witness that you are a child of God. Has the Spirit shown you the love of God and of the Father ? Then are you saying, Abba, Father, and have the spirit of adoption. How clear is this ! how blessed I how consolatory!
Now, if anyone asks how the Spirit indwells in a soul, or how the Spirit comes into a soul, I have said that at Pentecost the Spirit entered into the bodythe Church-and has never since left it. Thus when a soul believes the Gospel — becomes a believer -- it belongs to the body, and so is indwelt by the Spirit; but, not only does the Spirit dwell in the body collectively, He dwells in each individual member of the body; so that the moment the soul looks at Jesus, and sees sin put away, and has rest and peace about sin, he may know that he has the Spirit. Such rest and peace are not from the corrupt heart, but are the fruits within him of a new guest — a heavenly guest — even the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost. And, beloved people, you either have the Spirit indwelling in your own soul or you have not. * If you
have not, nothing will do instead-neither your knowledge nor your religion-neither your ordinances or attainments—you are yet in your sins: for “ if not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." I know
many of you are unconverted. May the Holy Ghost give vitality to the truth ; it is He who comes to such as you through the truth, bearing with Him tidings of life and peace. The heart, believing the message, He enters, giving it liberty as well as life
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” My beloved, may God give you to understand this truth, that you may be saved. What honours the Spirit is believing in Jesus. Believe then in Jesus. Believe, and not question.
Abraham believed, “not considering”—that is, he did not doubt or question. Naaman did question, and as long as he questioned, salvation was waiting for him in the Jordan; but the moment he ceased questioning, he went to the water and washed, and his skin was as white as an infant's. When God tells me I am condemned to die, and that I have neither life nor anything
any man have