Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Spirit came as fire

“Nevertheless 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.”-John 16:7.

Come, Holy Spirit, come, we can do nothing without thee; but if we have thy wind, we spread our sail, and speed onward towards glory.

Then the Spirit came as fire. A fire-shower accompanied the rushing mighty wind. What a blessing is this to the Church! The Church wants fire to quicken her ministers, to give zeal and energy to all her members. Having this fire, she burns her way to success. The world meets her with the fire of faggots, but she confronts the world with the fire of kindling spirits and of souls aglow with the love of Jesus Christ. She trusts not to the wit, and eloquence, and wisdom of her preachers, but to the divine fire which clothes them with energy. She knows that men are irresistible when they are filled with hallowed enthusiasm sent from God. She trusts therefore in this, and her cry is, “Come, holy fire, abide upon our pastors and teachers! Rest upon every one of us!” This fire is a blessing Christ did not bring us in person, but which he now gives through his Spirit to the Church.

From a sermon entitled "The Superlative Excellence of the Holy Spirit," delivered June 12, 1864. Flickr photo by Paul Sapiano; some rights reserved.

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