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from penury only by the timely her to his own house, and be to her legacy of a deceased uncle. as a son for the rest of her life.
Her friends sometimes remon- One brought a few pounds that she strated with her upon her course, had saved from her weekly earnings, telling her that she was giving too another a handsome sum that had much, that soon it would all be been laid aside for a mother who gone, and then what would she do? had just died. Crowds of loving They knew her pride and weakness faces thronged about her door, with upon one point, and were sure that blessings and thanks, to make it would make her very unhappy inquiries, and each had a story to to be the recipient of others' relate. charity.
“I," said one young man,“was But Miss Fanny had no fears for a poor boy whom she found quarthe future. She never borrowed relling in the streets. She sought trouble. She was sure that her me out, sent me to school and children would not let her suffer. church, and here I am, through She tried to do faithfully every her influence a member of Pleasant duty in the present, and was happy Street Church, and a partner in the and contented to leave the future in firm of Rice & Co.” And we, too, the hands of One who is infinitely are other neglected children that wiser than our thoughts. She did she redeemed,” echoed a chorus of not consider the money she had voices with him. “And I,” said spent as wasted. It was only another," was a lost and helpless buried seed, that was to spring up girl, sold to sin and shame. Everyand bear abundant fruit. It was a body despised me till she came. treasure laid up in store against a But she talked kindly, and led me dark and rainy day, the mythical away to a place of refuge for such contingency that is made the excuse poor wretches, and I came to thank for a great deal of avarice and her. Please give her this. It isn't dishonesty.
much, but it is all I have”-and
she dropped into Edith's hand a bit Months past. Miss Fanny was of money. “And I,” said another, taken violently ill, the result of was a clerk that she found at she exposure in inclement weather lock-up. I had taken money from while on her labours of love. She my employer's till, and he had cast was very ill, and in the midst of me off, but she found me, and it all there came news of a heavy believed that I could be saved. She failure that had swept away the watched over me, and talked like remnant of her fortune. She did my own dear mother, and I came not know it at first. Loving hearts to thank her for rescuing me from spared her the intelligence, but it a future of wickedness and misery." was known in all the wide circle of " And I," said another, her acquaintance.
unbeliever. In the pride of my Then it was that the fact was intellect I thought I could demonrealised that she had made friends strate the absurdity of Christianity. in her life journey who stood the I thought I could answer the argutest of true friendship; they re- ments from miracles and prophecy, membered her in adversity. Letters but her patient, self- denying life came pouring in from the country. was an argument I could never One that she had befriended many overcome. When I saw her spend. years before offered to take care ing all her time and money in of her for the next ten years, and efforts for her fellow-men, forgetful another disputed with him for the of ingratitude and careless of praise, privilege. A third wanted to take then I thought that there must be
something divine in that life, and I Miss Fanny died, but she lived could not be satisfied till I had long enough to know that good and found out the secret of her happi- noble deeds may be rewarded in
this life. Her friends became conFor more than thirty years of her vinced of the fact that there were life she had been scattering seeds of other paying investments besides good around her, abundantly but bank accounts and railroad stocks, almost unconsciously, and now the and that it might be wise to “ lay fruits of it were visible on all sides up for themselves treasures in in the harvest of immortal beauty heaven, where moth and rust do and glory that everywhere seemed not corrupt, and where thieves do springing up into new life. Inot break through and steal.”
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.
BY THE REV. S. B. BROWN, B.A. The attention of the Christian Church at this time is being specially directed to the importance of recognising the fulness of teaching there is in the Scriptures with respect to the Holy Spirit. Persons are testifying to the fact that they have been overlooking this one of the most important features of the Christian dispensation and of Christian life; if not altogether overlooking it, yet placing very little emphasis upon the truths connected with it, and so losing much comfort and great power. But at the same time they are confessing that this subject has begun to assume distinct and special importance in the things they can most surely believe; and that coming to know and believe what may be known on this subject, they have received marvellous life and power in their Christian life and service.
The work of the Holy Ghost as the operation of God in regenerating the soul and rendering effective the truth of God in the heart has been admitted generally by the Church ; and also that every believer is the temple of the Holy Ghost, whether the temple is constantly full or not of the Spirit of God. And there has been a general admission as to the office of the Holy Ghost in convincing the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, though it might not be quite clear to all whether this was directly in God's dealings with the soul apart from human instrumentality, or through men gifted with the Spirit speaking
But it is a matter of regret that there has not generally been an intense realisation of the fact that it is the glorious privilege of the believer to be so “FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT,” that out of him shall flow rivers of living water ; and to be so filled with the Spirit that the wonderful effects of the indwelling spoken of by Christ, in the closing chapters of the Gospel by John, shall be realised as a joy and power unspeakable.
Perhaps this has been so because there has been too frequently an absence of direct teaching on this point, and because Christians have
not taken the trouble to study with special interest this subject, and to gather up into a focus the truths relating to this important matter, which are scattered about the Scriptures.
The truths, however, appear to be very simple and plain, and to be easily gathered up into a few prominent points.
With respect to the Old Testament, there is no doubt at all that it points on to this dispensation as one in which the Holy Spirit was to be especially and extensively given. The direct prophecy of Joel, apart from the general tenor of other prophecies in the older prophets, is sufficient to establish this: “ And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams ; and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit ; and they shall prophesy."
The voice of John preparing the way of the Lord, and giving a special statement of the mission of Christ, distinctly asserts that " He shall baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire : a statement which points out a special peculiarity of Christianity. If it meant nothing more than that which all godly Jews had received before, it was superflous to preach it as such a wonderful coming characteristic of the Christ. The truth is that in a more marvellous way than heretofore the Holy Ghost was to be given, and to be given by the Lamb of God. The Jesus, who should save His people from their sins, was also to “baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire.'
And evidently the gift is more than the universally necessary operation of God's Spirit in regenerating the soul. The creative power of God is necessary in the creation of God's world, but that is not necessarily the same as filling the whole earth with His glory. And so the baptism of the Holy Spirit may be something far more glorious than the new creation of the soul. It may be the filling of the new created soul with the Divine power and glory.
It may be the saturation of the whole being with love, joy, tenderness, and marvellous power for service according as it is received in the fulness of faith. Nothing is more to be deprecated than making too little and too exclusive any Divine gift of God. The more meaning and glory we can put into any promise of this sort the better. The very baptism or immersion in God the Holy Ghost and in fire must be something infinitely more inclusive than we in our poor conceptions have ever yet made of it. The marvellous fulness of interpretation which we may give to this baptism is not dependent on the number or literal statement of isolated passages of Scripture.
Jesus Christ, besides plainly asserting that "except a man be born of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven,” gave several distinct and striking promises which pointed to a special gift of the Spirit, in addition to the regenerative operation of God, and in answer to prayer. No gift of the
sort is promised in the Old Testament in
answer to prayer. “If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit unto them that ask him." Similar to this promise, but even more striking, was the one which Christ gave when He promised a special fulness of the Spirit in response to thirst and faith on the part of“ any man;" a fulness which should be so great that it could only be compared to the overflow of " rivers of living water.” - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." This spake He of the Spirit which should be given unto them that believe on Him, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, Christ not yet being glorified.
Before finishing the instruction of His disciples previous to His departure, Jesus Christ made special reference to the promise of the Spirit, and directed their attention to the coming gift, how they were to wait for it, and what should be the special effect when it came. Everything seemed to be preparing the way for this gift; and the fulness of the blessing which should come in and upon every Christian disciple seemed incomplete without it. The culmination of the teaching of Jesus Christ was with reference to the Holy Spirit, His crowning gift, the indwelling of the Comforter, and the enduement of power by the baptism of the Spirit.
The salient points of this teaching were a personal spiritual paraclete, a counsellor, and comforter ; a guide into all truth ; one who should reveal Christ unto them; one who should recall truth to their remembrance; one who should not make a man fanatical, or lead him to boast of spiritual manifestations, for he should not testify of himself, but of Jesus Christ; one who should suggest things to come, and open up the future glory; one who should bring with him the personal assurance of an indwelling Christ—"In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you ;" one who should through them convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
During the great forty days after His resurrection, so important is this subject, that on several occasions Jesus Christ reiterates the announcement of the coming gift, and emphasises the distinguishing accompaniment of power. The following are the important passages bearing upon this teaching during the period after the resurrection.
John xx. 19–22: “ Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you, and when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus unto them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”
Acts i. 4, 5 : “And, being assembled with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Acts i. 6-9: “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel ? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
Luke xxiv. 49-51 : “ And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you : but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until
be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany. And he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."
One of the sayings of Jesus after His resurrection, and immediately in connection with the gift of the Holy Ghost, was most suggestive. “ As my Father sent me into the world, even so send I you into the world. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Do we strain this when we say that Christ suggested that in the same way as He was sent by the Father and with the same Holy Spirit, he would send His disciples into the world ? The ministry of Jesus was one in which the central Spirit was the Holy Spirit. It is as though he had said, “ As the Father sent me into the world, even so send I you into the world. He sent me specially endued with the Spirit, even so send I you. As I was baptized with the Spirit, so shall you be baptized with the Spirit
. As I went about in the power of the Spirit, so shall you go about in the power of the Spirit. As I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, so shall you in My name cast out devils. As the Spirit of wisdom and understanding rested on Me, so shall the same Spirit rest on you. Behold I send the promise of My Father upon you.'
Of course the question is a most important one, whether the Holy Spirit is for one age or for all, whether for one part of the Church or for all believers. A careful consideration of the statement of God's Word will, however, settle these question readily. However much it may be true that there can be a special enduement of power on some Christians for special work, and also special effusions on the Church for particular crises, it is yet very evident that the promise of the Father is for all who claim the fulness of blessing. John the Baptist said, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire," and