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A Study of the Holy Spirit


The Westminster Press






Copyright, 1902, by The Trustees of

The Presbyterian Board of Publication and

Sabbath-School Work.

To Her

Whose Grace of Life

Is The Grace of THE SPIRIT

My Wife

"It is the hour for souls ;
That bodies, leavened by the will and love,
Be lightened to redemption. The world's old ;
But the old world waits the hour to be renewed :
Toward which, new hearts in individual growth
Must quicken, and increase to multitude
In new dynasties of the race of men —
Developed whence, shall grow spontaneously
New churches, new economies, new laws
Admitting freedom, new societies
• Excluding falsehood. He shall make all new."
Mrs. Browning : Aurora Leigh.

"As it is written.

Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not.
And which entered not into the heart of man.
Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.

" But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit : for
the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of
God. For who among men knoweth the things of a
man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him ? Even
so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of
God. But we received, not the spirit of the world, but
the spirit which is from God ; that we might know the
things that were freely given to us of God.''

/ Corinthians 2 : 10-12.

The Gift of Power

The Foreword

"\ /OU can unlock a man's whole life,"
Y said Henry Drummond, " if you
watch what words he uses most."
On this principle we unlock the life of Jesus
to discover not only that he is in closest
sympathy with us, but that his knowledge
of our nature, our needs, our desires, is pro-
found ; for the key-words of our Master
are such as these : Truth, Love, Light,
Life, Power. Upon the last of these I write
these words.

Theit sentence from the lips of our Lord,
in which Power is spoken with an accent
and meaning it has nowhere else, is written
thus : —

" Ve shall receive power after that the Holy

Ghost is come upon fO?i."—The Book of The Acts
of the Apostles, I : 8.

Power : This is the main point. In some
form all men desire it. It is a common

The Gift of Power

center in which converge the divergent pur-
poses and dreams of men. We build all
the roads of our ambition with power as
the terminus. Jesus longed for it, that the
minds and wills and hearts of men, sancti-
fied throug-h the truth, migrht be one with
him and the Father. Paul longed for it,
that the salvation which had come to him,
he might carry to Greek and to barbarian,
yea, to Rome also. Wesley longed for one
hundred earnest men, that he might set the
world on fire for God. Judas, for sake of it,
sold his Lord. And Simon Magus offered
gold that his might be as the touch of

With power of many kinds the world is
filled. We look skyward. As the silent
battalions of the stars wheel in endless ar-
ray aboxe us we cry, " It is there." We look
earthward. As the mystery and majest}'
of nature pass before u^ in the procession of
the seasons with banners of green and gold
and white we cry, " It is there." We look
manward. The marching feet of Napoleon's
soldiers shake the earth. Agassiz wrests
from nature her secrets. Tennyson sings

The Gift of Power

until tired toilers lift their faces. Burke
charms opponents into allies. Carnegie,
with the wand of wealth, works wonders
of philanthropy. We cry, " It is there."
But not of power such as this is Jesus
speaking. Rather of another power as
distinct from this as light is distinct from
darkness ; higher than this as the heavens
are higher than the earth. The Christian's
power ; the power w^hich distinguishes him
from all other men ; the power which makes
him a Christian ; the power which, intro-
duced by him and through him into this
vast world machinery, lays its compelling
hand on all other forces, and, filling them
with itself, brings them into harmony with
God. Power from on high ! The power of
the Spirit of God dwelling, as in a temple, in
the spirit of man. " Ye shall receive power
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon

The Spirit and the Apostles

Power is from God. Power from God is
the fundamental condition of efficiency in
the Christian life and service. We think of

The Gift of Power

the apostles. They have been commanded
to tarry at Jerusalem for power, but not for
power from Jerusalem. At this religious
center of their nation converge mighty in-
fluences which, if made tributary to them,
will multiply their power many fold ; nay,
which seem indispensable to their success
in establishing the kingdom of Jesus.
Wealth, by which they can force their way
where poor men cannot go, and do what
poor men cannot do. Schools, by which
they can train preachers and propagate the
ideas of their Master. Organizations, politi-
cal and social, through which they can
reach wide circles of life by the influence
organization gives. A priesthood which
had power to crucify Jesus and, if trans-
formed by faith in his resurrection, can now
glorify him. A temple with stately ritual
and inspiring tradition ; the spot to which
turn the thoughts and hopes and love of
ev^ery loyal Jew, which, if filled with the
praise of the Christ, will make these
thoughts and hopes and love forever his.
Not to any of these sources of world power
is the expectation of the apostles turned.

The Gift of Power

but to God, for power from him. They
have been taught that " power belongeth
unto God." ^ The full meaning of this
sublime utterance they truly have not
grasped, but they believe it. Somehow
this fact has gripped their convictions. If
somewhat dimly yet none the less really
do they believe that the strange, new thing
their Lord has promised must come from
the heavens into which he has vanished.
There, they feel, is lodged the secret of their
future and the future of the gospel of the
Master. Jesus cannot give them power.
He has given them life, but not the power
to use life. Truth, but not the efficiency
of the truth. For three years he has been
with them. They have eaten together,
talked together, walked together. The
same birds have sung for them. The same
skies have bent over them. The same
flowers have greeted them. In a com-
panionship close as outward circumstance
could make have they companied. Yet,
after three years of this, they are destitute
of power. He has been teaching them.

^Ps. 62: II.

The Gift of Power

The}' have been forgetting. He has been
working signs and wonders before them.
They have been misunderstanding. The
Spirit must be given them, who only can
teach them all things and bring to their re-
membrance whatsoe\'er he has said unto
them.^ He, the Spirit of truth, must guide
them into all truth, for he shall receive of
the things of Jesus, and the great Interpre-
ter shall show it unto them.^ Jesus has
poured his love upon them. They have
been afraid and ha\'e failed to give him all
of themselves in return for all of himself
In the hour of his travail they flee, leaving
him to bear his anguish alone. The Spirit
must be given them that the love of God
being shed abroad in their hearts by him,^
they may understand the lo\e of Jesus for
them, and giving him love such as he has
given them, may never know fear any
more. He has told them of his mission to
the world; of his relation to the Father ;
of the Father's fatherhood ; of the brother-
hood of men. They have been misunder-
standing, seeing with obscure vision these

^ John 14 : 26. 2 jo}^,^ 16:13, 14. ^ Romans 5 : 5.

The Gift of Power

world truths but in outHne, dim and dis-
torted, as men on shipboard catch, through
low - hanging mist, vague and broken
glimpses of mountains by the sea. The
Spirit must be gi\'en them that they, see-
ing, may make others see. ^ Therefore,
they wait at Jerusalem. In that upper
room the)' pray as one man to God, their
one hope. They forget the power of the
city which has crucified their Lord — her
wealth, her schools, her parties, her priests,
her temple. They remember only the last
injunction of their Master. They think of
his word, " Ye shall be witnesses unto me."
They pray to him for power to witness
truly. They think of Jerusalem, where
their ministry is to begin, and pray for
power to convince and convert the city
which has rejected him. They think of
Judsea, of Samaria, of the uttermost parts of
the earth, and pray for power to subdue
kingdoms, to work righteousness, to lay
under all the building of men the eternal
foundations of his throne. Thus they wait.
The Spirit comes.

^ Luke 24 : 44-49.

The Gift of Power

*' No track is on the sunny sky;
No footprints on the air ;
Jesus hath gone ; the face of earth
Is desolate and bare.

" That upper room is heaven on earth ;
Within its precincts he
All that earth has of faiih or hope
Or heaven -born chanty.

" He comes ! He comes ! That mighty Breath
From heaven's eternal shores ;
His uncreated freshness fills
His bride, as she adores.

" Earth quakes before that rushing blast,
Heaven echoes back the sound,
And mightily the tempest wheels
That upper room around.

" One moment — and the Spirit hung

O'er all with dread desire ;

Then broke upon the heads of all

In cloven tongues of tire." ^

What a transformation ! Who are these
men that enter this upper room ? Peasants
of Galilee. Common men in all outward
seeming. Among them is not one of un-
usual power. They are afraid. They have

^ Frederick William Faber.


The Gift of Power

neither eloquence nor culture nor influence.
The smell of the sea is in their garments,
the marks of toil are on their hands.
Their personalities are those of everyday-
men. Who are these who come forth from
this u[)per room? Still peasants of Galilee,
but peasants of Galilee no more. Jerusalem
has ncv^er seen such a sight. The world
has never seen such a sight. These men
of toil move the city as the Son of God
never did. Already is his prophecy to
them meeting fulfillment. Greater works
than his are they doing.^ Without money,
they overcome the combinations of wealth.
Without schools, they meet and put to con-
fusion the rabbis. Without political power
or social position, they are mightier than
Sanhedrin and Sadducee. Without a priest-
hood, the}' defy and defeat priest and tem-
ple. Without a soldier, they, at last, are
mightier than the legions of Rome. But
far more marvelous than this is their accom-
plishment. To do is greater than to undo.
Building, not demolishing, is the test of
power. They do. They build. They

'John 14 : 12.


The Gift of Power

teach men. They eiiHghten darkened
minds. The\^ inflame indifferent spirits.
They arouse zeal to know the truth and
devotion to die for it. They make char-
acter. They reorganize society. They
revolutionize thinking. They stir Palestine,
Rome, Greece. The}' lay the foundations
of a world empire.

What is the explanation of this, which is
at once the marvel of Jerusalem and of all
times? "On each brow glows a sheet of
flame parted into many tongues. . . . Chris-
tianity was to be a tongue of fire. . . . All
the emblems of the old dispensation were
forever superseded. In their room the Lord
had appointed only two." ^ With these two
sacraments and the tongue of fire they go
forth. "A tongue of fire, — a man's voice,
God's truth ; man's speech, the Holy
Spirit's inspiration ; a human organ, a
superhuman power." ^

Thus, in the sterile soil of Jewish life,
burst out the fountain head of that stream
of missionary activity which now washes
the shores of all lands. Thus, began the

^ Arthur : The Tongue of Fire, p. 37, sq. ^ Idem.

The Gift of Power

first chapter in the history of the apostolic
Church. This history, more romantic than
romance, more thrilHng than epic of any
race, is the result of the gift of power from
God. Of it there can be no other explana-
tion. Even if there were no such record as
the story in the first two chapters of the
book of The Acts, we would be obliged,
by the logic of cause and effect, to infer
such an experience. Divine character is
molded by a divine hand. The works of
God are of the Spirit of God. This outburst
of enthusiasm from men unmoved a little
time since ; this undimmed spiritual vision
of those who, yestcrda}-, saw men as trees
walking ; this certainty of faith in hearts
where, at the Crucifixion, was the dismay of
unfaith ; this depth of conviction w hich laid
hold of the very roots of their lives ; this
new confidence in themselves, in Jesus, in
his word ; this spirit of devotion blossoming
in blood-red deeds of sacrifice ,\ this, which
leaped into being like a flash of flame, is
the touch of the Holy Spirit, as fire, on the
souls of these waiting men. Not by any-
thing they had which other men may not

The Gift of Power

have ; not by anything they had but /
what they were through the Spirit must we
explain the new power of these new men.
It was not the power of working miracles,
for of these they were sparing ; nor that of
unmatched eloquence, for there were
greater orators ; nor that of learning, for
they were unlettered ; nor that of any pos-
session or accomplishment, nor of anything
outside them, but the power of the inner
man made over by the Holy Spirit ; the
power of character inflamed with love for
Jesus, thrilled with a deep sense of his
Saviourhood, which welded together these
weak and scattered men, and used them in
the hand of God to plant the Cross of his
Son above the Roman eagle, and the foun-
dation of his kingdom over the ruins of the
Roman empire. " Enlightenment of mind,
enlargement of heart, sanctification of their
faculties, and transformation of their char-
acters, so as to make them whetted swords
and polished shafts for subduing the world
unto the truth, — these, or the effect of these
combined, constituted the power for which
Jesus directed the eleven to wait. The

The Gift of Power

^.jwer, therefore, was a spiritual power, not
a magical ; an inspiration, not a possession ;
a power which was not to act as a blind,
fanatical force, but to manifest itself as a
spirit of love and of a sound mind. After
the power descended, the apostles were to be
not less rational, but more; not mad, but
sober-minded ; not excited rhapsodists, but
calm, clear, dignified expositors of divine
truth. ... In a word, they were to be less
like their past selves and more like their
Master ; no lonufer ie^norant, childish, weak,
carnal, but initiated into the mysteries of
the kingdom, and habitually under the
guidance of the Spirit of grace and holi-

The Spirit and Jesus

Not to the disciples alone was the gift of
power from God a necessity. The Master,
as well as the follower, must receive it. We
underestimate the place of the Holy Spirit
in the life and work of Jesus. That his
power in his life in the flesh, came from on

^ Bruce : The Training of the Tzuelvc, pp. 536, 7.

The Gift of Power

high is one of the unappreciated truths of
Scripture ; yes, one of the well-nigh for-
gotten truths.

It was long ago pointed out that the
divine act of Jesus was to assume the man-
hood, and that his manhood was ever de-
pendent upon the Spirit.^ There could
have been no Redeemer of the world save
through the Holy Spirit. The Scripture
teaching upon this is at once clear and im-
pressive. To Pharisees and Sadducees the
Baptist gives the infallible sign by which
they may know the Mightier than he, for
Jesus shall baptize with the Holy Ghost
and with fire. ^ By the possession and
power of the Spirit will he be forever dis-
tinguished from all his prophets and all his
interpreters. When our oldest creed, in
stately words grown sacred through long
association, teaches us that he was " con-
ceived by the Holy Ghost," it but repeats
the record of the evangelist, that the very
birth of Jesus into our human life was de-
dependent on the Holy Spirit. ^ Eager as

^Owen: The Holy Spirit. 2 Matt. 3:11. ^ Luke



The Gift of Power

he must have been to speak to dying souls
the words of life, he did not begin his work
until after he liad received, in the waters of
the Jordan, not the baptism of man alone,
but that of the Spirit descending upon him
like a dove. ^ When he is thus openly
sealed as the Son of God and is ready for
his redeeming work, comes the temptation
of the threshold. Full of the Spirit, he is
driven by his power to the struggle in the
wilderness. ^ " In the descent of the Spirit
upon him at his baptism, he passes his
great inward crisis of call and endowment.
. . . The Spirit coming here upon him in the
full revelation of his call, raises such a fer-
ment in his bosom of great thoughts and
strangely contesting emotions, that he is hur-
ried away to the wilderness and the state of
privacy before God, for relief and settle-
ment."'^ This supreme battle is fought
through to victory by the power of the Spirit
within him. His face is now, at last, set to-
ward the long journey which is to end at the
Cross. But that we may not mistake the

^ Matt. 3 : 13-17. '-' Luke 4 : I-13. ^ Bushnell :
Christ and His Salvation, p. 94.

The Gift of Power

secret of the victory that was his from the
first to the last, we are told that it was in
the power of the Spirit, he went out of
the darkness of the struggle with the
tempter to the opening of his ministry in
Galilee. ^ When at length the round of his
work brings him to his boyhood home in
Nazareth and, in the synagogue of his fath-
ers, he stands to read the lesson of the day,
he chooses those words of the prophet
which claim for him the anointing of the
S{)irit. In this, he declares, is at once the
sign and seal of his authority to preach
good news of salvation to the poor, and to
work upon his Father's sad and stricken
children the miracles of his love. When he
has closed the book and has sat down, and
because of a new, strange accent of truth in
his voice, the eyes of all in the synagogue
ar£ fastened on him, he tells them, '* This
day is this Scripture fulfilled." ^ . Nor does
he forget in all the future of his ministry to
remind men that the secret of all his power
is in the indwelling of the Spirit whose
anointing he claimed at the first, as that

^ Luke 4 : 14. ^ Luke 4 : 16-2 1.

The Gift of Power

which set him apart from priest and rabbi,
lie declares it is the explanation of his life-
giving power. When, beside the sea, the
people flock round him, and he who looks
to the depths of all hearts sees how un-
worthy are their thoughts, he bids them
be not anxious for meat and drink, but to
toil for the meat which endures unto life
everlasting, which the Son of man can give,
" for him hath God the Father sealed." ^ He
claims the Spirit as the source of his di-
vine teaching. Men need not marvel that
he speaks the words of God ; for " God
giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."^
When men find fault because he casts
out evil spirits he tells them he works
miracles through the Spirit, and that the
kingdom of heaven has come near them
because he casts out devils by the Spirit of
God."^ His very power to give himself to
death on the Cross, the author of the letter
to the Hebrews declares, was through the
Spirit. " The blood of Christ, who, through
the eternal Spirit, offered himself without

1 John 6 : 24-27. '^ John 3 : 34. ^ Matt. 12 :



The Gift of Power

spot to God." ^ Paul, in his great argument
on the power of God's grace in the be-
Hever's heart, seems clearly to intimate that
it was by the Spirit of God that Jesus was
raised from the dead. If the Spirit which
raised Jesus from the dead, he argues, lives
in us, we, too, will be raised from the death
of sin." As if this were not enough, the
teaching which fell from his lips in the
glorious interval between his resurrection
and ascension is declared by Luke to have
been spoken through the same possession
of the Holy Spirit. " After that he through
the Holy Ghost had given commandments
unto the apostles whom he had chosen."^

Thus, from the first day when the Spirit
came in the form of a dove upon him until
the hour when he entered into the unimag-
inable glories of heaven, Jesus was empow-
ered by the Holy Spirit for every hour and
phase of his work in the flesh. There is
no miracle of moral influence like that of
the effect of the " Follow me " of Jesus on
men of his time. There was such power
in this simple call that, when men heard it,

^ Heb. 9 : 13, 14. 2 Rom. 8 : II. ^ Acts I : 2.

The Gift of Power

they left their tasks, their kindred, their
homes, their all, and followed him. In the
little time he had for work he made only
be^inninfT.s • but he left a band of men and
women chani^^ed into his likeness, and the
foundations of a king-dom which, through
them and their successors, was to extend
until its authority and glory were coexten-
sive with the universe of God. Jesus
worked this miracle on the minds of men,
and created the Christian people and the
Christian kingdom, because in him was the
power of the Spirit of God, so full, so
without shadow on its divine glory that,
to-day, two thousand years after his death,
there is no name so known and so loved,
none that so shapes the life of the present,
as that of Jesus Christ, to wdiom is accorded
now a devotion in self-sacrifice and love
such as has never before been his.

On the human side the power of Jesus to
speak as never man spake, to work mira-
cles such as man never did, and, though
tempted in all things as we are, to live a sin-
less life, like the greater miracle of the sur-
vival of his influence as a life-shaping force

The Gift of Power

in all nations, for now and forever, is due
to the fact that he was a man filled in every
throb of his heart and every fiber of his be-
ing by the Spirit of the living God. Jesus is
divine. His divineness is divinity. He dif-
fers from us not only in degree, but in kind.
This, however, is not a sufficient explana-
tion of his power when on earth, nor of his
power to-day, for he was as truly human
as divine. His humanity must be reck-
oned with. Jesus accomplished the impos-
sible. He did this because, through the
glad surrender of his own manhood, it was
possible for the Holy Spirit to work in and
through him without the shadow of a lim-
itation. The power of Jesus in service and
over men was in his character. He brought
into the world no new doctrine, but a new
character. In him there stood on the shores
of time a perfect man. In him men saw
the passions of the body, the powers of the
mind, the possibilities of the soul, all filled
and swayed and glorified by the absolute
surrender of the life to the Holy Spirit, so
that on all he thought or said or did or
was rested the halo of the unshadowed

The Gift of Power

brightness of the presence of God. No
artist has ever been able to catch it in his
colors. No poet has ever been able to sing
it in his verses. But it is there ; the same
yesterday, to-day, and forev^er. In it was
his power for Galilee and for its times ; for
the ends of the earth and forever.

The Spirit and the Christian

In the experience of the apostles and of
Jesus is written a changeless law for the in-
dividual Christian. We know this because
that which was a necessity for their spirit-
ual life and efficiency must be equally a
necessity for us. We know this because
the Spirit has been promised.^ Every
promise of God is but another way of stat-
ing man's need. The promise of the Spirit
means that we have need of him as an ad-
vocate or helper.^ He it is who alone can
be our helper within, guiding us into all
truth, showing us the things of Jesus,^ and
having taught us and so purified and quick-
ened us that our faith is actually rooted in

^ Joel 2:28,29. -John 16:7. Greek, -Paraclete.
'John 16 : 13, 14. John 14 : 26.

The Gift of Power

the heart of Jesus, he must be our helper
still without, preparing the way for us in
Christian service by convincing the world
of its sinfulness, of its need of Jesus, ^ and
empowering us to demonstrate by our re-
deemed lives that he saves to the uttermost
all who call upon him.

The very first mention of power in the
Bible connects it with God as its source,
and makes it the condition and explanation
of man's strength for God.^ "As a prince
hast thou power with God." Jacob became
Israel, the supplanter a prince, by surren-

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