« AnteriorContinuar »
JUN 1 4 '50
C. M. A. Twitchell & Co., 43 Kilby Street.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
OTHING new is likely to be true in Theol
ogy, though there may be new and clearer apprehensions of old truth. Some, because themselves unacquainted with certain phases of doctrine set forth in this volume, have imagined them to be novel and original. But this is by no means true.
The real fact is, as admitted by our best theologians, that the work and offices of the Holy Spirit have been very inadequately treated by most of those who have written on this subject. The distinction between His primary work of conviction and regeneration, and His higher work of sealing and enduement, seems to be either quite overlooked or very vaguely treated by most writers whom we have examined. It is very much as though one should write the life of Christ, and make no clear discrimination between his life before his baptism, and his work and ministry under the Holy Ghost subsequent to his baptism.
We have aimed to emphasize, from scripture and from experience, the much neglected distinc
tion between the Spirit's ministry in regeneration and in anointing with power. The reader will find this distinction recognized, though not set forth at length, in that best of the older treatises on this subject, “ Owen on the Holy Spirit.” The work which is altogether the most thorough and discriminating of any which we have met, is “Lectures on the New Testament Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, by William Kelly.” His chapter on “The Gift of the Spirit and the Gifts” is eminently satisfactory to one who recognizes the importance of emphasizing and maintaining distinctions which the scriptures so clearly recognize. He says, we believe truly, that the work which the Bible speaks of under the name of the gift or sealing of the Holy Spirit, “has nothing whatever to do with bringing men to believe and repent. It is a subsequent operation; it is an additional and separate blessing?"
Andrew Jakes, one of the profoundest writers with whom we are acquainted on all such subjects, holds that the overlooking of this iinportant distinction argues a very carnal appi ehension on the part of Christians. In his recent work, “The New Man,” he says: “It is assumed by some,
that because those who walked with Christ of old received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire at Pentecost more than eighteen hundred years ago, therefore all believers have now received the
As well might the apostles, when first called, have concluded that because at His baptism the Spirit like a dove rested upon Christ, therefore all had equally received the same blessing."
We refer with commendation to the recent work of Rev. Charles E. Smith, “ The Baptism in Fire,” in which this distinction is very clearly recognized, and its implications very ably considered. Also we would recommend the brief treatises, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost," by Dr. John Morgan, Professor of Theology in Oberlin Theological Seminary, and “The Holy Spirit in Man,” by Pastor G. Tophel of Geneva. All these works mark a de.
a cided advance in the way of thorough scriptural discussion of this important subject.
Amid all the kindly and generous criticism which our book has received, this is the principal point which has been raised, that we have insisted on a higher stage of the Spirit's work, the Sealing of the Holy Ghost, logically if not always chronologically separate from regeneration.
That we have defined regeneration as, not a change of nature, but the imparting of a new nature, has also perplexed some of our readers. We mean simply, that the regenerated man has two natures the Adam nature which is not improved, but crucified and to be put off ; and the Christ nature which is to be cultured and developed till it is completely dominant in the believer. Therefore in our view Christian growth does not consist in the improvement of the old man, but in its repression; and on the other hand in the development of the new man till we attain unto "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” In other words, we hold that sanctification consists, as an eminent writer says, in the twofold process of mortification and vivification --- the mortification of the old and the vivification of the
With these slight explanations we commend our imperfect work once more to the charity of our Christian readers, with grateful thanks for the many kind expressions accorded to it; and to the favor of God, whose glory in the edification of the body of Christ wę desire to promote.
Boston, March 18, 1884.