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invested them with His own divine prerogatives of preaching, and healing, and casting out demons. So the Spirit who is now present in the Church gives power for service to those who seek it. In this sense the experience of Pentecost can be repeated. It is still our privilege to pray for the baptism of the Spirit, and to tarry in supplication until we be "endued with power from on high." And a careful reading of the Acts of the Apostles would seem to indicate that this experience is something quite distinct from regeneration, being no less than an investment of the believer with a special divine energy and efficiency for carrying on God's work.* "Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed?" asks Paul of certain disciples at Ephesus. Believers and disciples they certainly were, but this did not carry the certainty with it that they had received the power of the Spirit. On the contrary, they lacked this until by the laying on of the apostles' hands "the Holy Ghost came upon them"; then they "spoke with tongues and

* "God's sealing of believers is His gracious communication of the Holy Ghost unto them, so to act by divine power in them as to enable them unto all the duties of their holy calling, evidencing them to be accepted with Him both to themselves and others, and asserting their preservation unto eternal salvation. The effects of this sealing are, gracious operations of the Spirit in and upon believers, but the sealing itself is the communication of the Spirit unto them. For it is not said that the Holy Ghost seals us, but that we are sealed with Him. He is God's seal unto us. . . . Where God sets this seal, such effects will be produced as shall fall under the observation of the world."— John Owen (1616-1683).

† Acts xix. 2 (Revised Version).

prophesied." After the day of Pentecost we hear Peter urging his hearers, by obeying the gospel, to seek for "the gift of the Holy Ghost," adding, "for the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." So that like the upperroom disciples we can come pleading an explicit promise when we ask for the fullness, and power, and indwelling of the Comforter.

Have we noticed how almost every great conquest of preaching or working recorded in the Acts is introduced by the words, " and being filled with the Holy Ghost," he did thus ? In this record of the early Church's history we have the autobiography of the Holy Ghost, if we may say so; or rather the opening chapter of such an autobiography. It is the acts of the Spirit, as He moves and empowers men, of which we are here reading. Have there been no subsequent chapters of this book unfolding in these later times? Let the lives of some modern saints as they shall pass before us answer this question. Let us look at their closet exercises, and at their field conquests, and ask if it does not seem that we have in these latter-day Christians a fac-simile of the sealing and wonder working of the first disciples.

Now sealing we hold to be the divine side of consecration-God's token of approval and acceptance of our self-surrender to Him. When the soul offers itself as the soft and plastic wax He can stamp

* Acts iv. 8, 13, 19. Eph. v. 18.

it with His signet-ring, marking it thus as His own peculiar property, and setting it apart for His own peculiar use until the day of redemption. Often the sealing is effected without observation or recognition on the part of its subject. Its traits are visible, -assurance of adoption, power in testimony, the joy of the Holy Ghost, and the blessed sense of belonging entirely to the Lord. These constitute the signature of the Spirit's work upon the heart. But the operation itself may have been quite silent and unobserved. On the other hand, in scores of devoted Christian lives this divine transaction has been most distinctly noted. It has been signalized and made for ever memorable by a conscious and definite experience.

The diary of Jonathan Edwards furnishes a remarkable exhibition of the various stages of the Spirit's work in the heart. His conversion was clearly marked; and at a later period his full consecration and separation unto God not less distinctly. He gives us this record of a sacred hour :

"Once as I rode out into the woods for my health in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that was for me extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and His wonderful, great, full, pure, and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension. The grace that appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens. The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent, with an excellency great

enough to swallow up all thought and conception-which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me a greater part of the time in a flood of tears and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust and be full of Christ alone; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to trust in Him; to live upon Him; to serve Him; and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure with a divine and heavenly purity."*

We have heard Edwards called “The Isaiah of the Christian dispensation," profound wisdom and seraphic devotion being so wonderfully united in him. Certainly here is a scene in the great theologian's life which is strangely like that which the prophet has so vividly pictured in his own.† There is the same overpowering vision of the Lord, the same melting of heart before His awful purity, and the same self-surrendering consecration to His service. If the sealing of the Spirit can ever be discovered in the lives of modern saints, we should say that here is a conspicuous instance. And as we hear him preaching at Enfield not long after, when, as he speaks, the impression of eternal things is so powerful that men cling to the pillars of the church, trembling before the impending terror of the Lord, which he so vividly pictures, we exclaim, " Truly, the anointing which he hath received abideth on him"! Who shall say that if Christ's servants are still "filled with the Holy Ghost" and speak the word † Isaiah vi. 1-8.

* Works, Vol. I., p. 21.

of God with boldness, the place of assembly will not still be shaken ?

As for the great theologian himself, he furnishes a rare example of baptized intellect. His reasoning is a kind of lofty adoration-a magnificent "Te Deum" set to argument. The pathway of his thought is often fairly ablaze with love, while his love seems ever to find the highest expression in contemplating the greatness and glory of God. Where others are subdued by the manifestations of divine goodness, his heart seems most melted and his affections most powerfully kindled by viewing the matchless holiness and infinite sovereignty of God. He gives a most impressive example of great powers consecrated and anointed.

Turning from the profound theologian to a youthful student, we find a similar working of the Spirit, and similar exhibitions of power in the Lord's service.

James Brainerd Taylor had been converted at the age of fifteen. Six years after he experienced a remarkable blessing from the Spirit. All his subsequent papers refer to this date as the most important era in his Christian life. This is his account, somewhat abridged, of what then occurred :—

"It was on the 23d of April, 1822, when I was on a visit to Haddam, in Connecticut. Memorable day! The time and place will never, no, never, be forgotten! I recur to it at this moment with thankful remembrance. For a long time my desire had been that the Lord would visit me, and fill me with the Holy Ghost-my cry to Him was, Seal

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