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Spirit. While preaching one evening there fell on me suddenly such an overpowering impression of the realities of the world to come as I had never known before. It seemed as though hell opened to my gaze, and I saw the misery of the lost in all its unutterable woe, while heaven, at the same time, revealed its glories to me so that I apprehended something of the unspeakable blessedness of the redeemed of Christ in glory. So powerful was the impression that I was overcome with weeping, and in spite of all my efforts at restraining my emotion was compelled to retire from the church. In my room alone for hours the visitation continued. I lay there weeping and bewailing before the Lord, that I had loved Him so little and served Him so coldly. I was led after awhile to give myself away to Him in an everlasting covenant. I prayed that He would just take me and empty me utterly of self and fill me with His Spirit. I gave myself up to Him to be despised and rejected and counted a fool for His sake, if I might be the means thereby of saving perishing souls. Never has the memory of the hour left me; never can it leave me.”

In labouring with this devoted servant of Christ, we have always been struck with the fixed relationship between effort and result in his ministry. Oftentimes when the sermon has appeared very ill adapted to the end, the effect has been greatest; and what have seemed, humanly speaking, the weakest efforts, have often fallen with unaccountable power upon the hearts of the hearers. It certainly is a reiteration of a lesson which we are very slow to learn, that it is "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." If the preacher's message is made a medium of the Spirit, and not a work of art, it


will not be strange to find the most artless, homely, and unstudied utterance often carrying the mightiest results. John Livingstone, the renowned Scots worthy, says: "There is sometimes somewhat in preaching that cannot be ascribed either to matter or expression, and cannot be described what it is or from whence it cometh, but with a sweet violence it pierceth into the heart and affections and comes immediately from the Lord; but if there be any way to obtain such a thing it is by the heavenly disposition of the speaker." No wonder at his comment on the "sometimes somewhat in preaching,' when the Lord had put on him the signal honour of bringing five hundred souls to repentance under a single sermon, and that, moreover, an unstudied and almost unpremeditated effort. But here, too, the secret is an open one, for the closet door stands ajar, and behind the pulpit we catch a glimpse of an all-night prayer-meeting, in which the preacher was a participant-a prayer-meeting directed to this single end, of getting the enduement of power upon him who should plead with sinners on the coming day.* Ah, what a mighty make-weight in the scale

* "I never preached ane sermon which I would be earnest to see again in wryte but two; the one was on ane Monday after communion at Shotts, and the other was on ane Monday after communion at Holywood; and both these times I had spent the whole night before in conference and prayer with some Christians—without any more than ordinary preparations. Other wayes my gift was rather suited to simple common people, than to learned and judicious auditors."-John Livingstone, 1630.

of success is the baptism of this invisible, impalpable Spirit of Life! Science has perfected a balance so delicate and susceptible, that when two pieces of paper hold the scales in perfect equipoise, the writing of your name upon one will instantly tip the beam and bear it down. So it is when the signature of the Spirit is put upon the heart by the heavenly sealing. It is a transaction so hidden and so delicate that its subject may be quite unconscious of it as it is passing. But it has often changed the whole poise of one's life, transforming the weakling into a spiritual giant, so that he who has utterly failed by the energy of the flesh has gone forth victorious in the power of the Spirit.

We are inclined to believe that this enduement of the Spirit has often been confounded with conversion, in the experience of good men. When we hear that Dr. Chalmers, or Legh Richmond, or William Haslam preached the gospel several years before they were really converted, we seriously question the statement, even though these men may have expressed such an opinion themselves. They had during these years honestly believed on the Lord Jesus, and confessed Him with the mouth, and, therefore, we must think, that had they been called out of the world, they would have been saved. But all this time they may have lacked the witness and power of the Spirit, and therefore exercised a comparatively barren ministry. The change which came to them was so radical and so transforming in

its effects upon their lives that, knowing nothing of two distinct stages in the Christian life, it seemed to them like the experience of conversion, whereas we judge that the difference in their ministry before and after this change, was quite like the difference between the ministry of Peter before the day of Pentecost, and after that day. In other words, the event from which they dated such a change in their spiritual history we conceive to have been their enduement by the Spirit with power, rather than their conversion. This seems to us a much more rational and scriptural explanation of their experience than the view, that during all the period before this striking change they were lost souls and without part or lot in the salvation of Christ.

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We give a single illustration of a transaction which we regard as belonging to this class. G. V. Wigram was held in great esteem in the body known as The Brethren for his rare gifts and remarkable conversation. For several years a communicant, and in the judgment of one who knew him intimately, "a quickened soul," living morally but without a conscious sense of the presence of Christ, there fell upon him one evening a powerful manifestation of the Spirit. He was kneeling at his bedside, absent-mindedly saying his prayers, when, he says,

"Suddenly there came on my soul a something I had never known before. It was as if some One Infinite and Almighty, knowing very thing, full of the deepest, tenderest

interest in myself, though utterly and entirely abhorring everything in and connected with me, made known to me that He loved myself. My eye saw no one, but I knew assuredly that the One whom I knew not and had never met, had met me for the first time and made known to me that we were together. There was a light no sense or faculty my own human nature ever knew; there was a presence of what seemed infinite in greatness—something altogether of a class that was apart and supreme, and yet at the same tiine making itself known to me in a way that I as a man could thoroughly feel, taste, and enjoy. The Light made all light, Himself withal; but it did not destroy, for it was love itself, and I was loved individually by Him. The exquisite tenderness and fulness of that love, the way it appropriated me myself for Him in whom it all was, while the light from which it was inseparable in Him, discovered to me the contrast I had been to all that was light and love. I wept for a while on my knees, said nothing, then got into bed. The next morning's thought was, 'Get a Bible.' I got one, and it was thenceforward my handbook."*

This graphic experience we do not dwell upon in order to emphasize the marvellous element in it, though it was so intense that its subject referred to it till his dying day with the deepest emotion. The fact on which we would lay special stress is that from that hour this man was utterly given up to Christ. He laid his large fortune at the feet of Jesus, spending thousands yearly for the furtherance of the gospel, reserving nothing for himself but the pilgrim's portion, food and raiment. His spiritual gift was

* "The Ministry of G. V. Wigram," Introduction.

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