"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."--1 John 5:7
"The Holy Spirit of God is as necessary to our Divine life as the air of this world is necessary to our animal life; and is as distinct from, and as much without us, as the air of this world is distinct from the creatures that live in it. And yet our own good spirit is the very Spirit of God moving and stirring in us, and yet not God, but the Spirit of God breathed into a creaturely form; and this good Spirit, Divine in its origin, and Divine in its nature, is that alone in us that can reach God, unite with Him, be moved and blessed by Him.
"You ask how you may know in how far you are led by the Spirit of God. As every man knows of himself when he is hungry or pleased, so too with regard to the Spirit of God. for the Spirit of God is more distinguishable from all other spirits and tempers than any of your natural affections are from one another. Let me show you this.
" 'God is unwearied patience, a Meekness that cannot be provoked. He is an everduring Mercifulness; He is unmixed Goodness, universal Love; His delight is in the communication of Himself, His own happiness, to everything according to its capacity. He is the Good from which nothing but good comes, and resisteth all evil only with goodness.' This is the nature and Spirit of God, and here you have your infallible proof, whether you are moved and led by the Spirit of God. If it be the earnest desire and longing of your heart to be merciful as He is merciful, to be full of His unwearied Patience, to dwell in His unalterable Meekness; if you long to be like Him in universal impartial Love; if you desire to communicate every good to every creature that you are able, you have the utmost certainty that the Spirit of God lives, dwells, and governs in you. Now if you lack any of these tempers, if the whole bent of your heart and mind is not set upon them, all pretences to an immediate inspiration and continual operation of the Spirit of God in your soul are vague and groundless. Keep within the bounds here set you; call nothing a proof of the Spirit or work of God in your soul, but these tempers, and the works which they produce, and then, and not till then, you may safely say with St. John, 'Hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.' "
Let us believe that the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit and gives us the assurance of His own presence. To the soul who yields itself in childlike trust and obedience, the consciousness will not be withheld, that we are indeed led by Him, and transformed from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord.
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