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The Ministry of the Spirit   By: (1836-1895)

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With an Introduction by Rev. F. B. Meyer Minister at Christ Church, London

Philadelphia American Baptist Publication Society 1420 Chestnut Street 1894

Copyright 1894 by the American Baptist Publication Society

To the




It is not claimed that in this little volume all has been said that might be said upon the subject treated. On the contrary, the writer has proceeded upon the belief that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit can be better understood by limiting the sphere of discussion, rather than by extending it to the largest bounds. For finite beings, at least, presence is more intelligible than omnipresence. So, though the subject of this book is in itself profoundly mysterious, we have sought to simplify it by dwelling upon the time ministry of the Holy Ghost without entering upon the consideration of his eternal ministry. What the Spirit did before the incarnation of Christ, and what he may do hereafter beyond the second advent of Christ, is a question hardly touched upon in this volume. We have sought rather to emphasize and to magnify the great truth that the Paraclete is now present in the church: that we are living in the dispensation of the Spirit, with all the unspeakable blessing for the church and for the world which this economy provides. Hence, as we speak of the ministry of Christ {viii} meaning a service embraced within defined limits, so we name this volume the "Ministry of the Spirit," as referring to the work of the Comforter extending from Pentecost to the end of this dispensation.

How deep a subject for a study! What prayer more becoming for those entering upon it than the humble petition that the Spirit himself will teach us concerning the Spirit! Deeply sensible of the imperfection of this work, it is now committed to the use and blessing of that Divine Person of the Godhead of whom it so unworthily speaks.

A. J. G.

BOSTON, Dec., 1894.



It is remarkable how many in these last days have been led to deal with the sublime subject to which this treatise is devoted. Without doubt the mind of the church is being instructed, and her heart prepared for a recognition of the indwelling, administration, and co operation of the blessed Paraclete, which has never been excelled in her history, and is fraught with the greatest promise both to her and to the world.

Each of these treatises has brought out some new phase in respect to the person or mission of the Holy Spirit, but I cannot recall one that is so lucid, so suggestive, so scriptural, so deeply spiritual as this, by my beloved friend, Dr. Gordon. The chapters on the Embodying, the Enduement, and the Administration of the Spirit seem specially fresh and helpful. But all is good, and deserving of prayerful perusal. Let only such truths be well wrought into the mental and spiritual constitution {x} of God's servants, and there would be such a revival of pure and undefiled religion in the churches, and such marvelous results through them on the world that the age would close with a world wide Pentecost. And there are many symptoms abroad that this also is in the purpose of God. Nothing else can meet the deepest needs and yearnings of our time.

Christianity is beset with three powerful currents, which insidiously operate to deflect her from her course. Materialism, which denies or ignores the supernatural, and concentrates its heed on ameliorating the outward conditions of human life; criticism, which is clever at analysis and dissection, but cannot construct a foundation on which the religious faculty may build and rest; and a fine literary taste, which has greatly developed of late, and is disposed to judge of power by force of words or by delicacy of expression.

To all of these we have but one reply. And that is, not a system, a creed, a church, but the living Christ, who was dead, but is alive forevermore, and has the keys to unlock all perplexities, problems, and failures... Continue reading book >>

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