Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart

"The spiritual perception of divine things is invariably accompanied with a sanctifying influence, and knowledge is no further genuine or spiritual than as it leads to this result. When it is a mere natural and intellectual perception of divine things, the mind is only elated (1 Corinthians 8:2), not imbued with the humility which is the effect of all true spiritual knowledge. When it is a perception which takes its rise from the Holy Spirit, and is kindled by the contemplation of the divine perfections, excellence and glory, the taste is so changed that it is separated from the pleasures of sin. They who have a spiritual perception of the divine beauty of God our Savior are drawn by a high attraction and induced to forgo not only the sins but the pleasures, emoluments and distinctions which absorb men's present thoughts. The knowledge of God, taught by the Spirit, is invariably connected with a new spiritual relish, or a new sense, which inclines the mind to rest in God as better than the creation -- to regard sin as repulsive and holiness as the only element in which the mind delights to dwell."

George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, pages 254-255