Letters on Spiritual Subjects
My Dear Brother in the Lord,
A spiritual appetite, to relish
spiritual things, is a distinguishing favor bestowed upon none but those who
are Christ's own. "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of
God—for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned." And spiritual men, who have an appetite, a
capacity to relish spiritual things, can have no actual relish thereof,
without the immediate influences of the Holy Spirit. It is He who takes of
the things of Christ, and of the Father, and shows them unto us.
It is the spirit of truth, in His special operations as
the Comforter, who guides His people into all truth. It is He who,
enlightening our minds, guides us into the doctrinal knowledge of every
truth, and enkindling our souls with the truths known, that gives us heart
fellowship therewith. Without the actual presence of the Holy Spirit giving
us insight, not the least spiritual truth can we know, nor the least degree
of spiritual knowledge thereof can we attain. Oh, it is the actual presence
of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter that, by His light and heat, irradiates
our mind, and inflames our souls with the knowledge of divine truth. Let the
truth shine ever so brightly or warmly round about us, unless the Holy
Spirit shines into our minds, unto the knowledge of the truth in its glory
and efficacy, we neither see its light, nor feel its heat.
How much are we debtors to Him, as our Guide into all
truth, for every degree of our spiritual knowledge. Oh, the infinite grace
of the Holy Spirit!
It is a great thing to be thoroughly sensible of the
nothingness of the creature, both with respect to ourselves and others;
that the creature is nothing, less than nothing, and vanity, and the Lord
all, and in all; that all the excellency, comfort, and usefulness of the
creature, is wholly derived from, and dependent upon, its Creator.
I shall be glad to know the frame of your soul, to hear
from you when you have leisure, and to have an interest in your prayers.