That the reader may understand that the views set forth in the preceding chapters are not peculiar to the author of this booklet, I will give in this chapter several quotations from distinguished Christian scholars, whose views and teachings are quite in harmony with the main thought of what I have written.
First, I will quote a paragraph from a work on “The Holy Spirit,” by the Rev. John Owen, D. D., some time vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, an eminent Presbyterian minister. On pages 222 and 223 of this work, under the head of “The Positive Work of the Spirit in the Sanctification of Believers,” we find the following:
“We now proceed to the positive work of the Spirit in the sanctification of believers; for he not only cleanses their natures and persons from the pollution of sin, but He communicates the great, permanent, positive effect of holiness to their souls, whereby He guides and assists them in all the acts and duties thereof.
“I shall comprise what belongs to this part of his work in the two following propositions:
“1. There is in the soul of believers a supernatural principle or habit of grace, wrought and preserved by the Spirit of God, whereby they are enabled to live unto God, and perform that obedience which He requires and accepts, and this is essentially distinct from all natural habits, intellectual or moral, however acquired or improved.
“2. There is an immediate work of the Holy Spirit required unto every act of holy obedience, whether external or internal . . . (p. 226). We may learn from hence how great and excellent a work this of sanctification is, and that it is a greater matter to be truly holy than most persons are aware of. It is so wrought by ‘the God of peace Himself,’ by the blood of Christ, and by the influence of the Spirit.”
The pious reader will be pleased with the following from the pen of that eminent Methodist preacher, Rev. William Arthur, A.M. We read on pages 62, 63 and 64, of “The Tongue of Fire” (a book that all Christians should read’) :
“What a labor of expression do we find in 2 Cor. 9:8, where Paul wants to convey his own idea of the power of grace, as practically enabling men to do the will of God. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.’ Here we have ‘abound’ twice, and ‘all’ four times in one short sentence. ‘Abound’ means not only to fill, but to overflow. The double overflow, first of grace from God to us, then of the same grace from us to ‘every good work’ is a glorious comment on our Lord’s word: ‘He that believeth on me, as the Scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ The believer’s heart, in itself, incapable of holy living, as a marble cistern of yielding a constant stream, is placed like a cistern in communication with an invisible source; the source constantly overflows into the cistern, and it again overflows. Happy the heart thus filled, thus overflowing with the Holy Spirit! Where is the fountain of those living waters that we may bring our hearts thither? ‘He showed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.’ (Rev-22:1). There is the fountain, there the stream: the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son to the throne of grace! to the mercy seat! and you are at the fountain of all life. Nor seek a scant supply at the source. ‘Be filled with the Spirit,’ sounds in your ears, and it you believe, not only will a well ‘spring up within’ you, but rivers shall flow out from you. The Spirit, as replenishing the believer’s heart with actual virtues and practical holiness, is ever kept before our eye in the apostolic writings. ‘That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness.’ Putting these various expressions together, what a view do they give of the riches of grace! ‘all sufficiency’ ‘in all things,’ ‘always,’ ‘abound to every good work,’ ‘fruitful in every good work,’ ‘strengthened with all might,’ ‘according to His glorious power,’ ‘according to the power that worketh in us,’ ‘filled with all the fulness of God,’ Eternal Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, answer and disperse all our unbelief by filling our hearts with Thyself. The expression ‘filled with the Holy Ghost,’ places before us the human spirit restored to its original and highest fellowship.”
In speaking to how to obtain this experience, Mr. Arthur says on pages 320 and 321:
“As to the way in which this power may be obtained here we have only to recall the lesson of the ten days — ‘they continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.’ Prayer earnest, prayer united, and prayer persevering-these are the conditions, and these fulfilled, we shall assuredly be ‘endued with power from on high.'”
Nothing could be more plainly set forth than Mr. Arthur’s teaching here that the Holy Ghost is to be sought and obtained in answer to prayer, by believing Christians.
Perhaps no pastor in the United States, in the last quarter of a century, was more widely known, and more genuinely beloved, that the Rev. A. J. Gordon, a Baptist minister of Boston, who walked with God, and was not, for God took him up to Himself. In an excellent little volume entitled, “The Ministry of the Spirit,” on page 76, Mr. Gordon says:
“It seems clear from the Scriptures that it is still the duty and privilege of believers to receive the Holy Spirit by a conscious, definite act of appropriating faith, just as they received Jesus.”
On page 92 he says:
“It seems to me beyond question, as a matter of experience, both of Christians in the present day and of the early Church, as recorded by inspiration, that in addition to the gift of the Spirit received at conversion, there is another blessing corresponding in its signs and effects to the blessing received by the disciples at Pentecost-a blessing to be asked for and expected by Christians still, and to be described in language similar to that employed in the book of the Acts. Whatever that blessing may be, it is in immediate connection with the Holy Ghost.”
On page 98 he says:
“It is easy to cite cases of decisive, vivid, and clearly marked experience of the Spirit’s enduement, as in the lives of Dr. Finney, James Brainerd Taylor, and many others. And instead of describing these experiences-so definite as to time and so distinct as to accompanying credentials we would ask the reader to study them, and observe the remarkable effects which followed in the ministry of those who enjoyed them. The lives of many of the co-laborers with Wesley and Whitefield give a striking confirmation of the doctrine which we are defending.”
The late Phillips Brooks, Bishop in the Protestant Episcopal Church, reaches a beautiful climax in a sermon on Acts 19:2, in these impressive words:
“But here at Pentecost, what was there to call out such prodigies? If what we have said is true, was there not certainly enough? It was the coming back of God into man. It was the promise in these typical men of how near God would be to every man henceforth. It was the manifestation of the God Inspirer as distinct from and yet one with God Creator, and God Redeemer. It was primarily the entrance of God into man, and so, in consequence, the entrance of its spirit and full meaning into every truth man could know. It was the blossom-day of humanity, full of the promise of unmeasured fruit. And what that first Whit-Sunday was to all the world, one certain day comes to any man the day that the Holy Spirit comes to him. God enters into him, and he sees everything with God’s vision.”
On December 26, 1899, funeral services were held over the remains of Dwight L. Moody, at Northfield, Mass. One of the principal spokesmen on that occasion was Dr. Schofield. Among other things he said:
“The secret of Dwight L. Moody’s power lay: “First-In a definite experience of Christ’s saving grace. He had passed out of death into life and he knew it.
“Secondly — Mr. Moody believed in the Divine authority of the Scriptures. The Bible was to him the voice of God, and he made it resound as such in the consciences of men.
“Thirdly-He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and he knew that he was. It was to him as definite an experience as his conversion.
“Fourthly — He was a man of prayer. He believed in a living and unfettered God.
“But, Fifthly — Mr. Moody believed in work, in ceaseless effort, in wise provision, in the power of organization, of publicity. I like to think of Dwight L. Moody in heaven. I like to think of him with his Lord, and with Elijah, Daniel, Paul, Augustine, Luther, Wesley and Finney.
“Farewell, for a little time, great heart, may a double portion of the Spirit be vouchsafed to us who remain.”
I call the attention of the reader especially to the fact that Dr. Schofield said, “He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and knew that he was. It was to him as definite an experience as his conversion.”
Mr. Moody himself says:
“The blessing came upon me suddenly like a flash of lightning. For months I had been hungering and thirsting for power in service. I had come to that point that I think I would have died if I had not got it. I remember I was walking the streets of New York. I had no more heart in the business I was about than if I had not belonged to the world at all. Right there, on the street, the power of God seemed to come upon me so wonderfully that I had to ask God to stay His hand. I was filled with a sense of God’s goodness, and I felt as though I could take the whole world to my heart. I took the old sermons I had preached before without any power; it was the same old truth, but there was new power. Many were impressed and converted. This happened years after I was converted myself.”
These quotations will suffice. The doctrine of the baptism with the Holy Ghost is not only a Bible doctrine, but is taught and experienced by the most devout men of all the evangelical churches.