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God the Holy Ghost is a very loving Comforter

November 5, 2018 2 comments

Having thus explained the Spirit’s office as teacher and advocate, we come now to the translation of our version-the Comforter; and here I shall have three divisions. First, the comforter; secondly, the comfort; and thirdly, the comforted.

I. First, then, the COMFORTER. Briefly let me run over in my mind and in your minds too, the characteristics of this glorious Comforter. Let me tell you some of the attributes of his comfort, so that you may understand how well adapted he is to your case.

And first, we will remark that God the Holy Ghost is a very loving Comforter. I am in distress and want consolation. Some passer-by hears of my sorrow, and he steps within, sits down and essays to cheer me; he speaks soothing words; but he loves me not, he is a stranger, he knows me not at all, he has only come in to try his skill; and what is the consequence? his words run over me like oil upon a slab of marble-they are like the pattering rain upon the rock; they do not break my grief; it stands unmoved as adamant, because he has no love for me. But let someone who loves me dearly as his own life come and plead with me, then truly his words are music; they taste like honey; he knows the pass-word of the doors of my heart, and my ear is attentive to every word, I catch the intonation of each syllable as it falls, for it is like the harmony of the harps of heaven Oh! there is a voice in love, it speaks a language which is its own, it is a idiom and an accent which none can mimic; wisdom cannot imitate it, oratory cannot attain unto it; it is love alone which can reach the mourning heart; love is the only handkerchief which can wipe the mourner’s tears away. And is not the Holy Ghost a loving Comforter? Dost thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee; Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit. Dost thou know how great is the affection of his soul towards thee? Go, measure heaven with thy span; go, weigh the mountains in the scales; go, take the ocean’s water, and tell each drop; go count the sand upon the sea’s wide shore, and when thou hast accomplished this, thou canst tell how much he loveth thee. He has loved thee long, he has loved thee well; he loved thee ever and he still shall love thee. Surely he is the person to comfort thee, because he loves. Admit him, then, to your heart, O Christian, that he may comfort you in your distress.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

The other translation is advocate

The other translation is advocate. Have you ever thought how the Holy Ghost can be said to be an advocate? You know Jesus Christ is called the wonderful, the counsellor, and mighty God; but how can the Holy Ghost be said to be an advocate? I suppose it is thus: he is an advocate on earth to plead against the enemies of the cross. How was it that Paul could so ably plead before Felix and Agrippa? How was it that the Apostles stood unawed before the magistrates and confessed their Lord? How has it come to pass that in all times God’s ministers have been made fearless as lions, and their brows have been firmer than brass, their hearts sterner than steel, and their words like the language of God? Why, it is simply for this reason, that it was not the man who pleaded, but it was God the Holy Ghost pleading through him. Have you never seen an earnest minister, with hands uplifted and eyes dropping tears, pleading with the sons of men? Have you never admired that portrait from the hand of old John Bunyan? A grave person with eyes uplifted to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth written on his lips, the world behind his back, standing as if he pleaded with men, and a crown of gold hanging over his head. Who gave that minister so blessed a manner and such goodly matter? Whence came his skill? Did he acquire it in the college? Did he learn it in the seminary? Ah! no; he learned it of the God of Jacob; he learned it of the Holy Ghost; for the Holy Ghost is the great counsellor who teaches us how to advocate his cause aright.

But, besides this, the Holy Ghost is the advocate in men’s hearts. Ah! I have known men reject a doctrine until the Holy Ghost began to illumine them. We who are the advocates of the truth are often very poor pleaders; we spoil our cause by the words we use; but it is a mercy that the brief is in the hand of a special pleader, who will advocate successfully and overcome the sinner’s opposition. Did you ever know him fail once? Brethen, I speak to your souls has not God in old times convinced you of sin? Did not the Holy Ghost come and prove that you were guilty, although no minister could ever get you out of your self-righteousness? Did he not advocate Christ’s righteousness? Did he not stand and tell you that your works were filthy rags? and when you had well-nigh still refused to listen to his voice, did he not fetch hell’s drum and make it sound about your ears, bidding you look through the vista of future years and see the throne set, and the books open, and the sword brandished, and hell burning, and fiends howling, and the damned shrieking for ever? and did he not thus convince you of the judgment to come? He is a mighty advocate when he pleads in the soul-of sin, of righteousness, and of the judgment to come. Blessed advocate! plead in my heart, plead with my conscience. When I sin, make conscience bold to tell me of it; when I err, make conscience speak at once; and when I turn aside to crooked ways, then advocate the cause of righteousness, and bid me sit down in confusion, knowing my guiltiness in the sight of God.

But there is yet another sense in which the Holy Ghost advocates, and that is, he advocates our cause with Jesus Christ, with groanings that cannot be uttered. O my soul, thou art ready to burst within me! O my heart, thou art swelled with grief; the hot tide of my emotion would well-nigh overflow the channels of my veins. I long to speak, but the very desire chains my tongue. I wish to pray, but the fervency of my feeling curbs my language. There is a groaning within that cannot be uttered. Do you know who can utter that groaning, who can understand it, and who can put it into heavenly language and utter it in O celestial tongue, so that Christ can hear it? Oh! yes; it is God the Holy Spirit; he advocates our cause with Christ and then Christ advocates it with his Father. He is the advocate, who maketh intercession for us, with groanings that cannot be uttered.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

I am the infallible paraclete or teacher, and when I am gone, I will send you another teacher

“I will send you another teacher.” Jesus Christ had been the official teacher or his saints whilst on earth. They called no man Rabbi except Christ. They sat at no men’s feet to learn their doctrines; but they had them direct from the lips of him who “spake as never man spake.” “And now,” says he, “when I am gone, where shall you find the great infallible teacher? Shall I set you up a Pope at Rome, to whom you shall go, and who shall be your infallible oracle? Shall I give you the councils of the church to be held to decide all knotty points?” Christ said no such thing. “I am the infallible paraclete or teacher, and when I am gone, I will send you another teacher and he shall be the person who is to explain Scripture; he shall be the authoritative oracle of God, who shall make all dark things light, who shall unravel mysteries, who shall untwist all knots of revelation, and shall make you understand what you could not discover, had it not been for his influence.” And beloved, no man ever learns anything aright, unless he is taught of the Spirit. You may learn election, and you may know it so that you shall be damned by it, if you are not taught of the Holy Ghost; for I have known some who have learned election to their soul’s destruction; they have learned it, so that they said they were of the elect, whereas they had no marks, no evidences and no work of the Holy Ghost in their souls. There is a way of learning truth in Satan’s college, and holding it in licentiousness; but if so, it shall be to your souls as poison to your veins, and prove your everlasting ruin. No man can know Jesus Christ unless he is taught of God. There is no doctrine of the Bible which can be safely, thoroughly, and truly learned, except by the agency of the one authoritative teacher. Ah! tell me not of systems of divinity, tell me not of schemes of theology; tell me not of infallible commentators, or most learned and most arrogant doctors; but tell me of the Great Teacher, who shall instruct us, the sons of God, and shall make us wise to understand all things. He is the Teacher; it matters not what this or that man says; I rest on no man’s boasting authority, nor will you. Ye are not to be carried away with the craftiness of men, nor sleighs of words; this is the authoritative oracle, the Holy Ghost resting in the hearts of his children.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

The most common meaning of the word is that which we have here: “I will send you another Comforter”

Before I discourse of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter, I must make one or two remarks on the different translations of the word rendered “Comforter.” The Flemish translation, which you are aware is adopted by Roman Catholics, has left the word untranslated, and gives it “Paraclete.” “But the Paraclete which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.” This is the original Greek word, and it has some other meanings besides “Comforter.” Sometimes it means the monitor or instructor: “I will send you another monitor, another teacher.” Frequently it means “Advocate;” but the most common meaning of the word is that which we have here: “I will send you another Comforter.” However, we cannot pass over those other two interpretations without saying something upon them.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

I will send you another Comforter-one who shall be just what I have been

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”- John 14:26.

GOOD old Simeon called Jesus the consolation of Israel; and so he was. Before his actual appearance, his name was the Day-Star; cheering the darkness, and prophetic of the rising sun. To him they looked with the same hope which cheers the nightly watcher, when from the lonely castletop he sees the fairest of the stars, and hails her as the usher of the morn. When he was on earth, he must have been the consolation of all those who were privileged to be his companions. We can imagine how readily the disciples would run to Christ to tell him of their-griefs, and how sweetly with that matchless intonation of his voice, he would speak to them and bid their fears be gone. Like children, they would consider him as their Father; and to him every want, every groan, every sorrow, every agony, would at once be carried, and he, like a wise physician, had a balm for every wound; he had mingled a cordial for their every care; and readily did he dispense some mighty remedy to allay all the fever of their troubles. Oh! it must have been sweet to have lived with Christ. Surely sorrows then were but joys in masks because they gave an opportunity to go to Jesus to have them removed. Oh! would to God, some of us may say, that we could have lain our weary heads upon the bosom of Jesus, and that our birth had been in that happy era, when we might have heard his kind voice, and seen his kind look, when he said “Let the weary ones come unto me.”

But now he was about to die. Great prophecies were to be fulfilled, and great purposes were to be answered; and therefore Jesus must go. It behoved him to suffer, that he might be made a propitiation for our sins. It behoved him to slumber in the dust awhile, that he might perfume the chamber of the grave to make it-

“No more a charnel house to fence

The relics of lost innocence.”

It behoved him to have a resurrection, that we who shall one day be the dead in Christ, might rise first, and in glorious bodies stand upon earth. And it behoved him that he should ascend up on high, that he might lead captivity captive; that he might chain the fiends of hell; that he might lash them to his chariot wheels and drag them up high heaven’s hill, to make them feel a second overthrow from his right arm when he should dash them from the pinnacles of heaven down to deeper depths beneath. “It is right I should go away from you,” said Jesus, “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come.” Jesus must go. Weep ye disciples. Jesus must be gone. Mourn ye poor ones who are to be left without a Comforter. But hear how kindly Jesus speaks: “I will not leave you comfortless, I will pray the Father, and he shall send you another Comforter, who shall be with you, and shall dwell in you for ever.” He would not leave those few poor sheep alone in the wilderness; he would not desert his children and leave them fatherless. Albeit that he had a mighty mission which did fill his heart and hand; albeit that he had so much to perform that we might have thought that even his gigantic intellect would be overburdened albeit he had so much to suffer, that we might suppose his whole soul to be concentrated upon the thought of the sufferings to be endured, yet it was not so; before he left, he gave soothing words of comfort; like the good Samaritan, he poured in oil and wine; and we see what he promised: “I will send you another Comforter-one who shall be just what I have been, yea even more; who shall console you in your sorrows, remove your doubts, comfort you in your afflictions, and stand as my vicar on earth, to do that which I would have done, had I tarried with you.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

Then to the ungodly, I have this one closing word to say

October 1, 2018 1 comment

Then to the ungodly, I have this one closing word to say. Ever be careful how you speak of the Holy Ghost. I do not know what the unpardonable sin is, and I do not think any man understands it; but it is something like this: “He that speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall never be forgiven him.” I do not know what that means: but tread carefully! There is danger; there is a pit which our ignorance has covered by sand, tread carefully! you may be in it before the next hour. If there is any strife in your heart to-day, perhaps you will go to the ale-house and forget it. Perhaps there is some voice speaking in your soul, and you will put it away. I do not tell you you will be resisting the Holy Ghost and committing the unpardonable sin; but it is somewhere there. Be very careful. Oh ! there is no crime on earth so black as the crime against the Holy Spirit. Ye may blaspheme the Father, and ye shall be damned for it unless ye repent, ye may blaspheme the Son, and hell shall be your portion, unless ye are forgiven; but blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and thus saith the Lord, “There is no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in the world which is to come.” I cannot tell you what it is, I do not profess to understand it; but there it is. It is the danger signal, stop! man, stop! If thou hast despised the Holy Spirit, if thou hast laughed at his revelations, and scorned what Christians call his influence, I beseech thee, stop! this morning seriously deliberate. Perhaps some of you have actually committed the unpardonable sin; stop! Let fear stop you; sit down. Do not drive on so rashly as you have done, Jehu! Oh! slacken your reins! Thou who art such a profligate in sin, thou who hast uttered such hard words against the Trinity, stop! Ah, it makes us all stop. It makes us all draw up and say, “Have I not perhaps so done?” Let us think of this, and let us not at any time trifle either with the words, or the acts, of God the Holy Ghost.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Personality of the Holy Ghost,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 21, 1855

And now, beloved, it says, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you”

September 24, 2018 Leave a comment

And now, beloved, it says, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” We will close up with that sweet recollection — the Holy Ghost dwells in all believers, and shall be with them.

One word of comment and advice to the saints of God, and to sinners, and I have done. Saints of the Lord! ye have this morning heard that God the Holy Ghost is a person; ye have had it proved to your souls. What follows from this? Why, it followeth how earnest ye should be-in prayer to the Holy Spirit, as well as for the Holy Spirit. Let me say that this is an inference that you should lift up your prayers to the Holy Ghost, that you should cry earnestly unto him, for he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think. See this mass of people; what is to convert it? See this crowd; who is to make my influence permeate through the mass? You know this place has now a mighty influence, and God blessing us, it will have an influence, not only upon this city but upon England at large, for we now enjoy the press as well as the pulpit, and certainly, I should say before the close of the year, more than two hundred thousand of my productions will be scattered through the land — words uttered by my lips, or written by my pen. But how can this influence he rendered for good? How shall God’s glory be promoted by it? Only by incessant prayer for the Holy Spirit; by constantly calling down the influence of the Holy Ghost upon us; we want him to rest upon every page that is printed, and upon every word that is uttered. Let us then be doubly earnest in pleading with the Holy Ghost, that he would come and own our labors, that the whole church at large may be revived thereby, and not ourselves only, but the whole world share in the benefit.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Personality of the Holy Ghost,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 21, 1855

But the last reason why worldly men laugh at the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, is because they do not know it

September 17, 2018 Leave a comment

But the last reason why worldly men laugh at the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, is because they do not know it. If they knew it by heart-felt experience, and if they recognized its agency in the soul; if they had ever been touched by it; if they had been made to tremble under a sense of sin; if they had had their hearts melted; they would never have doubted the existence of the Holy Ghost.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Personality of the Holy Ghost,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 21, 1855

So the worldling says there is no Holy Ghost, because he cannot see it Well, but we feel it

September 10, 2018 Leave a comment

The unregenerate world of sinners despises the Holy Ghost, “because it seeth him not.” Yes, I believe this is the great secret why many laugh at the idea of the existence of the Holy Ghost — because they see him not. You tell the worldling, “I have the Holy Ghost within me.” He says, “I cannot see it.” He wants it to be something tangible: a thing he can recognize with his senses. Have you ever heard the argument used by a good old Christian against an infidel doctor? The doctor said there was no soul, and he asked, “Did you ever see a soul?” “No,” said the Christian. “Did you ever hear a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a soul?” No.” “Did you ever taste a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a soul?” “Yes,” said the man — “I feel I have one within me.” “Well,” said the doctor, “there are four senses against one: you have only one on your side.” “Very well,” said the Christian, “Did you ever see a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever hear a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever taste a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a pain?” “Yes,” “And that is quite enough, I suppose, to prove there is a pain?” “Yes.” So the worldling says there is no Holy Ghost, because he cannot see it. Well, but we feel it. You say that is fanaticism, and that we never felt it. Suppose you tell me that honey is bitter, I reply “No, I am sure you cannot have tasted it; taste it, and try.” So with the Holy Ghost, if you did but feel his influence, you would no longer say there is no Holy Spirit, because you cannot see it. Are there not many things, even in nature, which we cannot see? Did you ever see the wind? No; but ye know there is wind, when ye behold the hurricane tossing the waves about and rending down the habitations of men; or when in the soft evening zephyr it kisses the flowers, and maketh dewdrops hang in pearly coronets around the rose. Did ye ever see electricity? No, but ye know there is such a thing, for it travels along the wires for thousands of miles, and carries our messages, though you cannot see the thing itself, you know there is such a thing. So you must believe there is a Holy Ghost working in us, both to will and to do, even though it is beyond our senses.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Personality of the Holy Ghost,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 21, 1855

Whom the world cannot receive… These cannot receive the Spirit

September 3, 2018 Leave a comment

IV. Now we have to close up with a brief remark on the reason why the world rejects the Holy Ghost. It is said, “Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” You know what is sometimes meant by “the world,” — those whom God, in his wondrous sovereignty, passed over when he chose his people: the preterite ones; those passed over in God’s wondrous preterition — not the reprobates who were condemned to damnation by some awful decree, but those passed over by God, when he chose out his elect. These cannot receive the Spirit. Again, it means all in a carnal state are not able to procure themselves this divine influence; and thus it is true, “Whom the world cannot receive.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Personality of the Holy Ghost,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning,

January 21, 1855