INTRODUCTION.

DUTY OF LIVING AND WALKING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.[1]

We live, move, and have our being in God. His presence is ever with us; and by his power, we are, at every moment, upheld in being, and faculties and powers, from which all movements corporeal or mental, proceed, are preserved in existence and action. Such is our constant and immediate dependence on God. We are, in like manner and degree, dependent on the Holy Spirit, for the existence of spiritual life, and for the faculties and powers necessary to all spiritual action. Our dependence on the Holy Spirit extends still further. The very disposition to holy action, proceeds from the Spirit; and the production of this disposition, is his peculiar work in sanctification. In our natural actions, we live and move in God; in our spiritual actions, we live and walk in the Holy Spirit.

The Scripture representations of our dependence on the Holy Spirit, are full and strong. Our spiritual life comes from him, for it is the spirit that quickeneth;[2] and he is called the Spirit of Life.[3] When the prophet saw the dead bones in the valley, he prayed: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live;"[4] and the spirit of life entered into them. So souls, dead in trespasses and sins, are quickened by the Holy Spirit. And we live in the Holy Spirit as dependent on him for spiritual life, as the body is dependent for animal life on the atmosphere which we breathe. Hence proceed the earnest prayers, that the Holy Spirit may be granted, and may not be taken away.[5] And hence the bestowment of the Holy Spirit is regarded as the giving of all good.[6] The importance of the Holy Spirit's influence in the exercises of the spiritual life, may be inferred from such passages as the following: "Led by the Spirit;"[7] "Mind the things of the Spirit;"[8] "Filled with the Spirit;"[9] "The Spirit lusteth against the flesh;"[10] "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live:"[11] "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity:"[12] "Changed into the same image by the Spirit;"[13] "The Spirit beareth witness with our spirits."[14]

No believer, who has any just sense of his dependence on the Holy Spirit, for the divine life which he enjoys, and all its included blessings, can be indifferent towards the Agent by whom all this good is bestowed. He cannot willingly "grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom he is sealed to the day of redemption." He will seek to know, in all things, what is the mind of the Spirit; and, to him, the communion of the Holy Spirit will be the sweetest foretaste of heaven, that can be enjoyed on earth. And to him, therefore, the study of the Holy Spirit's character and office, will be a source of delight.

[1] Gal. v. 25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

[2] John vi. 63.

[3] Rom. viii. 2.

[4] Ex. xxxvii. 9.

[5] Ps. li. 11, 12.

[6] Compare Matt. vii. 11 with Luke xi. 13.

[7] Gal. v. 18.

[8] Rom. viii. 5.

[9] Eph v. 18.

[10] Gal. v. 17.

[11] Rom. viii. 13.

[12] Rom. viii. 26.

[13] 2 Cor. iii. 18.

[14] Rom. viii. 16.