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coasts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since

ye believed ? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost" -or rather, “ We did not even hear if the Holy Spirit was come.” And he said unto them, Unto what, then, were ye baptized ? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him who should come after, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."

Here, then, we have, with great clearness and force, the distinction between quickening and sealing. Here were twelve men, who evidently were disciples, and who had received a measure of truth, but not the full truth of accomplished redemption, of a risen and glorified Saviour, and of the Holy Ghost as the witness of these grand and glorious facts.

We are not to suppose that these disciples had never heard of the existence of the Holy Ghost. In this our Authorised Version is manifestly defective. What they had not heard was whether the Holy Ghost had come down as the witness and solid proof of the exaltation and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist, whose disciples they were, knew and spoke of the Holy Spirit, so that they must have known of that divine Person; but he did not, could not, know, and therefore could not speak of Him as the seal put upon all true believers.

And yet they were true disciples, really quickened souls, but not sealed. They were practically in the condition of Old Testament believers, or of the disciples during our Lord's life on earth. There was this difference, that the Holy Ghost had come on the day of Pentecost, and had been working for years, not only in quickening, but in sealing. Thousands of Jews at Jerusalem, many of the Samaritans, the household of Cornelius, had all received the Holy Ghost; and yet the twelve disciples at Ephesus had not even heard of His descent.

Hence, then, it is plain that persons may be quickened, but not sealed. What was true of those Ephesians, years after the day of Pentecost, may be equally true of souls now. How many of the Lord's beloved people, throughout the wide field of christian profession, are in this condition! They do not know what it is to be linked by the indwelling Spirit to a risen and glorified Head in heaven. They are virtually under the law; they do not know the blessedness of settled peace with God; they enjoy not the liberty wherewith Christ makes His people free; they are in bondage, filled with doubts and fears. Many go on in this sad condition all their days, and perhaps on their deathbed, for the first time, they get a full view of a risen and glorified Christ, and, believing on Him, are there and then sealed, and brought into the glorious liberty of the gospel of God. They have been robbed all their lifetime of their precious privilege. Through legality, bad teaching, or some other cause, they have been kept in ignorance of “the things which are freely given to us of God;" and thus they have been groping on in

darkness and distance, instead of enjoying that blessed nearness to God which is the portion of all those who simply believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

However, we shall not dwell further just now on the important and interesting distinction between quickening and sealing—the former being the work of the Spirit, the latter His personal indwelling—but shall, ere closing this very brief article, call the serious attention of the christian reader to the weighty word of exhortation quoted above," Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

This word assumes that the Christian knows himself to be a sealed one. All christian exhortation is based on the fact of our being in the enjoyment of christian position and privilege. We could not grieve the Holy Spirit, if He were not in us; but when we know what it is to have such an One as the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in us, making our body His temple, what a powerful motive to holy living! How careful we should be not to grieve Him! How we should watch against every thought, word, and act that would be offensive to the divine Guest who has taken up His abode in us! All lightness and frivolity, all unballowed conversation, all evil speaking, all unkindness, moroseness, and irritability, all selfish ways, all worldly-mindedness, must be judged according to the standard of the Holy One by whom we are sealed unto the day of redemption. It is no longer a question of what is suitable or consistent for us, but for Him. This makes all the difference. Many a thing might be suitable for us which would be very grievous to Him. Our constant inquiry should be, “ Will this thing grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells in me?" If so, let us, by the grace of God, judge and reject it with holy decision.

May the Lord enable us to bend our earnest attention to His most precious word of exhortation, that so His holy name may be more fully glorified in our daily life!

And, now, a very few words on the subject of “ the Earnest.” This is a most precious aspect of the Spirit's office and work. “He is the earnest of the inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.” The inheritance is purchased; the price has been paid. But it is not yet redeemed; for this latter we wait; and while waiting, our God has, most graciously, given us the earnest of His Spirit, so that we are as sure of the inheritance as though we were already in possession of it. The earnest is a part of what we are to get. he which stablisheth us with you is Christ— most precious words!—" and hath anointed us in God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Corinthians i. 21, 22.

We must carefully distinguish between purchase and redemption. Many confound them and thus suffer serious loss. Our Lord Christ has purchased the whole universe. He has paid the redemption price for the inheritance; but He has not yet laid His mighty hand, in redeeming power, thereupon. Redemption by price is one thing; redemption by power, quite another. In the year 1834, the British Legislature voted 20 millions money

to redeem the slaves in our Colonies. This was redemption by price. But then, notwithstanding the payment of this redemption price, some poor

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slaves might be found huddled together in a slave ship. What was needed in their case ? Redemption by power in virtue of the price. A British man of war might seize the slave ship and let go all the poor captives. This may, in some feeble manner, illustrate the difference between purchase and redemption.

In Romans viii. we have a splendid passage which we must quote for the reader. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only it, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body."

As regards the body of the believer, as in respect to the inheritance, the redemption price has been paid, but it is not yet redeemed,

we groan within ourselves."

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