“All that we spiritually know of ourselves, all that we know of God and of Jesus and his Word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. And all the real light, sanctification, strength and comfort we are made to possess on our way to glory we must ascribe to him. To be richly anointed with the Spirit is to be led into all truth, and to be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with love to God and man. . . .
God has never revoked this gift. He has never removed his Spirit from the church. He is still her divine, personal and abiding Resident. . . .
But for a larger degree of his reviving, anointing and sanctifying influences we do most earnestly plead. The Spirit, though the ever-blessed and abiding occupant of the church of Christ and of the individual believer, may not always be manifestly present. The prayerless, unholy and trifling walk of a believer will cause him to withdraw his sensible [felt] presence. The coldness, formality, worldliness and divisions of a church will compel him to withhold the plentiful rain or the gentle dew of his precious influence. He may be so disowned, dishonored, wounded and grieved as to retire within the curtains of his secret glory, leaving for a while the scene of worldliness and strife to the curse and the reproach of barrenness. . .
All we want, brethren beloved in the Lord, is a richer and more enlarged degree of the reviving, sealing and witnessing influence of the Holy Spirit. . .
Descend, holy and blessed Spirit, upon all thy churches, thy ministers, and thy people!”
Octavius Winslow, The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Work of the Holy Spirit (New York, 1840), pages iv-v.
(HT: Ray Ortlund)