which changes its moral character. We add two remarks by way of further explanation:
(a) The Scriptural assertions of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and of his mighty power in the soul forbid us to regard the divine Spirit in regeneration as coming in contact, not with the soul, but only with the truth. The phrases, ?to energize the truth,? ?to intensify the truth,? ?to illuminate the truth,? have no proper meaning since even God cannot make the truth more true. If any change is wrought, it must be wrought, not in the truth, but in the soul.
The maxim, ?Truth is mighty and will prevail,? is very untrue, if God is left out of the account. Truth without God is an abstraction and not a power. It is a mere instrument, useless without an agent. ?The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God? ( <490617>Ephesians 6:17), must be wielded by the Holy Spirit himself. And the Holy Spirit comes in contact, not simply with the instrument, but with the soul. To all moral, and especially to all religious truth, there is an inward insusceptibility, arising from the perversity of the affections and the will. This blindness and hardness of heart must be removed, before the soul can perceive or be moved by the truth. Hence the Spirit must deal directly with the soul. Denovan: ?Our natural hearts are hearts of stone. The word of God is good seed sown on the hard, trodden, macadamized highway, which the horses of passion, the asses of self-will, the wagons of imaginary treasure have made impenetrable. Only the Holy Spirit can soften and pulverize this soil.?
The Psalmist prays: ?Incline my heart unto thy testimonies? ( <19B936>Psalm 119:36), while of Lydia it is said: ?whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul? ( <441614>Acts 16:14). We may say of the Holy Spirit: ?He freezes and then melts the soil, He breaks the hard, cold stone, Kills out the rooted weeds so vile, All this he does alone; And every virtue we possess. And every victory won, And every thought of holiness, Are his, and his alone.? Hence, in <199016>Psalm 90:16, 17, the Psalmist says, first: ?Let thy work appear unto thy servants then ?establish thou the work of our hands upon us? ? God?s work is first to appear, then man?s work, which is God?s work carried out by human instruments. At Jericho, the force was not applied to the rams? horns but to the walls. When Jesus healed the blind man, his power was applied, not to the spittle, but to the eyes. The impression is prepared, not by heating the seal, but by softening the wax. So God?s power acts, not upon the truth, but upon the sinner.
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