IT is no small pleasure to me to commend this book to all who love God, and in particular to those who are labouring to serve Him in the ranks of The Salvation Army. I believe that it will prove useful in the most important way---in its bearing, that is, upon many of the practical difficulties and problems of daily life.
The writer, Colonel* Brengle, gives us not only of the fruit of an orderly and well-stored mind on the great subject before us, but-and this is the more important-he tells us of the actual work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of ordinary men and women, as he has witnessed the results of that work amidst his many labours for the salvation and holiness of the people. It is for them he writes. It is to them, living the common life, bound to others by the obligations of ordinary social intercourse, toiling at their secular occupations, and rubbing shoulders with the multitude in the market-place, that his message comes. I venture to hope that his words will make it plain to some of them that the highest intercourse with the divine is their privilege; that the special province of the Holy Ghost is to lead men into the truest devotion to God, and to the advancement of His kingdom on earth, even while they are carrying on the common avocations associated with earning their daily bread.
The only purpose of God having a practical bearing on our lives is His purpose to save men from sin and its awful consequences, and make them conform to His will in this world as in the next. The work of the Holy Spirit is to help us to achieve that purpose. Without His help we are unable to overcome the difficulties that are in the way, whether we consider them from the standpoint of the world or of the individual. If anyone could have looked at the state of the world at the time of our Lord's death he would surely have regarded the work which the apostles were commissioned to attempt as the most utterly wild and impracticable enterprise that the human mind could conceive. And it was so, but for one fact. That fact was the promise of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be the great Helper in the undertaking.
And equally in the work of uniting the individual soul with God's purpose that Spirit is our Helper. In the work of righteousness He is a Partner with us. In the life of faith and prayer He is our unwavering Prompter and Guide. In the submission of our wills to God and the chastening of our spirits He is the great Coworker with us. In the bearing of burdens and the enduring of trial and sorrow He joins hands with us to lead us on. In the purifying of every power from the taint of sin He is our Sanctifier.
All this is practical. It has to do with today-with every bit of today. In fact, so far from the sphere of the Holy Spirit being limited to the pulpit or the platform, or to the inward experiences of the religious life, He is just as truly and properly concerned with the affairs of the shop and the street, the nursery and the kitchen, the chamber of suffering and the home of penury, as with preaching the gospel or healing the sick.
Now it is to lead its readers to a personal experience of all this that this book has been written. No mere intellectual assent to the truth it sets forth can satisfy its author, any more than it can benefit his readers. What he seeks, and what I join him in devoutly asking of God, is that you, dear friend, who may take this little volume into your hands, may see what an infinite privilege is yours, and may begin to act with God the Holy Ghost, and to open your whole being to Him, that He may work with you.
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