Paracletos, or The Baptism of the Holy Ghost
By Rev. Sherlock Bristol
In this work (14 chapters) by Bristol (Congregationalist), he first defines “paracletos”, then examines the Work of the Holy Spirit under the Mosaic dispensation, then under the Messiah, then the Pentecostal Baptism, not limited to apostolic times, the personal blessing, its relation to Christian work, conditions, counterfeits, how retained and how lost, testimonies, and the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit.
REV. SHERLOCK BRISTOL,
PREFACE. …’… 5
INTRODUCTION. …’… 9
I. Paracletos Defined. . . .17
II. The Work of the Holy Spirit under the Mosaic Dispensation. . .22
III. His Work under that of Messiah. . 23
IV. The Pentecostal Baptism, an Object Lesson. 29
V. The Promised Baptism, not limited to Apostolic Times 34
VI. The Personal Blessings it Imparts. . 52
VII. The Help it gives in Christian Work. . 77
VIII. Conditions of its Bestowal. . . 87
IX. Counterfeits and How Detected. . . 105
X. How Retained and How Lost. . . Ill
XI. The Attitude the Various Organizations Take With Reference to It. . 116
XII. Testimonies of Eminent Christians. . 146
XIII. The Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit. ….. 155
XIV. Final Words With Earnest Seekers. . 170
A PRAYER. 182
It is said that “All works of fiction are founded upon facts.” We believe this is true, especially of those which possess real merit. Their most valuable thoughts, cluster around experiences and observations of the writers which produced profound impressions, and prompted the production of their books. Nor is this true of works of fiction alone; more than half the books in our libraries had a similar origin. Could we but know the Genesis, and follow step by step to the final Revelation, how much additional interest it would add to the reading and to the profit of the book! Possibly, the reader of the following pages will ask for the motive which has induced the writer in his advanced age to weary himself with the writing of a book on this topic, with its attendant expense, criticism and care. It may be as well here as elsewhere in the book to give the reasons.
1. A -promise made to the Lord many years ago when in deep spiritual trouble, that if the Lord would deliver him, would take his feet from the mirey clay, set them on a rock, and establish his goings. If he would deliver him from the power of besetting sins and put the song of permanent victory
in his mouth, then he would testify to others, the power and grace of the Great Deliverer, and do his utmost to induce them to apply to him for similar relief.
2. The study of the Scriptures has convinced him, that there is a power of the Holy Spirit held in reserve for Christians, far beyond that usually bestowed in conversion, and indispensible to victory over sin and to their highest usefulness. And that for this “I will be inquired by the House of Israel to do it for them saith the Lord.”
3. Gratitude to God for the delightful experiences of the past fifty years, and the path growing brighter and brighter toward the perfect day, prompts to this final offering of a grateful heart. May the Glorious
Giver accept it, small though it be, like a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.
4. Another reason for the writing of this book, is the desire to call back the Church of God, from its dependence upon its colleges, its seminaries, its eloquent ministers, its learned Doctors, its Sabbath Schools, Missionary Societies, and what not; to dependence on the Holy Spirit, as the power to be sought first, midst, and last, and without which all other agencies are but broken reeds! The writer believes there has been a fearful departure in these latter days from this primal and
most important fact of the Christian system. In the biographical sketches of the late Rev. Char. Spurgeon while the writers have dwelt upon his sterling common sense, his mother wit, his natural talent for public speaking, his eloquence, his marvelous voice, and his skill as an organizer and leader of men, &c., they lave scarcely alluded to the power of the Holy Ghost, which rested on him, as on Peter, when he preached in the Pentecostal revival! Alas! Alas! that the power which wrought all his works in him, as he himself was so prompt to confess, should have been left out, ignored, forgotten! Did he not, if told of this in Heaven, ask to be allowed to rush back to earth, and protest in the name of the Lord, against a praise so sacrilegious and so misplaced? In Peter and Paul’s days, they would have said “He being full of the Holy Ghost so spake, that great numbers both of men and of women turned to the Lord.” “For he was a good man and full the Holy Ghost and much people were added unto the Lord.”
5. A final cause for the presentation to the Christian public of this great matter, has been the belief of the writer that he was prompted thereto by the Holy Spirit. The vast importance of the subject matter will be conceded by all. But who is sufficient to
set it forth? In the writing of the following pages, the writer has often been oppressed with a sense of his incompetency. And not once or twice only, has paused in the work, and looking to the right hand and the left, has cried out! for some other, more competent to set forth this great matter before the Churches! But a gentle voice as often whispered encouragingly in his ears, the words once spoken to Moses, “Who made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb or deaf? Or the seeing and the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say!”
Christian reader! A great future lies before you! An angel cannot measure it, or see its end! How can you lay its strong foundations, or place its corner stones, except you call on the Holy Ghost for help and receive him in fullest measure? Much he has done for you! Who can tell how much? Much he is doing still and is yet to do to carry out in your case, his plans of love! And David said, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? ” Can you do less than say with him, “I will take the Cup of Salvation and call on the name of the Lord?”
It is a well recognized Christian doctrine and one accepted by all evangelical Churches, that the conversion of sinners is brought about mainly, through the persuasive influence of the Holy Spirit. Earnest workers in the Gospel field, confronted everywhere with evidences of the deep depravity of our race, and conscious of its power within, would give up all effort in despair, did they not confidently anticipate help from on high. And while every human persuasive is brought out and vigorously applied, the chief reliance is on the aid expected from the Holy Spirit. Jesus said “When he the Spirit of truth is come, he shall convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of Judgment.” And an Apostle said, “No man can say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost.” The Hebrew prophets foresaw the nations of the earth turning to God, only after “The Spirit was poured out from on high.” So established is this doctrine in our Churches, that were one of its ablest preachers to declare his belief in his personal power to convert a soul without the help referred to, they would be shocked at his presumption and turn from him as a man grossly
conceited, and ignorant of the hold sin has upon the human heart! Hence it is, that in all revivals of religion where sinners in numbers turn to the Lord, the Churches are much on their knees, looking upward and praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit. If it be asked, whence this arrangement in the Divine plan of a special and personal work of the Spirit in man’s conversion? one answer may be; that the conversion of a sinner, is a work special and extraordinary! It stands by itself! No other in our world is like it or ever will be! It means a restored fellowship, joyous, satisfying and eternal, between God and his alienated and wandering child! To the convert it means heart cleansing, and holiness perfected, unending felicity and a growth and wealth of being, inexpressible and illimitable! Unto other finite beings, the companions of that future life, it means a contribution to their blessed estate, ever increasing in volume and value! In a matter so important, God must feel an interest larger than that of all finite beings, and fit it is that he should have a special hand in bringing about that wondrous change! How could such a being as God is, stand aside and treat it as a matter of merely ordinary import? The Parable of the Prodigal Son suggests what it is fit a loving
father should do in such a case. Other reasons suggest themselves, but it is not germain to the purpose of this book to state them here.
But the measure of Divine influence employed in the conversion of sinners and indispensible thereto, is not that to which the writer desires to call the reader’s attention. It is rather to a much larger measure and one usually bestowed subsequent to conversion and supplementary to it. A measure specially promised to God’s people under Messiah’s reign as the great power by which the nations are to be converted, Satan’s kingdom overthrown, and the millennium brought in!
Such a gift, the writer has no doubt, has been provided for God’s people, has been set before them in the Bible, and is now lovingly and earnestly urged upon their acceptance; nevertheless, like many other heavenly gifts, actually bestowed, only, when earnestly sought in faith, in full hearted consecration and importunate prayer. Conditions not arbitrary, but indispensible to a proper appreciation of the gift and its retention. “This kind cometh not, but by prayer.”
The ten day’s prayer meeting, held by the Apostles in that upper room in Jerusalem, while they waited for the promised baptism of the spirit, fairly represents to
the writer’s mind, the conditions on which, during the centuries following, the great gift was to be ordinarily bestowed. And it is his settled belief, that if the example there set by the Apostles had been followed in its spirit by their successors, long since this world would have been converted to God. And even now, were *our Churches to seek this blessing as the Apostles sought it were they occasionally to set apart special and adequate periods for prayer, confession, and seeking the gift of the Holy Spirit, he believes revivals would fill the land and the world! The power to work miracles, and to speak with tongues, may have been eliminated from among the gifts originally bestowed. We believe it has been. But the great essentials are still there in undiminished measure, and offered on terms equally liberal and compliable. The chief and essential elements in this gift are believed to be two. 1st. personal sanctification, and 2nd, power to impress others with the truth. A power in both cases super-human the power of the spirit –taking up his residence in the human body and making it his temple, and allying himself with the soul and aiding it in all its warfare and its work. Is there such a power in reserve for God’s people? That it has been largely ignored by
our Churches for ages and therefore unemployed and unsought, is no proof that it does, not exist. What discoveries the last half of the nineteenth century has made of great powers latent till now, and for six thousand years waiting to be discovered and applied to human use! All our Churches admit a power of the Holy Spirit, such as is employed in the conversion of sinners, omnipresent in the Churches, but largely latent and undeveloped, because not sought and cooperated with as the Gospel requires. Even so is the Great Helper, present among the Churches, clothed with powers like those bestowed at Pentecost, and as ready to impart them now as he was then. This world is fast filling up with people! It approaches its end in its present form. Great promises and prophecies remain to be fulfilled! The nations are to be converted! But they will not be at the present slow rate of progress. That which will bring it about will be a world-wide Pentecostal revival. A revival sought by Christians all over the world much after the Pentecostal pattern, and received, first in sanctifying power upon themselves, and then in an out-going power upon the nations. And when that shall be, then we shall begin to hear the towers fall,
and the nations saying one to another, “Come and let us go up to the house of the Lord and he will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths.” In the full confidence that this great blessing is in store for God’s people awaiting the asking and the seeking; and longing to see our “Zion awake and shake herself from the dust, and put ou her beautiful garments” the writer, now in his 78th year, and expecting to depart on the morrow takes his pen to write unto the Churches, and especially to his younger brethren in the Ministry, his convictions on this subject. May a hand unseen guide his pen and preserve from error that which may be written. No less inspire the reader with longing desires to ” Know what is the hope of his calling and what is the riches of the glory of Christ’s inheritance in the Saints, and what is the excelling greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power!”
Lo / I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Matt. 28: 20.
“Always with us, Always with us,
Words of cheer and words of love; Thus the risen Saviour whispers, From his dwelling place above.
With us when we toil in sadness, Sowing much and reaping none;
Telling us that in the future, Golden harvests shall be won.
With us when the storm is sweeping O’er our pathway dark and drear;
Waking hope within our bosoms, Stilling every anxious fear.
With us in the lonely valley, When we cross the Chilling Stream,
Lighting up the Steps to Glory, With Salvation’s radiant beam.”
|Date:||February 4, 2015|
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