The Clinton Courant, July 28, 1915


Hamilton, Ont., July 25 Pastor Russell is here today. We report his discourse based upon the text, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7) The Pastor spoke as follows:

Bible students have learned not to think of the different spirits mentioned in our text as different persons. When, for instance, an evil spirit or disposition is mentioned, we do not think of it as a person; and when a holy Spirit or disposition is mentioned, we do not think of it as a person. A holy person has a holy Spirit or disposition. The holy Spirit proceeds from God. It is His spirit. It comes to us through the Truth; it is not another person, another God (1 Cor. 8:5, 6) Likewise the spirit of fear is not a devil, a spirit being; and the spirit of a sound mind is not a God, nor an angel. Gradually we are getting the right focus on these matters, to see that God is a Spirit; and that as a Spirit He has an influence just as a human being has an influence. That influence is according to the character, according to the strength, according to the power to exert one's self.

Some have a power of evil-doing by which they could vanquish a hundred or a thousand; in one sense of the word they have a strong spirit. Others have a spirit of bitterness, and can stir up evil in others. Still others have a spirit of kindness, gentleness and love. But by nature we are all members of a fallen race; for we have many of the qualities that belong to the wrong spirit.

When the disciples came to Jesus after the Samaritans had refused to sell them food, they said, "Lord, wilt Thou that we call down fire from heaven to destroy them and their city?" Jesus replied, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." You should not have such a disposition. The fact that they have ignored Me is an insignificant matter. If you desire to have My spirit, you must get rid of that disposition to render evil for evil, to do harm to others.

Our Lord was not talking about the holy Spirit as a person, but as an influence. The Bible shows us that God, who is a Spirit Being, is not vindictive, but merciful, loving and just. Therefore He is a good Spirit, a holy Spirit. God's disposition is a holy disposition; He is not disposed to do anything wrong or unjust or unkind. All who receive His holy Spirit receive the spirit of a sound mind, of justice, of gentleness. And so the Apostle, in speaking about this matter, says that the holy Spirit is manifest can be seen in those who possess it. [HGL728]


St. Paul does not mean that we shall see another being get into a man, as once we believed, that the holy Spirit, as a God, divided Himself up and entered into millions of people. Those who have the idea that God can be divided amongst millions of people are very much confused in their minds. Whoever receives the mind of Christ, the spirit of Christ, receives the spirit of holiness. Our Lord Jesus gave up His own will to do the Father's will. Just in proportion as we give up our own fallen disposition and take instead God's way of thinking, God's way of viewing matters, God's Spirit of Love, to that same extent ours is a holy Spirit, to that extent we have received the holy Spirit.

All the human family are fallen; and when God received us into His family through Christ it was with a view to begetting us of the holy Spirit to a newness of nature. This start of the new nature leads us to view every subject from God's standpoint, to say to ourselves, "Is this the mind of God on this subject? I will study the Scriptures and do what God has said on this matter. When I came into the family of God I agreed to give up my own will altogether, just as the Master did."

No matter how good our Lord's will was, He gave it up in order to do the Father's will. "Not My will, but Thine, be done." "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God." (Heb. 10:7) The Father had a certain Plan marked out. The Son, as an intelligent being, would have thoughts of His own; but He surrendered all His own plans and thoughts in order that He might do the Father's will. The Father was pleased with this course; and as result when our Lord Jesus gave up His own will He came right into line with God's providences. He was successful in His work because He was obedient to the Father. Philip. 2:8, 9


The invitation of the Gospel Age is an invitation to do the same thing that Jesus did. The Master said, "If any man will come after Me be My disciple, My follower, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24) To deny himself is to give up his own will. Whoever has given up his will has given his all to the Lord. As the Apostle says, we present our bodies a living sacrifice. (Rom. 12:1) We give up our wills entirely; our Lord Jesus accepts us and presents us to the Father. But before He can do this, He must impute to us of His righteousness; for by nature we are imperfect through the fall, and the Father will accept nothing that is imperfect. As our Lord said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." Again He said, "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." John 14:6; 6:37

After we have given ourselves through the Lord Jesus Christ, He imputes the merit of His sacrifice to us in such form that the Father can receive us as His children, and start in us the beginning of a new nature a new creation. When we get a proper view of this transaction, we shall not think that we must repeatedly give ourselves to God. We shall be concerned about living up to the contract which we have made, and which God has accepted and sealed with His holy Spirit. This seal is the earnest of our inheritance; it binds the contract which we made when we gave ourselves to God in consecration. (2 Cor. 1:21, 22) We have signed a contract giving our all to Him; we have received the earnest, the hand payment; and through the coming days we are to keep giving ourselves without cessation in harmony with the Lord's will.


Daily we should search the Word of God that we may understand the Divine Message and get the Spirit of the Truth. We must see what is the real meaning of the Bible, so that God may be greatly pleased with us, as He sees how earnestly we are trying to do His will in everything. Thus His Spirit will grow in us. More and more we may be filled with the holy Spirit. It is a Spirit of meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, patient endurance, and love; it is the holy Spirit of God; and the more we have of its fruits, the more we shall have of the Spirit itself. But we cannot have these fruits developed from the teachings of God's Word, unless we have the holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, influencing all our acts, words and thoughts. (Gal. 5:22, 23)

When first we entered the School of Christ, we were babes and acted like babes. But the Apostle says that we are not to remain babes. We are to put away childish things, to be no longer children tossed about by every wind of doctrine. As babes we were fed upon "the sincere milk of the Word," that we might grow thereby. (1 Pet. 2:2) But as grown men we no longer desire milk as a steady diet, although we enjoy a glass of milk occasionally. (Heb. 5:12, 14) We prefer to come to our Father's table, the table of the Lord, and receive the Truth the strong meat that belongs to such as are of full age, the meat that will make us strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

The holy Spirit is not a spirit of excitement. We have known people to be filled with the spirit of excitement who did not seem to have the holy Spirit at all. If we have the holy Spirit, it will manifest itself in meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness, love.

What God has been doing for His people during the past forty years is wonderful. To every one of them the Bible has become a new Book. More and more the old things are passing away. It was not sufficient that we should have the Savior and should believe in Him. That knowledge was only the beginning of our blessings. We still rejoice greatly to know that our sins have been forgiven. We still have the milk of the Word, assuring us of the merit of our dear Redeemer's sacrifice. But we are not living on a milk diet now. We need something stronger than the knowledge that our sins are forgiven. This is far from the end of the knowledge bestowed upon the people of God.

Growing in grace and in knowledge, we are learning more and more to see what the Divine will is and what the holy Spirit is. Things which once we thought very consistent and reasonable are now very inconsistent to us. As we receive more of the spirit of a sound mind, we see how foolish were many of the things which once we believed. There is new light coming into our minds appreciation of the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of the Love of God, which passes all understanding. [HGL729]


Whoever comes into relationship with God receives a begetting of love; for God is Love. Love worketh no injury to his neighbor. Therefore the Apostle says, "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." God's Law is a Law of Justice; and, as the Scriptures set forth, whoever receives the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Love, will at least render justice to others. No law requires more than justice. Whatever we do more than justice is that much of sacrifice on our part. But we cannot do all that we would like to do; for in our flesh dwells no perfection. Nor can we live up to the full Law of God. But we can see to it that our will is to do nothing less than justice; and that if in anything we come short of justice, if in anything we have infracted the Golden Rule, it has been contrary to our minds. Then we shall not rest until we have made right the wrong act, word or look whatever was an infraction of the rights of others.

Should some one say, "This is a hard rule," we reply, "You will never be ready for the Kingdom unless you have the right spirit, my dear brother." This principle of justice, which is the foundation of God's Throne, is the foundation of His character. To do to others what we would have them do to us is the right thing to do justice. If we cannot do justice in every act, we can at least do it in our minds. "With my mind I serve the Law of God," said the Apostle, even if he could not on every occasion do it in every act and word.

Whenever we find that we have violated justice, repentance is the proper step; and every true repentance means an acknowledgment of the wrong to the one who has been wronged. To be sure this course is very humiliating. But such experiences are the best things that we can possible have; for by these we develop humility, which in turn will help us to meekness and gentleness. Thus in the Divine arrangement the people of God are learning helpful lessons, that give them more and more of the spirit of a sound mind. They can think better than formerly they did; they are able to build themselves up. As they find that this or that quality of character is weak and imperfect in their natural disposition, they learn to level up their whole disposition in harmony with the spirit of justice. This work going on in their hearts is making them fit for the Kingdom. 2 Pet. 1:5-11


God is calling a very special class for joint-heirship with our Lord Jesus Christ. These must be very loyal to the Lord, very just in their appreciation of the rights of others, in order to be accounted worthy. The Father sees that our bodies are very imperfect; but He promises that if He finds our heads and our hearts right, He will give us in the resurrection a right body, a glorious body. Then, with right heads, fully committed to those principles of righteousness which represent the Divine character, the holy Spirit of God, we shall be in the condition in which He will be able to use us.

The new body will not make the character, but will be merely the agency through which the character will demonstrate itself. If we do not develop the character now, the moral character of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall not receive a place in the Messianic Kingdom. All that are there will be fit for their position. God has taken long enough to find this class. He will not make any mistake. Every one who has developed Love Divine has had just such experiences as you and I have had experiences along the line of justice and righteousness. The two are similar; for righteousness is justice, and justice is righteousness.

But it is not the Divine will that we should have justice merely; to be like God we must also have sympathy, have a kind feeling toward others. God has that kindly feeling for His creatures. Away back in the beginning, knowing about His Plan for the creation of Father Adam, and knowing about our sins as they would come upon us because of Adam's disobedience, He made provision for our redemption, for the restitution of the world, and for the call of the Church. All this is beyond the requirements of justice. God could not do less than justice to every member of the human family. Just as surely as He calls upon you and me to deal according to the Golden Rule, so He does all things according to the principles of justice.

Justice is the foundation of God's Throne. The whole superstructure of His Kingdom is built upon justice. He will not do less than justice, and this is what He requires of every creature. Nothing less than absolute justice will be permitted. But the great test now upon the Church is more than this that we should have the love which will lay down life itself for the brethren. While God demands nothing more than justice, yet if we do not render more than justice, we cannot reign in the Kingdom. The Father is seeking those who have the spirit of love those who are kind, loving, forgiving, helpful. He desires them to have His Spirit.

The Christian knows that all things work together for good to them that love God. This knowledge is to him a spirit of power, of strength. Circumstances and conditions which would overwhelm others would be what he would expect to have. But the child of God is courageous, knowing that his Heavenly Father will not permit anything to come to him that will not be for his good. In proportion as he receives the spirit of a sound mind, the Spirit of the Lord, and in proportion as the holy Spirit works in him, he will become more and more like our Lord; and this spirit will enable him to have more and more compassion on those who are out of the way. It will give him broader views of life, and more general views of mankind; and as God sent His Son, and as the Son came and did things for the good of man at His own expense, so all who have His spirit will strive to bless mankind.

The spirit of a sound mind broadens and deepens the character along all its good lines. It helps its possessor not only to take more correct views of his own disposition, but to be more sympathetic toward others. As he realizes more and more the impairment of his own mind and body and his own need of mercy and helpful correction, he recognizes the similar derangement of the whole world of mankind and the general need of sympathy and assistance. As he learns to rectify the deficiencies and inequalities of his own mind, he sympathizes more and more with those who are without this regulating principle this spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind. Thus he gradually becomes more patient, more sympathetic, more generous, more loving more like the Redeemer, who is Godlike.

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