The Spirit of God and the Theories of the Mind.

There is a very common but a very great and subtle evil found among us, and it may exist in those of whose Christianity there is not the least doubt, and whose whole faith and hope are in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is this, the human mind in those who have gone on long in the ways of the Lord, as well as in the one who has only lately been converted, is quite capable of boldly entering upon, and of even seeking to expound, divine things. It is written, "The flesh profiteth nothing." It is the Spirit of God alone that can teach; for I am as a Christian brought into that new sphere where He is all. "They that worship the Father must worship Him in spirit and in truth." The display of anything else is the display of the mind of man; for the Spirit cannot, and does not, go beyond what is written. I must remember two things if I desire to be led on into further truth. One is, that there must be seen in me the present faithfulness according to the truth that God has already unfolded to me. Without this there can be nothing further communicated to me, nor any advance. If I assume to see something beyond others when I am unfaithful to what is already their known portion as well as my own, it is only a delusion of the flesh seeking by these, or by any means, to exalt itself.

How often the mind (even in those who desire to curb it) is found to wander off and form theories as to the things of God. The Word is then turned to to find scriptural support for these things which, proceeding from the old man, should have been at once rejected.

The second thing, if I desire to advance in the truth, is one which I must carefully guard. It is that no power of my mind, no amount of reasoning, can instruct me in the most simple of divine things. These the Holy Spirit alone can explain and teach me, if there is in me the first thing found; namely, that I am acting in faithfulness on all that He has already brought before me.

How can I discern what is of the mind merely, and what is of the Spirit? The working of the human mind in me as a Christian is seen when I get hold of any theory, and then turn to the word of God to try to establish myself in it. It is the reverse way exactly to this when God is teaching me. Then the Word comes first, not the theory. The theory may be presented in a very subtle manner to me (indeed this is generally the case). It is called a "beautiful thought," for example, by some unestablished one, and we forget its origin. All this is to blind us, as well as to puff us up. Then the fruit comes. Blinded ourselves, we set to work to teach and enlighten others upon the subject, and thence we trace all the sects and systems of men. Here they all originated. I must come to the word of God to learn what is there, not to add anything by some greater clearness of vision which I have than those had who were used of God to write it. That holy men of God have spoken and written the Word, and used better words than human, even words which "the Holy Ghost teacheth," ought to rebuke the vain assumption that theories or words of mine can have place here. The Spirit is leading me, I judge, when in simplicity and dependence I read and meditate on the word of God, and see what is unfolded to me therein, and thus I am led forward; but the Word comes first, not the theory. When this is so I have not to frame a theory. All who are in subjection to the Word (and to the Spirit, the teacher) are satisfied with it, and the theory is unnecessary. If the word of God is not enough, the "theory" forms a sect. H. C. Anstey.