Owen On Thanksgiving And Our Communion With The Holy Spirit

Let us, then, lay weight on every effect of the Holy Ghost in any of the particulars before mentioned, on this account, that they are acts of his love and power towards us. This faith will do, that takes notice of his Kindness in all things. Frequently he performs, in sundry particulars, the office of a comforter towards us, and we are not thoroughly comforted,—we take no notice at all of what he doth. Then is he grieved. Of those who do receive and own the consolation he tenders and administers, how few are there that consider him as the Comforter, and rejoice in him as they ought! Upon every work of consolation that the believer receives, this ought his faith to resolve upon,—“This is from the Holy Ghost; he is the Comforter, the God of all consolation; I know there is no joy, peace, hope, nor comfort, but what he works, gives, and bestows; and, that he might give me this consolation, he hath willingly condescended to this office of a comforter. His love was in it, and on that account doth he continue it. Also, he is sent by the Father and Son for that end and purpose. By this means come I to be partaker of my joy,—it is in the Holy Ghost; of consolation,—he is the Comforter. What price, now, shall I set upon his love! how shall I value the mercy that I have received!”

This, I say, is applicable to every particular effect of the Holy Ghost towards us; and herein have we communion and fellowship with him, as was in part discovered in our handling the particulars. Doth he shed abroad the love of God in our hearts? doth he witness unto our adoption? The soul considers his presence, ponders his love, his condescension, goodness, and kindness; is filled with reverence of him, and cares [takes care] not to grieve him, and labours to preserve his temple, his habitation, pure and holy.

Again: our communion with him causeth in us returning Praise, and thanks, and honour, and glory, and blessing to him, on the account of the mercies and privileges which we receive from him; which are many. Herein consists our next direction. So do we with the Son of God on the account of our redemption: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever,” Rev. 1:5, 6. And are not the like praises and blessings due to him by whom the work of redemption is made effectual to us? who with no less infinite love undertook our consolation than the Son our redemption. When we feel our hearts warmed with joy, supported in peace, established in our obedience, let us ascribe to him the praise that is due to him, bless his name, and rejoice in him.
And this glorifying of the Holy Ghost in thanksgivings, on a Spiritual sence of his consolations, is no small part of our communion with him. Considering his free engagement in this work, his coming forth from the Father to this purpose, his mission by the Son, and condescension therein, his love and kindness, the soul of a believer is poured out in thankful praises to him, and is sweetly affected with the duty. There is no duty that leaves a more heavenly savour in the soul than this doth.

Also, in our prayers to him for the carrying on the work of our consolation, which he hath undertaken, lies our communion with him. John prays for grace and peace from the seven Spirits that are before the throne, or the Holy Ghost, whose operations are perfect and complete. This part of his worship is expressly mentioned frequently in Scripture; and all others do necessarily attend it. Let the saints consider what need they stand in of these effects of the Holy Ghost before mentioned, with many such others as might be insisted on; weigh all the privileges which we are made partakers of; remember that he distributes them as he will, that he hath the sovereign disposal of them; and they will be prepared for this duty.

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 270–72.

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