THE GIFT OF THE HOLY  GHOST.

There are two ways of proving the existence of  anything. There may be more but there are at least two. The only absolute way of  resolving any doubts we may have of the existence, say, of the City of New York  , is to go there and find out for ourselves. The expense, however, of such a trip may be quite prohibitive, certainly if your financial condition is anything  like mine. What is to be done about it? Must our doubts forever remain unsolved?  Not necessarily. There is one thing we can do without crossing the Atlantic at  all. We can assume the existence of New York and at once begin to live and act  on that assumption. We might write the Governor of the City asking him to send  us a guide book. Presumably he would be quite pleased to do it. We might get into touch with the principal banker of the city and with the President of the Chamber of Commerce. In all sorts of ways we can prove to ourselves to our  complete satisfaction and beyond a shadow of a doubt that a city called New York  does actually exist, in spite of the apocryphal stories we have heard concerning  its magnitude and its marvels. The thing to do is either to set sail for New York and keep on sailing until you arrive, or to assume the existence of the city and at once begin to live and act on that assumption, and hey, presto! You  have a faith and an experience which nobody can well  gainsay.
    It is even so in this all important matter of our  religion. By all means let us read as many books as we can about the Christian  religion and about Jesus Christ. There were never so many books written about Him since the world began as there are to-day. But the great thing is to assume  His existence and to to live and act on that  assumption.

“O make but trial of His love;
Experience will  decide
How blest are they, and only they,
Who in His truth  confide.”
 
    We must allow reason, argument and evidence to take us  as far as they can take us. We must use them to the full, but at length we are bound to say, “So far can you go but no farther.” Sooner or later in religion,  as in science, there must be a leap in the dark and the result will affirm or  negative the validity of the experiment.
    After all, Jesus Christ is not a mythical Creation.  God became man in the person of Jesus Christ and lived and dwelt among us so that we might touch and handle the Word of Life, and having convinced men, by His earthly presence, of his reality and power, He died, rose again, and came to  abide with us forever in His spirit. That is the whole significance of  Whitsuntide - God in us - a power communicated to us which is adequate to any  demands we care to make upon it.
    Think what a difference Pentecost made - a difference  expressing itself at once in terms of speech, passion and power - three great requisites for the progress of any movement even to-day. After the Resurrection  Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive ye the  Holy Ghost.” St. Paul’s query of Ephesian Christians was, “Did ye receive the  Holy Ghost when ye believed?” And they said unto him, “Nay, we did not so much  as hear whether the Holy Ghost was given.” It is this  baptisim which makes  all the difference. The promise
was, “Ye shall receive power after the Holy  Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all  Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” So Christianity spreads. One living, loving, dynamic soul sets another on  fire.
    Power! That is what we need to enable us to live a  truly Christian life. To try to so live without the grace and strength which God  can give to us is like a man trying to get to America in a rowing boat. It is conceivable, of course, that such a man might possibly arrive. It would not be  amiss however to point out to him that there are other and more expeditious and  less laborious ways of getting there.
        There is no important question for Christian believers  that this, “Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye  believed?”

Mark H. EARL
Workington.