Ephesians 5:18
The tremendous sin of intemperance must have had a great hold upon a commercial city like Ephesus. It was necessary that Christians should beware of such an insidious vice.




IV. IT INJURES THE SOUL. (Hosea 4:11.)



VII. IT IS THE CAUSE OF OTHER SINS. Such as swearing, strife, licentiousness (Proverbs 23:19).


IX. IT KEEPS SOULS OUT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (1 Corinthians 6:9.) Therefore Christians ought to avoid it, abstaining altogether from intoxicating drinks on the grounds of Christian expediency, and using their influence to rescue others from its ruinous fascination. - T.C.

And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
This precept follows very naturally what he has said about the necessity of wisdom. For even a wise man when he is drunk becomes a fool; the light of reason and of conscience is quenched, and the blind impulses of his physical nature are left without control. Some men take drink in excess to deaden their sensibility to trouble, to lessen the pain of distressing memories or distressing fears. With them it acts as a opiate. But Paul was thinking of those who drink to excess because intoxication, at least in its early stages, gives them excitement. It exalts the activity both of their intellect and of their emotion. Thought becomes more vivid and more rapid. The colours of imagination become more brilliant. Their whole physical nature becomes more animated. The river of life, which had sunk low and had been moving sluggishly, suddenly rises, becomes a rushing flood, and overflows its banks. This is the kind of drinking which betrays men into violence and profligacy. "Be not drunken with wine," for in drunkenness there is "riot," dissoluteness, release from all moral restraint. The craving for a fuller, richer life, for hours in which we rise above ourselves, and pass the normal and customary limitations of our powers, is a natural craving. Paul indicates how it should be satisfied: "Be not drunken with wine wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit." Forsake the sins which render it impossible for the pure and righteous Spirit of God to grant you the fulness of His inspiration; keep the channels open through which the streams that flow from Divine and eternal fountains may find their way into your nature; and then the dull monotony of life will be broken, and hours of generous excitement will come. The gray clouds will break, and the splendours of heaven will be revealed; the common earth will be filled for a little time with a great glory. Harmonies such as never fell on mortal ear will reach the soul. The limitations which are imposed upon us in this mortal condition will for a time seem to disappear. Your vision of eternal things will have a preternatural keenness. Your joy in God will be an anticipation of the blessed life beyond the grave. And, looking back upon these perfect hours, you will say, whether we were in the body or out of the body we cannot tell. But some men drink, not so much for the sake of personal excitement, as for the sake of good fellowship. They never drink much when they are alone; and when they are in company they drink to excess because, as the heat of intoxication increases, it seems to thaw and dissolve all reserve; conversation flows more freely and becomes more frank; mind touches mind more closely; lives which had been isolated from each other blend and flow in a common channel. Perpetual isolation is as intolerable as perpetual monotony. We were not made to live a separate and lonely life. This is the secret of our delight in listening to a great orator addressing a great assembly. If it were possible for him to touch the same heights of eloquence when speaking to us alone, we should be less moved. We like to lose our individuality in the crowd; sharing their thought, our own thought becomes more vivid; sharing their passions, our own passion becomes more intense. It is hard to explain the mystery; but we are conscious of it; the poor and narrow stream of our own life flows into the open sea, and the large horizon, and the free winds, and the mighty tides become ours. We have all known the same delight while listening in a crowd to a great singer or a great chorus. The craving for this larger life in the society of other men is as natural as the craving for excitement; and Paul tells the Ephesian Christians that instead of trying to satisfy it by drinking with other men they should satisfy it by common worship and by sacred song.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

Drunkenness, though in general disallowed among the heathens, was admitted in their Bacchanalia, as an expression of gratitude to the god who gave them wine. This pagan rite the apostle seems to have in his mind here.

I. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THIS VICE. Various degrees of intemperance: the highest degree is such an indulgence as suspends the exercise of the mental and bodily powers. But there is sin in lesser degrees also. If by the indulgence of your appetite, you unfit your hefty for the service of the mind, or your mind for the service of God; so waste your substance, as to defraud your family of a maintenance, or your creditors of their dues; become enslaved to a sensual habit, and fascinated to dissolute company; are diverted from the duties of religion, or the business of your worldly calling; awaken criminal desires and excite guilty passions; stupify your conscience, extinguish the sentiments of honour and banish the thoughts of futurity; you are chargeable with a criminal excess.


1. It is an ungrateful abuse of God's bounty.

2. It divests the man of his native dignity, and sinks him below the brutes.

3. It is injurious to the body, as well as the mind.

4. It consumes men's substance.

5. It destroys conscience.

6. It generates other vices — impure lustings, angry passions, profane language, insolent manners, obstinacy of heart, and contempt of reproof.

7. It has most lamentable effects on families.

(1)It subverts order and government.

(2)It discourages devotion.

(3)It destroys domestic peace and tranquillity.

(4)It brings family distress.

8. The Scripture abounds in the most solemn warnings against this sin.

9. This sin must be renounced, or the end of it will be death.

(J. Lathrop, D. D.)

I. THE SOLEMN CAUTION. Those here addressed were the saints of God. Yet they needed this exhortation. The best of saints need to be cautioned against the worst of sins. There are the seeds of all evil in them. No previous consistency of walk, no deep experience, no holy acquaintance with God, no near walking with God, can give them the least security. But besides this, there are constitutional temptations. Some persons are constitutionally tempted to anger, some are tempted to vanity, some are tempted to worldliness in its excess of folly, some are tempted to untruthfulness, and oh! there are some who are tempted to drunkenness constitutionally. But besides this also, there are circumstances that oftentimes throw a man in danger here. Noah was, for aught I know, weary and tired as a husbandman; and by his inexperience, too, of the effects, he was overcome with drunkenness. We find in the case of Lot, in his secret retirement, there was in his circumstances that which exposed him to danger.

II. Observe now, secondly, THE EXHORTATION, the encouraging exhortation: "be filled with the Spirit." I conceive there is in the expression that which would imply the power of the Spirit to fill the soul of man. Or rather the expression is — "Seek to be filled in your understandings, in your memories, in your consciences, in your will, in your affections, seek to be 'filled with the Spirit.'" Now let me point out some few of the blessings that result from this communication of the "fulness of the Spirit," in all His holy influences, to our souls. First of all, let us look at Him as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. So I read in the first of Ephesians, and the seventeenth verse. Look at the Apostle Peter before the day of Pentecost. How dark his perception of the Atonement, how little did he see of what Jesus came into the world for! I talk with some men, many of whom, I doubt not, are truly converted to God; yet Christ is in the background, I see so little of Him. They talk of God; there is something about their creed that is so Jewish; they speak so much more of God, than of God in Christ. There is so little of the great work of the incarnate One, so little of realizing the strength of the covenant "ordered in all things and sure." Oh! beloved, to be filled with the Spirit of wisdom is the highest wisdom. But let us look at the subject in another point of view. I find in the eleventh chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and the twenty-fourth verse, it is said of Barnabas, "he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith." So, when we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we are filled with faith. Ah! who can describe the blessing of being filled with faith? To see everything in the light of God's countenance; to see everything in the light of a Saviour's fulness.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

In saying: "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit," St. Paul recognizes a pressing human appetite, or want. He not only perceives the necessity for wholesome gladness of heart in his disciples, but admits the encouragement of special moods or seasons of cheerfulness. It is impossible for anyone to stand always at the same spiritual level. There are mysterious risings and fallings of the mental barometer. The soul has its periods of high and low pressure. We are the subjects of many influences which we cannot command. And yet there are some at our disposal. The apostle indicates an "elevation" of which we are the conscious agents, when we set ourselves to counteract depression or to kindle a fresher thrill of cheerfulness. That is a legitimate desire. It is recognized by the Church itself in the appointment of thanksgiving days and special services — when we are summoned to show our gladness in a livelier strain. There are seemingly two distinct means for inducing cheerfulness. One is material, or bodily: the other mental, or spiritual; and the lesson before us is that one is temporary, imperfect; the other finally effective, being eternal. St. Paul instances wine as an example of the former. It is either a transitory stimulant, legitimate in its temperate use, or it overshoots the mark, leading to excess, or riot. There are several kinds of "material" relief which excite, deaden, regulate our bodily functions. And this affords the most obvious illustration of what the apostle here means to teach. It cannot, e.g., really drown dull care. Care dies hard. A material stimulant may do much, may help nature over a crisis. But man has troubles of mind as well as of body. And these constantly present difficulties, complications, which baffle the prescriber of drugs. Who shall minister to a soul diseased? Beneath the surface of beneficent science are sores and sorrows which have been caused by no grave offence against, or neglect of, the laws of health. They have come from a perception that the conscience has been defied, or perhaps they have grown from some seeds of distracting doubt, from some seemingly insoluble difficulties, social, intellectual, which makes him who feels them go mourning all the day long. Who shall tell the trouble and the hindrances over which we want to be helped, or above which we want to be lifted by some kindly and exhilarating influence? It is in meeting this desire that we must come to realize the two great sources of cheerfulness. The Spirit of God alone can fit the needs of the spirit of man. There is something special in this strengthening, healing, and cheering gift. It is the juice of the true vine, the new wine of the kingdom of heaven. Here we reach the great transforming power in the world. The knowledge of this is the support and recovery of man's life. He does not refuse, nor affect to despise, the material adjuncts of this existence. He does not put aside the flour of wheat because Christ is the true Bread. He sees no wrong in a right use of every creature of God. But his innermost and safe joy, his secure and trusted moods of exultation, come from the Spirit, the mysterious Spirit of God, which is our Father's special gift to us His children upon earth. In that is the true buoyancy of life.

(Harry Jones, M. A.)

I. THE PROHIBITION. I know it requires much courage, and much firmness of purpose in many cases to refuse the inducements, and to give a denial to the temptation to indulge in excess in drink. For instance, we are told it is fashionable to drink; if you don't drink freely you are not a man of the world; you are a strange, unsocial misanthrope; you are not fit for blending with society. I am not going to say that fashion has no place; I know fashion has a place; but fashion has no right to meddle with morals. Besides, I say, after all, it is not fashionable to be drunk: I say, after all, that although instances of intoxication are lamentably numerous, the instances of sobriety, thank God, are a vast deal more so. Then, again, it is said that to drink freely is almost a necessary passport to a knowledge of the world. How people abuse language!


1. In order to our being "filled with the Spirit," we must be aware of the magnitude of this blessing.(1) The Spirit is the great promise of the New Testament dispensation.(2) The gift of the Spirit more than compensates for the absence of the bodily presence of Christ.

2. This supposes, also, that we have a relish for the blessing.

3. In order to being "filled with the Spirit," you must make room for Him.

4. In order to be "filled with the Spirit," you must be the subject of the same ardent desire which is expressed in many parts of Scripture.

5. In order to be "filled with the Spirit," we must yield ourselves to His influence — we must give ourselves up to the guiding of His agency.

(J. E. Beaumont, D. D.)

I. The matters put in opposition to each other, which are both things and actions. The things are "wine" and the "Spirit": the actions, being "drunk with wine," and "filled with the Spirit." First: The things: these two are put in opposition —

1. To check the temptation. The sensual pleasure which men find in wine enticeth them to excess. There are higher pleasures men should be taken up with, namely, the joy of faith and a delight in holiness.

2. To show the difference between the holy societies or meetings of the faithful, and the dissolute feasts of the heathens in honour of their idols.

3. Because of the analogy between wine and the Spirit; they are often proposed in Scripture as correspondent, or as having some likeness in their operations; as wine cheereth and exhilarateth the spirits: "It maketh glad the heart of man" (Psalm 104:15); so the Spirit filleth the soul, and exhilarateth it. Only in this fulness there is no excess: "Drink abundantly, O beloved" (Song of Solomon 5:1). And in this mirth there is no dissoluteness; when we are filled with the Spirit, it is no corruptive joy, but perfective, such as strengtheneth the heart: "The joy of the Lord is your strength " (Nehemiah 8:10). But what is it to be filled with the Spirit? The phrase is taken two ways —

(1)Either to be filled with the gifts of the Spirit; or

(2)with the graces of the Spirit.(1) The gifts of the Spirit: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).(2) To be filled with the graces of the Spirit. And here we must consider His three offices — as He is our guide, sanctifier, and comforter.

II. The inconsistency of the one with the other; to be drunk with wine is inconsistent with being filled with the Spirit.

1. They that are filled by the one are acted by a contrary principle.

2. This contrary principle hath such an influence on them, that the Spirit of the gospel hath no place in them.

(1)Their sight is blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4).

(2)The delight and relish of the soul is corrupted (Philippians 3:19).

(3)Their strength is weakened, that they cannot resist any temptation.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

There is in the vice of intemperance that kind of dissoluteness which brooks no restraint, which defies all efforts to reform it, and which sinks lower and lower into hopeless and helpless ruin. This tremendous sin is all the more to be shunned as its hold is so great on its victims, that with periodical remorse there is periodical inebriety, and when the revulsion of a throbbing head and a sickening depression passes away; new temptation excites fresh desires, and the fatal cup is again coveted and drained, while character, fortune, and life are risked and lost in the gratification of an appetite of all others the most brutal in form and brutifying in result. There are few vices out of which there is less hope of recovery — its haunts are so numerous, and its hold is so tremendous. As Ephesus was a commercial town and busy seaport, its wealth led to excessive luxury, and Bacchus was the rival of Diana. The women of Ephesus as the priestesses of Bacchus danced round Mark Antony's chariot on his entrance into the city. Drunkenness was indeed an epidemic in those times and lands. Alexander the Great, who died a sacrifice to Bacchus, and not to Mars, offered a prize to him who could drink most wine, and thirty of the rivals died in the act of competition. Plato boasts of the immense quantities of liquor which Socrates could swill uninjured; and the philosopher Xenocrates got a golden crown from Dionysius for swallowing a gallon at a draught. Cato often lost his senses over his choice Falernian.

(J. Eadie, D. D.)

I. I AM TO ENTER UPON THE APOSTLE'S DEHORTATION, OR PROHIBITION — "Be not drunk with wine." For the right understanding of which I premise this, that wine is one of the good creatures of God which He hath given for the use of men. And He hath given it for these three considerable purposes.

1. To the inhabitants of those places where it grows, for part of their ordinary drink. For God hath so constituted the nature of man's body that he stands in need of drink as well as of meat.

2. Wine was given to cherish and refresh us when we are weak and languishing.

3. As wine is given to cure the infirm and fainting, so likewise to cheer and delight the sound and healthy. It is lawful to drink it not only for necessity, but sometimes for pleasure. Wine, without doubt, was given us by our gracious Benefactor to delight the taste, and refresh the palate, especially when sorrow and trouble clog the mind, and begin to oppress and weigh it down. As drinking, so sobriety may be abused. Men may effect those mischiefs by their abstaining from immoderate drinking, which they could never be able to do if they drank extravagantly. Generally the shrewdest contrivers and executors of mischief are those who are not addicted to intemperance: and their very sobriety renders them the more able to do harm. And yet I cannot say that this sort of men are wholly free from drunkenness; for it is possible they may be drunk even with their sobriety, i.e., with the conceit of it; they may be intoxicated with pride and arrogance, or with spite and malice, or with a heady confidence of success in their evil enterprizes. They may, as the prophet speaks, "stagger, but not with strong drink, and be drunken, but not with wine." That which makes this sin is, first, the not restraining of our extravagant desire and appetite, which I mentioned before, and, secondly, the actual gratifying and satisfying of our desires. Which brings me to the next thing observable, viz., the reason of the apostolical dehortation, expressed in those words, "wherein is excess": as much as to say, Re not drunk with wine, because there is a strange excess attends it. This is the genuine meaning of this clause of the text.Now, in drunkenness there is excess not only formally, but causally (to speak in the language of the schools). It is both excess in itself, and the cause and origin of many other excesses.

1. The first evil of drunkenness is that injury which is done to the body by it.

2. This is a vice which injures not only the bodies but the estates of men. A drunkard is a spendthrift: the extravagant drinker is profuse and lavish.

3. A sottish course of drinking injures the name and reputation, no less than the bodies and estates of men.

4. The intemperance of the tongue usually attends that of the brain. Drunkenness first sets the tongue a going, and then soon makes it run too fast.

5. Wrath and fury, slaughter and bloodshed, are the cursed fruits of drunkenness. "Strong drink is raging," saith Solomon (Proverbs 20:21).

6. Lust and lewdness, whoredom and fornication, are the frequent attendants of extraordinary drinking.

7. Among the direful effects and consequences of extravagant drinking this must not be omitted, that the soul and all its faculties are corrupted and debauched by it.False notions are drunk in with the wine: undue and unbecoming apprehensions are entertained. Let us hear what men say for drink.

1. It is good nature and friendship, they say, to sit and drink, even till they can drink no more.

2. They say that it is for company and good fellowship's sake that they drink sometimes to immoderation.

3. Others defend their immoderate draughts after this manner; We are persons well bred, we cannot be so rude and unmannerly as to refuse our glass when it comes to our turn.

4. Some excuse their drunkenness by saying, "It is to put away melancholy."

5. There are those who defend their immoderate drinking, especially of wine, by the serviceableness of it, to exalt their parts, and to make them witty.

6. There is another excuse made by some men, which, though it be not worth the answering, yet that I may remove all the pretences of drinking men, I will say something to it. They are no common drunkards, they say, and when they exceed in drink, they do not, like others, spend their money, but are drunk gratis. They cannot afford to indulge so costly a vice, but they only take these opportunities when they may have wine at others' charges.

7. There is another great objection or pretence of drunkards yet behind, which is this, they happen to be in the company of these persons who engage them to drink healths, and these going often round, and there being an obligation on them to pledge their next neighbour, and to drink cup for cup, they are sometimes unhappily overcome of the liquor which presents itself so fast to them. In the last place, I am to offer to you some proper means and helps whereby you may effectually extirpate this odious vice.They are such as these:

1. Weigh this express command of God in the text, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess."

2. Consider the dreadful woes that are denounced against this sin. Read with trembling (Isaiah 5:11).

3. Consider that this vice is condemned even by those that are guilty of it. There is not a drunkard that breathes but at one time or other is cast by his own verdict, he passes sentence against himself.

4. That you may do so, learn to relish the pleasures of religion and holiness. Re acquainted with the excellency of virtue and goodness, understand the intrinsic worth of these.

5. That you may cast off this abominable vice, and stifle your excessive delight in intemperate drinking, and in that mirth which attends it, sit down, and seriously think of the distresses and miseries which your brethren labour under, in one part or other of the world.

6. That you may effectually abandon this vice, be careful to avoid all the occasions of it.

(John Edwards, D. D.)


1. By "the Spirit, the Spirit of truth, of life, of grace, of might, of wisdom and revelation, of Father and the Son, we are baptized, often termed the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit" here, is meant that Divine Agent, in whose name, as well as in those of the holiness, the Comforter, the Spirit of God, of Christ. But observe, not His extraordinary gifts, which in no age are necessary to salvation, and were chiefly bestowed in the early ages, for the good of others, are here meant; but His ordinary influences, which are necessary to salvation (see vers. 19-21; Galatians 5:22, 23).

2. The expression, "filled with," or by, "the Spirit," supposes there to be a sufficiency in the blessed Spirit, and His influences, to fill our souls, to supply all our wants, to satisfy our desires, and help our infirmities. We are in darkness, and need illumination, instruction, and direction; He is the Spirit of light, truth, wisdom. We are in want of consolation; He is the comforter. It imports our partaking of His influences and fruits in a large and plentiful manner; not indeed "without measure"; in this tense Christ only had the Spirit: nor so as to admit of no increase; thus we shall hardly have the Spirit in heaven. But so as to have every power and faculty of the soul subject to the authority, and under the influence of the Spirit; to have His influences rendered more mighty and operative in us, producing their proper and genuine effects; as greater light, life, power, purity, comfort, strong faith, a fully assured and confirmed hope, fervent love, an uniform meekness and patience, a full conformity to God, and close and constant communion with Him; filling us with all his fulness (Colossians 1:9-11; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 7:37); making us taste great sweetness and delight in Him, so as to aspire after full perfection (Philippians 3:13, 14).


1. The desirableness of being filled with the Spirit.

2. The attainableness of it.

3. Something being incumbent on us, in order to it. We must make use of the appointed means.

III. THE OBLIGATIONS WHICH LIE UPON US, AS CHRISTIANS, TO AIM AT BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. The clear revelation we have concerning His agency, beyond all which was given in former ages of the Church, lays us under strong obligations to desire to be filled with His influences. The dignity of His person should make us ambitious of such a guest, when He is willing to dwell with us. He is no less than the Spirit of God, as our soul is the spirit of man (1 Corinthians 2:11). His relation to Christ obliges us (Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6). Our relation to Christ will be most clearly proved and manifested by His Spirit dwelling with us (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13). Thus we shall be vessels of honour, sanctified and made meet for the Master's use.


The command, "be filled with the Spirit," is virtually an injunction to pray more fervently for enlarged spiritual communication, and to cherish those influences already enjoyed. Not only were they to possess the Spirit, but they were to be filled with the Spirit, as vessels filled to overflowing, with the Holy Ghost. This is the contrast. Men are intoxicated with wine, and they attempt to "fill" themselves with it: but they cannot. Wine cannot fulfil their expectation — they cannot live habitually under its power; its fumes are slept away, and new indulgences are craved. The exhilaration which they covet can only be felt periodically, and again and again must they drain the wine cup to relieve themselves of despondency. But Christians are "filled" with the Spirit, whose influences are not only powerful, but replete with satisfaction to the heart of man. It is a sensation of want — a desire to fly from himself, a craving after something which is felt to be out of reach, an eager and restless thirst to enjoy, if at all possible, some happiness and enlargement of heart, that usually leads to intemperance. But the Spirit fills Christians, and gives them all the elements of cheerfulness and peace — genuine elevation and mental freedom — superiority to all depressing influences, and refined and permanent enjoyment. Of course, if they are so filled with the Spirit, they feel no appetite for debasing and material stimulants.

(J. Eadie, D. D.)

If there is any single vice which a man desires to eject from his character, or from another's, he can accomplish the end finally and completely, and only, by letting in the corresponding grace. Sin, in every form of its indulgence, is to be looked upon as an intoxication. Let him therefore introduce into the blood vessels of his soul a counter-stimulant. Let him intoxicate himself with love, and joy, and peace, the fruit, as it were, of the True Vine, and there will be no possibility of intrusion from lower sources, because no room will remain for them. And it follows from the same principle that a Christian must apply more and more to spiritual sources as life goes on. The spiritual capacities enlarge with time. And the same amount of devotion will not fill them now as filled them a year ago. He must pray more, seek after godliness more, covet the best gifts more. The tendency of the experienced Christian often is to relax devotional habits and live on a grace that is past. He has reached a high level and his religion has become, as it seems to him, self-acting. But stagnation is all the more perilous because it is high. There is no smaller measure for the grace that is to be in him than this — he is to be filled with the Spirit. He defrauds himself of what he might possess and imperils all he has by seeking to live on less. The surplus must be made up from earth. And every minutest crevice left unfilled by good must, by the law against vacuum, be filled by something worse, something which must adulterate and may ruin at last the whole.

(H. Drummond.)

The human mind cannot be void. If it have not the light of true wisdom, it will have the light of fallacies. Fleshly baits are not the temptations by which superior men are caught. Their understandings must be flattered. They must be decoyed by facts, and the science of things patent to their senses. You shall be leaders in the world of thought, "you shall be as gods," you shall open men's eyes to the reality of things. Beware of the strong drink of sense-bound intellectuality. Neither be drunk with the soul spiritualism. "The Spirit will fortify both your bewitching magnetic ether of spiritualism. "The Spirit" will fortify both your understanding and your heart against all spirits, whether of the visible or the invisible world. "The Spirit" is our only safe inspiration. There is, moreover, not only a calmer power, but a greater variety in the one Spirit of God, than in all the spirits which lead captive the human soul. God is not sparing in the ministration of wholesome excitement. Every new morning is a genial, delightful excitement. The seasons are an ever-changing round of excitement. Lore and marriage are joy from heaven, in earthly cups. Family life is God's wine of fellowship all the year round. Every meal is a pleasurable excitement. Birthdays and feasts are special indulgences and celebrations of the excitement of home life. The verdant glory of the earth, the tranquil heavens, and the works of our divine poets and musicians, are excitements worthy of heaven. The gospel of our eternal hopes is the feast which crowns all; and the congregation in church, made up equally of friends and strangers, is a wonder of fellowship and a most pure joy of love. What a depth of sweetness, what serene gladness, what a variety of inspiration there must be in that One Spirit, whence all our innocent and noble excitements spring. The martyrs found an intensity of spirit quickening on the boundary between life on earth and life in heaven; not only proving that "death is abolished," but that all the joys of our earthly life are but poor shadows going before our eternal human delights. Drop your burdens, forget your labours and sorrows, and soar above the dull plains of mortality, in a Divine exhilaration.

(J. Pulsford.)

I. The reasons why Christians are so strictly bound to be filled with the Spirit.

1. That we may answer the great and rich preparations of grace which the infinite love of God hath made for us by the merit of Christ and the promises of the gospel.

2. Because of their necessity.(1) If it be those that only profess Christianity, but are not yet really converted to God, they are in danger to be filled with a worse spirit, if not filled with the Spirit of God.(2) For those that are regenerated, and have received the spirit of the gospel and not of the world, there needeth a further supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:19).

3. That the glory and excellency of our religion may appear.

II. The means how we come to be filled with the Spirit. Certainly —

1. It is from God, who is the author of all grace: "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ " (2 Corinthians 5:18).

2. That God doth it through Christ the Scripture also witnesseth: "Which He hath shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 3:6).

3. That this frame of heart is wrought in us by the Spirit or Holy Ghost that came down from heaven, is evident also in Scripture. 4, It is given us by the gospel, for that is called "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).

5. The gospel worketh two ways —



6. If any have this power and Spirit of the Lord Jesus, it is the mere favour of God: if any want it, it is long of themselves.

7. One of the means is prayer. Christ hath taught us to pray for the Spirit (Luke 11:1-13). None so fatherly as God; no gift so necessary as the Spirit.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

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