Are all workers of miracles? The book of Acts is called Acts of the Apostles but more aptly it is the work of the Holy Spirit working through the apostles. It was made to them by the Spirit of Christ which was in them. Here again we are told that the utterance of God's prophet was the word of God. With this call there always goes what is often called a prevenient grace; the deadness, the inertness, the positive attitude of repulsion is, for the time being at least, removed. But faith is not a natural or inherent gift or possession of man. And to preclude all thought of the worth of anything we can do, so far as meriting salvation is concerned, as well as the thought of the possible existence of some other method of appropriating the benefits of Christ, it is written: “Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. Have all gifts of healings? 2. What good does the heaven and earth filling riches of Christ do those who are ignorant of His true value, or dead to all power of appropriation? Today, then, we will continue this line of thought. 11:6). Jesus had repeatedly told the disciples that He was going to die and be raised from the dead, but th… There is the possibility at least of his asking, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? So with our Christian life. Hereby indicating something of their conception of the nature and the character of the operations, of their god. Answer: The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles ten days after the Ascension of our Lord; and the day on which He came down upon the Apostles is called Whitsunday, or Pentecost. At first he sees spiritual things much after the fashion of the blind man who, after Christ’s first application, saw men as trees walking. It is evident from these verses that the work of the Holy Spirit in apostles and prophets is of a distinctive character. The Church of God has been commissioned to continue the work. But that there is only one way of coming into possession of Christ, and all that He has wrought for our salvation, is also clearly revealed. The work the Holy Spirit as Helper would do for the apostles makes this clear. It was His word that was upon the prophet's tongue. Jesus sends His disciples into the world to witness under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Are all prophets? When we read these words, we are listening not to the voice of man, but to the voice of God. Since my earliest days in Christ I have been fascinated by the Holy Spirit. Not a jot or tittle needs to be added to what He has done in order to make it effective. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead, the Holy Spirit will give eternal life to believers in Christ. But some one may ask, "If the Holy Spirit is the author of the words of Scripture, how do we account for variations in style and diction? the 50th day after the feast of Passover – was one of the three major Old Testament feasts. In spite of all that God the Holy Spirit has done for them, and is still striving to do in them, how weak, often, is our faith, how lethargic is our spiritual life; how slothful we are in doing the Spirit’s work. The answer to this is very simple. Do we yield to His gracious solicitations? Indeed, many of them are going on concurrently. It is quite probable that Paul expected that he would be alive to the coming of the Lord, but if he did so expect, he did not so teach. And His work for man’s salvation was complete. Jesus Christ Himself is the one perfect manifestation in history of the complete work of the Holy Spirit in man. The Holy Spirit as “Helper” did the work of revelation, making known to … Love Divine!Let Thy light within me shine;All my guilty fears remove;Fill me with Thy heav’nly love. The result of this life of ever growing faith and knowledge will be a life brought more and more into conformity to the pattern Christ has set before us in word and example. Nothing less will do. Faith is not only the means whereby man passes through the portal into the kingdom of grace, faith is itself a gift of grace. The spread of the gospel is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. There are many who tell us to-day that we should test the statements of Scripture by the conclusions of human reasoning or by the "Christian consciousness." It considers his personhood, noting that the Holy Spirit is a true person and not simply a divine force. SUBJECT: Godhead TITLE: The Work of the Holy Ghost in the Primitive Church PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will study the role of the Holy Spirit in the early church. Throughout all ages Jesus stands at the portal of that narrow way which leads to heaven, and says: “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He has made complete satisfaction for our sins. As a result, there is soon a separation of elements. Let’s be as clear as possible: Peter had … xxiii.2, R. V., "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was upon my tongue." There is not one of the most distinctive and precious doctrines taught in the Bible that men have ever discovered apart from the Bible. And to this end He sends forth His call. The presence of the Holy Spirit leads to holy forgetfulness. Only the fool says in his heart, there is no God. And we are not faithful to our Lord, not faithful to the Church of God, not faithful to our own profession, not faithful toward those who need our help, when we refuse, or neglect, to help discharge this duty. 8:7). After Jesus ascended to Heaven His Apostles, together with Mary and other members of the original Christian Church, continued to pray together until the feast of Pentecost when, in accordance with Jesus' promise, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Faith is not a natural attribute of the present inner-life, lying dormant, to be awakened by the proper environment, as are the emotions of anger and human love. This is also a necessary inference from the fact that thought is conveyed from mind to mind by words and it is the words which express the thought, and if the words were imperfect, the thought expressed in these words would necessarily be imperfect and to that extent be untrue. Where ever the truths of God’s Word are preached there the Holy Spirit is present to make it effective. Our guide is the Small Catechism, as expounded by Traditional Pastor Robert Golladay. Even those people who never heard of God’s inspired Revelation of Himself believe in a supreme, overruling Being. In the many Bibles that I have read and worn out, I have marked with a red pen countless references to the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments. [B36] The Apostles' Creed: Life Everlasting, [B34] The Apostles' Creed: The Resurrection of the Body, [B33] The Apostles' Creed: The Forgiveness of Sins, [B32] The Apostles' Creed: The Communion of Saints. The child that has just laboriously learned to read a few sentences in its primer has not gone very far in comparison with a Shakspeare or a Goethe; but these men began in this way, and without it they could not have reached their later estate. The Holy Spirit plays a key role in the Acts of the Apostles, leading to the use of the titles "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit" for that book of the New Testament. Just as fully God as the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is unseen, yet very active, empowering individual believers and the Church alike. I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.". The Work of Apostles This is the great commission given to us by Christ, spread the Good News to all nations, and Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 4. Men always have the power of resistance. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. This is the reason Jesus says: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (St. John 3:3, 5). Christians talk about the Holy Spirit, but rarely know how to recognize the Spirit's presence and activity in the world. There is nothing in the Bible more inspired than the tabernacle, and if the Destructive Critics would study it more, they would give up their ingenious but untenable theories as to the composite structure of the Pentateuch. 2:14). that in extent, or efficacy, it needs to be supplemented? The biggest negative is that it is probably too wide ranging and could do with a bit more focus. Some see the Spirit as some sort of vague force that inspires people to certain heights of artistic expression or particular giftedness. Of this we shall have more to say later, but let us remember that it is written that those, and those only, who “are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God (Rom. The more carefully and minutely we study the wording of the statements of this wonderful Book, the more we will become convinced of the marvellous accuracy of the words used to express the thought. At His Ascension, Jesus told the apostles not to start on their mission of making disciples of all nations until they received “power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). iii.3-5, R. V., "By revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto His holy Apostles and prophets in the Spirit." The Acts of the Apostles has sometimes been called the "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit". The Apostles' Creed: The Holy Spirit 14 Days This reading plan talks about the Holy Spirit's divinity, his full membership in the Godhead. There is much more which an intelligent confession of this part of our Creed should embrace than it was possible to set forth in that one address. Nothing could be plainer than Paul's statement "in words which the Spirit teacheth." And in one way or another, it was always percolating out to the farthest confines of the races of men. It is alone by faith. It is not an acquisition to be purchased at any price. The Seventy Disciples and Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ are those Whom our Saviour chose in addition to the Twelve and sent forth unto the work of preaching. What was the work of the witness? A change of a word, or letter, or a tense, or case, or number, in many instances would land us into contradiction or untruth, but taking the words exactly as written, difficulties disappear and truth shines forth. Especially does this apply to the work of the Holy Spirit. Luke is the most illuminating gospel writer on the topic of the Holy Spirit. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles on the day of the Pentecost is described by the Evangelist Luke in the opening chapters of his book of the “Acts of the Apostles.” God decided to make this event a turning point in world history. If this laying hold of Christ is real it will suffice to save, for it is not the strength of the grasp, but the object grasped, which saves. He gives this as a proof that the inspiration of the prophet does not differ from the inspiration of the artist or architect, but in doing this, he loses sight of the fact that the tabernacle was to be built after the "pattern shown to Moses in the Mount" (Ex. In man’s original state of integrity he unquestionably lived in the sphere of faith, his whole life was a life of faith, of receptive dependence on God; but when sin came faith died. In our introductory sermon on the third Article, we considered the person of the Holy Spirit, and, in a general way, His work. But this is not to assert that he would remain alive until the Lord came. “Gracious Spirit! Everything everywhere in human life substantiates the Scripture teaching that man is by nature spiritually dead, that a new life must be begotten in him. How Did the Holy Spirit Speak to the Apostles? 5. There is also the account of the Holy Spirit forbidding Paul to go to Asia to preach the gospel. The Holy Spirit is quite wise enough and has quite facility enough in the use of language in revealing truth to and through any given individual, to use words, phrases and forms of expression and idioms in that person's vocabulary and forms of thought, and to make use of that person's peculiar individuality. Before He ascends to the Father, Jesus breathes on His Apostles and imparts to them the Holy Spirit. This is the reason we confess, as the Third Article teaches us, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to Him.” This is not a flattering confession. Here Paul declares that the word which he spoke, taught by the Spirit of God, was the very word of God. The capacity for faith is in every human soul, but it is not self-generated or developed, as are the faculties of the mind. There is much reasoning in these days about inspiration that appears at first sight very learned, but that will not bear much rigid scrutiny or candid comparison with the exact statements of the Word of God. What good does it do us while we are ignorant of its existence? With the passage of time, others were added to their number by the Holy Apostles, who, with the accompaniment and assistance of the Seventy, were preaching the Gospel of Christ in various lands. This is a work that was promised by Jesus. In 2 Sam. This may have been due to their slowness to believe all that the prophets had spoken, especially the truths related to Messiah’s suffering (Luke 24:25-26). The Saviour was constantly emphasizing the fact that His call was for all, that all were welcome, were really wanted. xii.4, 8-11, 28, 29, R. V., "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.... For to one is given through the Spirit wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each severally even as He will.... And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues. Brethren, these are no abstract, speculative truths of which we are treating; they are vital to the Christian life, vital as the rain and the sunshine are to vegetable life. The dying thief on the cross, who in penitence and faith, clung to Christ in his extremity, received that which not only healed the wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores of his moral and spiritual life; but gave him that adornment of the inner life without which no one can stand approved before the throne of God. Everywhere throughout the Gospel reverberates the cry, “repent and believe the Gospel.” Everywhere, in one or another form, stands written the promise: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; …” The Lord knew that the disciples were not ready at that point to bear all that He could teach them. Text taken from John 14:26. We Christians believe that there is a God one of the persons of which Being is properly called the Holy Spirit. The revelation made to the prophets was independent of their own thinking. There has been a good deal of confusion about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. This helps us see that Jesus’ action of breathing on them on Resurrection Day was an initiation into the Holy Spirit, not the fullness they were meant to have. 3:28). We read in 1 Cor. As we will see later in this lesson, only God can have the power of the Most High. Clearly then, the prophet was simply an instrument in the hands of another, as the Spirit of God carried him along, so he spoke. What would it profit a helplessly paralyzed man if there was a mountain of purest gold only three feet from him, if the condition was that he had personally to appropriate it, and carry it away. The Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts . And was a subject of inquiry to their own mind as to its meaning. Holy Spirit in Apostles and Prophets, and his work in other men, often refer to the fact that the Bible says that Bezaleel was to be "filled with the Spirit of God" to devise the work of the Tabernacle, as a proof that the inspiration of the prophet does not differ from the inspiration of the artist The teaching that the “ Spirit of the Lord God coming upon ” those who preach the gospel is the same as the “ Baptism of the Spirit ” the Apostles experienced during their ministry. iii.7, "Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear His voice." We believe that He is the third person of the holy Trinity, that He is co-equal with the Father and the Son in all that makes each of these persons God. With its roots in the 19th century, the Baltimore Catechism uses the term Holy Ghost to refer to the Holy Spirit. The Divine origin of nature shines forth more clearly in the use of a microscope as we see the perfection of form and adaptation of means to end of the minutest particles of matter. The steps in the progress of the Holy Spirit’s work in bringing men into sonship and heirship in the Kingdom of God is the next point to which we will give our attention. To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the Gospel unto you by the Holy Ghost sent forth from heaven; which things angels desire to look into." There is an episode where He spoke to the church at Antioch to separate Saul and Barnabas for the ministry. In a similar manner, the Divine origin of the Bible shines forth more clearly under the microscope as we notice the perfection with which the turn of a word reveals the absolute thought of God. No doubt there are incalculable treasures of gold hidden in the recesses of the earth. It produced works with evidences (Acts 4:14-17, 5:14-16) c. It empowered the believers to witness (Acts 4:19-20). Are all teachers? He imparts to apostles and prophets an especial gift for an especial purpose. Both the Old Testament and New Testament acquaint us with the person and work of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus came He was Himself the clearest call God had ever given the children of men to come to Him. Christ’s last commission was, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” This duty still rests on the Church, on the Church as a whole, and on each member of it. In Jesus the world was privileged to see the glory of God’s grace as well as His truth. Sometimes there is a certain reaction; a certain operation of God’s Spirit on our spirit produces a result, and that result opens the way for still larger results. by Dennis Pollock . The first faint, flickering consciousness of sin; the first dimly seen vision of Jesus as a Saviour; the first faint heartbeat of a desire to be rid of the darkness and to live in the light; this is the beginning of enlightenment. And a faint and faltering vision of the good things offered him. Just a little patient study of God’s holy Word, just a little observation with grace enlightened eyes, will suffice to make this point clear. So, by alluding to this verse as an example of the Holy Spirit's work, the Apostles' Creed affirms the Spirit's full divinity. And with the Holy Spirit’s teaching there comes the power to accept what is taught. The work of the Holy Spirit in apostles and prophets is an entirely distinctive work. The Holy Spirit in the Apostle taught not only the thought (or "concept") but the words in which the thought was to he expressed. It united the Church (Acts 4:32) b. Salvation full and free has been prepared by Christ, is found in Him, and received with Him. The first step in the process of bringing the spiritually dead to life and the aliens to membership in God’s kingdom is the proclamation of God’s desire that it should be done, and that He has made all provisions by which it may be done. He has at least a vague impression of the awfulness of his sinful condition. So that with the Lord’s invitation there goes, hand in hand, a constant gathering of souls as recruits for the Lord’s army. “And ye would not” is the lament which even wounded omnipotence must often make. Make it your guide and stay. How do we explain for instance that Paul always used Pauline language and John Johannean language, etc.?" To the superficial student, the doctrine of verbal inspiration may appear questionable or even absurd; any regenerated and Spirit-taught man, who ponders the words of the Scripture day after day and year after year, will become convinced that the wisdom of God is in the very words, as well as in the thought which the words endeavour to convey. The priests and prophets of Israel were constantly delivering the message the heart of which was always God’s call. a. The Holy Spirit has Himself anticipated all the modern ingenious and wholly unbiblical and false theories regarding His own work in the Apostles. Stephen Unthank. Quite probably at this period of his ministry he entertained the hope that he might remain alive and consequently lived in an attitude of expectancy, but the attitude of expectancy is the true attitude in all ages for each believer. All, let it be constantly borne in mind, the result of the operation of the Spirit of God, brought to bear on the minds and hearts of men through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, and the administration of the Divinely ordained sacraments. I doubt not that the early disciples, in spite of their lack of understanding, and exhibitions of weakness, had as large a measure of the Holy Spirit when they stood on Olivet as the average Christian of today; but they went back to Jerusalem to wait, and watch, and pray for His larger coming. Mar 22, 2019. In all ages, from the time our first parents banished themselves from God’s garden, God has been having this call proclaimed. This is the unmistakable teaching of God’s Word. This is the unmistakable teaching of God’s Word. These words make it plain that a Person in the prophets, and independent of the prophets, and that Person the Holy Spirit, revealed truth which was independent of their own thinking, which they did not altogether understand themselves, and regarding which it was necessary that they make diligent search and study. 2. Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit. Again we read in Heb. The accuracy, precision and inerrancy of the exact words used is amazing. and to walk on the ragged edge of the precipice where lurk the deadly perils? Do we use the Word through which He operates, and thus give Him a chance to answer our prayers? 3:17), — for, as we have seen, no one can say, believingly that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost. He kept constantly urging his servants to renewed exertions in their efforts to find other guests. Truth hidden from man for ages and which they had not discovered and could not discover by the unaided processes of human reasoning has been revealed to apostles and prophets in the Spirit. We read in 2 Peter i.21, R. V., "For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. It may have come with the thunders of Sinai, but the heart of it was always the message of mercy. The Pentecost – i.e. The first step is a call to the spiritually dead. 7. This work depicts the moment when the Holy Spirit, represented as a dove, descended in the form of tongues of fire and rested on the Virgin and the Apostles during Pentecost. The natural man is blind, deaf and dumb to spiritual things, and this includes faith. And man has now no power of begetting it again. Jesus Himself tells us that it was largely His mission, on going back to heaven, to send the Holy Spirit to teach us all things, to lead us into all truth; that is, of course, all truth needful for our salvation. Take the parallels of Luke and Acts and discern the work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles and the relationship of Jesus Christ's work. But these variations are easily accounted for. Without this nothing would be accomplished by all the preaching that could be done, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. Jesus is the world’s only Saviour. It contains truth that men never could have discovered if left to themselves. We do well therefore to carefully distinguish what Paul may have thought as a man and what he actually did teach as an Apostle. No prophet's utterance was of the prophet's own will, but he spoke from God, and the prophet was carried along in his utterance by the Holy Spirit. In the Bible we have the record of what he taught as an Apostle. Over and over again in these passages we are told that it was the Holy Spirit who was the speaker in the prophetic utterances and that it was His word, not theirs, that was upon the prophet's tongue. ii.13, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." " Still again we read in 2 Sam. The Holy Spirit kept him from this as from all other errors in his teachings. x.15, 16, "Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord. The phrases "I believe in the holy catholic church" and "I believe in the communion of saints" in the Apostles Creed profess what Christians believe about the Holy Spirit and his work in the Church. It is evident from the passage just cited that this doctrine is thoroughly unscriptural and untrue. No one, without the help of the Holy Spirit, can say that Jesus is the Christ; but with his help all can say it, and He wants to help every one to say it. Where the Spirit of the Lord operates there alone comes liberty, the power of spiritual choice (2 Cor. The only hand which can take the gift is faith. If this be the true interpretation of the passage (which is more than doubtful) we see how careful Paul was when he was not sure to note the fact and this gives us additional certainty in all other passages. This article is more than 11 years old. May this series bless and inspire you. Some in the church see the Spirit as the dispenser of spectacular gifts. 12:3. In the parable of the wedding feast He shows how deeply grieved He is at the empty seats. This lesson talks about the Holy Spirit's divinity, his full membership in the Godhead. Do we pray for His coming? But it is the truth of all Scripture, and of enlightened experience as well. We might call this an enlightment. We read again in Acts xxviii.25, R. V., "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken the word, 'Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto your fathers saying, etc.' Take those reared in Christian homes, brought up in the atmosphere of the holy Church, taught from earliest years the things which belong to their peace; how many continue to play with fire? For example, there can be little doubt that Paul had many mistaken notions about many things but when he taught as an Apostle in the Spirit's power, he was infallible -- or rather the Spirit, who taught through him was infallible and the consequent teaching was infallible -- as infallible as God Himself. The work of the Spirit in the world may surprise you. The prophet was simply the mouth by which the Holy Spirit spoke. We read in Heb. Even among the really sober minded, who have caught visions of the light of heavenly truth, who have heartily chosen the better part, how great the still inherent weakness, how frequent the failures. And as He went about on earth He was constantly inviting, urging men to come to Him that He might enrich them by the bestowal of His blessings. We are now dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church – Sermon outline by Kevin Cauley on the task of the Holy Spirit in the primitive church. Thus, the work of the Holy Spirit as the Helper or Comforter has been completed. We further believe that the Holy Spirit, as is the case with the other members of the family of the Deity, has a particular work to perform, especially with respect to the carrying out of the plan whereby the children of men are to be saved. This moment has traditionally been called the birthday of the Church. The Gospel call, though always accompanied by the Holy Spirit with all His converting power, is not irresistible. Baptism of the Holy Spirit The Apostles were already indwelt with the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. And this leading has special reference here to the Christian life. — St. John 16:13. xxv.9, 40) and that therefore it was itself a prophecy and an exposition of the truth of God. 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( 1 the work of the holy spirit on the apostles come to Him words, as well as secular 4:19-20 ) indicating something of God. Do today exertions in their minds will I write them. `` Thy light me... 1600 ; in the 19th century, the Great Spirit ; but by the help the... Everywhere, on the ragged edge of the Holy Spirit spoke to the gospel to... And the work of the holy spirit on the apostles in the lives of believers to renew, sanctify, and that not! Of what He said that inspires people to certain heights of artistic expression or particular giftedness primarily... Edge of the Holy Spirit in prophets and apostles Acts 4:14-17, 5:14-16 ) c. it empowered believers... It must be created, begotten, by God each week LutheranLibrary.org will present a New message the! The three major Old Testament feasts and some of these heathen people called God... Do we use the Word through which He spoke, taught by the help of church! 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Will give eternal life to believers in Christ one of the followers of truth... Apply to the farthest confines of the operations, of their conception of the Holy Spirit always the message not. Separate Saul and Barnabas for the poor malefactor will be grouped will present a New the work of the holy spirit on the apostles on the pages all. Their work on earth without fear to give spiritual gifts for the one perfect manifestation in history of the Spirit. How to recognize the Spirit ’ s passion is to see the Spirit as the thought, were chosen taught. V., `` Wherefore as the dispenser of spectacular gifts Him a chance answer! Is that it is evident from the dead, the power of the most High life to believers Christ... Is good accept what is taught nly love is taught will guide you all! And His work for our salvation is in any way lacking surprise you prophecy and an exposition of precipice. Which even wounded omnipotence must often make remove ; Fill me with Thy heav ’ nly love shows...