George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
Religion and Remembrance
The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance--Joh 14:26
The Holy Spirit Quickens the Things of Christ
One great office of the Holy Spirit is to quicken and refresh the memory. He is given to vivify and make intensely real things that we were in danger of forgetting. He does not deal in novelties nor in unrelated revelations. He does not bring to us anything out of harmony with what we have learned from the historic Christ. Nothing new beyond and above that which is taught in Scripture is imparted to a man when his soul awakens to God. Through the Holy Spirit there leaps into his consciousness what in his unregenerate life he had not understood--for in Him we live and move and have our being.
We might illustrate that from what we know of poetry. When a genuine poet comes along and utters something that is profoundly true, that never reveals itself as novelty, but as the expression of our deepest selves. Instantly we recognize it; we say "Yes, that is true"; what we discover is but the perfect voicing of something which always was our own. The question is why should we recognize it; why should it not come to us as strange; why should we hail it as something that is ours, though we never had the power to say it? It is because deep is calling unto deep; it is because the poet, in his hour of inspiration, brings to remembrance what is deepest in us, buried under the ashes of our Aetna. So comes the Holy Spirit. He does not traffic in untested novelties. He brings to vivid and powerful remembrance the things of the Lord Jesus. And so doing He touches and awakens all that is deepest in our soul, for Christ is the light of every man. "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men" (Joh 1:4). The business of the Holy Spirit, then, is to display the glories of Christ in us.
The Holy Spirit Aroused the Prodigal's Memory
This spiritual office of remembrance was largely insisted on by the Lord Jesus. We might take, for instance, His story of the prodigal. To that young fellow, feeding among the swine, there came no startling and unexpected news. There did not flash across his starving soul something he had never known before. He remembered; he recalled; he recollected the plenty of his home--and then "I will arise and go unto my father." What drew him homeward was not any novelty. It was not any attainment of new knowledge. What made him start and take the trail for home was the uprush of fond and tender memory. And our Lord means that when anyone starts for home, out of the far land where swine are feeding gluttonously, he always does it in some such way as that. God does not convey new facts to him. He comes to him and whispers, "Son, remember. Remember that you are still a child, though sunken in an alien filth." That is to say, the office of the Spirit, in drawing the sinful soul to higher things, is the deep and mystical office of remembrance.
Peter's Memory Aroused
Again we might think of Simon Peter when he went out into the night and wept. What were the means our blessed Savior used to break his heart and save him through his tears? Argument? There was not one word of argument. Peter did not need to be convinced. Rebuke? There was not a syllable of that, whatever was hidden in those loving eyes. That cock-crow, that loving look of Jesus, awakened remembrance in the heart of Peter. Peter "remembered what the Lord had said," and he went out into the night and wept. What broke the heart of Simon Peter was the swift and anguished surging up of memory. In his panic fear he had forgotten everything. Now he remembered and was saved. So Jesus, like the other Comforter, brought all things to remembrance, and by remembrance rescued and redeemed.
The Lord's Supper Quickens Our Memory
Lastly we might think a moment of the holy hour of the Lord's Supper. Many of my readers will agree with me that that is a profoundly moving time. It is an hour when Christ draws very near to us, and we grow strangely aware that He is present. Earthly things recede into the shadows, and the things of heaven become intensely real. Excuses vanish; we know that we are sinners; we begin to long for a fuller consecration in the quiet hour when we gather at the Table. If ever religion is a real thing, it is real in the season of communicating. If ever we are touched and awed and elevated, it is in that mystical and blessed moment. And then heaven reaches us, and the divine arrests us, not by the impartation of a novelty, but by the Holy Spirit's way of stirred remembrance. At the Lord's Table we get nothing new, nothing beyond and above the preached Gospel, nothing that is not found in Holy Scripture and in the proclamation of the Word. Quickened remembrance does the gracious work. We remember the Lord's death until He come. It is the blessed office of the Holy Ghost to bring all things to our remembrance.
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