— From Love Enthroned, Chapter 1: "Love Revealed."
This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.
Monday, December 17, 2012
The Standing Miracle of Christianity
Our surprise is ever new when we discover that God so loves our entire race that he gave his well beloved Son to the humiliation of the manger, the mockery of Gabbatha, the agonies of Gethsemane, and the ignominy of Calvary. But this was but the beginning of his beneficence. Since the Son of God has gone up to be glorified and worshipped by all the celestial orders, the loving Father has bestowed an abiding gift, the Holy Spirit, to whisper in the ear of spiritual death the words of life, to pardon penitence, and fully restore the lost image of God. The greatest marvels of the gospel scheme are not in the facts of Christ's earthly life, death, and resurrection, but in the wondrous transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit in the soul of the believer who apprehends the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. A less surprise is the fact that the eternal Logos should inseparably unite himself with a spotless human body and soul than that the Holy Spirit, co-equal with the Father and the Son, should first completely cleanse a polluted man, and then change his heart from a "cage of unclean birds" into "a holy temple" and make it the habitation of God. This is a mystery of mysteries with all who have experienced the love of God perfectly shed abroad in their hearts. The age of miracles is not past. Jesus changed unresisting water into wine, but the Holy Ghost transfigures the sinful soul bristling with antagonisms, transforming depravity to purity by the mighty alchemy of love. The power to effect such revolutions in character constitutes the standing miracle of Christianity. "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree" — tenderness instead of cruelty — "instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree" — the gentle graces instead of stinging hatreds — "and it shall be to the Lord for a name," indicating his nature, and "for an everlasting sign, that shall not be cut off." The Holy Ghost, holding up to the gaze of the world specimens of his sanctifying power in the form of purified characters and inspired activities for Christ, is the ceaseless miracle-worker attesting Christian truth in an age of intense materialism, selfishness, and unbelief.