Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
A Sermon to WivesSamuel P. Jones.Galatians 5:22
Advantage of MeeknessJohn Trapp.Galatians 5:22
Armour of PeaceC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
Benefits of JoyC.H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
Catechism of ReligionH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
Christian JoyJohn Donne, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Christian PeaceAbp. Trench.Galatians 5:22
Christians a Joyful PeopleC.H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
Danger of Substituting Any Other Test for ThisE. A. Washburn, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Definition of MeeknessW. H. Elliott, M. A.Galatians 5:22
Definition of TemperanceJ. Hamilton, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Description of GentlenessJ. Hamilton, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Duty of JoyH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
Example of MeeknessGalatians 5:22
FaithH. W. Beecher., T. T. Lynch.Galatians 5:22
FaithW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Faith, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Fruit of the SpiritE. A. Washburn, D. D.Galatians 5:22
GentlenessJ. Vaughan, M. A.Galatians 5:22
GentlenessJ. N. Norton, D. D.Galatians 5:22
GentlenessJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
GentlenessW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Gentleness and GoodnessJ. Reeve, M. A.Galatians 5:22
Gentleness, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Gentleness: its StrengthGeorge Eliot.Galatians 5:22
GoodnessJ. N. Norton, D. D.Galatians 5:22
GoodnessDr. J. Hamilton.Galatians 5:22
GoodnessW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Goodness IsH. W. BeecherGalatians 5:22
Goodness, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Hindering ChristianityH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
JoyH. W. Beecher., T. T. Lynch., T. T. Lynch.Galatians 5:22
JoyJ. Reeve, M. A.Galatians 5:22
JoyW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Joy in JesusDr. Newton.Galatians 5:22
Joy, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Labours of Love LightC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
Law is Needed Up to a Certain PointH. W. Beecher., Bishop Lightfoot., B. Jowett, M. A., Canon Knox-Little.Galatians 5:22
Long-SufferingH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
Long-SufferingW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Long-Suffering -- MeeknessJ. Reeve, M. A.Galatians 5:22
Long-Suffering, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Long-Suffering, a PatienceJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
LoveR. A. Bertram.Galatians 5:22
LoveJ. Reeve, M. A.Galatians 5:22
LoveW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Love Casts Out FearNewton.Galatians 5:22
Love EnnoblesW. Braden.Galatians 5:22
Love FirstA. Maclaren, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Love Lightens DutyT. Watson., Archbishop Tillotson.Galatians 5:22
Love Produced by the Spirit in RegenerationN. Emmons, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Love, the Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Love, the Heat of the UniverseH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
Love, the Test of DiscipleshipW. Gurnall.Galatians 5:22
Man's Productive CapabilitiesH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
MeeknessJ. Eadie, D. D.Galatians 5:22
MeeknessW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Meekness an Evidence of Connection with GodW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Meekness and ForgivenessAnecdotes of the Wesleys.Galatians 5:22
Meekness is Love At School -- the Saviour's SchoolJ. Hamilton, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Meekness, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Nature is LoveThomas Jones.Galatians 5:22
Need of GentlenessGalatians 5:22
New Leaves Pushing Off the OldC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
No Law Against the SpiritualH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
Of JoyT. Watson.Galatians 5:22
On Faith, or FidelityJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
On Goodness, or BenevolenceJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
On Holy LoveJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
On MeeknessJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
On Spiritual PeaceJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
On TemperanceJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
On the Influence of the Holy SpiritJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
PeaceH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
PeaceW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
PeaceJ. Reeve, M. A.Galatians 5:22
Peace in PovertyC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
Peace is Love ReposingJ. Hamilton, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Peace, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Peace, a TreasureKrummacher.Galatians 5:22
Perseverance in GoodnessArchbishop Seeker.Galatians 5:22
Power of GentlenessAnon.Galatians 5:22
Power of MeeknessGalatians 5:22
Spiritual FertilityH. E. Manning.Galatians 5:22
Spiritual Fruit in the ChurchH. E. Manning.Galatians 5:22
Spiritual TestsE. A. Washburn, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Symmetrical FertilityAmerican Homeletic ReviewGalatians 5:22
TemperanceOrby Shipley., Bp. Beveridge., H. W. Beecher., Jeremy Collier., Theodore Parker.Galatians 5:22
TemperanceW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
Temperance, a Fruit of the SpiritW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
Test of LoveGalatians 5:22
Test of MeeknessH. W. BeecherGalatians 5:22
The Analysis of GraceGalatians 5:22
The Christian's JoyJohn Thornton.Galatians 5:22
The Divine Source of LoveH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
The Fruit of the SpiritFamily Churchman., Family Churchman., H. W. BeecherGalatians 5:22
The Fruit of the SpiritAlexander MaclarenGalatians 5:22
The Fruit of the Spirit an Element of Christian AssuranceT. Fuller, D. D.Galatians 5:22
The Fruit of the Spirit is LoveH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
The Fruit of the Spirit is LoveJ. W. Cunningham, M. A.Galatians 5:22
The Fruit of the Spirit VisibleC. H. Hall, D. D.Galatians 5:22
The Fruits of the SpiritBishop Sanderson.Galatians 5:22
The Harmony of ManhoodW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
The Influence of the Holy Spirit PerceptibleA. M. Toplady.Galatians 5:22
The Method and Variety of Spiritual JoyGeorge Cheever, D. D.Galatians 5:22
The Relation of Joy to LoveA. H. Hollam.Galatians 5:22
The Right Use of Human CapabilitiesW. C. E. Newbolt.Galatians 5:22
The Secret of Christian FruitfulnessSpencer.Galatians 5:22
The Spirit's Relation to LawW. H. Murray, D. D.Galatians 5:22
The Spiritual LifeEmilius Bayley, B. D.Galatians 5:22
The Transition from the Works of the Flesh to the Fruit of the SpiritH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:22
The Ultimatum of Christian LifeSamuel P. Jones.Galatians 5:22
The Voice of LoveC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 5:22
There is a Great Difference Between the Joy of the Christian and the Joy of the WorldlingJ. G. Pilkington.Galatians 5:22
True GoodnessA. W. Hare.Galatians 5:22
Value of GoodnessDr. J. Duncan.Galatians 5:22
Youthful GoodnessCanon Knox-Little.Galatians 5:22
Freedom Sustained by the SpiritR. Finlayson Galatians 5:13-26
Christian Progress Realized Through AntagonismR.M. Edgar Galatians 5:16-26
The Fruit of the SpiritW.F. Adeney Galatians 5:22, 23

I. THE GRACES OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE GROW OUT OF THE INDWELLING OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. Neither of the two rival theories of Greek philosophers - that virtue comes by practice and that it is taught by instruction - would commend itself to St. Paul. Nor would he agree with Plato that it arises in the intuitive recollection of innate ideas, nor with Aristotle that it is the result of habits. Neither would he permit the modern separation of religion from morals. Morals need the inspiration of religion. Religion when truly alive must control conduct. The first great essential is for our spirit to be possessed by the Spirit of Christ through faith in him. Then Christian graces will appear as fruits of the Spirit. We must begin within. We cannot produce fruits by manipulating the outside of a dead stump. Life is the one essential, and from life within grows fruit without. Only internal spiritual life can produce external Christian graces.

II. NEVERTHELESS, THE CHRISTIAN GRACES NEED TO BE DIRECTLY CULTIVATED. Although the tree produces the fruit from its own life, the branches must be pruned and trained and the fruit sheltered from cold and protected from vermin and wild birds. It is not enough to think only of the inmost sources of a holy life. We must watch the course of it and guide it aright throughout. Christian ethic is an important branch of religious instruction, and is not to be ignored as unimportant because it is only serviceable in subordination to the cultivation of the inner spiritual life.

III. THE CHRISTIAN GRACES HAVE SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THEIR OWN. Such a list as is here given by St. Paul has a character of its own. Some of its constituent parts might be found in a heathen moralist; perhaps all of them; for there is a common conscience in all mankind. But the selection as a whole and the form and character of it are foreign to the atmosphere of paganism. The one significant fact about it is that it is a portrait of Christ. Christianity is putting on Christ. He is our great Exemplar. Our true life is walking in his footsteps. In particular note:

1. Attention is directed to internal principles rather than to external rules of conduct. St. Paul cared little for casuistry.

2. Emphasis is laid on the gentler graces. Pagan ethics treat chiefly of masculine virtues. Christian ethics add what are commonly called the feminine. Yet there is nothing unmanly in the gentleness of true nobility of character thus revealed.

3. Charity and its fruits receive the principal place in the list.


1. Three graces of general disposition:

(1) love, the root of all joy;

(2) the special joy of self-sacrificing love; and

(3) peace, attained later, but more constant when attained.

2. Three graces in our conduct with others:

(1) passive long-suffering;

(2) kindness, which wishes well to others; and

(3) beneficence, which does it.

3. three more general graces:

(1) fidelity, not made necessary by general kindness;

(2) meekness when opposed by the evil in other men;

(3) self-control in keeping under the evil in ourselves. "Against such." says St. Paul, with a touch of humor, "There is no law." - W.F.A.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love.
The works of the flesh are manifest, known and plain to all. But the fruit of the Spirit is not so manifest: the life of God in the soul is a hidden life: still it is a real life, producing genuine fruit; cherish therefore and cultivate it.

I. THE SPIRIT HIMSELF IS THE SOURCE OF ALL SPIRITUAL FRUIT. II. THE NATURE OF THIS FRUIT. The list here given is not exhaustive. Nor does it admit of very definite classification. The following three groups of three each have been suggested.

1. Christian states of mind in their more general aspect.

2. Those special qualities which affect a man's intercourse with his neighbours.

3. Certain general principles which guide a Christian man's conduct.


1. They are all from one and the same source.

2. They all conform to one rule, the law of God.

3. Each Christian must possess them all, at least in germ. Grace in the soul is the reflection of Christ's glory (2 Corinthians 3:19); but that can be no true reflection which lacks any leading features of the moral glory of the Saviour.


1. Be careful to cultivate all the graces of the Christian character. Without this there can be no symmetry and harmony.

2. Growth in grace is the best security for the crucifixion of the flesh.

3. Be filled with the Spirit. Avoid whatever grieves and tempts Him to withdraw His presence. Yield readily to His godly motions, His guidance, His teaching.

4. Pray for increase of grace. The daily life must be lived, whether we will or no. It rests with us whether it shall be lived in the power and under the influence of the Spirit.

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

See the fertility and fruitfulness of the soul that is in a state of grace and therefore in the love of God. First of all, here is the relation of the soul with God Himself: Love is that which unites us with God; joy, which means the thanksgiving and the consciousness of God's infinite goodness, in which we live and mote; peace, whereby we are at rest with God, and in ourselves, and with all mankind. Then there are the fruits which have relation to our neighbour; and the first is patience. Do we bear with our neighbours? Are we irritable, revengeful, resentful, malicious? If so, the fruits of the Holy Ghost are not in us, because the benignity of God is not in us. Long-suffering is another name for patience. Just as equity is the most delicate form of justice, long-suffering is the most perfect form of charity, the perpetual radiance of a loving heart, which, in its dealings with all around, looks kindly upon them and judges kindly of their faults. It means also perseverance, the not being wearied in well-doing, not throwing up and saying, "I have tried to do good for such a one, I have tried to correct his faults. I have tried to win him; but he is ungrateful, incorrigible, and I will have no more to do with him." Our Lord does not so deal with us. Long-suffering means an unwearied perseverance in doing good. Gentleness means kindness and forbearance, the dissembling of wrong, the absence of the fire of resentment and of the smouldering of ill-will. Next comes goodness; as a fountain pours out pure water, so the good heart is perpetually pouring out goodness and diffusing goodness on all around. Faith means veracity, so that a man's word is as good as an oath. And then, lastly, there are certain fruits which have relation to ourselves. They are, first, modesty, ( = meekness?) which is both within and without — modesty of bearing, modesty of conduct, of dress, of demeanour, a chastened and sensitive regard for others, in all that is due from us to them, which keeps us from obtrusiveness, and from transgressing the delicate consideration which is their right. Temperance or continence means most especially the repressing of passions — the passion of anger, the inclination to pleasure, to honour, to wealth; it is the transparent purity of the soul, and the custody Of the senses, because they are the avenues to the soul by which sin enters. Such, then, are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Every soul that is in the grace of God has in it this fertility. It may not bear them all in equal measure, but it bears them all in some proportion.

(H. E. Manning.)

Look at the world before the Son of God came into it. Find one institute of mercy in it. Find a hospital, or an asylum for the widow or for the orphan. Find a home for those who were bereft of reason. Find a ministry of charity to the sick. The culture of classical nations was as cold as the ice, as hard as a stone. The sacred heart of the Incarnate Son of God cast fire upon the earth. And the Christian world kindled and broke forth into all the works of charity. As soon as the widows and the orphans among those who believed were known to be destitute, the apostles set apart a special order — the sacred order of Deacons — to be the ministers of the charity of Jesus Christ to His poor. The law of alms came in, which had no existence in the heathen world. The life of community — not the communism of those that do not believe in Jesus Christ, but the community of all things among those who, being members of His Body, hate a sympathy one with another, and share in each other's sorrows, and joys, and in their hunger, and thirst, and nakedness. The miseries of mankind as they were seen by the Son of God Himself are before the eyes of His Church. All the miseries of mankind, of body and soul, are open to the heart that is illuminated and kindled with the love of God and our neighbour. The Church from the beginning has shown an inventiveness of charity, in finding out how it may apply the help of the love and of the mercies of God to every form of human suffering. And what the Church does as a body the saints of the Church have done one by one. The life of St. Charles, the great pastor of Milan, was inexhaustible in compassion. St. Vincent of Paul, who did not commence his works of mercy until he was forty years of age, has filled the whole world with the exercise of the most various forms of Christian love, ministering to every form of disease and suffering. And what there is in the lives of saints there ought to be in its measure in every one of you. Do not say, "I have a preference for this or/or that kind of charity, and I am not called to other things." You are called to show all these fruits of the Holy Ghost on every occasion in which it is possible, at least in some measure or in some degree, and that to all.

(H. E. Manning.)

Fruit, regarded in the light of the orchard, the garden, or the vineyard, is the most perfect form of development to which a tree or plant can come. Fruit is the thing for which all the enginery of roots and branches and leaves was appointed. All these are servants. They toil and wait. The fruit only sits regent; it is the final result — the perfect; thing. The tree can never go a step further than its fruit. It can stop, and go back and begin again; but it goes only to that limit; and when it has reached that, it has reached perfection. The fruit is the measure of the tree's possibility. So when we speak of man as a tree, or a vine, and when we speak of the fruit of that tree or vine, we refer to that Divine summer which quickens man, and renders him productive, and brings forth in him the highest results of which he is capable. When a man comes to that which is called "the fruit of the Spirit," he reaches his full limit as a creature of time. When the fruit of the Spirit in man is spoken of, that which is meant is the fairest, the noblest, the best thing that he can be brought to, by the brooding of the Divine mind. It is the final result which is wrought out by all the influences for good which are brought to bear upon him. It is that which his higher nature ultimates in .... Here is the ideal of a perfect manhood. It. must have these marks — love, joy, peace, etc. It must be characterized by these qualities. A man may be resplendent; he may dramatise as Shakespeare; he may paint as Raphael; he may carve as Michael Angelo; he may colour as Titian; he may build as Bramante; he may subdue the material globe, and conquer by physical forces; but these things do not represent manhood. A man may think till his thoughts shoot as far as the starlight shoots; a man may speak with an eloquence which is transcendent; a man may be endowed with all conceivable intellectual endowments; but these do not represent manhood. That which distinguishes the true man is not the capacity to command physical substances. It is not the power to analyse and use things created out of material. It is not any of the lower forms of power; nor even the influence of mental strength. None of these things constitute the truest manhood. It is the fruit of the Spirit — man being the stalk on which that fruit is growing, and out of which it is to be developed.

(H. W. Beecher.)

This is a rich coronet of graces, with which the apostle decks the character of the Christian believer. He tells us here what a spiritual life in Christ means, a life that has its ripe fruit in these real virtues of the man. It is no exact classification of the religious graces, but we may find an inward harmony, as if he thought of them as following a law of personal growth. Love, joy, and peace are the inmost dispositions of the heart, flowing from communion with the heart of Christ; long-suffering, gentleness, goodness are social dispositions toward others; and faith, meekness, temperance (or self-restraint) are qualities of conduct.

(E. A. Washburn, D. D.)

We believe that we pass from sin to holiness, not of ourselves, but by the grace of God working in us. How, then, do we recognize the reality of such a Divine life? It must be by the real dispositions and the real graces that are in us. There is no other possible way. What is the grace of the Spirit? If a spiritual grace be a mysterious something, which has no test save our individual feeling, it may be an imagination. If a man should say, I see the grass to be red: it may be so to his eyes, but it only shows his eyes to be in a diseased state. So with our spiritual perceptions. If a man should say, The spirit has revealed to me that Christ shall appear next week on the earth: we should reply, What proof do you bring that you are not an enthusiast? And so if any one say, I am assured that at a certain time I was convicted of sin, and passed from death to life; we have still to ask, How do you know that this is not a fancy, a will o' the wisp, shining out of the swamp of a morbid feeling. It is not enough to say, I have an extraordinary peace of conscience, a sense of pardon and joy; for any one who knows human nature and his own, knows that we can be more readily cheated by our religious emotions than all else, and may mistake the spirit of self-conceit for the Spirit of God. It must be a test beyond our inner feeling. It must be a test seen and known by others. It must be a test of a permanent kind. What is it? There can be only one answer. We know the Divine Spirit by the likeness of our characters to His, as we know the sun in his beams, the plant in its blossom. The Spirit of Christ is of love and peace; it shows itself in the conquest of our unloving, warring passions. It is of long-suffering and goodness; it is known in our unselfish goodness toward our fellow. men. It is of meekness and temperance; it is known in our self-restraint. This is reality. There is no outward surface morality in it; but the genuine morality of heart and life. If we have these positive graces, if our religion create this true joy of a cheerful, happy spirit; this peace not of a self-satisfied conscience, but of one void of offence; this gentleness, this goodness which prompts our action in daily life; this temperance, which keeps us from all unholy appetites of wealth or selfish pleasure; if it be this in the household, in the social circle, in the calling of business — then we have the only assurance we can have of the presence of the Holy Spirit. "There can be no mistake about it. And so as to others. If I recognize these genuine graces in any, whether his religious experiences tally with mine or no, I know that he is a living disciple of Christ, as I know the flavour of a peach, although it may not be of my garden.

(E. A. Washburn, D. D.)

"There is a religion calling itself spiritual, which substitutes a vague notion of the Divine grace for the plain rule of the apostle. Let such a notion enter, and what more sure to make the doctrine of the Holy Spirit the apology for every morbid mistake! What strange doubts in regard to the plainest duty, what vagaries in feeling, what contradictions between faith and life? You meet one class of sincere Christians, who make religion an inward self-torment; always asking whether they can find signs of their conversion, distressed about their states of mind, instead of testing the grace of God by their simple acceptance of His promises and daily growth in duty. It is the saddest of inversions. As well dig up the roots of the rose bush every hour to know if it have life, when you should see it in the fragrance and bloom of the rose. You meet others, who believe that some strong conviction is the assurance of the Spirit. I know nothing more unreal than that. In proportion as we believe in this assurance of our own unchanging state, we lose our humble sense of our weakness. The assurance we have is in God. But there is none that we have that life in us, unless we keep it by our growth. I have even known those, who hold this notion of religion, speak very doubtfully of the moral virtues, of integrity, honour, purity, benevolence, as a "mere morality" which might be with. out any spiritual piety at all. Let us beware of such conceits. When men indulge in this theory, it often ends in machinery, in the mechanical exercise of feeling, and leaves the real life barren. Try the spirits by the rule of Christ; and when you see that the figs do not grow on the thistles, that the spiritual experience is one thing, and the real man another; a lofty faith here, and a selfish conduct there; grace that has no graces; a change within that makes no change without — then learn the difference between the subtleties of men and the plain Word of God.

(E. A. Washburn, D. D.)

"Old leaves, if they remain upon the trees through the autumn and the winter, fall off in the spring." We have seen a hedge all thick with dry leaves throughout the winter, and neither frost nor wind has removed the withered foliage, but the spring has soon made a clearance. The new life dislodges the old, pushing it away as unsuitable to it. So our old corruptions are best removed by the growth of new graces. "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." It is as the new life buds and opens that the old worn-out things of our former state are compelled to quit their hold of us, Our wisdom lies in living near to God, that by the power of His Holy Spirit all our graces may be vigorous, and may exercise a sin-expelling power over our lives: the new leaves of grace pushing off our old sere affections and habits of sin.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

If the sun is sparkling on the healthy leaves of a fruit-tree, and heavenly airs are fanning them, and the good soil lies below, we do not try to prove by abstract rules that probably the fruit will somehow drop down of a sudden on the twigs. The eye sees the work going on, and doubts about contingencies and dangers seldom disturb the husbandman. If there is a work of grace now stirring, if the Christ-thoughts become more and more our thoughts, if the world below sinks in value, and the character deepens on sound things, on truer judgments, on simpler goodness and wisdom, we need not to look to some far-off future to find hope.

(C. H. Hall, D. D.)

American Homeletic Review.
"The fruits of the Spirit" do not always appear, even in every true Christian, in their Divine order and symmetrical proportion. Grace works on very different natures, and is subject to an endless variety of conditions and modifying influences; so that while the great change has been wrought, the seeds of the new life have taken root in the heart, the form and degree of development will greatly vary in different persons, and different conditions and surroundings. In one, faith predominates, in another, love, in another, charity, etc. Seldom do we see in this world a perfectly rounded symmetrical Christian character. Grace has not its perfect work here: and yet the conversion may be genuine. The believer should not despair, if he fails to discover in his heart and daily life, at one and the same time, all the fruits of grace here enumerated.

(American Homeletic Review.)

When I ask you, "Do you believe in religion?" I do not mean to ask you whether you believe in creeds, and ordinances, and Church organisations. When I want to know whether a man believes in religion or not, I do not ask, "Do you believe in Sunday, and in ministers, and in the Bible" For a man may believe in all these things, and not believe in religion. And a man might not believe in any of them, and yet believe in religion. If I were going to question you to ascertain whether you were a Christian or not, I would say, "Do you, sir, believe in love, as the transcendent element of manhood?" Where is the man who would say "No" to that? Where, in the whole round of creation, would be found a man who, if the question were put to him, "Do you believe in the validity, and authority, and divinity of love?" I would not say, "I believe?" That is the first question in the catechism. The second is, "Do you believe in joy, supernal, ineffable, Divine, bred in the soul of man, and in the highest realm of the soul? Do you believe that all the faculties of man, like the pipes of an organ, conspire in ringing out sweet symphonies?" If the question were asked, "Do you believe in joy?" where is the man who would not say, "I believe?" "Do you believe in peace?" "I believe." "Do you believe in long-suffering?" "I believe." "Do you believe in gentleness?" "I believe." "Do you believe in goodness?" "I believe." "Do you believe in faith?" "I believe." "Do you believe in meekness and temperance?" "I believe." Answer me, hungry heart — you that have wandered from church to church, and have not been fed; you that have tried pleasure, and aspiration, and ambition, without being satisfied, and have become wearied and discouraged; you that have listened to discourse on discourse, and enigma on enigma, and had spectacular views which purported to be religion, and have fallen off, wearily saying, "Ah, there is no religion in these things!" — is there no religion? Do not you believe in religion? If you were to see a man filled with the fruit of the Spirit, would you not believe in that man? "Yes," you say, "but there is no such man." But is not that an ambition which every man may most worthily set before him, and press toward with all the power that is in him? Is not that worth living for? And if men come together, and say, "We will bear with each other, and will uphold each other, and together we will press toward that high conception of manhood," is not that a worthy reason for coming together? Is there anything in pleasure, or business, or citizenship which is comparable in dignity and worth to coming together earnestly bent on having the fruit of the Spirit as it is here depicted?... I spread before you this reality of love, and joy, and peace, and long-suffering, and gentleness, and goodness, and faith, and meekness, and temperance, and say, "This is what you are to be and to do. And you can help each other to be and to do that. Take hold of hands. Avail yourselves of what advantage there may be in social power. If you are wanderers and discouraged, join one with another that you may inspire each other with hope and find rest." This is the whole economy of religion. It is the whole philosophy of the Church.

(H. W. Beecher.)

When the rays of the sun fall on the surface of a material object, part of those rays are absorbed; part of them are reflected back in straight lines; and part of them refracted this way and that in various directions. When the Holy Ghost shines upon our souls, part of the grace He inspires is absorbed to our own particular comforts; part of it is reflected back in acts of love, joy, prayer, praise; and part of it is refracted every way in acts of benevolence, beneficency, and all moral and social duty.

(A. M. Toplady.)

Not love like a June day breaking out in March, and everybody saying, "Was there ever such a beautiful day? But you mustn't expect more such days." There are a good 'many people who have love like that. It is a rare thing with them. But the quality is to be permanent, pervading, atmospheric, automatic, spontaneous. You are to be clothed with it, and it is to abide with you. What if men had to run to an air reservoir every time they wanted any atmosphere — taking a breath, then going as long as they could, and then going back to get another breath! But in this world of hurlyburly, strifes, conflicts, envyings, jealousies, selfishness, and various attrition, a sweet, universal, unvarying, atmospheric love is almost as rare as the illustration would indicate. Yet we are brought into circumstances where every vengeful passion plays, and threatens to supersede all our grace. We have to get up our grace. It is as if a man, having laid aside his armour in time of warfare, and hearing some warning bell strike, and being in his house, should spring up and cry, "Where is my spear, my arrow, my armour? I must get on my things, and go out to fight." That may do for warfare; but so sharp are our appetites and temptations, that we have no time to put on our armour. Circumstances require us to wear it all the time. "Put on the whole armour of God." If you leave off any piece at any time, that is the point where death will enter. Love, automatic, continuous. You see it now and then. You will see it in a greatsouled man. He never moves from the stability of that state of mind; or if he moves, it is only as an overfull vessel sometimes spills herself on one side and on the other. Now and then you see it in a great-souled and saintly woman, not only where she makes herself radiant, but where the whole household is filled with the atmosphere of her graciousness and her goodness. This is what you see in the Indian summer of life in the aged often — namely, that they have worn out, as it were burned out, the passions, and have been released little by little from the temptations of the aggressive life. They have brought themselves into a continued exercise of the higher Christian states of mind, until, as they sit waiting for their sun to go down, that it may rise again and never set, they are luminous and are clothed, and in their right mind.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Is it not the fact, that religion unlocks the closest bosoms, softens the most rugged nature, touches the heart of stone, and melts it into tenderness and love? I have lately been called to watch the last years of an individual, who, during a life of more than eighty years, barred out every feeling of compassion and generosity; but no sooner did the beams of the blessed gospel pierce his heart, than I myself saw every sterner quality at once subdued, and all that was large and generous and sympathizing occupy the vacant place; no sooner did he learn his own condition, as a sinner redeemed with the precious blood of Christ — no sooner had he been taught that, if saved at all, he must be saved by an act of sovereign and unmerited grace and compassion, than the frost of his soul seemed dissolved, his heart expanded, his affections were new-born, he looked over the world with a new eye, and literally drained himself to supply the spiritual and temporal necessities of those around him. And he is not, by any means, an isolated instance; but simply a sample of the Spirit's work in the souls of the regenerate. Who, I ask, was Howard — and who are the men that tread in his steps, and dive into the depths of the dungeon, and take the guage of misery in all nations of the world? Who was Wilberforce — and who are those upon whom his mantle has fallen, the men that give tyranny no rest, and count no sacrifice too great "to break the staff of the oppressor, and let the prisoner go free?" In all cases the answer is the same. These are the men who look to the Spirit of God only, as the source of all that is good and great as the living fountain of love, as their only stay and prop, as the Author and Finisher of all real schemes of benevolence; they are men, in short, whose help and trust are placed in God alone.

(J. W. Cunningham, M. A.)

Oh! there is a voice in love; it speaks a language which is its own; it has an idiom and a brogue which none can mimic; wisdom cannot imitate it; oratory cannot attain unto it; it is love alone which can reach the mourning heart; love is the only handkerchief which can wipe the mourner's tears away. And is not the Holy Ghost a loving Comforter? Dost thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee? Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit? Dost thou know how great is the affection of His soul towards thee? Go, measure heaven with thy span; go, weigh the mountains in scales; go, take the ocean's water, and tell each drop; go, count the sand upon the sea's wide shore; and when thou hast accomplished this, thou may'st tell how much He loveth thee! He has loved thee long, He has loved thee well; He loved thee ever, and He still shall love thee; surely He is the person to comfort thee, because He loves.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Oh, what a grand thing human nature is when it is working smoothly! There is the will sitting supreme, informed from above, through channels and means, by all the grace of God which the Spirit supplies. There is conscience, its spiritual assessor, waiting and warning and testing with unerring accuracy. There is the inner circle of the intellect, presenting to it all that is good, noble, or useful. Memory, bringing in its treasures from the past. Imagination, bringing in ornament and beauty from the present, and even from the future. There is the body beneath, with its active slaves ceaselessly conveying materials through the senses. There are the passions and the emotions, with their hidden fires, all ministering to the great work which is going on within. And surely it is worth the effort to be all that is meant by spiritual, to set ourselves to work in the best way. And to this end it will be helpful to consider those virtues which the apostle tells us are the "fruit of the Spirit" — those fruits and productions which spring up within us out of the harmomous working of our being — working, that is, as God means it to work, with all its several parts acting according to the will of God concerning us. It may be that we have not as yet learnt to use the machine aright; perhaps we have shrunk from, it, and God drives us in upon ourselves by the admonition of adversity or the reproofs of conscience. Perhaps, it may be, there is a large piece of this world's grit sticking somewhere within which needs to come away. Perhaps there may be a sense that we are, after all, our own masters, instead of workers for God, which hinders our perfection. If so, let us try to think what we might be if all these parts of our being were "entire," if we were working smoothly for Him.

(W. C. E. Newbolt.)

Now it is obvious that this human nature, if rightly used, is a machine of delicate and wonderful powers, only some employ it as they might use some beautiful musical instrument, using but a part of it, with no combination of stops, no intricacies of effect, or concentration of action; while some maim it as they use it, and spoil it altogether. What a frightful perversion, for instance, is the man who is, as it were all body! — in whom the governing power has passed over to the lower senses, who perverts his mental faculties to the procuring of mere animal gratification, who stifles out all the spiritual yearnings and pleadings within him that he may be more and mere carnal and sensual. And if this be so, it is also true that there may be an intellectual deformity as well, higher and nobler if you will, but still a deformity, where the body is despised or dishonoured, where the spirit has been shut off in its higher regions, and is to all intents and purposes without any influence upon life. The first perversion is obvious; we may see it any day at almost any tavern door. But the other may also be traced in many an impartial biography, where on a review of the whole life before us, it cannot be said that the spirit, soul, and body have been preserved "entire" (ὁλόκληρα), that the owners might be presented "whole" (ὁλοτελεῖς) before God.

(W. C. E. Newbolt.)

A hard thing it is, to bring an overweening hypocrite to a true understanding of himself; for pride and hypocrisy are two such things as few men are willing to own. That they might therefore with better certainty be able to discern whether they were indeed spiritual, or but yet carnal, the apostle proceedeth to describe the flesh and the Spirit by their different effects. The thing we are to take notice of now is the differences that may be observed between the titles under which St. Paul hath entered the several particulars of both sorts. "The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery," etc., the other in the beginning of verse 22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love," etc.

1. The first difference, which ariseth from the nature of things themselves, as they relate to their several proper causes, is of the four the most obvious and important: and it is this: that whereas the vicious habits and sinful actions catalogued in the former verses are the production of the flesh, the graces and virtues specified in the text are ascribed to' the Spirit, as to their proper and original cause. They are not the works of the flesh, as the former, but the fruit of the Spirit. First, clear it is, that all the wicked practices recited and condemned in the foregoing verses, with all ether of like quality, do proceed merely from the corruption that is in us, from our own depraved minds and wills, without any the least co-operation of the Holy Spirit of God therein. It cannot stand with the goodness of God to be the principal; and neither with His goodness nor greatness to be an accessory, in any sinful action. He cannot be either the author or the abettor of anything that is evil. Secondly, it is clear also that all the holy affections and performances here mentioned, with all other Christian virtues and graces accompanying salvation, not here mentioned, though performed immediately by us, and with the free consent of cur own wills, are yet the fruit of God's Spirit working in us. All those very many passages in the New Testament, which either set forth the unframeableness of our nature to the doing of anything that is good — "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think a good thought"; "In me, that is in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing," and the like: or else ascribe our best performances to the glory of the grace of God — "Without me you can do nothing"; "All our sufficiency is of God"; "Not of yourselves, it is the gift of God"; "It is God that worketh in you both the will and the deed," and the like, are so many clear confirmations of the truth.(1) The necessity of our prayers. It is true, our endeavours are necessary: God that doth our work for us, will not do it without us.(2) A duty of thankfulness. If by His good blessing upon our prayers and endeavours we have been enabled to bring forth any fruit, such as He will graciously accept; take we heed we do not withdraw the least part of the glory of it from Him, to derive it upon ourselves, or our own endeavours. Enough it is for us, that we have the comfort onward, and shall have an unmeasurable reward at the last, for the good we have done (either of both which is infinitely more than we deserve); but far be it from us to claim any share in the glory: let all that be to Him alone.

2. The evil effects proceeding from the flesh are called by the name of "works"; and the good effects proceeding from the Spirit are called by the name of "fruits." The query is, why, being both effects alike, they are not either both alike called works, or both alike called fruits; but the one works, the other fruit — the works of the flesh there, here, the fruit of the Spirit? For answer whereunto, I shall propose to your choice two conjectures. The one more theological, or rather metaphysical, which is almost as new to me as perhaps it will seem to you (for it came not into my thoughts till I was upon it); the other more moral and popular. For the former, take it thus. Where the immediate agent produceth a work or effect, virtute propria, by his own power, and not in the virtue of a superior agent, both the work itself produced, and the efficacy of the operation whereby it is produced, are to be ascribed to him alone; so as it may be said properly and precisely to be his work. But where the immediate agent operateth virtute aliena, in the strength and virtue of some higher agent, without which he were not able to produce the effect, though the work done may even there also be attributed in some sort to the inferior and subordinate agent, as the immediate cause, yet the efficacy whereby it was wrought cannot be so properly imputed to him, but ought rather to be ascribed to that higher agent in whose virtue he did operate. If this seem but a subtlety and satisfy not, let it go; the other, I presume, will, seeing it is so plain and popular. The word "fruit" mostly relates to some labour going before. The reason is, because no man would willingly undergo any toil or labour to no end; he would have something or other in his eye that might in some measure recompence his pains; and that is called "the fruit of his labour." Where the flesh ruleth all, the work exceedeth the fruit; and therefore, without ever mentioning the fruit, they are called "the works of the flesh." But where the Spirit of God ruleth, the fruit exceedeth the work; and therefore, without ever mentioning the work, it is called "the fruit of the Spirit."

3. The works of the flesh are spoken of as many, "works," in the plural: but the fruit of the Spirit is spoken of as one, "fruit," in the singular. Many works, but one fruit. There is such a connection of virtues and graces, that albeit they differ in their objects and natures, yet they are inseparable in the subject. As when many links make up one chain, pull one, and pull all: so he that hath any one spiritual grace in any degree of truth and eminency, cannot be utterly destitute of any other. But as for sins and vices, it is not so with them: they are not only distinct in their hinds, natures, and definitions (for so are virtues too), but they may also be divided from one another, and parted asunder in respect of the subject wherein they are. we are told (and if we were not told it, we could not but see reason enough in these times to believe it) that a man may hate idolatry, a work of the flesh; and yet love sacrilege well enough, a work of the flesh too. There is no necessity that a swearer should be an adulterer, or an adulterer a slanderer, or a slanderer an oppressor, or an oppressor a drunkard, or a drunkard a seditious person; and so of many other. The reason of the difference is, because all spiritual graces look one way: they all run to the same indivisible point, wherein they concentre; to wit, almighty God, who is unchangeable and one: even as all moral virtues concentre in the same common point of right reason. But sins, which turn from God to follow the creature; and vices, which are so many deviations from the rule of right reason, do not all necessarily run towards the same point, but may have their several tendencies different one from another. Because though God be one, yet the creatures are manifold; and although the straight way from one place to another can be but one, yet there may be many crooked turnings, by-paths, and deviations. Even as truth is but one and certain, but errors are manifold and endless.

4. The last difference is, that the works of the flesh are expressly said "to be manifest"; but no such thing is affirmed of the fruit of the Spirit. The most probable reasons of which difference are, to my seeming, one of these two following.(1) The commonness and frequency of those above these everywhere abroad in the world. The works of the flesh, "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatreds, emulation, debate, wrath, strifes, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, gluttony, drunkenness, and such like" (I name them, because the bare recital of them will save me the labour of further proof), do so abound in all places, that you can scarce look beside them. Turn your eyes which way you will, ye shall see cursed examples of some or other of these every day, and in every street, and every corner. Alas, the works of the flesh are but too "manifest!" But the fruits of the Spirit are not so. "Love, peace, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance," and the rest — these are very thin grown in the world; they are rarities not everywhere to be met withal. Hips and haws grow in every hedge, when choicer fruits are but in some few gardens; and every soil almost yields stones and rubbish, but gold and precious stones are found in very few places.(2) The works of the flesh may be said to be manifest, and the fruits of the Spirit not so, with respect to our judgments of them, and the easiness of discerning the one sort more than the other.

(Bishop Sanderson.)

I. THE REALITY OF THE SPIRIT'S INFLUENCE UPON THE MIND. That it is possible, must surely be admitted by all. It is the highest reach of presumption to deny that God can, in a manner far beyond our comprehension, direct and control all the secret springs and movements of the human soul. The only question then is, whether He will, in this way, exert His power and communicate His grace. Scripture leaves us in no doubt as to this. See especially 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 6:19.


1. To lighten the understanding, and rectify the judgment (2 Corinthians 4:6; John 16:13, 14.)

2. To awaken the slumbering conscience, and to subdue the obstinate, rebellious will. Sin is a fatal opiate, by which the soul is intoxicated, and bewildered with visionary pleasures, and rendered insensible to its danger.

III. THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT'S INFLUENCE. The perfect purity of heaven forbids us to indulge the thought that either sin, or those who are infected with it, can have admission there. O, let it never be forgotten that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. So great is the change that must pass upon us, before we can be made truly happy, that nothing short of the Holy Spirit can produce it. This change, in the Scriptures, is called a new birth, a resurrection from the dead, and a new creature.

1. It is sometimes called a new birth (John 1:12, 13; John 3:3.)

2. Sometimes the change that must pass upon us before we can be fitted for heaven is called a resurrection from the dead.

3. Sometimes this great change is called a new creation.


1. One evidence of the Holy Spirit's special influence is a strong, prevailing, and permanent aversion to sin, in all its kinds and degrees. The nature of the cause is known by the quality of the effects produced by it.

2. Another evidence of these heavenly influences on the mind is a spirit of humble, unfeigned, and animated devotion.

3. Another evidence of the Holy Spirit's influence is a supreme regard to the Word of God as our rule, the glory of God as our end, and. the immediate presence of God as our ultimate and complete happiness.

4. An other evidence of the Spirit's influence is a sweet persuasion of our acceptance with God, and adoption into the household of "faith. "It is," says Bishop Hopkins, "but an airy assurance, a void evidence, an insignificant charter for heaven, which hath not on it the print of the Spirit's seal. Now the impress of this seal is the very image and superscription of God, which, when the heart is, like wax, made soft and pliable, is, in a man's regeneration, enstamped upon it."


1. It has been boldly asserted, that none were ever endowed with the Holy Spirit, but prophets, spastics, and evangelists. But shall we then deny that gracious, though ordinary influence, which renovates the mind, and which was evidently bestowed upon common believers as well as apostles?

2. It is said, the influence of the Spirit on the mind is too mysterious to be comprehended, and therefore the doctrine which teaches it is unworthy to be believed. Who then will dare, in the fulness of his self-conceit, to deny a doctrine of Divine revelation, which has been the comfort of good men in every age, because it surpasses his comprehension?

3. It is objected, that the doctrine of the Spirit's influence has a bad tendency, opening a door to licentiousness, opposing the liberty of the human will, and discouraging our honest endeavours. The whole of this objection is founded on a mistake. The same Scriptures which authorize us to expect the Divine influence, require us to honour God in the use of His own appointed means.

(John Thornton.)

Have you ever heard a clever organist undertaking to show what can be done in the gymnastics of music? He goes screwing his way up through all the chromatic scale with all sorts of thunderous conjunction of sound until he has shown that the organ is devilish, or you feel so, but at last he modulates and gives out some rare strain such as Beethoven and Mozart has given birth to. So out from the cacophony of harsh and ugly affections and passions the text modulates into the very melody and music of religion.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Family Churchman., Family Churchman., H. W. Beecher.



(Family Churchman.)


II. He quickens the seed — the truth which is instinct with a Divine vitality.

III. HE FOSTERS THE LIFE: like sunshine and showers on the seed sown.

IV. HE MATURES THE FRUIT: creating for it a congenial climate.

(Family Churchman.)


1. A great many men have religion who have no Christianity.

(1)They are devout, but inspired by fear.

(2)Orthodox, being learned in theology.

(3)Moral, being controlled by law.

2. Christianity is a life of liberty, spirituality, and joyous love.




1. Men may question the doctrines of Christianity.

2. They cannot deny its practical effect.

(H. W. Beecher.)

1. The secret of Christ's power was the goodness of God as manifested in His character and life, raising up a permanent moral influence and capable of remoulding the character and life of man.

2. Why, then, has Christianity made so little advance after nineteen centuries of history? For remember that the growth of Christianity does not consist in the diffusion of the knowledge of it or the extension of its organizations, but in the development of the fruits of the Spirit of Christ. Those who have set forward Christianity have —


1. You cannot coerce men into loyalty in the State.

2. You cannot coerce the growths of nature.

3. Much less can men be coerced into love, joy, peace, etc.

II. FORMULATED THEOLOGICAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL SYSTEMS, and endeavoured to extend them, critically, controversially, and in an anathematizing spirit. But it is just as reasonable as placing violets and roses in an atmosphere of biting frost or consuming fire and expect them to grow, as for the fruits of the Spirit to develop in these ways.

III. AIMED AT KNOWLEDGE, NOT CHARITY. Knowledge can only puff a man up; charity will build him up. The knowledge of love may deceive a man that he has it, but will not make him loveable; and, the disunited state of Christendom being witness, has not.

IV. PLACED ORGANIC CHRISTIANITY IN THE ROOM OF PERSONAL CHRISTIANITY Physical life may be left to organize itself, which it does perfectly. In Christian life the loving, joyous, peaceful, etc., will make the most harmonious and orderly Church.


(H. W. Beecher.)

The last witness is the comfort and contentment the conscience takes in doing good works, and bringing forth the fruits of the new obedience; that though he knows his best doings are straitened with corruptions and imperfections, yet because they are the end of his vocation and the justifiers of his faith; because the gospel thereby is graced, wicked men amazed, some of them converted, the rest confounded, weak Christians confirmed, the poor relieved, devils repining at them, angels rejoicing for them, God Himself glorified by them; I say because of these and other reasons he doeth good deeds with humility and cheerfulness, and findeth a singular joy in his soul resulting therefrom.

(T. Fuller, D. D.)

The ultimatum of all vegetation is matured fruit. You take that oak tree; a few months ago it budded and blossomed, and now you see the matured acorn upon it. Since the appearance of the little acorn, the tree has bent all its energies towards furnishing it nutriment; it draws food from its roots, and drinks in from the atmosphere all the vital forces, and pours its life into the little acorn. I see that little acorn growing and developing and extending until, by and by, there is a well-rounded, ripe, symmetrical acorn; and then the tree goes back into its winter quarters. So with all vegetation. Now, I grant that there are many intervening difficulties between the bud and the ripe fruit. There are worms that gnaw at the vitals of the tree; there are the cold winds and the frosts; but the tree is only valuable as it overleaps them all and matures the fruit. Just so the ultimatum of Christian life is the maturing of Christian fruitage.

(Samuel P. Jones.)

Dr. J. Hamilton says: "The chemist who can analyse the fruit of the vine finds many ingredients there. Of these no single one nor any two together would form the juice of the grape, but the combination of all yields the polished and delicious berry which everyone knows so well. In the best specimens nine ingredients are found, but that is not a good cluster where any is wanting." The application is easy.

The fruit of the Spirit is love. You know what the fruit as it hangs on the tree is. It is the result of many causes. Look at the apple as it hangs ripe and ready for the mouth, on the bough. What a wonderful production! How symmetrical its shape! How beautiful its colour! How mellow its substance! How pure and gracious to the palate is its juice! Whence came it? It came from below and from above. The earth owns part of it; the sun owns part of it; the dews have a claim — even the wind and the stars have done something to make it what it is. A dozen ministries — angels of the earth and the air, ingenious and active, have joined hands in its manufacture. Fruit, then, is the last result — the ultimate product of many forces acting conjunctively. Fruit is not crude; it is finished. It is not a process; it is the end of a process; the end of many processes; the consummation to which time and cause have alike tended. Now there is one result in character which has the Divine Spirit for its cause; it is love. It may be in embryo; it may be in maturity; it may be weak or strong. It may rule the life wholly; it may rule it only in part. But in whatever degree of growth it may be — to whatever point it may have been carried forward and upward, the element and principle of affection in human nature never happens by chance, never occurs by accident. To understand the works of the Spirit, and how its fruits are generated and ripened, you must understand the nature on which it works and the forces in connection with which its potency is rendered efficient. I say forces, for human nature is a forceful nature. It is a co-operative nature. It is not played on like an instrument of music that has only a responsive power; it is powerful itself; it is acted upon and re-acts. It has its own capabilities. It is strong enough to be resistful, and is essentially independent. A great many think of God only as outside of themselves — think of the Spirit as coming down upon them as winds come upon the sea, being blown from afar. The action of the Spirit is thus made to seem instantaneous, and the changes wrought arbitrary. Many even think that it would in some sort disparage the work of the Spirit if its actions were made in any sense dependent on the human will, or to any considerable extent co-operative with human faculties. But, friends, he who exalteth his own power exalteth God; for is not God the maker of his power? The father is honoured in the honour of his son, and the whole family becomes distinguished through the glory of one. Let it be known, then, to all of you, that the work of the Spirit is a co-operative work. He works in alliance with our own natural capacity. Alas! that He is often compelled to work in resistance to it. Nor is the saving work of God sudden. It is a peculiarity of destruction that it is always swift. God kills in an instant, but He grows things slowly. The lightning smites the tree in a flash, which a hundred years with laborious chemistry have grown. Is it less honourable to God that He works through method and climbs to His consummations through spiritual processes? After our way of thinking, the Spirit's work in man is a slow work. Exceptions there may be, but swiftness of operation is not the law. Human nature never blooms suddenly. Some are born blossoms, but those that are born in the bud, as most of us were, sweeten, colour, and unfold slowly. The work of the Spirit is to bring back and reinstate in its original regnancy the Divine characteristic of loving. This is what it is striving to do in your bosom, fellow Christian. Faith in the Christ is valuable, because it is the means, the great and glorious means, of this reinstatement. By faith we perceive the loveliness of this principle; by faith we are made appreciative of it and are filled with longing that we may overflow with it; by faith we are thus quickened into this new life of concord and amiability and good-will toward men, and hearty affection toward God. Now, to start with in life, love is selfish. The love of the child, how unlike the love of the mother! Hence, we all say that we love mother better as we grow older. And why is this true? Because the selfishness which was in our early loving is eliminated. To start with, we loved our mothers with our bodies, so to speak. We have grown to love them with our minds and our spirits. Some of us have had them taken from us. In their love for us they have passed out of the body; and we, too, in our love for them have passed out of the body. They are spirits, and we love them with our spirit. And thus has love been perfected in us. The best love is never perfect until it becomes thus unselfish. And the work of the Spirit, as I understand it, is operating in human hearts to this end. When it is made perfect in Christ, or after the manner of Christ's love, what will it not do? what will it not bear? what will it not give? And one thing, especially, is worthy of note in respect to this love which is the fruit of the Spirit in the human heart: that it not only prompts them and enables them to die for the Christ, and that truth, wide as the world of being and deep as the nature of things of which He was the embodiment, and is and will be for ever the cardinal illustration: but it qualifies them to die for it as men receive a favour. It was not a task for men and women to give up their mortal lives in evidence of their faith. They counted it joy so to do. They were in love with the immortality which waits upon such sacrifice, and death was to them the happy ministry which wedded them to it for ever. What power is this, that charges into human nature such sublime courage; gives to human minds such forecast of wisdom; and lifts human souls so high that they forget the earth and are mindful only of heaven? What power is this that renews the mind, transforms the spirit, and gives to us inhabitants of the earth the sensation of angels and the serenity of the skies? It is the Spirit. It is the glory of the Christian character that in it, through the work of the Spirit, is generated strength to bear all things and hope all things. The courage that you need is the courage to live — the courage to bear yet a while and faint not; to do this hopefully, patiently; to find happiness amid your tears; to so order your sorrows that they shall bloom; to look at emptiness as if it were fulness, and at poverty as if it were wealth — this can only come as the fruit of the Spirit. The love which enables you to do this must be the love of right things; the love of truth; the love of God. They who have this love have a new sight come to their eyes. They see things far off and far up and far ahead.

(W. H. Murray, D. D.)

I. I am to show that THE SPIRIT OF GOD, IN REGENERATION, PRODUCES NOTHING BUT LOVE. He does, indeed, often strive with sinners, and sometimes very powerfully, without softening or subduing their hearts in the least degree. He commonly alarms the fears and awakens the consciences of those sinners whom He intends to renew, some time before He effectually changes their hearts. This He does to prepare them for regeneration, in which He forms them vessels of mercy. The only question now before us is, whether, in the act of regeneration, He produces anything besides love. And here we may safely say that He does not produce anything besides love in regeneration, because there is no need of His producing any other effect in that saving change. Sinners possess all the natural powers and faculties which belong to human nature, and which are necessary to, constitute them moral agents, before they are made the subjects of grace. Manasseh was as capable of doing good as of doing evil, before he was renewed; and Paul was as capable of promoting as of opposing the cause of Christ, before he was converted. This is true of all sinners, who are as much moral agents, and as proper subjects of moral government, before as after regeneration. Whenever, therefore, the Divine Spirit renews, regenerates, or sanctifies them, He has no occasion of producing anything in their minds besides love.

II. THAT LOVE IS THE EFFECT WHICH HE ACTUALLY DOES PRODUCE IN REGENERATION. "The fruit of the Spirit is love," says the apostle in the text. His words are very plain and emphatical. He does not say that the fruit of the Spirit is a new taste, or relish, or disposition, or principle; but is love, and nothing which is previous to it, or the foundation of it.

III. THAT LOVE, WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES IN REGENERATION, IS THE ESSENCE AND SOURCE OF ALL HOLY OR GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS. It is generally supposed that regeneration lays the foundation of all the exercises of grace. Benevolent love is the root from which all holy feelings and conduct naturally spring. It produces everything which the law requires, and which is necessary to perfect obedience. When the Holy Spirit produces love in the soul in which there was nothing before but selfishness, he effects an essential change in the heart, and forms the subject of grace after the moral image of God, and prepares him for the kingdom of heaven. And this is as great and as good a change as can be produced in the human heart. Conclusion:

1. If the Spirit of God produces nothing but love in regeneration, then there is no ground for the distinction which is often made between regeneration, conversion, and sanctification. They are, in nature and kind, precisely the same fruits of the Spirit.

2. If the Spirit of God in regeneration produces nothing but love, then men are no more passive in regeneration than in conversion or sanctification.

3. If the Holy Spirit, in regeneration, produces nothing but love, or holy exercises, then the regenerate are as dependent upon Him for their future, as for their first, exercises of grace.

4. If the Spirit of God produces nothing but love in regeneration, then it is no more a supernatural work on the part of God than any other Divine operation upon the minds of men.

5. If the Spirit of God produces nothing but love in regeneration, then sinners have no more excuse for not beginning to love God, than saints have for not continuing to love Him.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

There can scarcely be a more gross abuse of language, than to call that rational religion in which the affections have no share. It is clear, from the Scriptures, that the heart is the seat of true religion. The sincere Christian is animated and distinguished by the grace of holy love.


1. God as the source of all being, and the centre of all perfection and excellency, claims the chief place in our affection. The Christian, being renewed in the spirit of his mind, feels his heart pant after God. He views the Lord as his portion, and sets his affections on things above.

2. As God is the supreme object on which holy love fixes, so creatures ought to have a subordinate measure of love, according to the degree in which they bear His image.

3. There is a clear distinction between a love of complacence and a love of benevolence. By the former, we delight in God and what resembles Him; by the latter, we show a regard for the welfare of bad men, though we detest their ways. In this sense, the worst enemies must not be shut out of our affections.


1. Love is the purest principle of obedience. How many appear actuated in all they do by the hateful principle of pride. Surely it is plain, without bringing arguments to establish the point, that no works can be acceptable in the sight of God, but such as spring from a principle of love, and are directed to promote His glory. Wherever this noble motive habitually prevails, it will in a good degree harmonize the passions, bring the scattered thoughts and purposes into subserviency to one grand end, and produce a simplicity of intention, and uniformity of character, which peculiarly distinguish the consistent Christian.

2. Holy love is the strongest principle of obedience. Love invigorates and animates the soul. Many obstacles cannot destroy its force; many waters cannot quench its fire.

3. Holy love is the most permanent principle of obedience. All kinds of religious affection are not lasting. The fire on God's altar was kept alive by being constantly fed; but the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu was but for a moment. Cold chills not unfrequently follow feverish heats. But the love which the true Christian feels to his God, and all that bears the stamp of His authority or likeness, is not a vapour in the brain, or a vision in the fancy, but a deep-rooted principle in the heart. He knows the solid excellency of Divine realities. "His faith is not grounded on slippery deductions of reason, or slender conjectures of fancy, or on musty traditions, or popular stories; but on the sure testimonies of God."


1. It is by the eyes of the understanding being enlightened to see the perfections of God, the excellencies of Christ, and the unspeakable value of eternal realities, that Divine love is kindled in the soul.

2. It is by the exercise of living faith that the flame of holy love is enkindled and preserved in the heart. The objects which most men love are such as strike the senses, or in some way relate to their present interests.

3. It is by communion with God, and one another, that holy love is promoted and increased.Concluding reflections:

1. How awful is the state of those who are destitute of this love!

2. How happy is their state, who live under the habitual and powerful influence of Divine love! Love, in the heart, melts the stubborn will to sweet submission, consumes, the dross of sin, and fits the believer as a vessel of honour for the Master's use.

(John Thornton.)

I. THE SOURCE OF LOVE. "Love is of God." "God is love."


1. It is the life of the soul and of the moral universe.

2. It is the bond that unites all holy intelligences.

3. It is the supreme grace.

4. Its production is the end of Christ's mission and of all religious ordinances.

5. It renders all our services acceptable.

6. Its excellence is manifest in its influence on the heart and life.

(1)It casts out fear.

(2)It expels whatever is inconsistent with itself.

(3)It kindles aspirations after holiness.

(4)It makes obedience easy.

(5)It inspires self-sacrifice.

(6)It makes the soul beautiful.


1. It is practical.

2. It embraces God and man.


1. God must be loved for His own sake:

2. God must Himself kindle our love to Him.

3. It is capable of being cultivated.

4. It leads to trust in God.


1. The badge of Christ's disciples.

2. Our love must be like Christ's.

3. We must love what is Christlike in them.

4. We must love them on account of what they are to be.

(R. A. Bertram.)




I. The love which stands first in the apostle's catalogue stands first also in the estimate of God. Our Lord says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment" (Romans 13:10). This is the grace of which so beautiful a description is given in 1 Corinthians 13. It is set forth as a privilege, without which all gifts are worthless. This love is no natural product of the human heart; on the contrary (Romans 8:7; 1 John 4:7).

II. The OBJECTS ON WHICH THIS LOVE IS EXERCISED. These are three principally —

1. The Father.

2. Christ the Son.

3. Our brother.


1. As regards God.

(1)In the desire to be like Him — holy in all manner of conversation (Ephesians 5:1).

(2)In aiming at His glory.

(3)In delighting in communion with Him.

2. As regards Christ. Love shows itself —

(1)In obedience (John 14:15).

(2)In loving Christ still, though Providences be dark, and all things seem against us.

3. As regards the saints, love shows itself especially.

(1)In praying one for another.

(2)Bearing one another's burden, entering into their troubles, helping and sympathising.

(3)By forbearing and forgiving one another, "even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you."

(J. Reeve, M. A.)

As one familiar with the sonatas and the symphonies of Beethoven, while passing along the street in summer, gets from out of the open window a snatch of a song or of a piece that is being played, catching a strain here and another there, and says to himself, "Ah, that is Beethoven! I recognize that; it is from such and such a movement of the Pastoral," or whatever it may be; so men in life catch strains of God in the mother's disinterested and self-denying love; in the lover's glow; in the little child's innocent affections. Where did this thing come from? No plant ever brought out such fruit as this. Nature, dumb and blind, with her lizards, and stones, and thousand accumulations of matter, never thought anything like that. This and that harmony of light, the few hints which we see here and there — these have been sprinkled into life, dropping from above. And there is a fountain where exist elements and attributes of which these are but the souvenirs. And to me they all point back to something which we have not seen. As birds, when after moulting they begin to sing, break down in mid-song, and give only a snatch here and a snatch there of the full volume of their summer strains; so these hints, these little tinkling notes of love on earth, beautiful as they are in themselves, are not perfect, and are not understood until we trace them back, and feel that there is above somewhere One whose nature epitomises all these things. Go and look on the south side of the Highlands. You shall see that, detached from the rocks there, and lying in a long trail, for miles and miles, are blocks of syenite, or of trap, or of granite, as the case may be. And there is many a block which, if you choose, you can trace back to the very spot where the ice pried it out, or from which the flood or the iceberg drifted it along the mountain side. Now, as it is with those blocks of stone, so it is with these scattered elements and traits that have drifted out, as it were, from the mountain of God, and sweetened the household, and refined civilized life. They are, after all, but the outflowing, the drift, as it were, of the great Divine Soul, in this world.

(H. W. Beecher.)

It is the heat of the universe. Philosophers tell us that without heat the universe would die. And love in the moral universe is what heat is in the natural world. It is the great germinating power. It is the ripening influence. It is the power by which all things are brought steadily up from lower to higher forms.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Love and fear are like the sun and moon, seldom seen together.


Love to God would make duties of religion facile and pleasant. I confess to him that hath no love to God, religion must needs be a burden; and I wonder not to hear him say, "What a weariness is it to serve the Lord." It is like rowing against the tide. But love oils the wheels; it makes duty a pleasure. Why are the angels so swift and winged in God's service, but because they love Him? Jacob thought seven years but little for the love he did bear to Rachel. Love is never weary; he who loves money is not weary of toiling for it; and he who loves God is not weary of serving Him.

(T. Watson.)Nothing is difficult to love: it will make a man cross his own inclinations to pleasure those whom he loves.

(Archbishop Tillotson.)

It is of the utmost importance to keep up our interest in the holy work in which we are engaged, for the moment our interest flags, the work will become wearisome. Humboldt says that the copper-coloured native of Central America, far more accustomed than the European traveller to the burning heat of the climate, yet complains more when upon a journey, because he is stimulated by no interest. The same Indian who would complain, when in botanizing he was loaded with a box full of plants, would row his canoe fourteen or fifteen hours together against the current without a murmur, because he wished to return to his family. Labours of love are light. Routine is a bad master. Love much, and you can do much. Impossibilities disappear when zeal is fervent.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

True love alone can awaken and evoke all the nobility and grandeur of human nature. Then we are like musical instruments touched by a master's hand. That organ yonder, many fingers have moved over its keys and drawn out its stops; but the harmonies have not surprised us, our listening has not even deepened into interest. But one day a stranger came and sat before it, and presently rich, exquisite melodies began to pour forth, new and wondrous depths and changes of tone trembled in the air and thrilled our souls. It seemed like a living thing interpreting the secrets of our hearts, so that we hardly dared to breathe lest we should destroy the charm. What a revelation that was! We never dreamed that the old instrument could discourse such marvellous strains. But the capacity was there, only the soul of the musician was needed to inspire it. Thus too can love elicit in answer to its skilful touch the grandest responsive harmonies from the lowliest human heart. And it is by love — God's love — that our great nature shall reveal all its greatness.

(W. Braden.)

A loving wife, when her husband returns home from a far country, as soon as she is sensible of his approach or hears his voice, although she be ever so much engaged in business, or forcibly detained from him in the midst of a crowd, yet her heart is not withheld from him, but leaps over all other thoughts to think on her husband who is returned. It is the same with souls that love God; let them be ever so busy, when the remembrance of God comes near them, they lose almost the thought of all things else, for joy to see that this dear remembrance is returned; and this is an extremely good sign.

( Francis de Sales.)

So peculiar is this blessing to the gospel, that Christ appoints it for the badge and cognisance by which they should not only know one another, but even strangers should be able to know them from any other sect and sort of men in the world. A nobleman's servant is known, as far as he can well be seen, by the coat on his back, whose man he is; so, says Christ, shall all men know you, by your mutual love that you retain to Me and My gospel.

(W. Gurnall.)

I. LOVE YOUR HUSBAND, he can beat you in argument and stubbornness, but you can beat him in love.

II. MAKE YOUR HOMES JOYOUS, and you will keep your husbands at home.

III. BE PEACEABLE and there will be no domestic jangles. Let others do all the quarrelling.

IV. BEAR WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD and you will conquer if you suffer long enough.

V. BE GENTLE, and like the gentle horse all work will be easy.

VI. BE TEMPERATE, and do not live beyond your means.

(Samuel P. Jones.)

Love is the fruitful mother of bright children. "A multitude of babes around her hung, Playing their sport that joyed her to behold." Her sons are Strength, and Justice, and Self-control, and Firmness, and Courage, and Patience, and many more besides; and her daughters are Pity with her sad eyes, and Gentleness with her silvery voice, and Mercy whose sweet face makes sunshine in the shade of death, and Humility all unconscious of her loveliness; and linked hand in hand with these, all the radiant band of sisters that men call Virtues and Graces. These will dwell in our hearts, if Love, their mighty mother, be there. If we are without her we shall be without them.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

And all things are possessed with the spirit of giving, Flowers spend their strength that they may make the air fragrant; fountains become streams, that they may water the valleys; trees give us foliage, blossom, fruit, and beauty; the clouds weep over us, swell, dissolve, and give themselves away; the distant heavens send down their light; the universe is instinct with the free, generous, glowing spirit of love.

(Thomas Jones.)

There is the great machine of life, standing ready in all its beauty and power, with its wide open senses, its advising mind, its warning conscience, its governing will; with the mighty flood of spiritual power pouring into it from above; and its first fruit, the subtle influence which pervades it, the direction given to it, is love. For that Holy Spirit of order, as He pours His influence into us, has a definite work for our energy to spend itself upon, amidst all the vast and complicated machinery of the world; and love is the initial, the foundation motive, which is to start our force, our passions, our motives, our imagination, our intellect, our strength, into their proper groove amidst the great labyrinth-scheme of the Providential working of God. For love means, without any attempt at a definition, a giving out of self to God, to Man, to Nature.We live by admiration, hope, and love.And love secures that all this splendid machinery and endowment of strength shall be used for the right objects; not for self-advantage or self-display, not for rivalry, or in the interests of pride; but that it shall be at the disposal of God, the disposal of man, and of the world, for good; and this not by an effort, not by a forced resolution of surly resignation, but in a bright spirit of instinctive willingness. Yes, there is no doubt about it; if we are spiritual; the first fruit of the Spirit will be love. One glance will be sufficient to show us the importance of love as a motive principle, the strength of this loving nature becoming fulfilled with the growing fruit of the Spirit. It is very hard to do God's will: it is harder still sometimes to love it. We talk in a helpless way of resignation, as we feel ourselves tossed up and down, and whirled hither and thither in the irresistible currents of uncontrollable force. But the spiritual man wants something more than resignation to circumstances which he cannot control; he wants love, not to wish them otherwise — a far higher step. Love is just that spirit in which a man offers him. self entirely to God. "O God, I offer myself wholly to Thee, and then to whatsoever work Thou givest me to do." And equally true is it if we look towards our fellow-men, that love is a foundation virtue. Ah! love throws open wide all those points of contact with our friend and our neighbour, that is with the world: and does it not need love? "Nothing but the infinite pity is sufficient for the infinite pathos of human life." And the Spirit pours into the great machinery of our being, which finds it only too easy to be rough and hard, the germ of that "infinite pity" in His gift of love. "Love your enemies." Love is not a weak word, or a weak emotion, and never can be. Love knows how to send for its two body-guards, resentment and justice, and to prevent any enfeebling of its strength or diminishing of its power. There is no doubt whatever that love of our enemies, and nothing short of it, is required of us. And further, perhaps we may believe that this Love will develop itself within us, when our powers are working rightly under the influence of the Holy Spirit. And perhaps this principle of love should be carried further still. Perhaps our Master would have us feel that we ought to move amidst what we call Nature with a loving tread, as a mediator between Him and the lower creation, to discover, to develop, and mature all the varied resources of the world, and to try, as much as in us lies, to roll away some of that failure (ματαιότης), which has passed through from us to them, who share in the sorrows of the Fall, as they also share in the hope of Redemption. Yes; surely this love, this fruit of the Spirit, will carry us as far as this. Let us try now and see one or two characteristics of love, one or two signs of its indwelling, abiding presence. First of all love will be THOUGHTFUL. "If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." How much thoughtfulness may we.trace in the love of God! "God so loved us." There is all the thoughtfulness which lies around our creation, the beauty of the world we live in, the wonderful adaptation of our life, the daily tenderness and forethought of God, who clothes the lily, who feeds the ravens, and marks the fall of the sparrow to the ground, who bids us cast out our cares and lay aside anxiety, for He is caring for us, and marking all our needs and wants. Or, look again, if we may say so with reverence, at all the thoughtfulness which lies around our Redemption. Or look once more at the thoughtfulness which surrounds our sanctification. And so, must not our love be equally thoughtful? Must we not try to do all we can to open up life to our fellow-men? Ought we not to be thoughtful in trying to help on all those special works of thoughtful love which are in the world, such as schools, and penitentiaries, and hospitals, and the like? And a second characteristic of love will be SACRIFICE. Love is ready at any moment to sacrifice itself. Think how our Divine Lord and Master gave up His quiet and His retirement, His food and His sleep, at the calls of love. Think how patient He was with the misconception, the ignorance, and the unbelief which He encountered t Ah, yes! It is good for us to think of all the work done out of sight for this hungry, selfish world. It is good for us to think of those who labour in the deep mines of life, that we may be wanned and enlightened, of those who work the hidden machinery, that we may cut the waves more freely, and barter and exchange in the community of social commerce. It is good for us to think of the missionary toiling under the burning sun of Africa, leaving home and kindred and advancement, that he may spread among the heathen "the unsearchable riches of Christ." Wherever we see it, wherever we find it, self-surrender is a beautiful thing; it is the second characteristic of that fruit of the Spirit growing within, which is love. And a third characteristic is surely UNWEARIEDNESS. "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." Ah, yes! That continual uninterrupted love is hard and difficult to maintain when the child of our love ceases to be interesting; when it is rough and uncouth, and as yet unable to come back to us with any return in its hands. It is difficult to love on in disappointment after disappointment.

(W. C. E. Newbolt.)

It is a very fortunate thing that the assertion that the fruit of the Spirit is joy is in the Bible: for if it were not, it is the last thing that many people would associate with the Spirit. To many the Spirit has very little ministry on the earth save to convict sinners of their sins and sanctify saints. They conceive of Him as a peripatetic that travels around among the churches producing what is known as revivals. His chief work seems to these people to be among the sinners, or the saints that have fallen from grace. To startle these from their lethargy, to strike them through and through with remorse, to fill their eyes with tears and their mouths with groanings, is the work of the Spirit. That the work of the Spirit is to make a person happy — actually and positively light-hearted: — that His aim is to add to the laughter of the world, to its pleasures and its enjoyments, has never occurred to these people as among the possibilities. Religion to them means a certain strict, decorous, and godly way of living; but that it means a happy way of living — if to happiness you give the same significance that other people give it — has never occurred to them. In the first place, it is impossible that the Holy Spirit should produce or seek to produce in human nature any result that is not in entire harmony with the Divine Nature. The Spirit; seeks to make man like God — to bring the human nature into nearer and nearer similitude with the Divine. If we are made joyous by the Spirit, then is it certain that God Himself is a joyous Being. There is one conclusion, the proof of which runs like a cord spun from wool of gold through the entire woof of things, and the entire woof of time; and which, therefore, no one who discerns the true nature of things and reads aright the lessons of time, can deny; and this conclusion is, that the aim and object of all God's creation is for His own happiness, through the happiness of the creatures He has made. And this makes His own happiness self-receiving indeed, but most royally unselfish. For he who labours for self only in labours for others, treads that broad mosaic of right-doing, or righteousness, whose pavement is finer than if inlaid with stars; and which stretches in beauty through the eternity of things as to their extent, and the eternity of time as to its duration. But one might say, "If God created the world and man for happiness, how is it that misery has come upon the earth; and sorrows, from which there is no deliverance as yet, have come upon man?" I answer: These miseries are the result of sin which has broken in upon and disrupted the state of peace which was, and is still, the normal state of things. If you say farther: "But how could sin come into the world if God is all-powerful and all-wise, and its coming brought interruption to His plan, and hence disappointment to Himself?" I answer frankly: Of this I know nothing; and furthermore it is safe to say, that of this no one knows anything. Conjectures have been made and may be made. But in respect to deep spiritual truth conjecture availeth nothing. The fruit of the Spirit, it is said, is joy; but the results of God as wrought in nature and man, are not arbitrarily bestowed: they come in the way of a process and spring from a cause. The Christ could say, "My peace I leave with you," because the causes that made His bosom peaceful He had implanted in their bosoms. If I should collect seeds of all the flowers in my garden and give them into a neighbour's hand, or go down and plant them in that neighbour's garden, I could go to him and say, "Neighbour, my flowers I have given unto you." So the results of the Spirit's work in human nature are results, not gifts. And the joy which the Spirit gives to us comes as the outgrowth of a cause or causes that He has implanted within our bosoms. If you sing, is it not because you have the capacity and the desire of song? If you laugh, is it not because your mouth is framed for laughter, and your spirit capable of delight? If you have joy, is it not because the cause or causes of joy have been born within you? Yea, is it not because the well-spring of gladness itself has been opened and set flowing in your hearts? Happiness is not given to us; we grow up into it. Misery is not an infliction; it is a self-generated state. The Christ said, in speaking to His followers, "The kingdom of God is within you;" and thereby did He teach us that the happiness of the heavenly state comes through interior development. Now, among the causes of joy which result from the Spirit's work within us, is, first of all, perhaps, an increase of spiritual discernment. What a pleasure it is to grow in mental vision I — to feel that you are able to look deeper and deeper into the heart of things. Now, the Spirit makes man wise. It co-operates with the natural faculties and gives them that instruction in observation and discernment that they need. Did you ever think that most of the misery of life can be traced to this lack of right vision in people — this lack of accurate discernment as to the value of things? One man looks to the wine.cup and sees happiness in it. Oh, if he could see the snake that is in it I II he could see the torture and the torment that are in it; the ruin it will bring to his reputation; the woe it shall work to his family; the overthrow which it shall bring to his honour; the disgrace and the beggary that lurk in that cup, do you think he would drink? And this is why the Spirit of God is so efficacious in its work of reforming drunkards. It brings a revelation to them — a revelation which they need and which they had not; and which having, compels them to reform. It gives unto him the sight to see the loveliness and the nobleness of a wise ordering of his habits; it takes deceit out of temptation, and causes him to perceive the danger of yielding thereto.

(W. H. Murray, D. D.)


1. He has access to all the blessings of the great salvation procured by Christ.

2. The Christian has cause to rejoice in the warrant which he possesses of claiming God as his portion. It is by the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are enabled to claim God as our God. It is the very nature of Divine grace to inspire a humble and holy confidence. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."


1. This joy is sincere and refined. Much of what is called joy in the world is little better than an illusive show. Pleasure is the profligate's great Diana. To this gay goddess he sacrifices his health, property, time, talents, comfort, credit, present peace, and future happiness. The joy of the believer, issuing from the purest springs, is suited to the noble faculties and sublime hopes of the heaven-born soul: it is what the understanding approves, and the conscience allows.

2. That joy which is the fruit of the Spirit, is refreshing and invigorating. We are passing through a wilderness, to "seek a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God: As sojourners, we are therefore subject to many toils, dangers, and trials. "Without are fightings, within are fears." Yet we are not left destitute and comfortless. God has both a kingdom for them that love Him, and many rich blessings to cheer us while we are in the way to it. With a cordial composed of ingredients brought from the celestial country, and mingled with consummate wisdom, the languid, drooping spirit is quickened and filled with holy resolution and ardour. The Christian traveller never makes so much progress, as when he goes on his way rejoicing.

3. That joy, which is the fruit of the Spirit, is solid and lasting. Dion Pruseus tells us, that when the Persians had got a victory, they would pick out the noblest slave, make him a king for; three days, clothe him with royal robes, and feast him with all kinds of dainties and, at last, put him to death as a sacrifice to folly. Such is the fate of the gay profligate. He has, at most but a short season of mirth and mock majesty, accompanied with the terrors of a guilty conscience, anticipating his final doom. But the Christian has joy in review, joy in possession, and still brighter joy in prospect.


1. Nathanael exclaimed, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" And too many seem to think, neither profit nor pleasure can come from the religion of the despised Nazarene. Let the reader be on his guard against misapprehensions and misrepresentations of religion. Gross ignorance and slavish fear produce many false notions and absurd practices.

2. But perhaps the objector may ask, Do not the Scriptures require us to take up the cross daily, etc.? Can the deeps of humiliation, the tears of penitence, and the toils of zealous, unabated exertion, be consistent with comfort and joy? Certainly they are. The design of those precepts which call .us to subdue pride, restrain corrupt passions, and root out evil habits. is to conform us to the Divine will, and fit us for the kingdom of heaven.

3. Some persons, from a natural debility, have their trembling nerves exceedingly shaken, and their spirits greatly depressed, by the slightest accidents. When symptoms of this unhappy weakness appear in pious people, many cry out, "These are the fruits of religion. Their prayers have brought them into a sad state of moping melancholy." But the truth is, many of the depressions and fears which are imputed to religion as the cause, have no connection with it. They have their seat in the body, rather than in the soul.I shall conclude with an exhortation addressed to three classes of persons.

1. I shall address those who neither possess, nor desire, that joy which is the fruit of the Spirit.

2. I shall address those who possess not, but desire that joy which is the fruit of the Spirit.

3. I shall address those who possess that joy which is the fruit of the Spirit, but have to lament that it is so much deadened and interrupted.That you may have this blessing in a richer measure, let me exhort you to —

1. Exercise yourselves daily, to keep a conscience void of offence, both towards God and man.

2. Employ all your time, your talents, and privileges, in zealous endeavours to do good, and promote the Divine glory.

3. Be often renewing your covenant engagements with God.

(John Thornton.)

Three hundred years ago, a martyr was burned for his religion in the city of Rome. He must have felt the truth of the words just quoted; for the last letter that he wrote to his friends, just before his death, he dated, not from prison, but "from the most delightful pleasure-garden." In that letter he wrote thus: "Who will believe that which I now state? In a dark hole, I have found cheerfulness; in a place of bitterness and death, I have found rest, and the hope of salvation. Where others weep, I have found laughter; where others fear, I have found strength. Who will believe that in a state of misery I have had great pleasure; that in a lonely corner I have had glorious company, and in the hardest bonds, perfect repose? All these things Jesus, my Saviour, has granted me. He is with me; He comforts me; He fills me with joy; He drives bitterness from me, and gives me strength and consolation."

(Dr. Newton.)

There is a room in Rome that is filled with the busts of the emperors. I have looked at their heads; they look like a collection of prize-fighters and murderers. Brutal passions and cruel thoughts deprived the lords of Rome of all chance of joy. Turn now to the poor hunted Christians, and read the inscriptions left by them in the catacombs; they are so calm and peaceful that they say instinctively, "A joyous people were went to gather here."

(C.H. Spurgeon.)

"Why should Christians be such a happy people? Why, it is good in all ways. It is good for our God; it gives Him honour among the sons of men when we are glad. It is good for us; it makes us strong. "The joy of the Lord is your strength." It is good for the ungodly; for when they see Christians glad, they long to be believers themselves. It is good for our fellow Christians; it comforts them and tends to cheer them. Whereas, if we look gloomy we shall spread the disease, and others will be wretched and gloomy too. For all these reasons, and for many more that can be given, it is a good and pleasant thing that a believer should delight himself in God.

(C.H. Spurgeon.)

is the response of each of the higher faculties of a man's soul when it is brought up to concert pitch.

(H. W. Beecher.)Can you give any special directions how we are to get a joy when we have not one? We reply, no man can make the sun rise, but he can go into the sunshine; we can make our dark room bright by opening the shutters and letting in the day. We often think of a state we want to remove, and not of those things that will remove it.

(T. T. Lynch.)The joy of the Christian man in the darksome time is that, like the lark, he sings in the rain as well as in the sunshine.

(T. T. Lynch.)

In the Supreme Nature the two capacities of perfect love and perfect joy are indivisible. Holiness and happiness, says an old divine, are two several notions of one thing. Equally inseparable are the notions of opposition to love and opposition to bliss. Unless, therefore, the heart of a created being is at one with the heart of God, it cannot but be miserable.

(A. H. Hollam.)

The farthest that any of the philosophers went in the discovery of blessedness was but to come to that — to pronounce that no man could be called blessed before his death; not that they had found what kind of better blessedness they went to after death, but that still, till death, they were sure every man was subject to new miseries, and interruptions of anything which they could call blessedness. The Christian philosophy goes farther: it shows us a perfecter blessedness than any conceived for the next life also. The pure in heart are blessed already, not only comparatively, that they are in a better way of blessedness than others are, but actually, in a present possession of it; for this world and the next world are not, to the pure in heart, two houses, but two rooms, a gallery to pass through and a lodging to rest in, in the same house, which are both under one roof, Christ Jesus. So the joy and the sense of salvation which the pure in heart have here is not a joy severed from the joy of heaven, but a joy that begins in us here, and continues, and accompanies us thither, and there flows on, and dilates itself to an infinite expansion.

(John Donne, D. D.)

Galatians, Paul, Philippians
Acts, Benevolence, Brings, Faith, Faithfulness, Fidelity, Fruit, Gentleness, Goodness, Harvest, Joy, Kind, Kindness, Longsuffering, Long-suffering, Love, Mind, Patience, Peace, Quiet, Spirit, Towards, Well-doing
1. He wills them to stand in their liberty,
3. and not to observe circumcision;
13. but rather love, which is the sum of the law.
19. He lists the works of the flesh,
22. and the fruits of the Spirit,
25. and exhorts to walk in the Spirit.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Galatians 5:22

     2060   Christ, patience of
     3020   Holy Spirit, joy of
     3209   Holy Spirit, and love
     5058   rest, spiritual
     6700   peace
     6704   peace, divine NT
     6705   peace, experience
     8117   discipleship, benefits
     8203   character
     8248   faithfulness
     8283   joy
     8289   joy, of church
     8291   kindness
     8292   love
     8296   love, nature of
     8318   patience

Galatians 5:2-25

     6511   salvation

Galatians 5:16-23

     3248   Holy Spirit, conviction

Galatians 5:16-24

     6746   sanctification, means and results

Galatians 5:16-25

     3203   Holy Spirit, and assurance
     5110   Paul, teaching of
     6030   sin, avoidance

Galatians 5:16-26

     3233   Holy Spirit, and sanctification

Galatians 5:17-24

     6166   flesh, sinful nature

Galatians 5:19-24

     8311   morality, and redemption

Galatians 5:19-25

     6166   flesh, sinful nature

Galatians 5:22-23

     3025   Holy Spirit, personality
     3233   Holy Spirit, and sanctification
     3251   Holy Spirit, filling with
     3254   Holy Spirit, fruit of
     3278   Holy Spirit, indwelling
     4020   life, of faith
     5015   heart, and Holy Spirit
     5065   spirit, fallen and redeemed
     5566   suffering, encouragements in
     5765   attitudes, to people
     5844   emotions
     5904   maturity, spiritual
     5964   temper
     6106   addiction
     6670   grace, and Holy Spirit
     8102   abiding in Christ
     8162   spiritual vitality
     8206   Christlikeness
     8244   ethics, and grace
     8258   fruitfulness, spiritual
     8264   gentleness
     8291   kindness
     8307   moderation
     8339   self-control
     8349   spiritual growth, means of
     9313   resurrection, spiritual

Galatians 5:22-24

     6627   conversion, nature of

Galatians 5:22-25

     3215   Holy Spirit, and peace
     4018   life, spiritual
     8164   spirituality
     8255   fruit, spiritual

Galatians 5:22-26

     6661   freedom, and law
     8356   unselfishness
     8440   glorifying God

March 28. "The Fruit of the Spirit is all Goodness" (Gal. v. 22).
"The fruit of the Spirit is all goodness" (Gal. v. 22). Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit. Goodness is just "Godness." It is to be like God. And God-like goodness has special reference to the active benevolence of God. The apostle gives us the difference between goodness and righteousness in this passage in Romans, "Scarcely for a righteous man would one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die." The righteous man is the man of stiff, inflexible uprightness; but he may be
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 1. "The Fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness" (Gal. v. 22).
"The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness" (Gal. v. 22). Nature's harshness has melted away and she is now beaming with the smile of spring, and everything around us whispers of the gentleness of God. This beautiful fruit is in lovely harmony with the gentle month of which it is the keynote. May the Holy Spirit lead us, beloved, these days, into His sweetness, quietness, and gentleness, subduing every coarse, rude, harsh, and unholy habit, and making us like Him, of whom it is said, "He shall not strive,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Works of the Flesh and Fruits of the Spirit.
Text: Galatians 5, 16-24. 16 But I say, Walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Church Officers Warned of Vain-Glory.
Text: Galatians 5, 25-26 and 6, 1-10. 25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. 26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another. 1 Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

'Walk in the Spirit'
'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.'--GAL. v. 16. We are not to suppose that the Apostle here uses the familiar contrast of spirit and flesh to express simply different elements of human nature. Without entering here on questions for which a sermon is scarcely a suitable vehicle of discussion, it may be sufficient for our present purpose to say that, as usually, when employing this antithesis the Apostle means by Spirit the divine, the Spirit of God, which he triumphed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

What Makes a Christian: Circumcision or Faith?
'In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.'--GAL. v. 6. It is a very singular instance of imaginative misreading of plain facts that the primitive Church should be held up as a pattern Church. The early communities had apostolic teaching; but beyond that, they seem to have been in no respect above, and in many respects below, the level of subsequent ages. If we may judge of their morality by the exhortations and dehortations which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Fruit of the Spirit
'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance'--GAL. v. 22, 23. 'The fruit of the Spirit,' says Paul, not the fruits, as we might more naturally have expected, and as the phrase is most often quoted; all this rich variety of graces, of conduct and character, is thought of as one. The individual members are not isolated graces, but all connected, springing from one root and constituting an organic whole. There is further to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Faith the Sole Saving Act.
JOHN vi. 28, 29.--"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." In asking their question, the Jews intended to inquire of Christ what particular things they must do, before all others, in order to please God. The "works of God," as they denominate them, were not any and every duty, but those more special and important acts, by which the creature might secure
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Walking with God.
(Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.) GALATIANS v. 16. "Walk in the Spirit." The life of a Christian must be one of progress. S. Paul says, "Walk in the Spirit;" he does not say, stand still. It is not enough for us to have been born again of Water and the Holy Ghost, and to have received the Gifts of the Spirit from time to time through the different means of grace. We are bidden "to stir up the gift that is in us;" we are told to "grow in grace." God has set us upon our feet in the right
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Sixth Day for the Spirit of Love in the Church
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Spirit of Love in the Church "I pray that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and Thou in Me; that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me ... that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."--JOHN x"The fruit of the Spirit is love."--GAL. v. 22. Believers are one in Christ, as He is one with the Father. The love of God rests on them, and can dwell in them. Pray that the power of the Holy
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

We want to be very simple in this matter of Revival. Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts. Jesus is always victorious. In heaven they are praising Him all the time for His victory. Whatever may be our experience of failure and barrenness, He is never defeated. His power is boundless. And we, on our part, have only to get into a right relationship with Him, and we shall see His power being demonstrated in our hearts and lives and service, and His victorious life will
Roy Hession and Revel Hession—The Calvary Road

The Dove and the Lamb
Victorious living and effective soul-winning service are not the product of our better selves and hard endeavours, but are simply the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are not called upon to produce the fruit, but simply to bear it. It is all the time to be His fruit. Nothing is more important then, than that we should be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit, or to keep to the metaphor, that the "trees of the Lord should be continuously full of sap"--His sap. How this may be so for us is graphically
Roy Hession and Revel Hession—The Calvary Road

The Holy Spirit Bringing Forth in the Believer Christlike Graces of Character.
There is a singular charm, a charm that one can scarcely explain, in the words of Paul in Gal. v. 22, 23, R. V., "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance." What a catalogue we have here of lovely moral characteristics. Paul tells us that they are the fruit of the Spirit, that is, if the Holy Spirit is given control of our lives, this is the fruit that He will bear. All real beauty of character, all real Christlikeness in us,
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

'The fruit of the Spirit is joy.' Gal 5:52. The third fruit of justification, adoption, and sanctification, is joy in the Holy Ghost. Joy is setting the soul upon the top of a pinnacle - it is the cream of the sincere milk of the word. Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of some good, whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear. I. It is a delightful passion. It is contrary to sorrow, which is a perturbation
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Routing of Giant Doubt
THE ROUTING OF GIANT DOUBT Doubts! doubts! doubts! Just a company of them around me all the time worse than Job's miserable comforters. What can I do with them? I should like to dismiss them, but it seems I can not. They make me much trouble, but it seems I can not get them to leave me. Especially are the doubts concerning my entire consecration aggravating, and those, too, concerning my entire cleansing. I fear to come out boldly and declare that I believe that Christ fully saves me now. I believe
Robert Lee Berry—Adventures in the Land of Canaan

Conflicts with Giant Mistake
CONFLICTS WITH GIANT MISTAKE I make so many mistakes, it seems I am just a bundle of contradictions. I try to do good; but at times my efforts are so crude that I seem to do more harm than good. What shall I do? And though all the time I try hard not to make mistakes, yet I still make them. It seems to me that surely I am not sanctified, or else I should be more perfect. Do not the Scriptures command us to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect? I am not perfect; far from it. Really I
Robert Lee Berry—Adventures in the Land of Canaan

I have Said This, Lest Haply Married Fruitfulness Dare to vie with virgin Chastity...
7. I have said this, lest haply married fruitfulness dare to vie with virgin chastity, and to set forth Mary herself, and to say unto the virgins of God, She had in her flesh two things worthy of honor, virginity and fruitfulness; inasmuch as she both continued a virgin, and bore: this happiness, since we could not both have the whole, we have divided, that ye be virgins, we be mothers: for what is wanting to you in children, let your virginity, that hath been preserved, be a consolation: for us,
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

The Inward Warfare. Gal 5:17

John Newton—Olney Hymns

And on this Account That, Which, the Parts that Beget Being Bridled by Modesty...
5. And on this account that, which, the parts that beget being bridled by modesty, is most chiefly and properly to be called Continence, is violated by no transgression, if the higher Continence, concerning which we have been some time speaking, be preserved in the heart. For this reason the Lord, after He had said, "For from the heart go forth evil thoughts," then went on to add what it is that belongs to evil thoughts, "murders, adulteries," and the rest. He spake not of all; but, having named
St. Augustine—On Continence

All we Therefore, who Believe in the Living and True God...
18. All we therefore, who believe in the Living and True God, Whose Nature, being in the highest sense good and incapable of change, neither doth any evil, nor suffers any evil, from Whom is every good, even that which admits of decrease, and Who admits not at all of decrease in His own Good, Which is Himself, when we hear the Apostle saying, "Walk in the Spirit, and perform ye not the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: For these are opposed
St. Augustine—On Continence

And Also, when He Exhorts Us, that we Live not after the Flesh...
9. And also, when he exhorts us, that we live not after the flesh, lest we die, but that by the Spirit we mortify the deeds of the flesh, that we may live; surely the trumpet which sounds, shows the war in which we are engaged, and enkindles us to contend keenly, and to do our enemies to death, [1832] that we be not done to death by them. But who those enemies are, it hath set forth plainly enough. For those are they, whom it willed should be done to death by us, that is to say, the works of the
St. Augustine—On Continence

Here Therefore These Men Too Evil, While they Essay to Make Void the Law...
9. Here therefore these men too evil, while they essay to make void the Law, force us to approve these Scriptures. For they mark what is said, that they who are under the Law are in bondage, and they keep flying above the rest that last saying, "Ye are made empty [1715] of Christ, as many of you as are justified in the Law; ye have fallen from Grace." [1716] We grant that all these things are true, and we say that the Law is not necessary, save for them unto whom bondage is yet profitable: and that
St. Augustine—On the Profit of Believing.

The Daily Walk with Others (iii. ).
Thrice happy they who at Thy side, Thou Child of Nazareth, Have learnt to give their struggling pride Into Thy hands to death: If thus indeed we lay us low, Thou wilt exalt us o'er the foe; And let the exaltation be That we are lost in Thee. Let me say a little on a subject which, like the last, is one of some delicacy and difficulty, though its problems are of a very different kind. It is, the relation between the Curate and his Incumbent; or more particularly, the Curate's position and conduct
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren

How those that are at Variance and those that are at Peace are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 23.) Differently to be admonished are those that are at variance and those that are at peace. For those that are at variance are to be admonished to know most certainly that, in whatever virtues they may abound, they can by no means become spiritual if they neglect becoming united to their neighbours by concord. For it is written, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (Gal. v. 22). He then that has no care to keep peace refuses to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Hence Paul
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

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