spirit of bondage (3)

The following is from Charles Simeon’s 21 volume Horae Homileticae (I’ve seen his comments on “THE SPIRIT OF BONDAGE AND OF ADOPTION” in Volume 9 and Volume 15 — perhaps that has something to do with various translators, publishers, printers, etc.):

THE SPIRIT OF BONDAGE AND OF ADOPTION.

Rom. viii. 15. Ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

OUR blessed Lord in his last discourse with his Disciples, promised to send down from heaven the Holy Spirit, who should “convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment”: and accordingly, on the day of Pentecost he did send down the Holy Spirit, who instantly wrought in the most powerful manner on the minds of thousands, filling them with the deepest convictions, and with the richest consolations. From that time the Holy Spirit has continued so to work on the minds of men, in some as a Spirit of bondage, and in others as a Spirit of adoption.

The nature of the Holy Spirit’s operations is the same in both cases; their use and tendency being to bring men to God: the difference which is found in the effects, is occasioned by the state of the persons on whom the Spirit works: in those whose minds are yet blinded by Satan, and enslaved by sin, he produces only bondage and fear — but those who are deeply penitent, and unfeignedly desirous of fulfilling the word of God, he introduces into a state of light and liberty and joy.

At the time Charles Simeon penned this heresy his unregenerate mind was blinded lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ should dawn on him (2 Corinthians 4:4). Charles Simeon blatantly denies the BIBLICAL doctrine of irresistible grace (NOT the perverted Reformed version which he clearly and heartily affirms). The Holy Spirit irresistibly, invincibly, and infallibly illumines every single believers’ heart to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). The apostle Paul stuffs a contradicting sock in Simeon’s mouth when he says that believers receive the Spirit of Adoption and NOT the spirit of bondage (Romans 8:15).

The Holy Spirit strives in a greater or less degree with all:

In the unconverted, he works as “a spirit of bondage” —

[He is the true Author of every good desire. The least disposition towards what is good is as much his work as the most spiritual exercises of God’s dearest children. His operation therefore must be traced as well in the hearts of the unconverted, as of the converted. In the commencement, he operates in a way of legal hopes: in the progress, he impels to slavish fears: and, with those who are not the subjects of saving grace, he terminates his operations by instigating to self-righteous endeavours.

There is something called a “slow-creeping-incrementalism-towards-orthodoxy perspective.” I first heard this phrase (or something like it) from heretic James White during his hypocritical lamentation over William Lane Craig’s “charitable” view of mainstream Mormons and Mormonism. From Charles Simeon’s comments above to the comments by tolerant Calvinists to the comments of various tolerant religionists, we see that this “slow-creeping-incrementalism-towards-orthodoxy perspective” takes a MULTITUDE of forms. Some forms say that certain damnable heretics are confused and muddled, but nevertheless saved or regenerate. Others (like Simeon it seems) say that certain unsaved persons who are not regenerate nevertheless have the Holy Spirit working self-righteous desires in them which is said to be good.

Evidently in Simeon’s view, “legal hopes,” “slavish fears,” and “self-righteous endeavours” are good and desirous (though presumably not as good and desirous as whatever Simeon thinks accompanies those in whom the Spirit supposedly takes further in this progression from glorying in self to glorying in Christ).

In those who are converted, he works as a Spirit of adoption—

[To these he imparts sublimer gifts, enabling them to look up with confidence to God, crying, “Abba, Father.” He gives them an assured testimony of their acceptance with God as a reconciled God and Father; setting, as it were, upon their hearts the Father’s seal, and witnessing with their spirits that they are the children of God1. Thus, drawing them by his gracious influences, he brings them into a state of holy “fellowship with the Father and the Son,” causing them to walk with God as dear children, and to live habitually as in his presence; they “dwelling in God, and God in them;” yea, being “one with God, and God with them.” As brought into the family of God, they now, through the power of that same blessed Spirit, live in a humble dependence upon God for all that they stand in need of for body and for soul, for time and for eternity.” All their care is cast on Him who careth for them;” and the life which they live in the flesh they live by the faith of the Son of God, “receiving every thing out of his fulness,” in the time and measure that Infinite Wisdom seeth best for them. Nor are these heavenly gifts uninfluential on their conduct. They now walk in the habit of grateful obedience to God, desiring and striving to be “perfect, even as their Father which is in heaven is perfect.” They serve their God no longer from fear, as slaves, but from love,- as obedient children, whose ambition is to do their Father’s will on earth, as it is done in heaven. Elevated thus, and sanctified by the Spirit’s influence, they are filled with a joyful expectation of dwelling speedily, and to all eternity, in the immediate presence of that Saviour, “whom unseen they loved, and in whom even here they rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” They “look for, and haste unto, the coming of that blessed day,” when they shall behold him face to face: the time seems long till they shall enjoy that bliss; and, with a holy impatience, they are ready to cry, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” They know that, as children, they are heirs: they have already, in the consolations of the Spirit, had “an earnest of their inheritance;” and they long for the full possession of it, “desiring to depart, that they may be with Christ.” Thus does the Spirit work, though certainly in different degrees, on all the children of God, inspiring them with filial joys, as he fills the unregenerate with slavish fears.

It is difficult to stomach this pernicious puke from self-righteous Simeon. Charles Simeon did not believe that knowledge of the things freely given by God is the portion of every true believer without exception since it is an immediate and inevitable result of the Spirit’s regenerating work. He did not believe this because at the time of penning this swill, he showed himself to have not received the Spirit that is of God, but the spirit that is of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12).