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The Spirit of God (John Taylor)


There are many things associated with the Church and kingdom of God that are very peculiar: it differs from all other churches, and is dissimilar to all other kingdoms. There is a spirit and wisdom associated with it that the world knows nothing of, and there is a power accompanying it to which mankind are entire strangers without that spirit. There is generally a great amount of obloquy and reproach associated with it; people are apt to treat the servants of God with contempt; yet there is a spirit, and power, and intelligence imparted by the gift of the Holy Ghost; that sustains his people under all circumstances, in all places, and among all nations; and hence Paul in his day said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.”
Ordinarily speaking, Paul would have been considered a mean, contemptible fool by the world. He was whipped, persecuted, imprisoned, stoned, and had to escape from mobs, being let down in a basket over a wall, like some mean, crawling scamp that had to get out of the way of civilized society: he was despised and hated among men, together with his associates. Yet says he, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” Why was he not? Because there was a spirit and power in it that was in nothing else. Wherever he preached that Gospel—wherever it was believed in and obeyed, there was a power and spirit accompanied it that no earthly power could impart; and those persons who received it received the gift of the Holy Ghost; and that Holy Ghost took of the things of God and showed them unto them: they partook of the same spirit that he did, were enlightened by the same intelligence, and blessed in the same manner, and, consequently, were united together in the bonds of the everlasting Gospel, and associated by the gift of the Holy Ghost, having a hope that bloomed with immortality and eternal life.
I have seen, in my wanderings over the earth, hundreds of such cases as the one we have listened to this morning. I have heard men speak in different nations—in Germany, France, England, Scotland, Wales, the United States, in the Canadas;—no matter where, go where you will, and let a man receive the truth, and his heart is filled with joy and rejoicing. I see people around me here from all these parts that I have heard testify the same things as our brother this morning.
It is this spirit, intelligence, and the gift of the Holy Ghost and its operations on our minds, that has made us one. It is on that account that we speak alike, think alike, write alike, testify alike, because we are baptized into one baptism, and have all partaken of the same Spirit, and we all feel the same thing and rejoice in the same hope. Wherever the Spirit of God operates upon the human mind in any part of the earth, it is productive of the same results; and hence you see people coming in from the east, the west, the north, and the south to this place, led and impelled by the same Spirit.
Why did you leave your homes, break up your establishments, bid adieu to your friends and associates, and traverse oceans, seas, deserts, and plains, in order to come here? Because you were inspired by that same Spirit. And why were you inspired by it? How did it originate and where did it come from? Why, the Lord has set his hand to accomplish His designs in these last days; He has opened the heavens and revealed His purposes to His servants the Prophets, and has called His people from the ends of the earth to gather together, that He might establish his Zion upon the earth, and bring to pass those things which have been spoken of by all the holy Prophets since the world was.
John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 7:118-19

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