REV. i. 4. “The Seven Spirits which are before His throne.”
No one who has studied the mystic use of the number
“seven” will wonder to find the infinitude of the power
and the glories of the Holy Ghost expressed in the language
“the Seven Spirits.” The Holy Ghost is described as
“before the throne” to convey, with the idea of equality,
His continual procession from the Father and from the
Son. There is another reason why the Holy Ghost is
called “the Seven Spirits,” in that sevenfold action by
which He works upon the soul of a man.
1. The office of reproving or convincing. “He shall re-
prove the world of sin.” To show us what we are, to make
us feel sin, is the Spirit’s first work.
2. The showing of Christ. “He convinces of righteous-
ness.” There is no other power that ever can or will reveal
the Saviour to a sinner’s soul.
3. The Holy Ghost comforts. All the Spirit’s comfort-
ings have to do with Jesus Christ. He never uses the
commonplaces of men’s consolation. He makes Christ fill
the empty place, and exhibits the loveliness of Christ’s
person and the sufficiency of Christ’s work.
4. The Holy Ghost teaches. He admits the believer
into those deeper, hidden meanings which lie buried under
the surface of the word. He assists the memory and
makes it retentive of holy things. There are none who
teach like this Teacher, because He knows all things, not
the lesson only but the learner also.
5. The Holy Ghost sanctifies. He prompts every good
desire and right thought. He gives the taste for spiritual
things, and prepares the timid for the occupations and
enjoyments of a higher world.
6. The Holy Ghost intercedes. Not as Christ, who
carries on His work without us, and prays for us in heaven,
but He inwardly, throwing Himself into the soul, prays.
All true prayer in a man is the prayer of the Holy
7. The Holy Ghost seals the soul. He lays on the
believer that stamp with the name and the image of God
which every power in earth or in heaven or in hell shall
This is “the Seven Spirits which are before the throne.”
I thank God the “seven” are one and the one is “seven.”
Where He fulfils one of His blessed offices, there, sooner or
later, He will assuredly fulfil them all.
James Vaughan, M.A.