CXCIV. The Fruit of the Spirit.

GAL. v. 22, 23.
” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

WE have “the works of the flesh,” but we do not read of
“the fruits of the Spirit,” but in the singular number—
fruit.
The nine graces are one fruit.
I. All the other fruits of the Spirit are only the expansion
of the first.
Joy is love triumphing; peace is love resting; long-suffer-
ing is love under the great, and gentleness is love under the
little trials of life; goodness is love going forth into action;
faith is love sitting and receiving back again to its own
bosom; meekness is love controlling the passions of the
mind; temperance, the same love subduing the passions of
the body. The law of the Spirit is all contained in one
word, and the unity of the whole Christian character is
“love.” Fruit is not fruit if it is not sweet. What is any-
thing to God till there is love in it? Therefore love stands
first.
II. There is a law of growth about the Spirit of God in
a man. This is as sure as the law which regulates the
growth and development of any plant. This truth is
wrapped up in the metaphor “the fruit of the Spirit.” If
there is not advance in the image of Christ, it is because
the work of the Holy Ghost is obstructed, for the Spirit,
in Himself, always essentially grows.
III. To be fruit-bearers we must be engrafted into the
True Vine.
If there is one state more solemn than another it is the
leafy state. What it Jesus, drawing nigh to any one of us
and finding nothing but leaves, should punish the barren-
ness which is wilful by the barrenness which is judicial:
“No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”
James Vaughan, M.A.

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