Evening, March 3, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove.” — Matthew 3:16
As the Spirit of God descended upon the Lord Jesus, the head of the church, so the Spirit also, in a lesser measure, descends upon the members of the mystical body. His descent is to us in the same fashion as that in which it fell upon our Lord. There is often an extraordinary rapidity about it; before we are aware, we are impelled onward and heavenward beyond all expectation. Yet there is none of the hurry of earthly haste, for the wings of the dove are as soft as they are swift. Quietness seems essential to many spiritual processes; the Lord is in the still small voice, and like the dew, his grace is refined in silence. The dove has always been the chosen symbol of purity, and the Holy Spirit is holiness itself. Where he comes, everything that is pure and lovely, and of good report, is made to thrive, and sin and uncleanness depart. Peace reigns also where the Holy Dove comes with power; he bears the olive branch which shows that the waters of divine wrath are quieted. Gentleness is a sure result of the Sacred Dove’s transforming power; hearts touched by his benign influence are meek and lowly from now and forever. Harmlessness follows, as a matter of course; eagles and ravens may hunt their prey—the turtledove can endure wrong, but cannot inflict it. We must be harmless as doves. The dove is an appropriate picture of love, the voice of the turtledove is full of affection; and so, the soul visited by the blessed Spirit, abounds in love to God, in love to the brethren, and in love to sinners; and above all, in love to Jesus. The movement of the Spirit of God upon the face of the deep first produced order and life; and in our hearts, he causes and fosters new life and light. Blessed Spirit, as you did rest upon our dear Redeemer, even so rest upon us from this time forward and forever.