This is from The Octavius Winslow Archive.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor not, I will spue you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
OF all spiritual states, lukewarmness is most abhorrent to God, and grieving to the Holy Spirit; and thus has God declared His utter detestation of this state. And yet, who contemplates it in this awful light? who pauses to examine himself, to ascertain what real progress his soul is making—what grace is enfeebled—what part of the Spirit’s work is decayed—what spot of his soul is barren and unfruitful, and how far he is secretly and effectually grieving the Holy Spirit by a known, allowed, and cherished state of spiritual declension? If, after all his skill, it must be affecting to the architect to witness the decay of his building—if so to the parent, after his costly expenditure of means in education, to witness the fond hopes he cherished of his child blasted—how infinitely more is the Spirit affected and grieved to behold the temple He had erected at such a cost falling to decay; the soul He had taught with such care and solicitude receding into a state of coldness and formality in its spiritual duties and affections! “The heart of the Spirit,” beautifully remarks Dr. Owen, “is infinitely more tender towards us than that of the most affectionate parent can be towards an only child. And when He with cost and care has nourished and brought us up into some growth and progress in spiritual affections, wherein all His concerns in us do lie, for us to grow cold, dull, earthly-minded, to cleave unto the pleasures and lusts of this world, how is He grieved, how is He provoked!” See, then, that your spiritual state is such as occasions joy rather than grief to the Holy Spirit of God. Nothing can fill His loving heart with greater and more holy delight than to witness the deepening character and expanding influence of His own work in the believer. To behold the glimmering light, which He created, “shining more and more,”—the gentle plant emitting its fragrance, and putting forth its fruit—the well-spring in the heart rising heavenward, God-ward—such a picture must be grateful to the Spirit. If the enthroned Redeemer looks down with satisfaction upon the travail of His soul in the calling in of His redeemed, equally joyous must it be to the Eternal Spirit to behold the widening of His kingdom in the saints—the maturing of the soul for the inheritance and the companionship of “just men made perfect.” To mark a growing conformity to the image of Christ—holiness expanding its root—each grace in active exercise—every weight cast aside—every sin mortified, and the whole body, soul, and spirit a rising temple to God, must indeed fill all heaven with joy. Christian reader, see well to your state, that the Holy Spirit of God is not grieved at any known and cherished declension of His work in the soul.