THE TOUCHSTONE OF DIVINITY
The God that answereth by fire, let Him be God.” – 1 Kings xviii.24.
The old test holds true still. In tongues of flame, by the fire of the Holy Ghost, God must answer me, if I am to be certain of His divinity.
Fire quickens the dead. It runs along the barren ground, and its victorious glow awakens the seeds of some ancient prehistoric forest, slumbering beneath the soil. So God’s flame, God’s grace, God’s radiant energy of life and love, must stir me into a new creation. I live, only when He kindles my soul out of its death-like sleep.
Fire warms the chilled and cold. On the hearthstone, beside the leaping blaze, what was frigid begins to throb and palpitate with gladsome heat. So, when I have grown backward in the service of my Lord, icily regular, poor in my affection for Him and for His, I only need the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and I burn.
Fire cleanses the defiled and stained. In the furnace the gold is purged from the dross, and comes forth pure and bright. And so the divine Spirit, by the meaning He infuses into the teaching of God’s Word, and into the discipline of God’s providence, must remove my slow-lingering sins and must make me clean.
Fire equips the feeble with power. The beams of the sun in spring end the winter and the poverty and the silence of the world. And so I, neither courageous nor enthusiastic, shrinking from great problems and expecting no striking victories, receive the gracious Holy Ghost, and I laugh at impossibilities.
Yes, it is the God who answers by fire who alone is God. Sinners and saints, the individual and the Church, alike testify to it. From a full heart may I add my personal witness to the miracle of Carmel and Pentecost.
Dr. Alexander Smellie.