(J. C. Philpot, “The Abiding Comforter” 1858)
“The Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.”
The world—that is, the world dead in sin, and the
world dead in profession—men destitute of the life
and power of God—must have something that it can
see. And, as heavenly things can only be seen by
heavenly eyes, they cannot receive the things which
Now this explains why a religion that presents itself
with a degree of beauty and grandeur to the natural
eye will always be received by the world; while a . . .
religion will always be rejected.
The world can receive a religion that consists of . . .
These are things seen.
the pomp and parade of an earthly priesthood,
and a whole apparatus of ‘religious ceremony’,
carry with them something that the natural eye can
see and admire. The world receives all this ‘external
religion’ because it is suitable to the natural mind
and intelligible to their reasoning faculties.
But the . . .
which presents no attractions to the outward eye, but
is wrought in the heart by a divine operation—the world
cannot receive this—because it presents nothing that
the natural eye can rest upon with pleasure, or is
adapted to gratify their general idea of what religion
is or should be.
Do not marvel, then, that worldly professors despise a
religion wrought in the soul by the power of God. Do not
be surprised if even your own relatives think you are
almost insane, when you speak of the consolations of
the Spirit, or of the teachings of God in your soul. They
cannot receive these things, for they have no experience
of them; and being such as are altogether opposed to
the carnal mind, they reject them with enmity and scorn.