All Good

From The Minor Prophets: A Commentary (1883)

“So my Spirit remains among you.” … The Spirit of God is God the Holy Ghost, with his manifold gifts. Where he is, is all good. As the soul is in the body, so God the Holy Ghost is in the Church, himself its life and bestowing on all and every good gift as each and all have need. As St. Paul says of the Church of Christ, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who works all in all. All these work one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

But above and beyond all gifts he is present as the Spirit of holiness and love, making the Church and those in whom he individually dwells, acceptable to God. Special supplications, such as the Spirit of wisdom and might, a spirit such as he gave to Moses to judge his people; the spirit of prophecy; or the spirit given to Bezaleel and Aholiab for the work of the sanctuary – these recognize in detail the one great truth, that all good, all wisdom, from least to greatest, come from God the Holy Ghost, though one by one they would exclude more truth than they each contain…

Christ is the longing of all holy souls who long for nothing else than to please him daily to love him more, to worship him better. So St. John longed for him: “Come Lord Jesus.” So Isaiah, “the desire of the soul is to you name and to the remembrance of you, with my soul have I desire you in the night, yes, with my spirit within me will I seek you early.” So St. Ignatius, “Let fire, cross, troops of wild beasts, dissections, rending, scattering of bones, mincing of limbs, grinding of the whole body, ill tortures of the devil come upon me, only may I gain Jesus Christ – I seek him who for us died; I long for him who for us rose.”

Do you hunger and desire food? Long for Jesus! He is the bread and refreshment of angels. He is manna, containing in himself all sweetness and pleasurable delight. Do you thirst? Long for Jesus! He is the well of living water, refreshing, so that you should thirst no more. Are you sick? Go to Jesus. He is the savior, the physician – no, he is salvation itself. Are you dying? Sigh for Jesus! He is the resurrection and the life. Are you perplexed? Come to Jesus. He is the angel of great counsel. Are you ignorant and erring? Ask Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Are you a sinner? Call on Jesus! For he shall save his people from their sins. To this end, Jesus came into the world: this is all his fruit, to take away sin. Are you tempted by pride, gluttony, lust, sloth? Call on Jesus! He is humility, soberness, chastity, love, and fervor. He bore our infirmities and carried – still carries – our griefs. Do you seek beauty? He is fairer than the children of men. Do you seek wealth? In him are all treasures – yes, in him the fullness of the Godhead dwells. Are you ambitious for honors? Glory and riches are in his house. He is the king of glory. Do you seek a friend? He has the greatest love for you, who for love of you came down from heaven, toiled, endured the sweat of blood, the cross, and death. He prayed for you by name in the garden and poured forth tears of blood.  Do you seek wisdom? He is the eternal and uncreated wisdom of the Father! Do you wish for consolation and joy? He is the sweetness of souls, the joy and jubilee of angels. Do you wish for righteousness and holiness? He is the holy of holiness. He is everlasting righteousness, justifying and sanctifying all who believe and hope in him. Do you wish for a blissful life? He is life eternal, the bliss of the saints. Long then for Christ, love him, sigh for him. In him you will find all good. Out of him, all evil, all misery. Say then with St. Francis, “My Jesus, my love and my all! O Good Jesus, burst the cataract of your love, that is, streams, yes seas, may flow down upon us, yes inebriate and overwhelm us.”

Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882) was a priest who served as Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford for more than fifty years. He was among the primary leaders of the Oxford Movement, Anglicanism’s Catholic revival. He wrote several of the Tracts of the Times, and sacramental confession and religious sisterhoods were restored in the Church of England through his influence. His posthumously published commentary on the minor prophets is his major scholarly work, a sustained project in spiritual exegesis. He is commemorated on September 18 on the liturgical calendars of several Anglican churches.


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