In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…
This sacred presence of the Holy Spirit of God in our hearts, with its three great effects —
(1) of making us God's beloved and accepted children,
(2) of joining us invisibly in a close and mystical union with Christ and His Church, and —
(3) of giving us a gift of new, sacred, spiritual life or vitality, is in its own nature everlasting. Having received it, we are in privilege, and should be, and may be, in fact, eternally possessed of it. The gift cannot wear out, nor can God cease to love His own children. There is no mortality or decay to which the gift is subject, for the gift is the seed of eternal life, by the presence of the eternal Spirit. And God loveth His own children, the accepted members of His Beloved, with an everlasting love. Nor can the gift be rendered frustrate by any direct malice or attack, or craft or subtlety of devil or man working against it; sin only, unrepented, can grieve, or wound, or quench the Holy Spirit, so as to make that cease, and come to an end, which is in itself, and in the design and desire of God, everlasting. But it is of the essence of this sacred gift to be capable of degrees. We received it as infants in such measure and degree as infants are capable of; we received the germ, the principle of Divine life. As the natural life in infants is a tender and precarious gift, hitherto capable of none of the greater exercises of older and more confirmed strength, needing tender and watchful care of nurse and mother, and slowly learning the natural lessons of strength and energy which the full estate of manhood is designed to enjoy and use, such in its tenderness, and need of tender care, is the spiritual life in infants. It is as the early spring and budding of vegetable life, when first the hair-like root is protruded from the bursting seed, and the soft colour and tender substance of the germinating plant give but faint promise of the rugged strength of the full grown oak. For infants indeed it is enough. Dying in their infancy, before actual sin, they are, as the Church teaches from Holy Scripture, undoubtedly saved. They pass pure and spotless to God's sacred presence, there to enjoy forever such degrees of bliss as suit their infant but perfected souls. But for those who are spared to the prayers and love of parents, and grow on through the opening years of childhood, passing by imperceptible degrees into the time when they can choose and determine, yield or resist, obey or disobey, the measures of infantine grace will no more suffice, than the early gift of animal or vegetable life would suffice to keep up the strength or growth of animal or plant without its regular and necessary aliment. They need the constant food of prayers, the training of Christian discipline, the habit of yielding up their will, the habit of unquestioning obedience, the unhesitating spirit of dutifulness, the gradual growth of affectionate and trusting love, the temper of industrious and rejoicing duty. These will bring them safely, by God's blessing, to their next stage. By such culture the Holy Spirit who is within them will be cherished, and His gifts not checked.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,