A Holy Spirit Creed


I believe in the Holy Ghost.

I expect to see saints as lovely as any that are written of in the Scriptures—because I believe in the Holy Ghost. I expect to see preachers as powerful to set forth Christ evidently crucified before the eyes of men, as powerful to pierce the conscience, to persuade, to convince, to convert, as any that ever shook the multitudes of Jerusalem, or Corinth, or Rome—

because I believe in the Holy Ghost.

I expect to see Churches, the members of which shall be severally indued with spiritual gifts, and every one moving in spiritual activity, animating and edifying one another, commending themselves to the conscience of the world by their good works, commending their Saviour to it by a heart-engaging testimony—

because I believe in the Holy Ghost.

I expect to see villages where all the respectable people are now opposed to religion, the proprietor ungodly, the nominal pastor worldly, all that take a lead set against living Christianity—to see such villages summoned, disturbed, divided, and then reunited, by the subduing of the whole population to Christ—

because I believe in the Holy Ghost.

I expect to see cities swept from end to end, their manners elevated, their commerce purified, their politics Christianized, their criminal population reformed, their poor made to feel that they dwell among brethren—righteousness in the streets, peace in the homes, an altar at every fireside—

because I believe in the Holy Ghost.

I expect the world to be overflowed with the knowledge of God; the day to come when no man shall need to say to his neighbor, “Know thou the Lord,” but when all shall know him, “from the least unto the greatest”; east and west, north and south, uniting to praise the name of the one God and the one Mediator

—because I believe in the Holy Ghost.

This creed was penned by William Arthur. By the time Tongue of Fire was first published in 1856, the once strong Methodist movement in Great Britain was slowly declining into a “form of religion without the power,” as John Wesley feared it would. Now an established denominational body, it bared more resemblance to the tired Church of England than the spirit-fired movement which defined the first Methodists.

Born in 1819, William Arthur was one of a rising generation Wesleyan leaders who saw that the Holy Spirit, who had so mightily breathed life into the movement, was being slowly omitted from Methodist preaching and practice. His Tongue of Fire or the True Power of Christianity is, in essence, a manifesto inviting Methodists to again recover their birthright as an Apostolic movement living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.