I have known ministers who had some peculiar idiosyncrasy of experience which was not important; but their people all began to think and talk in the same way, and to have the same doubts and fears. Now that will not do. It is not the way in which the Most High acts with regard to the wind, and if he chooses to take all the points of the compass, and make use of them all, let us bless and glorify his name. Are not the different winds various in their qualities? Few of us like an east wind. Most of us are very glad when the wind blows from the south. Vegetation seems to love the south-west. A stiff north-easter is enough to make us perish; and long continuance of the north wind may well freeze the whole earth; while from the west, the wind seems to come laden with health from the sea; and though sometimes too strong for the sick, yet it is never a bad time when the west wind blows. The ancients all had their different opinions about wind; some were dry, some were rainy, some affected this disease, some touched this part of men, some the other. Certain it is that God’s Holy Spirit has different qualities. In the Canticles he blows softly with the sweet breath of love: turn on farther, and you get the same Spirit blowing fiercely with threatening and denunciation; sometimes you find him convincing the world ‘of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment;’ that is the north wind: at other times opening up Christ to the sinner, and giving him joy and comfort; that is the south wind, that blows softly, and gives a balminess in which poor troubled hearts rejoice; and yet ‘all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit.’
For meditation: When the Holy Spirit blows like a wind, healthy effects follow, for example, causing the Scriptures to be written (2 Peter 1:21), stimulating the early church into evangelism (Acts 2:1–2) and bringing sinners to new birth (John 3:8). Beware of other winds and their unhealthy spiritual effects (Ephesians 4:14).