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Coal Fire

As I sit by the fire writing this, snug from the rain falling outside and a forecasted wintry spell, the flames that lick up the chimney cheer with their warmth and display. Some of the flames are cloven, which reminds one of the descent of the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles. The Holy Ghost, under the figure of flames of fire, “Fire sent down from Heaven,” is what the church needs in these days. Particularly it needs preachers, preaching with these cloven tongues resting upon them, and kindling a fire in the hearts of the people. 

But as my eyes look to where the flames arise from, I see red hot burning coals, which thought conveys another Biblical figure. The psalmist uses this symbol to denote the wrath of God against the wicked (Ps.140: 10) “Let burning coals fall upon them, let them be cast into the fire.” Even from a fire we are taught what we should prefer.