Jonathan Edwards famously identified the distinguishing marks of a work of the Holy Spirit. It is by these that we may tell the difference between mere religious excitement and a genuine work of God.
1. The Spirit of God in his work in men raises ‘their esteem of that Jesus who was born of the Virgin, and was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem’, confirming ‘their minds in the truth of what the gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Saviour of men.’
2. The Spirit of God ‘operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, which lies in encouraging and establishing sin, and cherishing men’s worldly lusts.’
3. The Spirit causes ‘in men a greater regard to the Holy Scriptures, and establishes them more in their truth and divinity…The devil never would attempt to beget in persons a regard to that divine word…The devil has ever shown a mortal spite and hatred towards that holy book the Bible.’
4. The Holy Spirit always works as the Spirit of truth, ‘he represents things as they truly are.’
5. The Spirit produces in men ‘a spirit of love to God and man.’ He brings them to ‘high and exalting thoughts’ of God. He ‘works in them an admiring, delightful sense of the excellency of Jesus Christ’, and he constrains them to love others and earnestly to seek their salvation.
Edwards, Works, II, 266ff, as summarised by Murray, The necessary ingredients of a Biblical revival II, 26.