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THE DEITY OF THE SPIRIT. the grave, sedate language of a sensible man of personification so absurd, as the above would be if it were but the language of metaphor.
$ 4. The plain inference from these arguments is, that the Holy Spirit is not a mere attribute, but a person.* It remains to show that he is a divine person.
He is called God by Peter. “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost. Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." As lying to the Holy Ghost was lying unto God, the natural inference is, that the Holy Ghost is God.
The Holy Ghost is eternal. “ Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself."* None is eternal but God.
The Holy Ghost is omniscient. “ The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God. For wbat man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man that is in him? Even so the things of God, knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God."y Could this assertion be made of any created being? Of what creature could it be affirmed, that he surveys the treasures of the infinite Mind, knows the inmost secrets of his Creator's breast, and searcheth even the deep things of God? Respecting God it is said, “ His thoughts are very deep." “ His understanding is infinite.” “There is no searching of his understanding." He is “ the only wise God." These passages refute such a supposition as that the most exalted creature can search the depths of his Creator's wisdom. Could an archangel explore that wisdom, God would no longer be the ONLY WISE. His creature would be as wise as himself. He then who searches the deep things of God, must himself be God; as the spirit of man is an essential part of man.
$ 5. The part which the Holy Spirit acts in the economy of redemption further proves his divinity. If not God he must be an angel. But what are angels ? are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ? The Holy Spirit's work is represented as of a far higher nature. « Believers are born of the Spirit.”d Are saved
On this expression it may be proper to observe, that it is used here on this awfully mysterious subject for want of a more suitable one. We do not mean, by the use of it, to assert such entire distinctness as subsists between two men or two angels, but such a distinction between the Spirit, and the Father, and the Son, as is sufficient, notwithstanding their union, to sanction assertions re. specting one of them which cannot be made of another. Thus, for instance, in the economy of redemption, the Father sent; the Son came. The Son took human nature; the Father and the Spirit did not.
(70) Acts v. 3, 4. (x) Heb. ix. 14. (y) 1 Cor. ii. 10. (:) Ps. xcii. 5. a) Ps. cxlvii. 5. (6) Isa, xl. 28. (c) 1 Tim. i. 17. d) John iii. 5
THE DEITY OF THE SPIRIT. Efecte * by the renewing of the Holy Ghost.” “ Are sanctified by age the Spirit of God.” “ Abound in hope through the power
If the Holy Ghost."8 “ Have the love of God shed abroad het in their hearts by the Holy Ghost.”h “ Are led by the Spirit, rict and shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."" These things
cannot be the effects of an angel's agency, for elsewhere it is de declared, that believers are born of God, and that every good vi gift and every perfect gift cometh from the Father of mercies. cik He therefore who is the distributer of these best gifts, must se himself be God.
These blessings are too great to be communicated by any Ex being who is not divine. Could the highest archangel be
con represented as the author of them ? Could it without the utDe most impiety be said, that believers are born of Gabriel, are obis sanctified by Gabriel, abound in hope and love by Gabriel,
are led by Gabriel, and shall of Gabriel reap life everlasting? a Would not such assertions shock every pious feeling ? Would fi it not be felt that such language exalted the creature to the
Creator's place? Yet, unless the Spirit were one with God, it G would be as improper to apply such expressions in reference en to him as to an archangel.
$6. Finally, his divinity is proved from his being united Twith the Father and the Son in the baptismal form, and in
the blessing implored for Christians. To unite a mere attribute with God in those solemn forms would be absurd; but. impious to unite a creature, and pay him the same religious homage as his Creator.
$7. Besides the numerous passages that have been brought forward in proof of the deity of the Son and Spirit, the Scriptures abound with others, which admit of no reasonable interpretation if that doctrine be rejected. Of this description are the following: “ And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness." After the fall of man the LOŘD GOD said, “ Behold the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.”m Similar language is used on other occasions. The Lord said, “ Let US go down.". In the vision of the divine glory which Isaiah saw, Jehovah is described as saying, “ Whom shall I send, and who will go for US." The language of the Most High on these occasions is (6) Tit. iii. 5. (5) 1 Cor. vi. 11. (9) Rom. xv. 13. (h) Rom. v. 5. (6) Gal. v. 18. (X) Gal. vi. 8. (8 Gen. i. 26. (m) Gen. iii. 22. (n) Gen, xi. 7.
(0) Isa. vi. 8.
74 NUMEROUS BLESSINGS THE EFFECT correct and just, if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God; but if the doctrine of the Unitarians were true, the language would be unreasonable.
$ 8. The Christian is represented as unspeakably indebted to the Holy Spirit, whose benevolent agency is to him the source of unutterable good. When the subject is mentioned in a general way, the Holy Spirit's influence is described as of the utmost importance.P When the sacred writers descend to particulars, and enumerate distinctly the various blessings bestowed by the Holy Spirit, they mention numerous most precious mercies.
The whole renewal of man es ascribed to his influence. “ Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” “ As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
The different parts of the new creation are traced to his agency. He enlightens the mind. “ Thou gavest thy good Spirit to instruct them.” “We have received the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”-Repentance is ascribed to divine influence. “ I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications : and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son."-To divine influence is faith also ascribed. “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."-Hope and love are described as the product of the Spirit's power. “ That ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”u “ The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost given unto us." « God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son in your hearts, cry: ing, Abba, Father."W-The Spirit is further represented as the Author of holiness in its most extensive sense, including the mortification of sin and exercise of Christian graces and duties. “If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the
(P) Luke xi. 13. John vii. 37–39. ) John iii. 5–8; i. 12, 13. 2 Cor. v. 15. (r) Neh. ix. 20.
(s) Zech. xii, 10. () Eph. ii. 8.
(u) Rom. xv. 13.
(v) Rom, v.5. 2 Tim. i. 7.
(w) Gal. iv. 6. Rom. viii. 15. 16.
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'S INFLUENCE. body, ye shall live."x “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”y “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”_'That blessed Spirit who thus meetens for immortal life all who come to Jesus, is represented as assisting them in prayer. “We have access by one Spirit unto the Father." “ The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.”—He helps them to persevere. “That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." To promote spiritual comfort also appears peculiarly his office. The Lord Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
Besides other passages in which the work of the Holy Spirit is peculiarly mentioned, the Scriptures contain multitudes in which the necessity of divine influence is declared, or its benefits described in a more general way as benefits bestowed by God. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works."d “God worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”e “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; the God of all grace make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." “The God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight."g “ Without me ye can do nothing." - If a partaker of the Saviour's love, surely you now acknowledge “ By the grace of God I am what I am.";
$ 9. The subject presents an important view of the Christian character. The representation given of the Christian as the temple of God, or of the Holy Spirit, is of a peculiarly pleasing, solemn, and awakening nature. The temple was a place solemnly set apart for God. It was devoted to the worship and service of God; was favoured with his special presence; and, as far as any place on earth could be so, was described as his abode. How important therefore is this representation of a real Christian! the temple of God-redeemed from the world, and solemnly consecrated to the worship and (*) Rom. viii. 13.
(3) 1 Cor. vi. 9, 11. (z) Gal. v. 22-24. (a) Eph. ii, 18. (6) 2 Tim, i. 14. (d) Eph. ii. 4, 5, 9, 10. (e) Phil. ii. 12, 13. () 1 Pet. i. 3–5; v. 10, (9) Heb. xiii. 20, 21. (h) John xv, 1, 2, 4, 5. (i) 1 Cor. xv. 10.
John xiv. 16.
EVIDENCES OF POSSESSING service of the Most High-Holiness to the Lord inscribed upon this temple, and God, by his Spirit, there taking up his abode.
This is a description of the Christian character which cannot possibly comport with a life of worldliness, ambition, sensuality, or pride.
As reasonably and as truly might a temple of Dagon, or of Moloch, or of Juggernaut, be called the temple of Jehovah, as a mere nominal Christian be esteemed the temple of God's Holy Spirit. On the Christian's heart this view should have an impressive and awakening tendency. “ Am I the temple of God, and shall I not cherish those dispositions which he approves, and seek those graces that should dwell in his temple? Shall I not apply to him for aid, and strive with all my power to banish from this temple those polluting lusts that would fain intrude, and offend its blessed inhabitants ? Should pride, or ambition, or selfishness, or covetousness, or malice, or envy, or rancour, or revenge, or love to the world, be cherished in my heart, I should then harbour in this temple the detestable brood of hell. And am I indeed the temple of God ? O what manner of person ought I to be in all holy conversation and godliness!
§ 10. Closely connected with this view of the Christian character, is the test of self-examination, furnished by this subject. The Spirit of God operating on the heart, must produce a resemblance of the mind which was in Christ. Not indeed at once a perfect resemblance, but a resemblance progressively advancing nearer to perfection. The Spirit is declared to lead and guide the submissive soul; will he lead and guide in any path, except the path which Jesus trod ? If the Spirit leads the soul, he will lead it to all the mind which was in Christ; and in the narrow path of watchful, humble holiness. The Spirit is declared to renew the mind. In whose image will he renew it, except the image of Christ? The God of truth declares, “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”k Christ himself was a pattern of meekness and humility, of gentleness and love, of deadness to the world, of forgiveness to enemies, benevolence to friends, and devotedness to God. The Spirit of Christ will prompt the soul that feels his influence to follow Christ; will renew the soul in the likeness of its Saviour. How important a test for judg.
& Rom. viii. 9.