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personality of the Holy Spirit are in exact accordance with the mode of expression which was often adopted, in relation to the same subject, by his inspired disciples. From various passages in the Book of Acts, and the Epistles, we can scarcely do otherwise than deduce the inference, that these servants of the Lord regarded the Holy Spirit as one possessing a personal authority, exercising personal powers, and requiring a personal allegiance. When Ananias and Sapphira kept back part of the price of their land, it was the Holy Spirit to whom they lied, and whom they conspired to tempt ; Acts v, 3. 9. When the church at Antioch was engaged in ministering to the Lord with fasting, it was the Holy Spirit who said unto thein, “ Separate Me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them ;” and it was he by whom these evangelists were sent forth, when they departed unto Seleucia : Acts xiii, 2. 4. It was the Holy Spirit who directed the course of the apostle Paul's journeys; who forbade him to preach the word in Asia ; who suffered him not to go into Bithynia : Acts xvi, 6, 7. It was the Holy Spirit, as well as the apostles and their brethren, to whom it " seemed good to refrain from imposing on the Gentiles the burden of the Jewish ritual: Acts xv, 28. It was he who constituted the overseers of the churches : Acts xx, 23. It was he who inspired the apostles; who spake and testified by the prophets : Mark xiii, 11 : Acts xxviii, 25: Heb. iii, 7; ix, 8; X, 15. " Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God," said Paul to the Ephesians, whereby (or by whom) ye are sealed unto the day of redemption," Ephes. iv, 30; and to the Corinthians, “ Know ve not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God ?" 1 Cor. vi, 19. Lastly, in describing the diversified, yet harmonious, operation of spiritual gifts, the same apostle says, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit, &c. &c. ....But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every man severally, as he will :" 1 Cor. xii, 8--11.
Now, if the enquiry be addressed to us, Who is HE, of whom Christ and his apostles thus bear witness ; who teaches and consoles the disciples of Jesus ; who reproves the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; whom it is unpardonable to blaspheme, wicked and dangerous to tempt and to grieve ; who finds his temple in the hearts of the righteous; who inspires the apostle ; speaks by the prophet ; appoints the overseer; calls forth, anoints, and directs the evangelist; who Histributes to his people, according to his own will, those manifold gifts and graces, by which the church is edified, and the cause of truth promoted ?-the fundamental principles of our religion, and the whole analogy of Scripture, will assuredly admit but of one answer-HE IS GOD.
God is a spirit. Invisible, and spiritual in his nature, he fills his own works : he exercises over them an unseen and powerful influence: he dwells and operates in the hearts of Men. Nor can we deny the truth of the converse of such a proposition--namely, that the Spirit who fills the works of deity, who exercises over them an unseen, yet powerful, in- . fluence, who dwells and operates in the hearts of men, is God. “Now, THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT," said the apostle Paul; “and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all with open face beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the SPIRIT OF TILE LORD :” 2 Cor. ili, 17, 18.
II. Such is the scriptural evidence of which we are in pos. session, that the Father is God, that the Son is God, that thie Holy Spirit is God. Having considered this evidence, we may now proceed to take a view of some additional passages in the New Testament, in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whose deity is thus distinctively and separately indicated, are presented to our attention as the united sources of the Christian's help and consolation, the united objects of the Christian's belief and obedience. · This description is indeed applicable to the passages already cited from the Gospel of John, in relation to the personality of the Holy Ghost : vide xiv, 26; xv, 26; xvi, 7, 8. To these passages, however, others of a similar import must now be added.
« Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come," said the Son of God to his immediate followers, “ he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me ; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine : therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shew it unto you :" John xvi, 13, 14. If, then, I am asked, Who is to guide the people of God into all truth? I answer, on the authority of this luminous declaration, The Spirit of Truth. If I am asked again, Whose wisdom and grace does the Spirit of Truth administer ? it is on the same authority that I reply, The wisdom and grace of the Son of God. And if, lastly, the enquiry be addressed to me, On what principle can we say that it is the wisdom and grace of the Son which the Spirit administers ? this inquiry also is fully
met by the information contained in our text-namely, that all wisdom and grace are from the Father, and that whatsoever the Father hath is the Son's. From whom, then, does the Christian derive the strength of his spiritual life, and the hope of his soul's salvation? From the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And to whom does he owe the tribute of gratitude and praise, and the return of a faithful and unhesitating obedience? To the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Such was the doctrine inculcated by the apostle Paul, on more than one occasion." There is one body, and ONE SPIRIT," said he to the Ephesians, “ even as ye are called in one hope of your calling-ONE LORD, one faith, one baptism-ONE GOD AND FATHER of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all :" Eph. iv, 4. 6. To the Corinthians he addressed himself in very similar terms: “ Now, there are diversities of gifts, but the same SPIRIT ; and there are differences of administrations, but the same LORD ; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all :" 1 Cor. xii, 4-6. Again, “ The grace of the LORD Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the HOLY GHOST, be with you all. Amen :" 2 Cor. xii, 14. Here we may observe, that the name God is appropriated to the Father, as is the title Lord to the Son ; but the various passages previously cited afford abundant proof that the Spirit and the Son are no more excluded from the Godhead of the Father than the Father is excluded from the Lordship of the Son, or from the administrative authority of the Spirit; and from these explicit declarations it is evident that, in the covenant of light and life which God condescends to make with his fallen creatures, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, display a perfect harmony and unity of operation.
Of this harmony and unity of operation, in instituting and conducting the scheine of the Gospel, a very striking indication is afforded us in the narratives given, by the evangelists Matthew and Luke, of one of the most interesting circumstances which distinguished the life of Jesus. When Jesus, in order to “ fulfil all righteousness,” submitted himself to the baptism of John, we read that “the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased :” Luke iii, 21, 22; comp. Matt, iii, 15–17.
And now it only remains for us to advert to that memorable injunction respecting evangelizing and baptizing the nations, which appears to have formed the conclusion of our Lord's last conversation with his disciples on earth : “Go ye therefore and teach (or make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in (or unto) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world :" Matt. xxviii, 19, 20. On this passage it is necessary to observe that, to baptize in the name of a person, is to baptize by the authority of that person ; but that, to baptize unto the name of a person, (and the preposition here used signifies not in, but unio) is to baptize unto the faith and service of which such person is the object. Now, in whatever manner we may here interpret the participle baptizing-whether we understand it as denoting merely the sign of conversion, or the act of converting itself
there is one point of the doctrine contained in this passage which does not appear liable to any reasonable doubt or dispute ; namely, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, being the common sources of the Christian's hope and salvation, are also the common objects of his faith and spiritual allegiance. The converts who were about to be made, through the ministry of the apostles, among all nations, were to be turned away from dumb idols unto the living God. No longer were they to place their dependance on devils, or on the mere creatures of human immagination: they were henceforth to serve, honour, worship, and obey, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Clear, however, as this general doctrine appears to be, the consideration of this branch of our subject cannot be safely quitted without the addition of some further observations. When we assert, on the authority of Scripture, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are the common objects of the Christian's allegiance-when we recognize the principle promulgated by our Saviour himself, that all men are called upon to “honour the Son, even as they honour the Father," John v, 23; and when, from other inspired declarations, we conclude that this principle is to be yet father extended, and that all men are called upon also to honour the Holy Spirit, even as they honour the Father and the Son-we are always to remember that the equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is an equality in point of nature; for, in their nature, they are God, and God is one. In order to obtain a just and comprehensive view of the whole subject, (as far as it is revealed to us) it is necessary also to advert to the order of that relation in which they are ever represented as standing one towards another. The Father is the first : the Son is the second: the Holy Spirit is the third. The Son is subordinate to the Father, because he is of the Father--the only begotten Son of God. The Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, because he is the Father's and the Son's : see Matt. iii, 16 : Rom. viii, 9. The Father sends the Son. The Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit : John xv, 26.
Again--while we gratefully confess that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are the common sources of our hope and salvation, we are never to forget the distinct offices which they are respectively described as bearing, in the glorious economy of the divine dispensations. With the Father rests the unsearchable design--the hidden and eternal purpose--out of which arises the whole course of circumstances and events, and more especially the scheme of Christianity, and the salvation of man: see John iii, 16 : Eph. i, 1--10, &c. From him are all things, and of all things his glory is the ultimate result. His will is law. His love is the fountain of grace and immortality. The Son is the Way, by whom are all things, and “we by him.” He is the image of the invisible God, in whom the Father is made manifest. He propitiates, he advocates, he reigns over the heritage of God; he conducts the whole system appointed for our recovery and salvation. The Holy Spirit is the operative Power, through whom the Father and the Son carry on their work of mercy, and exercise their dominion over the souls of men. It is he who enlightens, converts, renews, consoles, and purifies, the heirs of salvation. The Father is, in the deepest and most comprehensive sense of the expressions, the Creator-the Son, the Redeemer—the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier. The Father originates, the Son mediates, the Holy Spirit consummates.
In order to complete our views of the scriptural evidences which bear upon the present subject, I have now to observe, that, although this threefold distinction in the divine nature is the most clearly revealed to us in the New Testament, yet there are also various passages in the sacred writings of the ancient Hebrews, which appear to indicate a plurality in the one God. It is a circumstance which cannot, I would submit, be satisfactorily explained on any merely grammatical principle, that Jehovah is sometimes described, in the Old Testament, as the “living ones,'* and the “ holy ones:'t see Jer. xxiii, 36: Prov. ix, 10 ; xxx, 3: comp. Ecc. xii, 1, &c. Hebrew text.
The Father is the Creator of the universe. He made all