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doth not commit sin. Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.” The same work is attributed to the Spirit. "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 Spirit is spirit
. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
God leadeth his people. “I am the Lord thy God, which leadeth thee by the way thou shouldest go." Christ leadeth them. “He calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them.” The Holy Spirit does the office of leader. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Not only God and Christ are called life; but the Holy Spirit is called by this name. “The Spirit is life.” ' He is the Author of spiritual life.
The dead are raised by the Father, by the Son and by the Spirit. “The Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them.” “We should not trust in ourselves, but in God, which raiseth the dead." Christ is the resurrection and the life. “The Son quickeneth whom he will." “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The resurrection of Christ's body is attributed to the Holy Spirit
. “Christ-being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit strives with sinners. When the antediluvian world had become exceedingly corrupt, God declared that his Spirit should not always strive with man. The commands, “Quench not the Spirit; grieve not the Spirit of God,” imply that people are the subjects of the operation of the Spirit.' The declaration of Stephen in answer to his accusation, “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do ye,” supposes that the Holy Spirit exercises influence upon the human mind. He convinces of sin. He changes the heart. He sanctifies human nature.
Where he has begun a good work he will carry until the day of Jesus Christ. The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should
pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.
The texts, which have just been quoted attribute certain works to the Spirit. It is evident that the name Spirit or Holy Spirit does not signify Father nor Son; for it is used both in connexion with them and it is used separately. Why should he be
Why should he be represented as the Author of different works, if there were not some ground of distinction in the divine Nature, by which he could act, in a certain sense, distinctly from the Father and the Son? Some divine works are performed by the divine Being in plurality. Other works are performed in a particular manner by the Father, or by the Son, or by the Holy Spirit
. In the economy of redemption each has his peculiar office and work. They act so far distinctly that each performs works, peculiar to his office. They act so far unitedly that some of the same works are attributed to each. From the divine works there appears to be as much distinction between the Spirit and the Son, or the Spirit and the Father, as there is between the Son and the Father; and the Spirit appears to have a particular office and work no less than either.
The texts, which have been quoted, not only represent the Holy Spirit acting in a distinct office, but they represent him acting in union with the Father and the Son. The same works, which are attributed to them are also attributed to him. The act of creation, of sending teachers, of instructing them, of speaking by them, of dwelling in believers and leading them; of changing the heart and sanctifying it, and of raising the dead are attributed to him, and to the Father and the Son. If he were not divine he would not be united with them in these divine works. If he were not, in some respect, distinct, they would not be attributed to him. Although there is a distinction in the
divine nature; yet there is such a unity that many things, which are predicated of one are predicated of the others.
It belongs peculiarly to the office of the Spirit in the work of salvation to strive with sinners; to convince them of sin; to change their hearts; to carry on the work of sanctification; to give light and comfort to believers. He strove with the old world to reclaim them. He strove with sinners in the apostles' days, and he has striven with them in every age. It is he, who changeth the disposition of the heart; guides the mind into all truth, and administers consolation. In the apostolic age, he was the Author of miraculous gifts
. . At a time when the apostles were together, “There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues,
like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." The multitude, which was composed of many nations, heard them speak in their own language.
These works of the Spirit require divine attributes. To pass over those works, which he performed in common with the Father and the Son, those acts, which are peculiar to his distinct office must be attributed to divine power. If it required divine power to create, it required equal power to repair the defaced works of creation. If it required divine power to form man, it requires the same power to renew his fallen nature. It requires as great effort to change, as to form a nature. The Spirit, without doing violence to the human will, and without infringing upon moral freedom, changes the disposition of the heart. Power less than divine, cannot change nature or its laws.
In order to strive with man; to change his heart, and to lead him in the ways of truth and holiness, it is necessary to have a perfect knowledge of the human mind. If the Holy Spirit did not know the disposition of all hearts, he might not know on which to
bestow his influence, and what degrees of energy
to put forth, to effectuate a change of different hearts. He needs to know what is in man, in order to remove the evil and set him right. It is not doubted that holy and fallen angels have access to the human mind and have influence upon it. But the sacred scriptures do not attribute a power of changing the heart to either.
The apostle Paul, speaking of those great preparations, which are made in the other world for those, who love God, adds, "God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” The deep things of God relate to the salvation of man. These things the angels desire to look into; but by reason of their finite powers, it appears, they are unable. But the Spirit searcheth these things, and is perfectly acquainted with them. He as fully knows the things of God, as the Spirit of a man knows the things of a man.
The revelation of the divine will by the Spirit, is an argument in favor of his divine knowledge. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.” He did not reveal them to his Spirit; for the Spirit of God knoweth the things of God. These things the Spirit communicated to the prophets and apostles. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
Wisdom is also attributed to the Spirit. When it was prophesied that a Branch should grow out of the root of Jesse, it was also prophesied, “the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge.”
The communications made by the Spirit to men, afford evidence of his particular agency and divinity. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit
. To one is given by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the
working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” There is no intimation given that the Spirit derived his power and authority from a superior Being to bestow these miraculous gifts on the apostles. When the prophets and apostles wrought miracles, they attributed the works ultimately to God. But the Spürt distributed these gifts as he would. This conveys the idea of his independence. If miraculous operations are an evidence of the existence of God, they are, when attributed absolutely to the Holy Spirit, an equal evidence of his divinity.
The sacred scriptures afford evidence that the Spirit is omnipresent. Various texts convey the idea that the influence of the Spirit is shed abroad in mankind generally. “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.
Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye.” The influence of the Spirit upon believers is repeatedly asserted in the word of God. It was a petition of the Psalmist, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” If operation in the material and intelligent world forms an argument in favor of God's omnipresence, operation of the same extent in the moral world, forms an equal argument in favor of the omnipresence of the Spirit, and consequently of his divinity. The question of the Psalmist, “Whither shall I
from thy Spirit?” implies that it was impossible to flee from his presence.
Goodness is attributed to the Spirit. The Psalmist saith, “Thy Spirit is good.” Goodness is attributed to the Father and the Son. If it be a divine attribute in them, there is no cause to say, it is not a divine attribute when applied to him.
The Spirit is eternal. The apostle Paul to the Hebrews, speaking of the sacrifice of Christ, says,