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Kwho through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God."
The names given to the Spirit are an evidence of his divinity. He is, by way of eminence, called the Holy Spirit
. This title is equivalent to that given to God, the Holy One. It is with peculiar propriety that he is called the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of Holiness. He is not only holy himself, but he is the Author of holiness in the human heart. He is called the Spirit of truth. He revealed truth to the prophets and apostles; led them into all truth, and enabled them to communicate it to the world. When he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, and will shew you things to come.
He is called the Holy Spirit of promise. The Spirit was promised through the medium of John the Baptist. Christ, just before his ascension into heaven, observed to his disciples, “I send the promise of the Father unto you." So frequently had the Spirit been promised, that it was with propriety he was called is the Promise," or the Spirit of promise. He is also called the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge, and the eternal Spirit. Christ styles him the Comforter, Christ said to his disciples, “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach
all things. If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you." He gives comfort to sinners by changing their hearts and giving them an enjoyment, which they never before experienced. He gives comfort to believers by increasing light in their minds; and by leading them forward toward heaven. He witnesseth with their spirits that they are born of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is love; love to God and man. It is joy; joy arising from holy affections and from divine service. It is peace; peace of mind and peace in society. It is long-suffering; it is a patient bearing of injuries. It is gentleness; softness of manners.
It is goodness; a kind disposition carried into operation. It is faith; confidence in divine promises, and fidelity in trusts and engagements. It is meekness; calmness under provocations. It is temperance; a moderate use of the bounties of providence. These virtues are the fruit of the Spirit
. Such holy fruit indicates that the Spirit is holy and divine.
The Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit to do the works of his office. John the Baptist, speaking of Christ said, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” · Agreeably to this declaration, Christ after his ascension sent down the Holy Spirit upon his apostles; and cloven tongues like as of 'fire sat upon each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost. “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” Christ saith, “I will send him unto you.”. “The Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Because the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son, it is probable he is called sometimes the Spirit of the Father, and sometimes the Spirit of Christ.
If the Spirit is sent by the Father and by Christ, it is only an official subjection; it implies no inferiority of nature. The covenant of redemption was made between the Father and the Son, and the Spirit, and they are employed in the salvation of this fallen world. So intimate is the union between them that one can do nothing without the other; and what is attributed to one is generally attributed to either; and yet they are so distinct that particular names, offices and works are given to each.
Divine honors are given to the Holy Spirit. The ordinance of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
o By this ordinance persons are consecrated to the sacred e Three. If it be an ascription of honor to the Father ieke to consecrate one's self or his offspring to his service, rejt is an equal honor to the Son to make such consecraTition to him; and it is the same honor to the Holy oly Spirit to make the same consecration to him. By
making a dedication to the Father, Son and Spirit, it conveys an idea of distinction in the divine nature. pes When people are baptized in, or into the name (not ief names”) of the Father, Son and Spirit, it implies that lar: one name, the name God, is common to them all. It ir is hard to conceive why these three are unitedly
named in the ordinance of baptism, if there be not a union of nature subsisting between them, and the
same honor is not conferred on each. The blessing, le which the apostle Paul pronounced upon the Corin
thian church, gives the same honor to the Spirit as to the Father, and Son. “The
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the e Holy Spirit be with you all.” Here again the Three are united, and the same honor is given to each.
It is a great sin to oppose or speak against the Holy Spirit. The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the Jews under the blessings of Heaven, says, “They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit; therefore he was turned to be their enemy; and he fought against them.” Particular commands are given in the sacred scriptures not to sin against the Spirit. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. Quench not the Spirit.” If there were not something in the divine nature peculiar to him, it is hard to conceive why he should be singled out by name; and his rights be secured by a barrier of divine commands. The martyr Stephen addressed his unbelieving audience as great sinners, because they always resisted the Holy Ghost. So great is the guilt of the sin against the Holy Spirit, that the apostle Paul expressly declares that it is impossible for those, who were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, if they fall away, to renew them again
to repentance. There is a sin unto death. Supplication is not to be made to God for its remission. This is thought by many to be a sin against the Holy Ghost.
The apostle Peter charged Ananias and Sapphira with tempting the Spirit of the Lord; with lying to the Holy Ghost. He added, “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." It is noticable that, in these passages, lying to the Holy Ghost is lying to God. So great was their sin that their lives were miraculously taken from them.
Christ, in answer to the Pharisees who accused him of casting out devils by Beelzebub, said, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men,
but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost
, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come.” This declaration of the Savior proves the great criminality of sin against the Holy Spirit. Whether it is more criminal in its nature to speak against the Holy Spirit, than it is to speak against the Father or the Son, it is not the province of human reason to decide. It is sufficient that Christ has said, this sin is unpardonable. The decision of divine authority upon this subject proves that it is
, at least, as criminal to sin against him, as it is to sin against the Father or Son. This is a forcible evidence in proof of the Spirit's distinction, of his divinity, and of his claim to divine service.
When the sacred scriptures represent the Holy Spirit, possessing certain attributes, and acting in a certain office; when they give him divine naines, attribute to him divine properties, and divine works; ascribe to him divine honors
, and represent sin against him to be the only one which is unpardonable, there appears to be as much proof of his distinction and divinity, as there is of the distinction and divinity of the Father or Son.
1. It is proper to notice some objections, which are brought against the divinity of the Holy Spirit
. It is thought by some that the Holy Spirit is the fulness of the Godhead; or the productive, efficient emanations of divine fulness; that the Holy Spirit bears the same relation to God as the rays of the sun bear to the sun.
This comparison appears to be defective. The rays of the sun are not the fulness of the sun. They are not a source from which light and heat proceed. It is not philosophical to say, light proceeds from light; and heat proceeds from heat. The rays of the sun depend on the sun.. If the sun were extinguished, his rays would cease. Subordination, but not dependence, is attributed, in the scriptures, to the Spirit. They attribute to him sovereignty, when they represent him distributing miraculous gifts severally as he will. If the Holy Spirit be but an emanation of the Deity, it appears highly improper that a proper name should be given him; that divine attributes should be attributed to him; and that he should be represented in an official capacity.
If he be sometimes represented passively, or as the operation or effect of the Deity, it is when he acts in his office in subordination to the Father and the Son, or when his operations are
2. The distinction and divinity of the Holy Spirit is denied, because he is called the Spirit of God; as divine is called the power of God; as a human spirit is called the spirit of a man. Hence it is inferred that the Spirit of God bears the same relationship to God as his attributes bear to him; or as the spirit of a man bears to a man. It is true the Holy Spirit is represented as something belonging to God.' So the Father and the Son are represented as something belonging to God, or the divine nature. But this does not deprive them of divinity. The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the Spirit of the Father, and sometimes be is called the Spirit of Christ. If the Holy