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Holy Spirit? And what should hinder us from esteeming him a person, whose grace and gifts are conferred on us? We do not even hold, besides, that whenever the term Holy Spirit occurs in the sacred volume, it always designates a person; since we readily confess, that it is sometimes used metonymically, to denote the gifts of the Spirit. If then we admit that such is the case here, when we are said to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, on what pretext will you thence conclude, that the same thing ought to be understood, when we are said to be baptized in his name, whilst the expressions are so very different?
XII. Adversaries object, that in the Sacred Scriptures the Holy Ghost is frequently called the power of God; as instances of which they produce Luke i. 35. xxiv. 49. compared with Acts i. 4, 5, 8. Chap. x. 38. and thence infer that he is not a person. But this reasoning is utterly inconclusive. Simon Magus was termed by his followers, "the great power of God;" and Christ is denominated "the power of God." Nay, the Hebrews consider a word* which signifies power, as one of the titles of God. Hence the following expression, "What did Moses answer in the presence of "the Power," that is, God? On this point Elias and Buxtorf § may be consulted. Some are of opinion, that the following phrase in the Gospel of Mark, is conformable to the same mode of speaking; "Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power." It could furnish no solid objection, there
fore, to the personality of the Holy Spirit, that he were sometimes called the power of God. But adversaries cannot even prove that he is so called. For if we mistake not, we shall see that in all the places alleged, the Holy Ghost and power are distinguished from each other. In Luke i. 35, we find ascribed to the Holy Ghost as a Divine person, "the power of "the Highest," as a property by which, and according to which he operates; for it is "the power of the Spi"rit." So also in Luke xxiv. 49, " power from on high" doth not immediately denote the Holy Spirit, but that greatness of soul with which the Apostles were endowed; of which it is intimated that the Holy Spirit is the author, when it is said to come from on high. To this interpretation we are naturally led by what we read elsewhere: " But ye shall receive power, "after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you;" that is, the power you shall obtain, is from the Holy Ghost descending on you. In like manner, in Acts x. 38, there is an intimation, first, of the cause, "God anoint"ed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost;" then, of the effect," and with power."
XIII. Nor is there greater weight in the cavil against the personality of the Holy Spirit, founded on the pas sages where he is said to be given to men, or to be received by them; for, 1st, Even God gives himself to us, an exceeding great reward ;"a and he is the "por❝tion" or " inheritance" of believers.b 2dly, Christ is
Luke iv. 14.
* Αλλα λήψεσθει δύναμιν ἐπελθοντος τε ἁγια πνευματος ἐφ' ὑμάς, Acts
Luke xi. 13. John xiv. 16, 17. Rom. v. 5.
a Gen. xv. 1.
John xx. 22.
also said to be given by God, and received by believers;d and even so as to "dwell in their hearts,"e in exact conformity with what we read of the Holy Spirit. 3dly, In those very places where the Holy Spirit is spoken of as a gift, he is sometimes described as a person, and distinguished from his effects. Of this we have an instance in Rom. v. 5.-" The love of God is "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given unto us." The meaning of which expression is as follows. The Holy Ghost is given unto us, that he may be no less our's than the Father or the Son is our's, and that thus we may be rendered happy by the communion of the whole undivided Trinity. By the Holy Ghost, that is, by his influence and operation, we have" in our hearts," or we feel and actually experience, “the love of God," particularly his amazing love towards us, "shed abroad," or most abundantly imparted. For it is the chief part of the consolation from which the Holy Spirit receives the title of the Comforter, that he causes us to taste and feel the love of God. In like manner in Gal. iv. 6, it is said of the person of the Holy Spirit, "God hath sent forth the
Spirit of his Son ;" as, in verse fourth it is said of the person of the Son, "God sent forth his Son." Besides, the Spirit whom God sends to dwell and to operate in our hearts, crieth; that is, so causeth us to cry, that our crying is his voice. He is here so evidently described as a person, that Crellius is obliged to betake himself to a personification; a parallel instance of which he alleges we have in Chap. iii. 8. "The Scripture foreseeing, &c." But that passage bears
Is. ix. 6. John iii. 16.
4 John i. 12. Col. ii. 6.
no resemblance to this. The Scripture is said to foresee, because the Spirit, who dictates the Scripture, foresees. The figure there is a metonymy, not a personification.
XIV. It exceeds all absurdity, that they would have the Holy Spirit to mean the Doctrine of the Gospel, to which, by a prosopopoeia, personal operations are attributed. They thus explain the following words of Paul: "Who also hath made us able ministers of the "New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit ; "for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life."f To the same sense they pervert also that other expression; "No man can say, that Jesus is the Lord, but "by the Holy Ghost."s As if the meaning of the Apostle were, that no man can rightly acknowledge Jesus as Lord, unless that truth be revealed to him by the Gospel; as likewise they who receive the Gospel, are said to be "in the Spirit." But if we are disposed to speak the truth, what is it wantonly to wrest the Scriptures, if this is not an instance of such conduct? Let us examine each of the passages alleged. Were we to grant that in the former, the Spirit, by a metonymy, denotes the doctrine of the Gospel; what is improperly ascribed there to the Gospel as an exemplary cause, is properly to be attributed to the person of the Holy Spirit, as the principal efficient cause. Thus also that which is elsewhere ascribed to the letter of the law, is, by the same analogy, to be attributed to the person of the Lawgiver. But it does not seem necessary for us to make such a concession. The Apostle does not call the law "the letter;" or the
Gospel" the Spirit :" but teaches that the letter is in the law, and the Spirit in the Gospel, so that they who minister to the law, minister to the letter; they who minister to the Gospel, to the Spirit. He calls that the letter, which is unable, at first, and by itself, to convert a man; or to give a sinner the hope of life, much less to quicken him. By the Spirit, he understands both the person of the Spirit, and his quickening grace; which is clearly disclosed, and rendered efficacious, by means of the Gospel. In a preceding verse, the Apostle undoubtedly distinguishes the Spirit from the doctrine, when he calls the Corinthians "the epistle of Christ, written not with ink, but with "the Spirit of the living God."
As to the interpretation which they obtrude upon the third verse of 1 Cor. xii., it is a daring perversion. To speak by the Spirit, is to speak as the Spirit instructs and moves. In the whole of this Chapter, too, the Spirit denotes, not the doctrine of the Gospel, but Him by whom the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge is given, and who is the Author of faith.1 And we are said to "live in the Spirit," when, by the efficacious operation of the person of the Holy Spirit, we live a new and spiritual life. The form of expression is similar to that which is used with regard to the common blessing of nature, when we are said to live in God, because he giveth unto all life, and breath, and all things."
xv. Having thus proved the PERSONALITY of the Holy Spirit, let us now proceed to show that he is a DIVINE Person, the true Jehovah, and the Most High