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the changes which they effected pass away from the memory vious meaning. However they were divided as to his rank of the world? Had such a revolution as our antagonists in the scale of nature, and the manner of his procession from suppose taken place in the Christian church during the first the Deity, they did not cease to revere him as an actual Pacentury of its existence, would not the volume of Eusebius tron and Advocate; and Manes and Arius, and Mohammed have overflowed with its details, and would not the teacher himself, may be no less urged against the followers of Sociby whose agency it was accomplished have assumed a nus than Athanasius, or Basil, or Hilary. scarcely less lofty rank in the estimation of his followers than The first of these, whose opinions have been cleared from Peter or James or John?
all their ancient obscurity by the patience and learning of Such a teacher as is here supposed would have been hon- Beausobre, assigned to the Spirit of God, an existence and oured by Trinitarians as the second founder of Christianity; habitation distinct from the Father, and offices and actions apas the reviver of a church oppressed by Jewish prejudice; as plicable to a person only; and the followers of Manes were the comforter and purifier of the afflicted household of Jesus. by the avowal of Augustin himself, no less correct than that His patient journeys from Syria to Spain, and from Alexan- most orthodox Bishop in the confession of a perfect Trinity. dria to Lyons, while disseminating the revived opinion; his The opinion of the Arians is known from the concurrent arduous disputes with the patrons of established prejudice ; testimony of Theodoret and Epiphanius; from the facts that his fearless indifference under the anathemas of the impious, Basil, in his treatise on the Holy Ghost, composed during the and the holy zeal which mocked the arts of Ebionite bland-heat of the Arian controversy, is only concerned to prove the ishment; all which the Arians (if their sect had triumphed) divinity of the third person in the Godhead, without regarding would have related of their supposed reformer; all would it as a necessary part of his task to vindicate his personal exhave swelled, beyond a doubt, the annals of religious contro-istence; and that Arius himself, in his epistle to Alexander, versy, and have remained as a sacred legacy to the gratitude admits expressly the existence of three heavenly persons, and imitation of succeeding Trinitarians.
though he denies their mysterious union, and allows to one But for this elder and greater Athanasius we search the of them alone the title of God. Mohammed, too, though he page of history in vain. Of such a convulsion no traces are sometimes assigns the name of Holy Ghost to our Saviour, found in the writings of the earliest fathers. They, like our-more usually identifies him with the angel Gabriel; and in selves, treat every opinion but their own as an impious and either case can ouly be understood as imputing to him a disdaring novelty; and acknowledge no other founder or reno-tinct and intelligent Being. vator of the faith than that omniscient Spirit who separated And to these, by far the greatest streams which have ever Barnabas and Paul to the work of converting the Gentiles. emanated from the Christian source, may be added the more
Nor will it be said by those who are even moderately ac- ancient suffrage of the first heresiarch Simon; of the primiquainted with the ordinary progress of opinion, that a change tive Gnostics, whose Ennæa and Monogenes can be no otherso considerable could have been effected in night and silence; wise interpreted than of the spirit and eternal word; of the that the corruption was so gradual that its original author Ebionites, who, if we believe Epiphanius, acknowledged the is unknown; that the venom devoured the vitals of religion, Holy Ghost to be a real and most powerful Personage; of the before those outward symptoms were displayed which would Nazarenes themselves, in whom the modern Unitarians would have produced, at first, a prompt and efficacious remedy." gladly find a precedent for their error, but who, in two several
The time was too short, the years were too few, the body passages of their own gospel, according to the Hebrews, must was too extensive, for an imperceptible cause to produce ef- have learned the same opinion. fects so portentous. The corruption of a single church might Nor must we omit, in this enumeration of evidence, the have been effected in a few years of neglect and ignorance; expressive silence of the orthodox fathers, who, in relating but to pervert the whole empire of Christ with one universal the errors of other ancient heretics, afford no reason to supand unobserved contagion, must have required the lapse of pose that they were in this respect defective, though neither more than a single century. The transition which is rapid Epiphanius nor Jerome nor Theodoret were inclined to overmust be painful; and whatever is painful will neither pass look or to soften the features of religious disunion. Where unperceived nor be speedily consigned to oblivion. If such the innocence of Lactantius could not escape uncensured, a change as this has not been noticed by contemporary wri- there is little probability that real heresy would be allowed to ters, we may be sure that it never took place at all. pass without detection; and we must therefore confine the
Nor can it be urged with any show of likelihood, that, in denial of the Holy Ghost to those sects only to whose charge adducing the opinions of that body of Christians who have it is expressly laid, to the Sabellians of ancient times, and the agreed in the worship of a Triune Deity, we are contenting modern followers of Socinus. ourselves with the party statements of a single sect; conspi
Nor is there need of any further argument to show, that if cuous indeed from the final subjugation of the Christian world, we have erred in embracing in its literal sense the promise of by their arts and their influence'; but, at the period which is our gracious Master, we have erred in company with the Chrisnow in question, not more entitled to our deference, either tian world of every party and period; and that all, with the from numbers or respectability, than many of those reputed above exceptions, (which, how slight they are, is known to heretical bodies, who have perished in the lapse of time, or every one even moderately versed in history,) all have antiunder the sword of persecution. For that they to whom the cipated a powerful and personal agent in the Comforter by titles are applied of the church and the Catholic Christians whom our Saviour's presence was to be supplied. were, indeed, as those names imply, the great majority of be
But let God be true and every man a liar! Though we lievers, the assumption of such lofty titles, in opposition to expect, and expect with reason, no little weight of evidence all who dissented from their worship or jurisdiction, is itself to withdraw us from an interpretation of Scripture, which it no inconsiderable argument.
it were not founded on truth could hardly have been univerFor when all alike were levelled by the iron hand of perse-sal; against evidence, nevertheless, however offered to our cution, to what pre-eminence but the pre-eminence of num- notice! against that evidence, above all, which is professedly bers could any single sect lay claim? Whatendowment, what founded on Scripture, our reason and our religion alike forbid authority did the orthodox enjoy under the yoke of Severus or us to rebel. An explanation may be true, (by bare possibility the Antonini, beyond the poorest Ebionite, the wildest and it may,) and if demonstrated from the word of God it may stiil most frantic Basilidian? What were their privileges but a demand our acquiescence, though it have slumbered for ages popularity more obnoxious to the jealous rigour of the law; in the fairy shades of allegory; though the wandering genius an honourable but fatal preponderance in the noble army of of Origen have never disturbed its repose ; though Manes and martyrs ; a more than common share in the distinctions of the Augustin have failed alike to trace it; and though St. John cross, the gibbet, or the wheel? Where the authority of the himself have concealed its mystic clue from his disciples church or assembly is appealed to by the ancient Fathers, it Polycarp and Ignatius. can be only that authority which arises from general opinion; We challenge, then, our antagonists to make good their and the appeal would have been worse than ridiculous, had hypothesis by the only proof which remains; and (since the those societies, against whom the church employed it, been literal sense of our Saviour's promise is, confessedìy, in our able to muster as strongly as herself.
favour) to demonstrate that the spirit of God is elsewhere But, further, in the discussion of the spirit's personality, it spoken of in scripture, under circumstances and in language is altogether unnecessary to confine our inquiries to the limits which prove the present passage to be allegorical. of orthodoxy alone, since not only the Catholic church, but And this has been attempted by the production of several by far the greater part of those who have dissented from her passages from the Old and New Testament, where (by the tenets, have maintained with no less precision than ourselves common avowal of both parties) the term of Holy Ghost, or this common opinion, and have united with ourselves and our Spirit of God, is used under circumstances which cannot fathers to receive the promise of our Lord in its literal and ob- properly belong to a Person,
Thus we read of the spirit being given and received, and (gion which he founded ? “A man in “ Christ;”—“a margiven in a larger and smaller proportion; the Holy Ghost is riage in the Lord ; "La saint “ to whom to live was Christ ;" said to be extinguished by human carelessness, and to be-are these less forcible expressions than those which have improved by human piety.
been pleaded as impugning the Spirit's Personality? Or what * But a Person, and, above all, a Person of so exalted a more certain grounds are afforded in Scripture to believe nature is incapable,” they tell us, “ of accidents thus degrad- that God himself is an intelligent and real agent, than the ing; and if these accidents are predicated of the Spirit of distribution, and volition, and government, and testimony, God, that Spirit can be no intelligent Person.”
and speech, and grief, and desire, which in the New TestaThis is the purport of the objection, as it is advanced by ment' are attributed to the Holy Ghost? Let these be the most considerable teachers of Unitarianism; and it is an resolved into metaphor or allegory, and the name of Jehoobjection, I believe, which has had more effect than any vah may be shown on the same indentical principle to be no other on those whom they have persuaded to adopt their more than nature personified; the Bible itself transformed opinions.
into a manual of Atheism; and the desolate and silent abomThat it is not, however, an objection which a person ination of Spinoza erected on the altar of the Most High. moderately versed in the forms of reasoning need greatly But we are told again, and the objection has been urged so fear to encounter, may appear from the following considera- triumphantly, that our antagonists, to all appearance, are setions.
rious in producing it, that if the Spirit of God be accounted In the first place, our antagonists must allow, that, what- a Person, we must extend, by a parity of reasoning, the same ever be the character of those passages from which the Per-character of personality to the Schekinah, the power, the wissonality of the Spirit is inferred, those texts which are dom, the influence or finger of God, with many or all of which advanced to prove the contrary are clearly and necessarily the Spirit of God is used as synonymous.” Thus " the prefigurative. The expressions which have been referred to, ir sence of God,” in the first member of the eleventh verse of literally understood, are as completely inconsistent with their the fifty-first Psalm, is the same thing, if we believe Eben hypothesis as with ours; inconsistent, indeed, with every Ezra and Kimchi among the Jews, and Lardner among Chrishypothesis, but that absurd one which would reduce the tian critics, with his « Holy Spirit” in the corresponding Holy Ghost to a material fume or afflatus. An accident, or member. And our Lord's expression, as reported by St. modus operandi, which has no existence in itself; an abstract Matthew, of casting out devils by the Spirit of God,” is quality, which is the empty phantom of a rhetorician's given by St. Luke as if he had not said the Spirit of God, brain; these can be no more conferred or divided than they but his * Finger." can be sent or grieved or blasphemed. Nor are the latter It would be, perhaps, no difficult matter to prove that many, expressions more appropriate to a person than the former to a perhaps the greater part, of those texts which Lardner has substance or thing.
cited to this point of the controversy, have been, in truth, But qualities, attributes, virtues, powers, are nothing else, inisunderstood or misapplied. The task, however, is needas has already been shown, than the manner in which cer- less, since, though we should admit to the fullest extent the tain effects either are or may be brought to pass; and premises urged by Lardner, the objection which he deduces whether the Holy Ghost be an accident or a person, it is from them is, in truth, no objection at all. plain that such expressions as those referred to are only in- With those who believe that the Holy Ghost is a Person, telligible as applying those characteristics which are proper by whom and through whom the unseen and unapproachable to the thing produced; either to the manner in which it is Father has manifested alike his power, his presence, his graproduced, or to the agent which produces it.
cious influence to men, no difficulty can arise from the acNor has any ground been shown why the latter of these knowledgment that such a Person may be as properly styled metaphorical applications is not as proper and as possible as the Finger or Glory as the Breath of God. Nor, as we conthe former; or why, in the words of Glassius, as well the tend, can any one of these titles (for titles they doubtless persona efficiens as the modus efficiendi may not be put for the are,) nor all of them together, detract from the existence or res effecta. Yet it is on this assumption that the links of individuality of Him whose nature and office and intercourse their argument depend; which may be reduced in effect to a with mankind they dimly serve to shadow. With personsyllogism like the following. " The name of a personal ality none of them are inconsistent, since the metaphorical agent can never be employed to express the effects produced illustration which they convey is as natural and as intelligible by his agency.
But the name of the Holy Spirit is fre- when applied to a person as to an attribute or modus operandi; quently employed to express effects which the same Holy and since in ancient alike and modern times the former of Ghost produces. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not the name these applications is, at least, as common as the latter. Did of a personal agent.”. If the major of the above propositions the author of that ancient Epistle which bears the name of be not conceded, it is apparent, that all their examples to Barnabas, design to resolve the Son of God into a mere atprove the minor will not accelerate their progress a single tribute of the Deity, when he styled him the Sceptre of the step towards the conclusion. But if it be conceded, I will Most High? Was Simon agus annihilated in the opinion not so far insult the solemnity of this hallowed place, or the of the Samaritans, when they called him, in superstitious understanding of my present audience, as to do more than veneration, the Great Power of God? The eyes and ears of instance the least preposterous of the conclusions, which, by the ancient kings of Persia are known to have been officers, a process equally legitimate with that of our antagonists, by whose agency the monarch communicated with his promight be deduced from this single concession.
vinces and armies; and, in modern days, we apply the term If we use on the authority of the Apostles such express- of police, or civil power, not only to the abstract idea of ions as those of receiving and quenching the Spirit of God, magistracy, but to the magistrates themselves, and executive do we not also use on the same authority (for repeated in-ministers of justice. stances may be found in the New Testament no less than in With still less reason can it be denied, that, as many ofthe common practice of mankind) the same or parallel ex- fices may be filled by the same individual, so may the names pressions, where the reality of the Person has never been and titles of that individual be multiplied in proportion to the the subject of debate? How often do we speak of the Book number of the relations which he bears to others. The Unity of Moses as if that volume were Moses himself! We talk of the Father is not endangered, though he be called alterof reading Moses ; of dividing Moses into chapters; of com- nately and indifferently the Supreme, the Eternal, the Ancient paring one part of Moses with another. Yet to assert or of Days, Adonai, Schaddai, and Jehovah. The Lamb of God, believe that the Moses of Scripture is a personification only the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Son of Man, the Bread of the singular care by which God conducted his people, an which came down from Heaven, are all alike applied to the allegorical representation of their passage through the sea, Person of the Lord Jesus Christ: and, in like manner, how (the etymology of his name would signally favour such an great soever the diversity of operations and of gifts, we may hypothesis,) or that he is no more than an abstract term for recognize in each of them the same identical Spirit, the same those Divine truths which are embodied in the Pentateuch, God, which worketh all in all. -to assert and believe all this would be as wild insanity as But further, if the Unitarians will concede, with Lardner, theirs, who reduce the entire Old Testament to an hierogly- the identity of the Holy Ghost with the Presence or Glory or phic ephemeris: it would be little less preposterous than the Schekinah of God, (these last terms are undoubtedly synonyassertion of those learned men who would reduce the Spirit mous,) which on certain occasions appeared in a bodily form or God to an empty name !-Have we forgotten, or do we to the Israelites, and which was supposed by them, as its know so little of Scripture, that the fact has escaped our name implies, to be the constant and tutelary inhabitant" knowledge; have we so learned Christ, that we know not of the sanctuary, they will find themselves not far, indeed, as how often the name of Christ is employed to express the reli- will be hereafter shown, from the opinions of the orthodox or the Jews: but they will be involved, I apprehend, in a very letter of our Saviour's promise, and still less susceptible of considerable difficulty, to disprove the Personality of a Being the aid of metaphor or allegory. which was seen, which spake, and reasoned, and commanded; If Christ had intended only to assure the Apostles that, in or to prove the identity of a Visible Glory with the unseen his absence, they should become the peculiar care of God the and inaccessible Father of all.
Father, it must seem a very strange and forced expression to In this latter question, indeed, on the distinctness or identity convey this assurance in the promise of sending them another of the Father and the Holy Ghost, the controversy between Comforter. And that Christ had the power of sending God ourselves and the modern Socinians must finally resolve the Father; or that a person can be regarded as sent who does itself; since, if the Spirit of God be, as they pretend, an at- not really come; or that God the Father was actually visible tribute or operation only, he must be, as his name implies, in the tongues or flames of fire are assertions which, as our an attribute or operation of the Almighty Father.
antagonists certainly will not understand them in the literal But attributes, operations, and every other species of acci- sense, so they are such as no metaphorical interpretation can, dent, as they are, in truth, no more than modes in which one apparently, render intelligible. substance produces an effect on another; so whatever is, in În prescription, indeed, and in the opinions of several anpoetry or oratory, predicated of them, is only predicated of cient sects, the Socinians may, doubtless, find authorities for the agent or patient in whom the accident itself is inherent. the identity of the Father and the Spirit far earlier than any
When I say that the courage of Julius has won the victory, to which they could pretend in support of their former posior that the pride of Marcus is easily offended, I do not mean tion. The error of Praxeas, however, which, with all its that either courage or pride have any positive existence of confessed absurdity, was at least a consistent and uniform their own, or in themselves are capable of impulse or feeling; system, identified, as I have shown, not the Father only and but I desire to express the manner in which the persons who the Spirit of God, but the Father and his only begotten Son. are courageous or proud have acted on others, or themselves it may be thought, indeed, with reason, that the Persons in been acted on.
whose names, without any expressed distinction, we receive Accordingly, the Spirit of God who strove with man in the the sign of baptism, must, inevitably, be either one or three: Old Dispensation, and which descended on Christ in the New; that if the Holy Ghost be merged in the Father, the Son against whose authority the Israelites rebelled in the wilder- cannot, with any colour of likelihood, be distinguished from ness, and whom the sins of Christians daily resist and grieve; him; and that the battered remains of such hostile tenets as whose amber glory was seen by Ezekiel in vision, and whose those of Ņoetus and Socinus cannot possibly be expected, fiery unction rested on the Apostles in the day of Pentecost; like the mutilated warriors in Strada, to coalesce into a single this Spirit must be either identified with God the Father, or combatant. must be an intelligent Person distinct from him. For all Nor is the text of Scripture, on which their hypothesis which is said of a power, a manifestation, an influence, as if mainly depends, to be really reckoned in their favour. That these names had any essence or being of their own,—all this, text is the eleventh verse of the second chapter of St. Paul's I must again insist, is nothing else than the circuitous man- first Epistle to the Corinthians, where a comparison is instiner of stating the former hypothesis. The Spirit, who was tuted between the spirit of man and the Spirit of the Most to console the followers of Christ after their Master's de-High; and the knowledge possessed by the second, as to cease, must mean, by this interpretation, the Eternal Father certain features of the Almighty's will, inferred from the cormanifesting himself, after a certain manner, to his creatures; responding knowledge which the former is know to possess and the Spirit who is grieved, resisted, blasphemed, is the as to the intentions and affections of the man himself. same Father as he is acted on by those who, under particular “ Who of men,” are the words of the Apostle, “ knoweth circumstances, resist, blaspheme, or grieve him.
the things of a man, save only the spirit of a man which is It is this question, then, of the distinctness or identity of in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, save the Father and the Holy Ghost, to which the dispute as to the spirit of God.” the third section of our Creed resolves itself between the Hence it has been urged, that as the spirit of man which is modern Church and the best informed Socinians; as it was, in him is no distinct person from the man himself; so the in ancient times, the ground of difference between the primi- comparison would not be perfect, if the Spirit of God were tive Church and the followers of Sabellius. And as, with distinct from God the Father. respect to the Spirit's Personality, the Arians and Moham- But it is evident that this passage of Scripture will no less medans themselves accord with the orthodox against the accurately tally with the supposition of those Christians who disciples of Crellius and Priestley, it may seem, perhaps, his believe in a perfect union, though of an ineffable kind, bePersonality once demonstrated, no very difficult matter to in-tween all the Persons of the Trinity, and who, though they duce the Únitarians to take part with us on the point of his distinguish the Father from the Spirit, regard both Father Divinity against the followers of Arius and Mohammed. and Holy Ghost as partakers in the common Godhead. For
And there are, in truth, so many strong and obvious texts it is not the things of the Father, as such, and in his parental in Scripture which ascribe the acts of the Holy Ghost to the capacity, which the Spirit is supposed to know, but the immediate agency of God; he is so often mentioned in terms things of that infinite Godhead in which the Father, the and under characters which are decidedly inapplicable to a Spirit, and the Word, are eternally and indissolubly one. created intelligence, of however exalted station, that the Arian So that by the Homoousian, no less than the Sabellian hyhypothesis, which thus degrades his nature, is, of all the an-pothesis, the difficulty, if it were one, is completely done cient shapes of error, that which, at the present hour, has away; and the objection which might, indeed, apply against fewest believers or advocates. For though, to an Angel or the Arian creed, must be quenched, like the other fiery darts any other exalted Intelligence, the name either of Holy or of of our oldest enemy, on the impenetrable shield of orthoSpirit be, doubtless, applicable; yet is the Holy Spirit, the doxy. Spirit who is essentially and supereminently holy, a person But, secondly, it is worth our observation, that, in this obunquestionably Divine. A Holy One may be one of many; jection, our antagonists have, evidently, misconceived or forthe Holy One must be one who is above all; and the Holy gotten the peculiar opinions which those whom St. Paul adSpirit of God cannot, surely, in himself be less than God. dressed, and, not impossibly, St. Paul himself entertained as
The immensity, in like manner, of the Holy Ghost, who to the compound nature of man. is present every where; his omniscience, who searcheth all Those opinions were taken from, or, at least, accorded with, things; his dignity, against whom all blasphemy is irremissi- the doctrines of that ancient philosophy, which distinguished ble; all these, with the many other striking circumstances the rational soul not from the body only, but from those aniwhich Zanchius has collected, may well excuse me from mal affections to which the body is heir; and, which, under entering more at large into this separate and less contested the names of the heart or will, they described as a secondbranch of the present inquiry. What time remains to us for ary and mortal soul, which it was the business of its intelconsidering the nature of the Holy Ghost, may be with more lectual companion to examine, to understand, and, underadvantage devoted to an examination of what may be called, standing, to govern and subdue. perhaps, the second position of our antagonists; that hy. This is the natural man" whom St. Paul so often exhorts pothesis which regards the Holy Spirit of God as one of the our spiritual nature to bind, to macerate, to crucify; this the names whereby the Father Almighly has revealed himself to organic intellect which beasts, no less than man, enjoy: the mankind.
“ anima" of the Latins as distinguished from their "animus, But this hypothesis, though it be professedly an amended whose hylozoic faculties were bounded within the limits of statement of the one which I have been so long examining, is self-preservation; whose use and existence was to terminate liable, in truth, to the same and even greater objections than with the body which it loved, but from whose essence the inthe former, inasmuch as it is still more at variance with the tellectual soul was no less effectually distinct than the traveller from the animal which draws his carriage. I do not But though this be perfectly consistent with the mysterimean (God forbid that I should advance so wild a proposi- ous but acknowledged economy, whereby the Son himself, tion !) that this comparison, carried to its length, would apply, though eternal and almighty, is, in the work of our redempor was intended by St. Paul to apply, to the Divine Exis- tion, subject as a Son to his Father; yet will it by no means tence : but as, in man, the spirit and the will were regarded solve the contradiction of the Father's receiving any thing as distinct persons, and as, nevertheless, the spirit of man is from the Son, inasmuch as he could not be said to receive instanced as understanding every other constituent part of that which was his own, and which had emanated from him the being to which it belongs; so the Spirit of God, which eternally. guided and governed his Church in the way of truth, and But, further, we find, in the same passage of Scripture, which bare witness by signs and wonders to the truth of the that the Spirit of truth was “not to speak of his own;" “ as apostolic doctrine, was a competent witness to the will and he was to hear, so was he to speak.” affection not of himself alone, but of the whole eternal Trinity. Will it, then, be maintained that the Almighty Father had
For the question to be solved was not, whether God knew made over all knowledge to his Son, (to the Man Jesus, be his own mind, of which no doubt could possibly be enter- it remembered, if we believe our antagonists, the man and no tained; but whether the Spirit which governed the Church more than man,) so completely as to be obliged to borrow of in the name of Christ was a sufficient pledge of the Divine him for his subsequent occasions? Or is there any blindness affections and designs. And this doubt (a doubt, it may be which can prevent our recognizing in these expressions, observed, which never could have arisen if the Spirit had that article of the Catholic faith which speaks of God the been conceived to be identical with the Father) St. Paul re- Holy Ghost as proceeding alike from the Father and the solves in a manner which, far from contradicting, completely Son, and as the sustaining and pervading Agent, by whom establishes the doctrine of orthodox Christiane, by assign- both Father and Son communicate with their chosen sering to the Spirit a similar misterious relation with the Deity vants ? to that which the soul of man was thought to hold in our But the difficulties of the Sabellian interpretation will yet compound human nature, which was in certain respects the increase on us, if we recollect that the same Holy Ghost who man himself, and in certain respects distinguished from him; is here announced by our Lord as the future Advocate and at once another and the same.
Patron of his Church against the malice and unbelief of the But while the arguments on which Sabellianism depends world, is, in other places of Scripture and in the discharge may seem so little adequate to establish the confusion of of other functions, represented not only as our Defender Persons in the Deity, for which its advocates contend; the against men, but our Advocate also with the Father,-as contradictions which result from their hypothesis are so making intercession for us before God with groanings not to many, and of such a nature, that, in truth, I almost fear to be uttered. “ A mediator is not the mediator of one;" he is urge them on your notice, lest they should betray me into a a middle term which supposes two contending parties; he levity unbecoming the place in which I stand, and the impor- must plead the cause of those for whom he is interested at tance of any, even the weakest opinion, in which the nature the tribunal of some other person. But with whom and beof God is implicated.
fore whom is the Father Almighty to plead the cause of his It is, in the first place, revealed, to us, in the words which creatures ? To whom is he to reconcile them but to himself; I have taken as a text for these discourses, that the Holy or whose pardon is he to procure for their faults but his own! Ghost was to be sent by Christ. He was to be sent, as an- Surely the learned and ingenious men, who have involved other Comforter, to supply, in the absence of Jesus, that themselves in consequences like these, can boast with little Fræpáxanois, comfort, or instruction, which our Lord had him- reason of explaining or simplifying Christianity! self, while on earth, afforded to his chosen followers. He But these, alas, are not the only nor the greatest mysteries was to come in Christ's name, or as his Deputy. He was of Socinian godliness, since we find, in another part of our not to speak of himself, but to receive from Christ the illu- Lord's prediction, that the Father was to give this Paraclete mination of which he was the dispenser. 6. He shall take of to abide with Christians for ever; Christ was to send him mine," are the words of our Saviour, " he shall take of mine. from the Father: he was to come forth, (this same Comforter and show it unto you."
or Advocate,) or issue from the Father; and the Father was Is it possible that a description such as this can apply to to send him in Christ's name. And yet the Holy Ghost him whom all sects and parties agree to consider as the foun- whom the Father sends is the same, they tell us, with the tain of Diety, the God and Father of all? Or will not the Father who sends him! warmest defender of our Lord's Divinity confess, that the The Orthodox, undoubtedly, cannot hope to explain or unopinion here expressed is inconsistent with that relation, derstand that incomprehensible union which subsists between which in every page of Scripture is implied, between the the Persons of the 'Trinity. We cannot demonstrate in what heavenly Father and his loving and obedient Son ? manner that is possible which is above the limits of reason;
But our Unitarian antagonists! how can they be justified ? but the time would be, surely, yet more completely thrown They who account the Saviour of the world a man of men, a way, which should be bestowed in proving that what is creature like themselves, a mortal and earthly frame, without contrary to reason never can be credible. a soul, and instinct with mechanism only! How can they To those, if such there be, who can digest even Sabellian hazard the assertion that such a being could send the Al- contradictions, it may be doubted, indeed, what argument remighty to supply his place among men? How can they mains to be offered.' Shall we lead them to the banks of dream that the only wise God, in his intercourse with man- Jordan during the baptism of John, and point out to their atkind, did not speak of himself, but became, in his turn, thetention the whole Triune Godhead made manifest in the seProphet of the wisdom and doctrine of the Man Jesus of Na- veral and consentaneous characters of the Dove, the Voice, zareth ? Let us return to transubstantiation! Let us em- the Beloved Son? Is it to their own baptism that we shall brace as Gospel the less disgusting marvels of the Talmud, send them back, when the waters of regeneration were the Shaster, the Edda, or the Koran! But let not learned sprinkled on their brows in the name and by the joint author. men expect us to embrace a system which must eclipse the ity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost? Or shall Koran's eminence in folly, and put the wildest fancies of the we carry them, on the wings of the Evangelical Eagle, to that Talmud to shame!
tremendous throne and glassy ocean intermingled with fire, The Rabbins have taught, indeed, that, on a certain occa- where burns continually the Sevenfold Spirit of God, where sion, Elias was sent from God to ask from Rabbi Simeon the lives the Lamb who was slain for us, and where sits enthronmeaning of a passage in the Canticles : but this was not in ed the Ancient of Days, the Father Everlasting and Alignorance, but in reproof of the heavenly spirits. And sure- mighty? ly the boldest Rabbin of them all would start and tremble at Our knowledge, indeed, is small, our ideas are limited; we the conclusion which follows from Socinianism, that the Al- behold, as yet, the things of God through the dusky medium mighty Father, in his intercourse with mankind, has received of mortality, and, oh, how feebly do we reason! Yet, surely, inspiration from an earthly prophet.
if the Spirit of truth have not deceived us in the literal acIt will be urged, perhaps, in reply, that our Saviour him- count which he has himself afforded of his person and characself explains, and, in some sort, apologizes for the phrase on ter; if there be any certainty in logical inference, any preciwhich this objection is grounded, by reminding his hearers, sion in the most solemn words of Scripture, the Spirit whom in the following sentence, that those things only were his the Father sends forth must needs be distinct from the which he had himself received of the Father. “All things Father; if Christ, the first Comforter of fallen man, be a which the Father hath are mine; therefore I said unto you, Person, that other Comforter whom he promises must be a that he (the Comforter) will take of mine, and show it unto Person also; if, in the baptismal office, the Son be distinct,
the Holy Ghost cannot be identified with the Father, to whose
name his name is joined. As, then, their inconsistency has which those terms convey; and, as ye honour the gift of reabeen shown, who would reduce the Spirit of God to a quality son, and as ye love the privilege of revelation; reject not an or abstract name; let those explain, who apply to the Father inference legitimately drawn from premises admitted by all; whatever of action or passion is predicated of the Holy Ghost, despise not the wonders of the gospel, because their heavenly let them explain by what subtility of distinction they can nature transcends the grossness of our present faculties ! evade one half of the Sabellian system, while they contend so Nor fancy that we are leading you from practical truths strongly for the other; and deny the Divinity of the Son along the dreary track of useless, perhaps of impious, specuwhile they assail the Personality of the Comforter. Or let lation : or that the time is wasted which is employed in disnot them, at least, revile the Orthodox as teachers of contra-cussing rather than improving the spiritual graces vouchsafed diction and absurdity, who can themselves believe and main- to us by the Almighty. tain that the Father sent himself,-poured forth himself, — In our religion is no truth so exclusively speculative, but maketh intercession with himself,—that the allwise God it is connected with, and terminates in, practice. We study could require or receive inspiration from a mortal Prophet,— God's nature, in order that the more we know of him, he may and that it is reasonable to believe a contradiction in terms, offer a shape more tangible and more accessible to our faith, rather than assent to that which is beyond the limits of our our affection, and our prayer. The more firmly the Personal experience.
Existence of his Spirit is imprinted on our minds, the more Oh miserable perversion of human intellect, portentous conviction do we feel of our own spiritual and immortal nablindness of pride, which can forsake the pure well of Salva- ture; the warmer gratitude to that eternal and almighty tion, to hew out for itself those broken cisterns, of which the Redeemer, by whose merits and whose power this heavenly rents and the chasms are ridiculous and offensive in the eyes guest is brought down to dwell in the hearts of men. of that reason which they loudly call on us to adore! For In that Redeemer, indeed, as in the former Adam of Cabourselves it is no new trial, that the God whom we worship balistic Mythology, all the rays of the celestial Sephiroth should be accounted foolishness; but it may well afford some meet and terminate; all the splendours of revelation are emcomfort to those who are accused of following after supersti- bodied in him; and every minor difference of creed or disciLious vanities, to witness how soon these preachers of a ra- pline is extinguished in this central light, with those who tional religion, professing to be wise, are become blind. offer up at the basis of his cross, their hopes, their doubts,
Let me not however be mistaken. The comfort which a their merits, their infirmities ! Christian may feel in exposing the inconsistencies of his err- From that most holy and most happy company; from that ing brethren, is not derived from pride, and is far, very far innumerable multitude who, with more or less of knowledge, removed from the exultation of malice or of scorn. Sensible and amid less or greater errors, have sought redemption as we are of our own transgressions against reason and through the sufferings of Christ, and shall find it in his final Scripture; sensible as we must be of our natural ignorance triumph, the Socinian is self-excluded! Like the wind of and weakness; creatures of education and habit; we cannot the desert, where his doctrines pass, the fruits and flowers of notice the mistakes of other men without recollecting, at the Eden vanish or decay; and in that self-confidence which same time, by what school, what example, what providential counts the blood of the eternal covenant a worthless thing, chain of circumstances, our own eyes have been opened to and doth despite to the Spirit of Grace; in that strength of the things which belong to our peace; to those hopes and prejudice which would rend from Scripture whatever page or grounds of hope which we feel and know are as necessary to passage contravenes his previous opinion; in that gloomy our comfort here, as the truths on which they depend are to materialism which turns identity into illusion, and degrades our eternal salvation hereafter. Call it ignorance, call it our nature to the level of a speaking automaton, he stands hardness of heart, call it reprobate blindness, which prevents alike anathematized by the primitive Faith and the soundest our brother from agreeing with us in the essentials of reli- Philosophy; rejected alike from the Academy and the Temgion,---we feel that what he is we also might have been; and ple. that there have, perhaps, been moments in which many in- That these renowned and venerable seats of learning and consistencies, which are now apparent to us, were in like piety may, as they have embraced, continue long to hold fast manner hidden from our eyes. If we rejoice, then, in detect- the better part both in philosophy and religion, may he accord ing the misapprehensions of our religious antagonists, if we to our prayers from whom all wisdom and godliness flow; the are anxious to unravel his sophisms, if we are fervent in re- Author of every good and perfect gift to man; the Ruler and pelling his calumnies, it is not, I repeat it, in anger or in Patron of that church which the Son hath purchased by his pride, but because we thereby confirm in ourselves ihat faith blood; who, with the same most blessed Son, and the Alwhich is necessary to our happiness, and prevent, perhaps, mighty and Eternal Father, liveth and reigneth ever one in those whose opinions are yet undecided, the extension of God, world without end. the mischief which we deplore.
If any such there are, (and such their doubtless must be among the younger part of this assembly) whose opinions are not yet confirmed by time or inquiry in those doctrines which our church with reason inculcates as essential to our holiness here and onr happiness hereafter; if such there be,
LECTURE IV. let me exhort them not to shun those studies on which their faith must hereafter repose, nor (if such studies are begun I tell you the truth ; it is expedient for you that I go away : for if with proper feeling, and continued with proper perseverance) I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I deto entertain any doubt as to their issue.
part, I will send him unto you. John xvi. 7. But let them recollect, during such their inquiry, that what is above reason is not, therefore, unreasonable; that, where Ilaving shown that the Comforter whom Christ was to difficulties are found on either side, the word of God is the send is an Intelligence or Person distinct from God the Faonly sufficient arbiter; and that the best means of understand-ther, and having incidentally also shown the Deity of that ing any single passage of Scripture, is to acquire an accurate Person; I may leave to our antagonists the task of discoverand long acquaintance with the whole of the sacred Volume. ing by what rational hypothesis, excepting that contained in
Yet, though Scripture be the test by which every doctrine the usual confession of the church, their ingenuity can reconis tried, it is by the sense and not the terms of Scripture thatcile Scripture to itself, or make the strong assertions which are the conformity of an opinion to God's will may be most fairly found there as to the divinity of more persons than one, conestimated. It is no objection to a solemn truth that it should sist with those equally forcible passages which inculcate the be conveyed in barbarous language; and, if our adversaries unity of God. have compelled us to define, with scholastic precision, our For when we find on the one side, the Father, the Son, the faith in the Triune Deity, the fault, if fault there be, must Holy Ghost, all three alike invested with the loftiest titles rest with them by whom we are daily and falsely accused of and attributes of Eternal, Almighty, Allwise, it would be idolatry:
reasonable, no doubt, in the first instance, to suppose that Buł, brethren, I speak as to the wise; a name, ye know, these three divine Persons were distinct and independent diis nothing; nor have ye so learned Christ (God forbid you vinities. ye should have so learned him!) as to believe his religion to But when, on the other hand, Jehovah our God is expressly be a system of sounds and syllables; or to fancy that a Scrip- asserted to be one Jehovah; when the Son instructs us that tural doctrine cannot be contained in unusual or unscriptural he and the Father are one; and when the presence of the Holy language. Bear with us, then, in this our infirmity! Attend Ghost with the church is identified with the presence not only not so much to the terms which we use, as to the meaning of the Father but of the Son; no conclusion can remain for