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be regarded as God, and entitled to the same reverence as his spiritual compeers.
1. He is uniformly addressed as a person actively employed in advancing the interests of piety and holiness in the world.
Christ, when he promised his disconsolate Disciples to send them one who should supply the want of his kind instructions, calls him "the Spirit of Truth." Here, and in several other parts of St. John's Gospel, the personal pronoun is used in reference to the Holy Ghost, which shews that not a quality, name, shadow, operation, or emanation of God, is intended, but a real Person.
The Spirit is said to have spoken "by the mouth of David." He gave instructions" to Saul and Barnabas" respecting the work of the ministry.
He appoints the Pastors and Guardians of the Church. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God; which he hath purchased with his own blood. He is said to will, and to give commands.
He is declared, by his divine afflatus on their minds, to have influenced the Inspired Penmen in the delivery of spiritual truths. "The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"."
He is represented as being sensibly affected by the misconduct of those who neglect or deride his gracious monitions. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. "He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation."
John xiv. 17. • 2 Peter i. 21.
Acts i. 16.
e ib. xiii. 2. dib. xx. 28. Mark iii. 29.
Such language concerning the Spirit is calculated to mislead us, if He be not in reality a Person truly Divine.
The important offices which he performs manifest his personality, beyond contradiction.
He is styled a Teacher. "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you".'
He is named a Guide. "Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth."
He is called a Comforter. " And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
He is denominated, in union with Christ, a Sanctifier. "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God1."
He searcheth the hearts and "trieth the reins of the children of men.
He intercedes for us. "Likewise 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 with groanings which cannot be uttered".
These actions denote the personal agency of the Holy Spirit, if any words can convey such an idea to our minds; and, in concurrence with the other proofs which remain to be adduced, afford satisfactory evidence of His equality with the Father and the Son; for it is not credible that any, except a Divine Being, can properly discharge those spiri tual offices which have been specified.
* John xiv. 26. 1ib. xvi. 13. * ib. xiv. 16. 'I Cor. vi. 11." "Romans viii, 26.
2. The proper Deity of the sacred Spirit is strongly maintained in Scripture. Ananias had been guilty of falsehood in a matter of great importance; and Peter said unto him, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? Thou hastn ot lied unto men, but unto God".'
Christian believers, who walk in the paths of holiness, are called “ the temples of God, whose Spirit dwelleth in them";" yea, they are said to be "an habitation of God through the Spirit"."
The titles and names which he bears are expressive of his Divinity. "He is called "the Spirit of God," "the Spirit of the Lord," "the Spirit of Christ," "the Eternal Spirit," "the Spirit of holiness" and "truth," "the Spirit of power,' dom," and "knowledge."
It would be blasphemous to suppose that the Divine Person, to whom such appellations belong, is not God, in the highest sense of the word.
Divine attributes are ascribed to him in the Scriptures.
His omniscience is asserted. "The Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God. The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God"."
His omnipotence was displayed in creating the world in union with the Father and the Son. We are told by Moses, that, in the formation of all things," the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The work of regeneration which he effects on the hearts of real Christians bespeaks the exercise of a sovereign power, that is capable of accomplishing what none but God can perform '.
He manifests His omnipresence, by dwelling in the
n Acts v. 3, 4. on Gen. i. 2.
• 1 Cor. iii. 16.
John iii. 5-9.
Eph. ii. 22. 1 1 Cor . 11.
hearts of the Saints, and being everywhere ready to console, edify, and bless the Church. These perfections demonstrate the Holy Spirit to be very God.
Thus we see, that in the Trinity, each of the Persons is Divine; "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God." And thus "the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal"."
3. The full admission of the doctrine we have been discussing is of primary importance to us, as fallen creatures. The whole scheme of our redemption depends upon it; for each of the Persons who compose the Trinity acts a prominent part in the business of our salvation, which cannot be dispensed with.
We are indebted to the wisdom and compassion of the Father, for devising the plan to save our ruined race from endless perdition; to the matchless love of the Son, for assuming our nature, in order that he might offer himself a sacrifice to God for our sins; and to the Holy Spirit for applying the saving benefits of the Gospel covenant to our souls.
4. To disbelieve, therefore, the existence of either of the Sacred Persons, or to disallow their Divinity, is to affront the Lord of Heaven who has made known this truth, and to deprive ourselves of all those heavenly blessings which they respectively communicate to the faithful. We ought, without the least hesitation, to receive the doctrine of the Trinity upon the authority of God, who is incapable of declaring a falsehood. He cannot be under any temptation to deceive us, who abhors the most distant approach to iniquity. say the doctrine is mysterious and incomprehensible, is not a sufficient excuse for rejecting it; since
See the Creed of St. Athanasius. 2 Corinth. xiii. 14.
the ways of God in nature, and the ordinary dispensations of his Providence, equally perplex our feeble understandings. Well did Zophar exclaim, on a view of the Divine incomprehensibility, "Canst thou, by searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven ; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea"." We must expect that the dispensations of his Grace will be clogged with equal, if not greater difficulties than those of his Providence. And if we are constantly forced to admit that, in the material world, effects are produced by causes which lie hid from us, or which are too complex for our limited capacity to unravel, surely it will be no disparagement to our finite intellect implicitly to credit what God asserts, and requires us to believe, respecting the manner of his own spiritual existence, though we are unable, for the present, distinctly to comprehend it. We know but little of the mode of our own existence, or in what way the soul is so intimately connected with the body, that the presence of the former should be necessary to give life and action to the latter; and yet we perceive that a separation from its vivifying companion occasions its immediate death. Shall we, then, presume to dispute the peculiar mode of God's existence, who are so ignorant of the nature of our own?
Besides, it can never be proved that the doctrine in question, although above reason, is contrary to it, or that it involves an absurdity. Our inability to conceive how Three Persons can exist in One God is not a sufficient reason for disbelieving it; and when the voice of Inspiration loudly affirms the fact, "Job xi. 7-10.