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then, is as follows: Whoever attempts to deceive the Holy Ghost by lies, as thou Ananias art doing, is guilty of a most atrocious and truly diabolical sin; for he lies not to men, but to God. 3dly, It doth not indeed follow from the words of Paul to the Thessalonians, cited above, that the Apostles are God: but it is shown, that the contempt of the discourses which Apostles preached by inspiration of the Spirit of God, recoils upon God himself. So here, the lie of Ananias, by which he endeavoured to impose on the Apostles, ultimately redounded against the Holy Spirit, who, by consequence, is God. If Peter had intended to say that Ananias lied to the Apostles, through the Apostles to the Holy Ghost, and through the Holy Ghost to God-distinguishing the Spirit as a kind of medium or middle person, between God and the Apostles,— he would have said, Thou hast not lied unto men, nor unto the Holy Ghost, but unto God. 56
XXII. Let us also notice briefly a few of the Divine ATTRIBUTES, which the Scripture ascribes to the Holy Spirit of God. Here the first that falls to be mentioned is ETERNITY, of which Paul speaks in the following words; "Christ through the ETERNAL SPIRIT of"fered up himself without spot unto God."e To me it appears far more proper to explain the term Spirit here of the third person of the Godhead, than of the Divine nature of the Son.* In this passage is distinctly designated, first, the Priest, who is Christ, principally according to the divine nature, or, to use the expression of our Apostle, "according to the power "of an endless life;"f-then the victim, which also is
Christ, principally according to the human nature in which he suffered and died ;s-and in fine, the mystical fire, which is the Holy Spirit, by whom the victim is sanctified and rendered acceptable to God. On the sacred fire which descended from heaven, see Leviticus ix. 23, 24. It was the constant care of the priests, to preserve that fire burning on the altar, and to prevent it from being extinguished ; and in this sense it might be called eternal, just as the Romans styled the fires of their Vesta eternal. Now, that sacred fire was a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who is called "fire ;"i who excites the flames of divine love; and, what chiefly merits attention here, who also renders all sacrifices acceptable to God. "That the offering up of the Gentiles," says the Apostle, "might be acceptable, being "sanctified by the Holy Ghost." The eternity, too, which in the sacred fire was merely symbolical, is true and substantial in its antitype the Holy Spirit ; not only because it is impious to quench him as to the operations of his grace, but principally because he is spoken of by Moses, as existing in the beginning.m
XXIII. After eternity, the attribute which comes next to be mentioned is IMMENSITY. "Whither "shall I go from thy Spirit ?" says the Psalmist, " or "whither shall I flee from thy presence ?"n I dare not explode the observation of the Anonymous Greek writer on this Psalm, "that by his Spirit is intended the Holy Spirit, and by his presence, or face, the only"begotten Son."* Let us see what can be said in
* Anonym. in Calena Græca.
8 Heb. x. 10.
i Dan. vii. 10.
k Rom. xv. 16.
h Lev. vi. 12.
j Song viii. 6, 7.
11 Thes. v. 19.
n Ps. cxxxix. 7.
support of this remark. That the presence of God sometimes denotes the Son, is abundantly evident. God had promised that he would give to the Israelites a Guide to keep them in the way, an "Angel in whom "his name was.” Being afterwards provoked, however, by the base idolatry of the Israelites in making the golden calf, he refuses to go himself with them, and says that he will send an Angel, who should expel their enemies, the inhabitants of the promised land.p But, in consequence of the earnest entreaties of Moses, he promises a second time that his presence shall go before them. And what else is the presence of God now promised, than the same Angel in whom is the name of God? Consider also the following passage in Malachi: "Behold, I will send my messenger," that is, John the Baptist," and he shall prepare the way "for my presence." But what is the presence or face of God, which is to succeed the forerunner?" The "Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his tem'ple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye
delight in." For the sake of brevity, I omit other examples. With regard to the reason of this designation; it is evident that our Lord is so called, because that glory and beauty of God which are amiable in the eyes of a sinner, are clearly beheld only in Christ, agreeably to his own words, " He that hath seen me, "hath seen the Father." Now this observation is not impertinent: for if the presence of God is here to be taken personally, his Spirit ought surely to be understood in a similar manner. And so we are instructed concerning the immensity of the whole ador
• Exod. xxiii. 20.
4 Verse 14.
John xiv. 9.
P Ex. xxxiii. 2, 3.
.1 .Mal. iii לפני
able Trinity, with regard to essence,-knowledge," power, and effectual operation.
XXIV. To these attributes add OMNISCIENCE. "The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things "of God. For what man knoweth the things of a "man, save the spirit of man, which is in him. Even "so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spi" of God."▾ Observe, 1st, That the Spirit of God knows" all things" absolutely. 2dly, That he knows even "the deep things of God," the most hidden mysteries of his essence and perfections, and the secrets of the divine counsels. 3dly, That he knows them as exactly as if he had searched them with great care.w 4thly, That he knows the most secret counsels of God as his own counsels, just as the mind of a man knows the things of a man. 5thly, That all these are evidences of a knowledge entirely Divine. It is the prerogative of God only to know the deep things of the human heart; how much more to know the deep things of God ?y
In fine, the Apostle, in a passage which we have explained above, attributes to the Spirit, the most SOVEREIGN WILL, and OMNIPOTENT POWER.
xxv. From Divine attributes, let us proceed to Divine WORKS. Of these, the first that demands our notice, is CREATION. Creation doth truly claim God as its Author, since it is the work of God alone, and even his immediate work. It is ascribed, however, to
u Verses 3, 4, 5.
bw," thou art there," verse 8.
Comp. Jer. xvii. 10.
1 Cor. ii. 10, 11.
Ps. vii. 11.
y Rom. xi. 33.
* 1 Kings viii. 39.
21 Cor. xii. 11.
a Is. xl. 26, 28. xliv. 24. Job ix. 8.
the Holy Spirit, and that in reference both to the world in general, and to man in particular. With respect to the world in general, we find it written: "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."b The metaphor is taken from birds, which brood upon their nests, and hatch their young by the genial heat they communicate. The Spirit of God thus brooded on the shapeless mass, and by his influence rendered it productive of so vast a multitude of beautiful creatures. "He warmed and quickened the face of the waters," says Basil,*" in a manner resembling that of a bird brooding on its nest." The Talmudists express the same thing in the following terms:-" Like a dove "which sits upon her young, nor injures, whilst she "touches them."+ Solomon Jarchi, too, has similar expressions on this passage. And the symbolical Theology of the Egyptians, which represents the world as proceeding from God, like an egg, perhaps took its rise from this metaphor. We read also in Job; "By "his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens."d
The creation of man, who has been termed the little world in contradistinction to the great world around him, is likewise ascribed to the Holy Spirit. "The
Spirit of God hath made me,” says Elihu, " and the "breath of the Almighty hath given me life." e
XXVI. REGENERATION is also the work of God only. It is a new creation accomplished by the command of his will; f and as to real efficiency, it is like
Συνέθαλπε και ζωογονεί την τῶν ὑδατων φυσιν, κατα την εικονα της ixwazuons ogritos. Hexaem. Homil. ii.
+ Chagiga, cap. ii. fol. 15.
b Gen. i. 2.
d Job xxvi. 13.
f James i. 18.
Comp. Deut. xxxii. 11.
• Job xxxiii. 4.