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Original Essays.

THEOLOGY; NATURAL AND BIBLICAL.

CHAPTER VI.—THE HOLY SPIRIT. It has been said that each of the glorious persons in the Trinity has His own peculiar work to perform in nature and grace. And why may this not be the case ? If we look back to the day of creation, we read, “ And the earth was without form and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Gen. i. 2.) It does appear that the Holy Spirit is the great Agent to produce order from chaos. “ The earth was without form.” The Spirit brought order out of this confusion. The earth was “void.” The Spirit not only produced order but beauty. The earth, when man was placed on it, was fitted up for his reception by the ever blessed Spirit, with all things necessary for his use, and pleasant to his sight.

Let us listen to that memorable discourse which the Lord Jesus delivered to his disciples ; rendered more memorable by the fact that it was his last, before he was separated from them. In that discourse He comforts them with the assurance that they shall not be left orphans. His place is to be filled by another. One with equal power and equal will is to be in future both their Companion and Comforter. “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John xiv. 16, 17.) In this account of His successor, our Lord designates Him, " The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth ;” and points out further His spiritual nature, as though He had said, The Spirit who is to succeed me will not be clothed with a body, such as I have. His essence, as His name implies, is purely spiritual ; and hence, He will not only be with you, but will be in you.

No one questions the divinity of the Father. The eternal relation in which the Son stands to the Father entitles Him“ to think it not robbery to be equal with God." And as the Spirit proceedeth from both the Father and the Son, He too is divine. I cannot see the force of the argument which rests the divinity of the Spirit upon this procession, as it is termed. There are other reasons and proofs of His divinity in the scriptures which have, I think, tenfold the weight of this.

The personality of the Holy Spirit has been questioned ; He has been spoken of as an influence only. Turning once more to our Lord's introduction of Him to His disciples; the personal pronoun is used no less than eighteen times by Christ (John xiv. xv. xvi.), as though He intended to settle this truth beyond the possibility of successful contradiction. Hence, He is called the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth : "He,"

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The passages

says Christ, “ shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance : He will guide you into all truth.”

The personality of the Spirit being settled by the teaching of our Lord, we have to adduce proofs of His divinity. “Jehovah is the incommunicable name of God, and it imports underived, independent, and immutable existence. The Spirit is called Jehovah: compare Exodus xyii. 7, with Heb. iii. 9; compare, again, Isaiah vi. 8-10 with Acts xxviii. 25; compare, once more, Jer. xxxi. 31-34 with Heb. x. 15-17. are too long to be quoted ; but in them what is spoken by JEHOVAH in the prophet is said by the apostle to have been spoken by the Holy Ghost.”—Dick's Theology, vol. ii. 146, 147.

The Holy Spirit is called God, and has the attributes of God ascribed to Him. In that awful judgment which fell upon the liars, recorded in Acts v., Peter says to Ananias, "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” Paul says, 1 Cor. iii. 16,“ Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” and again, 1 Cor. vi. 19, “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost ?” As Solomon's temple, at its dedication, was filled with the divine presence, so may the believer be filled with the Holy Ghost, and thus filled with light and purity, becomes a temple of God.

The Holy Spirit has ascribed to Him the attributes which belong only to God; He is ETERNAL. The apostle Paul, Heb. ix. 14, says, “ How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself withoạt spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God !" "OMNIPRESENCE is a natural attribute of God. “ Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? or whither shall I flee from thy presence ? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make

my

bed in hell, behold, thou art there : if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm cxxxix. 7-10.) This sublime passage, which ever has been admired, is conclusive that the Spirit is everywhere, filling all space, and comprehending in His immensity every created object. He is also OMNISCIENT. "The Spirit," says Paul, “ searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. ii. 10.) “ The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. ii. 11.) The Spirit is OMNIPOTENT is obvious, inasmuch as with the Father and the Son He is actively engaged in the work of creation, and, as I have already observed, it appears to have been His peculiar province to create order and beauty. This fact, as far as my reading has extended, has not been noticed by theological writers. Chaos is brought into order by His controlling power. What splendour meets the contemplative gaze on a starlight night, when we see the moon walking in her brightness ! “ By His Spirit God hath garnished the heavens." (Job xxiii. 13.)

Original Essays.

THEOLOGY; NATURAL AND BIBLICAL.

CHAPTER VI.-THE HOLY SPIRIT. It has been said that each of the glorious persons in the Trinity has His own peculiar work to perform in nature and grace. And why may this not be the case ? If we look back to the day of creation, we read, “ And the earth was without form and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. i. 2.) It does appear that the Holy Spirit is the great Agent to produce order from chaos. “ The earth was without form."

The Spirit brought order out of this confusion. The earth was “void.” The Spirit not only produced order but beauty. The earth, when man was placed on it, was fitted up for his reception by the ever blessed Spirit, with all things necessary for his use, and pleasant to his sight.

Let us listen to that memorable discourse which the Lord Jesus delivered to his disciples ; rendered more memorable by the fact that it was his last, before he was separated from them. In that discourse He comforts them with the assurance that they shall not be left orphans. His place is to be filled by another. One with equal power and equal will is to be in future both their Companion and Comforter. “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John xiv. 16, 17.) In this account of His successor, our Lord designates Him, “ The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth ;” and points out further His spiritual nature, as though He had said, The Spirit who is to succeed me will not be clothed with a body, such as I have. His essence, as His name implies, is purely spiritual ; and hence, He will not only be with you, but will be in you.

No one questions the divinity of the Father. The eternal relation in which the Son stands to the Father entitles Him“ to think it not robbery to be equal with God." And as the Spirit proceedeth from both the Father and the Son, He too is divine. I cannot see the force of the argument which rests the divinity of the Spirit upon this procession, as it is termed. There are other reasons and proofs of His divinity in the scriptures which have, I think, tenfold the weight of this.

The personality of the Holy Spirit has been questioned ; He has been spoken of as an influence only. Turning once more to our Lord's introduction of Him to His disciples; the personal pronoun is used no less than eighteen times by Christ (John xiv. xv. xvi.), as though He intended to settle this truth beyond the possibility of successful contradiction. Hence, He is called the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth : “He,"

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renewing the face of the earth,''garnishing the heavens,' and 'giving life’ to man. In grace, we behold Him expanding the prophetic scene to the vision of the seers of the Old Testament, and making a perfect revelation of the doctrine of Christ to the apostles of the New. He "reproves the world of sin,' and works secret conviction of its evil and danger in the heart. He is the Spirit of grace and supplication ;' the softened heart, the yielding will, all heavenly desires and tendencies, are from Him. To the troubled spirits of penitent men, who are led by His influence to Christ, and in whose heart He has wrought faith, the Spirit hastens with the news of pardon, and bears witness of their sonship. He aids their infirmities; makes intercession for them ; inspires thoughts of consolation and feelings of peace : delights in His own work in the renewed heart; dwells in the soul as in a temple; and after having rendered the spirit to God, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, sanctified and meet for heaven, finishes His benevolent and glorious work by raising the bodies of saints in immortal life at the last day. So powerfully does the Spirit of glory and of God'claim our love, our praise, and our obedience. In the forms of the churches of Christ, in all ages, He has been joined, therefore, with the Father and the Son, in equal glory and blessing. That so to each person of the eternal Trinity glory may equally be given in the church throughout all ages. Amen.'». -Watson's "Institutes," vol. ii. 475-6.

DO JUSTLY. A PRACTICAL HOMILY.

(Micah vi. 8.) All men admit, theoretically, that it is their duty to act justly towards their fellowmen. This, as a general principle, is held by all who possess the common elements of humanity. Justice, enshrined as an attribute of Deity in the mind of man, is regarded with deep respect, if not with reverence ; and those men who have more particularly embodied it in their lives—such as Aristides—though they have been the objects

of calumny and dislike by the few, yet they have commanded the highest admiration and profoundest respect from the many. But while men hold these high notions of justice, and generally pride themselves in the possession of it, yet it is a very common thing for them to violate its simplest dictates in their daily intercourse one with the other. Lord Bacon said, “Men discourse according to their opinions, but their actions are according to their habits." This is peculiarly true with respect to the subject we are considering. The man who can talk grandiloquently at a political meeting of the glories of a just policy in legislation, and of its magnificent effects in remedying the evils of society, and redressing its wrongs, oftentimes will not scruple to underpay his workmen, adulterate his goods, or take the meanest advantage of the ignorance of a customer. The woman who could almost go into a fit of hysterics in her excited denunciations of

the horrible injustices of slavedealers, could also exercise the most tyrannical bearing towards her servants, and traduce any of her female friends who happened to be more accomplished, more beautiful, or better-dressed than herself. These inconsistencies are more common than at first sight they appear. It is forgotten that this virtue is something more than finely spun theories of righteousness; it is essentially a thing of practice, not merely of opinion. To let it remain in the region of sentiment without actively manifesting it, is to make it effete and useless, and a source of mental deception to its possessor, making him think he is more virtuous than he is. And it is to regulate all our actions both great and small. Jesus said, “ He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much : and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.” Teaching that in the most trivial deeds our real characters are known and judged as well as in our greater. No acts possessing a moral quality, and tending to affect the destiny of immortal beings, can be unimportant in God's sight, however insignificant they may appear to us. In the little things of life, the principles which really guide our conduct are manifest ; and in these we reveal our true selves. The refusal of Dr. Adam Clarke to stretch the piece of cloth to please his master, seems to give us as good a view of the nobility of his character, as we get in any of his subsequent acts, however much more notable those acts were. But many tradesmen -even professors of religion-say, " The Doctor' was too particular; that such 'unco guid' scrupulousness would never do in business now ; it is to strain at a gnat; that the present condition of trade requires many buch sleight of hand tricks, and much cunning craftiness; and without such like practices, they would have soon to close their shops.” Now, is this true? We think, decidedly not. And we believe that those who talk like this are greatly deceived. Not only because no real good must come, but certain evil, from the transgression of God's command; but, because in the end, as a matter of profit, nothing is really gained by trickery. Let a house of business have the reputation for strict honestylet the public say concerning that house, “You always get your money'sworth, whether you send a child or go yourself ; everything there is open and above-board ; they never have two prices for the same article; a fair profit is all they seek to get.” Why, such a reputation as that, would be worth a great deal more to a man's trade and cash-box than any amount of profit he might get by the short weight, or the scant measure, which is abominable. Remember the old proverbs, “ Knavery may serve a turn, but honesty is the best in the end." " Treasures of wickedness profit nothing." "Ill gain brings a curse, like the gold of Tolosa.” “Honesty is the best policy." "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” Then, if your

aim is merely to make a fortune-if the monetary success is all you seek, apart from other higher considerations, such as the favour of God, and a quiet conscience, which result from a just life, we believe firmly, you are more

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