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infamously “crucified," 1 Cor. ii, 8; "the root of Jesse," “ and a root out of the stem of Jesse,” Isa. xi, 1, 10 ; " the Lord,” and the “Son,” the “root and the offspring of David,” Matt. xxii, 45 ; Rev. xxii, 16 ; the Lord of all,” and the servant of men, Acts x, 36; Matt. xx, 28; "the Word, which was God, and was made flesh,” John i, 1, 14; “ who was in the form of God, and was made in the likeness of men,” Phil. ii, 6, 7; the Son of God, and the Son of man; the fellow of Jehovah and of men, Zech. xiii, 7; Heb. ii, 9; eternal, and yet beginning, Mic. v, 2; “having life in himself,” John i, 4, and yet being dependent;“filling all in all," and lying in a manger, Eph. i, 23;
knowing all things,” and yet ignorant of some, John xxi, 17; “ almighty," and yet "crucified through weakness,' Rev. i, 8; 2 Cor. xiii, 4; always “the same," and yet undergoing many changes, Heb. i, 12; “ reigning for ever," and yet resigning the kingdom, Isa. ix, 7; 1 Cor. xv, 24; “ equal with God," and yet subordinate, Phil. ii, 6, &c.; "one" with God, and yet a Mediator between God and men, John x, 30; 1 Tim. ii, 5.
Such sayings are apparent contradictions, and can be reconciled only on the Scripture hypothesis which ascribes to him the “ fulness of godhead,” and “ the likeness of sinful flesh.” If the Socinians cannot see the twofold truth, the cause of their blindness is not to be sought in the ambiguity of revelation, but in the pride of reason, and some fatal per. verseness of human nature.
Of the Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit.
When the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is considered in its connection with the doctrine of the trinity, there are two points nearly related to each other, which claim our attention: viz., I. Whether the Holy Spirit be a mere energy, or a real person? II. Whether he be a creature or God?
I. In entering upon the first of these inquiries, it is necessary to state distinctly that we are not at present
inquiring whether the Holy Spirit be a third person in the godhead. With that question we have here nothing to do. Our object is to ascertain whether the Holy Spirit be, on the one hand, the mere operation of God, or, on the other hand, an intelligent and voluntary agent, i. e., a person.
We are not about to deny that the Holy Spirit is that by which, however distinguished, the Father, through the Son, operates on all created beings, whether material or immaterial. We grant that the power of the Holy Spirit is “ the
of the highest” _" the finger of God;" but not that the Holy Spirit is merely an attribute of the divine nature.*
That it is something more is what is now to be proved.
Mr. G. has generously conceded that the sacred writers did personify the Holy Spirit. (Vol. i, p. 152.) He even says “ that it would have been next to an impossibility not to have repeatedly personified" him. (Vol. i, p. 173.) This is a concession which truth has forced from him when he was attempting to prove the contrary. That the sacred writers did speak of the Holy Spirit as a person is granted by our opponent, and therefore need not be proved. But then, according to Mr. G., personality is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, not because he is a proper person, but accord. ing to a common rhetorical figure by which “other acci. dents, qualities, or affections” are personified. (Vol. i, p. 152.) Here then Mr. G. and we are at issue. He avers that thé Holy Spirit is only a figurative person ; we say that he is a proper person.
That the unlearned reader may not be deceived by Mr. Gi's flourish about figures of speech, it is necessary briefly to state the nature of those which are likely to come under our notice. When a writer attributes to body properties which belong only to spirit, or attributes to spirit properties which belong only to body; he then speaks, not properly, but figuratively. When a writer attributes the properties of a real being to mere abstract qualities, and speaks of those qualities as persons, while they have no real personality ; then, also, he speaks, not
* With the utmost propriety, Mr. G. has adopted the words of Simon the sorcerer, for a motto to his lecture on this subject. The agreement between them is admirable; but it belonged to Mr. G. to be the first to perceive and acknowledge it.
properly, but figuratively. But when a writer attributes to body only the properties of body, and to spirit only the properties of spirit; and when he speaks of qualities, not as of real beings, but as of qualities, and of real beings, as of real beings-then he speaks, not figuratively, but properly.
The supposition that the Holy Spirit is, by the sacred writers, improperly personified, if it have any foundation in truth, must be grounded on the impossibility of his being a proper person, or of his possessing any personal qualities. If mere abstract wisdom, power, or goodness be personified, we see immediately that the writer is speaking figuratively; because these attributes have no real existence but in the spirits in which they inhere. But when we find a spirit personified—that very kind of real being in which alone these personal qualities can inhere, we are sure that the words of the writer are not figurative, but that they are used with the utmost propriety. Now such by name, as well as by nature, is the Holy Spirit: who, therefore, of all other beings, is most properly spoken of as a person,
To puzzle the reader after the Socinian manner, Mr. G. has told him that the “primary signification of avevua, which is commonly translated spirit, is the breath of the mouth.” (Vol. i, p. 150.) The reader must be told, also, that it is the only word which the sacred writers of the New Testament use, and, in fact, the only term which the language afforded them, by which to convey the idea of immaterial substance. ΠΝΕΥΜΑ σαρκα και οσεα ουκ εχει : " A spirit hath not flesh and bones,” Luke xxiv, 39. But does Mr. G. mean to insinuate that breath is its proper signification when it is applied to the Deity ? Rather than relinquish a favourite error, while he is per. petually declaiming against the literal interpretation of scriptural figures, will he be guilty of a most gross and palpable absurdity, that of literally applying to God, who is a spirit, one of the meanest properties of an animal body? Has God a mouth ? And does he actually breathe from it? God is atvevua, a spirit. Is God then a breath ? Must not breath, if attributed to God, be attributed to him figuratively? And if figuratively, what is the meaning of the word? Can it be any thing corporeal ? Or is it not rather
properly translated spirit? What then is the Holy Spirit, but a spirit ? Is not God properly a spirit? What then is the Spirit of God but a spirit? If the Holy Spirit be nei. ther spirit nor matter, it is nothing. If the Spirit of God be not a spirit, there is no spirit in the universe.
But if the Spirit of God be a spirit, what is the reason to be assigned for the supposition that personality is figu. ratively ascribed to him? What can be properly a person, if a spirit be not? This is not the way, however, in which the Socinians reason. They have adopted an idea of the nature of spirit altogether different from that which is suggestsd by the Scriptures. Mr. G. says, “ From this very name (Spirit) I should draw precisely the opposite inference, that because it is a spirit, it is not a substance or person.” (Vol. I, p. 125.) If in this confession he have not evinced much understanding, he has given a strong proof of his candour. It is at least an honest confession, and may serve as a beacon to “ warn off” the unwary reader from the rocks of atheism.
Mr. G. acknowledges that “God is a spirit.” This is a branch of his natural religion. But “ because it (he) is a spirit, it (he) is not a substance or person.' Now, to say nothing of the crudities of Mr. G.'s philosophical notions of spirit, who could demonstrate more effectually than he has done, that Socinianism, deism, and atheism are nearly allied? God either is a person, or he is not.
If he be not a per. son, he is not an intelligent and voluntary agent ; that is, there is no God. If he be a person, and spirit have no personality, no intellect, or will, then God is not spirit but matter. As the essential property of matter is ex. tension, and extension necessarily implies limits, matter cannot be infinite. A material God cannot be an infinite God; and a finite God is no God at all. Again: all attributes or accidents must have a substance in which to inhere. If “ God is a spirit," and spirit is not a substance, then God is not a substance. If God be not a substance, he can have no accidents or attributes. God therefore is neither substance nor accident; he has neither being nor attributes, i. e., he is nothing. If the “ unskilful” will not take the alarm when Mr. G.'s trumpet gives no uncertain sound,” their case is hopeless. We appeal from the speculative atheism of Mr. G. to the better understand.
ing of plain, unlettered men, who read their Bibles. Let the absurdity, not to say blasphemy, into which his precisely opposite inference” would lead us, serve, as the best argu. ment that could be produced, to convince us that a spirit is a substance and a person.
So far from it being true that the Spirit of God is a mere attribute of spirit, that the proper attributes of spirit are ascribed to him. Goodness is an attribute of spirit, and is ascribed to him. “ Thou art my God-thy Spirit is good,” Psa. cxliii, 10. Hence that holiness which be. longs only to intelligent and voluntary agents is made pecu. liarly characteristic of him, and is not so often attributed to any other being : he is called emphatically the Holy Spirit. Mr. G. supposes the Spirit of God to be the mere power of God. But power and energy are attributed to the Spirit of God. St. Paul speaks of " the power of the Spirit of God,” Rom. xv, 19. Now either the apostle means to speak of the power of a power, the attribute of an attribute, which is an absurdity ; or he must mean to attribute these personal qualities to the Spirit as to a spirit, a substance, and a real person.
To pursue this subject farther. If the Holy Spirit be a spirit, how can it be a mere energy which has no person. ality? Our ideas of a person are those of an intelligent and voluntary agent; and such are the ideas which the Scriptures give us of the Spirit of God.
1. He is an intelligent agent. “ The things which God hath prepared for them that love him," says St. Paul, “ he hath revealed unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit search. eth 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 Spirit of God," 1 Cor. ii, 9–11. have a plain and unequivocal declaration that “the Spirit of God searcheth and knoweth all things, even the deep things of God.” How then will Mr. G. get over it ? No. thing is more easy. He will raise a dust, and escape in the cloud. Let us hear him, and examine his comment at full length. “Here are," says he, “the following positive assertions, that the knowledge they (the apostles) possessed was revealed to them by the Spirit of God himself, (Query, himself!) or by divine inspiration.” Very