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hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches." We will not multiply proof. Had we quoted but one, from among the several thus adduced, it had been sufficent to explode the hypothesis that, an attribute, an energy or an influence, could assume to itself, and exercise the faculty of speech, one of the personal properties and acts of a distinct, intelligent agent. We will content ourselves with presenting a summary view of the kindred personal properties and actions which are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
The power of REVEALING is ascribed to him. Luke ii. 26. “And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.” Now the Apostle speaks of our blessed Lord as a revealer. In this passage, the same faculty is ascribed to the Holy Spirit; what is the inference? That, if it were a personal act in the one, it must also be so in the other. Interpreting this passage upon the anti-trinitarian hypothesis, how unintelligible would it read: “And it was revealed unto him by a revelation that he should not see death,” &c. God may reveal an attribute, but an attribute cannot reveal itself.
The Holy Spirit is spoken of as a WITNESS. Acts v. 32. “We are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost.” Are we to understand that, the witness which the Apostles bore to the Messiahship and the miracles of Christ was but figurative? Surely not. And yet, the same personal action accorded to them, is also ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
If the witness of the Apostles was literal and not figurative, so was also the witness which the Holy Ghost bore to the same facts, a literal and not a figurative one. Again, Rom. viii. 16. “ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Who is it that testifies to the believer's calling, pardon, adoption, and acceptance? Who applies the atoning, peace-speaking blood to the conscience? An attribute, an
an emanation? Ask the child of God, if this were sufficient to remove his guilt,-calm his fears,-and assure him of his acceptance in Christ. O no! None but the Spirit of God himself can accomplish
“The Spirit itself”-not an attribute, nor an influence, but “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." Let no professor of the Gospel rest short of this evidence. Without it, all other is false. Holy and blessed is he that hath it!
KNOWLEDGE is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. “The Spirit searcheth all things even the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of
a man which is within him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” We ask, in the words of another, “ whether any man can conceive, that knowledge, one essential attribute of God, can, with any meaning, be said to be an attribute of power, which is another? Or whether power can, in any words that have meaning, be said to know any thing?"
The Spirit was the immediate agent of all the MIRACLES performed by the Apostles.
Rom. xv. 19. “Through mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God.”
SPIRITUAL LIFE is ascribed to him. John vi. 63. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth.” 1 Pet. ii. 18. “ Put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” Are these the evidences of an attribute, or are they the actions of a person? Can a mere influence work miracles? Can a mere emanation impart life? The Holy Spirit is represented as SENDING
Acts xiii. 4. The Apostles “ being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia.”
TO DESIGNATE TO AN OFFICE. Acts xx. 28. “ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.”
AS EXERCISING HIS OWN PLEASURE. Acts xv. 28. “ It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and
to us.' 1 Cor. xii. 11. “ But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
As BEING VEXED. Isa. Ixiii. 10. " • They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit.” AS BEING GRIEVED.
Eph. iv. 30. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit."
As BEING RESISTED. Acts vii. 51. Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
Here we rest the evidence in favour of the distinct personality of the Spirit. Sufficient has been advanced, we believe, with his blessing, to allay every suspicion, to remove every doubt, and to confirm and settle the mind, in the full belief of this important truth. And yet, aside from his own divine illumination, what avails the multiplicity of scriptural proof to the truth of his character, or the reality of his work? The Spirit is the great illuminator of the soul. We may spread the most momentous and spiritual truths before the mind,—the evidence that confirms them may be collected from every source, and poured, as with focal power, upon the intellect, yet, until the Spirit of life and light move upon the moral chaos, all is darkness, and disorder, and confusion. We pass now to a consideration of the DIVINITY of the Holy Spirit.
Not less full and satisfactory is the evidence afforded by the Scriptures of truth, to the absolute and essential DEITY OF THE SPIRIT. It will not be expected that the argument sustaining this doctrine be a laboured and a lengthened one; seeing that, if we have shewn the fallacy of a mere attribute having grafted upon it all the other divine attributes; or, a mere influence or quality, clothed with the properties and exercising the actions of a person,-if, in a word, we have been enabled to establish upon a scriptural, and therefore a satisfactory and an immoveable basis, the doctrine of the distinct personality of the Spirit, the Godhead of the Spirit may be legitimately and logically inferred. The very actions that prove him a person, demonstrate that person divine. Proceed we now to the proof.
And, in the first place, let us enquire, is it no evidence of the supreme Deity of the Spirit that, the very NAMES of Deity are given to Him? For so we read: 2 Cor. viii. 17. “Now the Lord (Jehovah) is that Spirit.” 2 Cor. iii18. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”