صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

v. 19.

and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. John, xvii. 22, 23. God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto the Son. John, iii. 34.' 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. I will not leave you comfort. less (orphans): I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; hut ye shall see me; because I live, ye shall live also. At that day, ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him, John, xiv. 16–24. For we know that God abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John, iii. 24, And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John, i. 3. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye preineditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Mark, xiii. 11. He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak. John, xvi. 13. But Peter said unto him, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost,-Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God. Acts, v. 3, 4.. To one is given by (means of) the Spirit, the word of wisdom, &c., to another discerning of spirits. I Cor. xii. 8–10. 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 (uudeks) none but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God. I Cor. ii. 11, 12. The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, 1 Cor. ii. 10. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the Sons of God. kom. viii. 7. 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. And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is ihe mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Rom. viii. 26, 27.-II. He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shalt he speak. John, xvi. 13. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. I Cor. xiv. 32. Quench not the Spirit. 1 Thess.

If we may judge of a tree by its fruits, the first class of texts will plainly shew, that the Holy Spirit is God, viewed abstractedly with respect to the fulness of his moral attributes, all of which may be summed up in the general term of his holiness. The emblems also of the dove and fire are characteristic of those moral qualities of gentleness and boldness which accompany the infusion of the Holy Spirit in men's minds. But there is no occasion for any scripture passages to inform us directly what constitutes the Holy Spirit, as the church with whon it was to abide for ever, can discover that by her own experience.

“ 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 none but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” The church knows well enough, that she is neither omniscient, nor omnipotent, nor infinite, nor from eternity, nor immutable in any thing; and consequently she knows well enough, that the Holy Spirit which she possesses, is not omnipotent, nor omniscient, nor infinite, nor from eternity, nor immutable, as we bave before shewn. For what an absurdity would it be to suppose, that the Holy Spirit was composed of such and such attributes, and that then half of his attributes were palmed upon the church for the FULNESS of him that filleth all in all! It is true, that the church in its infancy was endowed with extraordinary power and wisdom; but this could not be the Comforter which was to abide with the church for ever, for none but Roman Catholics possess such extraordinary endowments now. And these could have been only the accidents which the Paraclete was to receive of Christ's attributes acco

ccording to bis prediction, and not proper constituents of him. The Holy Spirit therefore can be nothing essentially more than God viewed abstractedly

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

with respect to the fulness of his moral perfections, as even bis very name implies.

That the Holy Spirit had originally no proper person of his own, and that the church alone is His proper subsistence, is plainly evinced from his being said proceed, and to be sent from the Father and from the Son, and from the completion of his procession or his coming being ascribed to the time when he should reside in the church. For if he proceeded from the Father and Son, then be originally belonged to the Father and the Son, and the Father's person and the Son's person were his person; and if be is come only when he dwells in Christ's disciples, then Christ's disciples are bis proper mode of subsisting, otherwise he would have been come before. For what does our Lord

say

y? He tells them that the Paraclete who was to be sent, they already knew, (surely not personally, if still to be sent) and had seen, and was dwelling with them, but that he should be in them, that our Lord would not leave them but come to them, and that in that day they should know that He himself was in them. Our Lord indeed was one Comforter when with them, in whom they saw God's Spirit dwelling without measure, John ii. 34, but our Lord would be another Comforter by another blessed and precious mode of manifestation, when he should dwell in them by his Spirit for ever, withont manifesting himself to the world, when he should be with them alway, even unto the end of the world, Matth. xxviii. 20. He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit. And we are expressly told by St. Paul, tbat the Church is our Lord's body, not his proper body evidently, but an holy temple in the Lord, in whom we are builded together for an habitation of God THROUGH THE SPIRIT, Epb. i. 23 ; ii. 21, 22; from which nothing is more plain, than that the church is the body, the habitation, the temple, the subsistence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had been seen, and known by, and was even with Christ's disciples, but he had not yet come! He had already filled all space in the Father's person, but he had not yet come in himself. But immediately that he was in the Church, and filled it with the graces of boliness, he had come. It is true he was in the church before, as the Father with whom he was in reality commensurate, fills all space. But he had been in them without adhering to or mixing with them, without forming a part of their constitution. And what could be the proper habitation of a.Comforter ? Could the Father or Son require comfort ? None but man; and man alone must be the proper subsistence of the comforter.

Hence, we see what evident traces of the bumanity of the Paraclete there are in the second and third classes of texts. He is there exhibited as a new mind or soul to man. The glory which Christ had received, Christ imparts to the church. Ananias is said to lie to the Holy Ghost, because Peter is endowed with the gift of the discerning of spirits, which he is too zealous for the honour of God to attribute to his own natural powers. The disciples defend their religion by the elocution of the Holy Ghost, because God haul endowed them with the gift of wisdom, because they do not speak of themselves, but whatsoever they do hear, that do they speak. Again Paul discerns the deep things of God bynot his own mind--but by the supreme mind' attached to him, the unction from the Holy One, by which he knows all things. Hence

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

again he prays with groanings which cannot be uttered; because it is God which worketh in him, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. The Spirit again may be quenched or go out for want of being nourished, because the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, and because God may dissolve nis attachment to the flesh with the same freedom as be assumed it. That this was the way in which the Apostles understood the subsistence of the Holy Spirit is evident from their manner of saluting the church. In their numerous salutations from the Father and Son, they never give one from the Holy Ghost, because they knew well enough it would be an absurdity for the Holy Ghost to salute himself. With the same mind, though they talk of fellowship with tbe Father and the Son, 1 Johu i. 3, they never talk of fellowship with the Holy Ghost, because it is the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, by which the church has fellowship

, with the Father and the Son. For through him (the Son) we have access by one Spirit to the Father, Eph. ii. 18. 'Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. Let that therefore abide, in you which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heurd from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall also continue in the Son and in the Father, 1 Jobn ii. 20, 24. In the Apocalypse, i. 4, St. John, indeed, salutes the church from the seven spirits; but these are represented as belonging to the persons of the Son, iii. 1, and Father, v. 6, not as then sent forth into all the earth, but as before God's throne waiting to be sent forth.

To deny the Paraclete to he God, because he does not exercise omniscience and omnipotence, will be the same as to deny that man is not man, because he does not always think or act. To deny that he is God, because he is not eternal, infinite, and immutable, may be disproved in the same way as has been done with regard to the same objection made to the Deity of the Son. The Paraclete is God in a particular state and in a particular character, not the less omniscient nor omnipotent, because he does not exert those attributes in that state and character. The omniscient and omnipotent principle, though dormant, is still inherent in the church, and whatsoever Socinians may say, she is still a partaker of the divine nature, a habitation of God through the Spirit. None is good, save one, that is God, Luke xviii. 19, and we may very rationally conclude, that wberever goodness is, there must be God; for it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

VI. The PARACLETE or COMFORTER identical with the Supreme Subsistence, not by conSTITUTION, but hy ORIGIN.

I. But this spake le of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive ; for the Holy Ghost was not yet ; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. John, vii. 39. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you. John, xvi. 7. But if the ministration of death written and engraven in stones was glorious, so that the children d' Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away, how shall

not the ministration of the

Spirit be rather giorious ? 2 Cor. iii. 7,8.-IL Of which salvation the prophets bave enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify. I Pet. i. 10, 11. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore, also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. Luke, i. 35. 1 saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. John, 1.32. Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God. Heb. ix. 14. Whither shall I go from thy

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Spirit:- If I go up into heaven, thou art there. If I go down to hell thou art there also. Ps. cxxxix. 7, 8. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath' (Spirit) of his mouth. Ps. xxxiii. 6. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen. i. 2. The Spirit of God hath made me. Job, xxxiii. 4. By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens. "Job, xxvi. 13. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth. Ps. civ. 30. It is the spirit that quickeneth. John, vi. 63. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Rom. viii. ll. Christ being put to death in the flesh, būt quickened by the Spirit. 1 Pet. iii. 18. Declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom. i.4. -III. The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. i Cor. ii. 10. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 1 John, ii. 20. He shall ieach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever 1 have said unto you. John, xiv. 26. He will shew you things to come. John, xvi. 13. For the ma. nifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal

For to one is given the Spirit, the word of wisdom ; tu another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit: to another faith by the same Spirit: to another the gift of healing by the same spirit ; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues ; to another the interpretation of tongues ; but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man, severally as he will. 1 Cor. xii. 7-11.-IV. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John, iv. 24. There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God that worketh all in all. 1 Cor. xii. 6. Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy: Ps. xcix. 9. Thou Jesus of Nazareth,- I know thee who thou art, The Holy One of God. Luke, iv. 34. But ye denied the Holy One, and the Just. Acts, iii. 14. The Lord is that Spirit, 2 Cor. iii. 17.

If the Holy Spirit had been originally any thing more than an ideal abstract combination of God's moral attributes constitutively, in otber words, if he had been any other than God viewed solely with respect to his moral perfections, and had possessed eternity, infinity, and immutability any other way than as accidents, it is utterly impossible that he could ever have become finite, derived, and mutable in the subsistence of his finite, derived, and mutable body of the church, because it is a manifest absurdity to suppose, that the finite, derived, and mutable church could contain a constitutively eternal, infinite, and immutable being. And again if the Holy Spirit bad originally possessed omniscience and omnipoterče in any other way tban as accidents, 1. e. if he had possessed them as constituents, it indubitably follows, that when he became conabined with the church, the church would possess omniscience and omnipotence as constituents, which she does not. On the other hand, as the fulness of God's moral attributes can never absolutely cease to be eternal, infinite, and immutable, and as they are but qualities of his omniscience and omnipotence, from which, as holiness is nothing else than holy thinking and holy acting, they can never absolutely be separated; so wbile the ideal combination may be realised in the church without being infinite, eternal, immutable, omniscient, and omnipotent; yet the Holy Spirit, divested of his original ideality, in his real elemental state in the Supreme Subsistence, can never cease to be infinite, eternal, immutable, omniscient, and omnipotent, and in the second subsistence can never cease to be omniscient and omnipotent.

Hence it is that the second and third classes of texts oppose the first. The Holy Spirit in the first is not come till after Christ's resurrection and ascension, proceeds from him, receives of him, and get in the second and third classes he inspired the prophets of old, entered into the Virgin, and descended upon Christ himself, created him, and raised him up, is eternal and infinite, omniscient and omnipotent. All which is cleared up by considering that the Holy Spirit up to the time of his effusion at Pentecost, existed not in his proper and lasting subsistence, but in the persons of the Father and the Son, from whom he proceeded, or in the Supreme

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Subsistence alone, in which, Christ, as the Word or ungenerated Essence, had also been, and which the Spirit could not give up absolutely but only relatively. And that he was a property of the Son is very evident: since the power of Christ to lay down his Nife and take it again, which is ascribed to the Spirit, Rom. viii. 11; 1 Pet. iii. 18; Heb. ix. 14, the Son expressly ascribes to himself, of which circumstance Bishop Heber has made a wonderful MYSTERY, in bis Bampton Lectures, Lect. iv. p. 230, according to the practice of that Babylonish class of divines, who, forgetting the simplicity as it is in Jesus, darken counsel with learning without common sense. No man toketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to luy it down, and have power to take it again, John x. 18. Why? Because the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1 Cor. xv. 45. For the Lord is that spirit : and wherever the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and no mental slavery. But what is plainer than the words, the ‘Spirit of God,' the Spirit of Christ'?

if the church at any time has possessed God in other than his moral perfections, as instanced in the third_class of texts, we must attribute ber possession of them to the Father and the Son, from whom the Spirit received them in addition to his own, according to Jobn xvi. 14, 15. The all things which the Spirit in the church searched must have been very limited in number, since the disciples who saw but in part are said to have known these all things, which can mean nothing more than all the doctrines of Christianity:

From the fourth class of texts, the Paraclete will appear to be nothing more than a relative state, of God in the first and second subsistences, both being in one sense or other spirit, and both holy.

VII. The TRIFORM God, a title more conformable to the Word of God, simpler, and more correct, than the word TRINITY.

And he had a name written, that no man knew but he himselt-and his name is called the Word of God. Rev. xix. 12, 13. (The genders are ambiguous in the original, Comp. Heb.

The above text, indeed, is a severe satire upon the church : to say that after seventeen centuries of theological warfare, after councils of Nice and of Trent, and confessions of Augsburg, and Thirty-Nine Articles, and Long and Short Catechisms, Cbrist should at last be exbibited to the world in his true nature, only by the Word of God itself. No one knew the Word of God but the Word of God itself !—But the objections of the orthodox to my scriptural and not traditional faith may be summed up in the words of Mr. Faber, and thus one answer may serve them all. “ So far as I can understand you,' says he, “I can see no warrant for your opinion in scripture: and there certainly is no evidence, that it was the received doctrine of the primitive church as instructed by the Apostles and their immediate successors. The Apostles must have both written and orally taught the same system of doctrine. Had your doctrine been their doctrine, it would have been the universally received doctrine of the early Catholic Church in all its branches. This, however, is so far from being the case, that no doctrine, save that which is called the doctrine of the Trinity, viz. the existence of three consulj. stantial persons in one Numen, appears in the primitive documents of Christianity. I have read nearly all the Ante-Nicene Fathers

iv. 12, 13.)

« السابقةمتابعة »