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God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and since the miracle which appeared under the sign of tongues of fire, still continues by its operations and effects. The Spirit of Truth filleth the Church with His light, and cannot suffer in His temple either darkness or deadness.'-St Leo.
HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SENT.
There are heretics to be met with who maintain that the Holy Spirit is not God, because Scripture tells us that He is sent. But when Jesus Christ said to his apostles, I will send unto you the Holy Spirit, it is as if he had said, I will send you the gifts, the graces of the Holy Spirit. It is manifest that the Holy Spirit, in as far as He is God, cannot be sent; and this our Saviour elsewhere teaches us, when He said to the apostles, Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.' Moreover, St Paul saith, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. This power which is given is one thing, He who giveth it is another. You cannot then prove that the Holy Spirit, in as far as he possesseth the Divine nature, can be sent. But what
will you say if I prove that the Creator of heaven and earth is sent by the Holy Spirit? You must either deny Christ, or wrest the Scriptures, or humbly submit yourselves to the truths which they teach us. Where, then, you ask me, doth the Scriptures say what Hear God Himself, who speaketh by the mouth of His holy prophet Isaiah: Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first and I am the last, and beside Me there is no God.' Renew your attention: these are the words I promised you, and they determine the question. For first, is it the Father, or is it the Son who uttereth these words? I am the first and I am the last, and beside Me there is no God.' Whose words are these? They are the words of the Creator of all things, for He adds: Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens and now,' He saith, the Lord God and His Spirit hath sent Me.' What! Thou who hast made the heavens and the earth, Thou who hast commanded the stars of the firmament to range themselves in their places, dost Thou say, 'The Lord God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me!' He hath begotten Me as God, He hath sent Me as Man! It is indeed the Creator of heaven and earth who plainly saith, The Lord God and his Spirit hath sent Me;' and yet heretics fancy the Holy Spirit to be inferior, because it is said of Him that He is sent! What deceives them; do they not understand that these words, He is sent, must not be taken in the letter. When Scripture saith, God poureth out His Spirit, assuredly it means that the gifts, the graces, the blessings of the Holy Spirit are poured out, for a spirit cannot be poured out any more than the Deity. Adore, then, this Holy Spirit, whom you have received this day. Say unto yourselves: Here is an exchange, Christ hath taken our nature, and He giveth us His Spirit; He hath
loaded us with honours, by exalting to Himself our miserable humanity; He hath set it down at the right hand of His Father, and He hath vouchsafed that His Holy Spirit should humble Himself to us who are but His servants. This is what the law of salvation teaches us, what the prophets foretold, the apostles proclaimed, the martyrs confess, the whole body of the faithful believe, the Church venerates, ignorance and unbelief assail, and the faithful adore, as proved to them by the most undeniable arguments; and thus is Christ glorified. To whom be glory, honour, and adoration, together with the Father and the Spirit of Holiness, goodness and life, now and for ever, and through eternal ages. Amen.-St Chrysostom.
THE TRINITY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
"By the Word of the Lord,' saith David, 'were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath (spirit) of His mouth.' (Ps. xxxiii. 6.) This Word of which He speaks in this place is not, then, a mere sound which strikes the air, and to which our mind attaches some signification, and this breath is not that same air which the organs of respiration inhale and exhale alternately; but this Word is that Word which was in God from the beginning, and which was God, and this Breath is the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father. Consequently, there must be Three Persons: the Lord who ordains, the Word who creates, and the Holy Spirit who consolidates and perfects the work.
And that you may know that David, by this Word, understands not that Word which is sent forth from the mouth by the organs of pronunciation, but that which is truly subsisting in the Person of the Word, he says in another place, 'He sendeth out His Word.' (Ps. cxlvii. 18.) But a Word which had no subsistence could not be sent. The same prophet speaketh of the Holy Spirit in another place in these express terms, Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit.' (Ps. civ. 30.)
Jeremiah, also, addresses to us this eloquent apostrophe: Who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard His Word?' (Chap. xxiii. 18.) But the word of man cannot be seen; it is the Word of God only which can make Itself visible, because It is a substance. It is in the same sense that Scripture saith unto us, The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.' (Gen. i. 2.) These words prove to us that the Holy Spirit is not a thing which passeth away, but a real substance, which vivifies and fertilizes all things. It is not, then, in vain that we stay ourselves upon the scriptures of the Old Testament: God hath revealed to us in them, although, indeed, somewhat obscurely, the adorable mystery of the Trinity of Persons, and perfect unity of nature.-St Gregory of Nyssa.
THE DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERS OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
The faith teacheth us to acknowledge one only God, and in this only God one only Person, who is without principle: this is the Father; one only Person who is begotten: this is the Son. He is God even as the Father. We give Him the name, because He hath truly the nature; we call Him Lord to mark the supreme dominion over all things which belongs to Him as well as to His Father. Lastly, there is one only Person who proceedeth: this is the Holy Spirit. He is God even as the other two Persons, and is equal to Them in all things.
Let us beware of maintaining that the Father had a principle, or that the Son and the Holy Spirit had not: this would be to confound the peculiar characters which distinguish the persons.
The Father is truly a father, yea, far more truly so than those who bear this name among men; not only because He is a father in a manner altogether peculiar to himself, but also because to be a father He needed none save Himself; and because He was a father from all eternity.
In like manner the Son is truly a son, because He is the only begotten of one only Person, and that too in a manner peculiar to Himself; because he was a Son from all eternity, and because, although He has had a principle, He yet had no beginning.
In the same manner, also, the Holy Spirit is truly holy, because none other is so in the same manner with Him. He did not receive His holiness; He Himself is holiness. Holiness in him is not susceptible of increase or decrease, as in men: He had no beginning, and will have no end; for it is common to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not to have been created, as it is common to the Son and the Holy Spirit to be sent forth of the Father. Their distinctive characters are: for the Son to have been begotten, and for the Holy Spirit to proceed from both.-St Gregory of Nazianzen.
WE MUST WORSHIP THE THREE PERSONS.
We adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, by acknowledging at once both the plurality of the persons and the unity of the power and nature. We do not confound these three Persons in one only Person, like the disciples of Sabellius; neither do we make three different substances, like those of Arius; because we know that we must preserve the unity of the one God, and yet confess the Trinity of persons, and acknowledge the distinctive characters of each of them.
We acknowledge the distinctive characters of each, if we affirm of the Father that He is the principle without principle, the first cause, the source, the eternal light; of the Son, that He hath a principle who is His Father, but that as to all else, He is himself the principle of all things; and when I speak of principle, think not of time; for if time
is more ancient than the Son, how shall the Son be the creator of time and the Lord of all things? The Father, then, is without principle; He did not receive being of any other person or of Himself. As to the Son, if you consider His Father as His cause, you cannot say that He is without principle; for the Father, in as far as He is the cause, is the principle of the Son. But if to the idea of principle you join the idea of time and beginning, the Son also is, in this sense, without principle, because He had no beginning.
You say If He is begotten, how is He begotten? Tell me, subtle questioner, If He is created, how is He created? Is the one more comprehensible than the other? God,' you will say, 'created all things by His word and His will.' This manner of creation agrees with the nature of man. Would you, then compare the generation of God to that of man? From all eternity, the Father was without having been begotten: from all eternity also the Son was begotten. You do not comprehend this, you say. Great wonder ! If you do not know yourselves, why dispute about such mysteries? We speak to you of generation in God; believe, but ask not of the manner. We tell you that the Holy Spirit proceedeth; search not how this cometh to pass. The most perfect knowledge is that of God. Be content to know but a part on earth, and wait patiently till Jesus Christ reveal the rest to you in heaven.-St Gregory of Nazianzen.
We have much pleasure in inserting the following judicious and sensible memorial, with the sentiments of which we heartily concur. Unto the Very Reverend the DEAN, and the Reverend the CLERGY, of the DIOCESE of GLASGOW, in Synod assembled.
The Memorial of the Subscribers, Lay-Members of the SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH in GLASGOW.
Your Memorialists beg to express their sense of the loss and heavy affliction which have befallen our Church, and this diocese more especially, by the sudden death of our revered Diocesan, Bishop Russell. They sympathise with the sorrow which has thus overtaken their Reverend Fathers, knowing that it must be the more keenly felt by those who had so great experience of the kindly care and wise counsel, of our departed Bishop.
Believing in the divine authority of the Episcopate, and its consequent necessity and power for the efficiency and right ordering of the Church, your Memorialists are deeply impressed with the unspeakable importance of the work for which you are this day assembled. By the choice of this day, the whole tone and character of the Church's witness for God, must be materially influenced for many years. Very great, therefore, is their responsibility to whom is entrusted the election of a Ruler over this portion of God's heritage. None can share that responsibility with them. But we, and the whole Scottish Church, shall be the better or the worse for this day's deed.
Reverend Fathers, our hope and prayer is, that he whom you shall choose for Bishop, may be one who, both by word and deed, shall faithfully serve God in that office, to the glory of His name, and the edifying and well-governing of His Church.
With these feelings, your Memorialists respectfully submit to this Synod, that the great purposes of the Episcopate would be vastly promoted, were it made imperative that the Bishop, to be elected, should reside in the City of Glasgow.
Your Memorialists are convinced, that all those feelings of reverence for the past, and earnest zeal for the prosperity of the Church in our own day, which, a few years ago, prompted the restoration of this ancient See, do now as powerfully demand that the Bishop of the Diocese should reside in its chief city.
For population and wealth, Glasgow is one of the first cities in the empire. From its high commercial importance, it is a place of great and increasing resort, which renders it the more necessary that our Church should there be truly and fully represented. Farther, in this city and the neighbourhood are found at least four-fifths of the entire Churchmen of the Diocese; and two-thirds of the entire clergy are within a circle of 25 miles, and the most distant of these can journey to it in about an hour-and-a-half. It is also of easy access from all parts of the Diocese.
It seems to your Memorialists, that these alone are good and sufficient reasons why the head and ruler of the Diocese should reside in Glasgow. It must be added, however, that this city will ever be the centre of all charitable and religious movements, in connection with our Church, in the West of Scotland; and these cannot fail to suffer from his absence, to whom, under God, they ought to look for right guidance and daily infusion of a Spirit of zeal and love.