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you hence conclude, that Moses was, or ought to have been, an object of worship? Yet is the preposition precisely the same, sls, as that of the passage under consideration, from which you draw the inference.
Another passage to prove the sanctity of the person of the Holy Spirit is the following (Matt. xii. 31.) “ Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men ; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Whatever be the meaning of blasphemy against the Spirit, that it does not denote a third person in the Godhead, I fairly infer from this very passage, thus : an evident superiority to Jesus Christ is here ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Upon your principles, then, Jesus asserted, that blasphemy against the second person in the Trinity would be forgiven, but that blasphemy against the third person would never be
forgiven : this bears rather hard upon your system of three persons in one God. But if Jesus were a man, and the Spirit no less than the operation 'of God himself, the contrast is consistent and striking. A mere personal insult to Jesus was a venial offence, but an obstinate resistance to the power of God, so clearly displayed, that it could not be mistaken, was a most heinous crime.
One other passage must be mentioned under this head. (2 Cor. xiii. 14.) grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” Upon this
passage it is natural to remark, that it is no prayer to three beings, but simply a wish, addressed to the Corinthians. If, by the Holy Spirit, were meant a distinct person, there would be an absurdity in using the word communion. Who would think of a communion or participation of a person ? But if it means the miraculous powers bestowed by God, the wish was natural and affectionate, that they might possess the favour of their master, the love of their God and enjoy a par
ticipation of the spiritual blessings he imparted.
The last proof of the personality of the Spirit is, that it was represented under the visible shape of a subsistent thing. The tyo passages to substantiate this fact, are the following ; (Luke iii, 22) « And the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape, like a dove upon him.” (Acts ii. 3.)
- And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” Upon the former of these passages Dr. Hawker makes the following observation :--" If the voice which came from heaven (and which it should be particularly noticed, followed the descent of the Holy Ghost,) could be no other than the voice of the Supreme Father (which will not, I believe, be doubted); and if the authority of the inspired writer be admitted, that the Holy Ghost actually descended upon our Lord in a visible form ; the certainty that the blessed Spirit is a person, must undeniably follow, by the plainest of all proofs. And thus we are provided with a positive testimony to this great truth in the very first page of the
gospel.” (Hawker's Serm. Vol. ii. 92.) Does this explanation satisfy you? Is this strictly literal interpretation what you contend for? I must presume it is. Then let us just pause a moment, and see upon what ground this reasoning is built. It is precisely this;— The voice that was uttered must have been the voice of the Father, because he was the only person in the Godhead left in heaven. The second person in the Trinity was standing in the river to be washed by a man; the third person in the Trinity was hovering in the air in the shape of a dove ;-each of the two latter was confined to a single spot, the one in the shape of a man, the other of a brute; the government of all the systems of worlds in the universe was neglected by them, and their attention exclusively directed to a few people in Judea !! Christians ! it is far from my wish to misrepresent, or to turn the creed of another to ridicule : but, seriously, it does appear to me that this pompous argument is founded upon the principle and reasoning I have now stated. You believe the result, and yet, methinks, you are ashamed
to look those principles in the face upon which that result is founded. If you can give me any other (rational, nay, any other) foundation upon which this inference is built, I assure you I will never urge it again.
. But, as this argument must infallibly destroy the omnipresence, at least, of the Son and Holy Spirit, perhaps you will deny the validity of the reasoning, and contend, with other Trinitarians, that the Son and Holy Spirit were still inherent in God the Father. Then, again, mark the consequences, for I still ask, and must ask, for consistency. Was each person present with the other two persons, at the time of which we are now speaking? In this case, Christ, equally with the Father and Spirit, spoke from heaven, and called himself his own beloved Son ; the Father and the Spirit descended into the river and were baptized ; and the Father and Son descended upon the Son in the shape of a dove. This must follow, unless the essence of the Father be different from the essence of the Son and of the Spirit, and if they are dif