« PoprzedniaDalej »
The Spirit of God is said to speak. He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak. John xvi. 13,
Then the Spirit said to Peter. Acts x. 19. The Spirit said to Philip. Acts visi. 20. Let him that hath an ear hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches. Rev. ii. 7. The Spirit and the bride say come. Rev. xxii. 17.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. viii. 14.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God. Rom. viii. 16. But when the Comforter is come, even the Spirit of truth, he shall testify of me. John xv. 26.
As it is now revealed unto his holy Prophets and Apostles by the Spirit. Eph. iii. 5. But the Comforter shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said into you. John xiv. 26.
He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit. Rom. vii. 27.
He shall shew you things to come. John xvi. 13. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith. 1 Tim. iv. 1.
The Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings, which cannot be uttered. Rom. viii. 26.
To give gifts.
For to one is given by his Spirit the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge ; to another, faith ; to another, the gifts of healing ; to another, the working of miracles, &c. 1 Cor. xii. 8-10.
To work in the soul of man.
All these worketh one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man as he will. 1 Cor. xii. 11.
To work miracles.
Through mighty signs, and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. Rom. xv. 19.
It is the Spirit that quickcneth. John vi. 63. Put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. This is spoken of Christ. 1 Pet. ii. 18.
To be pleased.
That all these things should be said of an attribute, particularly of the attribute of power, will, I believe, be acknowledged to be incredible. That they should be dictated by God himself, and be the common language, in which this attribute, or any attribute, is described in his Word, is, I think, impossible. The language of the Scriptures is in all other cases, except those, in which it involves the Deity of the Son, and the Spirit, the language of common sense; the plain, artless language of nature. Why should it not be so here? Why should these two cases be uniformly, and solely, exceptions to that law, by which all the remaining language of Scripture is governed ?' Why should the Scriptural writers, whenever these subjects come before them, and then only, desert their native style; that which alone they use on all other occasions ; and adopt one, totally new, and singular? Why should this be done by any writer ? Such a case, it is presumed, cannot be found in the world, except in these two instances. Why should it be found in so many of these writers ? Why should it be found in every Scriptural writer? Why, above all, should it be found in the language of Christ himself? Still more ; whence could these writers be induced to depart from their customary style, whenever they had occasion to speak of these two subjects, and adopt such language, as renders their real meaning obscure ; and not only obscure, but unintelligible; and not only unintelligible, but so utterly lost in the strangeness of their phraseology, that almost all their readers, and among them the great body of the wisest and best, have totally mistaken the real meaning, and derived from this very phraseology a meaning infinitely different? Can this be supposed to have been accomplished by the immediate Providence of God himself, when disclosing his will to mankind concerning subjects of infinite importance ? Yet the Unitarians must suppose all this, or give up their scheme.
But, it is replied, that "the language of the Scriptures is highly figurative ; and that, among the figures used, bold Personifications hold a distinguished place. Among these, we find the attributes of God personified. For example, in the Proverbs of Solomon, par, ticularly in the 8th chapter, we find the Divine Wisdom represented as a living Agent, possessing a variety of other attributes, and performing such actions, as are elsewhere ascribed to the Spirit of God."
This answer is the only specious one, which has been, or, it is presumed, can be, made to the arguments alleged above. I shall, therefore, consider it particularly; and reply,
In the first place, that this personification of Wisdom is exhibited in animated and sublime Poetry.
In such poetry, and in the loftier strains of eloquence, we are to look, if any where, for bold figurative language. The whole tenour of the discourse, here, proceeds from an enkindled imagination, and ardent feelings. In this state of mind, nature instinctively adopts figurative language, and bold images ; and readily imparts life, thought, and action, to those objects, the contemplation of which has excited the peculiar elevation. With the writer, the reader, in all such cases, readily coincides. The dullest man in the dullest frame, easily catches the inspiration ; and not only admits without hesitation the propriety of this language, and these images, but regards them as the only things which are proper, natural, and suited to the train of thought.
But on ordinary occasions, which furnish nothing to raise the mind above its common, cool level, such a mode of writing is perfectly unnatural; is at war with the whole tenour of thought; and can be the result of nothing but an inexplicable determination to write extravagance, and produce wonder. Not an example of this nature can be found in the Scriptures, unless it be this, which is now in debate.
Here, this language, and these images, are adopted, if they are in fact adopted at all, on the most ordinary occasions ; inferring the most tranquil
, even, uninterested, state of the writer; in the simplest narratives, and the most quiet discussions. Who would look for a personification in such instances as the following : The Spirit said unto PETER; The Spirit said unto Philip; The Spirit caught away PhilIP; Now the Spirit speaketh expressly; It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us ; together with a vast multitude of others, exactly resembling these in their nature? If personifications are to be used in such cases; in what cases are they not to be used? And in what cases are we to use simple language?
To complete the strangeness of this representation, the Greek masculine pronouns and relatives are, in a multitude of instances, made to agree with the neuter substantive, Ilusuma, Spirit; a mode of personification, in all other cases, absurd ; and here, to say the least, inexplicable.
Secondly. The wisdom, spoken of in the Proverbs, is also a real Person, and not an attribute ; viz. the Lord Jesus Christ.
This has been the unwavering opinion of the great body of divines : of most, I believe, if not all, who are not Unitarians. Christ, as I apprehend, challenges this character to himself, Matthew xi. 19: Wisdom is justified of her children. St. Paul, in the 1 Corinthians, attributes it to him directly, when he says, Christ the Wisdom of God; verse 24, and in verse 30, when he says,
God is become unto us Wisdom; and in Col. j. 3, where he says of Christ, In whom are hid all the treasures of Wisdom.
That the attribute wisdom is not meant by Solomon, in this chapter, is completely evident from the 14th verse : Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom. Now it is impossible, that Wisdom should possess Wisdom : the possessor, and the thing possessed, being, by physical necessity, two things, distinct from each other. It is also evident, from the whole tenour of this chapter, as well as from several other parts of the discourse, in the beginning of this Book; particularly Chap. i. 20—33; on which, however, I can dwell no longer at the present time.
Thirdly. Should it be still supposed, that the attribute of Wisdom, and not "Christ, is intended by SOLOMON; the passage, even if it were not poetical, would not involve such absurdities and difficulties, as are involved in the supposition, that the Holy Ghost is an attribute personified. An extensive comparison of these two subjects cannot be expected on the present occasion. Suffice it to say, that Wisdom is not said to appear in a bodily shape ; is not introduced, in form, as an agent in the common concerns of life ; is not spoken of by one living being, when discoursing of another living being, as a third living being united with the other iwo in the transaction of real business ; is never introduced in the Scriptures in plain prose, as speaking, hearing, commanding, guiding, sánctifying, and universally doing such things, as can be attributed only to a live ing person. Yet it must strike every person, that, as Wisdom is an attribute, involving consciousness and perception, all these things, and others like them, might be attributed to it with much more propriety, than to the attribute of Power.
5thly. The Holy Ghost is a Divine Person.
There will probably be little dispute concerning this declaration among those who acknowledge that the Holy Ghost is a Person. The things, which are said concerning the Spirit of God, are so plainly such as evince infinite perfection, that few persons, probably none, who admit the Personality of the Spirit, will deny his Deity. Still, it will be useful, on this occasion, to exhibit several proofs of this truth.
1st. The Names of God are given to the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures.
Now the Lord is that Spirit. 2 Cor. viii. 17. This is a direct affirmation of St. Paul, that the Spirit is God.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? and who has been his Counsellor ? Rom. xi. 34.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? 1 Cor. ii. 16.
Both these passages are quoted from Isaiah xl. 13, Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord? or, being his Counsellor, hath laught him? Vol. II.
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. 2 Thess. iii. 5. Here the Person, addressed in prayer, is plainly a distinct person from those, mention ed by the names of God and Christ; and of course is the Spirit o God; to whom, throughout the Scriptures, the office of directing the hearts of Christians to their duty, is every where ascribed.
Peter, Acts v. 3, 4, says to Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thin heart to lie unto the Holy Ghost? Why hast thou conceived this in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. Here the Holy Ghost is called God by the Apostle in as direct terms as are conceivable.
Acts iv. 24, 25, They lift up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, who hast made heaven, and earth, and the sed,
and all that in them is. Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?
Acts i. 16, Peter says, This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David. The Holy Ghost is, therefore, the Lord God who spoke by the mouth of David.
2dly. The Attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Ghost.
Eternity.—Christ, who through the eternal Spirit once offered himself to God. Heb. ix. 14.
Omnipresence.-Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Whither shall I flee from thy presence ? Psalm cxxxix. 7.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; that is, the bodies of all Christians 1 Cor. vi. 9.
Omniscience.—The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God. 1 Cor. ii. 10.
Even so the things of God knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God. 1 Cor. ii. 11. Holiness.—The Holy Ghost; the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of holi
Passim. Grace.-Hath done despite to the Spirit of grace. Heb. X. 29. See also Zechariah xii. 10.
Truth.—The Comforter, the Spirit of truth. John xiv. 17.
Glory.—The Spirit of glory and of God resteth on you. 1 Pet. iv. 14.
Goodness.—Thy good Spirit. Neh. ix. 20. Thy Spirit is good. Psalm cxliii. 10. Power. The
power of God as exerted in working signs and wonders, is ascribed to the Holy Ghost throughout the New Testament.
3dly. The Actions of God are ascribed to the Holy Ghost.
Creation.—By his Spirit he garnished the heavens. Job xxvi. 13. The Spirit of God hath made me. Job xxxiii. 4. See also Acts i. 24, 25, compared with Acts i. 16.