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found in the Scriptures; but in which of the sacred writings do you find the words of your own creed: The unity of God, the supremacy of God, the Supreme Being, the unity of Christ, or these sentences : Christ is not God, but only the Messenger of God, Christ is nothing more than man. In Christ there is but one nature, viz. that of man. The Holy Ghost is not a subsisting Person, but only the influence and agency of God, fe. Our opponents, I am aware, will reply, although on a most gratuitous assumption, that it would be in vain, indeed, to look out in the Scriptures for these words and sentences in this precise form and shape, but that still they are not the less correct, because they are at least virtually or implicitly implied in the Scriptures, or drawn from them by a necessary inference; now they will permit us to return them exactly the same answer, not however without ground, but opirresistible authority, and to reply that the terms and phrases, trinity of Persons, unity of Nature, consubstantiality of the Son and of the Holy Ghost with the Father, there are two natures in Jesus Christ, viz. the Divine and the Human, although not literally and explicitly found in the Scriptures, still are clearly and equivalently contained in them in words of equal import, and as necessarily deduced from them as evident and immediate conclusions are deduced from first principles. For instance, it is no where said in these formal words: there exists a Trinity of Persons in the unity of the Divine nature, but the same is equivalently expressed, first, in the well known passages (Math. xxviii. 19, and i. John, v. 7, and others cited above ;) for from them we learn that there are three in God; since, therefore, we know that there can be but one indivisible nature in God, we necessarily infer that there must be three distinct persons, and not three distinct natures; next the Trinity as taught hitherto by the Christian world necessarily flows from those Scriptural facts and passages, which have been adduced to establish the Divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Ghost; for as there can be but one God, there being but one and the same indivisible divine nature, it follows of course on the one hand, that, since the Son and the Holy Ghost are true
God, and on the other are distinct from the Father and from each other, they must be three distinct persons in one and the same divine essence, or, in other words, that in God there is a Trinity of persons and an Unity of essence. In like manner in vain would you look through all the range of the Scriptures for this phrase: There are two natures in Christ, or Christ is at once true God and true man, but you find this truth equivalently expressed and necessarily implied, first, (in St. John i. 1, 14,) " in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God—and the world was made by him, and without him nothing was made that was made and the word was made flesh.” Next in this other passage, (John x. 30,) “ I and the Father are one,” and “the Father is greater than 1,” (John xiv. 28,) (Philip ii. 6,) “ who (Christ) being in the form of God, thought it no robery himself to be equal to God, but debased himself, taking the form of a ser-, dant,” in fine, by that mass of Scripture evidence, which goes irresistibly to prove that Christ was both true man and true God, and that, of course, he must needs possess both the nature of man and the nature of God.*
The following lines, written by one of the most elegant and profound writers of the past age, will make us sensible of the immense difference there is between the word of God, commented upon by the learned enlightened by faith, and between the same word of God handled by prophane reasoners.
MEDITATION. LXXI DAY.
God the Holy Ghost. John xiv. 16, 17, 26. CLIII. “ I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you forever.”+ Another Paraclete! A Paraclete, a consoler in the place of Jesus Christ, if en
* As we intend to review the V. and VI. letters of B. Jared Sparks against B. Dr. Wyatt, which are exclusively levelled against the Trinity, the Divinity of the Son of God and of the Holy Ghost, we desiguedly supersede answering any further objections against the said mysteries in this place.
f John, c. 14 and 16.
dowed with less virtue and dignity, would rather afflict than console mankind. A Paraclete, ther., in Jesus' stead, is no less than a God in the place of a God. And, therefore, if the Son come to us, and abide with us, as the Father does; the Holy Ghost abideth likewise with us, and is in us,* as well as the Father and the Son do. He abides with them in our interior; as they, so he vivifies us. We are his temple as we are that of the Father and of the Son. “ Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” ?f “Know you not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, and you are not your own”?# For a temple has not the proprietorship of itself, but God who inhabits it. He then who abides, and is in us, (according to the expression of Jesus Christ,) as the Father and the Son are, is God; and when he dwells in us and possesses us, he acts, if I may be allowed to say so, in the peculiar capacity of God.
66 He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind whatsoever I shall have said to you."|| Will he appear visible to your corporal eyes? Will he speak to your ears ? No: your interior is his school, and hence you will hear his voice. It is here likewise the Father speaks, and here we learn from him to come to the Son. Who can speak to our interior, who can turn it whithersoever he will, if it be not he who fills it, he who acts in it, that is to say, God? The Holy Ghost then is God, for it is another peculiar act of God to speak to our interior, and to cause himself thence to be understood.
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But the Spirit of truth will come and teach you all truth.”'S To him are reserved the highest and most hidden truths, &c.; to him is reserved the province to increase your strength, so that you may be capable of receiving them. Who can effect this, save God? Then the Holy Ghost is God.
“ And the things that are to come he shall show you.”T He means to say that it is the province of the Holy Ghost the Paraclete to raise prophets, to inspire them, and this is cer
* John, v. 17.
John 16, v. 26.
^ Cor. c. 3, v. 6.
Ibid. 6, v. 19.
T Ibid. v. 13.
tainly reserved to God alone. It is true, the Son of God says, that he shall speak only what he has heard ;* but he has not heard otherwise than the Son of God: he has heard what he has received in virtue of his eternal procession, as the Son has heard what he has received in virtue of his eternal generation. . .
For we must know that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father in as a perfect a manner as the Son, The Son pro ceeds from the Father by generation; and how does the Holy Ghost proceed from him? Who can explain it? No mortal man : and I am ignorant if the Angelic Spirits can. What I know, and what is certain from the expression of Jesus Christ, is, that he is not begotten as the Son is, and he is still less, to speak in a human manner, created as we are. “He shall re. ceive of mine," says the Son. Creatures come from God, but they do not take of God's ; they are produced from ņothing: but the Holy Ghost takes of God's as the Son does and is equally produced from his substance. We do not say, therefore, that he is created : God forbid we should there is a term consecrated to him; and it is, that he proceeds from the Father. It is true that the Son also proceeds from him: and if his procession has a distinctive character which is generation; it is sufficient to equal the Holy Ghost to him, to ex. clude every term which indicates creation, and to select one which may be common to him with the Son.
If the Son is begotten, why is the Holy Ghost not begotten? Let us not investigate the reasons of this incomprehensible difference. Let us simply say: If there be many sons, many generations, the Son would be imperfect, and his generation too. All that is infinite, all that is perfect, is unique; and the Son of God is unique, because he is perfect. His generation drains, if we may speak so of infinity, all his paternal fecun,' dity. What then remains for the Holy Ghost? Something as perfect, although less distinctly known. He is not less perfect
because less distinctly known, since on the contrary this char. things of God, which are not the least perfect. It is enough to know that he, like the Son, is unique : unique as Holy Ghost, acter only serves to place his procession among the unknown in like manner as the Son is unique as Son: and that he proceeds as nobly, as divinely as he : since he proceeds in order to be placed on equality with him.
Hence, when he appears, a work equal to the Son’s is attri. buted to him. This we have remarked in these words of our Saviour: “ And when he shall have come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment :* a work which is pot inferior to the works of the Son.
If we carefully collect all the expressions of the Son of God, we shall discover a language which at once imports distinction and unity, origin and independency of these divine persons. The Son belongs to the Father, the Father belongs to the Son ; each one on a different, but at the same time, equal title. The Holy Ghost belongs to the Son, hebelongs to the Father, on a similar title, and without derogating from perfection: the Father sends him, the Son sends him, he comes. This is that mystic language of the Trinity, which is not fully comprehended but by reconciling unity and distinction in an equal perfection. Andit is thus all the expressions of Jesus Christ, which we have seen, agree: and, to collect them together, he epitomised them in the form of Baptism : “ Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”+ All that he said in a lengthy discourse, is referred to this, and what he says here, reunites all that he mentioned in his long discourse.
And why does he speak to us of these exalted mysteries, unless it be to unfold them one day to our naked eyes ? A teacher commonly prefaces the entire developement of truth to his disciples, by informing them in general terms what they are to learn in his lectures. Jesus Christ also begins by telling us confusedly what he will one day discover most clear. ly to us in his glory. Let us therefore believe, and we shall see, * John 16, v. 8.
- † Matt. 28, v. 19.