Obrazy na stronie

Again: Though it be not expressly spoken in the Scripture, that the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Son, yet the substance of the same truth is virtually contained there; because those very expressions, which are spoken of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Father, for that reason because he proceedeth from the Father, are also spoken of the same Spirit in relation to the Son; and therefore there must be the same reason presupposed in reference to the Son, which is expressed in reference to the Father. Because the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, therefore it is called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of the Father. It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.' [Matt. x. 20.] For by the language of the apostle, the Spirit of God is the Spirit which is of God, saying, The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. And we have received, not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God.' [1 Cor. ii. 11, 12.] Now the same Spirit is also called the Spirit of the Son; for 'because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. [Gal. iv. 6.] the Spirit of Christ; Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his;' [Rom. viii. 9.] 'even the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets;' [1 Pet. i. 11.] the Spirit of Jesus Christ, as the apostle speaks, ‘I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.' [Phil. i. 19.] If then the Holy Ghost be called the Spirit of God the Father, because he proceedeth from the Father, it followeth that, being called also the Spirit of the Son, he proceedeth also from the Son.

Again because the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, he is therefore sent by the Father, as from him who hath, by the original communication, a right of mission; as, The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send.' [John xiv. 26.] But the same Spirit which is sent by the Father, is also sent by the Son, as he saith, When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you.' Therefore the Son hath the same right of mission with the Father, and consequently must be acknowledged to have communicated the same essence. The Father is never sent by the Son, because he received not the Godhead from him; but the Father sendeth the Son, because he communicated the Godhead to him: in the same manner neither the Father nor the Son is ever sent

by the Holy Spirit: because neither of them received the Divine nature from the Spirit: but both the Father and the Son sendeth the Holy Ghost, because the Divine nature, common to both the Father and the Son, was communicated by them both to the Holy Ghost.

Thus have we endeavoured to declare the nature of the Holy Ghost, distinguishing him from all qualities, energies, or operations, in that he is truly and properly a person; differencing him from all creatures and finite things, as he is not a created person; showing him to be of an infinite and eternal essence, as he is truly and properly God; distinguishing him from the Father and the Son, as being not the Father, though the same God with the Father; not the Son, though the same God with him; demonstrating his order in the blessed Trinity, as being not the first or second, but the third person; and therefore the third, because as the Son receiveth his essence communicated to him by the Father, and is therefore second to the Father, so the Holy Ghost receiveth the same essence communicated to him by the Father and the Son, and so proceedeth from them both, and is truly and properly the Spirit of the Father, and as truly and properly the Spirit of the Son. [BISHOP PEARSON.]

ROMANS i. 4.




-Christ was declared to be the Son of God, according to the Spirit of holiness.'

THE doctrine of our church relative to the nature of the Holy Ghost, is briefly this: He is a person, divine and uncreated; properly and truly God; distinct from God the Father, and from God the Son; the third person in the blessed Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son. But in the present discourse, we purpose to consider not so much the nature of the Holy Ghost, as his peculiar offices in reference to mankind. For although the Spirit of God be of infinite, essential, and original

holiness, as God, and so may be called holy in himself; though other spirits which were created, be either actually now unholy, or of defectible sanctity at first, and so having the name of spirit common unto them, he may be termed Holy, that he may be distinguished from them; yet I conceive he is rather called the Holy Spirit, or (as St. Paul in our text expresses it) the Spirit of holiness,' [Rom. i. 4.] because, of the three persons in the blessed Trinity, it is his particular office to sanctify or make us holy.

Now when I speak of the office of the Holy Ghost, I do not understand any ministerial office or function, such as that of the created angels is, who are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them, who shall be heirs of salvation;' [Heb. i. 14] for this spirit is a person properly divine, and consequently above all ministration ;-but I intend thereby whatsoever is attributed unto him peculiarly in the salvation of man, as the work wrought by him, for which he is sent by the Father and the Son. For all the persons in the godhead are represented unto us as concurring unto our salvation: God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,' [John iii. 16.] and through that Son we have an access by one Spirit unto the Father.' [Eph. ii. 18.] As therefore what our Saviour did and suffered for us belonging to that office of a Redeemer, which he took upon him; so whatsoever the Holy Ghost worketh in order to the same salvation, we look upon as belonging to his office. And because without holiness it is impossible to please God; because we are all impure and unholy, and the purity and holiness which are required in us to appear in the presence of God, whose eyes are pure, must be wrought in us by the spirit of God, who is called holy because he is the cause of this holiness in us-therefore we acknowledge the office of the Spirit of God to consist in the sanctifying of the servants of God.

Now this sanctification being opposed to our impurity and corruption, and answering fully to the latitude of it, whatsoever is wanting in our nature of that holiness and perfection, must be supplied by the Spirit of God. Wherefore since, by nature, we are totally void of all saving truth, and under an impossibility of knowing the will of God; being as 'no man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him; even so none knoweth the things of God but the Spirit

of God:' this spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,' [1 Cor. ii. 10, 11.] and revealeth them unto the sons of men; so that thereby the darkness of their understanding is expelled, and they are enlightened with the knowledge of their God. This work of the Spirit is double, either external and general, or internal and particular. The external and general work of the Spirit, as to the whole church of God, is the revelation of the will of God, by which so much in all ages hath been propounded, as was sufficient to instruct men unto eternal life. For there have been holy prophets ever since the world began: '[Luke i. 70.] and prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.' [2 Pet. i. 22.] When it pleased God in the last days to speak unto us by his Son,' [Heb. i. 2.] even that Son sent his Spirit into the apostles, the Spirit of truth, that he might guide them into all truth, teaching them all things, and bringing all things to their remembrance, whatsoever Christ had said unto them. [John xvi. 13.] By this means, it came to pass, that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God, that is, by the motion and operation of the Spirit of God; and so whatsoever is necessary for us to know and believe, was delivered by revelation. Again: the same Spirit which revealeth the object of faith generally to the universal church of God, which object is propounded externally by the church to every particular believer, doth also illuminate the understanding of such as believe, that they may receive the truth for faith is the gift of God, not only in the object but also in the act: Christ is not only given unto us, in whom we believe, but it is also given us in the behalf of Christ to believe on him; [Phil. i. 29.] and this gift is a gift of the Holy Ghost, working within us an assent unto that which by the word is propounded to us: by this the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul;' [Acts xvi. 14.] by this the word preached profiteth, being mixed with faith in them that hear it.' [Heb. ii. 4.] Thus by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.' [Eph. ii. 8.] As the increase and perfection, so the original, or initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal in the word, but by an internal illumination in the soul; by which we are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting to those truths, which unto a natural and carnal man are foolishness,

The second part of the office of the Holy Ghost is the sanctification of man, in the regeneration and renovation of him. For our natural corruption consisting in an aversation of our wills, and a depravation of our affections, an inclination of them to the will of God is wrought within us by the Spirit of God. For according to his mercy he saveth us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' [Tit. iii. 5.] So that except a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' We are all at first defiled by the corruption of our nature, and the pollution of our sins; but we are washed, but we are sanctified, but we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.' (1 Cor. vi. 11.]

And if we of the flesh;'

The third part of this office is to lead, direct, and govern us in our actions and conversations, that we may actually do and perform those things, which are acceptable and well-pleasing in the sight of God. If we live in the Spirit,' quickened by his renovation, we must also walk in the Spirit,' [Gal. v. 25.] following his direction, led by his manuduction. walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts [Gal. v. 16.], for we are not only directed but animated and acted in those operations by the Spirit of God, who giveth both to will and to do; and as many as are thus led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.' [Rom. viii. 14.] Moreover, that this direction may prove more effectual, we are also guided in our prayers, and acted in our devotions by the same Spirit, according to the promise, I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication.' [Zech. xii. 10.] Whereas then this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us;' [1 John v. 14.] and whereas we know not what we should pray for as we ought, the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, and he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.' [Rom. viii. 26, 27.] From which intercession especially I conceive he hath the name of the Paraclete given him by Christ, who said, I will pray unto the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete.' [John xiv. 16.] For if any man sin, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,"

« PoprzedniaDalej »