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the same passage, in his address to the Jews at Rome, says, “Well spake the Holy Ghost
by Esaias the Prophet unto our fathers identifying the “ LORD OF hosts” with the third Person in the blessed Trinity, in the same manner as St. John had identified him with the second Person. Thus each inspired commentator respectively ascribes to the Son and to the Holy Ghost the most exalted ex pressions of absolute Divinity that are to be found in the sacred writings.
Upon this implied recognition of the doctrine we might venture to ground an argument in favour of that worship of the Holy Trinity, which has ever been maintained in the Christian church. That which is the object of adoration, of faith, and of obedience in heaven, cannot but be the proper object of the same on earth. That which is the theme of praise with saints and angels, must be assuredly the fit subject of our devotions. If glory is given to the tri-une Deity, the three Holy Ones, by the heavenly choir and by the elders of the church, standing before the throne of God; then have we the highest of all authority for that catholic form of worship, introduced from the earliest ages into the primitive Liturgies of the church, and
d Acts xxviii. 25.
continued to the present day;—“We praise “ thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be “ the Lord. All the earth doth worship thee, “ the Father everlasting. To thee all Angels
cry aloud, the Heavens, and all the Powers “ therein. To thee, Cherubim and Seraphim “ continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord “ God of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full “ of the majesty of thy glory. The glorious
company of the Apostles praise thee: the
goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise “ thee: the holy Church throughout all the “ world doth acknowledge thee; the Father “ of an infinite Majesty; thine honourable, “ true, and only Son; also the Holy Ghost, 6 the Comforter."
Our belief, however, of this fundamental article of the Christian faith is not dependent upon presumptive evidence of this description. It is founded upon more direct and positive testimony of holy writ, and further corroborated by a prodigious mass of historical evidence, hardly possible to be accounted for upon any other supposition than the divine authority of the doctrine itself.
St. John opens his Gospel with this unambiguous declaration of our Lord's divinity: “ In the beginning was the Word, and the “ Word was with God, and the WORD was “ God." In the Epistle to the Hebrews St. Paul affirms the Son of God to be " the bright
ness of His glory, and the express image “ of His person'.” The same Apostle asserts, “ that by Him do all things consists ;" that “ in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the God“ head bodily b,” that he is “over all,” and “ God blessed for ever.” Our Saviour himself assumed titles which led the Jews to charge him with blasphemy in “making him“ self equal with God”;” but which nevertheless he continually re-asserted, and wrought miracles to confirm his pretensions to them. He moreover allowed expressions of divine worship to be addressed to him, and assumed to himself the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.
The divinity of the Holy Spirit is so unequivocally set forth, that they who controvert it are driven to the necessity of altogether denying his distinct personality, and referring what is said of Him to the FATHER only. Therefore, if the personality of the Holy Ghost be proved, his divinity, even by the confessions of our adversaries, is proved also. But the expressions used by our Lord himself in speaking of the Holy Ghost, denominating him the Comforter, and describing him as proceeding from the Father and the Son, and sent for the special purpose of succeeding the Son in the great work of man's redemption, are such as it seems impossible, without perverting the simplest modes of speech, to understand in any other sense than that of a Person distinct from both, though united with them in the same divine nature.
e John i. 1.
f Hebr. i. 3.
g Col. i. 17.
Certain texts of Scripture represent also the joint operation of the three Persons, in terms of the most perfect equality. Such is the form of baptism, and the benediction which concludes St. Paul's second Epistle to the Corinthians; besides other passages in the writings of the New Testament, which though less directly affirmative of the doctrine, will hardly admit of any other clear and consistent interpretation.
But, without dwelling more particularly on these main evidences deduced from holy writ, my chief purpose in the present discourse is, to consider the subject in an historical point of view, connecting it not only with the dispensations of revealed religion antecedent to Christianity, but also, through them, with the theology of the Gentile world.
The faith of the ancient Jewish church has been deemed by many eminent expositors, to afford no inconsiderable confirmation of this doctrine. Viewing, indeed, the Jewish and Christian scriptures as proceeding from one and the same source of Divine authority, some such indications of accordance between them might be deemed no improbable expectation. The God whom Christians worship is the same whom the Jews acknowledged. The MESSIAH, the Word, whom we receive, is the same that was foretold by their prophets. The Holy SPIRIT whom we believe in, is no other than he who spake by their inspired teachers. Our Lord and his Apostles pressed these considerations upon the Jews themselves. Passages are cited by them from the Old Testament, in which the incommunicable name Jehovah, and the Divine attributes and perfections inseparable from the true God, are ascribed both to the Son and the Holy Ghost;
and the obvious inference to be drawn from these is, that neither the divinity of our Lord, nor that of the Holy Spirit, was a doctrine at variance with what the Law and the Prophets had revealed.
Christian writers of a later period have brought evidence to shew that certain ancient Jewish expositors, even before the coming of Christ, had inferred from the prophetical tokens of the Messiah, that he was to be