« AnteriorContinuar »
the morning, and well in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Ps. 139: 7–10. Now here, as the Jehovah 10 whom the Psalmist addresses himself is acknowledged to be every where present and immense; so also, and in a sense as unlimited, is his Spirit and his presence; for that presence from whom none can go, as well as that presence from whom none can flee; they from whom neither heaven, nor hell, nor the uttermost part of the sea can hide; they from whom no place in the universe can exclude, must surely be present in all places alike; and consequently the Son and the Holy Ghost must be as strictly omnipresent as the Father. “By the word presence in this passage I understand," says Mr. Wheatly, “the divine word or person of the Son, whom God calls his presence, and promises to Moses, upon his earnest intercession, to send before him, to lead the people, and to give them rest; and whom accordingly Isaiah calls the Angel of his presence, who was afflicted in their affliction and saved them; who in his love and his pity redeemed them, and bare them, and carried them all the days of old. Isa. 63: 9. Agreeable with this are the words of Moses, Because the Lord loved thy Father, therefore he chose their seed after him, and brought thee out in his sight, (or rather by his presence, as the word Bephanav signifies,) with his mighty power, out of Egypt. This is that presence or face of the Lord before whom John the Baptist was to go and prepare his way; and who, as it appears from the prophet Malachi, was himself no less than Jehovah.” On the Creeds, p. 165. How consoling, my dear Benjamin, is the truth to the believer in Christ, that he can never be cast out from the presence, grace, or protection of the Holy Ghost. Wherever his lot is cast, in the darkest dungeon or in a cave, in the uttermost ends of the earth, far distant from all fellow Christians, yet the Holy Spirit, who is every where present. is with him, to lead and tcach, to support and comfort him, and bring him through into the presence of God the Father; for by this immense omnipresent Spirit, both those that are nigh, and those that are afar off, have access to the Father. Eph. 2:16.
$ 5. Omniscience is an attribute peculiar to the true God, and is ascribed to the Holy Spirit; therefore the Holy Spirit is the true God. He not only knoweth the hearts of men, but also the secrets of Jehovah. I Cor. 2: 10, 11. Nothing in the Father, however profound, or however sublime, sur. passes the knowledge of his Holy Spirit. He is inwardly conscious of the things of God, as the spirit of man is of the things of man; for, in knowing the mind of the Father who creates, he must know the things comprehended in him, viz. the nature, and powers, and operations of all things; for the knowledge of God is equal to his power, and nothing was made which he does not comprehend. If then the secrets of the creature and the depth of God are searched and understood, and the things past and the things to come known and foretold by the Spirit of God; (for the econo. my of providence relating to man, to the end of the world, and contained in the writings of both Testaments, was revealed to the prophets by the Holy Spirit;) it will then fol. low that the Holy Ghost knoweth all things, is every where present, and is true God—for the knowledge of all things is a Scripture argument of the truth of the Godhead of the subject knowing. When our blessed Lord and Savior promised his disciples that he would send another Comforter, even the Holy Ghost, he describes one part of his office to be " to show them things to come.” Now this is a power which he himself declares that none can exert but he alone who is truly God; for when he challengeth the idols to plead their cause, and to give convincing proof of their divinity; “ Produce your cause, saith the Lord, bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob; let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen ; let them
show the former things what they be, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them; or declare us things to come; show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know ye are gods.” Isa. 41: 21-23. Hence the Lord Jesus Christ himself appeals to his foretelling of future events, as one test of his own divinity. “I tell you," says he, (i. e. that Judas should betray him,) " before it come, that when it come to pass, ye may believe that I am,” John, 13:19; i. e. I am the true God, which knows all things before they happen, even those which none but the true God can foresee. The amazing gift of prophecy, declaring the end from the beginning, and foretelling particular events long beforehand as exactly as they came to pass, with the particular circumstances of them, was from the Holy Spirit, and plainly shows his infinite knowledge. “He that teaches man knowledge, shall not he know?" Ps. 94:9, 10. Of all kinds of knowledge, prescience, or knowledge of things to come, seems to be the hardest; of all the acts of prescience, the foreknowledge of things which depend upon the wills of free agents seems to be the most difficult. But is any thing too hard for the Spirit to do, or too difficult for him to know? A remarkable instance of the prescience or foreknowledge of the Holy Spirit we have recorded in that history, where we find a prophet uttering these words: “O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord, Behold, a child shall be born in the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee; and men's bones shall burn upon thee." This prophecy was delivered some hundreds of years before its accomplishment: the certain birth and name of the prince, of what family he should be, and some remarkable things he should do, are foretold as exactly as if they had then been done; and yet these events seemed to be very contingent and uncertain; there were ten or eleven kings in David's line after the prophet and before Josiah; and what might happen among them, the birth of this prince and his name, his destroying of the altar and burning of the priests' bones thereupon, seemed to depend upon the voluntary acts of men'; but God the Spirit, as well as the Father, understands the thoughts afar off, and foresees the end from the beginning; a knowledge too great for any creature, and peculiar to the only true God." .
§ 6. Omnipotence, or almighty power, is also the peculiar attribute of Jehovah, and is ascribed to the Holy Ghost. This is evident from the works which are ascribed to him, as will be shown hereafter. I shall sum up what has been said in a few words. He who is omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal, unchangeable, infinitely, sovereignly gracious, and omniscient, is no creature, but is true and real God, of the same nature and perfections with the Father and the Son.
III. From the attributes of God, ascribed to the Holy Spirit, I proceed to notice,
87. The works which he performs.
Creation, which is the exclusive work of God, is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, and therefore he is truly God. Psa. 33: 6; 104 : 30. Job, 26: 13; 33:4. The Prophet Isaiah describes the almighty power and exalted majesty of the Holy Ghost as Creator, in the following passage: "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out the heavens with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath direct ed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor, hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding ? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing; and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a
burnt-offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity." Isa. 40 : 12-17. Now let it be observed, my dear Benja. min, that these things are ascribed to the Holy Spirit, not in exclusion of the Father and the Son, but in conjunction with them; for the three in heaven are one, one in essence, and one in operation. There is a joint concurrence of all the three persons in the Godhead in the works of nature and Providence, as Christ says: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work; and whatsoever the Father doeth, the Son doeth likewise." The same may be said of the Spirit, who, with the Father and the Son, is the Creator and Maker of all things. The glorious luminaries that adorn the heavens are the product of the Holy Spirit's almighty creating power, and with the same power all the decays of nature are repaired, and the face of the earth is renewed, as it were, by a continual new creation, performed by the Spirit who at first moved upon the face of the waters, and gave being, order, and beauty to the several creatures formed out of the first confused chaos. The Holy Spirit, being one in nature with the Father and the Son, is also one with them in power and operation; and as creation is the work of the Father and of the Son, so it is equally the work of the Holy Spirit. This accounts for the plural form of expressions made use of in respect to the works of creation. “In the beginning God,” according to the Hebrew, Gode, "created the heavens and the earth.” “Let us make man.” “Remember thy Creators in the days of thy youth.” “Let Israel rejoice in his Makers." " Where is God my Makers ?!' “ The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the carth, and from under the heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and bath stretched out the heavens by his discre. tion,” says the prophet Jeremiah. This is the work of