« AnteriorContinuar »
SERM. ever things he shall hear, he hall speak; and he will tell XXXIV. you things to come : All things that the Father hath are
mine ; therefore said I, that he mall take of mine, and shall Mew it unto you: which expressions do in no sort well agree to the divine power or efficacy; but evidently respect a person : for what is performed by any agent, to say that of its efficacy, as distinct from it, is beside the reason and manner of speech; and doth especially disagree with the nature and genius of the divine Scripture, which undertaketh most simply and plainly to instruct us. That God's efficacy should be sent from the Father and Son; that it should speak, that it should hear from the Father and the Son; how strangely hard and obscure a manner of speaking is that! from them, not from himself: what himSelf can they imagine, who distinguish him not from God, and allow him no personality? why should we without necessity asperse the holy Scripture, made clearly to instruct us, with such mistiness and darkness ? Likewise to the Holy Spirit is attributed the office of a paraclete, or
advocate, who pleadeth our cause with God, praying and Rom. vi.26. interceding with God for us : but that God's efficacy
(which can hardly be conceived, which should not be conceived, distinct from God) should speak to God, should interpose itself between us, is, as the rest, too perplexed and intricate a saying.
3. Farthermore, the holy Scripture doth to the Holy
Spirit attribute faculties and operations annexed to him 1 Cor. ii. plainly personal : such are understanding ; (the Spirit
ii. Searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God: The things 11. ... of God none knoweth, but the Spirit of God:) will ; (He John iii. 8. Eph. iv. 30. divideth to every one as he willeth :) affections; of grief, Ila. lxiii. (Grieve not the Holy Spirit :) and anger, (They provoked John xvi. his Holy Spirit:) sense; (what he shall hear, he will speak:) ist 20. speech, there and in many other places; (It is not you,
faith our Saviour, that speak, but the Spirit of your Father Aets xiii. 2. that is in you: and, The Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas
and Saul for the work, whereunto I have called them: and Afts x. 19. again, very emphatically, While Peter thought on the vison,
the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.) Now
10, 11. 2 Cor.
13. Matt. x
these and the like faculties and acts are clearly personal ; SERM. not representing any quality, or energy, but a live and in- XXXIV. tellectual substance. To interpret all these things as spoken by fi&ion or dramatically, what is it but to transform God's oracles into Pythian riddles, and of theology to frame a mythology? That sometimes for emphasis sake, in matters less dark or high, the holy Scripture may sometime use such schemes, nothing, I confess, doth hinder; but that perpetually it should involve such a most grave and sublime matter with fuch tortuous forms of speech, doth in truth not seem confentaneous to its most holy and fimple majesty : as more simply, more clearly, and more intelligibly, so more compendiously, it might have been said, God knoweth, God willeth, God is thus or thus affected, God speaketh; than, God's virtue knoweth, God's power willeth, God's efficacy speaketh : if these manners of speech did not otherwise differ, at least the former would be more clear, simple, and expedite, nor would it so yield occafion to errors and doubts; and therefore more worthy it would be of the holy writ. However fuch prosopopcias should not be inept, but such as most appositely fhould agree to the matter proposed, which would not happen in this case : for of those personal attributes some at least do scarce admit those figurate senfes, or do plainly refuse them ; it is hard to say that a divine power doth know or hear; and who will fay that a divine efficacy is affected with anger or sorrow?
I add, that when the fin of blasphemy is said to be committed against the Holy Spirit, just in the same form of speech as against the Son, it is signified that the Holy Spirit is in the fame manner a Person as the Son is a Perfon; otherwise the comparison would not seem to be well framed.
4. The Holy Spirit, in the fame manner and by like right as the Father and Son, is the object of our faith, worship, obedience; the which, as by divers other ways, (as afterwards we may fhew,) so especially doth appear from the form of baptism inftituted and prescribed by our Lord; where we as well are baptized into the name of
SERM. the Holy Spirit, as of the Father and Son: wherein is XXXIV. signified, and by a solemn contestation ratified, on the part
of God, that those three, joined and confederated as it were, are conspiringly propitious and favourable to us; that they do receive us into their discipline, grace, and patronage ; that they are ready, and by virtue of promise in a manner bound, to bestow on us excellent benefits and privileges ; (on us, I say, performing the laws and conditions of the covenant then entered into ;) on our part, that we do with sound and firm faith equally (that is, thoroughly and entirely) acknowledge and confess those three; that we repose an equal (that is, a most firm) hope and confidence in them; that we do most highly reverence all and each of them; that we do fincerely and seriously undertake and promise a perpetual (and, nearest to what we are able, a perfect) obedience to them: doing which things, we do (as Athanasius, or an ancient writer under his name,
observeth) yield more than a simple adoration to the Holy Ei dà peń sio Spirit; (Since, faith he, they that are catechized in order to Time baptism, are not, before they are baptized, perfect Christians, anxólsvos but being baptized are confummaled; baptism therefore im
et ports more than adoration :) hence who sees not in this Borbo Diuris first and principal mystery of our religion the Holy Spirit di trasuoleen så Bertiouais exhibited to us as a Person; that about him, as such, this in pa wasizó excellent part of our duty, this eximious worship, is conisi rñs apore xvvhosws. versant? Attending to this point we may also see the ad
lal. verse opinion to be urged with many inconveniences : for Maced. p. if the Holy Spirit be not a perfon, not aptly (or rather
very incongruously) he is put into the same rank with the other two Persons; not rightly are things so wholly differing in kind (things subsistent and not subsistent) conjoined, and just in the same form proposed as like objects of worThip; yea superfluously and to no purpose doth the Holy Spirit seem to be adjoined, if by it nothing beside the divine efficacy is designed: for acknowledging the Father, we do withal acknowledge his power and efficacy, con, gruous to the divine nature ; worshipping the Father, we do together adore his power; devoting ourselves in obedience to the Father, we do likewise subject ourselves to
Athan. Dial. 1. contra
his power; as if one hath promised faith and loyalty to SERM. the king, he therein hath abundantly satisfied his duty; so XXXIV. that there is no farther need to profess himself devoted to the king's power or efficacy: who sees not that in such a case it is superfluous and idle to sever the king from his royal power? One may also ask, why with as good reason we should not be consecrated into the name of the divine goodness, of the divine justice, of the divine wisdom, or of any other divine attribute, as into the name of the divine power? The Socinian exposition therefore doth cast strange clouds and incongruities upon this august mystery; which yet in decency should be most clearly and simply propounded, left in the very entrance of our Christian profeffion an occasion should be given of stumbling into great error.
5. The personality of the Holy Ghost is also perspicuoully evinced, from its being represented under the visible shape of a subsistent thing. A substantial thing is no proper 'Ev tidu ow
Marina, in symbol or representative of a thing accidental, nor com-a bodil modiously may assume its name: to a thing having no thape, as it
is said in subsistence it doth not well suit to descend like a dove, the Gospel. and to rest upon Christ: supposing the Spirit were only the efficacy of God the Father, seeing the effects of faculties and operations are most aptly attributed to the persons having or exerting them, it could have been said (and that more rightly and properly) that the Father himself did appear in a corporeal figure, that the Father descended, that the Father sate upon Christ, that the Father was seen by the holy Baptist; the which it were rash to affirm.
I forbear to allege, that the Holy Spirit is reckoned among the three that bear witness in heaven ; that the fin against the Holy Ghost is distinguished from the sin against God the Father. k I also pass over, that a Trinity of Persons (as many of the Fathers conceive) was represented in the apparition to Abraham; where it is faid, The Lord ap-Gen. xviii.
k Cur non hîc accipiamus vifibiliter infinuatam per creaturam vifibilem Trinitatis æqualitatem, atque in tribus perfonis unum, eandemque substantiam. Aug. de Trin. ii. 11, 12.
SERM. peared, and three men appeared to him; as also that the
18: plural, did create in the singular;) Faciamus hominem, Let
us make man; Jehovah Elohim, the Lord our Gods; and the like, may well hither be referred. For from what hath been said the Socinian error may seem abundantly confuted.
III. We thirdly now do affert (supposing his personality) that the Holy Spirit is God, coefsential to God the Father and God the Son; or that the one divine nature (with all its attributes and perfections) is common to him with the Father; or that (which is the fame) the Holy Spirit is God, that most high God, most absolutely and properly so called; (for, seeing the holy Scriptures do frequently inculcate that there is but one God, if the Holy Spirit be God, he must necessarily be coessential to the Father and the Son.) Now that he is God, we, against the Macedonians, or Semi-Arians, do assert, and by these arguments prove.
I. The most proper names of God and the most divine titles are every where (according to just interpretation and by perspicuous consequence) attributed unto the Holy Spirit : inasmuch as often, (almost ever,) upon various occasions, the same words, works, and acts are referred to God and to the Holy Spirit; so that whatever God is said to have spoken, to have performed, to have made, that also is reported said, transacted, produced by the Holy Ghost; and reciprocally, whatever doth any way regard the Holy Spirit, that is referred to God : the which doth argue that between the beings denoted by the names God and Holy Spirit an essential identity or unity doth inter
cede. Of the Israelites being wickedly incredulous and Pf. lxxviii. refractory it is said, They tempted and provoked the most
high God, and kept not his testimonies: the same Isaiah Ifa. Ixiii. thus expresseth; They rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit. done . In lsaiah (vi. 9.) God is said to send the prophets; St. Paul Acts xxviii.""
reporting it saith the Holy Ghost fent them. St. Peter
chargeth Ananias, that he had lied to the Holy Spirit; Acts V. 3, 4. and thence that he had lied to God: Ananias, faith he,