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and his truth.” Ps. lxxxv. ver. 10: “Mercy and truth are met together.” Ps. c. ver. 5: “The Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting.” Ps. xxxiii. ver. 22: “Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us.” Ps. xxxvi. ver. 5: “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens.” Ps. cwiii. ver. 4: “For thy mercy is great above the heavens.” Ezekiel, ch. vii. ver. 3: “I will send my anger upon thee.” 2 Chronicles, ch. xxiv. ver. 18: “Wrath came upon Judah for this trespass.” Were every attribute ascribed to the Deity which is found personified, to be therefore considered as a distinct personage, it would be difficult to avoid forming a very strange notion of the theology of the Bible. It appears, indeed, to me impossible to view the Holy Spirit as very God, without coming to ideas respecting the nature of the Deity, little different from some of those most generally and justly condemned as found amongst Polytheists. Take, for instance, Matthew ch. i. 11, where it is said, that Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Ver. 20: “That which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.” Luke, ch. i. 35: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” In interpreting these passages according to the opinion maintained by the Editor, we should necessarily be drawn to the idea that God came upon Mary, and that the child which she bore was in reality begotten of him. Is this idea, I would beg to know, consistent with the perfect nature of the righteous God? Or rather, is not such a notion of the Godhead’s G

having had intercourse with a human female, as horrible as the sentiments entertained by ancient and modern Heathens respecting the Deity ? On the other hand, if we understand by those passages, merely that the miraculous influence of God came upon Mary, so that, though a virgin, she bore a child, every thing would stand consistent with our belief of the Divine power, without shocking our ideas of the purity of the Deity, inculcated alike by reason and revelation. This mode of interpretation is, indeed, confirmed by the very passage of Luke above quoted, “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee;” plainly and simply declaring, that it was the power of God which gave birth to the child, contrary to the ordinary course of nature. If by the term “Holy Ghost” be meant a third distinct person of the Godhead, equal in power and glory with the Father of all, I am at a loss to know what Trinitarians understand by such expressions as the following: Matthew, ch. iii. ver. 11, and Luke, ch. iii. ver. 16: “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Acts, ch. x. ver. 38: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” Matthew, ch. xii. ver, 28: “I cast out devils by the Spirit of God.” Ver. 31 : “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Luke, ch. iv. ver. 1 : “And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan.” If the term “Holy Ghost” be synonymous with the third person of the Godhead, and “Christ” with the second person, the foregoing passages may be read as follows: “He, the second person, shall baptize you with the third person of the Godhead, and with fire.” “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, (the second person of the Godhead,) with the third person of the Godhead, and with power.” “I (the second person of the Godhead) cast out devils by the third person of the Godhead.” “All manner of sin and blasphemy, even against the first and second person of the Godhead, shall be forgiven unto men; but blasphemy against the third person of the Godhead shall not be forgiven unto men.” “Jesus, (the second person of the Godhead,) being full of the third person of the Godhead, returned from Jordan.” But little reflection is, I should suppose, necessary to enable any one to perceive the inconsistency of such paraphrases as the foregoing, and the reasonableness of adopting the usual mode of scriptural interpretation of the original texts, according to which the foregoing passages may be understood as follows: “He shall baptize you with the spirit of truth and purity.” “God anointed Jesus of Nazereth with his holy influence and power.” “I cast out devils by the influence of God.” “All manner of sin and blasphemy, even against the Christ, the first-born of every creature, shall be forgiven to men; but blasphemy against the power of God shall not be forgiven unto men.” “Jesus, being full of the influence of God, returned from Jordan.” Still more dangerous to true religion would it be to interpret, according to the Trinitarian mode, the passages which describe the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Jesus on the occasion of his baptism. Luke, ch. iii. ver. 22 : “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him.” For, if we believe that the Spirit, in the form of a dove, or in any other bodily shape, was really the third person of the Godhead, how can we justly charge with absurdity the Hindoo legends of the Divinity having the form of a fish or of any other animal? It ought to be remarked, with respect to the text above quoted, denouncing eternal wrath on those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, that the occasion on which the term was made use of by Christ, was the accusation of the Jews, that his miracles were the effects of an influence of a nature directly opposite to that of God, namely, the power of Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. The Jews alleged that he was possessed of an unclean or diabolical spirit. (“Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” Mark, ch. iii. ver. 30. “They said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” Matthew, ch. xii. ver. 24.) Jesus affirms that the Spirit which enabled him to do those wonderful works was a holy spirit; and that whatever language they might hold with respect to himself, blasphemy against that power by which he did those miracles would not be forgiven. “All manner of sins and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.” Were the words “all manner of blasphemy,” in the passage in question, received as including blasphemy against the Father, the term must be thus understood: “All manner of blasphemy against man and the Father, and even blasphemy against the Son, shall be forgiven; but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost must not be forgiven :” and consequently the interpretation would amount to an admission of the superiority of the Son and the Holy Ghost to the Father, an opinion which no sect of Christians has hitherto formed. In the abovequoted passage, therefore, the exception of the Holy Ghost must exclude blasphemy against the Father, and the whole should be thus interpreted:—All manner of blasphemy against men and angels, even the first-born of every creature, shall be forgiven; but blasphemy against the power of God, by which Jesus declared himself to have cast out devils, shall not be forgiven. For further illustration I quote here the whole passage of Matthew, ch. xii. vers. 24–37; “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his king

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