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dom stand 2 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out 2 therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man 2 and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the basphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word 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, neither in the world to. come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Mark, ch. iii. vers. 29, 30: “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation ; because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” Is it not evident from the above authority of Jesus himself, that the term “Holy Ghost” is synonymous to the prevailing influence of God? And had not the power by which Jesus performed his miracles the same origin, and was it not of the same nature as that by which the children of Israel performed theirs? “If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out 2 therefore they shall be your judges.” It may not be without use to notice here, that frequent instances are related in the Scriptures of the influence of the Spirit of God, in leading righteous men to truth, before Jesus had commenced the performance of his divine commission, and even before he had appeared in this world; in the same manner as it afterwards operated in guiding his true followers to the way of God, subsequent to his ascent to heaven, in consequence of his repeated intercession with the Father. This will fully appear from the following passages, Luke, ch. i. ver. 15: “And he (John the Baptist) shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.” Wer. 41 : “And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” Wer. 67: “And his (John’s) father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied,” &c. Ch. ii. vers. 25, 26: “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon: and the same

man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple.” Mark, ch. xii. ver. 36: “David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” The Evangelist Matthew employs a similar expression, ch. xxii. 43: “How then doth David in spirit call him Lord * Luke, ch. iv. ver. 1 : “And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” It must not, therefore, be supposed, that the manifestation of this holy attribute of God is peculiar to the Christian dispensation. We find in the Scriptures the term “God” applied figuratively in a finite sense to Christ, and to some other superiors, as I have already noticed in page 164: a circumstance which may possibly have tended to confirm such as are rendered, from their early impressions, partial to the doctrine of the Trinity, in their prepossessed notions of the deity of Jesus. But with respect to the Holy Ghost, I must confess my inability to find a single passage in the whole Scriptures, in which the Spirit is addressed as God, or as a person of God, so as to afford to believers of the Trinity an excuse for their profession of the Godhead of the Holy Ghost. The only authorities they quote to this effect that I have met with are as follow: Acts, ch. v. vers. 3, 4: “Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine

heart to lie to the Holy Ghost 2 Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” From which they conclude, He that lieth to the Holy Ghost lieth to God. John, ch. xv. ver. 26: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” As to the first of these texts, I need only remark, that any sin or blasphemy against one of the attributes of God is of course reckoned a sin or blasphemy against God himself. But this admission amounts neither to a recognition of the selfexistence of the attribute, nor of its identity with God. With respect to the mission of the Spirit of truth as a proof of its being a separate existence, and not merely an expression for the influence of God, the passage in question, if so taken, will thus run: “But when God is come, whom I (God) will send unto you from God, even God who proceedeth from God.” Can there be an idea more polytheistical than what flows from these words 2 Yet those that maintain this interpretation express their detestation of Polytheism. If with a view to soften the unreasonableness of this interpretation, they think themselves justified in having recourse to the term “mystery,” they cannot, without injustice, accuse Hindoos, the believers of numerous Gods under one Godhead, of absurdity, when they plead mystery in defence of their Polytheism; for, under the plea of mystery, every appearance of unreasonableness may be easily removed. I find to my great surprise, that the plural form

of expression in the 26th verse of the first chapter of Genesis, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” has been quoted by some divines as tending to prove the doctrine of the Deity of the Holy Ghost, and that of the Son, with the deity of the Father of the Universe, commonly called the doctrine of the Trinity. It could scarcely be believed, if the fact were not too notorious, that such eminent scholars as some of those divines undoubtedly were, could be liable to such a mistake, as to rely on this verse as a ground of argument in support of the Trinity. It shews how easily prejudice in favour of an already acquired opinion gets the better of learning, and how successfully it darkens the sphere of truth. Were we even to disregard totally the idiom of the Hebrew, Arabic, and of almost all Asiatic languages, in which the plural number is often used for the singular, to express the respect due to the person denoted by the noun: and to understand the term, “our image” and “our likeness,” found in the verse as conveying a plural meaning, the quotation would still by no means answer their purpose; for the verse in question would in that case imply a plurality of Gods, without determining whether their number was three or three hundred, and of course without specifying their persons. – No middle point in the unlimited series of number being determined, it would be almost necessary for the purpose of obtaining some fixed number, as implied by those terms, to adopt either two, the lowest degree of plurality in the first personal pronoun

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