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ON THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY
... A SERMON FOR WHITSUNDAY.
', 1 CORINTHIANS, CHAPTER 2, VERSE 10, 11.
6 The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, even the deep things
of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man, which is in him! Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God.”.
The mysterious doctrine of the divinity, of the Holy Ghost, that He is very and eternal God, is clearly revealed in Holy Scripture, and is therefore a necessary article in our Christian faith. In the words of the text this sacred truth is plainly asserted. The spirit of God alone can search or comprehend “ the deep things,” the eternal counsels, the hidden ways, the infinite perfections of the Godhead. As, among mankind, no man can tell or understand his own inward thoughts and designs, but through that immortal spirit, which God gave to Adam when “man became a living soul,” so none but the Holy Spirit “knoweth the things of God,” shut up, as they are, in the unsearchable depths of His own unbounded perfections.
The solemn importance of this great truth is a fit subject for our meditations and prayers on this especial day, when, through the promise and intercession of Christ, the Holy Spi-, rit descended from above upon His first disciples. Let us, then, seriously attend to this important subject, by considering it under two heads: First, That the Holy Ghost is very and eternal God; Secondly, That we each entirely depend upon the Holy Ghost for all spiritual good, and for our present and everlasting peace.
There are many passages in Holy Scripture, which plainly declare that the Holy Ghost is God; that He is equal to the Father and to the Son, distinct in Person, the same in Being. The Holy Spirit is said to “shew things to come”* by his own knowledge: none can do this but God. : Lying to the Holy Ghost, St. Peter declared to be lying unto God.t
The text tells us, that“ The spirit searcheth” those «
deep things,” which none but God can know. And St. Paul speaks the same truth, when he says that the body of a holy believer is “ The temple of God, and that the spirit of God,” whose temple it is, “ dwelleth in” all such. In addition to this, and much more to the confirmation of the same solemn
* St. John, xvi. 13.
† 1 Cor. jii. 16.
+ Acts, v.
argument in Holy Scripture, is the express command of Christ Himself, that every one of His disciples must be baptized in the joint name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three divine Persons, but one great and incomprehensible God.
To those who firmly believe that the Scriptures are the Word of God, it will ever be sufficient, of any incomprehensible truth, to know, that God hath been pleased to reveal it to us. Believing this, they require, they need nothing further; but receive, with humble and thankful hearts, the revelation of the mysteries of God.
If then, we believe, as by Holy Scripture evidence we are bound to believe, that, the Holy Ghost is very and eternal God, we are duly prepared to enter fully upon the second part of the subject before us: that we are each dependant upon the Holy Ghost for all our spiritual good, both in matters of faith and duty, as well as for our hope of present and everlasting peace.
It is indeed true from the word of God, that we depend for these blessings, upon the two other Persons of the adorable Trinity, the Father and the Son, equally with the Holy Ghost : but we are differently related to each person in the Godhead, according as the personal acts of each towards His creatures mark
a different relationship, and call forth especial considerations.
We love God, in His great essential character of God, all in all. But we love God, the Father, because He created and preserves us, and hath restored us to His favour through the death and mediation of His only Son.
We love God the Son, because, 'in pity to fallen man, He left heaven for a while, and humbled Himself unto the death of the Cross, that we might be forgiven.
We love God the Holy Ghost, because He hath graciously condescended to come into this sinful world to purify our souls, to help our infirmities, and fit us for the purchased inheritance of heaven.
So, also, we pray unto God, as unto that Almighty Being from whom alone cometh “every good and perfect gift."
But we pray to the Father, because He giveth us all things “really good for us, richly to enjoy," and because “ He is the common Father of us all,” and “ knoweth what we have need of before we ask Him." We
pray to the Son, because He prayeth for us; and “ever liveth to make intercession for us;" because He is our great High Priest, the only mediator between God and man, through whom alone our prayers can be heard.
We pray to the Holy Ghost, because He
is the giver of all spiritual health and strength, through whose assistance our prayers, poor and worthless as they are in themselves, ascend up as incense to the throne of Grace.
Thus, and in every other instance of human want and hope, do we all depend upon God, in his incomprehensible nature of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: but on this solemn day we are bound, in a more especial manner to consider our immediate dependence upon the Holy Ghost, in all our spiritual wants and weaknesses; and to dwell in profitable thought upon those duties more immediately owing to the third person of the adorable Trinity.
The first practical duty, especially owing to God the Holy Ghost, is, that we cultivate a teachable and gentle spirit, that humble frame of soul which is opposed to our natural pride and self-will. The blessings of the Gospel are offered to all such as are willing to become meek and humble minded ; and these strong assurances of Christ Himself, “ Blessed are the poor in spirit;" “ Blessed are the meek ;" “ Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven;" all shew, that so long as pride and self-will influence our conduct, so long are we kept back from the path that leadeth to life.
Let us seriously examine and know our