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existent being of God, forms the foundation doctrine of revelation—the basis of all revealed truth. This renounced, not a step can be advanced in demonstrating to an unbeliever the attributes of God, his moral government, and the holiness and equity of his claims to the supreme obedience of the creature. If there be no true God, there can be no true religion. The same observation will apply with equal propriety and force to the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus. The basis of Christ's work is his proper and essential Deity. If he be not Jehovah in the highest sense, we lose all confidence in the vicarious character of his death, and are compelled to resign our long and fondly cherished hope of salvation through his cross;—the perfection of his atoning work falling with the dignity of his person.
Yet another confirmation of the truth of this thought, will be found in a consideration of the work of the Holy Spirit. The basis of that work is, his DIVINE PERSONALITY. All the dignity, efficacy, and glory of his office work, and various operations, spring from this truth. We must relinquish all dependance upon his influences, if we cannot scripturally maintain the doctrines of his Deity and Personality. And here let it be remarked that, a believer's views of the necessity and the nature of the gracious operations of the Spirit, will be materially affected by the strength of his faith in the doctrine of the personal glory of the Spirit. Low views of the dignity of his person, will engender low views of the necessity and nature of his work. The one, must be essentially modified by the other. The Lord, in his wisdom, has so ordered it. “Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” Let this gracious promise and solemn threatening be applied to our conduct in relation to the Holy Spirit, and how true will they appear. Where he is honoured, and adoring thoughts of his person, and tender, loving views of his work, cherished, then are experienced, in an enlarged degree, his quickening, enlightening, sanctifying, and comforting influences. On the contrary, where he is robbed of his glory, dishonoured, and denied, all is darkness and desolation-presenting the dreariness and barrenness of winter, the very coldness and torpor of death! “Come, Eternal and blessed Spirit! impart to our minds life, light, and unction, while investigating thy all-important and glorious work. Give to him that writeth, and to those who read the words of this book, the 'anointing that teacheth all things' -the blessing shall be ours, thine the honour and the praise."
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upon each kindred subject, it will materially aid the reader in his clear perception of the truth, if a simple order of arrangement be observed. In the present chapter, therefore, the distinct personality of the Holy Spirit will be first proved, this will necessarily lead to a vindication of his Deity;—a brief glance at the relation which these two doctrines bear to the entire revelation of God, and to the reality and growth of the believer's experience of divine truth, will close the chapter.
We commence with the distinct PERSONALITY of the Holy Spirit. In adducing scriptural testimony to the truth of this doctrine, we need scarcely pause upon the threshold of our subject to state, at length, the precise nature of those views of the Spirit, of which, the sentiments about to be advanced in this discussion, must be considered as opposite and antagonist. And yet, for the information, possibly, of a few into whose hands this Treatise may fall, and for the more full and irresistable conviction on the minds of all, of the bearing and force of the numerous passages we shall adduce in proof, it may be proper briefly to state what those views of the Holy Spirit are, the fallacy and the fatal tendency of which, it is our humble desire to refute and expose.
It is asserted by those who impugn the doctrine
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in question that, the Holy Spirit is but another name for the Father,—that, all the operations and influences which we ascribe to his personal and divine agency, are but so many emanations of Deity, or, the exercise of one or more of the divine attributes-either the wisdom, power, or mercy of God. And to evade the force of the many passages in the Scriptures of truth which substantiate the doctrine of his distinct personal existence, it is argued that, every passage thus adduced, is to be interpreted, not in a literal, but in a figurative sense. And thus, the Holy Spirit, the third person in the glorious Trinity, the Author of divine life, and the great Testifier of Jesus, is reduced to a mere figure of speech, an oriental metaphor! And, what stamps the hypothesis with such glaring absurdity is that, an attribute, a principle, an emanation, is allowed to possess the organs and faculties, both physical and mental, of a distinct person, and a sentient being! An error, more fatal to an experimental and practical reception of divine truth, we cannot imagine to exist. O that the Holy Spirit may now enable us to vindicate his glory, and from his own word and work prove him to be, what he truly is,-a distinct Person in the Godhead.
If it be enquired, what we mean by the term person, as applied to the Spirit, we briefly reply,
such a distinction in the Trinity, as demonstrates a separate mode of existence, to which belong personal attributes; and yet this distinct intelligent Agent, coalescing in, and constituting in union with the Father and the Son, the one God. Because of his union with the Godhead we ascribe to Him divinity, and because of his personal properties and acts we ascribe to Him personality. We now proceed to the proof.
In opposition to the idea just adverted to that, the Holy Spirit is a mere quality or influence, let us adduce two or three passages in which the Spirit is spoken of as a person, and distinguished from an attribute. Thus,-Acts x. 38. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” Rom. xv. 13. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” 1 Cor. ii. 4. “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” We now ask, is it not plain and intelligible to the most common understanding, that the Spirit is a distinct and intelligent Agent, and is never to be confounded with the divine attributes? In these passages, the distinction is clearly drawn between the Spirit, and the divine attribute of power. And to interpret