« AnteriorContinuar »
sin against the Holy Ghost is clearly calculated to evince his distinct Personality.
"The fellowship of the Spirit'' is mentioned, in holy writ, as well as the fellowship of the Father, and of the Son: Are we not hence taught his personal existence? Christ says of the Comforter, "He shall not speak of himself." Has he not then, a self?
While the Holy Ghost is represented as distinct in the Godhead, his essential unity with God is, at the same time most clearly ascertained. I might quote many texts to evince this : But it is needless. A few inspired testimonies may suffice. We are assured, " He that made all things, is God." But Eiihu said. "The Spirit of God hath made me." The Spirit then, is God. Christ says, "The'Father in me doeth the works." But he says also, "If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God."—The Father then, and the Spirit are one. Again. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." But "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Here the Holy Ghost is God. "The Lord God, who spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, since the world began.'' Yet we read " Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet."—The Holy Ghost here is the Lord God. "There is none good but one, that is God." But David says, "Thy Spirit is good." Here again the Spirit is God. Peter said to Ananias, "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie unto the Holy Ghost?" "Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." "Born of the Spirit," and " born of God," are perfectly equivalent, in the Bible. Christians are the " Temple of God." Yet they are the " Temple of the Holy Ghost, which they have of God." "The heavens declare the glory of God.?' But it is because that God, "by his Spirit, hath garnished the heavens." The Spirit is omniscient: "he searcheth all things; yea, even the deep things of God." It unavoidably follows, that he is God. The Holy Gliost said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have appointed them." But we read, "No man taketh this honor to himself, but he that is called of God." The Holy Ghost then, is God. Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost; and therefore should be called the Son of God. Hence the Holy Ghost is God ;—one with the Highest :— "He (Christ) shall be called the Son of the Highest." "And he (the Lord God) put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head ;—and the Spirit lifted me up." Here the Spirit was the Lord God. The Spirit, as the Comforter, dwells in all the saints. But it is the "High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity, that dwells with the broken hearted." "God is in you of a truth." These Two then, are One God. Perfections absolutely divine are ascribed to the Spirit. He is, by way of divine eminence, called the Eternal Spirit; the Spirit of Wisdom and Knowledge; the Spirit of Promise; the Spirit of Truth; the Spirit of Power;. the Spirit of Holiness; and the Holy Spirit; yea, the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit of the Lord; and the Spirit of God. Thus we are divinely taught to conceive, that the Holy Ghost has both distinct personality and proper Divinity, in the Godhead. None can doubt but the Father has real personality. The Son, it has been shewn, is represented as having real personality in his proper Deity. And the Holy Ghost, it appears, is exhibited as though he were possessed of real personality, and real Divinity. Are there not then, three in one God ?" the same in substance, equal in power aud glory," as is expressed by the Assembly of
Divines at Westminster. I see no way to evade this result, but by rejecting or perverting the Woid of God. Of the Christian, cur Lord says, "My Father will love him; and we will come unto him; and will make our abode with him." And also he assures, that the Comforter, whom the Father will send in Christ's name, he shall abide in all such forever. Here then are the Father, Christ, and the Comforter, three omnipresent Persons in one God, dwelling with every saint! So the Word of God expressly represents. Shall we believe the divine representation? Or shall we reject it, as incredible? We can plead numberless precedents on both sides of the question. Many have believed; and many have disbelieved. It is for us to choose with which class we will have our lot. And we should do well to consider, that the decision cannot be of minor importance. Much, very much is depending upon it. Our sentiments upon these points will lie at the root of our Religion. The reality of an atonement made for sin, depends on the real Deity of Jesus Christ. Men, who deny the Trinity, and thus the real Deity of Jesus Christ, will, with Dr. Priestly, as soon as they are prepared to follow the plainest leadings of their own sentiments, deny the existence and the necessity of the atonement; and will essentially vary the whole plan of salvation. When men begin to doubt, and shift their sentiments relative to the doctrine of the Trinity, none can tell where they will land, unless in infidelity. Dr. Priestly acknowledges, that "'he passed from Trinitarianism to high Arianism; from this to low Arianism; and from this to Socinianism. even of the lowest kind, in which Christ is considered as a mere man, the son of Joseph and Mary, and naturally as fallible and peccable as Moses, or any other prophet.1' This is a most natural description of the transition
to skepticism; or the process to infidelity. The way is a steep descent, and is open and slippery. It may almost be said of the first step in it, as of the approach to the harlot in the Proverbs." They that go unto her never return, neither take they hold of the path of life." And no wonder. The scheme of grace rests on the doctrine of the three Divine Persons. Christians are from the beginning, before the foundation of the world, chosen of God the Father; given to Jesus Christ, to be redeemed by his infinite atonement: and to be saved through sanctification of the Spirit, as well as sprinkling of the blood of Christ. Each of the three divine Persons has an essential part in the plan of salvation. Let one then be denied, and the plan is destroyed. The Anti-trinitarian sentiment is, in its fair implication, an axe laid to the root of the tree of gospel grace. Men of this sentiment may please themselves, that their departure is small; and all the excellencies of the scheme of grace, they will retain. But their hopes are illusory, as are his, who builds upon the sand; or who leaves a leak in his ship, and hopes it will not cause it to founder.
I might multiply arguments from the scriptures in favor of the Divine Trinity, "The Spirit of truth shall glorify me; for he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and show it unto you." Here are the three distinct Persons in the Godhead, the Father, Christ, and the Spirit of truth.
The heavenly worshippers, in their repeated ascriptions of " Holy, holy, holy," it maybe rationally supposed, have immediate reference to the Three in One, in the Godhead. Such testimonies as the following to the Trinity in Unity in God, abound in the sacred oracles. Paul gays, " I was made a minister according to the gift. of the grace of God, given unto me by the effectual working of his power." In another passage —" That the power of Christ may rest upon me." In a third—" To make the GentileS obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the povfer of the Spirit of God.'' Here the same power is the power of God, of Christ, and of the Spirit. "Do not 1 fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?" "The fullBess of him, (Christ,) that filleth all in all." "Whether shall I go from thy Spirit." Here, (as in other scriptures,) God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, are omnipresent. As in the following; Christ says, "If any man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'' Here is the omnipresence of the two first Persons in the Trinity. And Christ tells his people, that the Comforter whom he will send from the Father, shall be in them, and abide in them. Here then, is a Trinity with every saint.
Moses directs Israel to love the Lord thy God; '<jfor he is thy life." Paul says, "When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory." And to the Romans, he calls the Holy Ghost, "The Spirit of life." Here is the Trinity in God, the life of his people.
John says, " Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Paul says, " The fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you all."
"It is written, They shall be all taught of God."
Paul informs the Galatians, "Neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Christ says, " The Comforter—will teach you aft fcings."