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6.1 am the Lord thy God, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go.” “ He (Christ) calleth his own sheep by name, and leadest them." “ As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God."
Of the saints Jude says, “ To them that are sanctified by God the Father.” The apostle to the Hebrews says of Christ, “ He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” And to the Romans; “ Being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”
Here, and in many other scriptures, we find the Trinity in the Godhead united in all the scheme, and the operation of grace and salvation.
If the arguments adduced from scripture, be by any deemed insufficient to substantiate the doc. trine of three Persons in the Godhead; it will be in vain to adduce any other scriptural evidence !
Objection 1. But God speaks of pouring out his Spirit. Does not this indicate, that the Spirit is not an Agent, but merely the energy of the Father ?
Answer. "This is a figurative expression. What is the thing promised ? Certainly, a gracious divine operation in the soul ; which implies a divine personal agency there. And what do the more literal parts of the Bible teach, concerning this agency? They teach, that it is the agency of the Holy Ghost. As our Lord says; “ The Comforter, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things." "He shall take of mine, and show it unto you." “ He shall abide with you forever." This appears to be the literal representation; the other the figurative.
The operations of grace in the soul are often expressed in holy writ, in allusion to the modes of ordinances, which relate to them. The new heart is the circumcised heart; because circumcision was the “ seal of the righteousness of the faith." The same operation under the gospel, is a washing with water; “baving the heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and the body washed with pure water." “ By the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." These and similar passages allude to that washing with water which denotes the operations of the Spirit of grace on the soul. And upon the same principle we find the figurative language of God's pouring out his Spirit; alluding to the pouring of water, in religious ablutions, which were external representations of the operations of the Spirit in the heart. But this language goes not at all to abate the force of the evidence, which appears in favor of the personality of the Holy Ghost. The analogy between the natural and moral worlds, has occasioned a great use of metaphorical language. But metaphors must not be so construed as to contradict literal representations. We say, the secretary of state is a prive organ of the executive. But should any one infer from this, that the secretary is not a distinct person, but a constituent part of the person of the president; he would err. And no less perhaps, do they err, who imagine, from the language of God's pouring out his spirit, that the spirit is not an Agent; but merely an operation of the Father personified.
Objection 2. The Holy Ghost never receives worship distinctly from the Father; therefore he has no distinct agency. Christ was distinctly worshipped ; but not the Holy Ghost.
Answer. If the Holy Ghost be not worshipped distinctly from the Father, it is because there never was any occasion for such distinct worship. He is worshipped in the worship paid to the Father. .
The Father is at the head of the economy of grace. Worship paid to the Father, is paid to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And probably no distinct worship would ever have been paid to Jesus Christ, had it not beeu for the peculiarity of the case, that God was manifest in the flesh. To evidence to creatures the real and proper Deity of Jesus Christ, who appeared a man in the flesh, and to accord with the exaltation of his glorified humanity, God decided that Christ should be worshipped; that "all men should honor the Son, as they honor the Father.” But there never was any occasion for such a: decision relative to the worship of the Holy Ghost. We are never instructed to worship the Father, in distinction from the Holy Ghost. Is it strange then, if we 4. not instructed to worship the Holy Ghost, in distinction from the Father?
But is it a given point, that no worship is ever directed to the Holy Ghost ? The spouse prays, 66 Awake, 0 north wind, and corne thou south; blow upon my garden ; that its spices may flow forth.” Is not this an address to the Spirit of God? Christ, probably in allusion to this very text, says, “ The wind bloweth where it listeth; and thou hearest the sound thereof; but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the spirit." Here the wind, that maketh the spices of Grace to flow, is the Spirit of God. The apostle says, “ Quench not the spint.” And, “ Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Is not a devout attention to the Comforter within, hcre demanded ? And can this be distinguished from real worship? The numerous directions to keep the heart, to pray always in the spirit; and not to stir up nor awake our love, until he please, demand a treatment of the Holy Ghost, which I am not able to distinguish from
real worship. In the commission of baptism, and in the benediction, the holy Spirit is worshipped. If the ascriptions of “Holy, holy, holy," be (as it is thought) a doxology to the Trinity, then the holy Spirit here receives distinct worship. The Holy Ghost informed Simeon, that he should not die, till he had seen Christ. And upon Simeon's beholding the Babe of Bethlehem, he blessed and praised God, who had made this communication, & said “ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.” Was not the Holy Ghost here worshipped ? Did not the apostles and primitive Christians devoutly adore the heavenly Agent, by whom they were led? And was not thís Agent the Holy Ghost? We shall find, uuder the next section, that he writers of the martyrdom of Ignatius of Antioch, who was cotemporary with St. John, close their narrative with a doxology to the three Persons in the Godhead, as stionyly expressed, as any Trinitarian doxology at the present day.
Objection 3. Did not Jesus Christ acknowledge his dependence on the Father? that the Father in him did the works? And was not the Holy Ghost given to Christ without measure ? If Christ was filled with the Holy Ghost ;--anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power ;--and says; "The Spirit of the Lord God was upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach glad tidings"-Wherein then did Christ need or possess any personal divinity; or any divine personality beside the Holy Ghost ?
Answer. It has been noted that Christ has two natures, human and divine; that he is the Root and Offspring of David. His human nature and his official character were totally dependent on the Godhead. . And this dependence Christ often acknowledged. It was the humanity of Christ, in which“ God was manifest," to man on earth. In this God held converse with man. Concerning Christ's humanity therefore, men would need information, that it laid no claim to independence. Christ made no pretence, that his human nature was divine nature ; but he gave information, that all his mighty works were done by the invisible, infinite God who dwelt in the man Christ. This God within, Christ saw fit to call the Father, who had now taken that relation to Christ, and who is at the head of the economy of grace. In this economy the Father holds in his hands the honors of the Godhead, or of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It is rational then, that the Father should be mentioned, when Christ spake of the infinite Divinity within him, rather than the second Person, or the third. It has been shown in an antecedent section, that in the scheme of the gospel the Mediator is dependent on the Father for his official character, and for its stipulated blessings ; that these rest on the covenant subsisting between the two Persons, Christ and his covenanted head, If two men of equal abilities were prosecuting a plan, which rested on a covenant between them, and one had covenanted to act a subordinate part, this man would naturally acknowledge bis dependence, in this plan, on his stipulated principal ; even though, in other respects, he were equal.
And we may conceive, that such is the unity of the Three in the Godhead, that each may say, “I can of mine own self do nothing ; nothing contrary to the plan mutually pursued ; nothing separate from the others in the Godhead : We are one ; and operate as one." - Let us make man." “ Let us go down, and confound their language.” “ Who will go for us?! So with respect to cvery divine