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the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.'
Now if the Scriptures of unerring truth thus ascribe all personal powers to this Divine Agent—if he works— wills—divides his gifts and graces amongst the people of God—teaches—reveals—calls the ministry to their respective labors—forbids—sets overseers over, the flock—witnesses the tribulations which the Apostle was to endure in every city—inspires the holy men of old to write the prophecies—searches the deep things of God, and maketh intercession for the faints—if he can be grieved—if he can be resisted—if he can be the object of the only unpardonable sin—yea, if he holds, by special assignment, the precious office of the Comforter, and establishes his divine residence within the heart, so as to justify the calling our bodies his temple,—if all this can be declared of the Holy Ghost, and yet he is not entitled to the consideration of a Personal Divine Agent, but is merely an influence, according to the strange error of the Socinian doctrine, then, indeed, we are free to confess that no truth is clear in Scripture, for words have lost their meaning.
The third heresy on this point which is deserving of special notice, is that of Arius, who maintained that the Holy Spirit was a creature, and not Divine. In confutation of this error, we are to show, from Scripture, that to this Third Person of the blessed Trinity are ascribed the names, the works, and the attributes of Deity. Our limits 'will oblige us to confine ourselves to a few passages out of a multitude, but enough, as we trust, to demonstrate the truth clearly.
To begin with Genesis, we read, ' My Spirit, saith the Lord, shall not always strive with man, yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.' Now this indulgence I t
is expressly called, by St. Peter, ' the long suffering of God, that waited in the days of Noah.' Therefore, since the patient waiting of the Spirit is the long suffering of God, the Spirit must be Divine. Again, the Prophet Ezekiel saith, ' the hand of the Lord God fell upon me, and he put forth the form of a hand, and took me, and the Spirit lifted me up.' Now here, while it was the Spirit that lifted the, Prophet up, yet it was the Lord God who put forth the hand, and took him; therefore the Spirit is one with the Lord God. Again, in the Gospel according to St. Luke, Zacharias offers the sublime Hymn which is used to this day in the Church,—' Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people; as he spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets, which have been since the world began.' But we are expressly told by the Apostle, ' Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the Prophet;' therefore the speaking of the Holy Ghost, is the same as the speaking of the Lord God of Israel. This result is equally manifest from the language of all the Apostles, when 'they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that therein is; who, by the mouth of thy servant David, hast said, why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?' For in another place, we find St. Peter plainly telling them, 'This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David.' Here, the inspiration of the very same man, David, is declared to be the work of the Lord God, and of the Holy Ghost, and hence it is evident that the Holy Spirit is one with the Lord God. Again, the Redeemer declares that unless we be ' born - of the Spirit,' we 'cannot see the kingdom of God.' But St. John, speaking on a similar subject, calls the Christian, bom of God;' and surely, this also shows that the Spirit who regenerates us is indeed Divine. 'Again, we find the Saviour directing his disciples to' pray the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest;' but presently we read in the Acts of the Apostles, that' tiiose laborers were sent forth' by the Holy Ghost.' Therefore the Holy Ghost must be one with the Lord of the harvest, to whom our Saviour directs us to pray; and, consequently, he must be Deity, Once more, St. Peter, addressing the guilty Ananias, saith,' Why hath Satan filled thine heart, to lie to the Holy Ghost?' And presently the Apostle declares to him, 'Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.' Here it is equally manifest, that the Holy Ghost is God, since the very same sin which is called lying unto the Holy Ghost, in one verse, is called lying unto God, in the other.
These texts, thus compared, may suffice to show the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, in opposition to the error of the Arian doctrine; the more especially as the passages cited on the other heresies, together with those which remain to bo noticed in relation to the whole Trinity, concur in the same result.' But at this point, let us pause, my brethren, for a moment, in order to show you how these three principal heresies conflict with and destroy each other; because we deem this very warfare to be no mean evidence in favor of the truth.
Sabellius acknowledged the Divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, and carried to the highest point the adoration of the Redeemer; but he denied the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, and considered the names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as merely marking the different manifestations of Almighty power.
Artemon, on the contrary, rejected the doctrine of th« Divinity of Christ, and contended that the Holy Spirit was only the influence of the Deity: so that nothing could be more directly opposed than these heretical opinions.
Arius took another and more plausible shape for his errors. He admitted the Trinity of Persons—he granted the preexistence of Christ, and assigned to him and to the Holy Spirit the highest place amongst the creatures of God; but he denied the proper Divinity of both ; and thus, while he condemned the other heresies, he fell into another snare, by following his notions of philosophy in preference to Scripture.
We see, from this simple statement, that the truth of primitive Christianity is in no degree weakened by the number of the heresiarchs who opposed it, during the first four centuries; and that the modern advocates of error have no right to claim credit for their opinions from the fact of this diversity. Those varieties of early sentiment had no principle of union amongst themselves. They were all, indeed, insurgents against the faith ; but they were also in utter hostility against each other. Amidst their perverse disputations, the doctrine of the primitive Church stood firm. It prospered—it triumphed—it prevailed. And it stands at this hour—a beacon founded on the rock of ages— enduring and eternal; for it is guarded by the might of him who said, ' Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.'
From this brief digression, however, let us pass on to the consideration of several passages, which seem to attribute the same acts, powers, and authority to each of the Divine Persons, so distinctly as to form almost a demonstration of the Trinitarian doctrine.
Commencing with the Divine law, we find St. Paul calling it, in one place, the 'law of God,' in another, ' the law of Christ,' and, in a third, the law of ' the Spirit of life.' Here are the Three. But St. James expressly declares that 'There is One lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy.' Therefore these Three are One.
The same threefold expressions occur with regard to the mind of the Godhead. 'Who hath known the mind of the Lord,' saith the Apostle. 'We,' saith he, elsewhere, 'have the mind of Christ.' And in another place he declares, that ' He who searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit.' Here is the same Divine Trinity again.
Of similar character is the language of Scripture, with respect to the will of the Almighty. 'This is the will of God,' saith the inspired writer. 'That thou shouldest know the will of Christ,' saith he elsewhere. And another Apostle declares, that 'the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.' The Divine will is, therefore, plainly attributed to the same blessed Trinity,
If we look for the attribute of Omnipresence, we meet with the same result. 'Do not I fill heaven and earth?' saith the Lord, by the Prophet Jeremiah. 'The fulness of Ghrist,' saith the Apostle,' that filleth all in all.' 'Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit ?' saith the Psalmist: 'If I mount up into heaven, thou art there; if I go down to hell, thou art there also.' The Persons of the Trinity, then, are Omnipresent, therefore they are Divine.
If we look for the fountain of life, the same doctrine meets us again. 'Love the Lord thy God, for he is thy life,' saith Moses. 'Christ, who is our life, shall appear,' saith St. Paul; and again, saith he elsewhere, ' the Spirit is life.' Here is another manifestation of the doctrine.
If we look to the work of creation, the evidence assumes