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68 highly you value this fleeting life! How precious is even the uncertain prospect of a few years of peace and ease! How bitter are sufferings when no end of them can be seen! How bitter is it to the galley slave to think, that the chain which binds him, binds him for life! How severe a sentence of perpetual imprisonment! Were such your circumstances, how insupportable would the load of misfortune appear! These chains for life! This imprisonment for life! What tenfold bitterness would the words, " for life," add to the prison and the chain. How great are sorrows when only death can end them! Oh, what will eternal sorrows be? sorrows to which no death can ever bring relief? Oh, what will be the wretched creature's lot who has through eternity to exclaim, “Mercy once wooed
for ever! God pitied me, but has now left me for ever! the Saviour I slighted is departed for ever! for ever! Oh, that dreadful for ever! Peace, and hope, and comfort, all have left me for ever! and now this hellish prison is my abode for ever! This dismal gloom, this eternal heart-ache, this tormenting flame, are my sad por. tion for ever! O could that eternity be shortened! O could one hope gleam across the eternal gloom! O could death, though at the distance of infinite years, appear to end my sorrows and my being ! But no such comfort can visit me! There is no gleam of hope in the distance of eternal night. There is no death that can end my being. The death I suffer is the death that never dies. God, and Christ, and hope, and mercy, and peace, and ease, are all gone! woe! woe is me! gone for ever and for ever!
Shall this be your lot! It must, it will, if you neglect that blessed Friend, whose glory and love this chapter has faintly represented to you.
THE PERSONALITY, DEITY, AND INFLUENCES OF THE
$1. WHEN the disciple of Jesus contemplates his Saviour's
dying love, the exalted allurements presented in the gospel to a life of piety, and the eternal terrors denounced against a life of vice, he is ready to wonder that all are not Christians. But when he looks inward, and, judging from his own heart, perceives what human nature is, he is perhaps as ready to wonder that Jesus has any followers in so dead a world. These views lead the mind to that Spirit of truth, who is the source of piety. To his agency the Christian acknowledges himself indebted for the religion he enjoys; and is encouraged and pleased by believing that this divine Friend will do that for others which he has done for him.
It is of high importance to have scriptural views respecting the Holy Spirit; the agency, and the divinity, and even the personality of the Spirit of God, have been denied. He has been represented as an angel, but most commonly by those who have denied his divinity, as a mere attribute, the power or the wisdom of God.
$ 2. In briefly surveying the Scripture testimony respecting the Holy Spirit, first observe those passages in which his name stands united with the Father and the Son.
“ Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."a our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.”b
If the Holy Ghost were a mere divine attribute, and not a divine person, the former of these passages might be read, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of holy power, or holy wisdom, or divine operation. This, instead of representing the Lord Jesus as having spoken
(a) Matt. xxviii. 19.
“ The grace of
(8) 2 Cor. xiii. 14.
PROOFS OF THE PERSONALITY
sense and truth, would represent him as uttering language without a meaning. For what meaning could be attached to the expression of baptizing in the name of an attribute. If a person took an oath of allegiance to the king, the peers, and the commons, assembled in parliament, the meaning would be obvious, but if he swore allegiance to the king, the parliament, and the king's power, the latter part of the oath would convey
When the apostle implored for his Christian friends the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, he implored most important blessings; and if the Holy Spirit is a divine person, not a less important one, when he added, the communion of the Holy Ghost. But if the Holy Ghost were a mere attribute, wisdom, or power, how absurd would appear a devout prayer, that the fellowship of God's power or wisdom might be with them!
§ 3. The actions and attributes ascribed to the Holy Spirit, furnish further proof of his personality.
The Spirit is said to approve or be pleased. “ It seemed good to the Holy Ghost."-To be displeased or vexed. • They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit.”d « Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God."e—To be resisted.
“ Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost ; as your fathers did, so do ye."strive. “My Spirit shall not always strive with men."8_To hear and speak. “He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he hear, that shall he speak.”h—To direct. Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join thyself to that chariot."; -To forbid. “ They were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia."k—To guide." He will guide you into all truth.”l_To inhabit as a temple. Ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.' search and know. “ The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God."n—To discover what he thus knows. “He shall glorify me, (Christ,) for he shall receive 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." “ The Comforter shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have
(C) Acts xv. 28. (d) Isa, lxiii, 10. (e) Eph. v. 30. () Acts vii. 51.
(9) Gen, vi. 3. (h) John xvi. 13. (0) Acts viii. 20. (k) Acts xvi. 6. (1) John xvi. 13. (m) 1 Cor. iii. 16. (n) i Cor. ii. 10, 11. (0) Jobn xvi. 14, 15,
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
said unto you."P_To be sent for this purpose, and when sent, to testify, comfort, and convince. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."? " When he is come he will reprove (or convince) the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment."—To inspire. “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."s–To work and distribute according to his pleasure. “ All these worketh one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man according as his will.”t. To give life. “ Quickened by the Spirit.' -To be the object of attempted deception. Peter said, “ Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ?"
Is it possible reasonably to suppose, that in a volume written by inspired men, to instruct the illiterate, such language should be used respecting the wisdom or the power of God ? Could it, to speak merely common sense, be said of wisdom, or power, or any other attribute, that it is pleased, is displeased, is vexed, is grieved, is resisted ; that it strives, hears, speaks, directs, forbids, inhabits, searches, and knows, reveals, teaches, is sent, inspires, works, distributes according to its own will, quickens, and is the object of attempted deception. If sensible men would not use language so absurd, would inspired men use it when penning a book designed to enlighten, and guide, and save the world?
Would the pronoun HE be repeatedly applied, even by Christ himself, to the Spirit, if the Spirit were merely one of God's perfections ? HE shall testify. I will send HIM. When HE is come, HE will reprove the world. HE, the Spirit of truth, HE will guide you into all truth. HE shall not speak of HIMSELF, but whatsoever HE shall hear shall HE speak. HE will show you things to come. HE shall glorify me. HE shall receive of mine. Dividing according as HE will. Would there be any propriety in applying expressions like these to God's power or wisdom? Would even a child make use of them? Can we then suppose that he who spake as never man spake, should speak thus unintelligibly ? Unitarians may sneer and rant about eastern allegories and personification, but we may defy them to produce an instance from
1o) John xiv, 26. (8) John xv. 26. () John xvi. 7, 8. (8) 2 Pet. i. 21.
(1) 1 Cor, xii. 11. (u) 1 Pet. iii. 18. (v) Acts v. 3.
THE DEITY OF THE SPIRIT. the grave, sedate language of a sensible man of personification so absurd, as the above would be if it were but the language of metaphor.
$ 4. The plain inference from these arguments is, that the Holy Spirit is not a mere attribute, but a person.* It remains to show that he is a divine person.
He is called God by Peter. “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost. Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."" As lying to the Holy Ghost was lying unto God, the natural inference is, that the Holy Ghost is God.
The Holy Ghost is eternal. “ Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself.” None is eternal but God.
The Holy Ghost is omniscient. “The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God. For wbat man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man that is in him ? Even so the things of God, knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God."y Could this assertion be made of any created being ? Of what creature could it be affirmed, that he surveys the treasures of the infinite Mind, knows the inmost secrets of his Creator's breast, and searcheth even the deep things of God? Respecting God it is said, “ His thoughts are very deep." “ His understanding is infinite.”a “ There is no searching of his understanding." He is “ the only wise God." These passages refute such a supposition as that the most exalted creature can search the depths of his Creator's wisdom. Could an archangel explore that wisdom, God would no longer be the ONLY WISE. His creature would be as wise as himself. He then who searches the deep things of God, must himself be God; as the spirit of man is an essential part of man.
$ 5. The part which the Holy Spirit acts in the economy of redemption further proves his divinity. If not God he must be an angel. But what are angels ? are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ? The Holy Spirit's work is represented as of a far higher nature.“ Believers are born of the Spirit."d Are saved
* On this expression it may be proper to observe, that it is used here on this awfully inysterious subject for want of a more suitable one. by the use of it, to assert such entire distinctness as subsists between two men or two angels, but such a distinction between the Spirit, and the Father, and the Son, as is sufficient, notwithstanding their union, to sanction assertions re. specting one of them which cannot be made of another. Thus, for instance, in the economy of redemption, the Father sent; the Son came. The Son took human nature; the Father and the Spirit did not. (20) Acts v. 3, 4. (x) Heb. ix. 14. (y) 1 Cor. ii. 10.
(3) Ps, xcii. 5. (a) Ps. cxlvii. 5. (0) Isa, xl. 98. (c) 1 Tim. i. 17.
(d) John iii. 5
We do not mean,