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was sent by the Father, he must be considered as inferior to the Father, by whom he was sent. If the Holy Spirit had been God, Christ would have directed his prayers to himself, to come and assist his disciples, and not have solieited the Father to send him. Again our Lord tells us concerning the Holy Spirit, (in the strongest passage of all for his personality,) John xvi. 13. "He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak.' This marks in the clearest manner, the inferiority and subjection of the Holy Spirit, (if there is such a distinct agent,) both to God and Christ. For it would be strange and im. pious language to hold concerning God, or a divine person equal with him, that he should not speak of himself ; that is to say from his own judgment and knowledge ; but that he should be taught and instructed by others what to speak. Our Lord says further, John xvi. 14. He (the Holy Spirit) shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you;' and Ver. 15. “He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you.' But if the Holy Spirit were a distinct agent equal with God the Father, he would possess all things of himself, and could neither receive nor take from another. Nor could the Holy Spirit, if he were such a distinct agent equal with God, be said to bear witness with the spirit of Christians that they are the children of God; nor interceed for the saints according to the will of God. For such actions cannot properly be ascribed to a divine independent being ; but are only suitable and applicable to one, who acts a ministerial and subordinate part. On the supposition of the distinct agency of the Holy Spirit, we are not to understand that expression of St. Paul, wherein he affirms, that the Spirit divideth untó every man severally as he wills ;' as if the Holy Spirit acted sovereignly and independently; for our Lord expressly assures us in the words quoted before, that he shall speak, and consequently act, according to the directions he receives. If we attend to the context in St. Matthew's Gospel, as well as the parallel places, we shall find that the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost thereiu mentioned, relates to the perverseness, and inexcusable malice of the Pharisees, in ascribing the miracles of Jesus to the agency of Beelzebub the prince of Devils ; instead of owning them as they really were, to be plain proofs and evidences of his
divine mission. The Apostle Peter does not say to Ana. nias, that the Holy Spirit was God; but only, that in ly. ing to the Holy Ghost he had not lied unto men, but unto God. For as the Holy Spirit was given by God the Father to the Apostles, lying to him was lying to God, whose messenger he was. In the same manner our Lord tells the Apostles, Luke x. 16. He that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.' And all those passages wherein what is ascribed to God in. one place, is in another said, to have been done by the Holy Spirit, may be explained in the very same way. It appears evident to me from these considerations, that if there is such a distinct intellectual being called the Holy Spirit, that he can be no other than a creature or a production of the Supreme Being, probably, the chief and most illustrious of those ministring spirits, who are sent forth to minister unto them who shall be heirs of salva. tion.
But at the same time I am far from thinking, that the passages above mentioned, afford a clear and positive proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit : or that they can counterbalance those many places of scripture, wherein the Spirit is spoken of, as the power, energy, and operation of God. Wisdom is represented as a person by Solomon, (Prov. Chap. 8.) and is described as crying, putting forth her voice, and appearing at the gates of the city, &c. Wisdom also is said to have been with the Almighty in the beginning of his ways, to have attended him in the works of creation, and to have rejoiced before him, &c. In like manner, Charity is spoken of as a person by St. Paul, and a great variety of actions are ascribed to it. 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 5, 6, 7. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; Charity envieth not; Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her not casily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in ini. quity, but rejoiceth in the truth; heareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.' Sin and Death are also personified in scripture. Rom. vi. 12. Let not Sin therefore reign in your mortal body.' Ver. 14. For Sin shall not have dominion over you.' Ver. 17. 'Ye were the servants of Sin.' Ver. 23. 'For the wages of Sin is death.' Rom. v. 14. Death reigned
from Adam to Moses.' i Cor. xv. 26. 'The 14st enemy that shall be destroyed is Death.' Ver. 55. 'O Death where is thy sting ?' 56. The sting of Death is sin.' In these places we find Wisdom, Charity, Sin, and Death, represented under personal characters. Now it is not unrea. sonable to suppose that the Spirit of God, or the divine influences and operations, may be personified in the same manner. In common discourse we frequently talk of the Providence of God as a person, and say that it is the will of Providence, that such events should happen; but no body ever supposed that providence was a distinct agent in the Deity, or that it denoted any thing, but the divine go. vernment and superintendency of human affairs. Now the Spirit, or breath of God, in the original acceptation of the word, no more denotes a person or intelligent agent than the word Providence does : and no Jew would have conceived the idea of any distinct agent by hearing it uttered. And it appears extremely probable to me, that our Saviour in representing the Holy Spirit, or those divine in. fluences, and miraculous operations; by which the Apostles were to be strengthened and animated, and the Gospel was to be propagated in the world, under the character of a comforter, or advocate, had only recourse to one of those figures of speech, which were in common use among the Jews, apd therefore could not be misunderstood by the A postles.
The Apostles themselves also, in imitation of their mas. ter, and agreeably to the practice of their countrymen adopted the same figurative way of speaking : but do not appear to have intended by it, to give any person reason to think, that they understood the Spirit of God to signify any thing else, besides the divine power and influences. For when the Holy Spirit is said to have descended upon any person, or to have been imparted to any one, we never find any intelligent agent introduced or manifested : but only gifts, graces, and spiritual endowments conferred. In Matth. iii
. 16. “The spirit. is described as descending upon Jesus like a dove, or after the manner of a dove; i and in consequence of it, Jesus was fully qualified to enter
upon his office, and enabled to perform all his miraculous works.' In like manner St. John tells us, Chap. XX. 22. that Jesus breathed npon his Disciples, and said unto
them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost :' which action of our Lord plainly denotes an influence or communication, but has not the smallest relation to a person. Again, the de. scent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles at the day of Pentecost, is described in the following manner : Acts ii. 2, 3, 4. • And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon them ; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongnes, as the Spirit gave them utterance.' The rushing mighty wind, the cloven tongues, like as of fire, here mentioned, and the spiritual gifts that were imparted to the Apostles, agree very well with the scheme of a divine afilatus or inspiration, but do not at all suit the notion of a person.
In many places of scripture the Holy Spirit is said to have been poured out, shed forth, distributed, &c. which is very applicable to a divine quality or influence, but would be strange language to be used concerning a person, See Acts ii. 17, 18, 33.-Rom. v. 5.- Tit. iii. 5, 6. Heb. ii. 4. and vi. 4. It is a remarkable expression that is used concerning our Lord, by John the Baptist, John iii. 34. God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him : " which implies, that it was given to others in smaller por. tions, but was communicated to him in the largest degree. This way of speaking still more confirms our idea of the Holy Spirit. For a person cannot with any propriety he said to be given by measure, or in different proportions ; but a power, a quality, or an influence may. But what above all other considerations, tends to establish our notion of the Holy Spirit, is this, that in many places of scripture, the Holy Spirit and the power and operation of God, are used as synonimous expressions ; and the one term is ex. plained by the other. Luke i. 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall over.
shadow thee.' Here, the Holy Spirit and the power of God, are the very same thing. Matth. xii. 28.If I cast out Devils by the kingdom of God, then the spirit of God is come
Luke xi. 20. “If I with the finger of God cast out Devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. What Matthew calls the spirit of God, Luke
terms the finger of God; which shews that the divine agency, is the only thing that is here intended. Luke xi. 13. If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children ; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?' Matth. vii. 11. If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him ?' Matthew here explains the Holy Spirit mentioned by St. Luke, as denoting good things conferred by God the Father. Our Lord had frequently promised to his disci. ples, that he would send the Holy Spirit, or the comforter,
to their assistance, and to supply his personal absence. | He explains his own meaning in Luke xxiv. 49. (And be
hold, I send the promise of my Father upon you. But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endowed with power from on high. This discovers to us, that the divine power was what our Lord intended, by the Com. forter or Holy Spirit. Acts x. 38. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power ;--for God was with him.' In this place, the Holy Spirit and the power of God has the same signification ; and God is said to be with Jesus becanse his power resided in him. 1 Cor. ii. 4. And my speech and my preaching was not with en. ticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power.' The demonstration of the spirit here mentioned, was the power of God, or those supernatural qualifications which were bestowed upon the Apos. tle for the more effectual propagation of the Gospel.
The spirit of God sometimes denotes the Divine Being, even the person of God the Father himself, as in the fola lowing places in the Old Testament. Gen, vi. 3. My spirit shall not always strive with man, that is, I will not always strive with man.' Psal. cxxxix. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy pre. sence.' The spirit, and the presence of God here, mean one and the same thing, viz. God himself. Isa. Ixiii
. 10. They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit.' Num. xiv. 11. • How long will this people provoke Me.'
And in other places of a similar nature, the spirit of God is to be ex. plained in the same manner, as signifying "God himself,' The most remarkable passage of this kind is that in 1 Core