breath, worshipped, and to him addressed these two prayers," Lord Jesus, receive my spirit ;-Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." At his ascension the whole Church worshipped him.-Luke, xxiy. 52. To him also they addressed their prayers for the direction of their lots, in filling up the vacancy in the Apostolical office, occasioned by the transgression and death of Judas.-Acts, i. 24, 25. The prayers offered to him by the first Christian Churches on the record of the Sacred volume, are very numerous. These are a part, though only a small part, of the proofs given in the Scripture of our Saviour's Divinity; but if they be not sufficient to prove it, the reason must be, that human language is utterly inadequate to communicate any precise ideas on so important a subject,—a subject that is most intimately connected with the devotion, with the faith, and with the hopes of all the Christians in the world.


THE Divinity of the Holy Ghost is another doctrine taught in Scripture. But as they who deny this doctrine, generally do it by denying his Personality, it will be necessary first to show that the Scripture decidedly teaches his Personality, and does not represent him as a mere attribute, or mode of operation. When our Saviour instructs his disciples that the loss of his bodily presence should be so far from proving detrimental to them, that they should find it greatly for their advantage, he thus speaks: "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another COMFORTER, that he may abide with you for

ever even the Spirit of Truth."-John, xiv. 16, 17. He afterwards adds, "The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things."-26. Again, "When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."—John, xvi. 13, 14. If this be not the description of a person, it must be allowed that language does not possess sufficient accuracy to distinguish a person from a quality. Besides, as no man will deny our Saviour's personality, and as our Saviour's discourse was intended to comfort his disciples during his personal absence, it must be evident that he could effectually do that only by the promise of another Comforter, that is, of another person to comfort them. The Apostle Paul in addressing the Church at Corinth, with respect to spiritual gifts, after having stated what they were, uses this language ::-"All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."-1 Ep. xii. 11. He works, divides, and wills, all of which things are the actions of a person. Again, the Spirit is said to dwell in believers; to make intercession for us, to bear witness with our spirits.-Rom. viii. 11, 16, 26. In the Acts of the Apostles we have these proofs of the personality of the Holy Spirit :-" The Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David.”—i. 16. "The Spirit said unto Philip."-viii. 29. "The Spirit said unto Peter, behold three men seek thee."-x. 19. "The Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."-xiii. 2. "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us."-xv. 28. They were for2 I



bidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia."xvi. 6. "The Spirit suffered them not."-7. "Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet."-xxviii. 25. He is said to be resisted, "Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.”—vii. 51. Many other proofs of the personality of the Holy Ghost might have been produced, but if these testimonies be not sufficient, we must for ever despair of deriving from the language of Scripture, any real instruction whatever.

The doctrine of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost is as plainly taught us in Scripture, as that of his Personality. Lying to the Holy Ghost is called lying unto God.-Acts, v. 3, 4. Christians by being the temples of the Spirit, are called the temples of God,-1 Cor. iii. 16. It is through the Spirit that Christians are said to be an habitation of God.-Eph. ii. 22. He is said to dwell in all Christians, how numerous soever, as is evident from both the quotations, which plainly proves his Omnipresence. By the consciousness which the spirit of a man has of his own cogitations, we are taught the perfect knowledge which the Spirit of God has of the thoughts and plans of God; a demonstrative argument to prove his Divinity. "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."-1 Cor. ii. 11. "The Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God." -1 Cor. ii. 10. He is called "The Eternal Spirit."Heb. ix. 14. "The Spirit of Glory."-1 Pet. iv. 14. And repeatedly the Spirit of the Father, and the Spirit of the Son. The form of baptism which our Saviour prescribes, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in the most decisive manner establishes the Divinity of the Son; and the Per

[ocr errors]

sonality and Divinity of the Holy Ghost.

son suppose, for a moment, that we are

Can any perbaptized into

the name of God Almighty, into the name of one of his creatures, and into the name of one of his attributes? The Apostolical benediction, pronounced by St. Paul, "The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you all,”(2 Co. xiii. 14) is equally conclusive. These are mentioned as persons possessed of equal dignity, and from whom equally the most important blessings are derived. In this benediction, our Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned before God, by which expression the Father is particularly meant. Upon the belief of the doctrine of the equality of the three persons, any of them may be placed first; but upon the supposition of their inequality, it would be absurd to place God, either after a creature, or after an attribute. We repeatedly find Christ placed before the father. "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."-2 Thes. ii. 16, 17. We sometimes also find the Holy Ghost placed before Christ. "Grace be unto you, and peace from him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ." "This is a mystical expression; seven being a number that imports both variety and perfection, and that was the sacred number among the Jews; but this is no extraordinary thing in a book that is throughout mysterious, and imports one person, from whom all that variety of gifts, administrations, and operations, that were then in the church, did

flow and this is the Holy Ghost."* Such is the imperfection of human language, that in our's we have no word that can precisely express the Three distinct Principles of operation in the sacred Trinity. We are therefore forced to use the word person, though in a qualified and restrained sense, yet in one sufficiently popular to be generally understood.

Second. The Unity of the God-head is a doctrine as plainly taught in Scripture as the Divinity of the Father, the Divinity of the Son, and the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord."-Mark, xii. 29. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.-Exod. xx. 3. "We know that there is none other God but one."-1 Cor. viii. 4. "I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God." -Isaiah, xliv. 6. "I am the Lord and there is none else; there is no God besides me."-Isaiah, xlv. 5. " I and my Father are One."-John, x. 30. "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me."-John, xiv. 11. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the work."-10. "The Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of the Father, and the Spirit of the Son."-Matthew, x. 20. Gall. iv. 6.


Trinitarians have been accused of holding the doctrine of Three Gods; but the charge is utterly false. produce the most indisputable evidence, that the Father is God, that the Son is God, and that the Holy Ghost is God. From the same Oracles of eternal faith they prove, and they fully assent to the statement, that there is but one God. Both of these propositions they re

Bishop Burnet's Exposition of the Thirty Nine Articles. Art. 1.

« VorigeDoorgaan »