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Of the Holy Ghost.


THE third person in the Holy Trinity is called the Holy Ghost (a) or Holy Spirit, and often the Spirit only: "In the meantime he poured forth the Holy Ghost, a gift which he had received from the Father, the third person in the Godhead, and the third name of Majesty (b)." Frequent mention is made in the Old Testament of the Spirit of God, as at the creation of the world the Spirit of God is said to have "moved upon the face of the waters (c)." And when the prophets received any supernatural power or knowledge, or any impression was made upon their minds for a particular purpose, it is generally ascribed to the Spirit of God.

St. John has recorded, that Christ, not long before his crucifixion, said to his disciples, "I

(a) Ghost is a Saxon word, signifying Spirit. (b) Tert. adv. Prax. (c) Gen. c. 1. v. 2.



will pray the Father, and he shall give you
another Comforter, that he may abide with you
for ever, even the Spirit of Truth (d)." And in
the following passage our Saviour speaks of the
office of the Holy Spirit, as having a close and
necessary connexion with his own personal minis-
try, and as being of the highest importance to
the complete execution and accomplishment of
the great scheme of human redemption: "I tell
you the truth; it is expedient for
that I go
away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will
not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send
him unto you, and he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, what-
soever I have said unto you (e)." Agreeably to
this promise and declaration, on the day of Pen-
tecost, and a few days after the ascension of our
Saviour into heaven, the Holy Ghost descended
visibly upon the Apostles, and instantaneously
communicated to them the power of speaking a
great variety of languages, enabled them to work
miracles in confirmation of the doctrines which
they were to preach, and furnished them with
zeal and resolution, and with every other quali-
fication necessary to the effectual discharge of
their ministry. The Holy Ghost also " abode

(d) John, c. 14. v. 16 and 17.
(e) John, c. 16. v. 7. c. 14. v. 26.

with them," as our Saviour promised, for we find them constantly acting under his immediate and directing influence. "The Spirit said unto Philip, go near and join thyself to this chariot (f)." And St. Peter, in giving an account of the conversion of Cornelius, says, "The Spirit bade me go with him, nothing doubting (g)." When Paul and Barnabas "had gone throughout Phrygia, and the regions of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they essayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not (h)." And the success which attended the first preaching of the Gospel is always ascribed to "the power of the Spirit of God (i)."

But besides these great gifts communicated to the apostles and others, and these particular interpositions for important purposes at the first promulgation of Christianity, and which are, for the sake of distinction, called by modern divines the extraordinary operations of the Spirit, there are other communications of a more general nature, which are called the ordinary operations of the Spirit. These consist in causing a change and renewal of men's minds, and in affording them inward and secret assistance to become


(f) Acts. c. 8. v. 29.
(h) Acts, c. 16. v. 6 and 7.

(g) Acts, c. 11. v. 12. (i) Rum, c. 15. v. 19.

good and virtuous. Christ said to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God (k);" and upon another occasion he declared, "that his heavenly Father would give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him (1)."-" The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (m).” St. Peter, in his sermon upon the day of Pentecost, said "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar. off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (n)." It is evident that the influence of the Spirit, spoken of in these passages, must be common to all Christians, and cannot mean the extraordinary and miraculous communications, which were the portion of very few, and continued but for a short time; and hence we derive this comfortable and important assurance, that the Spirit of God co-operates with our sincere endeavours after righteousness, and assists us in all our virtuous exertions.

(k) John, c. 3. v. 5.
(1) Luke, c. 11. v. 13.
(m) Gal. c. 5. v. 22 and 23.
(n) Acts, c. 2. v. 38 and 39.


In this article the Holy Ghost is spoken of as



SON. That the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father we learn from the express authority of St. John, whose words are, "The Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father (o):" and as Christ in the same verse says, "I will send the Spirit;" and St. Paul tells the Galatians that "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into their hearts (p);" we infer that the Spirit proceeds from the Son also: and indeed the union between the Father and the Son is such, that we cannot conceive how the Spirit can proceed from the one without at the same time proceeding from the other. But we must acknowledge that the procession of the Holy Ghost, although to be believed as being asserted in Scripture, is far beyond our comprehension; and in subjects of this kind we cannot be too cautious and diffident in what we say and think.

That the procession of the Holy Ghost, both from the Father and the Son, was the doctrine of the holy primitive church, is very clearly established by bishop Pearson (q). He admits that the Greek fathers have not directly asserted that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, but he

(0) John, c. 15. v. 26
(q) Exp. of Creed, Art. 8.

(p) Gal. c. 4. v. 6.

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