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as naturally as the forms of speech respecting Wisdom, Power, and Goodness, convey the idea that they are at, tributes of a Person, and not so many distinct Persons.
If it were admitted, that the term God means three selfexistent Persons, even on that supposition the phrase, the Spirit of God, would not imply that the Spirit is one of those Persons, but it would be the Spirit of three Persons.
If the Holy Spirit be a self-existent Person distinct from the Father, it is doubtless an important truth, and one which we should not expect would have been unrevealed until the taking place of the Gospel dispensation. Yet may it not be said with safety, that there is no more evidence in the Old Testament of the distinct personality of the Holy Spirit, than there is of the distinct personality of the
Power of God, or the Knowledge of God, or the Goodness Chor of God ? So fax as before observed, the Spirit is uniform.
ly spoken of as something belonging to God, and not as a distinct Person.
The phrases “the Spirit of God,” “the Spirit of the Lord," " my Spirit,” “thy Spirit,” “his Spirit,” are the usual phrases by which the Holy Ghost is represented in the Old Testament. The terms," the Holy Ghost," are not, I think, to be found in it. The terms, Holy Spirit, are found three times ; and in each of those instances it is spoken of as the spirit of a person, and not as being a selfexistent Person. “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me." “And vexed his Holy Spirit"_“And put his Holy Spirit within him." Unless, then, the saints under the Old Tes. tament had some evidence which has not come to us, was it possible that they shou'd believe that by the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit, was intended an independent Person co-eternal with the Father ?
The manner of representing the Holy Ghost in the old Testament is common in the New. We often read, in the New Testament, of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord ; we also read of the Spirit of the Father, and his Holy Spirit.
Some writers, if I have not misunderstood them, have been disposed to make a distinction between what they call “the personal Spirit," and the Spirit of God or the emanations of Divine fulness; but I have not been able to find any ground for this distinction. That which is called the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of the Lord, in one place, is
a the Spirit
called the Holy Ghost in another. In the prophecy of
There is another class of parallel texts which may help us to some correct ideas of the Holy Ghost. When Christ sent forth his disciples to preach, he forewarned them that they should be brought before Governors and Kings for his sake. “ But,” said he, “when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be give
in that same hour what ye shall speak : for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matt. X. 19, 20.] This is Matthew's representation.--Mark expresses the same thing thus, “ For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” [Mark xiii. 11.]-
“ For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (xii. 12.] And Luke, in another place, repeats this, or a similar promise of Christ, in these words, “ For I will give you a mouth, and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” [ch. xxi. 15.] From these several passages compared, it clearly appears, that the Spirit of the Father, and the Holy Ghost, are the same thing; that the Spirit of the Father speaking in them, the Holy Ghost's speaking, the Holy Ghost's teaching them what they ought to speak, and Christ's giving them a mouth and wisdom, are all of the same import ; and that the sum of the promise to the Apostles was, that they should be endued
with supernutural sufficiency or assistance on such occasions.
2. That the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God, is not a distinct Person, may appear from a number of other terms which are used as synonymous.
The breath of the Lord is used as synonymous with the Spirit of the Lord. The wicked are represented as consumed both by the “breath of the Lord,” and by the " Spirit of the Lord”-“ By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his mouth are they consumed”_" And then shall that wicked be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth.”. Moreover, as an emblem of giving the Spirit, Christ breathed on his disciples, and said, “ Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
The HAND of the Lord and the SPIRIT of the Lord are used as synonymous.
“ So the SPIRIT of the Lord lifted me up, and took me away--but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me"_" By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens, his hand hath formed the crooked serpent" « The heavens are the work of thy hand”__ And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great multitude believed and turned to the Lord.”
The finger of God and the Spirit of God are synonymous. “ Bv his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens”“ I consider the heavens the work of thy fingers"--"But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you"-" But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you.'
Can it be viewed as proper or respectful to speak of one self-existent Person as the breath, the hand, or the finger, of another co-equal Person?
As the arm, the hand, or the finger of a person, is subordinate to his will, so the Spirit of God is uniformly represented as subordinate to the will of God. any thing which is done by the hand of a man, is done by the man, so any thing which is done by the Spirit of God, is done by God. Accordingly, in the Scriptures, the same things are at one time attributed to God, and at another to the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost.
3. The metaphors made use of in Scripture to repre. sent the Spirit, the act of giving or sending the Spirit, and the descent of the Spirit, are clearly against the opinion that
the Spirit is a distinct Person. Water is the metaphor most frequently used to represent the Spirit ; and the act of sending or giving the Spirit is represented by pouring out, shedding forth, sprinkling, washing, or baptizing; and the descent of the Spirit is compared to the descent of rain and dew.
Giving the Spirit is also compared to giving water to drink, and to anointing with oil. And in reference to the impression the Spirit makes on the hearts of saints, it is compared to ink.
Can you, Sir, suppose, that these metaphors and representations properly apply to a Person, or to the act of sende ing a self-existent Person ? Pouring out and sprinkling are perhaps the most common metaphors to represent the act of sending the Holy Spirit ; and what metaphors could you invent more improper to represent the act of sending a Person? It is God who says, “ I will pour out my Spirit.” And if you say by God is meant only one of three self-existent Persons, will you also say that one self-existent Person promises that he will pour out another selfexistent Person ?
Permit me, Sir, to ask, what do you mean when you pray to God to pour out his Spirit? Do you mean to ask one self-existent Person to pour out another? Do you not mean to ask God to make a gracious display of his fulness for the production of some important effects ?
When you speak of a great out-pouring of the Spirit of God, do you mean to represent that one self-existent Person has made a great out-pouring of another co-equal Person? Do you not mean that God has made a great display of his power, wisdom, and goodness, upon the hearts and minds of men ? It is presumed you will admit that the latter is your meaning. And it is a comforting thought that my views of the Spirit not only accord with the natural import of Scripture language, but with what appears to be the real views of God's people in their prayers for the Spirit.
3. The Spirit of God is spoken of in the Scriptures as something which may be given by measure, or without measure ; and when communicated or displayed by measure, we may speak of a residue.
After John the Baptist had seen the emblem of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Son of God, he not
only bare record that He is the Son of God, but also that “ He hom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God'; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” In this verse, the Son's having the Spirit without measure, is given as the reason why the words which he speaketh are the words of God.
As the Son of God had the Spirit not by measure, so he had it in a manner that he could communicate it to others ; therefore John further testified, “ This is He, or the same is He, which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." But while the Son had the Spirit without measure, the Apostles and saints had it by measure.
The prophet Malachi, in leaving testimony against the "conduct of the Jews in putting away their wives, brings into view the wise conduct of God in creation, in making but one woman for one man- And did not he make one? yet had he the residue of the Spirit.” The idea intended to be communicated appears to be this, that God did not neglect to make more than one woman for one man through any defect of wisdom, power, or goodness. Had it been best, he was all-sufficient to have made more, and would have done it. Does not, then, this text plainly suggest, that by the Spirit is intended the fulness or all-sufficiency of God? And do not the phrases, the Spirit by measure, and the residue of the Spirit, naturally oppose the opinion that by the Spirit is intended a distinct and independent Person ? As infinite wisdom saw fit not to place me on
a level with you, and most of my brethren in the ministry, in Tespect to the advantages of a learned education, you may think it improper for me to suggest any argument from the Greek language respecting the Holy Spirit. But not pretending to much knowledge of that language, permit me to ask a few questions. Are not the articles and pronouns in the Greek language, agreeing with the terms Holy Spirit, uniformly of the neuter gender? And are not the articles and pronouns agreeing with the Father and Son, of the masculine gender? And what is the ground of this distinction, if the Spirit be a proper Person ?
In reply to these questions, it has been said, that the noun, Spirit, is of the neuter gender ; and the genius of the Greek language requires, of course, that the articles and pronouns should be of the neuter gender. All this is