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should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.'
The Apostles were inquisitive, and asked, saying, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel ? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.
shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.
In these several accounts there is an obvious reference to the prior promise of the Comforter ; and these passages serve to explain the import of that promise. To be endued with power from on high, to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, and to have the Comforter sent unto them are all the same thing The substance of the whole was this, that they shoul be endued with supernatural powers, supernatutal fortitude, supernatural support, assistance, and comfort; and thus be prepared to go forth in the name of Christ to preach the Gospel, and to confirm their doctrines by signs and wonders or incontestible miracles.
And it may be worthy of particular notice, that the Holy Ghost is represented as something with which the Apostles should be baptized, as John baptized with water. “ John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost, in the baptism which the Apostles were to receive answers to the water in the baptism administered by John. And unless we may suppose that the water in John's baptism was an agent, we may not suppose the Holy Ghost to be an agent in the baptism received by the apostles.*
The promise of Christ was fulfilled ; for “when the day of Pentecost was fully come, the Apostles were all with one accord in one place. 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 on each
* As the metaphor of water is abundantly used to represent the Holy Spirit, baptizing WITH the Hour GHOST harmon. izes with that metaphor, the same as pouring out, shedding forth, sprinkling, &c. In the New Testament, six times, we have the
representation of baptizing with the Hour Ghost. But where shall we find one instance in which the Holy Spirit is repo resented as an Agent or Administrator in baptizing?
of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Thus, Sir, was Christ's promise of the Comforter fulfilled; the Apostles were baptized with the Holy Ghost ; they were endued with power from on high; and as the first fruits of this power they spake languages that they had never studied or learned ; and they spake as the Spirit gave
them utterance. Let us now attend to Peter's account of the fulfilment of the promise of the Comforter, which he gave in his sermon on that memorable occasion.
“ This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath SHED FORTH this which ye now see and hear.”
As the Holy Spirit in this baptism answered to the water in John's baptism, and as Christ himself had become the administrator of this baptism, Peter with great propriety said, “ He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hears"
Thus evident it is, that, in Peter's view, the Holy Ghost is something which may be shed forth by the Son of God, to whom the Spirit had been given not by measure ; by him, in whom it had pleased the Father that all fulness
should dwell. The same view of the Holy Spirit is given .by Paul, in his epistle to Titus—“According to his mercy, he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus iii. 5, 6.]
"If by the Holy Spirit be meant the fulness of the God. head, or an efficient emanation of Divine fulness, the word shed may very properly be used to express the manner of its being given or sent. But who will say that this is a proper term by which to express the act of giving or sending a Person? And if we may believe that the Apostles understood the promise of the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, may we not believe that the Holy Spirit is not a Person distinct from the Father and the Son ?
Thus, Sir, it has been my endeavor to explain what Christ intended by the Comforter, by making the Scrip tures their own interpreter. You will not, it is hoped, see any sophistry in my reasonings upon this particular. And
if not, it is believed that you must, at least, very strongly doubt the correctness of any theory which supposes the Holy Spirit to be a Person. For in no other instance is the Spirit so strongly personified as under the name of the Comforter.
There are two other texts which deserve very particular attention, viz. Matthew xxviii. 19. and 1 John v.7. But 'my views in relation to these texts will lead me to some discussions which would be, in this place, rather an interTuption to the mind in regard to the main inquiry. They shall, therefore, be considered separately in PART IV. But this may now be premised, that those two texts should unquestionably be understood in a sense which is consistent with the general tenor of the Gospel in respect to the Holy Spirit.
Other Considerations, to show, that by the Holy Spirit is not
intended a distinct Person.
HAVING endeavored faithfully to examine most of those passages of Scripture which have the greatest appearance of favoring your views of the Holy Ghost, and believing it has been shown that they are perfectly consistent with my own without any forced construction, some farther considerations, which have had great weight on my mind against the hypothesis, that the Spirit is a distinct and self-existent Person, will now be added.
1. Much is said in the Scriptures of the mutual love between the Father and the Son, and the disposition of each to honor the other ; but where shall we find the least intimation of
the part of the Father or the Son towards the Holy Spirit as a Person? or on the part of the Holy Spirit towards either the Father or the Son ? Yet if the Spirit be a Person, as distinct from the Father and the Son, as the Son is from the Father, should we not have reason to expect the same evidence of mutual love in the one case as in the other? And since the
evidence of mutual love between the Father and the Son is so abundant in the Scriptures, and no mention is made of any love between the Father and the Spirit, nor between the Son and the Spirit, have we not strong ground to believe that the Spirit is not a distinct Person?
2. We have much said in the Scriptures of the love of the Father towards mankind,and also ofthe love of the Son; but what is said of the love of the Spirit towards our ruined race?
3. We are required to love the Father, and to love the Son, as two distinct Persons; but where do you find any requirement to love the Spirit as a Person distinct from the Father or the Son ? Not in the Bible.
4. We have both precept and example for worshipping the Father and the Son, as two distinct Persons ; but have we either precept or example in the Scriptures for paying Divine homage to the Spirit as a Person?
5. We have an account, in the visions of John, of the Throne of God and of the Lamb ; but does John make any mention of the Throne of the Holy Ghost? Or is there any intimation in the Bible, that the Spirit, as a Person, has a Throne in Heaven ?
Now, Sır, on the supposition that the Spirit is a Person co-equal with God the Father, how will you be able to account for these distinctions, or these omissions, in the sacred Scriptures? If we could find the same evidence of mutual love between the Father and the Holy Spirit, as between the Father and the Son ; and the same evidence that the Spirit, as a Person, loves mankind, as that the Father and the Son do ;* or if we could find such evidence in favor of loving and honoring the Spirit as a distinct Person, as for loving and honoring the Father and the Son ; it might seem presumptuous to call in question the personality of the Spirit. But since the Scriptures are silent in all these important respects, suffer me to dissent from your opinion ;
* It may be said, that “the love of the Spirit” is once mentioned by St. Paul, Rom. 15, 30. But it is needless to give an exposition of my own, to show that the passage does not represent the Spirit as a Person loving. It may suffice to copy the exposition of Mr. Poole's Continuators, who were Athanasian writers--“ And for the love of the Spirit”---q. d. “ If you love the Spirit of God; or rather if the grace of love be wrought ill you by the Spirit, show it in this thing."
and to take the Scriptures for my guide in preference to any
human theory. 6. Though St. John had no vision of the Holy Spirit as personally seated on the Throne, he had a vision of the enthroned Lamb of God, as having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God
These seven Spirits of God have been understood by some Athanasian Expositors to be the same as the Holy Spirit. This appears to be correct. But that an individual Person should be called the seven Spirits of God, must appear very unnatural; but if by the Holy Spirit be intended the Divine fulness or sufficiency, this may well enough be called the seven Spirits of God in reference to its perfection and manifold operation. In a text, several times quoted, we read, with respect to the Son, that “ God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him ;" and, in the passage now before us, we find Christ represented as having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God. Horns are understood to be an emblem of power, and eyes of wisdom. Then the seven horns and seven eyes denote the perfect fulness of Christ, and hịs all-sufficiency to open the book, and to loose the seals, or to direct and govern the affairs of the universe. In view of this plenitude of wisdom and power, with which the Son was endued, and his tak. ing the book and opening the seals, all that stood about the Throne" sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”—Let us, my dear brother, go and do likewise.
Such a Țrinity in unity as appears to be represented in the Scriptures, may be illustrated by the following simile
Suppose a FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS, a necessary MEDIUM OF EFFUSION, or display, and an abundant STREAM proceeding from the Fountain through the Medium, and spreading far and wide, producing the most beneficial effects--
Let this FOUNTAIN be supposed to represent the “ ONB God, the FATHER, of whom are all things." In this fountain we may contemplate infinite intelligence, almighty power, and unbounded benevolence--
Let the MEDIUM represent the “ ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST, by whom are all things." Let this Medium bf