« PreviousContinue »
terial universe, as the hidden spring of the wonderful works carried on in the vast scheme, in blind obedience to the Great First Cause; and throughout the kingdoms of animated nature, as the fountain of that unconscious intelligence, if I may be allowed such an expression, which is displayed, with more or less wisdom and design, in every tribe and family of the brute creation.
I have latterly taken occasion to speak of the Holy Spirit under different appellations, as the medium by which Divine Intelligence is not only conveyed to the soul of man, but produces in his life and conduct, when properly submitted to, the fruits of undefiled Religion.
I have now to say a few words on the name and spirit of Christ, or the Divine Word, as the same in power and heavenly nature with the eternal wisdom of God, and with the influence of the Holy Spirit of Grace and Truth.
In endeavouring to elucidate this point, I shall observe the following order.
First, I shall produce the evidence from Scripture, which seems fully to establish the identity of operation in question:
Secondly, I shall consider what evidence the Scripture contains of the existence of Christ's Spirit in godly men, before his personal appearance amongst the Jews, and outward manifestation to the world and thirdly, I shall subjoin a very
few testimonies from Christian writers to the same
I. With reference to the first object, I have collected a number of Scripture texts, which are disposed in a kind of tabular order. In presenting a subject of so sacred a character in such a form, I feel some apology to be necessary, lest it should appear that I was disposed to treat it in a way that bore any resemblance to that in which the common subjects of natural research are used to be illustrated. I am, on the contrary, persuaded, that the sublime truths of Revealed Religion, and especially those, which regard the nature and operation of the Godhead-that mysterious Power which is incomprehensible, because infinite in every perfection of which man sees and knows but a little part-cannot be brought under our notice and handled like the common topics of human inquiry, without weakening in some degree that holy reverence in which these sublime truths ought invariably to be held.
From this synoptical view, I presume to think, that the harmony, union, and identity of operation, in all the Divine works, of the Almighty Father, the Anointed Messiah, his eternal Word, and the Holy Spirit, will be strikingly manifested. And I am the more reconciled to the form; because it embraces nothing of my own, and presents the simple unencumbered truth in Scripture language. Indeed, I believe, there are many Scripture truths, and this is one of the
most sublime that can be contemplated by men or Angels-in their nature so refined, elevated, and incomprehensible, that an attempt to clothe them in any other language than Scripture authorizes, will rather serve to show the weakness and presumption of man than to unfold the least of the hidden mysteries of Divine Truth. And while I have been engaged in preparing this table, I have been forcibly struck with the idea that the serious contemplation of such a view must have a powerful tendency to check those disputes which have so much disturbed and alienated from each other the minds of Christians who profess to take Scripture for their Guide in matters of speculative Faith and Doctrine. For, if Scripture be received as authority, as it unquestionably ought to be, there can scarcely be any ground for difference of opinion on this important subject; so far as it can be brought within the comprehension of the human mind; i. e. circumscribing opinion within those limits, which can never be safely transgressed.
Scripture bears the clearest and most unanswerable testimony to ONE ONLY TRUE GOD, doing all things by his own eternal Power, Wisdom, and Word, CHRIST JESUS, the Rock of Ages, through the immediate influence and agency of the HOLY SPIRIT. There can be no sliding from this foundation, without setting up the deductions of human wisdom, limited, superficial, dark, and doubtful as it is, above the Divine revelations given to Patriarchs, Prophets,
and Apostles, from the beginning of the world, as well as above the express declarations of Christ himself.
If words of human invention, which Scripture does not contain, could have made the truth more clear than it is in Scripture, we should not have had the Christian world divided, as it has been, with an incalculable number of distinctions and designations; which, it may perhaps confidently be said, have never yet contributed to practical piety. For, disputing about words, and differing about nominal distinctions, they lose the substance; and thus the Divine life is wounded in all who make their religion to consist in vain disputations, which go beyond the written letter, about things that are placed as far above human research, as the heavens are above the earth.
And it is highly probable that the adoption of one distinguishing epithet or denomination, has driven many speculative men, who could not see the thing so distinctly as a supposed orthodoxy founded upon arbitrary terms would require of them, to enrol themselves with the very opposite denomination.
The Table simply consists of three columns. In the first column are collected from Scripture certain acts predicated of God: in the second and third, horizontally with the first, the same or parallel acts predicated of Christ and of the Holy Spirit.
Where there is an omission in the first column, a coincidence may be seen in the second and third.
For an account of the objects of this Table, consult pages 533–535.
The LORD is my Shepherd. Psalm 23. 1.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the
The word that God putteth in my mouth that will I speak. Numb. 22. 38.
And I will put my words in his mouth. Deut. 18. 18.
What the Lord saith unto me that will I speak. 1 Kings 22. 14.
All things were made by Ht. John 1. 3. God, who created all things by JESUS CHRIST. Ephes. 3. 10. See Colos. I. 16.
I am the Light of the world. John 8. 12. THE SAME was that true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. John 1.9. CHRIST shall give thee light. Ephe. 3. 10.
I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14. 6. Grace and Truth came by JESUS CHRIST. John 1. 17.
I am the good Shepherd. John 1. 14. Our LORD JESUS, thai great Shepherd of the sheep. Heb. 19. 20.
The LAME which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters. Rev. 7. 17.
Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to medi-
Since ye seek a proof of CAST speaking in
By his SPIRIT he hath garnished the heavens.
Thou sendest forth thy SPIRIT; they are cre-
The SPIRIT of God moved upon the face of the
A manifestation of the SPIRIT is given to every
Whatsoever doth make manifest is Light.
The SPIRIT is Truth. 1 John 5. 6. The SPIRIT of Truth will guide you into all Trui. John 16. 13.
As many as are led by the SPIRIT of God they are the Sons of God. Rom. 8. 14. If ye be led by the SPIRIT, ye are not under the law. Gal. 5. 18.
Jesus was led by the SPIRIT. Mat. 4. 1.
It shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak: for it is not ye that speak, but the Spare of your Father (HOLY GHOST, Mark 13. 11.) that speakeih in you. Mat. 10. 20. 21.