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His counsels and decrees. "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Likewise the power of appointing to offices and stations, which is one of the most important and difficult rights of sovereignty, is represented as being exercised by the Spirit of God. The
A postles were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel in Asia, and Paul says of the presbyters of Ephesus, that the Holy Ghost had made them Bishops. Whether, therefore we consider the titles bestowed, the actual rever, ence expressed, or the rights of sovereignty He exercises, which together constitute His honour, they are not in the least respect inferior to those of God Himself. They are indeed the very same; so that the conclusion is unavoidable, that as the titles, and worship, and sovereignty which are exclusively appropriated to God, are ascribed to the Holy Spirit, He must in very deed be God.
III. We add A THIRD ARGUMENT TAKEN FROM THE AT: TRIBUTES OF DEITY WHICH ARE ASCRIBED TO THE SPIRIT, Here too it is admitted, that there are some which are had by creatures in common with Him, from the ascription of which to Him, nothing as to His Deity can be conclusively argued. We therefore deem it unnecessary to detail them, however interesting and instructing it might be to the Christian, who cannot fail to admire the moral character of that illustrious guest who visits, and refreshes his heart. There are others, however, which are peculiar to Godwhich are exclusively His perfections--yea, and which He cannot communicate to a mere creature, no matter how highly exalted that creature may be. These are immensity or omnipresence, omniscence and omnipotence. As to His immensity or ubiguity: we infer it from the fact that He is said to dwell in Christians, who are to be found all over the earth. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" And 1 Rev. ii. . 2 Acts, xx. 28.
3 1 Cor. i. 16.
the Psalmist very distinctly recognizes it when he inquires, "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence. If I ascend up into Heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there; if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” As to His omnipotence: we have already seen that the power of working miracles is His gift, which, more justly than in the case of Simon, might have led the heathen to say, "these men are the mighty power of God,"2 in whom that power was conferred. Surely the power that can control the laws of the material universe, and suspend and contravene them at its pleasure, can be nothing less than omnipotent. The creation is an effect of omnipotent power, and this we have also seen is ascribed to the Spirit as His work. And as to His omniscience, the apostle says, “The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God.”3 If, therefore, omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience are exclusively and incommunicably the attributes of God, as undoubtedly they are, and if these things are attributed to the Spirit, as His characteristic properties, which we have seen is the case, that Spirit cannot possibly be other than the liying and true God.
IV, The identity of this personal Spirit with the true God, we yet further argue from THE STYLE IN WHICH HE IS SPOKEN OF IN THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.
What is ascribed to God absolutely in one place, is, in another, to the Spirit; what, it is said, God either does or will do, or has done, is affirmed of the Spirit; and what is said of God is asserted of the Spirit. Of the first we have an instance in the creation. This, which is confessedly the work of the absolute God, is, as has been already shewn, ascribed to the Spirit. The inspiration of Moses and the prophets, which, in some places, is ascribed to God absolutely, is also to the Spirit. We cite no further instances, for it would only be to repeat what has been already advanced. Of the second class, are the miracles which are attributed to God, and yet are explained in the scriptures to be the work of the Spirit. Other instances have been noticed. And of the last class we cite merely that unqualified declaration in the song of Moses, concerning the children of Israel, “The Lord (Jehovah) alone did lead him," which, nevertheless, is explicitly affirmed of the Spirit by the prophet, “As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest, so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.” We have thus every possible recognition of the Deity of the Spirit, and the variety and incidental character of such recognitions, we deem to be of no small value in the argument on this subjeet.
1 Psalm, cxxxix. 7--10. 2 Acts, viji. 10. 3 1 Cor. ii. 10.
Those who deny the Deity of the Spirit, are very bold in charging on the doctrine we maintain, absurdity and contradiction. They seoff at the idea of a Trinity. Unitarians and infidels are perfectly agreed here. One of the most subtle infidels that ever lived, the late Thomas Jefferson, who claimed kindred with Unitarians, has held language on this subject as low and scurrilous, as infamous and disgusting, as any that ever escaped from the mouth of the leecherous Voltaire, or of his friend and compatriot, the filthy, drunken, blasphemer, Tom Paine. And it is matter of thankfulness, that God in His providence has exposed the man, through the folly of his descendant, in the publication of some of his letters, which, if they are not apologized for, as the mere pratings of civility, must consign his memory to eternal infamy. Our readers will find some extracts below to shew that we have not spoken with unauthorized warmth and severity, nor done the Uni1 Duct. xxvii. 12.
2 Isaiah, lxii. 14.
tarians injustice in classing them with infidel blasphemers.' For, that Thomas Jefferson was a blasphemer of the very lowest grade, no longer can be denied; and that he considered himself, and was acknowledged by living Unitarians of great note, to be one of theni, his correspondence towards the close of his life will shew. If he wrote in an unguarded manner to his Unitarian friends, never thinking that, when his body would lie corrupting in the grave, his letters should be published, and cause his memory too to rot, that can be no apology. For, either he must have been an arrant hypocrite, or he spoke the sentiments of his heart, and knew those of his correspondents too, to have written in the style he has done, in reference to Christianity and the Christian's God. But, ribaldry and scossing, though they may come from the mouth of the philosopher and rational divine, are not argument. Nor can the name of. Thomas Jefferson, high in the annals of fame, and embalmed as it may be in the grateful recollection of hundreds and thousands of the citizens of these United States, nor all his lofty boastings, and proud predictions, ever shake the
1 “The hocus pocus phantasm of a God, like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs.” -Mem. and Cor. letter to L. Smith.
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”—Letter to John Adams, 1823.
"But while this syllabus is meant to place the character of Jesus in its true and high light, as no impostor himself, but a great reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with him in all its doctrines. I am a materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance towards forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works.”—Letter to President Adams, 1822.
"I trust there is not a young man, now living in the United States, who will not die an Unitarian.”—Letter to Dr. Waterhouse.
“Of this band of dupes and impostors (the Evangelists and apostles) Paul was the great Coryphæus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.”-Same letter.
Christian's faith. They may, and we fear will, lead many thoughtless and unstable souls down to everlasting perdition: but they can never alter the fact to which the Spirit of Truth bears witness, that “there are three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Taking the sacred scriptures, in their plain common-sense meaning, and, as being designed for common people as well as learned philosophers and rational divines, that is their only legitimate meaning, it must be manifest, that the Holy Spirit is both a person, a distinct personal subsistence and God.
The scriptures have not given us a treatise on the wonderous mystery of the Trinity, nor, on the divine glory of the Spirit. Their object is not that of philosopical disquisitions. They have simply affirmed facts, and their allusions and reference to these facts are made and varied, precisely according to the circumstances under which the subject at the time presents itself. It is in this way men speak in ordinary parlance, when facts are not disputed; and, although the proposition, which may call for proof in any case, may not have been distinctly asserted, yet the allusions and references to the fact, which shew that it was actually assumed and acknowledged as true, afford a stronger argument than mere affirmation.
We have, as our last argument, classified mere allusions, and references to the Deity of the Spirit. We might have added' many passages, where there is evidently a recognition of three distinct agencies, all and each of whom are called or contemplated as God. But we deem it unnecessary, referring merely for example to the events connected with Christ's baptism, which the reader may consult, and not wishing to swell the argument from collateral sources. Our object simply is to demand, that, if the scriptures speak of the Spirit as God, allude to Him as such, attribute 1 1 John, r, 7. 2 Luke, ül. 21, 22: Sce also Acts, i. 7, 8, and i, 33.