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to Him the works and properties which are elsewhere ascribed to God, or which belong exclusively to Him; if they seem to employ as indifferent forms of speech, the expressions Lord, Jehovah, and the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, alluding to those acts, and making those affirmations, which are peculiarly and exclusively done by God, or true of Him, as done by the Spirit or true of Him, and vice versa:-and, if the Spirit of God spoken of as a personal agent, and as such is alluded to as God, and called God, while, at the same time, He is distinguished from another, and another equally claiming to be Godall which things in the prosecution of this subject we have seen to be the case how we, or any one, professing to receive and submit to the divine infallible authority of the sacred scriptures, can do else than yield to the impressions, which such things are calculated to produce, and believe, that the Spirit is God, and that God--the one Divine Nature subsists and acts in three distinct persons.
It will not do to cry mystery and reject the evidence of truth. The simple Being and eternity of God, are just as incomprehensible as the personal subsistences of His nature. Let any one, who rejects the divinity of the Spirit of God, explain to us, how God can have existed from all eternity-a first cause without a beginning-a duration without time—an infinity without extent--an immensity without dimensions—and ubiguity without space--an eternity without succession, and then we shall admit that he may, with some propriety, require us to show how the nature of God can subsist in three distinct persons. It is all irrelevant, to ask how three can be one, and one three. We affirm no such arithmetical absurdity and contradiction: but have shewn, that they do, who reject the scriptural doctrine of the one Divine Nature existing in three persons. Nay, unless they reject every trace and vestage of scriptural information, in regard to His Beings and attri
butes, and operations, and refuse, for one moment, in the most arrant irreconcilable infidelity, to hearken to the account which God has given of Himself in His own word, they will be compelled, as the philosopical Crellius was, to make God a material substance, radiating power and wisdom and what not. If they once reject the bible, and return to nature's sickly light, they will soon talk as mystically, and unintelligibly, as the heathen sophists did, about the soul of the universe, and find themselves as utterly at a loss to tell who God is, and what He is, as were they, who, in the profundity of their reasonings, doubted whether sun, or earth, or heaven, or all were God. Nor will they stop here, but we shall soon see living instances of unblushing atheism, like master spirits,
Who nobly take the high priori road,
And reason downward, till they doubt of God. There are not wanting melancholy specimens of this nature. The rankest atheism has grown up in the petty beamings of evangelical light and truth. Its loftiest and most polluting tendency has been demonstrated before our eyes. Nor does it require much penetration, to discover, from its recent developements even in our own land, that the rejection of the inspired volume in its binding authority and obvious import is the pioneer of ruin-the preparation for a desolating storm—the very element of mischief, in which "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience," exerts his energies, and is lashing up the tempestuous passions of men to sweep over the face of human society-raze to the very foundation, every moral and social institution of value, and throw the mighty deep into such confused and horrible agitation, as to require the very voice of God to stay the raging devastations. The scriptures are that voice of God, and they have already hushed the raging tempests that hare barst in desolating horror among men.
are our only security. Let them be rejected, or, what is equivalent with their rejection, let the spirit of “philosophy, falsely so called,” and the alleged decisions of human reacon, be made their interpreter, and the standard by which their revelations are to be judged, and imagination will soon become the expositor of truth. The fancy will run wild, and, in the reveries and triumphs of fiction, every thing distinctive, and of value in the bible, the very
life and soul of Christianity, will evanish. This the Christian knows, and therefore guards, with ever-wakeful jealousy, against the proud and sceptical exposition of the sacred oracles, where men, of unbelieving minds and hearts, and, not imbued with the spirit of truth, undertake, by their "oppositions of science,” to explain away the grand peeuliarities of our faith. He will not consent, who has received the bible as the word of God, to be taught by “the perverse disputings of men.” What this man, or the other of lofty aspirings, may, in the vanity and scepticism of their unbelieving heart, tell him is meant by the Spirit of God, he heeds not, but yields, most cordially and implicitly to the impressions of the word, in its plain and obvious import. Nor does he this unwisely; for he has, in his own soul, an attestation of the truth. He feels that there is more than metaphor, or a figure of speech, in the language of the scriptures, as to the living Spirit of God. He apprehends Him to be the very sum of all the moral and spirtual blessings he enjoys, and, as life is imparted to his soul;—as his affections, which once were dead to God, become tender and lively towards divine things;— as his moral sensibilities are purified, his heart expatiates in the joys of fellowship with God, and his whole soul is drawn upward in sublimest anticipations. As his faith and hope and love, the powerful principles of human action, are transferred from earth and earthly things, and made to act with more effective energy in reference to God and heavenly things, he feels perfectly convinced that there is a mighty agent within him accomplishing all-and that mighty agent, none other than God Himself, in the person and character of the Holy Spirit-the Spirit of life and purity.
THE OFFICE OF HUMAN REASON
INTERPRETATION OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.
The difference between scriptural and scientific truth--The subject of the
chapter stated— The scriptures assumed to be the word of God-Anappeal to the reader who may doubt-Infallibility claimed for the oracles of God The common infidel objection against this claim— The sentiments of a writer of the seventeenth century-Remarks upon them— The ineaning of the terms human reason settled--Erroneous assumptions of the rationalistsExamples offalse reasoning–The folly of reasoning as to other worlds from assumptions as to this—No mysticism in the language employed by the Spirit of God—The Facts revealed in scripture essentially different from the phenomena of nature-Thence a superiority claimed for the knowledge of the former-The Spirit's revelations essential to that knowledge-Perfections in God probably not yet revealed— Mysteries in His government that will perhaps never be known by us—The very limited extent of human science~Thence the folly of proud and arrogant demands with regard to the knowledge of God inferred—We cannot reject facts when substantiated by evidence-The testimony of God as sufficient evidence as that of sense-The folly of demanding evidence not appropriate to the nature of the subject-Mathematical evidence liable to exception—The folly of applying the data which this world affords as tests of what is truth in others—The Divine testimony satisfactory and decisive-The danger of neglecting it illustrated in the early history of the Corinthian churchThe character of Paul's preaching-Reason cannot legitimately act as umpire in matters of faith-Its proper office.
THERE is that, in the truths of the sacred seriptures, which makes them to differ from the doctrines of human science. So far as they are exhibited in propositions, expressed in definite language, they resemble each other. And