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made on the last evening, respecting the personality of the Holy Spirit. I think can without fear appeal to any person who heard me, whether I distorted a single fact. From certain expressions in certain parts of the scriptures, you draw certain inferences; from the very same expressions, in other parts of the scriptures, I draw the same inferences. If, in so doing I pervert any part of your reasoning, wilfully misrepresent your expressions, or distort your inferences, I am deserving of your severe censure. But if I use your own expressions as nearly as possible, state facts, and reason fairly; if you cannot deny that the inferences are parallel, and yet are ashamed to look these inferences in the face, exclaiming that they are ridiculous, yours, reasonable; yours are right, they must be wrong; throw not the odium upon me, but see that you adopt no system of belief which will not stand the test of fair reasoning.
In our last lecture I mentioned walls the arguments adduced by Dr. Barrow to prove separately that the Holy Spirit was distinct from God the Father, and was a
With those which he brings to person. prove it distinct from the Son, or Father and Son jointly, we have nothing to do, as we allow the distinction.
Thus far then I have taken the negative side of the question, adduced your proofs, and only contended for consist-ency; you will now listen to the arguments we have to urge in favour of our will then judge, wheopinion, and you ther they are as inconsistent, and can be 037234 as easily refuted.
I would first premise, that if we had no positive direct arguments to prove the impersonality of the spirit of God, yet we sare right in believing it, if your arguments are not clear and convincing. For, unless you can clearly and positively prove that it was a person, no Christian is authorized in believing it to be so, and every one that pays religious adoration to sit, without this satisfactory proof, com
mits the absurdity of worshipping a thing sinanimate.ort We have, however, a few arguments to urge in proof of its impersonality, which I shall now divide into general and particular mort sandeib
The 1st general argument I shall adduce, is, the name itself and its derivation, Spirit. It is remarkable, that in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, that word is derived from a verb signifying the same, namely, to breathe. Its primary signifieation then is the breath of the mouth. Afterwards it came to be used generally for wind. Thus at the creation of man (Gen. iii. 7.) God is said to have" breath ed into his nostrils, the breath of life, or the spirit of life," in consequence of which "man became a living soul.” Hence the English appellation, a man's spirit, that breathing of the Almighty which gives him life. Our Saviour when he imparted miraculous powers to his apostles (John xx. ~22), “breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive the holy spirit or breath;" and the approach of the Holy Spirit on the apostles was preceded by a sound as of a rushing mighty wind, (Acts ii. 29)*.
*In shewing the several acceptations of these words in scripture, I begin with a passage of Maimonides, generally reckoned as learned and judicious a writer as any of the Jewish Rabbins. "The word spirit," says he, "has several senses.
Judging then from the derivation of the word, we have a probable argument that
"I. It signifies the air, that is, one of the four elements. And the Spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters, Gen. i. 2.
-"4.2. It signifies wind. And the east-wind brought the locusts. Ex. x. 13, afterwards ver. 19, And the Lord turned a mighty strong west-wind, which took away the locusts. And in like manner very often.
3. It is taken for the vital breath. He remembered, that they were but flesh, a wind, a spirit, that passeth away and cometh not again. Psalm xxviii. 39. And, All flesh, wherein is the breath of life. Gen, vi. 17.
4. It is taken for the incorruptible part of man, which survives after death. And the spirit shall return to God whe gave it. Ece. xii. 7.
"5. It signifies the divine influence, inspiring the prophets, by virtue of which they prophecied. I will take of the spirit that is upon thee, and will put it upon them. Num. xi. 17. And the spirit rested upon them, ver. 26. The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 2 Sam.
A fool uttereth
6. It also signifies design, will, purpose. all kis mind, literally, spirit. Prov. xxix. 11. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof, and I will destroy the counsel thereof. Is. xix. 3. Who has directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor has taught him. Is. xl. 13.
"It is evident, therefore," says he, "that the word spirit, when spoken of God, is to be always understood either in the fifth, or the sixth and last acceptation of the word, according as the coherence and circumstances of things direct,"
Lardner on the Logos, First Postscript, p. 64. Dr. Lardner himself gives his opinion of the meaning of the
the Holy Spirit means a holy breathing of the Deity. One breathing of the Deity is said to have imparted life to clay, and formed a human being. Another breathing of the Deity imparted to this clayformed being, powers super-human or miraculous; hence, it may distinguishingly be called, the holy breathing or holy spirit of God.
The writers in the New Testament, having occasion frequently to use the expression, would naturally (you must allow) adopt the same freedom of style and language in relation to it, as they did with other accidents, qualities, or affections; that is, not only personify it, but promiscuously use it as cause or effect. Thus they will be found to have used the term Holy Spirit, sometimes as the cause, viz. the energy, power, or breathing of
word in the following terms. "And, first of all, I think that in many places, the Spirit, or the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, is equivalent to God himself. Secondly, by the Spirit of God, or the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, is often meant the power or the wisdom of God, or his will and command. Thirdly, by the Spirit, or the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, is oftentimes meant an extraordinary gift from God, of power, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding." P. 66, 68, 70.