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2. “Notwithstanding the promises of our Saviour to send a Comforter, and the personal offices he ascribed to it, no such person ever appeared to the apostles, nor do they appear to have expected it.” (Vol. i, pp. 155, 156.)
Mr. G.'s head is running on a corporeal appearance, rather than on a purely spiritual being. That no such appearance was expected or seen by the apostles, is granted. Mr. G. says he has heard of the apostles “re. ceiving the Holy Spirit;” but it appears that, with him, an animated body is necessary to constitute a person! Such are the distinctions, and such the arguments, on which Socinianism is founded !
3. “ In the epistles of the New Testament,” Mr. G. says, " there are at the beginning and elsewhere wishes of
peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, but none from the Spirit distinctly.” (Vol. i, p. 156.)
The reader will learn from the drift of this argument, that if the sacred writers had wished peace “from the Spirit distinctly,” Mr. G. would grant, not only that the Holy Spirit is a person, but that he is a third person in the divine nature. Now let us try whether his heart will bow to the word of truth. 6 John to the seven churches in Asia : Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne, viz., the seven Spirits of God, (chap. iii, 1,*) and from Jesus Christ," Rev. i, 14. Mr. G. must now be converted.
4. “ St. Paul wishes to the Corinthians the communion, fellowship, or participation of the Holy Spirit, which can with no propriety be spoken of a person.” (Vol. i, p. 157.)
So Mr. G. may suppose when he has first formed thé most confused ideas of the Spirit of God, and has imagined, as we have just seen, that a body is necessary to constitute a person. But let us for a moment consider the subject. In his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle wishes η κοινωνια τ8 αγια πνεύματος,
" the fellow. ship of the Holy Spirit, to be with all of them.” Now, very providentially, the same apostle, addressing his first epistle to the same church, says also, “God is faithful, by whom ye are called εις κοινωνιαν το υιε αυτ8, to the fel
* The number seven is used in the Apocalypse as a number indicating perfection.
lowship of his Son," 1 Cor. i, 9. St. Peter says, “ You might be θειας κοινωνοι φυσεως, partakers of the divine nature," 2 Pet. i, 4. And once more : 6 We are made HLETOXOL Tov Xpisov, partakers of Christ,” Heb. iii, 14. Mr. G. must have formed some erroneous idea of the subject, for the Father and the Son are undoubtedly persons ; and it appears from St. Peter and St. Paul that we may have the same communion, fellowship, or participation of the divine nature and of Christ. Let him, therefore, translate the words as he pleases, he cannot consistently object to the personality of the Holy Spirit, without objecting also to the personality of the divine nature” and of Jesus Christ.
5. Mr. G. has found in the Scriptures certain expres. sions applied to the Father and the Son, which are not, in his opinion, used concerning the Holy Spirit. From hence he infers that personality cannot be attributed to the latter as to the former. His argument may be set aside by observing that, if there be any distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, some things may well be attributed to one and not to another of them. The suppposed fact, on which this argument is founded, may be set aside by comparing other passages of Scripture with those which Mr. G. has quoted. For instance : with respect to the Father and the Son, Mr. G. quotes the fol. lowing: :-“ Now God himself, even our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you,” i Thess. iii, 11. “ Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope, through grace, comfort your hearts and stablish you in every good work ; 2 Thess. ii, 16. “ Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Tim. i, 1. On the other hand, the sacred writers used similar, though not the same expressions con. cerning the Holy Spirit. For instance : " He shall lead you into all truth."
“ Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness," Matt. iv, 1. “ Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near and join thyself to this chariot,” Acts viii, 29. " They assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not,” Acts xvi, 7. 6 The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost," John xiv, 26. “And walking in the
fear of God, and in the comfort (or consolation) of the Holy Ghost,” Acts ix, 31. “ That ye may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost,” Rom. xv, 13. “ To be strengthened with might by his Spirit,” Eph. iii, 16. “ 'The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them,” Acts xiii, 2. Thus we find that what Mr. G. thinks to be ascribed exclusively to the Father and the Son, is equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
6. “ If the Holy Spirit be a distinct person in the god. head, then he was the parent of Jesus Christ.” (Vol. i, p. 160.)
To this we answer: It was not the divine, but the human nature of Jesus Christ, which was conceived of the virgin; and, for obvious reasons, it is enough to say, that that was not produced by the Holy Spirit as a father, but without a father. It was a creation. All the absurdities, therefore, which Mr. G. has imagined to follow, fall to the ground. It appears, however, that the accounts which St. Luke and St. Matthew give of the miraculous conception, when they can be converted into a battery against the doctrine of the trinity, are not spurious! When the miraculous conception is to be disproved, the Socinians cannot allow them to be genuine.
7. Mr. G.'s argument, in page 155, is not levelled against the doctrine of this chapter. His objections, numbered 5, 6, 7, and 8, may be put together as speci. mens of the depth of his metaphysical reasonings. “The Holy Spirit is said to be given by measure ; to be poured out; the disciples are said to be filled and baptized with it; it is said to be quenched ; and in several instances it is said to be divided. How do these sayings agree with the idea of his personality ?” (Vol. i, pp. 166, 168.)
This is a literary curiosity! How is it that Mr. G., who is perpetually dreaming about metaphors, can see none here? And why, when he was determined to inter. pret all these scriptural expressions literally, did he not seize the long-sought opportunity to prove that the Spirit is not spirit, but matter? What but matter, which is an extended substance, can be measured, divided, poured out? What but fire, which is matter, can be extinguished? And wherewith can any man, except a Socinian, (see p.
34,) be washed, but with water, which is another species of matter? And, lastly, what is spirit but breath or wind, that is, air, which is also material ? Thus the demonstra. tion is complete, and the favourite system of materialism is triumphant. But a man, who is compos mentis, will at once see that all these are figurative expressions, by which the properties of matter are predicated of spirit: and, therefore, that every argument founded upon the literal in. terpretation of them must fall to the ground. Unless Mr. G. seriously intend to deny all spirituality to the Spirit, he will find that his objection is levelled against his own as much as at the common hypothesis. He thinks it “ perfectly rational to suppose that divine powers were divided, measured, and poured out, or that persons were baptized with them, or quenched them.” Now let Mr. G. be asked, What is the cubic measure of the divine power? Into how many parts is it divisible? What quantity of it will fill a man of ordinary stature ? After a division of it into many parts, do those parts attract each other again, or does division annihilate some of them ? How is it used when Socinians baptize with it, instead of ordinary water? What becomes of it when it is quenched ? “0," says Mr. G., “these are all figurative expressions." The answer is satisfactory. But it is equally so as a reply to his objections to the personality of the Holy Spirit.
8. Mr. G.’s next objection is founded on the supposed ignorance of the Holy Spirit. Because our Lord has said, “ No one knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any one the Father save the Son,” Mr. G. infers that the Holy Spirit knew neither the Father nor the Son, without a special revelation. From hence he
that " the Holy Spirit cannot possibly be a person in the god. head distinct from the Father.” (Vol. i, p. 169.)
This argument is founded on a gross mistake. For, as we have already seen, “the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” What is here said of the Father and the Son, is therefore asserted also of the Holy Ghost. “ No one, ovdels, knoweth the things of God, but the Spirit of God, and he to whom the Spirit of God shall reveal them." Will Mr. G. now draw the same inference concerning the Father and the Son ?
9. Lastly: “The expressions of the Holy Spirit being given by the Father, and sent by Jesus Christ, are incompatible with the idea of its being a person.” (Vol. i, p. 165.)
What an argument! So the Son of God was not a person, because, forsooth, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,” John iii, 16; and be. cause the Father “sent him into the world.” But Mr. G. has an answer ready. We are informed that Jesus Christ " came voluntarily."
." So then the Son of God was a person, had a will, before he came into the world, and came voluntarily! Thus does a Socinian establish at one time, what at another he pulls down. But if it had not been expressly said that Jesus Christ came voluntarily into the world, Mr. G. would have denied him the honour of personality. And yet every person of us came into the world involuntarily.
II. Having found the Holy Spirit to be, not a mere energy, an abstract attribute, but a substance, a real being, and a person, we now inquire whether he be a crea. ture or God.
If the Holy Spirit be, as we have shown, a spirit, he must be either created of uncreated. It is not consistent with Mr. Go's hypothesis to assert that he is created; nor could such an assertion find any support from the authority of Scripture. But if he be not a creature, and yet be a real being, he must be God.
The Holy Spirit is frequently denominated the Spirit of God. If then, as our Lord has asserted, and Mr. G. has repeatedly granted, "God be a spirit," the Spirit of God is God. There is no way of evading this conclusion but by supposing that God is one spirit which is himself, and has another which is the Spirit of God. But by this supposition we run into two absurdities : viz., first, that there are two divine Spirits, and therefore two Gods; and, secondly, that these two Spirits are one Spirit, and these two Gods one God.
Doctor Lardner, whom Mr. G. has thought proper to cite, “ thinks that in many places the Spirit, or the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, is equivalent to God himself.” (Vol. i, p. 152.) Whether Mr. G. agrees with the doctor or not, it is difficult to judge ; for in the present instance,