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we lessen the dignity of the Saviour? Do we impair his divine authority? We humbly conceive we do not. We conceive that the Father, the whole Deity, dwelling in Christ, is fully competent to all the purposes for which a Second Person of a Trinity would be.
As to the pre-existence of that pure and undivided spirit, which was the soul of Jesus, that is another question entirely foreign to our present purpose. Let every one form his own opinion on that, as he finds evidence. Suffice it to have been proved, that it was not God, nor a Person of God. · Carry home to the study of your Bibles this simple proposition, that “Son of God' and 'Christ or 'Messiah' are equivalent terms, and were so in the time of our Lord, and the New Testament will be a plain, intelligible book, disencumbered of those embarrassments which made it a book of riddles. All that confusion and contradiction which arises from applying this term to the Godhead will vanish, and God will appear as he is, one Person, one Mind, one Spirit, “the blessed only Potentate, who alone hath immortality abiding in himself.” The person of Christ will be relieved from all embarrassment.
That unaccountable union of incongruous natures will be made unnecessary, that incredible shifting and changing of persons and natures, made necessary by the Trinitarian hypothesis, is removed, and we have him, one mind, one spirit, "Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, exalted to be a Prince
and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins, so that he is able to save to the uttermost, all who come unto God through him.” It relieves, and only can relieve, from utter inconsistency and contradiction, such passages as these, “The Son can do nothing of himself.” “Of that day and hour knoweth not the Son." "The Father hath given the Son to have life in himself," and many others like them.
THE PERSONALITY AND DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”—1 Cor. ii. 11.
The subject to which I invite your attention this evening, is the inquiry, whether the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit be a Person of the Trinity, equal in power and glory to the Father, or whether it be not the essence, or power, or influence of God, and no more to be considered as a person separate from him, than the spirit or soul of man is to be considered as a person separate from the man himself. To those, whose habits of thought had not been formed by any other traditional hypothesis, the passage we have just quoted might seem to be decisive of the point. For it expressly asserts, that the Spirit of God sustains the same relation to God, which the spirit of man sustains to man., As no one would think of starting the hypothesis, that the soul of man was a distinct, person, so we should suppose no one would think of asserting, that the Spirit of God was a person distinct from God himself. But such a doctrine has been asserted. It is affirmed of it that it is a Person distinct from God
the Father, equally possessing all divine attributes, equal in power and glory, having distinct and original agency in the universe; of course entitled to an equal share of our worship, love," and regard. This position we intend to discuss. But before we do so, we would remark, that much less is said on this point, than on the Deity of the second Person. It seems to be taken for granted, that if the Deity of the second Person can be established, there will be no objection to admitting a Third. We can sympathize with this feeling in some measure, for as soon as the simple unity of the Divine Nature is once broken in upon, we see no reason why we may not as readily admit three Persons as two. But then the wonder begins, why there should have been no more. There certainly can be no peculiar magic, or any especial sacredness in the number three. We can see no reason in the thing abstractly considered, and, by one previously unacquainted with the subject, why there should be three Persons in the Divine Nature rather than five. But five Persons in the Divine Nature would be shocking. So we reply would three be shocking, were we not accustomed to it by long familiarity of sacred association.
Another thing is quite remarkable in this subject, there are many, who either have no distinct ideas of the Personality of the Holy Spirit, or who do not regard it as a Person, but still call themselves and claim to be Trinitarians. How two Persons can
constitute a Trinity, we confess ourselves unable to understand.
For ourselves, we consider it a matter of more serious import. An object of worship is not to be admitted into our minds without evidence, lest we give the peculiar glory of God to another. We propose, therefore, to consider what evidence ought to satisfy us of the existence and claims of such a Person upon our regard as equal with God the Father. He ought, in the first place, to appear as often and conspicuously, both in the Old and New Testament, as God the Father. He ought to have as much original and independent action ascribed to him. He ought to be as often worshipped by inspired persons. He ought, in a great majority of cases, when he is spoken of, to have a name and attributes, which imply personality; and the places in which he is spoken of as an influence or power of God, ought to be very few in comparison to those in which his personality is implied, or understood, or expressed.
Now I would appeal to all who hear me, if when they turn inwardly to their own minds, they find among those ideas which they have formed from the Word of God, the same clear conception of personality when they think of the Holy Spirit, which they have when they think of God or Jesus? Is there not something extremely vague in your ideas? ? When you think of the Deity, do your thoughts as often fix themselves on the Holy Spirit, as on the Father? What can be the cause of this, but that