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and earth.” At another, "Father, the hour is come.” At another, "Father, glorify thy name.” Who was the object of the adorations of the first Christians? Hear them worshipping immediately after the as. cension of Christ. "Lord thou art God, who hast made heaven and earth;" not one word of adoration to Christ or the Holy Spirit. Who was the object of Paul's worship, who professed to be divinely inspired; “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus is to be acknowledged to be Lord, to whose glory? not the Father and the Holy Ghost, but of God the Father.
After all this entire negation of any worship to the Holy Spirit, is it not absolutely amazing that a community of Christians, who profess to derive their religion from the Bible, can be heard to pray in such language as this, “O! God, the Holy Ghost have mercy upon us?” Point, if you can, to a single passage of Scripture, in which such a petition can find the least shadow of a precedent or a justification. Here, then, is a new object of worship, unknown as such to patriarchs and prophets, to Christ and his apostles. Consider well, when you hear this petition, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Examine your Bibles, and see if you can find any model of prayer, which contains such an expression as this; “O! holy blessed and glorious Trinity, three Persons in one God, have mercy on us."
I shall now offer to your consideration two passages of the New Testament, which seem to my
mind expressly, and in so many words to deny the existence of any such separate omniscient Person as the Holy Spirit, a Person of the Godhead. It is said, “Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, but the original goes farther; there the negation is universal, as it was plainly intended, there it is no one, no intelligent being, as the enumeration plainly interprets it, in the universe, except the Father. Could this be the case, if there were such a person in the Deity as the Holy Spirit, equal in every attribute, in knowledge to the Father? He certainly must have known as well as the Father, had he the same perfections. This declaration of Christ denies and disproves his existence.
The second passage is one in which Chirst declares the fulness of his knowledge of divine things, together with the fact, that no one on earth at that time, fully understood his character, or comprehended the purposes of his mission. "All things are delivered to me of my Father, and no man,” literally no person, no intelligent being, “knoweth who the Son is, but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Now neither of these assertions could be true, were there a third Person of the Trinity possessing omniscience, and an equal degree of knowledge with the Father. In making this denial of universal being, does he not deny the personality and Deity of the Holy Ghost? Words to this effect as it appears to me, could scarce be plainer.
In the next place, we say the Holy Spirit does not mean a person, because it is often spoken of as the essence of God himself, and not intended to be distinguished from him. It is spoken of as his Spirit, in a way which indicates its belonging to himself, as his property in a manner entirely inconsistent with his distinct and independent personality. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence,” that is, manifestly from thee; for he immediately adds, "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there.” “But they rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit.” The same thing is in other places represented immediately of God himself. “Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies.” “And the Lord said unto Moses, how long will this people provoke me?"
As the Spirit of God is often put for his spiritual essence, in itself considered, so it is often put for that essence considered in action as pervading the universe, and secretly working the will of the Deity. In this sense it is synonymous with the power of God. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath,” literally, "Spirit of his mouth.” “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens, his hand hath formed the crooked serpent."
“Is the Spirit of the Lord straightened?” “The Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save.” Then it is evident that the Spirit of God, the word of God, and the hand of God, mean all the same thing, that is, his power,
his essence in action. If any proof were wanting of this, we have it in the next passage I shall quote. It is the angel's message to Mary. "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee.” This is evidently one of those passages, so frequent in the Scriptures, expressing the same thing in two different phrases, of similar signification.
“If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” In another place, "If I, by the finger of God, cast out devils.” So the finger of God and the Spirit of God, in the language of Jesus, signify the same thing, that is the power of God, or as it is afterward more fully explained by the apostle Peter, “Ye men of Israel hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you as ye yourselves also know.” Nothing can be plainer, or more explicit, or more decisive, than this speech of Peter, of this whole subject. God the Father was the only agent in all that was miraculous in Christ, and the Holy Spirit
is his power.
In the next place, we say, that the Holy Spirit is not a person, because it is used in Scripture to signify gifts and endowments, miraculously bestowed by God, of superhuman power, knowledge, wisdom and understanding. “I have filled him," saith God, of the chief workman of the Tabernacle, “with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge, and in all manner of workman
ship.” “And the Lord said unto Moses; Gather unto me seventy of the elders of Israel, and I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee and put it upon them. And the Lord came down in a cloud and spake unto him, and took of the Spirit which was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders. And it came to pass when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied.”
Can this be a person, which God thus communicated to the elders of Israel? Is not the spirit of prophecy here communicated by God himself, instead of the Third Person in the Trinity? If there arise any doubt, let us hear what David says of himself in this very matter. “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me; he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” No intermediate agent certainly was here, in the mind of David. No personality of the Spirit is even hinted. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." These are certainly miraculous gifts and powers, not a Person.
Thus we perceive that we can detect not a shadow of evidence in the Old Testament, of the personality of the Holy Spirit. We now come down to the New. Every thing in the Hebrew Scriptures is directly opposed to this supposition. It