« הקודםהמשך »
clusion that he was only divine. But as they sometimes speak of him possessing human qualities, and at other times possessing divine perfections, the conclusion is equally fair that he is both human and divine.
The Jews understood Christ to make himself equal with God and to make himself God; and they charged him with blasphemy. If he had been merely a man, it is presumed he would have repelled the charge in direct terms. But instead of this, he took them on their own ground, and refuted them on their own principles. He neither denied nor acknowledged his divinity; but shewed his accusers that upon their own principles he was justly exempt from the charge of blasphemy. This was all he needed to do, and this he did do. There were times, in which Christ expressed his meaning in ambiguous language. When people were speaking of the temple, he said, “destroy this temple, and in three days I will rear it up." They understood him to speak of the temple of the Jews. He often spoke in parables, which the multitude did not understand. Jesus said, “yerily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." The Jews understood him to speak of natural death; and he did not correct their mistake. But who dares accuse him with deception, prevarication, and falsehood?
ON THE DISTINCTION AND DIVINITY OF THE
The same sacred Scriptures, which disclose the unity. of God, disclose also.certain distinctions, or a plurality in the divine nature. Immediately after it is related that God created the heaven and the earth, it is related that “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” This difference of phraseology used to express divine operations, affords evidence that there is in the divine nature ground for certain distinctions. If the Spirit of God were in no respect different from God, it is hard to conceive why the inspired historian should make so sudden change of the divine name; that he should first use a noun of plural number and then a noun singular, which was embraced in that plurality. When such distinctions are made in the inspired writings they are worthy of notice and investigation. The Spirit, under various names, is a prominent character in the Bible. From his works, his names, his attributes, and his connexion with the Father and the Son, may be inferred his nature and character.
The works of the Spirit are an evidence of his ticular agency,
and of his divinity. When the heaven and earth were created, “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” At this time, when matter was in a chaotic state, and there was no vitality in the shapeless mass, “The Spirit of God moved upon” (or hovered over
Honna) “the face of the waters.”
At this early stage of creation, the water was not collected into separate bodies, but covered the whole earth. In the original, the word, which is translated Spirit, also signifies wind. Some have, therefore, supposed that only the wind of God passed over the face of the waters. But there are objections to this construction. There is no evidence that the subtil fluid, the atmosphere, was then created. If it were created as soon as the grosser matter of the earth, it can hardly be supposed that it was put in motion so as to become wind before the light and heat of the sun existed. It is more natural to suppose that the Spirit of God organized the matter, which was created, and infused into it prolific qualities. If it is the peculiar province of the Spirit to give spiritual life and restore order, it is
easy to suppose that part of his work was to give natural life and establish order. If God, without manifested distinctions of Father, Son, and Spirit, created all things, it is not absurd to attribute to each, when these distinctions were disclosed, the whole work, or any of its parts.
By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent;" i. e. a constellation of this name. It cannot reasonably be supposed that this text imports that by wind he hath decorated the sky with stars and planets; neither can it be supposed that in connexion with this it would be added that his hand had formed a constellation of a certain name. But let it be admitted, as it is in our translation of the Bible, that the Spirit of God adorned the heavens with stars, and that God's hand formed the constellation, the crooked serpent, then it follows that the same work, which is attributed to God, is also attributed to his Spirit.
Elihu reasoning with Job said, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” In this passage he connects the operation of the Spirit with the operation of the Almighty;
to one he attributes his life, to the other he attributes his formation. After man was formed of the dust of the ground, “the Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” In this text the word God, in the original is of plural number. Of course, it embraces all that is included in the divine plurality; and if the Spirit of God is any thing, which belongs to God, it embraces him; and consequently the life of the first man may be attributed to him. "The Psalmist in his meditation on the majesty of God, the dependence of creatures, and their dissolution, observes, “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created” (or renewed.) In these passages, creative power is attributed to the Spirit.
The sending of teachers to instruct mankind is applied to God; to Christ; and it is also applied to the Holy Ghost. God, by his prophet Jeremiah, said, “! have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets.” “These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick; cleanse the lepers; raise the dead; cast out devils; freely ye have received; freely give.” The Holy Ghost does the same work. The prophet Isaiah says, “The Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me." “The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed into Sileucia. Iake heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers."
God, Christ and the Holy Spirit communicate knowledge to teachers and people. “They shall be all taught of God. God shall reveal even this unto you.”. The apostle Paul speaking of the Gospel says, “Neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Lord Jesus taught him what to do when he arrested him on his way to Damascus. The Holy Spirit also reveals .or teaches. "It was revealed unto him, (Simeon) by the Holy Ghost that
he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.” “The Comforter-he shall teach you all things; and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” God spake by those, whom he sent. "God-spake in time past unto the Fathers by the prophets. The Holy Spirit spake by the apostles. Christ cautioned his disciples not to premeditate what they should say when they should be brought before councils; and he adds, whatsoever shall be given you in that hour that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”
God, Christ and the Holy Spirit dwell in believers. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple
Ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them.
Know ye not your ownselves how that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates? That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” The same is said of the Holy Spirit. “Even the Spirit of truth-dwelleth with you and shall be in you. He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you? Know ye not that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
Sanctification is attributed to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Jude addressed his epistle “to them that are sanctified by God the Father.” Of Christ it is said, "both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." The Holy Spirit is the Author of sanctification. "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit.”
The second birth is attributed indiscriminately to God and to the Holy Spirit. “Which were born, not of blood, but of God. Whosoever is born of God