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the Christian character are ascribed to Him as their author. (Gal. v. 22, &c.) He is the cause and preserver of spiritual life in all its phenomena, as the material agency of the subordinate spirit is of all animal and vegetable life. The Divine Spirit enlightens the understanding, converts the will, and sanctifies the affections. The effect of the agency employed is, in both instances, secret and mysterious in its nature ; but it is manifest in its effects. - The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth : so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”* (John iii. 8.) Here the analogy of which we have been speaking, is plainly asserted: and on this warrant, you will probably feel that you are sanctioned in carrying it much further than
paper allow me to do.
To the great work of the new creation, exceeding in glory that of the material universe, this first creation was subordinate; for “ all things were made by Christ Jesus, and FOR HIM.” (Col. i. 16.) To that, all the other operations of the Spirit are also subordinate. The gifts of tongues and of miracles, and the inspiration of those who have communicated to us the holy volume of Divine Truth, have been subservient
* The Greek word translated wind and spirit is one and the
to the great work of converting the fallen soul to God. The former were means ; this is the end proposed by them.
Praying, my dear friend, that you and I may be ever conscious how entirely " we live, move, and have our being," spiritually, in and by that Divine Spirit, as, physically, we and all other creatures live, and move, and have our being, in and by that material spirit, which is his known symbol,
I remain affectionately your's,
P. S. My next communication will be on the agency of light.
THE PRODUCTION AND AGENCY OF LIGHT.
MY DEAR FRIEND, Simple and majestic is the Scriptural account of the creation of the Universe. It has, if I
may so speak, the imprimatur of inspiration on its title page.
It could be derived from no one but the author of the work which is described : for, had the penman
of the whole process, he could not have written with stronger evidence of being satisfied in his own mind concerning it, nor have detailed the particulars with greater precision.
The inspired author of the book of Genesis first proclaims the origin of the universe: “In the beginning God (THE ALEIM) created the heavens and the earth.” The Creator is the ALEIM, a plural noun describing a plurality of persons in the Divine Essence. * The verb which it governs, is in the singular number. The evidence of this plurality is so clear, that nothing but prejudice can resist it; the light is so full, that a wilful closure of the eyes is necessary to exclude it.
* See Letter XXI.
Dr.Allix, in his “Judgement of the ancient Jewish Church,”* has, with great energy both of language and sentiment, remarked, that “although the principal aim of Moses in his writings was, evidently, to root out of the minds of men the prevailing notion of Polytheism, yet he constantly describes the Creator of the world in words that directly intimate a plurality in the Godhead. Instead of distinguishing the Creator by the appellation of Jehovah (that awful appellation by which the Deity first made himself known to Moses in the burning bush, and by him to his people) instead of writing Jehovah created, he used these remarkable expressions, the Gods (Aleim) created; and in the concise history of the creation only, he uses it above thirty times.” “If it should be denied,” says Maurice in his Indian Antiquities, f “ that Moses composed his history under the immediate influence of divine inspiration, it surely will be allowed that he understood the language in which he wrote, and that he could not possibly be ignorant of the purport of those laws which he promulgated. It must, therefore, to every reader of reflection, appear exceedingly singular, that, when he was endeavouring to establish a theological system, of which the unity of the
* Chap. ix.
† Vol. IV. Chap. ii. p. 82.
Godhead was the leading principle, and in which it differed from all other systems, he should make use of terms directly implicative of a plurality in it. Yet so deeply was the awful truth ander consideration impressed upon the mind of the Jewish Legislator, that this is constantly done by him.” And indeed, as Dr. Allix has observed,* “ there is scarely any method of speaking, from which a plurality in Deity may be inferred, that is not used, either by himself in the Pentateuch, or by the other inspired writers in other parts of the Old Testament. A plural is joined with a verb singular, as in the passage before us; a plural is joined with a verb plural, as in Gen. xxxv. 7; a plural is joined with an adjective plural, as in Josh. xxiv. 19; to these passages add Eccles. xii. 1, Isa. xliv. 24, and liv.5; and from the predominant use of the words tobent, or the Lord thy Gods which occur a hundred times in the law (the word
", Jehovah, implying the unity of the essence, and Onby, Aleim, the plurality in that unity) we must allow that nothing can be more plainly marked than this doctrine in the ancient Scriptures.
The word HEAVENS, as it occurs in the inspired account of the creation, and indeed generally in both Testaments, is, as I have already observed, like Aleim, in the plural number. the disposers, because the celestial fluid, subsisting
* Chap. ix. p. 119.