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result of His council, in union with the Father and the Son. On this account God said "Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness:"-and when he had fallen, God said “Behold the man is become as one of us." Gen. 1. 26, and 3. 22.
The Holy Ghost is the acknowledged instructor of mankind; and executing this work is a manifestation of His infinite wisdom. A sacred writer asks this question"He that teacheth man knowledge, shall He not know?” The answer is yes. This is an invincible argument that the Holy Ghost possesses the perfection of knowing in an infinite degree.
6. The Supreme Deity of the Holy Ghost appears from the sovereignty of His agency on the hearts of men. This glorious perfection cannot be ascribed to a mere name, or operation of God. In respect to the Spirit's sovereignty, our Savior saith-“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." He renews the hearts of mankind when and where He pleases, and passes by forever, whom He will. In the great work of salvation, His sovereignty is conspicuous; and He gives to no one an account of His ways. When this doctrine is expressly mentioned, and fairly understood, it fills the hearts of unrenewed men with wrath.
Sovereignty is a divine prerogative; and, as the Holy Ghost evidently possesses it in an unlimited degree, He is God—there is no being above Him. In relation to this, the prophet Isaiah solemnly asks-"Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counsellor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him knowledge, and taught Him the path of judgement, and shewed to Him the way of un
derstanding? Behold, the nations are as the drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold He taketh up the Isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; and are counted to Him less than nothing and vanity."
The Holy Ghost is evidently the Person the prophet has spoken of; and we see that he ascribes to Him the perfections of the Supreme Deity. St. Paul, in speaking of the various gifts of the Spirit, says "But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will." The Holy Ghost, therefore, is not a mere energy of the Deity-but a proper Person— a sovereign, independent agent, to whom be glory forever. AMEN.
ACTS XIII. 2.
The Holy Ghost said, Seperate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them.
THE Personality and Supreme Deity of the Holy Ghost have been fully evinced in the preceding Sermon. I must now proceed in showing,
III. What the peculiar offices are, which he sustains.
His Almighty power has been clearly proved, in the general observations which were made on His creating operations. His equality with the Father and the Son, and his unity in the same essence, have also been established beyond the possibility of a reasonable contradiction. But He executes certain offices in the economy of redemption, which are peculiar to Himself, which manifest His Deity in a very glorious manner. In dwelling on these offices, we shall be led to a view of His extraordinary, common and gracious operations. It is the prerogative of the Father, to vindicate the rights of the Godhead-the peculiar office of the Son to make an atonement for sin, and intercede for believers; but it is the special work of the Holy Ghost, to prepare men for the service of God on earth; and for eternal glory in heaven. In this arrangement of offices, infinite wisdom and benevolence appear in beautiful
order and harmony. We may, therefore, look up to each Person in the Divine essence, as sustaining an important part in the stupendous plan and work of salvation.
This shows the fallacy of that Anti-Trinitarian objection, namely:-That our system leads us to view the Father as being void of love-possessing a vindictive and cruel character; and to admire the Son and the Holy Ghost, as our particular Deliverers from the wrath of this angry Person in the Godhead. Such sayings manifest their want of knowledge, in relation to that scheme of mercy which we believe, and show the probable hostility of their heart, to the wonderful plan of redeeming love.
We can have no such feelings towards the Father as they suppose, for it is an essential part of the system which we have adopted, to believe that, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." The Father fully approves of the work of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and they cordially approve of His vindication of the rights of the Godhead. There is an infinite harmony in their council; and their operations are expressions of an equal benevolence. No one Person in God is, therefore, entitled to an exclusive share of our worship, or esteem. Salvation is the result of the unlimited love, and united council and operations, of the eternal and Triune JEHOVAH.
But it is with the offices of the Holy Ghost, that we are, at present, especially concerned. As he is a distinct Person in the Divine essence, it is necessary for us to understand His character and work-to know that He possesses equal eternity, power and glory with the Father and the Son, that every one of His operations evince his Supreme Deity. And,
I. His extraordinary agency will be noticed, in the great plan of redeeming grace. It was frequently exerted
in the ancient ages; but as the Divine design in that case is fully answered,it has been long discontinued; and, probably, it will never again be displayed. By this operation of the Holy Ghost, miracles were performed, and events predicted, which have transpired in the past periods of time, and will be continually taking place down to the end of the world. Such operations were necessary to display the glory of God, and to confirm our faith in revealed religion.
It was the power of this Person, in the Divine essence, that was displayed in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness, in various ways. It was by His operation that Moses was inspired to write the first five books of the Old Testament; for it is asserted by an apostle, "That no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter. 1. 20, 21. This truth is corroborated by St. Paul, in saying, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2 Tim. 3. 16. To be "moved by the Holy Ghost," and to be inspired of God, are the same thing; and, therefore, the Supreme Deity of the Spirit is irresistibly proved. All the extraordinary events which transpired under the ancient dispensation, were performed by the power of the Holy Ghost, as His peculiar office-work. His operations were also exerted in a high degree on the human nature of Jesus Christ, and in all the marvellous things which He did in the view of
To this fact, John bear record in saying, "I saw the Spirit descending like a dove, and it abode. upon Him." A sacred writer says, "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him." The Psalmist, therefore, saith to the Son, "God, thy God, hath annointed thee with the oil of Z