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ON THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Sir,-In your number for June, are self of equivocal language, exsome passages respecting the Per- presses himself decidedly on this sonality of the Holy Spirit, among point. The divine majesty and which the baptismal command glory are attributed to the Holy (Matt. xxviii. 19.) occupies a pro-. Spirit; since we are commanded minent place.
to be baptised into his name, It
may assist the friend of your equally with that of the Father correspondent H, F. in forming a and the Son.' right conclusion, to observe that the Morus, a late admired divine of literal rendering of the original Germany, says, “That the Spirit would be, Goye, and make disci- is put in the same degree of digi ples of all nations, baptising them nity as the Father and the Son; LN To the NAME of the Father, and so that he is entitled to relis of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” gious honour, and upon the same There is an ambiguity in the ex- ground of certain evidence ;) pression in the_name, which is follows from the institution : thus avoided. For instance, com- baptism, in which we are dedicated ing in one's own name, may denote to the name of the Holy Spirit, as acting by one's own power, or on an object of worship and confesone's own authority; but baptis- sion. So that the very first ening into a name, or unto a name, trance into the Christian religion has a direct personal signification. shews, that the Holy Spirit is not And such, I believe, is the term a created being, but is God, equal employed whenever baptisiais with the Father and the Son. spoken of.
I have transcribed this passage Some valuable remarks on this gladly, because as the Germans subject are to be found in Dr. Pye
near to annihilating Smith's Scripture Testimony to the everything that is supernatural, Messiah, a work which I mention and really precious in the gospel; with the greater pleasure, as it the testimony of a German writer affords me an opportunity of ac- will, of course, carry peculiar knowledging a Dissenter for a weight. But even Semler, who brother, and for an useful servant contributed so eminently to introof the Lord Jesus. From the third duce the withering sentiments of volume of that elaborate work, I Neology, is obliged to acknown select the following passages, which ledge this doctrine. These are bis will probably be new to your cor- words, . It is certain that the exo respondent's friend
pression, to be baptised into any An unknown, but early Chris- one, or into the name of any one, •tian writer, whose Exposition of always refers to a personal existFaith occurs among the works of Wherefore, since all ChrisJustin Martyn, says, Since in the tians, after having been taught the doctrine of baptism, the one name doctrine delivered by Christ, conhas been unitedly delivered to us, cerning God the Father, himself as of the Father, and the Son, and the the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit; what reasoning can are commanded by Christ to be set aside the existence of the Son baptised into the Father, Son, and and the Spirit in the divine and Holy Spirit; it follows, if we subblessed essence ??
mit to the authority of Scripture, Limborch, ia cautious writer, that the Father, Son, and Holy who lived in declining times, when Spirit, are persons, or agents nume, he might easily have availed him- rically distinct.'elle bit, 98082 mm
For my own part, I am willing cisely supplied by the doctrine of to take my stand upon this exposi.. the Hely Spirit. tion of Dr. Semler, dangerous as Some writers talk of an energy I conceive his writings in general of the deity, but what do they to be. The concessions of an inno- mean by that term? I can form vator may always be regarded as no idea of an energy of the Deity the strongest arguments; and wbea apart from the Deity himself.. a man who is giren to change, What is goodness, but the action leaves one of the old paths un- of one that is good! What is touched, it is clear that he felt kindness but the action of one he could not meddle with it that is kind? What is an enerjustly.
gy of the Deity but the Deity The chief difficulty of the doc- himself acting, and in this case, trine, appears to me to be this. acting upon the souls of men ? If The Father and the Son have been the energy be not Deity, then it is beheld, the one in the works of distinct from Deity, that is to creation, and the other in his abode say, a separated portion of Deity, upon earth; but the Spirit cannot and consequently another divine be seen in any sense of the word. person. So that the use of the He can only be experienced in word energy brings us to the very his transforming, regenerating, and point from which we set out, encouraging operations; and even I hope these few lines of reasonpronouncing upon these, we are ing may be of use to your cor > liable to err, through sanguine- respondent's friend. Allow me, s ness and precipitancy. Let us however, to observe, that the however cultivate the fruits of the occupying the mind with such Spirit, and this endeavour, if sin- doubts and inquiries has a fatal cere and persevering, will lead us effect upon vital religion. A man upward to the Spirit himself, as a is thus beguiled out of the sure and. river is traced to its source. An practical path of holiness, to follow earnest desire to produce these the phantoms of philosophical infruits, will soon realize the Spirit, vestigation ; and this is usually and his invisible agency to our
a forerunner of a declining state, hearts. If any man will do the will and of a long period of darkof God, he shall know concerning ness and trial. Whatever takes the doctrine. When we apply off our heart from the pursuit of ourselves to perform the works of sanctification, will turn out in the the Spirit, we shall find, that end unprofitable in itself, and the agency
of a greater power is probably a choice delusion of the necessary, and this want is pre- enemy.
J, T. M.
THY WILL BE DONE.
Ir thou should'st bow my head with grief, Cause me to feel how frail the stay,
When earthly hopes and joys are flown; Teach me in thee to seek relief,
And chastning, teach a child of clay, When sorrow shall my days o'ercloud : Meekly to say-“Thy will be done !”. The heart that bleeds, thou wilt not break,
The heart that mourns its day-star gone; O! thou who cams't each wo to heal, Thou gav'st, and thou canst also take; And those of contrite heart to save, 01 may I say." Thy will be done!' To thee ascend my soul's appeal !
That I may such submission haye, ır. If I have loved this earth too well,
As, when this troubled life shall close, My thoughts from thee and heaven have And all the griefs I've ever known; wean'd,
When death shall come to give repose, And made me here content to dwell,
E’en then to say~" Thy will be done!". And on an earthly love hath lean'dz !,,
"When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
• Divine grace,' says the amiable ness of God, that the strongest and pious Leighton, even in the terms will scarcely express the heart of weak and sinful man, is an
opinion which he has of his own invincible thing.Drown it in the demerits. Behold, I am vile » waters of adversity, it rises more " I have heard of thee by the beautiful," as not being drowned hearing of the ear : but now mine indeed, but only washed'; throw eye seeth thee. Wherefore I ab-! it into the furnace of fiery trials, it hor myself, and repent in dust and comes out purer, and loses nothing ashes.
ashes." He perhaps said before but the dross which our corrupt
that he was weak — but now he nature mixes with it.'-" It is feels himself to be so; his earthly good for me that I have been props are knocked from under him, afflicted, * was the declaration of and he finds that divine grace the man after God's own heart-alone supports him, and keeps him and the believer of every age and from falling. It is now more than condition will bear testimony to ever the thorough conviction of his the truth of his words. For the
* In the Lord have I Christian graces and virtues, which righteousness and strength.”-By a state of ease and security too means of affliction the Christian often render torpid and inactive,
becomes more intimately acquaint-' are called forth by affliction, and ed with his God. How little brought into lively exercise- do the most sedulous attentions while the waywardness of the will of earthly friends avail in times and infirmities of the temper, which of sorrow, need, or sickness! too caused little disturbance, and were often must it be said of the kindest overlooked in the time of health and the best,
66 miserable comand prosperity, occasion bitter forters are ye all.”
" Ye are all regret in the retirement of a sick- physicians of no value.” But when chamber or in straitened circum- the Christian pours out his comstances, and, through grace, are plaint before the Lord, and shows' controlled and corrected.
him his trouble, he will soon be have heard of the patience of Job.” able to say in the words of the Had he not been tried with severe prophet,
66 Thou drewest near in afflictions we should have been ihe day that I called upon thee : unacquainted with the distinguish- thou saidst, Fear not.":"x"The ing virtue of this holy patriarch, Lord will strengthen him upon and have lost the benefit of his the bed of languishing : thou wilt example. By means of affliction make all his bed in his sickness ; the Christian is brought to the and he will enjoy such disknowledge of himself. Tribula- coveries of the divine goodness tion, which causes the natural man and mercy as far to exceed his to chafe and be furious" as a wild largest conceptions. “ Blessed be bull in a net”-under the influence God,” says the apostle, “even the of divine grace "worketh patience”
Christ, in the believer, “and patience”. the Father of mercies, and the
Father of our Lord Jes, o produces "experience." He was God of all comfort; who comfortconscious before in a certain de- eth us in all our tribulation, that? gree of his unworthiness : but now we may be able to comfort them so clear are his views of the in- which are in any trouble, by the A finite purity, 'majesty, and good comfort, where with me ourselves DECEMBER 1833.
are comforted of God. For as eventually come forth as gold.” the sufferings of Christ abound in An unskilful beholder, (these also us, so our consolation also aboun- are the words of Leighton) may deth by Christ.”. And such will think it strange to see gold thrown be the testimony of believers unto into the fire, and left there for a the end of the world. The spiri- time, but he that puts it there, tually-minded Halyburton said, would be loth to lose it; his pur "I could not but commend the pose is to make some costly piece Lord to you, having found so of work of it. Every believer much of his goodness ; I never gives himself to Christ, and he found so much when I was in undertakes to present them all health and prosperity, as I find blameless to the Father; not one now in sickness and languishing. of them shall be lost, nor one I find he makes all to be good to drachm of their faith; they shall his people; sickness, or health, or be found, and their faith shall be diseases, or whatever they be, all
found when he appears.
That is good.' And Ebenezer Erskine, faith which is here in the furnace, during his last illness, declared, shall be then made up into a crown . I have always found my times
" It shall be found of severe affliction my best times. unto praise, and honour, and I have known more of God since glory.” Yes! if he manfully bear I came to this bed, than through the cross, he shall wear the crown. all my life.' Holy Job, after If in faith and patience, he truly having suffered awhile, until his
serve the captain of his salvation, fretfulness and impatience, his low (who was himself made perfect thoughts of God, and his high through sufferings) during the few thoughts of himself, were purged days of this uncersa in life; he shall away, came
forth, as he had finally join the blessed in heaven said, so like gold.”
And even in who stand “ before the throne, and his temporal affairs, the Lord before the Lamb, clothed with blessed the latter end of Job more white robes and palms in their than his beginning. “ But should hands;" he shall be numbered the believer be kept in the furnace with the saints in glory everlasting, of affliction all his life long; let concerning whom it is said, “ These him not faint nor be weary in his are they which came out of great mind.”
By prayer and watchful- tribulation, and have washed their ness let him wait still upon his robes, and made them white in God. In the patient continuance the blood of the Lamb. Therefore of well-doing, let him press are they before the throne of God, toward the mark for the prize of and serve him day and night in his the high calling of God in Christ temple; and he that sitteth on the
• Blessed is the man throne shall dwell among them. that endureth temptation ;
for " They shall hunger no more, neiwhen he is tried, he shall receive ther thirst any more, neither shall the crown of life, which the Lord the sun light on them, nor any hath promised to them that love heat. For the Lamb which is in him. However numerous and the midst of the throne shall feed severe his trials may be, let him them, and shall lead them unto
• The Lord bath forsaken living fountains of waters; and me, and my Lord hath forgotten God shall wipe away all tears me." Let him not be afraid, for
from their eyes.” he shall never perish, but shall
TO-DAY I have been among the his Son? But what shall I attempt saints of God, have shared their in pursuance of this resolution ? devotions, and listened to the mes- This will I do: I will attempt to sages of divine grace, as set forth persuade any reader of this article in a preached gospel. I have thus who is not consecrated to this same sought from my heavenly Father high work, to join a most unworthy increase of spiritual strength, to follower of the Lamb in the deterwalk in the way of life, as also mination to live henceforth only for addition to my knowledge of truth the kingdom of Christ. My argulife-giving in Christ. But what ments shall be these :truth has so touched my heart, so First. God our Maker, God our moved
my will as to give clear Preserver, God our constant Bepromise of a consequent modifica- nefactor, demands this of every tion in my habits of feeling and of human being, and beyond all quesaction? Or, if no truths have thus tion, is right in such a demand. seized upon my soul, what gain If he be right in this requirement, has accrued from all that has it must be wrong in us to refuse reached my outward ears ? obedience, and this wrong must be there
any such magic in truth that great in proportion to the import, vibrations of the air caused by its ance of the thing demanded, and utterance, though unheeded by the to the dignity of him who makes human spirit, should exert a sanc- the demand. No apology for retifying influence ? Can it make fusal can possibly be offered while one more holy, who is not induced right is right, nor wrong continues by it to resolve upon more holy
wrong: and surely neither the action, or led to forsake some writer or reader will be willing to accustomed sin ? Can it show its take a step so immensely importlife-giving power except by first ant, as this refusal must be, withinforming the understanding, and out good reasons. then determining the will to some Secondly. No object is by any specific resolution ?
means comparable in importance I have listened to a discourse with this which now claims our in which the preacher set forth the attention. Now, as we are so congrounds of the certainty that Christ's stituted, that we must live for some kingdom will be finally triumphant. object, the only question is, which A natural reflection is, how great of all that come before us, is most the honour of belonging to his worthy our regard ? If the reader church here upon earth, and how could be supposed hesitating as to desirable to put forth our best this point, it might be worth while energies for the promotion of a to remark how easily such a quescause that will finally invest all tion is decided in practice : for its adherents with the highest apart from the consideration that glories attainable by the intelligent God would only demand what is creature. I have before enlisted most important, the presumption myself as a soldier of the cross, is, that the grand objects of his own have become a sworn partizan of administration are more important the Lord Jesus Christ, but still even to man, if permitted to share have not made the strenuous efforts in them, than any lower object that such a cause and such a lea- can be. But if this presumption der justly demand. How can I be thought insufficient to warrant hesitate to devote myself anew to a decided course in practice, no the service of God in the gospel of plan of conduct can be adopted