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the great God, and of none else; and being the work of the Holy Spirit, as is proved, it follows that he is the great God, otherwise he must be of the number of those gods who shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens, which it were blasphemy once to imagine.
§ 8. Besides the creation of the world, it is to be noticed that the formation of the human nature of Christ is the peculiar work of the Holy Ghost. Luke, 1 : 35. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.” By the Holy Ghost, we are to understand a Person ; and by the Highest, the same Person. (See Pool's Annot. in Loco.) He might well be called the Highest, as performing a work peculiar to the Most High God. The word overshadowing, it has been justly observed, may allude to the work of the Holy Ghost in the first creation, when he moved Merachepheth, i. e. brooded upon the watcr; or gave prolific virtue to them, as fowls do to their eggs, by sitting upon them. (See Patrick in Loco.) The Holy Spirit, by a secret almighty power, formed Christ's body, animated it with a living soul: the same as is said of the first Adam, “And God breathed into Adam the breath of life, and he became a living soul.” Thus, then, we see that the Holy Ghost is the Highest, the Creator, and Maker of man, and particularly of Christ's human nature, and therefore true and real God.
From the consideration of the creation of the universe, I proceed to notice the New Creation as the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit, which proves him to be truly God. The remainder of the subject will be considered in the next letter.
CONTINUATION OF THE SUBJECT.
My Dear Benjamin,
I will now invite your attention to another work of the Holy Spirit, which proves his true divinity, viz.
§ 1. The wonderful work of regeneration, which is ascribed to him. Believers are said to be born of the Spirit, quickened and renewed by the Holy Ghost. This is a new creation, and requires the same almighty power to effect as the first creation did. “ We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works.” “It is God that works in us, to will and to do." The same almighty power is put forth in working faith, as was exerted upon Christ, in raising him from the dead. The Holy Ghost, therefore, has manifested his eternal power and godhead, in working faith and holiness in the hearts of sinners.
The new creation seems to be a work of greater difficulty and power than the old. As in the old creation there was nothing to work upon, so there was nothing to oppose: but in the new creation there are strong holds to be pulled down, high thoughts to be brought low, blindness, enmity and obstinacy to be subdued, as well as divine powers and principles to be infused! Hence the regenerate are said to be “born, not of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the · will of man, but of God.” It requires the efficiency and power of God to make a man a new creature, to cause “old things to pass away, and all things to become new.
The progressive work of sanctification, or the renewing of the soul day by day, is the work. of God; hence the Apostle Paul said, "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly." But as it is well known that sanctification is an eminent work of the Holy Spirit, God chose men to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit; and he actually doth his work ; for the Scripture says,
“ You are sanctified by the Spirit of our God, and transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord, or by the Lord the Spirit.
$ 2. To raise the dead requires the same almighty power as at first created man. Hence it is ascribed to God. “Why should it be thought an incredible thing with you, that God should raise the dead ?" Acts, 26 : 8.
It might indeed be thought incredible, that any creature should do it: but cannot the same almighty power that formed the body out of the dust at first, and breathed into it the breath of life, raise it out of the dust a second time, and re-infuse the same vital spirit? But the resurrection of Christ, as well as of Christians, is expressly ascribed to the Holy Spirit in these words of the Apostle Paul : “ If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Rom. 8:11. The same almighty power was put forth upon the body of Christ in his resurrection, as was exerted in his conception and formation in the womb of the virgin. 1 Pet. 3 : 18.
Christ's resurrection is ascribed to the Father, and to Christ himself; but this does not exclude the agency and concurrence of the Holy Spirit therein ; and from this work of his we may well conclude that he is true and real God. The apostles, indeed, healed the sick and raised the dead; but they did it not by their own power or holiness, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, which was poured out abundantly upon them. A mighty power, or an exceeding greatness of power, was exerted upon
Christ in raising him from the dead, even the almighty power of God; the Holy Spirit raised him from the dead as we have seen, therefore he is God Almighty.
§ 3. There are a great many other works of the Spirit which might be insisted on, and from which his deity might be proved, but I shall close this part of the subject with the words of an ancient father—" Christ," says he, " is born, the Spirit is his forerunner; Christ is baptized, he bears his testimony; Christ is tempted, he leads him away; Christ works miracles, he is with him; Christ ascends, he succeeds; what is so great and divine that he cannot do? What is so divine a name, except that of unbegotten and begotten, that he may not be called by it? He is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Mind of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, and himself Lord, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of liberty, the Spirit of wisdom and prudence, of counsel and strength, of knowledge, piety, and the fear of the Lord: as the efficient cause of all these, he fills all things with his essence, contains all things, fills the world, and is greater than the world, greater in power and energy than the world can comprehend: he is goodness, righteousness and truth by nature, not by gift; he sanctifies, is not sanctified; he measures, but is not measured; he gives, but does not receive; he fills, but is not filled; he contains, but is not contained; he knows and teaches all things; blows where he will; is angered, tempted; is the Spirit of light and life, who builds temples and dwells in them as God; he does all things that God himself does; he appeared as cloven tongues of fire, he distributes his gifts, made apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers; he is almighty, all-seeing, penetrating into all spirits at the same moment of time, though far dispersed from each other; which plainly shows that he is limited to no place." Therefore he is the true God.
4. Divine worship is another of the divine criteria, and is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, and proves him to be truly God.
He is said to dwell in the saints as his temple, which implies his dignity and greatness, and to be obeyed and .worshiped.
He, as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God, for he receives the adoration and worship of the saints. He dwells in this temple, not as a priest or servant, but as God, as it is written, “ The Lord is in his holy temple." Psa. 11 : 4.
That the seraphims and cherubims, those glorious creatures with six wings, the highest created spirits of heaven, ascribe the same homage to the Holy Spirit as they do to the Father and the Son, I have shown before from the testimony of the apostles. Acts, 28 : 25–27.
An oath has always been esteemed an act of religious worship; it being a solemn appeal to God, as the searcher of hearts, a witness of the truth, or an avenger of the falsehood of what we testify. And yet St. Paul appeals, by an oath, both to the Son and the Holy Ghost. "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost." Now, here he makes as solemn an acknowledgment of the divinity of the Son and the Holy Ghost, and their privacy to his conscience, as he does of the Father's in those other appeals, where he says, God is my witness, or God is my record; or I call God for a record upon my soul; or the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not; or, before God, I lie not. All of them expressions of the same import, and therefore, when compared the one with the other, they show that the apostle revered each of the divine persons alike, and believed them to be all of the same knowledge and might.
§ 5. Baptism is an institution of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which he commands that all nations be baptized, not in