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scure, and not only obscure, but unintelligible; and not only unintelligible, but so utterly lost in the strangeness of their phraseology, that almost all their readers, and among them the great body of the wisest and best, have totally mistaken the real meaning, and derived from this very phraseology a meaning infinitely different? Can this be supposed to have been accomplished by the immediate providence of God bimself, when disclosing his will to mankind concerning subjects of infinite importance? Yet the Unitarians must suppose all this, or give up their scheme.

But, it is replied, “The language of the Scriptures is bighly figurative; and among the figures used, bold personifications hold a distinguished place. Among these we find the attributes of God personified. For example, in the Proverbs of Solomon, particularly in the eighth chapter, we find the divine wisdom represented as a living agent, possessing a variety of other attributes, and performing such actions as are elsewhere ascribed to the Spirit of God.”

This answer is the only specious one which has been, or, it is presumed, can be made to the arguments alleged above. I shall therefore consider it particularly; and reply,

[1.] This personification of wisdom is exhibited in animated and sublime poetry.

In such poetry, and in the loftier strains of eloquence, we are to look, if anywhere, for bold, figurative language. The whole tenour of the discourse here proceeds from an enkindled imagination and ardent feelings. In this state of mind nature instinctively adopts figurative language and bold images, and readily imparts life, thought, and action to those objects, the contemplation of which has excited the peculiar elevation. With the writer, the reader in all such cases readily coincides. The dullest man in the dullest frame easily catches the inspi. ration, and not only admits without hesitation the propriety of this language and these images, but regards them as the only things which are proper, natural, and suited to the strain of thought.

But on ordinary occasions, which furnish nothing to raise the mind above its common cool level, such a mode of writing is perfectly unnatural, is at war with the whole tenour of thought, and can be the result of nothing but an inexplicable determination to write extravagance, and produce wonder.


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Not an example of this nature can be found in the Scriptures, unless it be this which is now in debate.

Here this language and these images are adopted, if they are in fact adopted at all, on the most ordinary occasions; inferring the most tranquil, even, uninterested, state of the writer ; in the simplest narratives, and the most quiet discussions. Who would look for a personification in such instances as the following? • The Spirit said unto Peter'—' The Spirit said unto Philip'-— The Spirit caught away Philip'• Now the Spirit speaketh expressly'__ It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us;' together with a vast multitude of others, exactly resembling these in their nature? If personifications are to be used in such cases, in what cases are they not to be used? And in what cases are we to use simple language?

To complete the strangeness of this representation, the Greek masculine pronouns and relatives are, in a multitude of instances, made to agree with the neuter substantive, Ilveux, spirit ; a mode of personification in all other cases absurd, and here, to say the least, inexplicable.

[2.] The wisdom spoken of in the Proverbs is also a real person, aud not an attribute ; viz. the Lord Jesus Christ.

This has been the unwavering opinion of the great body of divines; of most I believe, if not all, who are not Unitarians. Christ, as I apprehend, challenges this character to himself, Matthew xi. 19, · Wisdom is justified of her children.' St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians, chap. i. ver. 24, attributes it to him directly, when he says, · Christ the wisdom of God ;' and in verse 30, when he says, • Who of God is become unto us wisdom ;' and in Col. ii. 3, where he says of Christ, ' In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom.'

That the attribute wisdom is not meant by Solomon in this chapter, is completely evident from the 14th verse ; : Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom. Now it is impossible that Wisdom should possess wisdom; the possessor, and the thing possessed, being, by physical necessity, two things distinct from each other. It is also evident from the whole tenour of this chapter, as well as from several other parts of the discourse in the beginning of this book, particularly chap. i. 20—33, on which, however, I can dwell no longer at the present time.



[3.] Should it be still supposed, that the attribute of wisdown, and not Christ, is intended by Solomon; the passage, even if it were not poelical, would not involve such absurdities and difficulties as are involved in the supposition that the Holy Ghost is an attribute personified. An extensive comparison of these two subjects cannot be expected on the present occasion. Suffice it to say, that wisdom is not said to appear in a bodily shape ;' is not introduced in form, as an agent in the common concerns of life ; is not spoken of by one living being, when discoursing of another living being, as a third living being, united with the other two in the transaction of real business; Is never introduced in the Scriptures, in plain prose, as speaking, hearing, commanding, guiding, sanctifying, and universally doing such things as can be attributed only to a living person. Yet it must strike every person that, as wisdom is an attribute, involving consciousness and perception, all these things, and others like them, might be attributed to it with much more propriety than to the attri

bute of power.

5. The Holy Ghost is a Divine Person.

There will probably be little dispute concerning this declaration among those who acknowledge that the Holy Ghost is a person. The things which are said concerning the Spirit of God are so plainly such as evince infinite perfection, that few persons, probably none, who admit the personality of the Spirit, will deny his deity. Still, it will be useful on this occasion to exhibit several proofs of this truth.

(1.) The names of God are given to the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures. Now the Lord is that Spirit,' 2 Cor. viii.

• 17. This is a direct affirmation of St. Paul, that the Spirit is God.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? and who has been his Counsellor ?' Rom. xi. 34. · For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?" 1 Cor. ii. 16. Both these passages are quoted from Isaiah xl. 13, · Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord ? or, being his Counsellor, hath taught bim?'

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ,' 2 Thess. iij. 5. Hence the person addressed in prayer, is plainly a distinct person from



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those mentioned by the names God and Christ, and of course is the Spirit of God; to whom throughout the Scriptures the office of directing the hearts of Christians to their duty, is everywhere ascribed.

Peter says to Ananias, Acts v. 3, 4, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie unto the Holy Ghost? Why hast thou conceived this in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.' Here the Holy Ghost is called God by the apostle, in as direct terms as are conceivable.

Acts iv. 24, 25, · They lift up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, who hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is. Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing ?'

Acts i. 16, Peter says, ' This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David.' The Holy Ghost is, therefore, the Lord God who spoke by the mouth of David.

(2.) The attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Ghost.

Eternity.- Christ, who through the eternal Spirit once offered himself to God' Heb. ix. 14.

Omnipresence.-- Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? Wbither shall I flee from thy presence ?' Psalm cxxxix. 7. • Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost;' that is, the bodies of all Christians,' 1 Cor. vi. 9.

Omniscience. The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God,' 1 Cor. ii. 10. Even so, the things

· of God knoweth no one, but the Spirit of God,' 1 Cor. ü. 11.

Holiness.— The Holy Ghost,' 'the Holy Spirit ;' the Spirit of Holiness. Passim.

Grace.-Hath done despite to the Spirit of grace.' Heb. x. 29; see also Zechariah xi. 10.

Truth. The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, John xiv. 17.

Glory.— The Spirit of Glory and of God resteth on you,' 1 Pet. iv. 14. Goodness. Thy good Spirit,' Neh. ix. 20.

* Thy Spirit is good,' Psalm cxliii. 10.

PowerThe power of God,' as exerted in working signs

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and wonders, is ascribed to the Holy Ghost throughout the New Testament.

(3.) The actions of God are ascribed to the Holy Ghost.

Creation. By his Spirit he garnished the heavens,' Job xxvi. 13. The Spirit of God hath made me,' Job xxxii. 4: see also Acts i. 24, 25, compared with Acts i. 16.

Working miracles, which, as you know, is either a suspension or counteraction of the laws of nature, or of the divine agency operating conformably to those laws, and is therefore, with peculiar evidence, an act of God himself. This, as I have already remarked concerning the power exerted in it, is throughout the New Testament ascribed to the Holy Ghost.

Inspiration.—- Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,' 2 Peter i. 21.

Giving life. It is the Spirit that quickeneth,' John vi. 63. • Put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, 1 Pet. iii. 18. · He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you,' Rom. viii. 11. · Sanctification. This also is ascribed to the Holy Ghost appropriately, throughout the New Testament.

Instances of the same general nature might be easily increased in numbers, and the proofs might be easily multiplied to a great extent; but as discourses so extensively, made up of detached passages of Scripture are apt to be less interesting than could be wished, I shall desist.

(4.) The Holy Ghost is a divine person, because he is united with the Father and the Son in the baptismal service, and in the blessing pronounced upon Christians by St. Paul.

I have mentioned these subjects together, because they have some things in common. Yet there are also some things in which they differ. Go and teach all nations,' said our

Saviour to his apostles, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'

• The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,' says St. Paul to the Corinthian church, and through them to all Christians, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.'

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