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of Christ; and many of them at least would have had none, if this confirmation had been perpetual. Because he must have been eminently and singularly wicked who would not have acknowledged the doctrine of Christ to be true, and embraced it, not so much from the love of virtue and piety, as through the evidence of such unceasing miracles. Hence it would have happened, that in the Christian religion, which by the will of God is to distinguish the honest from the dishonest,' there would have appeared no difference between them.
Tell me then what the gift of the Holy Spirit is which is perpetual among Christians ?
Before I explain this, I must show that under the New Covenant there is a certain gift of the Holy Spirit which is perpetual, that is, existing at all times in the church of Christ.
I beg you would do this.
You must observe then, that, independently of other testimonies, this is made evident by the words of Christ, (Luke xi. 13,) where he shows that God would give the Holy Spirit to his children who asked it of him; which, indeed, he infers from a reason that is adapted to all ages. In the same sense ought properly those words also of Christ, (John xiv. 21, 23) to be interpreted, wherein he promises those who love him, and keep his sayings, that he and his father will come to them, and make their abode with them, and manifest themselves to them ; which indeed God and Christ accomplish by the Holy Spirit. What then is this gift of the Holy Spirit ?
It is a divine inspiration of that kind whereby our minds are filled with a more enlarged knowledge of divine things, or with a more certain hope of eternal life; also with joy in, and a certain foretaste of, future happiness, or with an extraordinary measure of divine glory and piety.
But do we not acquire the hope of eternal life through the preaching of the gospel?
We certainly do; for from the preaching of the gospel, that hope may be acquired of eternal life which is promised in it,-otherwise, wherefore is it promised? But in order to fix in our minds a more firm and certain hope, by the power of which we may in every trial reinain invincible, it seems requisite that that promise, outwardly made to us by the gospel, should be inwardly sealed in our hearts by God through the Holy Spirit.
Does this inward sealing extend to all to whom the gospel is announced?
By no means,—but to those persons alone who believe the gospel after it has been preached to them, who properly appreciate the outward means employed by God in confirmation of the promise of eternal life, and rightly use the gospel. For if that gift of the Holy Spirit, which continued only for a time, was given to none but those who believed the gospel, much more, surely, are we to think that that gift of the Holy Spirit which is perpetual, is to be given to them alone who have sincerely believed, and from their hearts embraced the gospel; and who besides supplicate this gift from God with fervent prayers.,
Is there not need of this internal gift of the Holy Spirit in order to believe the gospel ?
No: for we do not read in the Holy Scriptures that it was conferred upon any one besides those who had believed the gospel. Acts ii. 38; viii. 16, 17; x. 17; xv. 7, 8, 9; xix. 2 ; Ephes. i. 13.
But is there not, besides this special gift of the Holy Spirit promised to believers in Christ, another spirit common to them all?
There certainly is, which arises in the minds of all believers from the acknowledgement, and the receptron through faith, of the gospel of Christ, wherein that paternal and unbounded gmce of God towards the human race is proclaiined: by which spirit all ought to be governed, and the deeds 'of the body be mortified; and which spirit if any man have not, he is not of Christ. To this is opposed that spirit of bondage, which the discipline of the law inspired. For this reason the law is called the LETTER, and the gospel SPIRIT, and the law is said to kill, but the spirit to give life--because the law was nothing but letters and writing, proposing laws, and denouncing death against transgressors : but the gospel fills men with a filial spirit, and sets at liberty those who are incited to yield a filial obedience to God, and armed with the powers of eternal life : when there is added to this spirit that promised gift, poured forth from heaven, which the apostle, in reference to those times, rightly joins with the former, (Rom. viii. and elsewhere), nothing is wanting towards the perfecting of the Christian in this world.
After you have explained to me what the gift of the Holy Spirit is, I wish you to inform me ålso, whether the Holy Spirit be a person of the Godhead ?
That the Holy Spirit is not a person in the Godhead you may learn froin hence:- First, because many things which in the Scriptures are attributed to the Holy Spirit, are not applicable to a divine person; and not a few of them, not even to any person
whatever : such are, that it is given by God, and this either according to measure or without measure; that God pours it out, and that it is shed forth from him ; that men drink into it, and are baptized by or into it; that it is given in double portions, and distributed into parts; that there are first-fruits of it ; that it is itself taken away, and that a portion of it is taken away; that at some time it was not; that it is quenched ; -- and similar things which are met with in the Scriptures (Acts y. 32; 1 John iv. 13; Eph. iv. 7; Acts ii. 17,33; 1 Cor. xii. 13; Heb. ii. 4; Rom. viii. 23; Psalm li. 12; Num. xi. 17 and 25; 2 Kings ii. 9; John vii. 39; 1 Thess. v. 19). Secondly, because it is evident that the Holy Spirit is said to be given by God to men, and that this is asserted concerning it even in those places wherein it is commonly believed to mean a divine person. But a divine person cannot be given or bestowed by any one; for he who is given or bestowed must be under the authority of another, which can on no account be said of a divine person, which is the supreme God himself. Thirdly, because Christ declares concerning it (John xvi. 13), that it would not speak of itself, but whatsoever it should hear, that it
would speak : but a divine person could not but speak of itself. Fourthly, because Christ says (Matth. xi. 27) that 5
no one knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any one the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal him.” But if the Holy Spirit were a divine person, the Father would not alone know the Son, and the Son alone know the Father; but the Holy Spirit also, without a revelation from any one, would know both. Fifthly, because in several places (as John v. 17; viii. 16; xiv. 21; xvii. 3; 1 John i. 3, ii. 23; 2 John 3 and 9; Luke ix. 26; Mark xiii. 32; 1 Tim. v. 21; Revel. iii.5, 12, v. 13), where mention is made of the Father and the Son, sometimes of angels, and occasionally of men also, and other things-no notice is taken of the Holy Spirit, although if he were a divine person he ought to be named equally with God and Christ, and much more than angels, or men, or other things, Sixthly, because the Holy Spirit is in many places called the Spirit of God: but that which is of God cannot be God, and therefore not a divine person ; for to be Of God, and to be God, are opposed to each other, To this reason may be added, that the Holy Spirit is denominated the power or the finger of God, which cannot be asserted of a person of the Deity, that is, of the supreme God himself.(Luke i. 35; xxiv. 49; Matth. xii. 28, compared with Luke xi. 20). Seventhly, because the Holy Spirit is of God (1 Cor. ii. 12), and proceedeth from God (John xv. 26); for unless it were of God, Paul could not compare the Spirit of God with the spirit of a man which is in