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FROM AN

EXPOSITION OF THE CREED

by JOHN PEARSON, D.D.,

FORMERLY LORD BISHOP OF CHESTER

First Published 1659

[see original PDF file text at Project Canterbury for extensive footnotes]

 

ARTICLE VIII

I believe in the Holy Ghost.

 

[The Nature of the Holy Ghost]

[The Office of the Holy Ghost]

[Summary]

 

IN this Article we repeat again the first word of the Creed, I believe; whereas a conjunction might have been sufficient, but that so many particulars concerning the Son do intervene. For as we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; so we do make confession of our faith, saying, I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and the ancients, whose Creed was something shorter, made no repetition of the act of faith, but only an addition of the object, And in the Holy Ghost. And as we repeat the act of faith in this Article, so some did also in the second, I believe in Jesus Christ. Wherefore being this word, I believe, is taken here only by way of resumption or repetition, and consequently must be of the same sense and importance of which it was in the beginning of the Creed, it may well receive the same explication here which it received there; to that therefore the reader is referred.

 

For although the ancient Fathers did frequently make use of this language to prove the Divinity of the Spirit, and did thence argue that he is really and truly God, because we believe in the Holy Ghost; yet being that language is not expressly read in the Scriptures in relation to the Spirit, as it is in reference to the Son; being to believe in the Holy Ghost is only the expression of the Church contained in the Creed; being in the same Creed many of the ancients, without any reprehension, have used the same phrase in the following Articles expressly, and where the preposition is not expressed, it may very well be thought it was understood; therefore I think fit to acquiesce in my former exposition, and lay no greater force in the preposition.

 

It will therefore be sufficient for the explication of this Article, if we can declare what is the full and proper object of our faith contained in it, what we are obliged to believe concerning the Holy Ghost. And as to this we shall discharge our undertaking, and satisfy whatsoever is required in this exposition, if we can set forth these two particulars, the nature and the office of that blessed Spirit. For the name of GHOST or GAST in the ancient Saxon language signifieth a spirit, and in that appellation of the Spirit of God, his nature principally is expressed. The addition of holiness, though it denote the intrinsecal sanctity essentially belonging to that Spirit, yet not withstanding it containeth also a derivative notion, as signifying an emanation of that holiness and communication of the effects thereof; and in this communication his office doth consist. Whatsoever therefore doth concern the Spirit of God, as such, and the intrinsecal sanctity which belongeth to that Spirit, may be expressed in the explication of his nature; whatsoever belongeth to the derivation of that sanctity may be described in his office; and consequently more cannot be necessary than to declare what is the nature, what the office, of the Spirit of God.

 

[The Nature of the Holy Ghost]

 

For the better indagation of the nature of the Holy Ghost, I shall proceed by certain steps and degrees; which as they will render the discourse more clear, so will they also make the reasons more strong, and the arguments more evident. And first, as to the existence of the Spirit of God, it will be unnecessary to endeavour the proof of it; for although the Sadducees seemed to deny it, who said that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; though it hath been ordinarily concluded from thence that they rejected the Holy Ghost, yet it cannot be proved from those words that they denied the existence of the Spirit of God, any more than that they denied the existence of God, who is a spirit; nor did the notion which the Jews had of the Spirit of God any way incline the Sadducees, who denied the existence of the angels and the souls of men, to reject it. The resurrection, angel, and spirit, which the Sadducees refused to acknowledge, were but two particulars; for it is expressly added, that the Pharisees confessed both; of which two the resurrection was one, angels and spirits were the other; wherefore that which the Sadducees disbelieved was the existence of such created spiritual natures, as the angels and the souls of men are conceived to have. And as for those Disciples at Ephesus, who had not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost; if they were Gentiles, it is no wonder, because they never had that notion in their religion; if they were Jews, as they seem to be, because they were baptized with the baptism of John, it signifieth not that they never heard of the Spirit of God, but only that they had not heard of the giving of it, which the Apostle mentioned: as we read elsewhere, that the Holy Ghost was not yet; not denying the existence, but the plentiful effusion of it. For, whatsoever the nature of the Spirit of God may be thought to be, no man can conceive the Apostle should deny his existence before Christís glorification, whose operation was so manifest at his conception. Howsoever, the Apostle asked those ignorant Disciples, Unto what then were ye baptized? intimating, that if they were baptized according to the rule of Christ, they could not be ignorant that there is an Holy Ghost; because the Apostles were commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. It is therefore presumed that every one who professeth the name of Christ, from the first baptismal institution, acknowledgeth that there is an Holy Ghost: and the only question consists in this, What that Holy Ghost is, in whose name we are baptized, and in whom, according to our baptism, we profess in the Creed to believe?

 

In order to the determination of which question, our first assertion is, That the Holy Ghost, described to us in the word of God, and joined with the Father and the Son in the form of baptism, is a Person. We are all baptized in the name of three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and the public concession of our faith hath relation to those three. We all confess that two of these, the Father and the Son, are Persons; that which we now assert is only this, that the Holy Ghost, who is of the three the third, is also a Person as the other two. That blessed Spirit is not only an energy or operation, not a quality or power, but a spiritual and intellectual subsistence. If we conceive it is an operation only, then must it only be actuated and not act; and when it is not actuated, it must not be at all. If we say that it is a quality, and not a substance; we say that it is that which we cannot prove to have any being. It seemeth to me strangely unreasonable, that men should be so earnest in endeavouring to prove that the Holy Ghost which sanctifieth them is no substance, when they cannot be assured that there is any thing operative in the world beside substantial beings: and consequently, if they be not sanctified by that, they can be susceptible of no holiness. By what reason in nature can they be assured, by what revelation in Scripture can they be confident, that there is a reality deserving the name of quality distinguished from all substance, and yet working real and admirable effects? If there were no other argument but this, that we are assured by the Christian faith, that there is an Holy Ghost existing; and we cannot be assured, either by reason or faith, that there is a quality really and essentially distinguished from all substance, it would be sufficient to deter us from that boldness, to assert the Holy Ghost, in whose name we are baptized, to be nothing else but a quality.

 

But we are not left to guess at the nature of the Spirit of God; the word of God which came from that Spirit hath sufficiently delivered him as a Person. It is indeed to be observed, that in the Scriptures there are some things spoken of the Holy Ghost which are proper and peculiar to a Person, as the adversaries confess: others, which are not properly and primarily to be attributed to a person, as we cannot deny: and it might seem to be equally doubtful, in relation to the Scripture expressions, whether the Holy Ghost were a Person or no; and that they which deny his Personality may pretend as much Scripture as they which assert it. But in this seeming indifferency we must also observe a large diversity; inasmuch as the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God, is not always taken in the same propriety of signification; nor do we say that the Holy Ghost, which signifieth a Person, always signifieth so much. It is therefore easily conceived how some things may be attributed to the Spirit in the Scriptures which are not proper to a Person, and yet the Spirit be a Person, because sometimes the Spirit is taken for that which is not a Person, as we acknowledge. Whereas, if ever any thing be attributed to the Holy Ghost as to a Person, which cannot be otherwise understood of the Spirit of God than as of a Person, then may we infallibly conclude that the Holy Ghost is a Person. This therefore we shall endeavour fully and clearly to demonstrate: first, that the Scriptures declare unto us the Holy Ghost as a Person, by such attributes and expressions as cannot be understood to be spoken of the Spirit of God any other way than as of a person: secondly, that whatsoever attributes or expressions are used in the Scriptures of the Holy Ghost, and are objected as repugnant to the nature of a Person, either are not so repugnant as is objected; or if they be, they belong unto the Spirit, as it signifies not a Person.

 

First then, the Holy Ghost, or good Spirit of God, is clearly and formally opposed to those evil spirits, which are and must be acknowledged persons, of a spiritual and intellectual subsistence. As, The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. Now, what those evil spirits from the Lord were, is apparent from the sad example of Ahab, concerning whom we read, There came out a spirit and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him: and the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets: and the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail; go out, and do even so. From whence it is evident, that the evil spirits from God were certain persons, even bad angels, to which the one good Spirit as a Person is opposed, departing from him to whom the other cometh.

 

Again, the New Testament doth describe the Holy Ghost by such personal dispositions, and with such operations, as are as evident marks and signs of a Person as any which are attributed to the Father or the Son, which are unquestionable Persons; and whatsoever terms are spoken of the Spirit by way of quality, are spoken as well of those which are acknowledged Persons. We are exhorted by the Apostle not to grieve the Spirit of God; and grief is certainly a personal affection, of which a quality is not capable. We are assured that the same Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; and we can understand what are interceding persons, but have no apprehension of interceding or groaning qualities. The operations of the Spirit are manifest, and as manifestly personal: for he searcheth all things, yea even the deep things of God; and so he knoweth all things, even the things of God; which can be no description of the power of God: he worketh all the spiritual gifts, dividing to every man severally as he will; in which the operation, discretion, distribution, and all these voluntary, are sufficient demonstrations of a Person. He revealeth the will of God, and speaketh to the sons of men, in the nature and after the manner of a Person; for the Spirit said unto Peter, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them: and the Holy Ghost said unto the prophets and teachers at Antioch, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. We cannot better understand the nature of the Holy Ghost than by the description given by Christ which sent him: and he said thus to his Disciples, The Comforter, (or, the Advocate,) which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things; he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness. If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world, and he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he shall shew you things to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All which words are nothing else but so many descriptions of a Person, a Person hearing, a Person receiving, a Person testifying, a Person speaking, a Person reproving, a Person instructing.

 

The adversaries to this truth, acknowledging all these personal expressions, answer, that it is ordinary in the Scriptures to find the like expressions which are proper unto persons given unto those things which are no persons: as when the Apostle saith, Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. All which personal actions are attributed to charity, which is no person, as in other cases it is usual, but belonging to that person which is charitable; because that person which is so qualified doth perform those actions according to, and by virtue of, that charity which is in him. In the same manner, say they, personal actions are attributed to the Holy Ghost, which is no Person, but only the virtue, power, and efficacy of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, because that God the Father is a Person, and doth perform those personal actions, attributed to the Holy Ghost, by that virtue, power, and efficacy in himself, which is the Holy Ghost. As when we read, The Spirit said unto Peter, Behold, three men seek thee, Arise therefore, and get thee down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them: we must understand that God the Father was the Person which spake those words, and which sent those men; but because he did so by that virtue which is the Holy Ghost, therefore the Holy Ghost is said to speak those words and send those men. In the same manner when we read, the Holy Ghost said unto those at Antioch, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them, we must conceive it was God the Father who spake those words, who had called Barnabas and Saul, and to whom they were to be separated: but because God did all this by that power within him which is his Spirit, therefore those words and actions are attributed to the Holy Ghost. This is the sum of their answer; and more than this I conceive cannot be said in answer to that argument which we urge from those personal expressions attributed to the Spirit of God, and, as we believe, as to a Person.

 

But this answer is most apparently insufficient, as giving no satisfaction to the argument. For if all the personal actions, attributed in the Scriptures to the Spirit, might proceed from the Person of God the Father, according to the power which is in him, then might this answer seem satisfactory: but if these actions be personal, as they are acknowledged, and cannot be denied; if the same cannot be attributed to the Person of God the Father, whose Spirit it is; if he cannot be said to do that by the power within him, which is said to be done by the Holy Ghost; then is that defence not to he defended, then must the Holy Ghost be acknowledged a Person. But I shall clearly prove, that there are several personal attributes given in the sacred Scriptures expressly to the Holy Ghost, which cannot be ascribed to God the Father; which God the Father, by that power which is in him, cannot be said to do; and consequently cannot be any ground why those attributes should be given to the Spirit if it be not a Person.

 

To make intercession is a personal action, and this action is attributed to the Spirit of God, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. But to make intercession is not an act which can be attributed to God the Father, neither can he be said to intercede for us according to that power which is in him; and therefore this can be no prosopopoeia; the Holy Ghost cannot be said to exercise the personal action of intercession for that reason, because it is the Spirit of that Person which intercedeth for us. To come unto men, as being sent unto them, is a personal action; and so the Comforter, or Advocate, who is the Holy Ghost, did come, being sent; When the Comforter is come, whom I will send you from the Father, saith Christ: and again, If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. But to come unto men, as being sent, cannot be ascribed to God the Father, who sendeth, but is never sent; especially in this particular, in which the Father is said expressly to send, and that in the name of the Son (whom the Father will send in my name, saith our Saviour). When therefore the Holy Ghost cometh to the sons of men, as sent by the Father in the name . of the Son, and sent by the Son himself, this personal action cannot be attributed to the Father as working by the power within him, and consequently cannot ground a prosopopoeia, by which the virtue or power of God the Father shall be said to do it. To speak and hear are personal actions, and both together attributed to the Spirit, in such a manner as they cannot be ascribed to God the Father. When he, saith Christ, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak. Now to speak, and not of himself, cannot be attributed to God the Father, who doth all things of himself: to speak what he heareth, and that of the Son; to deliver what he receiveth from another, and to glorify him from whom he receiveth by receiving from him, as Christ speaketh of the Holy Ghost, He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shew it to you, is by no means applicable to the Father; and consequently it cannot be true that the Holy Ghost is therefore said to do these personal actions, because that Person whose Spirit the Holy Ghost is, doth those actions, by and according to his own power, which is the HolyGhost. It remaineth therefore that the answer given by the adversaries of this truth is apparently insufficient, and consequently that our argument, drawn from the personal actions attributed in the Scriptures to the Spirit, is sound and valid.

 

I thought this discourse had fully destroyed the Socinian prosopopoeia; and indeed, as they ordinarily propound their answer it is abundantly refuted. But I find the subtilty of Socinus prepared another explication of the prosopopoeia, to supply the room where he foresaw the former would not serve. Which double figure he groundeth upon this distinction: The Spirit, that is, the power of God, saith he, may be considered either as a propriety and power in God, or as the things on which it worketh are affected with it. If it be considered in the first notion, then if any personal attribute be given to the Spirit, the Spirit is there taken for God, and by the Spirit God is signified: if it be considered in the second notion, then if any personal attribute be given to the Spirit, the Spirit is taken for that man in which it worketh; and that man, affected with it, is called the Spirit of God.

 

So that now we must not only shew that such things which are attributed to the Holy Ghost cannot be spoken of the Father, but we must also prove that they cannot be attributed unto man, in whom the Spirit worketh from the Father: and this also will be very easily and evidently proved. The Holy Ghost is said to come unto the Apostles as sent by the Father and the Son, and to come as so sent is a personal action, which we have already shewed cannot be the action of the Father, who sent the Spirit; and it is as certain that it cannot be the action of an Apostle who was affected with the Spirit which was sent, except we can say that the Father and the Son did send St. Peter an advocate to St. Peter; and St. Peter, being sent by the Father and the Son, did come unto St. Peter.  Again, our Saviour, speaking of the Holy Ghost, saith, He shall receive of mine: therefore the Holy Ghost in that place is not taken for the Father; and shew it unto you, therefore he is not taken for an Apostle: in that he receiveth, the first Socinian prosopopoeia is improper; in that he sheweth to the Apostles, the second is absurd. The Holy Ghost then is described as a Person distinct from the Person of the Father, whose power he is, and distinct from the Person of the Apostle in whom he worketh, and consequently neither of the Socinian figures can evacuate or enervate the doctrine of his proper and peculiar Personality.

 

Secondly, For those attributes or expressions used of the Holy Ghost in the sacred Scriptures, and pretended to be repugnant to the nature of a Person, either they are not so repugnant, or, if they be, they belong unto the Spirit, as it signifieth not the Person, but the gifts or effects, of the Spirit. They tell us that the Spirit is given, and that sometimes in measure, sometimes without measure; that the Spirit is poured out, and that men do drink of it, and are filled with it; that it is doubled and distributed, and something is taken from it; and that sometimes it is extinguished: and from hence they gather, that the Holy Ghost is not a Person, because these expressions are inconsistent with personality. But a satisfactory answer is easily returned to this objection. It is true, that God is said to have given the Holy Ghost to them that obey him, but it is as true that a Person may be given; so we read in the Prophet Isaiah, Unto us a Son is given; and we are assured that God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, and certainly the Son of God is a Person. And if all the rest of the expressions be such as they pretend, that is, not proper to a Person; yet do they no way prejudice the truth of our assertion, because we acknowledge the effects and operations of the Spirit to have in the Scriptures the name of the Spirit, who is the cause of those operations. And being to that Spirit, as the cause, we have already shewn those attributes to be given which can agree to nothing but a Person, we therefore conclude against the Socinians and the Jews, that the Holy Ghost is not a quality, but a Person; which is our first assertion.

 

Our second assertion is, That the Holy Ghost, in whose name we are baptized, and in whom we profess to believe, is not a created, but a divine and uncreated, Person. And for the proof of this assertion, we shall first make use of that argument which our adversaries have put into our hands. The Spirit of God which is in God, is not a created Person: but the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God which is in God, and therefore not a created Person. This argument is raised from those words of the Apostle, For who knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. That this Spirit of God is the Holy Ghost, I find denied by none: that the same Spirit is in God, appeareth by the Apostleís discourse, and is granted by the Socinians: that it is so the Spirit of God, and so by nature in God that it cannot be a creature, is granted by the same. It followeth therefore undeniably that the Holy Ghost is no created Person; inasmuch as that cannot be a created Person which hath not a created nature; and that can neither have nor be a created nature, which by nature is in God. Wherefore although it be replied by others, that it is not said in the text that the Spirit is in God, yet our adversariesí reason overweighs their negative observation; and it availeth little to say that it is not expressed, which must be acknowledged to be understood. The Holy Ghost then is a Person (as I have proved), and is not of a nature distinguished from that which is in God (as is confessed, and only denied to be in God, because it is not said so when it is implied), therefore he is no created Person.

 

Secondly, The Holy Ghost is such a one as against whom a sin may be committed, and when it is so, cannot be remitted. But if he were no Person, we could not commit that sin against him; and if he were a created Person, the sin committed against him could not be irremissible. Therefore he is a Person, and that uncreated. The argument is grounded upon the words of our Saviour, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. By which words it appeareth there is a sin or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost distinct from all other sins and blasphemies committed against God the Father, or the Son of God; that this sin hath an aggravation added unto it, beyond other sins and blasphemies: but if the Holy Spirit were no Person, the sin could not be distinct from those sins which are committed against him whose Spirit he is; and if he were a Person created, the sin could receive no such aggravation beyond other sins and blasphemies.

 

To this they answer, That the sin against the Holy Ghost is not therefore unpardonable, because he is God, which is not to our purpose; but they do not, cannot shew that it can be unpardonable, if he were not God. It is not therefore simply, and for no other reason, unpardonable, because that Person is God, against whom it is committed; for if so, then any sin committed against any person which is God, would be unpardonable; which is false. But that sin, which is particularly called the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is a sin against God, and in such a manner aggravated, as makes it irremissible; of which aggravation it were uncapable, if the Spirit were not God.

 

Thirdly, Every created Person was made by the Son of God as God, and is now put under the feet of the Son of God as Man. But the Spirit of God was not made by the Son of God, nor is he now put under the feet of the Son of man. Therefore the Spirit of God can be no created Person. All things were made by the Word, and without him was not any thing made that was made; therefore every created Person was made by the Word. God hath put all things under the feet of Christ; and when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him: and being none is excepted beside God, every created person must be under the feet of the Son of man. But the Spirit of God in the beginning was not made, yea rather in the beginning made the world, as Job speaks of God, By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens: nor is he under the feet of Christ, now set down at the right hand of God, who with supreme authority, together with the Father, sent the Prophets; as Isaiah testifieth, saying, Now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me; and with the same authority, since the exaltation of our Saviour, sent forth such as were separated to himself, as appeareth in the case of Barnabas and Saul, and with the same authority giveth all spiritual gifts, dividing to every man severally as he will; so that in this kingdom of Christ all things are done by the power of the Spirit of God.

 

Fourthly, He, by whose operation Christ was conceived in the womb of the Virgin, was no created Person; for by virtue of that conception he was called the Son of God; whereas if a creature had been the cause of his conception, he had been in that respect the son of a creature; nay, according to the adversariesí principles, he had taken upon him the nature of angels. But the Holy Ghost it was by whose operation Christ was conceived in the womb of the Virgin. For it was an angel that said to Mary, (not that an angel, but that) 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. Therefore the Spirit of God is no created Person; which is our second assertion against the ancient, but newly revived heresy of the Arians and Macedonians.

 

Our third assertion is that which necessarily followeth from the former two, that the Spirit of God, in whose name we are baptized, and in whom we profess to believe, is properly and truly God. For if he be a Person, as we have proved in the declaration of our first assertion; if he be a Person not created, as we have demonstrated in the corroboration of the second assertion; then must he of necessity be acknowledged to be God, because there is no uncreated essence beside the essence of the one eternal God. And there is this great felicity in the laying of this third assertion, that it is not proved only by the two precedent assertions, but also by the adversaries of them both. He which denies the first, that is the Socinian, affirms that the Spirit of God is in God, and is the eternal and omnipotent power of God; he which denies the second, that is the Macedonian, asserts that he is a Person of an intellectual nature subsisting; but whatsoever is a Person subsisting of eternal and omnipotent power, must be acknowledged to be God. Whether therefore we look upon the truth of our assertions, or whether we consider the happiness of their negations, the conclusion is, that the Holy Ghost is God.

 

But were there nothing, which is already said, demonstrated, there is enough written in the word of God to assure us of the Deity of the Holy Ghost, to make us undoubtingly believe that the Spirit of God is God.  It is written by Moses that when he went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And that Lord with whom Moses spake was the one Jehovah, the God of heaven and earth. But we are assured that the Spirit was and is that Lord to which Moses spake; for the Apostle hath taught us so much by his own interpretation, saying, Even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit. The Spirit is here so plainly said to be the Lord, that is, Jehovah, the one eternal God, that the adversaries of this truth must either deny that the Lord is here to be taken for God, or that the Spirit is to be taken for the Spirit of God: either of which denials must seem very strange to any person which considereth the force and plainness of the Apostleís discourse.

 

But indeed they are so ready to deny any thing, that they will by no means acknowledge either the one or the other: but the Lord must be something which is not God, and the Spirit must be something which is not the Spirit of God: and then they conclude the argument is of no force, and may as well conclude the Apostleís interpretation hath no sense. The Lord, they say, is Christ, and not God; for Christ, they say, is not God: the Spirit, they say, is the mystery of the Law, or the hidden sense of it, and that everyone knows is not the Spirit of God. But we are assured that the Apostle did mean by the Spirit, the Spirit of God, not the sense of the Law; for he addeth immediately, Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; and the sense of the Law is never called the Spirit of the Lord. Nay, were it not that the coherence of the discourse did satisfy us; yet the objection ought not at all to move us: for the name of Spirit in those places mentioned by them to signify the sense of the Law hath no affinity with this, according to their own way of argumentation: for it is never so taken with the emphasis of an article, and put in the place either of an entire subject or a predicate in a proposition, except, by way of opposition; and one of those it must of necessity be in those words of the Apostle, now the Lord is that Spirit, and that without the least intimation of any opposition.

 

Again, we are assured that by the Lord the Apostle did understand the eternal God; for he speaketh of the same Lord which he mentioned in the verse before, and that is the Lord God spoken of in the book of Exodus; of which except the Apostle speaks, his argument hath neither inference nor coherence. In vain therefore is this pretended for an answer, that the Apostle by the Lord doth always, unless he cite some place out of the old covenant, understand Christ; for in this particular he citeth a certain place out of the book of Exodus, and useth the name of the Lord in the same notion in which there it is used, framing an argument urging it from thence; and if he did not, that rule is not so universal and infallible, but that the Lord in the language of the same Apostle may not signify the second, but the first or third Person of the Trinity. If then the Lord be the eternal God, as the Apostle without any question understood him in Moses; if the Spirit be the Spirit of the Lord, as the Apostle expounds himself in the words immediately following; then the Spirit of the Lord is the eternal God, and so termed in the Scriptures.

 

Again, the same Scriptures do clearly manifest the same Spirit to be God, and term him plainly and expressly so. For when Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Hoty Ghost? he repeateth the same question in reference to the same offence, Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. To lie unto the Holy Ghost, is to lie unto God: to lie unto the Holy Ghost, is not to lie unto men, because the Holy Ghost is not man: and consequently not to lie unto any angel, because the Holy Ghost is not an angel; not to lie unto any creature, because the Holy Ghost is no creature; but to lie unto God, because the Holy Ghost is God.

 

To this plain and evident argument there are so many answers, that the very multitude discovers the weakness of them all; for if anyone of them were sufficient to bear down the force of our reason, the rest would be superfluous. First, They answer that it cannot be collected from hence that the Spirit is God, because the Holy Ghost in the original is put in one case, and God in another; and the Apostle speaking in one manner of the Spirit, and in another of God, cannot shew that the Spirit is God. To which it is easily answered, that the case or manner of the Apostleís speech can make no difference, if the sense and substance be the same, as here it is; for to deceive the Holy Ghost, is nothing else but to lie unto him, or by a lie to endeavour to deceive him. The act objected to Ananias was but one, which act of his the Apostles looked upon as injurious, not to themselves, but to the Holy Ghost; and therefore St. Peter shewed the sin to be not against men, but against God: as certainly then as the Apostles were men, so certainly was the Holy Ghost, in the esteem of St. Peter, God.

 

As for that sense which they put upon the words, different from that of lying to God, as if Ananias were accused for counterfeiting the Holy Ghost, it is most certain that the words can in this place bear no such sense; for the sin of Ananias is again expressed in the case of his wife Sapphira, to whom St. Peter said, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? But to tempt the Spirit, and to counterfeit the Spirit, are two several things; and it is evident that in this place the tempting of the Spirit was nothing else but lying to him: for St. Peter said to Sapphira, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? and she said, yea, for so much: in which answer she lied. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord! viz. in saying that ye sold the land for so much. Here is no colour then for that new pretence, that Ananias did bear the Apostles in hand that what was done he did by the motion of the Holy Spirit, and so did pretend, counterfeit, and belie the Holy Ghost. This is not to expound St. Peter, but to belie Annnias, and make him guilty of that sin, which he was never yet accused of. It is most certain that he lied, it is also certain that he to whom he lied was the Holy Ghost, and therefore it might be well translated, that he lied to the Holy Ghost.

 

Next, Because they may very well be conscious that this verbal or phraseological answer may not seem sufficient, they tell us, though both the phrases were synonymous, yet they did no way prove that the Spirit is God: and the reason which they render to justify this negation, is, because there are several places of the Scripture, in which the Messengers of God who are acknowledged not to be God, are mentioned in the same relation to God, as here the Spirit is. To which the answer is most plain and clear, that there is no creature ever mentioned in the same manner as the Holy Ghost is here. As when they allege those words of the Apostle, He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given us his Holy Spirit, I cannot see what similitude can be made unto the Scripture now in question: for if the Spirit be not understood in the first words, he therefore that despiseth, it hath no relation to the present question; and if it be, it were so far from being a confutation, that it would be another confirmation. As for the other He that heareth you heareth me; he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me; it is so far from justifying their interpretation that it hath nothing in it like that which founds our reason, that is, no opposition. For there are three particulars in that Scripture which we produce for our assertion; first, that they lied to the Holy Ghost; secondly, that in doing so, they lied not unto men; and thirdly, that by the same act they lied unto God. In which the opposition is our foundation. For if the Spirit of God were not God, as we are sure it is not man, it might as well have been said, You lied not unto the Holy Ghost, but unto God. And indeed if the Apostle would have aggravated the sin of Ananias with the full propriety and iniquity, in their sense, he must have said, Thou hast not lied unto men, nor unto the Spirit of God, but unto God. But being he first told him plainly his sin, lying to the Holy Ghost; and then let him know the sinfulness of it, thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God: it is evident that the Holy Ghost to whom he lied is God.

 

Thirdly, That Person, whose inhabitation maketh a temple, is God; for if the notion of a temple be nothing else but to be the house of God, if to be the house of any creature is not to be a temple, as it is not, then no inhabitation of any created Person can make a temple. But the inhabitation of the Holy Ghost maketh a temple, as we are informed by the Apostle, What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you? Therefore the Holy Ghost is God.

 

To this is replied differently, according to the diversity of our adversaries; as it is not probable that the deniers of so great a truth should agree. The first tells us, that if we would enforce by this reason that the Holy Ghost is God, we must prove that he is a Person, and that he doth possess our bodies by a Divine right. But we have already proved that he is a Person, and certainly there can be no other right but that which belongs to God, by which the Holy Ghost inhabiteth and possesseth us. Nor have they any pretence to evince the contrary, but that which more confirmeth our assertion; for they urge only those words of the Apostle, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? We do certainly know that we are the temple of God; and we also know that the Spirit of God therefore dwelleth in us; and we therefore know that we are the temple of God, because we know that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us; and we know no other reason why we are the temple of God, when the Spirit of God dwelleth in us, but only because we know the Spirit of God is God; for if the Spirit were any other Person not Divine, or any thing but a Person though Divine, we could not by any means be assured that he did properly inhabit in us; or if he did, that by his inhabitation he could make a temple of us. The second hath very little to say, but only this, that being the Holy Ghost who possesseth us is a Person, we must shew that our bodies are his by the highest interest, and primarily dedicated to his honour; which he therefore conceives we cannot shew, because he thinks our body is not at all his by interest, or dedicated to his honour. But it were very strange, if we should be baptized in the name of the Holy Ghost, and that the Holy Ghost should have no interest in us, but that he should be ours by interest, and not we his; that the Spirit of God should call for men to be separated to himself, and that they which are so separated should be no way dedicated to his honour. If the Holy Ghost had no interest in us, because he is given unto us, then Christ can have no interest in us, for he is also given unto us. Indeed, if the Apostle had said, as our adversary doth, that we ought with our body to glorify, not the Spirit, but God; I should have concluded that the Spirit is not God: but being that blessed Spirit which dwelleth in us, and spake by the Apostles, never taught us not to glorify him, I shall rather take leave to suspect that of blasphemy, than the assertion of his Deity to be false Divinity. And whereas it is said, that the Apostle hath hinted in what respect our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, to wit, by inhabitation; this is so far from breeding in me the least thought of diminution, that by this only notion I am fully confirmed in the belief of my assertion. For I know no other way by which God peculiarly inhabiteth in us, but by the inhabitation of the Spirit: I understand no other way by which we can be the temple of God, but by the inhabitation of God, as it is written, Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwelt in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: and therefore I conclude that the Holy Ghost, who by his inhabitation maketh our bodies temples, is that God which dwelleth in us.

 

Fourthly, He, to whom the Divine attributes do belong as certainly as they belong unto God the Father, is truly and properly God; because those are Divine attributes which are proprieties of the Divine nature, and consequently none can be endued with them to whom the nature of God belongeth not. But the Divine attributes, such as are omniscience, omnipotency, omnipresence, and the like, do belong as certainly unto the Holy Ghost as they do unto God the Father; therefore we are as much assured that the Holy Ghost is God. The Scriptures to prove these attributes are so well known, that I shall not need to mention them; and they are so many, that to manage them against the exceptions of the adversaries, would take up too much room in this discourse; especially considering they question some of them in the Father as well as in the Spirit, and so I should be forced to a double proof.

 

Fifthly, He, to whom are attributed those works which are proper unto God, by and for which God doth require of us to acknowledge and worship him as God, is properly and truly God: because the operations of all things flow from that essence by which they are; and therefore if the operations be truly Divine, that is, such as can be produced by no other but God, then must the essence of that Person which produceth them be truly such. But such works as are proper unto God, by and for which God hath required us to acknowledge him and worship him as God, are attributed often in the Scriptures to the Spirit of God, as the acts of creation and conservation of all things, the miracles wrought upon and by our blessed Saviour, the works of grace and power wrought in the hearts of true believers, and the like. Therefore without any further disputation, which cannot be both long and proper for an exposition, I conclude my third assertion, that the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God, is a Person truly and properly Divine, the true and living God.

 

Now being we do firmly believe, that the true and living God can be but one, that the infinity of the Divine essence is incapable of multiplicity; being we have already shewn, that the Father is originally that one God, which is denied by none; and have also proved, that the only Son is the same God, receiving by an eternal generation the same Divine nature from the Father; it will also be necessary, for the understanding of the nature of the Spirit of God, to shew how that blessed Spirit is God: to which purpose, that I may proceed methodically, my fourth assertion is, that the Spirit of God, which is the true and living God, is neither God the Father, nor the Son of God.

 

First, Though the Father be undoubtedly God, though the Holy Ghost be also God, and (because there cannot be two Gods) the same God; yet the Holy Ghost is not the Father: for the Scriptures do as certainly distinguish them in their Persons, as they do unite them in their nature. He which proceedeth from the Father is not the Father, because it is impossible any Person should proceed from himself; but the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, therefore he is not the Father. He which is sent by the Father, and from the Father, is not the Father, by whom and from whom he is sent; for no Person can be sent by himself, and by another from himself. But the Holy Ghost is sent by God the Father, and by the Son from the Father: therefore he is not the Father.

 

Secondly, Though we have formerly proved, that the Son of God is properly and truly God; though we now have also proved, that the Spirit of God is God, and in reference to both we understand the same God; yet the Holy Ghost is not the Son: for he which receiveth of that which is the Sonís, and by receiving of it glorifieth the Son, cannot be the Son, because no Person can be said to receive from himself that which is his own, and to glorify himself by so receiving. But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, received of that which is the Sonís, and by receiving of it glorified the Son; for so our Saviour expressly said, He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not the Son. Again, he, whose coming depended upon the Sonís departing, and his sending after his departure, cannot be the Son, who therefore departed that he might send him. But the coming of the Holy Ghost depended upon the Sonís departing, and his sending after his departure: as he told the Apostles before he departed, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you: therefore the Holy Ghost is not the Son.

 

Thirdly, Though the Father be God, and the Son he God, and the Holy Ghost be also the same God; yet we are assured that the Holy Ghost is neither the Father nor the Son; because the Scriptures frequently represent him as distinguished both from the Father and the Son. As, when the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, he was manifestly distinguished from the Person of the Son, upon whom he lighted, and from the Person of the Father, who spake from heaven of his Son. The Apostle teacheth us, that through the Son we have access by one Spirit unto the Father, and consequently assureth us, that the Spirit, by whom, is not the Father, to whom, nor the Son, through whom, we have that access. So God sent forth his Son, that we might receive the adoption of sons: and because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Where the Son is distinguished from the Father as first sent by him, and the Spirit of the Son is distinguished both from the Father and the Son, as sent by the Father after he had sent the Son. And this our Saviour hath taught us several times in a word, as, The Comforter whom the Father will send in my name; the Comforter whom I wilt send unto you from the Father; and when that Comforter is come, Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. I conclude therefore against the old Sabellian heresy, that the Holy Ghost, although he be truly and properly God, is neither God the Father, nor God the Son; which is my fourth assertion.

 

Our fifth assertion is, That the Holy Ghost is the third Person in the blessed Trinity. For being he is a Person, by our first assertion; a Person not created, by the second; but a Divine Person properly and truly God, by the third; being though he is thus truly God, he is neither the Father, nor the Son, by the fourth assertion, it followeth that he is one of the three; and of the three he is the third. For as there is a number in the Trinity, by which the Persons are neither more nor less than three; so there is also an order, by which, of these Persons, the Father is the first, the Son the second, and the Holy Ghost the third. Nor is this order arbitrary or external, but internal and necessary, by virtue of a subordination of the second unto the first, and of the third unto the first and second. The Godhead was communicated from the Father to the Son, not from the Son unto the Father; though therefore this were done from all eternity, and so there can be no priority of time, yet there must be acknowledged a priority of order, by which the Father, not the Son, is first, and the Son, not the Father, second. Again, the same Godhead was communicated by the Father and the Son unto the Holy Ghost, not by the Holy Ghost to the Father or the Son; though therefore this was also done from all eternity, and therefore can admit of no priority in reference to time; yet that of order must be here observed; so that the Spirit receiving the Godhead from the Father who is the first Person, cannot be the first; receiving the same from the Son, who is the second, cannot be the second; but being from the first and second must be of the three the third. And thus both the number and the order of the Persons are signified together by the Apostle, saying, There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And though they are not expressly said to be three, yet the same number is sufficiently declared, and the same order is expressly mentioned, in the baptismal institution made in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. As therefore we have formerly proved the Son to be truly the second Person, and at the same time the Father to be the first, so doth this which we have but briefly spoken, prove that the Holy Ghost is the third; which is our fifth assertion.

 

Our sixth and last assertion (sufficient to manifest the nature of the Holy Ghost, as he is the Spirit of God) teacheth that Spirit to be a Person proceeding from the Father and the Son. From whence at last we have a clear description of the blessed Spirit, that he is the most high and eternal God, of the same nature, attributes, and operations with the Father and the Son, as receiving the same essence from the Father and the Son, by proceeding from them both. Now this procession of the Spirit, in reference to the Father, is delivered expressly, in relation to the Son, is contained virtually in the Scriptures. First, it is expressly said, that the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, as our Saviour testifieth, When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. And this is also evident from what hath been already asserted: for being the Father and the Spirit are the same God, and being so the same in the unity of the nature of God, are yet distinct in their Personality, one of them must have the same nature from the other; and because the Father hath been already shewn to have it from none, it followeth that the Spirit hath it from him.

 

Secondly, Though it be not expressly spoken in the Scripture, that the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Son, yet the substance of the same truth is virtually contained there: because those very expressions which are spoken of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Father, for that reason because he proceedeth from the Father, are also spoken of the same Spirit in relation to the Son; and therefore there must be the same reason presupposed in reference to the Son, which is expressed in reference to the Father. Because the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, therefore it is called the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of the Father. It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. For by the language of the Apostle the Spirit of God is the Spirit which is of God, saying, The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. And we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God. Now the same Spirit is also called the Spirit of the Son, for because we are sons, God hath, sent forth, the Spirit of his Son into our hearts; the Spirit of Christ, Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; even the Spirit of Christ which was in the Prophets; the Spirit of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle speaks, I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If then the Holy Spirit be called the Spirit of God and the Father, because he proceeded from the Father, it followeth that, being called also the Spirit of the Son, he proceedeth also from the Son.

 

Again, Because the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, he is therefore sent by the Father, as from him who hath by the original communication a right of mission; as, the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send: but the same Spirit which is sent by the Father is also sent by the Son, as he saith, when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you. Therefore the Son hath the same right of mission with the Father, and consequently must be acknowledged to have communicated the same essence. The Father is never sent by the Son, because he received not the Godhead from him; but the Father sendeth the Son, because he communicated the Godhead to him: in the same manner neither the Father nor the Son is ever sent by the Holy Spirit; because neither of them received the Divine nature from the Spirit: but both the Father and the Son sendeth the Holy Ghost, because the Divine nature, common to both the Father and the Son, was communicated by them both to the Holy Ghost. As therefore the Scriptures declare expressly, that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father; so do they also virtually teach, that he proceedeth from the Son.

 

From whence it came to pass in the primitive times, that the Latin fathers taught expressly the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, because by good consequence they did collect so much from those passages of the Scripture which we have used to prove that truth. And the Greek Fathers, though they stuck more closely to the phrase and language of the Scripture, saying, that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, and not saying, that he proceedeth from the Son; yet they acknowledged under another Scripture expression the same thing which the Latins understand by procession, viz. That the Spirit is of or from the Son, as he is of and from the Father; and therefore usually when they said, he proceedeth from the Father, they also added, he received of the Son. The interpretation of which words, according to the Latins, inferred a procession; and that which the Greeks did understand thereby, was the same which the Latins meant by the procession from the Son, that is, the receiving of his essence from him. That as the Son is God of God by being of the Father, so the Holy Ghost is God of God by being of the Father and the Son, as receiving that infinite and eternal essence from them both.

 

This being thus the general doctrine of the Eastern and the Western Church, differing only in the manner of expression, and that without any opposition, Theodoret gave the first occasion of a difference, making use of the Greeksí expression against the doctrine both of Greeks and Latins; denying that the Holy Ghost receiveth his essence from the Son, because the Scripture saith, he proceedeth from the Father, and is the Spirit which is of God. But St. Cyril, against whom he wrote, taking small notice of this objection; and the writings of Theodoret, in which this was contained, being condemned; there was no sensible difference in the Church, for many years, concerning this particular. Afterwards divers of the Greeks expressly denied the procession from the Son, and several disputations did arise in the Western Church, till at last the Latins put it into the Constantinopolitan Creed; and being admonished by the Greeks of that, as of an unlawful addition, and refusing to rase it out of the Creed again, it became an occasion of the vast schism between the Eastern and the Western Churches.

 

Now although the addition of words to the formal Creed without the consent, and against the protestation of the Oriental Church, be not justifiable; yet that which was added is nevertheless a certain truth, and may be so used in that Creed by them who believe the same to be a truth; so long as they pretend it not to be a definition of that Council, but an addition or explication inserted, and condemn not those who, out of a greater respect to such synodical determinations, will admit of no such insertions, nor speak any other language than the Scriptures and their Fathers spake.

 

Howsoever we have sufficiently in our assertions declared the nature of the Holy Ghost, distinguishing him from all qualities, energies, or operations, in that he is truly and properly a Person; differencing him from all creatures and finite things, as he is not a created Person; shewing him to be of an infinite and eternal essence, as he is truly and properly God; distinguishing him from the Father and the Son, as being not the Father, though the same God with the Father; not the Son, though the same God with him; demonstrating his order in the blessed Trinity, as being not the first or second, but the third Person, and therefore the third, because as the Son receiveth his essence communicated to him by the Father, and is therefore second to the Father, so the Holy Ghost receiveth the same essence communicated to him by the Father and the Son, and so proceedeth from them both, and is truly and properly the Spirit of the Father, and as truly and properly the Spirit of the Son,

 

 

[The Office of the Holy Ghost]

 

Thus far have we declared the nature of the Holy Ghost, what he is in himself, as the Spirit of God; it remaineth that we declare what is the office of the same, what he is unto us, as the Holy Spirit: for although the Spirit of God be of infinite, essential, and original holiness, as God, and so may be called Holy in himself; though other spirits which were created be either actually now unholy, or of defectible sanctity at the first, and so having the name of Spirit common unto them, he may be termed Holy, that he may be distinguished from them; yet I conceive he is rather called the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of Holiness, because, of the three Persons in the blessed Trinity, it is his particular office to sanctify or make us holy.

 

Now when I speak of the office of the Holy Ghost, I do not understand any ministerial office or function, such as that of the created angels is, who are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation: for I have already proved this Spirit to be a Person properly Divine, and consequently above all ministration. But I intend thereby whatsoever is attributed unto him peculiarly in the salvation of man, as the work wrought by him, for which he is sent by the Father and the Son. For all the Persons in the Godhead are represented unto us as concurring unto our salvation: God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, and through that Son we have an access by one Spirit unto the Father. As therefore what our Saviour did and suffered for us belonged to that office of a Redeemer which he took upon him; so whatsoever the Holy Ghost worketh in order to the same salvation, we look upon as belonging to his office. And because without holiness it is impossible to please God, because we are all impure and unholy, and the purity and holiness which is required in us to appear in the presence of God, whose eyes are pure, must be wrought in us by the Spirit of God, who is called Holy because he is the cause of this holiness in us, therefore we acknowledge the office of the Spirit of God to consist in the sanctifying of the servants of God, and the declaration of this office, added to the description of his nature, to be a sufficient explication of the object of faith contained in this Article, I believe in the Holy Ghost.

 

 Now this sanctification being opposed to our impurity and corruption, and answering fully to the latitude of it, whatsoever is wanting in our nature of that holiness and perfection, must be supplied by the Spirit of God. Wherefore being by nature we are totally void of all saving truth, and under an impossibility of knowing the will of God; being as no man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him; even as none knoweth the things of God, but the Spirit of God; this Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, and revealeth them unto the sons of men; so that thereby the darkness of their understanding is expelled, and they are enlightened with the knowledge of their God. This work of the Spirit is double, either eternal and general, or internal and particular. The external and general work of the Spirit, as to the whole Church of God, is the revelation of the will of God, by which so much in all ages hath been propounded as was sufficient to instruct men unto eternal life. For there have been holy Prophets ever since the world began, and prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. When it pleased God in the last days to speak unto us by his Son, even that Son sent his Spirit into the Apostles, the Spirit of truth, that he might guide them into all truth, teaching them all things, and bringing all things to their remembrance, whatsoever Christ had said unto them. By this means it came to pass, that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God, that is, by the motion and operation of the Spirit of God; and so whatsoever is necessary for us to know and believe, was delivered by revelation. Again, the same Spirit which revealeth the object of faith generally to the universal Church of God, which object is propounded externally by the Church to every particular believer, doth also illuminate the understandings of such as believe, that they may receive the truth: for faith is the gift of God, not only in the object, but also in the act; Christ is not only given unto us, in whom we believe, but it is also given us in the behalf of Christ to believe on him; and this gift is a gift of the Holy Ghost, working within us an assent unto that which by the word is propounded to us: by this the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul; by this the word preached profiteth, being mixed with faith in them that hear it. Thus by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. As the increase and perfection, so the original, or initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal in the word, but by an internal illumination in the soul; by which we are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting to those truths, which unto a natural and carnal man are foolishness. And thus we affirm not only the revelation of the will of God, but also the illumination of the soul of man, to be part of the office of the Spirit of God, against the old and new Pelagians.

 

The second part of the office of the Holy Ghost in the sanctification of man, is the regeneration and renovation of him. For our natural corruption consisting in an aversation of our wills, and a depravation of our affections, an inclination of them to the will of God is wrought within us by the Spirit of God. For according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. So that except a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. We are all at first defiled by the corruption of our nature, and the pollution of our sins, but we are washed, but we are sanctified, but we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. The second part then of the office of the Holy Ghost is the renewing of man in all the parts and faculties of his soul.

 

The third part of this office is to lead, direct, and govern us in our actions and conversations, that we may actually do and perform those things which are acceptable and well-pleasing in the sight of God. If we live in the Spirit, quickened by his renovation, we must also walk in the Spirit, following his direction, led by his manuduction. And if we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh; for we are not only directed but animated and acted in those operations by the Spirit of God, who giveth both to will and to do; and as many as are thus led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Moreover, that this direction may prove more effectual, we are also guided in our prayers, and acted in our devotions by the same Spirit, according to the promise, I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications. Whereas then this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will he heareth us; and whereas we know not what we should pray for as we ought, the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. From which intercession especially I conceive he hath the name of the Paraclete given him by Christ, who said, I will pray unto the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete. For if any man sin, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, saith St. John: who also maketh intercession for us, saith St. Paul; and we have another Paraclete, saith our Saviour; which also maketh intercession for us, saith St, Paul. A Paraclete then in the notion of the Scriptures is an Intercessor.

 

Fourthly, The office of the same Spirit is to join us unto Christ and make us members of that one body of which our Saviour is the Head. For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. And as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. Hereby we know that God abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. As we become spiritual men by the Spirit which is in us, as that union with the Body and unto the Head is a spiritual conjunction, so it proceedeth from the Spirit; and he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.

 

Fifthly, It is the office of the Holy Ghost to assure us of the adoption of sons, to create in us a sense of the paternal love of God toward us, to give us an earnest of our everlasting inheritance. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. And because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. As therefore we are born again by the Spirit, and receive from him our regeneration, so we are also assured by the same Spirit of our adoption; and because being sons we are also heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, by the same Spirit we have the pledge, or rather the earnest, of our inheritance. For he which stablisheth us in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and hath given the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts: so that we are sealed with, that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. The Spirit of God as given unto us in this life, though it have not the proper nature of a pledge; as in the gifts received here being no way equivalent to the promised reward, nor given in the stead of any thing already due; yet is to be looked upon as an earnest, being part of that reward which is promised, and, upon the condition of performance of the Covenant which God hath made with us, certainly to be received.

 

Sixthly, For the effecting of all these and the like particulars, it is the office of the same Spirit to sanctify and set apart persons for the duty of the ministry, ordaining them to intercede between God and his people, to send up prayers to God for them, to bless them in the name of God, to teach the doctrine of the Gospel, to administer the sacraments instituted by Christ, to perform all things necessary for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. The same Spirit which illuminated the Apostles, and endued them with power from above to perform personally their apostolical functions, fitted them also for the ordination of others, and the committing of a standing power to a successive ministry unto the end of the world; who are thereby obliged to take heed unto their selves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers, to feed the Church of God.

 

By these and the like means doth the Spirit of God sanctify the sons of men, and by virtue of this sanctification, proceeding immediately from his office, he is properly called the Holy Spirit. And thus have I sufficiently described the object of our faith contained in this Article, what is the Holy Ghost in whom we believe; both in relation to his nature, as he is the Spirit of God, and in reference to his office, as he is the Holy Spirit.

 

The necessity of the belief of this Article appeareth, first, from the nature and condition of the Creed, whereof it is an essential part, as without which it could not be looked upon as a Creed. For being the Creed is a profession of that faith into which we are baptized; being the first rule of faith was derived from the sacred form of baptism; being we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we are obliged to profess faith in them three; that as they are distinguished in the institution, so they may be distinguished in our profession. And therefore the briefest comprehensions of faith have always included the Holy Ghost and some concluded with it.

 

Secondly, It is necessary to believe in the Holy Ghost, not only for the acknowledgment of the eminency of his person, but also for a desire of the excellency of his graces, and the abundance of his gifts. What the Apostle wished to the Corinthians, ought to be the earnest petition of every Christian, that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with us all. For if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; if he have not that which maketh the union, he cannot be united to him; if he acknowledgeth him not to be his Lord, he cannot be his servant; and no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit; such is their felicity which have it: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; such is their infelicity which want it. What then is to be desired in comparison of the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ; especially considering the encouragement we receive from Christ, who said, If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heaventy Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 

Thirdly, It is necessary to profess faith in the Holy Ghost, that the will of God may be effectual in us, even our sanctification. For if God hath from the beginning chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit; if we be elected according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience; if the office of the Spirit doth consist in this, and he be therefore called holy, because he is to sanctify us, how should we follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord! how should we endeavour to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God! The temple of God is holy, which temple we are, if the Spirit of God dwelleth in us; for the inhabitation of God is a consecration, and that place must be a temple where his honour dwelleth. Now if we know that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in us which we have of God; if we know that we are not our own, for that we are bought with a price; we must also know that we ought therefore to glorify God in our body, and in our spirit, which are Godís: thus it is necessary to believe in the Spirit of sanctification, that our hearts may be established unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

 

Fourthly, It is necessary to believe in the Holy Ghost, that in all our weaknesses we may be strengthened, in all our infirmities we may be supported, in all our discouragements we may be comforted, in the midst of miseries we may be filled with peace and inward joy. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We read of the Disciples at first, that they were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost; and those which afterwards became followers of them and of the Lord, received the word in much affliction, but with joy of the Holy Ghost. These are the rivers of living water flowing out of his belly that believeth; this is the oil of gladness wherewith the Son of God was anointed above his fellows, but yet with the same oil his fellows are anointed also: for we have an unction from the Holy One, and the anointing which we receive of him abideth in us.

 

Lastly, The belief of the Holy Ghost is necessary for the continuation of a successive ministry, and a Christian submission to the acts of their function, unto the end of the world. For as God the Father sent the Son, and the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, because he had anointed him to preach the Gospel; so the Son sent the Apostles, saying, As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you; and when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive the Holy Ghost: and as the Son sent the Apostles, so did they send others by virtue of the same Spirit, as St. Paul sent Timothy and Titus, and gave them power to send others, saying to Timothy, Lay hands suddenly on no man, and to Titus, For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. Thus by virtue of an apostolical ordination there is for ever to be continued a ministerial succession. Those which are thus separated by ordination to the work of the Lord, are to feed the flock of God which is among them, taking the oversight thereof; and those which are committed to their care, are to remember and obey them that have the rule over them, and submit themselves, for that they watch for their souls as they that must give account.

 

 

[Summary]

 

Having thus at large asserted the verity contained in this Article, and declared the necessity of believing it, we may easily give a brief exposition, by which every Christian may know what he ought to profess, and how he is to be understood, when he saith, I believe in the Holy Ghost. For thereby he is conceived to declare thus much; I freely and resolvedly assent unto this as unto a certain and infallible truth, that beside all other whatsoever, to whom the name of Spirit is or may be given, there is one particular and peculiar Spirit, who is truly and properly a Person, of a true, real, and personal subsistence, not a created, but uncreated Person, and so the true and one eternal God; that though he be that God, yet he is not the Father nor the Son, but the Spirit of the Father and the Son, the third Person in the blessed Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son: I believe this infinite and eternal Spirit to be not only of perfect and indefectible holiness in himself, but also to be the immediate cause of all holiness in us, revealing the pure and undefiled will of God, inspiring the blessed Apostles, and enabling them to lay the foundation, and by a perpetual succession to continue the edification, of the Church, illuminating the understandings of particular persons, rectifying their wills and affections, renovating their natures, uniting their persons unto Christ, assuring them of the adoption of sons, leading them in their actions, directing them in their devotions, by all ways and means purifying and sanctifying their souls and bodies, to a full and eternal acceptation in the sight of God. This is the eternal Spirit of God; in this manner is that Spirit holy; and thus I believe in the Holy Ghost.