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GENERAL VIEW OF THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF
THE CHRISTIAN SCHEME OF SALVATION.
Thus it has been seen, that Christ by His Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, fulfilled all the law and the Prophets, and purchased for mankind that salvation, of which “the Prophets have inquired and searched diligently ;-searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow b.”
“ For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." “ The Lord God spake by the mouth of His holy Prophets which have been since the world begand;" He spake by His Spirit in His Prophets.
Thus we find it asserted, that the Prophets were inspired, by God, by the Spirit of God, by the Spirit of Christ, by the Holy Ghost. “The
a Matt. v. 17. Luke, xvi. 31; xxiv. 44. John, i. 45; v. 46. Acts, iji, 18, 24. 2 Cor. jii. 13–16.
b 1 Peter, i. 10, 11.
Holy Ghost," then, is “ the Spirit of God," and “ the Spirit of Christs,” God and Christ being one ; as Christ declared, “ I and my Father are oneh.” The Holy Spirit is called “ The Holy One';" Christ is also called “ The Holy Onek; and the Lord God styles Himself “ The Holy Onel;” therefore, as God the Father is one, as Christ is one, as the Holy Ghost is one ; as the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ; and as God the Father and Christ are one; it follows, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, constitute ONE GOD. Accordingly. we find, that Christ, promising to send the Spirit of truth, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to His disciples, says,
the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth m;" and, He adds, a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him ";" so that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are to abide with and in him who loves Christ and keeps His commandments'. Christ said, “When
i John, jij. 34. Rom. viji. k Acts, iij. 14. 9. 1 Cor. iii. 16.
1 Ezek. xxxix. 7. Isaiah, 8 Rom. viii. 9. Gal. iv. 6. xl. 25; lvii. 15. Philip. i. 19.
John, xiv. 16, 17. * John, x. 30.
John, xiv. 23. 1 John, ii. 20.
John, xiv, 15, 16, 23.
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.” St. Paul says to the Galatians, “God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts 9.” Thus, Christ sends the Spirit of God, and God sends the Spirit of Christ ; for Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, and they are one'*.” The Deity,
“ the fulness of the GODHEAD"," comprises, Him who is spoken of as Father, Him who is spoken of as Son, or Christ, and Him who is spoken of as Holy Ghost; but these characters under which the GODHEAD is spoken of, denote but one God, who is spoken of, in a variety of instances, indiscriminately, by either, or by all, of these titles.
The Deity, in His character of Mediator, assumed the character of man, and put on flesh, in order that He might, at the same time, vindicate His justice, and establish His mercy, by satisfying the former by the sacrifice of Himself, and by accomplishing the latter in giving redemption to mankind. He who appeared as our Redeemer, was “ God manifest in the flesht;"
in Him dwelleth the fulness of the GODHEAD,
5 John, xvii. 21; x. 38; xiv. 11.
* See PART II. SECT. II.
Col. ii. 9.
bodily u.” He, who “ was God",” humbled Himself, and “ made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” In this character, the Deity was lowered from that dignity which He had possessed “ from the beginning;” thus Christ says, with a reference to His incarnate state, “ My Father is greater than Iy;" but, when Christ speaks of Himself with a reference solely to His divine essence, he identifies Himself with the Supreme Being, and asserts the unity of the divine essence*. Although our blind understandings, and limited perceptions, then, cannot form an adequate notion of the nature and properties of that;“ High and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity”;" although our feeble imaginations may become bewildered and confused in the contemplation of a Being,
u Coloss. ij. 9.
Philip. ii. 7.
y John, xiv. 28. • “ The fulness of the GODHEAD," then, comprises three manifestations of Divinity. Under one of these, is displayed the Supreme Ruler of all beings, anu of all things, self-existent and omnipresent; under another of these manifestations is displayed the creative energy of Almighty Power, the atoning Mediator between the Supreme Ruler and His imperfect and sinful creatures ; under a third manifestation is displayed the sanctifying, vivifying, and operative Power, which emanates from the GODHEAD, and which is termed The Holy Spirit.
2 Isaiah, lvü. 15.
who, while He preserved distinct the divine essence, and reigned supreme, linked Himself also with a form of flesh, and became subject to sinful man and to death, while in that incarnation He maintained distinct the divine nature ; manifesting, at the same instant, Himself as Supreme God, as the Incarnate Word, and as sanctifying Spirit; still, there is no one point more clearly, and more strongly, and more frequently asserted and illustrated in Holy Writ, than that God is Father, is Son, and is Holy Ghost ; and that these three constitute the fulness of the GODHEAD. Such is the language of the word of truth, which we must humbly receive and acknowledge as a matter of faith, not entering into “ idle disputations,” for they will increase unto more ungodliness b;” in vain shall we, who cannot comprehend " earthly things," strive to understand “ heavenly things;" “ now we see through a glass darklye.” while we “ receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our soulsd," we must acknowledge with St. Paul, “ Great is the mystery of godliness ; God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glorye.”
66 for Thus,
a Rom. xiv. 1.
d James, i. 21.