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sage, which is a matter of criticism rather than of doctrine. Further, I would ask whether there is one Spirit that bears record in heaven, and another which bears record in earth, or whether both are the same Spirit. If the same, it is extraordinary that we nowhere else read of his bearing witness in heaven, although his witness has been always most conspicuously manifested in earth, that is, in our hearts. Christ certainly brings forward himself and his Father as the only witnesses of himself, John viii. 16, 19. Why then, in addition to two other perfectly competent witnesses, should the Spirit twice bear witness to the same thing ? On the other hand, if it be another Spirit, we have here a new and unheard of doctrine. There are besides other circumstances, which in the opinion of many render the passage suspicious; and yet it is on the authority of this text, almost exclusively, that the whole doctrine of the Trinity has been hastily adopted.
Lest however we should be altogether ignorant who or what the Holy Spirit is, although Scripture nowhere teaches us in express terms, it may be collected from the passages quoted above, that the Holy Spirit, inasmuch as he is a minister of God, and therefore a creature, was created or produced of the substance of God, not by a natural necessity, but by the free will of the agent, probably, before the foundations of the world were laid, but later than the Son, and far inferior to him. It will be objected, that thus the Holy Spirit is not sufficiently distinguished from the Son. I reply, that the Scriptural expressions themselves, “to come forth,'' to go out from the Father," to proceed from the Father,' which
mean the same in the Greek, do not distinguish the Son from the Holy Spirit, inasmuch as these terms are used indiscriminately with reference to both persons, and signify their mission, not their nature. There is however sufficient reason for placing the name as well as the nature of the Son above that of the Holy Spirit in the discussion of topics relative to the Deity; inasmuch as the brightness of the glory of God, and the express image of his person, are said to have been impressed on the one, and not on the other.
OF THE CREATION.
He second species of external efficiency is commonly called Creation. As to the actions of God before the foundation of the world, it would be the height of folly to inquire into them, and almost equally so* to attempt a solution of the question.* With regard to the account which is generally given from 1 Cor. ï. 7. he ordained his wisdom in a mystery, even the hidden mystery which God ordained before the world,'—or, as it is explained, that he was occupied with election and reprobation, and with decreeing other things relative to these subjects,—it is not imaginable that God should have been wholly occupied from eternity in decreeing that which was to be created in a period of six days, and which, after having been governed in divers manners for a few thousand years, was finally to be received into an immutable state with himself, or to be rejected from his presence for all eternity.
* Milton elsewhere alludes to the less serious employments of the Deity before the creation of the world, referring to Prov. viii. 24, 25, 30. God himself conceals us not his own recreations before the world was built; “I was,” saith the eternal Wisdom, “ daily his delight, playing always before him." » Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 128. And again,
Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd,
Paradise Lost, VII. 8.
That the world was created, is an article of faith ; Heb. xi. 3. “through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.'
Creation is that act whereby God the Father produced every thing that exists by his Word and Spirit, that is, by his will, for the manifestation of the glory of his power and goodness.
Whereby God the Father. Job. ix. 8. "which alone spreadeth out the heavens, Isai. xliv. 24. !I am Jehovah that maketh all things : that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. xlv. 6, 7. 'that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness.' If there be any thing like a common meaning, or universally received usage of words, this language not only precludes the possibility of there being any other God, but also of there being any co-equal person, of any kind whatever. Neh. ix. 6. thou art Jehovah alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens.' Mal. ii. 10. have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?' Hence Christ himself says, Matt. xi. 25. I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.' So too all the apostles, Acts iv. 24. compared with v. 27. 'Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is....the kings of the earth stood up....against the holy child Jesus.' Rom. xi. 36. .for of him, and through him, and to him are all things.' 1 Cor. viii. 6. to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things.' 2 Cor. iv. 6. for God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Heb. ii. 10. him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.' iii. 4. he that built all things is God.'
By his Word. Gen. i. throughout the whole chapter— God said.' Psal. xxxiii. 6. "by the word of Jehovah were the heavens made.' v. 9. for he spake, and it was done.' cxlviii. 5. "he commanded, and they were created.' 2 Pet. iii. 5. ' by the word of God the heavens were of old,'--that is, as is evident from other passages, by the Son, who appears hence to derive his title of Word. John i. 3, 10. all things were made by him : by him the world was made.' 1 Cor. viii. 6. 'to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.' Eph. iii. 9.
who created all things by Jesus Christ. Col. i. 16. • by him were all things created.' Heb. i. 2. "by whom also he made the worlds ;' whence it is said, v. 10. thou hast laid the foundation of the earth. The proposition per sometimes signifies the primary cause, as Matt. xii. 28. 'I cast out devils (per Spiritum) by the Spirit of God.' 1 Cor. i. 9. «God is faithful, (per quem) by whom ye are called,'—sometimes the instrumental, or less principal cause, as in the passages quoted above, where it cannot be taken as the primary cause, for if so, the Father himself, of whom are all things, would not be the primary cause ; nor is it the joint cause, for in such case it would have been said