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4, 5, 6.
SERM. and jointly in several places that distinction is sigXXXIV.
nified. For to those three, by a constant economy, a certain order is assigned, some proper offices and peculiar energies are ascribed, which it is not rea
sonable to think done without a real foundation ; Eph. ii. 18. By Christ, saith St. Paul, we have an access in one
Spirit to the Father : why must we proceed by this circuit, in this certain method, if the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are only distinguished in name?
Wherefore also doth the same apostle bless thus ; 2 Cor. xiii. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of
God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be
with you all. To what end also doth he distinct1 Cor. xii. ively assign a peculiar dispensation of operations to
the Father, of ministries to the Son, of gifts to the 1 Pet. i. 2. Holy Ghost ? Wherefore likewise doth St. Peter
ascribe our election to the Father predestinating, to the Son propitiating, to the Holy Ghost sanctificating? Doth it agree to the gravity, simplicity, and sincerity of the divine oracles, so in a perpetual tenor to propound those three, as three, diverse, not only in names, but in reality, in manner of being, in manner of operation, if there be no other under all, but a nominal or notional distinction ? What would this be, but not only to yield us an occasion, but to impose a necessity of erring ? Shall we think those principal masters of truth purposely argute, perplexed, and obscure in their speech ? Furthermore,
St. John affirms in his First Epistle, (at least, if 1 Jolin v. 7. there the text be authentic,) that there are three
which bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the which also, undoubtedly,
(although not so conjoinedly as in his Epistle,) he John viii. assures in his Gospel ; for, I am he, saith Christ,
who bear witness of myself, and the Father which SERM.
XXXIV. sent me beareth witness of me; and, When the Comforter shall come, he will bear witness of me: so there are, we see, three witnesses, which our Lord appealeth to: but three names, (as for instance, Marcus, Tullius, Cicero,) or the same thing having three names, will not constitute three wit
In fine, the form of baptism evinceth this distinction : for at our baptism we profess to acknowledge the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; we perform worship, and promise obedience to them all; which doing Sabellius would have us do, as if subjects should be required to oblige their faith to Caius, Julius, and Cæsar; which kind of proceeding it seems absurd to suppose that God should solemnly institute. This may be sufficient to overthrow the Sabellian error.
II. Again, we affirm the Holy Spirit to be a person. By a person we understand a singular, subsistent, intellectual being; or, (as Boethius defines it,) an individual substance of a rational na- Rationalis ture. The Greek writers use the word inóctavis, individua (which word being of wider signification doth comprehend also things void of understanding, importing) substance, concretely taken, or a thing subsistent, (tò évvnéctatov,) which term is extant even in the scripture, where the Son of God, in respect to his Father, is called χαρακτήρα της υποστάσεως αυτού, Ηeb. 1. 2. (the character of his substance, or person :) whence there was less cause that St. Jerome and other Latin Hier. Epist. ancient writers should so avoid, or timidly admit, Aug. de the word hypostasis ; as fearing that by use thereof Trin.v.8,9. they should seem to acknowledge three essences ; seeing, as St. Austin notes, according to most com
audemus dicere unam es
sed unam essentiam
SERM. mon acception, substance denoted the same with XXXIV.
essence; whence, saith he, we dare not say one esUvde non
sence, three substances; but one essence, (or sub
stance,) three persons : but this (as Gregory Nasentiam, zianzen did consider) was nothing else but nepi detres substantins, Ecideão Evyouaxeñv, to contest about syllables ; or nepi
Tòv inov uerpongyei, to mince about sounds ; seeing
whether we call it either person or subsistence, we stantiam)
mean the same thing. We however affirming the Naz. Orat. Holy Spirit to be a person, do thereby intend to XXXIX. 32. exclude the opinion of Socinus and his followers,
which asserts the Holy Spirit to be only an accident, or an accidental thing; to wit, a divine power, virtue, or efficacy, resident in God, or derived from him.
1. Now this we persuade first from those things, which we before did shew concerning the distinction of the Father and the Holy Spirit ; for that slender (or rather no) distinction, such as may be conceived to be between any being and its efficacy, (especially in this case, attending to the most simple nature of God, and his most simple manner of acting,) doth not well reach the business, nor doth suffice to found that distinction which the scripture doth (as we shewed) constitute between the Father and Holy Spirit. Indeed Socinus, as to this point, (however it be that he sometimes objecteth Sabellianism to the catholics,) doth scarce himself differ from Sabellius : for Sabellius himself did avow the Son and Holy Spirit to be divers energies of the Father, and that they are distinguished from him as light and heat from the sun ; which did not hinder the Fathers from refuting him, as putting no true distinction between them; as indeed God in the thing
itself (or beyond the manner of our conception and SERM.
XXXIV. expression) is not distinguished from his power and efficacy.
2. Again, this may be collected from the very name of Spirit, the which primarily is imposed upon substances, both corporeal and incorporeal ; belonging to God, essentially understood, to angels, to human souls; all which things are substances : whence it is probable, that to the Being of which we treat, because it in like manner is a substance, this name of Spirit is assigned by God, the best author of words; the epithet Holy being adjoined for distinction sake. This is confirmed from that whereas God essentially is a Spirit, (as is expressed John iv. 24. in St. John's Gospel,) his efficacy cannot aptly assume the same name; as because our soul is essentially a spirit, it were incongruous to call any virtue thereof a spirit. The same is further hence confirmed, for that the evil Spirit, which is opposed to the good Spirit of God, is not an efficacy of God, 1 Sam. xvi. but a subsistent being ; which argueth the good Spirit also to be likewise subsistent. The same is corroborated from the apostle's comparing the Spirit of God to that spirit, which being in man, doth · Cor. ii. search and discern his inward counsels and purposes : but the spirit of man is a substantial thing ; wherefore it is intimated, that correspondently the Spirit of God is such a being. We add to these things, that power, virtue, efficacy, are ascribed to the Holy Spirit; That you may, saith St. Paul, Rom. xv. abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Ghost : but that power should be attributed unto power, or efficacy to efficacy, is not congruous.
3. The holy scripture (to whose speech it be
13. xiv. 26. xv. 2, 6.
SERM. cometh us to suit our conceptions) doth commonly XXXIV. describe the Holy Spirit as a person, enjoying per
sonal titles, offices, attributes, and operations; and those such which neither in sound or sense do agree to mere efficacy.
1. Speaking of the Holy Ghost, it purposely and carefully, as it were, doth accommodate the article agreeing to a person : not it, but he, is the article
commonly assigned to the Spirit ; and that with John xvi. marks of doing it studiously: "Otav ény ékeivos, tò
Tveõua rñs aangelas, When he (in the masculine gender) 1.Cor . ii. comes, the Spirit of truth, (in the neuter,) it is said
in St. John's Gospel: and, Tà toi Decī odeis idey, None (in the masculine gender again) knoweth the things of God, but the Spirit of God. Why, otherwise beside analogy of grammar, should the style be so tempered or inflected, but to insinuate the Holy Spirit's personality? If he were nothing else but the virtue of God, there were no need, or rather it would be inconvenient, so to phrase it.
2. Again, the scripture attributes personal offices John xiv. to the Holy Spirit; the office of a master, (He shall John xvi. teach you ;) of a leader, or guide, (He shall lead
you into all truth;) of a monitor, (He shall bring Johd xv.26. all things to your remembrance ;) of a witness,
(He shall testify concerning me ;) yea, which more strongly evinceth, of a legate, who declareth God's mind, not as from himself, but as deputed and fur
nished with instructions from the Father and the John xvi. Son; He shall not, it is said, speak from himself; 13, 15.
but whatever things he shall hear, he shall speak; and he will tell you things to come : All things that the Father hath are mine ; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you :