De Moor V:24: The Spirit as a Single Person

Third, it is also to be observed, that the Spirit is One Individual Person:


α. From this, that He is mentioned Individually, not sometimes, but here and there and everywhere, with that passage in Revelation 1:4 only excepted, and with the history of the emblematic vision then delivered, Revelation 4:5; 5:6, according to which He is regarded under the denomination of the Seven Spirits. Mention was made of this passage in § 17; and from the things that I observed there, it is possible to prove that the mention of the Seven Spirits does not tell against the singularity of the Person of the Spirit: since from the context of this passage, in which the Seven Spirit are invoked, it is certainly evident that the Seven Spirit are not Angels, but a Person truly divine.


β. And from this, that He is expressly said to be One, 1 Corinthians 12:4, 11, 13; Ephesians 2:18; 4:4.


γ. And also that, when the Spirit is added to the two Persons of the Father and the Son, at the same time these are said determinatively to be Three, 1 John 5:7: compare § 18.


Frederic Adolphus Lampe

This is contrary to what Sandius, the Author of the Paradoxi Problematis, dreamed in the preceding century; that the Holy Spirit denotes the Multitude of Good Angels collectively. This is the Paradoxum of Christophorus Sandius, which our AUTHOR so calls with good reason, with the title of the Book preserved, in which that Author himself set forth his opinion. That Sandius published the book in 1678, not at Cologne, as the inscription has it, but at Rotterdam, under this title: “Problema pardoxum de Spiritu Sancto: an non per illum Sanctorum Angelorum genus intelligi possit? Una cum refutatione opinionis Socinianorum, Spiritum Sanctum Personam esse negantium.”[1] But, as in that book he related his own truly paradoxical opinion, that in the divine Scriptures Angels, or the entire race of Angels, is signified by the Holy Spirit, not the third Person of the Trinity; so from this he declares that there is no visible Church among Christians today that thinks in this way. CHRISTOPH WITTICH painstakingly examined this Paradox and and confuted it in a tractate entitled, Causa Spiritus Spiriti contra Christophori Sandii Problema paradoxum asserta et defensa: compare LAMPE, chapter V, § 12, de Spiritu Sancto, Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, volume II, Disputation V, page 184; WALCH’S Appendicem Miscellaneorum Sacrorum, Meditation VII, page 805. But, as this opinion is shattered by many arguments, when besides those things that were now observed concerning the Unity of the Spirit, in § 26 the true Deity of the Spirit will also be proven, which exalts Him infinitely above the nature of Angels, from which created heavenly Host He is also expressly distinguished as Creator, Psalm 33:6; so it is not of great moment what things Sandius sets forth to stabilize his own opinion.


He Objects, 1. that several times mention is made of Angels, with the Spirit passed over in silence, Mark 13:32; 1 Timothy 5:21; Revelation 3:5. Responses: α. Elsewhere the Spirit is made mention of frequently enough: see above on § 15, 17, 18. β. The Father Himself is also somethimes omitted, with Angels mentioned in the same context, where in the parallel mentioned had been made of the Father, as in Luke 12:8, where the Lord says that He is going to confess the confessors of His Name before the Angels of God; in the place of which, in Matthew 10:32, we find that the Lord is going to confess them before His heavenly Father: it does not follow from this, that Angels are to be understood by the Father mentioned in the one text, because these are mentioned in the other: neither are we able to prescribe to God His manner of speaking.


He Objects, 2. that Certain Works are sometime attributed to Angels, sometimes to the Spirit. Response: They are attributed to the latter as the Principal Cause, to the former as Ministers: but the Lord’s Ministers do not exclude the Lord Himself; and the same Effect is able to be attributed in diverse ways to the Principal Cause and to the Instrumental Cause. Thus, for example, the Liberation of Israel out of Egypt is attributed both to God and to Moses.[2] Christ is the Savior of His people, but at the same time it is said that Timothy is going to save himself and his hearers, 1 Timothy 4:16. The Lawgiver is God and Moses.[3] The Gospel is of God, of Christ, and of Paul.[4]


He Objects, 3. that Angels are called Spirits and Holy Ones, and Nouns are often used in the singular in a Collective sense. Responses: α. We acknowledge that Angels are Spirits,[5] and that good Angels are also appropriately called Holy Ones:[6] but the signification of each term differs from that notion over which it exerts influence, and also it is attributed to the Holy Spirit, according to those things that we saw in § 11, 24. β. But, that that nomenclature, Holy Spirit, when it is used of the third Person of the Deity, is to be taken collectively, ought to be proven, and not from a collation of the collective use and sense of other dissimilar words: since it is altogether certain that that title, given everywhere to the third Person of the Trinity, is not able nor ought to be taken collectively according to Scripture, from the things that we have observed in this §, and will observe further in the following §, with § 15, 17, 18 compared. To the Objections of Sandius LAMPE responds, chapter V, § 23-26, de Spiritu Sancto, Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, volume II, Disputation V, pages 190-193.

[1] English: The Paradox Problem concerning the Holy Spirit: Whether the Race of Holy Angels Is Able to be Understood by That? together with a Refutation of the Opinion of the Socinians, denying the Holy Spirit to be a Person. [2] See, for example, Exodus 32:7, 11. [3] See Deuteronomy 33:21; Isaiah 33:22. [4] See, for example, Romans 1:1, 16; 2:16. [5] See, for example, Hebrews 1:7, 14. [6] See, for example, Daniel 4:13, 17.

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