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De Moor V:26: Defense of the Deity of the Holy Spirit, Part 4

4. From Divine Worship, of Baptism into His Name, commanded in Matthew 28:19; whence ATHANASIUS also proves the Deity of the Spirit, Epistle I ad Serapion de Spiritu Sancto, opera, tome 2, page 14: compare what things I have observed on this passage in § 17; and WITTICH’S Causam Spiritus Sancti, § XV, pages 34-39.

Of our Consecration, 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19. What things are here affirmed ought not to be understood only with respect to a more common presence or indwelling of the Spirit: for, whatever things are said to be inhabited, they are not by that fact Temples: neither are we ever called Temples of the divine Word, which nevertheless ought to dwell in us richly, according to Colossians 3:16: but Temple involves the σχέσιν/ expression of the religious worship of Him to whom it was erected, so that Temple and Divinity are related: whence that Spirit, whose Temple we are called, is not able not to be God: for Temples are erected for the sake of religious worship, which is due to God alone. To one that is not God this honor does not agree, that a Temple should be built to him; even the very Gentile knew this: thus the Cumæan Sibyl[1] in OVID,[2]Metamorphoses, book XIV, verse 128, with Æneas saying to her, I will build Temples to thee; I will present the honor of incense to thee, responded, verses 130, 131, I am not a Goddess, and honor not a human head with the sacred honor of incense.

On this matter, the words of AUGUSTINE are also worthy of notice, book I contra Maximinum Arianum, opera, tome 8, column 467, where, being about to prove the true Deity of the Holy Spirit out of 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, he writes: “Is it not the case that, if of timber and stone we should build a Temple to some extraordinarily excellent Holy Angel, we would be anathematized by the truth of Christ and by the Church of God, since to a creature we would have exhibited that service which is due only to the one God? Therefore, if we would be sacrilegious for building a Temple to a creature, how is He not the true God, for whom we build not a Temple, but are ourselves the Temple?” compare ARNOLDI’S refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ, de Cognitione Dei, chapter I, question 30, § CXXXII-CXXXIV, pages 134, 135.

Of Obedience, etc. For He is to be reckoned as the Lawgiver, whom we are bound to obey, against whom particularly we sin and by the disobedience of rebellion commit crime: but against the Holy Spirit we not only sin and rebel, Ephesians 4:30; Isiah 63:10, but are also able to sin without remedy, Matthew 12:31, 32; Hebrews 10:29. Now, from this we conclude that the Spirit is also a Person, since sin is properly against a person: so that, just as blasphemy against the Father and the Son supposes that they are Persons; so also blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, who is joined to the Son of man as of a similar condition with Him, Matthew 12:32, indicates that He is a Person. Indeed, a Divine Person: for, as God alone is the object of religious worship, obedience, and invocation; so He alos is properly and ultimately the only object of sin. Indeed, so much more certainly for this, that we also sin against the Holy Spirit, we conclude that He is a Divine Persons, because against Him it is also possible to sin altogether irremissibly. Whence, nevertheless, you would rashly conclude the greater dignity of the Spirit above the other two Persons; seeing that in sinning specifically against the internal illumination of the Holy Spirit, we also sin against the Father and the Son. Indeed, some things are said in Scripture to be blasphemed that are not Persons, like doctrine,[3]the word of God,[4]the way of truth.[5] Yet from this one may not conclude that from this, that we sin against the Holy Spirit or blaspheme Him, it does not follow that He is a Person, and indeed a divine Person. Since things are always said to be blasphemed relatively to God Himself; blasphemy of the word of God and the way of truth is reflected back upon God Himself, the author of these things: but the rationale of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is different, since this blasphemy is expressly distinguished from blasphemy against the other Persons. This argument is cleared from the Exceptions of Clarke by LAMPE, chapter IV de Spiritu Sancto, § 28, 29, Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, volume II, Disputation V, pages 169, 170.

Of Invocation, 2 Corthinians 13:14; Revelation 1:4, on which passages compare the things said in § 17. Now, this Apostolic example of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit the Ancient Church continued with pious zeal: as the customary formula of the δοξολογίας/doxology was known of old, Δόξα Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ καὶ ἁγιῳ Πνεύματι, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: SUICER’S Thesaurum ecclesiasticum, on the term Δοξολογία/doxology; BINGHAM’S Origines Ecclesiasticas,[6]book XIV, chapter II, § 1, volume 6, pages 29-35: and also Hymn XXXIV of AMBROSE, on the day of Pentecost, opera, tome 5, columns 353, 354, Come Creator Spirit, Visit our minds, Fill with heavenly Grace the heart which thou hast created, etc. Which ends at length with these words:

Grant that through thee we might know the Father, and Acknowledge the Son, and Believe upon thee, the Spirit of both, forever!

That praise might be to the Father with the Son, together with the Holy Paraclete; that the Son might send upon us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit! Amen!

See JOHANN GEORGE WALCH, Miscellaneis Sacris, Appendix, Meditation II, pages 769-776; LAMPE, de Spiritu Sancto, chapter IV, § 30-34, Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, volume II, Disputation V, pages 170-175, where he vindicates the faith of the ancient Christian Church concerning the Deity of the Holy Spirit against adversaries.

Synod of Dort

[While the Remonstrants assert that there is not a trifle concerning this in Scripture, etc.] Name, in the Apologia, chapter III, page 51, where you read: “It is certain that the Remonstrants did not employ an argument from divine worship to prove the eternal Deity of the Holy Spirit. Why? They were not able to employ that argument, unless they might set forth some manifest commandment, example, or evidence of the adoration of the Holy Spirit. This they were not able to do…. Scripture is filled with the adoration of the Father and the Son. Concerning the Holy Spirit, not even a trifle is found.” Upon which words TRIGLAND observes, Antapologia, chapter V, page 84: “Whence it is evident, that those things that we have already produced out of the Sacred books” (that is, he had produced arguments for offering divine Worship to the Spirit, similar to those that we have just now exhibited also out of our AUTHOR) “they have passed over with blind eyes, and have not observed there any religious worship bestowed upon the Holy Spirit, from which they might assert His true and eternal Deity. Which certainly manifestly argues either their supine negligence, or blindness of mind, or a sould preoccupied with wicked heresy.”

Johannes a Marck

Our AUTHOR also observes that this assertion of the Remonstrants, α. is directly contradicted by Examples produced out of Paul, and out of John, to which is able to be added Song of Solomon 4:16; and is proven false by the same: but, β. that it is also not asserted factually by the Remonstrants, that all Commandment of presenting Worship to the Holy Spirit is wanting: for, a. a general and implicity Commandment of adoring the Spirit is found, as often as the Adoration of God is commanded, since the true Deity of the Spirit is evident from such a number of arguments. b. A Commandment to adore the Spirit is elicited in good form from other divine Worship commanded concerning the Spirit, which proceeds in lock-step with Adoration: no less from the Examples alleged of the two Apostles, who invoke the Spirit in their Writings, which they wrote, not out of bare human will, but by divine guidance, for the use of the Church, in which accordingly they were not able to err. c. Additionally, some observe that an explicit Commandment to invoke the Spirit is also on record, Matthew 9:38, seeing that the Holy Spirit especially conducts Himself as the Lord of the harvest, Acts 13:2; 20:28.

[But, because the Spirit is not so frequently set forth as to be invoked, it is the case that He is considered economically as the Author or cause of Prayer, Zechariah 12:10; Romans 8:15, 26.] Therefore, as in the Economy of salvation the Father works through the Son, and the Son through the Holy Spirit; so the glory of Adoration is referred to the Father by the Holy Spirit, who excites Prayer in the hearts of believers, through the Son as Mediator: since otherwise both the Son and the Holy Spirit are also worthy objects of Adoration. But, as our AUTHOR gives an account, why the Holy Spirit is not so frequently set forth as to be invoked; so in general with respect to the arguments for the Deity of the Holy Spirit SPANHEIM observes, DecadumTheologicarum quarta, § 3, opera, tome 3, column 1209: “The specific arguments for the Divinity of the Son come to be distinguished from those that are for the Divinity of the Holy Spirit. The former are great in number and more illustrious in the Old Testament; indeed, also in the New: but the latter are certainly not none, nor obscure ἁπλῶς/simply, but perhaps συγκριτικῶς/ comparatively with respect to the the arguments for the Deity of the Son; with the third Person of the Deity to be revealed most fully in the third Economy, namely, the Economy of glory:” which Threefold Economy, and the reason sought from it, our AUTHOR decided rather to pass over. See the observation of LAMPE concerning the Adoration of the Holy Spirit set in opposition to Forbes, chapter IV de Spiritu Sancto, § 27, Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, volume II, Disputation V, page 169. Compare also HOORNBEECK, disputing with the Remonstrants concerning the Adoration of the Holy Spirit, Socinianismo confutato, tome I, book II, chapter V, section II, pages 444, 445, 447-450.

[1] The Cumæan Sibyl was the fabled Apollonian prophetess of the Greek colony of Cumae in Italy. [2] Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC-17 AD) was a Roman poet. [3] 1 Timothy 6:1: “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed (τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ἡ διδασκαλία βλασφημῆται).” [4] Titus 2:5: “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ βλασφημῆται).” [5] 2 Peter 2:2: “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (ἡ ὁδὸς τῆς ἀληθείας βλασφημηθήσεται).” [6] Joseph Bingham (1668-1723) was an Anglican churchman and theologian. In his great work, Originibus Ecclesiasticis, he endeavored to provide a definitive treatment of the ancient rites and customs of the Church.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
06 dic 2021
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