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®fe (Mratran Stmtdaiti Vol. ii. No. 16. NOVEMBER 1892. Price One Penny. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Read at the Conference of the N. W. English Churches, Menai Bridge, 1891. By Rev. John Hughes, M.A., Liverpool. ^f^iHE person and work of the Holy Spirit, the ^I# third person in the Holy Trinity is revealed on KjJLl the very threshold of the Scriptures. At the very entrance into the Temple of Divine Revelations the first vision that strikes the devout worshipper is the vision of the Triune God. " In the begining God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said ' Let there be light,' and there was light." Such is the grand begin¬ ing of the Divine Book ; its first vision is the vision of the Trinity : and the first ray of light that burst forth from the void cast an image of the Holy Spirit upon the inspired page ; and photographed his name upon the very front of the revelation. Some men believe that the word Spirit here and everywhere in the Scriptures should be written with a small 5 ; and that it always denotes a divine influence, an emanation, a power, or a faculty, and not a Divine Person. But even here, at the very dawn of revelation, the impres¬ sion left upon the unprejudiced mind, that comes to the Holy Scriptures v/ith no foregone conclusions, is that the Spirit of God here means God himself. If we look at the passage in the light of later Scriptures this becomes evident. "Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created : and Thou renewest the face of the earth," Psalms civ. " By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made ; and all the host of them by the breath —that is, by the Spirit of His mouth." These and other passages which refer to the work of creation and providence, strengthen the impression left upon Our minds by the very first impact of the inspired word, that the Spirit which moved over the first chaos, and which moves constantly in providence and in history, is the Spirit of the living God, the third person in the Holy Trinity, an eternal, intelligent, living, personal subsistence in the God-head. Then if we take other passages which refer to the work of this Spirit in his contact with man, we can find no satisfactory account of them ; nor can we bring out the fulness of their meaning with the teaching that denies the personality of the Holy Spirit. The prayers of the psalmist will occur to us at once, " Cast me not away from Thy presence : and take not Thy Lloly Spirit from me. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit ? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence ? Come ye near unto me, hear ye this ; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning : from the time that it was, there am I : and now the Lord God and His Spirit hath sent me. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me: because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek ; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, aud the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Behold my servant, whom I uphold ; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him : he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." (Ezec, 36, 25, 27.) " Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean : from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you : and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an, heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. Neither will I hide my face any more from them : for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God. 1 will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh ; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit. Yet now be strong Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedec, the High Priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work : for I am with you saith the Lord of Hosts : according to the word that I covenanted with ycu when ye came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remaineth among you, fear ye not." This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubabbel, saying, " Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts." From these and many other passages which might be quoted from the Old Testament, where the doctrine of the Spirit was very imperfectly revealed, we see how often God himself, and how often His people in moments of praise and prayer, spoke of the Spirit of God. And although the doctrine of the Trinity, and consequently that of the personality of the Holy Spirit is only beginning to dawn upon the consciousness of the Church of God, nevertheless it is there, breaking forth now and again through the clouds of its prayers, and rising in the incense of its praise, and written plainly on the commission of its prophets. We admit, however, that from the teaching of the Old Testament above, we would find some difficulty to establish to ourselves and conclusively to others the doctrine of the personality of the Eternal Spirit, that is to say, the doctrine of the Trinity. We admit that nearly all the passages of the Old Testament, when taken apart from a later revelation, could be ex¬ plained with plausibility to mean an emanation from God, a divine influence, a power, or a faculty, and not a personal, intelligent, eternal subsistence in the God¬ head. But we must take Scripture as a whole ; and if there be any uncertainty or indefiniteness in the earlier revelation, it must be explained and defined, and elucidated by the light of the later and more perfect revelation of the New Testament. And when we turn the blank page that separates the Old from the New Testament, this great truth rises upon us above all un¬ certainty, and shines upon the Church of God like the sun from a cloudless sky. The doctrine of the Trinity, and hence the doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is a revealed truth, and it is in the economy of the plan of salvation that it is wholly revealed. The economic relations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the plan of salvation which is revealed in the gospel,