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It is obvious, on the very face of this declaration, and of other declarations of our Lord where he speaks of the Comforter, that a person is meant and a person distinct from himself, and from God the Father. Thus he says in the preceding chapter-"I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, to abide with you for ever." Christ himself here speaks as a person; the Father is considered as a person; and in the same character as a person, the Comforter is regarded. With what colour of truth can it then be said by the opponents of the Trinity, that the Holy Ghost is not a person? Again, in the 26th verse of the same chapter: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance." Here are presented three persons-the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost; the Father, who sends the Comforter; and our Lord, in whose name the Comforter is sent. And the Comforter is represented as performing the act of a person, as teaching all things." Further, in the verse from which my text is taken,-" But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."


a John xiv. 16.

In this passage the Holy Ghost is again spoken of as a person. But it is to be remarked, that Christ is represented as doing what the Father does in the other passages-he sends the Holy Ghost. The sending the Holy Ghost, therefore, is the joint act of the Father and of Christ. Would God thus associate with himself any created being?

Further. The act of sending the Holy Ghost is a divine act. But Christ here sends the Holy Ghost. Christ, therefore, performing a divine act, is a divine person. Teaching all things is also a divine act; and therefore, the Holy Ghost teaching all things, must be a divine person. These single passages prove the personality and divinity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost; and, of course, the doctrine of the Trinity.

In the subsequent chapter there is testimony to the same effect, if possible still more decisive. "If I go not away," says our Lord, "the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment"-" And he will guide you unto all truth; for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will shew you things to come "." Here again the Holy Ghost appears as a person per

* John xvi. 7, &c.

forming divine acts; and of course, he is a divine person. And yet he is in intimate union with the Father and with Christ the Son, by whom he is sent; for he speaks and hears nothing but conjointly with them. Here then is "the Trinity in unity."

The title Comforter, obviously denotes the office of the Holy Ghost, as conveying consolation. It has another allied meaning, that of advocate; one who pleads for another, and transacts his cause. The same word here translated Comforter, is applied to Christ in other passages, and rendered advocate. And the Holy Ghost is an advocate, as now conducting the great work of our redemption, by destroying in us the dominion of sin, and thus reconciling us to God. It is worthy of remark, that the term rendered Comforter, is applied to the Holy Ghost only in this conversation of our Lord with his apostles; where it is apparent that he uses it in the obvious sense of Comforter. And the And the peculiar propriety of this use will appear, if we consider the condition in which the apostles were left after the departure of their Lord.

It was a condition which, in all respects, needed consolation; the presence of a Comforter. He, to whom they were endeared by the most intimate and long continued intercourse; with

Athanasian Creed.


1 John ii. 1.


whom they had passed through so many eventful scenes; whose voice had been so long to them the oracle of Divine instruction, of peace and of consolation; who, for their sakes, had sustained persecution and contumely, and encountered the death of the cross-had left them. The ties of affection which had united them to him, were rent asunder. They were deprived of the benefit of his instruction, and of the consolation of his company and converse. His departure, therefore, recalling to their minds his virtues, his kindness, his beneficence, his power and compassion; and awakening the recollection of the base ingratitude with which they requited his condescension and love-must have filled them with despondency and sorrow. The only hope that cheered their hearts was the promise that he who had deprived them of the consolations and blessings of his own presence, would not "leave them comfortless," but would "send to them another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, to abide with then for evere."

But they were also left, surrounded with difficulties. As the companions of a despised Nazarene, they had incurred the contempt and reproach of their brethren the Jews. In following him whom the Pharisees and Rulers had rejected, they en

* John xiv. 16, 18.

countered the scoffs and the persecution of these proud and powerful leaders of the people. In espousing the cause of him whom the council of the Jews had condemned as a seditious and dangerous disturber of the nation, they incurred the imputation and the hazard of being ranked as the enemies of Cæsar. What could the followers of a crucified malefactor expect from the envy, the pride, and the malice of those who had persecuted their master, but the same insults, persecution, and death which he had suffered? Thus surrounded with difficulties and dangers, did Christ leave his disciples. Surely Surely they needed that Divine Comforter whom he promised that he would send to console and protect them.

The work also in which they were pledged to engage was of eminent difficulty and hazard. It was the conversion of the world. The ambition and prejudices of the Jews, the pride and vices of the Gentiles, were to be opposed. The ceremonial law of Moses, so firmly fixed in the prejudices and pride of the Jewish nation, was to be abrogated. The vain systems on which the Gentile philosophers had staked their reputations, and which they cherished as the monuments of their genius and fame to future generations, were all to be subverted. The passions of the human heart, which having long rioted in every species of sensual indulgence, exercised the most absolute sway over a degenerate and corrupt world, were

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