against the Holy Spirit. The sin against the Son of man can be forgiven because he can be misconceived. For he did not appear as that which he really was. Essence and appearance, truth and reality, contradicted each other.? Hence Jesus could pray: ?Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do? ( <422334>Luke 23:34) The office of the Holy Spirit, however, is to show to men the nature of their conduct, and to sin against him is to sin against light and without excuse. See A. H. Strong, Christ in Creation, 297-313. Salmond, in Expositor?s Greek Testament, on <490430>Ephesians 4:30 ? ?What love is in us points truly, though tremulously, to what love is in God. But in us love, in proportion as it is true and sovereign, has both its wrath-side and its grief-side; and so must it be with God, however difficult for us to think it out.?
E. He manifests himself in visible form as distinct from the Father and the Son, yet in direct connection with personal acts performed by them.
<400316> Matthew 3:16, 17 ? ?Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased?; <420321>Luke 3:21, 22 ? ?Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.? Here is the prayer of Jesus, the approving voice of the Father, and the Holy Spirit descending in visible form to anoint the Son of God for his work. ?I ad Jordanem, et videbis Trinitatem.?
F. This ascription to the Spirit of a personal subsistence distinct from that of the Father and of the Son cannot be explained as personification; for:
(a) This would be to interpret sober prose by the canons of poetry. Such sustained personification is contrary to the genius of even Hebrew poetry, in which Wisdom itself is most naturally interpreted as designating a personal existence.
(b) Such an interpretation would render a multitude of passages either tautological, meaningless, or absurd ? as can be easily seen by substituting for the name Holy Spirit the terms which are wrongly held to be its equivalents; such as the power, or influence, or efflux, or attribute of God.
(c) It is contradicted, moreover, by all those passages in which the Holy Spirit is distinguished from his own gifts.
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