Page images
PDF
EPUB

LECTURE XVI.

ON THE ONE HOLY GHOST, THE COMFORTER, WHICH SPAKE IN

THE PROPHETS.

1 Cor. xii. 1, 4. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you

ignorant. ... Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

come.

1. Need have we truly of spiritual grace, that we may discourse concerning the Holy Spirit; not that we may speak suitably to His dignity, for this is impossible, but that in alleging the words of the divine Scriptures, we may not put ourselves in jeopardy. For surely a very fearful thing is written in the Gospels, where Christ says plainly, Whosoever Mat. 12, speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be 32. forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to

And there is often fear, lest a man, either from ignorance, or from what is considered religion, speaking what he ought not concerning Him, should receive this doom. The Judge of quick and dead, Jesus Christ, has declared that he hath no forgiveness; if then any man stumble, what hope has he?

2. To Jesus Christ's very grace, therefore, it must belong to grant both to us to speak without deficiency, and to you to hear with discretion; for discretion is needful not to them only who speak, but also to them that hear, lest they hear one thing, and receive a different impression. Let us then speak nothing concerning the Holy Ghost but what is written; and if any thing be not written, let us not busy ourselves about it. The Holy Ghost Himself spake the Scrip

204

There is but One Holy Ghost. LECT. tures; He has also spoken concerning Himself as much as XVI.

He pleased, or as much as we could receive. Be those things therefore spoken, which He has said; for whatsoever

He has not said, we dare not say (2.) 3. There is One Only Holy Ghost, the Comforter; and as

there is One God the Father, and no second Father ;--and as there is One Only-begotten Son and Word of God, who hath no brother;—so is there One Only Holy Ghost, and no second spirit equal in honour to Him. The Holy Ghost then is Power most mighty, of a divine and unsearchable nature; for He is a living, and intelligent Being, and is the sanctifying principle of all things made by God through Christ. He it is who illuminates the souls of the just; He was in the Prophets, He was also in the Apostles in the New Testament. Abhorred be they who dare to separate into parts the active power of the Holy Ghost! There is One God, the Father, Lord of the Old and of the New Testament; and One Lord, Jesus Christ, who was prophesied of in the Old Testament, and came in the New; and One Holy Ghost, who through the Prophets preached of Christ, and when Christ was come, descended, and manifested Him.

4. Let no one then divide the Old from the New Testamento; let no one say that the Spirit in the former is one, and in the latter another; for thus he offends against the Holy Ghost Himself, who together with the Father and the Son is honoured, and at the observance of Holy Baptism is

included with them in the Holy Trinity. For the OnlyMat. 28, begotten Son of God said plainly to the Apostles, Go ye, and

teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Our hope is in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We preach not three Gods; let the Marcionists be mute; but we preach One

God, by One Son, with the Holy Ghost. The Faith is indisurißue. visible; religious worship is undistracted. We neither divide

the Holy Trinity, like some; nor do we as Sabellius introduce www2.1. confusion. But we know according to godliness One Father, pñr.

who sent His Son to be our Saviour; we know One Son, who promised that He would send the Comforter from the Father; we know the Holy Ghost, who spake in the Prophets, and

a As did the Gnostics and Manichees. Philast. Hær. 126.

19.

Heretics concerning the Holy Ghost ; the Gnostics. 205 who on the day of Pentecost descended on the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues, here, in Jerusalem, in the Upper Church of the Apostles"; for all the choicest privileges belong to us. Here Christ came down from heaven; here the Holy Ghost came down from heaven. And in truth it were most fitting, that as we discourse concerning Christ and Golgotha, upon this Golgotha, so also we should speak concerning the Holy Ghost in the Upper Church; yet since He who descended there jointly partakes of the glory of Him who was crucified here, we here speak concerning Him also who descended there: for religious worship is indivisible.

5. We would now say somewhat concerning the Holy (3.) Ghost; not to declare with exactness His substance, for this úróora. were impossible; but to speak of the diverse mistakes of some concerning Him, (lest we unawares fall upon them ;) and to block up the paths of error, that we may journey on the King's one highway. And if we now for caution's sake repeat any of the statements of these heresies, let it recoil on their heads, and let us be guiltless, both we who speak, and ye who hear.

6. For the heretics, who are most profane in all things, have sharpened their tongue against the Holy Ghost also, Ps. 140, and have dared to utter atrocious things; as Irenæus the

i ibnym teacher has written in his directions against heresies. For rús. soine of them have dared to say that they were the Holy quasi. Ghost;—of whom the first was Simon, the sorcerer spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles: for when he was cast out, he presumed to teach such doctrines; and they who are called Gnostics, impious men, have spoken other things against the Spirit, and the abandoned Valentinians again something else; and the profane Manes dared to call himself the Comforter sent by Christ. Others again have taught that the Spirit is different in the Prophets and in the New Testament. Great then is their error, or rather their blasphemy. Abhor therefore such, and flee from them who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and have no forgiveness. For what fellowship hast thou with the desperate, thou, who art to be baptized now, and into the Holy Ghost also ? If he who attaches himself to a thief and

6 On Mount Sion, and divided into vid. Epiphan. de Mens. 14. two parts, the Upper and the Lower.

3.

206

Marcionists, Montanists, Manichees.

XVI.

ness.

Lect. concurs with him, is punishable, what hope shall he have,

who offends against the Holy Ghost?

7. And abhor the Marcionists also, who tear away from the New Testament the text of the Old. For Marcion first, that most impious of men, who first asserted three Gods, knowing that in the New Testament are contained testimonies concerning Christ from the Prophets, cut out those taken from the Old Testament, that the King might be left without wit

Abhor those above-mentioned Gnostics, men of knowledge by name, but fraught with ignorance ; who have dared

to say such things of the Holy Ghost, as I dare not repeat. (4.) 8. Let the Cataphrygians also be thy abhorrence, and Mon

tanus, their ringleader in evil, and his two so-called prophet-
esses, Maximilla and Priscilla. For this Montanus, who
was out of his mind and really mad, (for he would not have
said such things, had he not been mad,) dared to say that he
was the Holy Ghost,-he, miserable man, and filled with all
uncleanness and lasciviousness; for it suffices but to hint at
this, out of respect for the women who are present. And
having fixed his abode at Pepuza, a most insignificant
hamlet of Phrygia, he falsely named it Jerusalem; cutting the
throats of wretched little children, and chopping them up
into horrid food, for the purposes of their so-called mysteries, -
(wherefore till but lately in the time of persecution, we were
suspected of doing this, because these Montanists were called,
falsely indeed, by the common name of Christians;)—yet he
dared to call himself the Holy Ghost, filled as he was with
all impiety and savage cruelty, and condemned by a sentence
beyond mitigation.

9. And he was seconded, as was said before, by that most impious Manes also, who blended together what was bad in every heresy; who being the very lowest pit of destruction, collected the doctrines of all the heretics, and wrought out and set forth a yet more novel error. And he dared to say that he himself was the Comforter, whom Christ pro

mised to send. But the Saviour when He promised Him, Luke 24, said to the Apostles, But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,

until ye be endued with power from on high. What then?

49.

e These charges against the Monta- other writers. nists are not satisfactorily borne out by

dare to say,

17.

19.

The duty of hating heretics.

207 did the Apostles who had been dead two hundred years, wait for Manes, until they should be endued with power; and will any

that they were not from that time full of the Holy Ghost? And in truth it is written, Then they laid Acts 8, their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost; was not this before Manes, yea, many years ago, when the Holy Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost?

10. Wherefore was Simon the sorcerer condemned ? Was it not that he came to the Apostles, and said, Give me also Acts 8, this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost ? For he said not,“ Give me also the fellowship of the Holy Ghost,” but“Give me the power;" that he might sell to others that which might not be sold, of which he had not himself possession. And he brought money to them who had nothing; and this, seeing men bringing the prices of the things sold, and laying them at the Apostles' feet. And he considered not that they who trod under foot the wealth which was brought for the maintenance of the poor, were not likely to give the power of the Holy Ghost for a bribe. But what say they to Simon? Thy money perish with thee, because Ib. v. 20. thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money; thou art a second Judas, who for money hast expected to buy the grace of the Spirit. If then Simon, who wished to get this power for a price, is to perish, how impious is Manes, who said that he was the Holy Ghost ? Let us hate them who are worthy of hatred; withdraw we from them whom God withdraws from; let us also say unto God with all boldness concerning all heretics, Do not I hate Ps. 139, them, O Lord, that hate Thee, and am not I grieved with 21. them that rise up against Thee? For there is also an enmity which is right, according as it is written, I will put enmity Gen. 3, between thee and her seed; for friendship with the serpent works enmity with God, and death.

11. Let then thus much suffice concerning those outcasts; (5.) and now let us return to the divine Scriptures, and let us drink waters out of our own cisterns, (that is, the holy Prov. 5, Fathers,) and running waters out of our own wells. Drink we of that living water, which springs up into everlasting Jobn 4, life; but this spake the Saviour of the Spirit, which they that

lb.7,38. believe on Him should receive. For observe what He says, 39.

15.

15.

14.

« PreviousContinue »