The Divinity of and Operations Of the Holy Ghost
TO THE PRESENT EDITION,
NOW FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1826.
Many of the observations which were offered in the preceding part of this volume, in the new Preface of 1826, or the Godhead of Christ, might be introduced in this on the Godhead of the Holy Ghost; for the subject is both one and the same. Nevertheless, to avoid prolixity, I would rather refer the Reader to that preface for them, than unnecessarily swell the pages of this by repeating them.
The Persons in the Godhead, all distinct as they are, and marked by their distinct operations, as they are set forth in the Holy Scriptures of grace and love to the Church in Christ, constitute but One, and the same Essence in Jehovah. And it is the felicity of the Church, when by divine teaching the people of God are not only brought to know the Father in his love, the Son in his grace, and the Holy Ghost in his fellowship: but day by day to live in the spiritual enjoyment of the whole by faith, until they come to the upper brighter world, to realize the whole in open vision. And the man of strong faith will find this an effectual preservative against all the heresies of the present day; just as much as in common life the knowledge and conversation we have with men, totally silences all objections that any may bring to our communion with them. Nothing can persuade me that those I see and talk with, and are in the society of from day to day, do not exist; neither can infidels and skeptics tempt me to doubt the reality of my fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, when by the divine unction of the Spirit, I have communion in the word, with each, and all, the Holy Three in One, which bear record in heaven.
I shall not think it needful to dwell much in Preface: only to beg the Reader that he will never lose sight of those solemn truths of God; namely, that all divine truths can only be known and believed by divine teaching. As he prosecutes the perusal of the present subject, as he was entreated by the former, I would very earnestly and affectionately beseech him to wait the leadings and the goings before him of the Lord. It is blessed reading, and a blessed study, when the Almighty Author of Scripture shines both upon his own Scripture, and the hearts of the people. Here, are "the two or three witnesses, by which every word is established," (2 Cor. 13:1). Great God! the Spirit! condescend to guide the pen of him that writes, and thy people that read, that both may be edified "unto all riches, of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," (Col. 2:2-3) .
PLYMOUTH, CHARLES VICARAGE,