There is another God equal to and dependent on none, the name we have given us of Him is the Spirit. In the New Testament He is addressed as the Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost. As there is man and the spirit of man, so there is God and the Spirit of God. They are capable of a separate and distinct existence. “What man knoweth the things of man,” says Paul, “but the spirit of man that is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God.” There is in this case an image of God in man—not , indeed an exact image, but an image; for as Paul says of the law, so say we of man—“For the law had a shadow (a resemblance) of good things to come, and not the very (or exact) image of those things.” So man was made “an image” of God, though not the exact image. The active power of man is in his spirit. So John the Baptizer came in the power of Elijah, because he came in his spirit. The Spirit of God is therefore often used for His power; though it is not an impersonal power, but a living, energizing, active, personal existence. In all the works of God, the Spirit of God is the active operating agent. So, in the old creation, while ancient chaos yet remained—when ”the earth was without form and void, and darkness brooded on the bosom of the vast abyss,” the Spirit of God “moved (incubated and energized-brought order out of chaos or dis-organization) upon the face of the waters.” “The hand of the Lord has made me, and the Spirit of the Almighty has given me life.” “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” And so was chaos subdued, man vitalized, “the heavens garnished,” and the body of Jesus made by the Spirit of God.
There is the Spirit, as it is said, to do, and to have done, all that God does and all that God has done. He has all divine perfections and works; and in the New Testament He is designated as the immediate author and agent of the new creation, and of the holiness of Christians. It is therefore call the Holy Spirit. In the relation of the deity, or godhead, He stands next to the Incarnate Word. Before time, it was God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. But now, in the finality of redemption, it is “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”—one God, one Lord, one Spirit. To us Christians there is, then, but one God, even the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ, even the Savior; and one Spirit, even the Advocate, the Sanctifier, and the Comforter of Christ’s body—the church. Jesus is the head, and the Spirit is the life and animating principle of that body.
Creation, providence, and redemption are founded upon these relations in the Deity. Destroy these, blend and confound these, and nature, providence, and grace are blended, confounded, and destroyed. The excellency of the Christian system is, that it fully opens to the vision of mortals the divinity—the whole godhead employed in the work of man’s regeneration and ultimate glorification. God was manifest in human flesh, and is justified and glorified by the Spirit, in accomplishing man’s deliverance from ruin. Each being of the sacred three has its own peculiar work and glory and neither interferes with the other’s work. We are, by divine authority, baptized into the name of the sacred three; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in coming into the kingdom of grace; and while in that kingdom the supreme benediction is, “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you!” In the old church, the moonlight period, the High Priest of Israel was commanded to put the name of the Lord upon the children of Israel, —“The Lord bless thee and keep thee—make His countenance shine upon thee, and give thee peace (the communion of the Spirit).