BLTC Press Titles

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

by George Smeaton


I. The Books Of Moses And Job.

"The Spirit of God moved on the face of the ivaters" (Gen. i. 2). The term Spirit (Buach) denotes a Breath, a Wind, and also an intelligent thinking Being. The designation "the Spirit of God," like the analogous title "the Son of God," implies distinct personality, and indicates that He is from God, or of God. The action here ascribed to Him, in connection with the creation of all things, seems to be a metaphor taken from the incubation of a bird, and sets forth how the Spirit, dove-like, sat brooding o'er the dark abyss, and made it pregnant.1

"By His Spirit He garnished the heavens" (Job xxvi. 13). He is called God's Spirit (" His Spirit") to show that He is of the same essence with God and from Him. When it is said that He who garnished the heavens is the Spirit of God, we are not warranted to interpret the words in any

1 Milton, i. 21 and vii. 233.

other way than as a declaration that the personal Spirit —elsewhere called the finger of God and the power of God —adorned the heavens, and framed them to display the divine glory.

"The Spirit of God made me," says Elihu, "and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job xxxiii. 4). The reference to a personal agent standing in a unique relation to God—that is, from God, but personally distinct—is too express to be evaded by any subterfuge.

"Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created; and Thou renewed the face of the earth" (Ps. civ. 30). There the Psalmist speaks of God's manifold works according to their order. He shows that God gives the animals their food; that He hides His face and they are troubled; that He takes away their breath and they die; that He sends forth His Spirit, and a fresh succession or race of animated beings is created. The title "Thy Spirit" distinguishes between the uncreated and the finite Spirit, the Spirit of God being the fountain of life; and creation, amid all its necessary changes, receives from Him its renovating and rejuvenating power. The blossom and decay of vegetation; the succession of races on the earth's surface; the bias impressed on various minds; the skill in arts; the manifold gifts which hold society together,—are all His workmanship.


We come to the indwelling of the Spirit in primeval man, which may be called the deep ground-thought of all right anthropology, as appears from these words: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" (Gen. ii. 7). When God breathed into man the breath of Life (or Lives, for it is plural), we must understand life in the Holy Spirit as well as animal and intellectual life. Calvin, and the mass of commentators since his day, have interpreted the words of the physical life, as if they intimated nothing more than the animation of the clay figure. The Patristic writers, Athanasius, Basil, Ambrose, and Cyril, refer the words to the occasion when God communicated the Spirit, the breath of the Almighty, the giver of the Higher as well as of the lower form of life. If further proof of the correctness of this interpretation were necessary, it is furnished by the contrast of Death threatened in the penalty, which certainly cannot be limited to natural death. Adam had the Spirit in the state of integrity, not only for himself, but for his seed; and he walked after the Spirit as long as he stood in his integrity. I must here refer a little more fully to the Spirit's work in connection with the first Adam.

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