On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spoke in the Prophets.
1 Corinthians 12:1, 4
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant....Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, etc.
1. Spiritual in truth is the grace we need, in order to discourse concerning the Holy Spirit; not that we may speak what is worthy of Him, for this is impossible, but that by speaking the words of the divine Scriptures, we may run our course without danger. For a truly fearful thing is written in the Gospels, where Christ has plainly said, Whosoever shall speak a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come. Matthew 12:32 And there is often fear, lest a man should receive this condemnation, through speaking what he ought not concerning Him, either from ignorance, or from supposed reverence. The Judge of quick and dead, Jesus Christ, declared that he has no forgiveness; if therefore any man offend, what hope has he?
2. It must therefore belong to Jesus Christ's grace itself 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 misconceive another in their mind. Let us then speak concerning the Holy Ghost nothing but what is written; and whatsoever is not written, let us not busy ourselves about it. The Holy Ghost Himself spoke the Scriptures; He has also spoken concerning Himself as much as He pleased, or as much as we could receive. Let us therefore speak those things which He has said; for whatsoever He has not said, we dare not say.
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 has no brother—so is there One Only Holy Ghost, and no second spirit equal in-honour to Him. Now the Holy Ghost is a Power most mighty, a Being divine and unsearchable; for He is living and intelligent, a 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 the operation 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 had come, descended, and manifested Him.
4. Let no one therefore separate the Old from the New Testament ; let no one say that the Spirit in the former is one, and in the latter another; since thus he offends against the Holy Ghost Himself, who with the Father and the Son together is honoured, and at the time of Holy Baptism is included with them in the Holy Trinity. For the Only-begotten Son of God said plainly to the Apostles, Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Our hope is in Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. We preach not three Gods ; let the Marcionites be silenced; but with the Holy Ghost through One Son, we preach One God. The Faith is indivisible; the worship inseparable. We neither separate the Holy Trinity, like some; nor do we as Sabellius work confusion. But we know according to godliness One Father, 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 spoke in the Prophets, and 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 in all things the choicest privileges are with 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 here in 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 their worship is indivisible.
5. We would now say somewhat concerning the Holy Ghost; not to declare His substance with exactness, for this were impossible; but to speak of the diverse mistakes of some concerning him, lest from ignorance we should fall into 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 statement of the heretics, let it recoil on their heads, and may we be guiltless, both we who speak, and you who hear.
6. For the heretics, who are most profane in all things, have sharpened their tongue against the Holy Ghost also, and have dared to utter impious things; as Irenæus the interpreter has written in his injunctions against heresies. For some of them have dared to say that they were themselves the Holy 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 wicked Valentinians again something else; and the profane Manes dared to call himself the Paraclete sent by Christ. Others again have taught that the Spirit is different in the Prophets and in the New Testament. Yea, and great is their error, or rather their blasphemy. Such therefore abhor, and flee from them who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and have no forgiveness. For what fellowship have you with the desperate, you, who art now to be baptized, into the Holy Ghost also ? If he who attaches himself to a thief, and consents with him, is subject to punishment, what hope shall he have, who offends against the Holy Ghost?
7. Let the Marcionists also be abhorred, who tear away from the New Testament the sayings 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 of the Prophets concerning Christ, cut out the testimonies taken from the Old Testament, that the King might be left without witness. 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.
8. Let the Cataphrygians also be your abhorrence, and Montanus, their ringleader in evil, and his two so-called prophetesses, 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 himself 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 taken possession of Pepuza, a very small hamlet of Phrygia, he falsely named it Jerusalem; and cutting the throats of wretched little children, and chopping them up into unholy food, for the purpose 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 inhuman cruelty, and condemned by an irrevocable sentence.
9. And he was seconded, as was said before, by that most impious Manes also, who combined 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 taught a yet more novel error, and dared to say that he himself was the Comforter, whom Christ promised to send. But the Saviour when He promised Him, said to the Apostles, But tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49 What then? Did the Apostles who had been dead two hundred years, wait for Manes, until they should be endued with the power; and will any dare to say, that they were not immediately full of the Holy Ghost? Moreover it is written, Then they laid their hands on and they received the Holy Ghost Acts 8:17; was not this before Manes, yea, many years before, 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 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 could not be sold, and which he did not himself possess. He offered money also to them who had no possessions ; and this, though he saw 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? Your money perish with you, because you have thought to purchase the gift of God with money ; for you are a second Judas, for expecting to buy the grace of the Spirit with money. If then Simon, for wishing to get this power for a price, is to perish, how great is the impiety of Manes, who said that he was the Holy Ghost? Let us hate them who are worthy of hatred; let us turn away from them from whom God turns away; let us also ourselves say unto God with all boldness concerning all heretics, Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate You, and am not I grieved with Your enemies ? For there is also an enmity which is right, according as it is written, I will put enmity between you and her seed Genesis 3:15; for friendship with the serpent works enmity with God, and death.
11. Let then thus much suffice concerning those outcasts; and now let us return to the divine Scriptures, and let us drink waters out of our own cisterns [that is, the holy Fathers ], and out of our own springing wells. Proverbs 5:15 Drink we of living water, springing up into everlasting life ; but this spoke the Saviour of the Spirit, which they that believe in Him should receive. For observe what He says, He that believes in Me (not simply this, but), as the Scripture has said (thus He has sent you back to the Old Testament), out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, not rivers perceived by sense, and merely watering the earth with its thorns and trees, but bringing souls to the light. And in another place He says, But the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of living water springing up into everlasting life,— a new kind of water living and springing up, springing up unto them who are worthy.
12. And why did He call the grace of the Spirit water? Because by water all things subsist; because water brings forth grass and living things; because the water of the showers comes down from heaven; because it comes down one in form, but works in many forms. For one fountain waters the whole of Paradise, and one and the same rain comes down upon all the world, yet it becomes white in the lily, and red in the rose, and purple in violets and hyacinths, and different and varied in each several kind: so it is one in the palm-tree, and another in the vine, and all in all things; and yet is one in nature, not diverse from itself; for the rain does not change itself, and come down first as one thing, then as another, but adapting itself to the constitution of each thing which receives it, it becomes to each what is suitable. Thus also the Holy Ghost, being one, and of one nature, and indivisible, divides to each His grace, according as He will 1 Corinthians 12:11: and as the dry tree, after partaking of water, puts forth shoots, so also the soul in sin, when it has been through repentance made worthy of the Holy Ghost, brings forth clusters of righteousness. And though He is One in nature, yet many are the virtues which by the will of God and in the Name of Christ He works. For He employs the tongue of one man for wisdom; the soul of another He enlightens by Prophecy; to another He gives power to drive away devils; to another He gives to interpret the divine Scriptures. He strengthens one man's self-command; He teaches another the way to give alms; another He teaches to fast and discipline himself; another He teaches to despise the things of the body; another He trains for martyrdom: diverse in different men, yet not diverse from Himself, as it is written, But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healing, in the same Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; and to another various kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these works that one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.
13. But since concerning spirit in general many diverse things are written in the divine Scriptures, and there is fear lest some out of ignorance fall into confusion, not knowing to what sort of spirit the writing refers; it will be well now to certify you, of what kind the Scripture declares the Holy Spirit to be. For as Aaron is called Christ, and David and Saul and others are called Christs , but there is only one true Christ, so likewise since the name of spirit is given to different things, it is right to see what is that which is distinctively called the Holy Spirit. For many things are called spirits. Thus an Angel is called spirit, our soul is called spirit, and this wind which is blowing is called spirit; great virtue also is spoken of as spirit; and impure practice is called spirit; and a devil our adversary is called spirit. Beware therefore when you hear these things, lest from their having a common name thou mistake one for another. For concerning our soul the Scripture says, His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return to his earth : and of the same soul it says again, Which forms the spirit of man within him. Zechariah 12:1 And of the Angels it is said in the Psalms, Who makes His Angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. And of the wind it says, You shall break the ships of Tarshish with a violent spirit ; and, As the tree in the wood is shaken by the spirit Isaiah 7:2; and, Fire, hail, snow, ice, spirit of storm. And of good doctrine the Lord Himself says, The words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit John 6:63, and they are life; instead of,
are spiritual. But the Holy Spirit is not pronounced by the tongue; but He is a Living Spirit, who gives wisdom of speech, Himself speaking and discoursing.
14. And would you know that He discourses and speaks? Philip by revelation of an Angel went down to the way which leads to Gaza, when the Eunuch was coming; and the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot. Acts 8:29 Do you see the Spirit talking to one who hears Him? Ezekiel also speaks thus, The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and said unto me, Thus says the Lord. Ezekiel 11:5 And again, The Holy Ghost said Acts 13:2 , unto the Apostles who were in Antioch, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Beholdest thou the Spirit living, separating, calling, and with authority sending forth? Paul also said, Save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. For this good Sanctifier of the Church, and her Helper, and Teacher, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, of whom the Saviour said, He shall teach you all things (and He said not only, He shall teach, but also, He shall bring to your remembrance whatever I have said unto you John 14:26; for the teachings of Christ and of the Holy Ghost are not different, but the same)— He, I say, testified before to Paul what things should befall him, that he might be the more stout-hearted, from knowing them beforehand. Now I have spoken these things unto you because of the text, The words which I have spoken unto you, they are spirit; that you may understand this, not of the utterance of the lips , but of the good doctrine in this passage.
15. But sin also is called spirit, as I have already said; only in another and opposite sense, as when it is said, The spirit of whoredom caused them to err. Hosea 4:12 The name
spirit is given also to the unclean spirit, the devil; but with the addition of,
the unclean; for to each is joined its distinguishing name, to mark its proper nature. If the Scripture speak of the soul of man, it says the spirit with the addition, of the man; if it mean the wind, it says, spirit of storm; if sin, it says, spirit of whoredom; if the devil, it says, an unclean spirit: that we may know which particular thing is spoken of, and you may not suppose that it means the Holy Ghost; God forbid! For this name of spirit is common to many things; and every thing which has not a solid body is in a general way called spirit. Since, therefore, the devils have not such bodies, they are called spirits: but there is a great difference; for the unclean devil, when he comes upon a man's soul (may the Lord deliver from him every soul of those who hear me, and of those who are not present), he comes like a wolf upon a sheep, ravening for blood, and ready to devour. His coming is most fierce; the sense of it most oppressive; the mind becomes darkened; his attack is an injustice also, and so is his usurpation of another's possession. For he makes forcible use of another's body, and another's instruments, as if they were his own; he throws down him who stands upright (for he is akin to him who fell from heaven Luke 10:18); he twists the tongue and distorts the lips; foam comes instead of words; the man is filled with darkness; his eye is open, yet the soul sees not through it; and the miserable man gasps convulsively at the point of death. The devils are verily foes of men, using them foully and mercilessly.
16. Such is not the Holy Ghost; God forbid! For His doings tend the contrary way, towards what is good and salutary. First, His coming is gentle; the perception of Him is fragrant; His burden most light; beams of light and knowledge gleam forth before His coming. He comes with the bowels of a true guardian: for He comes to save, and to heal, to teach, to admonish, to strengthen, to exhort, to enlighten the mind, first of him who receives Him, and afterwards of others also, through him. And as a man, who being previously in darkness then suddenly beholds the sun, is enlightened in his bodily sight, and sees plainly things which he saw not, so likewise he to whom the Holy Ghost is vouchsafed, is enlightened in his soul, and sees things beyond man's sight, which he knew not; his body is on earth, yet his soul mirrors forth the heavens. He sees, like Esaias, the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up Isaiah 6:1; he sees, like Ezekiel, Him who is above the Cherubim Ezekiel 10:1; he sees like Daniel, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands Daniel 7:10; and the man, who is so little, beholds the beginning of the world, and knows the end of the world, and the times intervening, and the successions of kings—things which he never learned: for the True Enlightener is present with him. The man is within the walls of a house; yet the power of his knowledge reaches far and wide, and he sees even what other men are doing.
17. Peter was not with Ananias and Sapphira when they sold their possessions, but he was present by the Spirit; Why, he says, has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost Acts 5:3? There was no accuser; there was no witness; whence knew he what had happened? Whiles it remained was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart ? The unlettered Peter, through the grace of the Spirit, learned what not even the wise men of the Greeks had known. You have the like in the case also of Elisseus. For when he had freely healed the leprosy of Naaman, Gehazi received the reward, the reward of another's achievement; and he took the money from Naaman, and bestowed it in a dark place. But the darkness is not hidden from the Saints. And when he came, Elisseus asked him; and like Peter, when he said, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much Acts 5:8? He also enquires, Whence do you come, Gehazi 2 Kings 5:25? Not in ignorance, but in sorrow ask I whence do you come? From darkness are you come, and to darkness shall you go; you have sold the cure of the leper, and the leprosy is your heritage. I, he says, have fulfilled the bidding of Him who said to me, Freely you have received, freely give Matthew 10:8; but you have sold this grace; receive now the condition of the sale. But what says Elisseus to him? Went not mine heart with you? I was here shut in by the body, but the spirit which has been given me of God saw even the things afar off, and showed me plainly what was doing elsewhere. Do you see how the Holy Ghost not only rids of ignorance, but invests with knowledge? Do you see how He enlightens men's souls?
18. Esaias lived nearly a thousand years ago; and he beheld Zion as a booth. The city was still standing, and beautified with public places, and robed in majesty; yet he says, Zion shall be ploughed as a field , foretelling what is now fulfilled in our days. And observe the exactness of the prophecy; for he said, And the daughter of Zion shall be left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers. And now the place is filled with gardens of cucumbers. Do you see how the Holy Spirit enlightens the saints? Be not therefore carried away to other things, by the force of a common term, but keep fast the exact meaning.
19. And if ever, while you have been sitting here, a thought concerning chastity or virginity has come into your mind, it has been His teaching. Has not often a maiden, already at the bridal threshold , fled away, He teaching her the doctrine of virginity? Has not often a man distinguished at court , scorned wealth and rank, under the teaching of the Holy Ghost? Has not often a young man, at the sight of beauty, closed his eyes, and fled from the sight, and escaped the defilement? Askest thou whence this has come to pass? The Holy Ghost taught the soul of the young man. Many ways of covetousness are there in the world; yet Christians refuse possessions: wherefore? Because of the teaching of the Holy Ghost. Worthy of honour is in truth that Spirit, holy and good; and fittingly are we baptized into Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. A man, still clothed with a body, wrestles with many fiercest demons; and often the demon, whom many men could not master with iron bands, has been mastered by the man himself with words of prayer, through the power which is in him of the Holy Ghost; and the mere breathing of the Exorcist becomes as fire to that unseen foe. A mighty ally and protector, therefore, have we from God; a great Teacher of the Church, a mighty Champion on our behalf. Let us not be afraid of the demons, nor of the devil; for mightier is He who fights for us. Only let us open to Him our doors; for He goes about seeking such as are worthy and searching on whom He may confer His gifts.
20. And He is called the Comforter, because He comforts and encourages us, and helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered Romans 8:26, that is, makes intercession to God. Oftentimes a man for Christ's sake has been outraged and dishonoured unjustly; martyrdom is at hand; tortures on every side, and fire, and sword, and savage beasts, and the pit. But the Holy Ghost softly whispers to him,
Wait on the Lord , O man; what is now befalling you is a small matter, the reward will be great. Suffer a little while, and you shall be with Angels for ever. The sufferings of this present time art not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us Romans 8:18 . He portrays to the man the kingdom of heaven; He gives him a glimpse of the paradise of delight; and the martyrs, whose bodily countenances are of necessity turned to their judges, but who in spirit are already in Paradise, despise those hardships which are seen.
21. And would you be sure that by the power of the Holy Ghost the Martyrs bear their witness? The Saviour says to His disciples, And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and the magistrates, and authorities, be not anxious how you shall answer, or what you shall say; for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in that very hour, what you ought to say. Luke 12:11-12 For it is impossible to testify as a martyr for Christ's sake, except a man testify by the Holy Ghost; for if no man can say that Jesus Christ is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost , how shall any man give his own life for Jesus' sake, but by the Holy Ghost?
22. Great indeed, and all-powerful in gifts, and wonderful, is the Holy Ghost. Consider, how many of you are now sitting here, how many souls of us are present. He is working suitably for each, and being present in the midst, beholds the temper of each, beholds also his reasoning and his conscience, and what we say, and think, and believe. Great indeed is what I have now said, and yet is it small. For consider, I pray, with mind enlightened by Him, how many Christians there are in all this diocese, and how many in the whole province of Palestine, and carry forward your mind from this province, to the whole Roman Empire; and after this, consider the whole world; races of Persians, and nations of Indians, Garbs and Sarmatians, Gauls and Spaniards, and Moors, Libyans and Ethiopians, and the rest for whom we have no names; for of many of the nations not even the names have reached us. Consider, I pray, of each nation, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Solitaries, Virgins, and laity besides; and then behold their great Protector, and the Dispenser of their gifts;— how throughout the world He gives to one chastity, to another perpetual virginity, to another almsgiving, to another voluntary poverty, to another power of repelling hostile spirits. And as the light, with one touch of its radiance sheds brightness on all things, so also the Holy Ghost enlightens those who have eyes; for if any from blindness is not vouchsafed His grace, let him not blame the Spirit, but his own unbelief.
23. You have seen His power, which is in all the world; tarry now no longer upon earth, but ascend on high. Ascend, I say, in imagination even unto the first heaven, and behold there so many countless myriads of Angels. Mount up in your thoughts, if you can, yet higher; consider, I pray you, the Archangels, consider also the Spirits; consider the Virtues, consider the Principalities, consider the Powers, consider the Thrones, consider the Dominions —of all these the Comforter is the Ruler from God, and the Teacher, and the Sanctifier. Of Him Elias has need, and Elisseus, and Esaias, among men; of Him Michael and Gabriel have need among Angels. Naught of things created is equal in honour to Him: for the families of the Angels, and all their hosts assembled together, have no equality with the Holy Ghost. All these the all-excellent power of the Comforter overshadows. And they indeed are sent forth to minister Hebrews 1:14, but He searches even the deep things of God, according as the Apostle says, For the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the thing of a man, save the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 .
24. He preached concerning Christ in the Prophets; He wrought in the Apostles; He to this day seals the souls in Baptism. And the Father indeed gives to the Son; and the Son shares with the Holy Ghost. For it is Jesus Himself, not I, who says, All things are delivered unto Me of My Father Matthew 11:27; and of the Holy Ghost He says, When He, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, and the rest.... He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. John 16:13-14 The Father through the Son, with the Holy Ghost, is the giver of all grace; the gifts of the Father are none other than those of the Son, and those of the Holy Ghost; for there is one Salvation, one Power, one Faith; One God, the Father; One Lord, His only-begotten Son; One Holy Ghost, the Comforter. And it is enough for us to know these things; but inquire not curiously into His nature or substance : for had it been written, we would have spoken of it; what is not written, let us not venture on; it is sufficient for our salvation to know, that there is Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.
25. This Spirit descended upon the seventy Elders in the days of Moses. (Now let not the length of the discourse, beloved, produce weariness in you: but may He the very subject of our discourse grant strength to every one, both to us who speak, and to you who listen!) This Spirit, as I was saying, came down upon the seventy Elders in the time of Moses; and this I say to you, that I may now prove, that He knows all things, and works as He will. 1 Corinthians 12:11 The seventy Elders were chosen; And the Lord came down in a cloud, and took of the Spirit that was upon Moses, and put it upon the seventy Elders ; not that the Spirit was divided, but that His grace was distributed in proportion to the vessels, and the capacity of the recipients. Now there were present sixty and eight, and they prophesied; but Eldad and Modad were not present: therefore that it might be shown that it was not Moses who bestowed the gift, but the Spirit who wrought, Eldad and Modad, who though called, had not as yet presented themselves, did also prophesy.
26. Jesus the Son of Nun, the successor of Moses, was amazed; and came to him and said,
Have you heard that Eldad and Modad are prophesying? They were called, and they came not; my lord Moses, forbid them Numbers 11:28 .
I cannot forbid them, he says,
for this grace is from Heaven; nay, so far am I from forbidding them, that I myself am thankful for it. I think not, however, that you have said this in envy; art thou jealous for my sake, because that they prophesy, and you prophesy not yet? Wait for the proper season; and oh that all the Lord's people may be prophets, whenever the Lord shall give His Spirit upon them Numbers 11:29! saying this also prophetically, whenever the Lord shall give;
For as yet then He has not given it; so you have it not yet.— Had not then Abraham this, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph? And they of old, had they it not? Nay, but the words,
whenever the Lord shall give evidently mean
give it upon all; as yet indeed the grace is partial, then it shall be given lavishly. And he secretly alluded to what was to happen among us on the day of Pentecost; for He Himself came down among us. He had however also come down upon many before. For it is written, And Jesus the son of Nun was filled with a spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him. Deuteronomy 34:9 You see the figure everywhere the same in the Old and New Testament—in the days of Moses, the Spirit was given by laying on of hands; and by laying on of hands Peter also gives the Spirit. And on you also, who art about to be baptized, shall His grace come; yet in what manner I say not, for I will not anticipate the proper season.
27. He also came down upon all righteous men and Prophets; Enos, I mean, and Enoch, and Noah, and the rest; upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for as regards Joseph, even Pharaoh perceived that he had the Spirit of God within him. Genesis 41:38 As to Moses, and the wonderful works wrought by the Spirit in his days, you have heard often: This Spirit Job also had, that most enduring man, and all the saints, though we repeat not all their names. He also was sent forth when the Tabernacle was in making, and filled with wisdom the wise-hearted men who were with Bezaleel.
28. In the might of this Spirit, as we have it in the Book of Judges, Othniel judged Judges 3:10; Gideon waxed strong; Jephtha conquered ; Deborah, a woman, waged war; and Samson, so long as he did righteously, and grieved Him not, wrought deeds above man's power. And as for Samuel and David, we have it plainly in the Books of the Kingdoms, how by the Holy Ghost they prophesied themselves, and were rulers of the prophets—and Samuel was called the Seer 1 Samuel 9:9; and David says distinctly, The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me 2 Samuel 23:2, and in the Psalms, And take not your Holy Spirit from me , and again, Your good Spirit shall lead me in the land of righteousness. And as we have it in Chronicles, Azariah 2 Chronicles 15:1, in the time of King Asa, and Jahaziel in the time of King Jehoshaphat, partook of the Holy Ghost; and again, another Azariah, he who was stoned. And Ezra says, You gave also Your good Spirit to instruct them. But as touching Elias who was taken up, and Elisseus, those inspired and wonder-working men, it is manifest, without our saying so, that they were full of the Holy Ghost.
29. And if further a man peruse all the books of the Prophets, both of the Twelve, and of the others, he will find many testimonies concerning. the Holy Ghost; as when Micah says in the person of God, surely I will perfect power by the Spirit the Lord Micah 3:8; and Joel cries, And it shall come to pass afterwards, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh Joel 2:28, and the rest; and Haggai, Because I am with you, says the Lord of Hosts Haggai 2:4; and My Spirit remains in the midst of you ; and in like manner Zechariah, But receive My words and My statutes which I command by My Spirit, to My servants the Prophets Zechariah 1:6; and other passages.
30. Esaias too, with his majestic voice, says, And the Spirit of God shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and godliness; and the Spirit of the fear of God shall fill Him Isaiah 11:2; signifying that the Spirit is one and undivided, but His operations various. So again, Jacob My servant,..... I have put My Spirit upon Him. And again, I will pour My Spirit upon your seed ; and again, And now the Lord Almighty and His Spirit has sent Me ; and again, This is My covenant with them, says the Lord, My Spirit which is upon you Isaiah 59:21; and again, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me Isaiah 61:1, and the rest; and again in his charge against the Jews, But they rebelled and vexed His Holy Spirit , and Where is He that put His Holy Spirit within them ? Also you have in Ezekiel (if you be not now weary of listening), what has already been quoted, And the Spirit fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus says the Lord. Ezekiel 11:5 But the words, fell upon me we must understand in a good sense, that is
lovingly; and as Jacob, when he had found Joseph, fell upon his neck; as also in the Gospels, the loving father, on seeing his son who had returned from his wandering, had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And again in Ezekiel, And he brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldæa, to them of the captivity. Ezekiel 11:24 And other texts you heard before, in what was said about Baptism; Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you , and the rest; a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you ; and then immediately, And I will put My Spirit within you. And again, The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord Ezekiel 37:1 .
31. He endued with wisdom the soul of Daniel, that young as he was he should become a judge of Elders. The chaste Susanna was condemned as a wanton; there was none to plead her cause; for who was to deliver her from the rulers? She was led away to death, she was now in the hands of the executioners. But her Helper was at hand, the Comforter, the Spirit who sanctifies every rational nature. Come hither to me, He says to Daniel; young though thou be, convict old men infected with the sins of youth; for it is written, God raised up the Holy Spirit upon a young stripling ; and nevertheless, (to pass on quickly,) by the sentence of Daniel that chaste lady was saved. We bring this forward as a testimony; for this is not the season for expounding. Nebuchadnezzar also knew that the Holy Spirit was in Daniel; for he says to him, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, of whom I know, that the Holy Spirit of God is in you. Daniel 4:9 One thing he said truly, and one falsely; for that he had the Holy Spirit was true, but he was not the master of the magicians, for he was no magician, but was wise through the Holy Ghost. And before this also, he interpreted to him the vision of the Image, which he who had seen it himself knew not; for he says, Tell me the vision, which I who saw it know not. You see the power of the Holy Ghost; that which they who saw it, know not, they who saw it not, know and interpret.
32. And indeed it were easy to collect very many texts out of the Old Testament, and to discourse more largely concerning the Holy Ghost. But the time is short; and we must be careful of the proper length of the lecture. Wherefore, being for the present content awhile with passages from the Old Testament, we will, if it be God's pleasure, proceed in the next Lecture to the remaining texts out of the New Testament. And may the God of peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, count all of you worthy of His spiritual and heavenly gifts:— To whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
Source. Translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 7. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1894.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310116.htm>.
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