Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter IX. That the Holy Spirit is provoked is proved by the words of St. Peter, in which it is shown that the Spirit of God is one and the same as the Spirit of the Lord, both by other passages and by reference to the sentence of the same Apostle on Ananias and Sapphira, whence it is argued that the union of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son, as well as His own Godhead, is proved.
That the Holy Spirit is provoked is proved by the words of St. Peter, in which it is shown that the Spirit of God is one and the same as the Spirit of the Lord, both by other passages and by reference to the sentence of the same Apostle on Ananias and Sapphira, whence it is argued that the union of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son, as well as His own Godhead, is proved.
54. Perhaps, however, some one might say that this passage cannot be specially applied to the Holy Spirit, had not the same Apostle Peter taught us in another place that the Holy Ghost can be tempted by our sins, for you find that the wife of Ananias is thus addressed: “Why have ye agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” 1298 For the Spirit of the Lord is the very Spirit of God; for there is one Holy Spirit, as also the Apostle Paul taught, saying: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” 1299 He first mentioned the Spirit of God and immediately adds that the Same is the Spirit of Christ. And having spoken of the Spirit, that we might understand that where the Holy Spirit is there is Christ, he added: “But if Christ be in you.” 1300
55. Then, in the same way as we here understand that where the Spirit is there also is Christ; so also, elsewhere, he shows that where Christ is, there also is the Holy Spirit. For having said: “Do ye seek a proof of Christ Who speaketh in me?” 1301 he says elsewhere: “For I think that I also p. 143 have the Spirit of God.” 1302 The Unity, then, is inseparable, for by the testimony of Scripture where either the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit is designated, there is all the fulness of the Trinity.
56. But Peter himself in the instance we have brought forward spoke first of the Holy Spirit, and then called Him the Spirit of the Lord, for you read as follows: “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to deal fraudulently concerning the price of the field? While it remained did it not continue thine own, and when sold was it not in thy power? Why hast thou conceived this wickedness in thy heart? Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God.” 1303 And below he says to the wife: “Why have ye agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” 1304
57. First, we understand that he called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of the Lord. Then, since he mentioned first the Holy Spirit and added: “Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God,” you must necessarily either understand the oneness of the Godhead in the Holy Spirit, since when the Holy Spirit is tempted a lie is told to God; or, if you endeavour to exclude the oneness of the Godhead, you yourself according to the words of Scripture certainly believe Him to be God.
58. For if we understand that these expressions are used both of the Spirit and of the Father, we certainly observe the unity of truth and knowledge in God the Father and the Holy Spirit, for falsehood is discovered alike by the Holy Spirit and by God the Father. But if we have received each truth concerning the Spirit, why do you, faithless man, attempt to deny what you read? Confess, then, either the oneness of the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, or the Godhead of the Holy Spirit. Whichever you say, you will have said each in God, for both the Unity upholds the Godhead and the Godhead the Unity
Acts v. 9.142:1299
Rom. viii. 9.142:1300
Rom. viii. 10.142:1301
2 Cor. xiii. 3.143:1302
1 Cor. vii. 40.143:1303
Acts 5:3, 4.143:1304
Acts v. 5.
Next: Chapter X. The Divinity of the Holy Spirit is supported by a passage of St. John. This passage was, indeed, erased by heretics, but it is a vain attempt, since their faithlessness could thereby more easily be convicted. The order of the context is considered in order that this passage may be shown to refer to the Spirit. He is born of the Spirit who is born again of the same Spirit, of Whom Christ Himself is believed to have been born and born again. Again, the Godhead of the Spirit is inferred from two testimonies of St. John; and lastly, it is explained how the Spirit, the water, and the blood are called witnesses.
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