SAMT

Summary Against Modern Thought: Understanding The Trinity XI

Previous post.

We continue the, admittedly very long, investigation into the Holy Ghost.

ON THE EFFECTS ATTRIBUTED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN SCRIPTURE REGARDING THE WHOLE CREATION

1 One must, of course, in harmony with what has been said, give thought to the effects which sacred Scripture attributes to the Holy Spirit.

2 For it was shown in the foregoing that the goodness of God is His reason for willing that other things be, and that by His will He produces things in being. The love, then, by which He loves His own goodness is the cause of the creation of things: whence, even certain ancient philosophers held that “the love of the gods” is the cause of all things as is plain in Metaphysics I [4]; and Dionysius says that “the divine love did not allow itself to be without seed” [De div. nom. 4].

But it was held in the preceding that the Holy Spirit proceeds by way of the love by which God loves Himself. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the principle of the creation of things. And this is signified in the word of the Psalmist: “Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created” (Ps. 103:30).

3 It is also from the fact that the Holy Spirit proceeds by way of love—and love has a kind of driving and moving force—that the movement which is from God in things seems properly to be attributed to the Holy Spirit.

Of course, the first existing mutation in things from God is understood to be this: He produced the different species out of formless created matter. Hence, this work is what sacred Scripture attributes to the Holy Spirit. For we read in Genesis (1:2): “The Spirit of God moved over the waters.” For by “waters” Augustine wants one to understand prime matter over which the Spirit of the Lord is said to be borne, not as though He Himself is moved, but because He is the principle of the movement.

4 Again, the government of things by God is understood to be according to a kind of motion, in that God directs and moves all things to their proper ends. If, then, drive and motion belong to the Holy Spirit by reason of love, the government and propagation of things is fittingly attributed to the Holy Spirit. Hence Job (33:4) says: “The Spirit of God made me”; and the Psalmist: “Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land” (Ps. 142:10).

5 And because a master’s proper act is to govern subjects, dominion is fittingly attributed to the Holy Spirit, for the Apostle says: “Now the Lord is a Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17); and the Creed of our faith says: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord.”

6 Life also is especially manifested in motion, for we say that self-moving things live and in general we say this of everything which puts itself into operation. If, then, by reason of love, drive and motion are suited to the Holy Spirit, life is also suitably attributed to Him.

For John (6:64) says: “It is the Spirit who gives life”; and Ezekiel (37:5): “I will send Spirit into you, and you shall live”; and in the Creed of our faith we profess to believe in the Holy Spirit, “the giver of life.” This also harmonizes with the name “Spirit,” for even the bodily life of animals is due to a vital spirit diffused from the principle of life into the rest of the members.

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3 replies »

  1. “The love, then, by which He loves His own goodness is the cause of the creation of things.”

    And do keep in mind that “God is Love.” 1 John 4:7-21.

    God bless, C-Marie

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