« Prev Chapter XX. Of the Effects which the Scriptures… Next »

CHAPTER XXOf the Effects which the Scriptures attribute to the Holy Ghost in respect of the whole Creation

THE love wherewith God loves His own goodness is the cause of the creation of things (B. I, Chap. LXXXVI); and it is laid down that the Holy Ghost proceeds as the love wherewith God loves Himself. Therefore the Holy Ghost is the principle of the creation of things; and this is signified in Ps. ciii, 30: Send forth thy spirit and they shall be created. Again, as the Holy Ghost proceeds as love, and love is an impulsive and motor power, the motion that is from God in things is appropriately attributed to the Holy Ghost. But the first motion, or change, coming from God in things is the production of the diversity of species from matter created formless (ex materia creata informi species diversas produxit). This work the Scripture attributes to the Holy Ghost: The Spirit of God moved over the waters (Gen. i, 2)903903Moved, or as another version has it, brooded, which is better in keeping with the character of the Holy Ghost as the ‘giver of life.’ I need only mention the other translation of Spiritus Dei as a mighty wind is a translation as old as St Ephrem and Theodoret; and one which St Thomas was not unwilling to take account of; as he presently says (Chap. XXIII): “Although some wish to understand this, not of the Holy Ghost, but of the air, which has its natural place near the water: hence, to signify its manifold transformations, it is said that it was borne over the waters.” Nor can I deal with the vexed question as to what notion the human authors of the Old Testament had of the triple personality of God. By the the waters Augustine wishes to be understood primordial matter. The Spirit of the Lord is said to move over them, not as being in motion on Himself, but as the principle of motion. The government of creation also is fitly 352assigned to the Holy Ghost, as government is the moving and directing of things to their proper ends. And because the governing of subjects is an act proper to a lord, lordship too is aptly attributed to the Holy Ghost: the Spirit is Lord (1 Cor. iii, 17).904904ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν, means now the Lord is the Spirit: that is to say, the Lord, mentioned in the previous verse, 16, — even the Yahweh of Exodus xxxiv, 34, to which that verse refers, — is the Holy Ghost. This is a statement of the divinity of the Holy Ghost in so many words, as the Greek Fathers elaborately argue, and as St Thomas would not have failed to argue, had he been more familiar with Greek.

Life also particularly appears in movement. As then impulse and movement by reason of love are proper to the Holy Spirit, so too is life fitly attributed to Him, as it is said: It is the Spirit that quickeneth (John vi, 64: 2 Cor. iii, 6).


« Prev Chapter XX. Of the Effects which the Scriptures… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |