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p83 [C Wolston] BELOVED BROTHER, - I have no objection to call the Holy Ghost Lord as a general title in glory and Godhead, just as Jehovah our God is called Lord - regularly so, in the New Testament. "The Lord said unto my Lord," Jehovah to Adonai, and thus I am quite free, and have no quarrel with those who do, because He who is God must in a certain sense be Lord; and I think that 2 Corinthians 3:18 does connect Lord closely with the Spirit; but verse 6 gives it a peculiar force, when after a long parenthesis verse 17 takes it up again. The revelation of the Lord is in the present power of the Spirit of God; and that is the way in which we have even the new covenant. But he identifies this with the present power of the Spirit in saying, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, here is liberty."
I do not think 2 Thessalonians 3:5 amounts to a very distinct testimony. It is the general expression for the ordering guiding power of grace over His people, and without any definite distinction. It is Christ that comes, if we define, with the term Lord to the mind. In the regular use of the word κύριος is used in two ways in the New Testament. The LXX. have always translated Jehovah by κύριος and so it is used as a name without any article in the New Testament. I have given a list in my French New Testament in the preface. Then we have Christ set as man in the place of Lordship. "God has made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Every tongue shall confess "that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." "To us there is one God, the Father . . . and one Lord Jesus Christ." This truth is very distinctly taught. It is not a question of nature, but of a place He has taken. And in this character the church or Christians constantly address Him: "all that in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, theirs and ours." It is a name of relationship - "theirs." "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." "I besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from me."
The Holy Ghost is the accomplisher of all grace in us. In that sense He carries out the lordship work in us. It is not a question of the Holy Ghost's nature or being or personality. They that lie to the Holy Ghost, lie to God. He distributes to whom He will; and as thus acting He is practically Lord. Still though He exercises the authority in and over us, yet He refers our hearts to Christ. There are diversities of operations, but one Spirit. There are diversities of ministrations, but one Lord. So as to unity - one Spirit, one body, one hope of our calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Thus in the practical sense the Holy Spirit acts as Lord. We are led by Him. The Holy Ghost said "Separate me." But the title as appropriated is Christ's, or Jehovah, or the general divine authority and rule. The action by which Lordship is exercised in grace in us, is by the Spirit, as in 1 Corinthians 12 - distributing: but the title Lord in administration is in Christ. If Christ directs my heart, the Holy Ghost would do it in me.
In Acts 4 it is another matter: it is δεσπότης not κύριος, I mean in verse 24; as "the Lord that bought them," "the only Lord God" - despot literally - bought them, being the comparison of a master buying a slave. In verse 29, it is general, but if defined refers to Jehovah. "Child" (ver. 30), is servant, Christ as man (exalted) is looked at as not (δοῦλοσ), bondsman, but the servant of God.
But though Christ be made Lord and Christ as man, yet through His oneness with the Father and His being the true God, it runs up into a divine title; just as in the case with Son. He is in the place of Son as man, or we could not be with Him. "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;" but it cannot be separated from divine and eternal Sonship. As man He becomes and enters into - is in so far as He is a man in - the relationship with the Father as divine and eternal Son. In all the works of God we find this co-operation of the Persons. The Son wrought; yet He could say, "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works:" and, "If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." I know not that I can add more to make it clear. Definitions here are not man's part: he receives, thanks and worships. . . .
My kindest love to the brethren. I rejoice in their blessing and joy in Christ, as my own - in some sense more. The love of Christ directs the eye on them He loves. All is going on very fast here, but towards what? But the blessed Lord is as sure for this as for every other state of His saints, and the truth and the word of truth increasingly precious, Christ more all - at any rate, more separately and contrastedly . . . . Peace be with you.
Ever, dear brother,
P.S. - In reply to the fly leaf I had not sufficiently noticed I add: It is not any question of Person or dignity as to the Holy Ghost that hinders His being the object addressed in prayer, but the place He holds in the divine economy. He does govern as we are led by Him, but our communion is with (objectively) the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It is eternal life to know the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Yet without the Spirit, and a divine Spirit, we could have no communion and no knowledge. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us: our bodies are His temples. But it is as in us He works, leading us objectively to the Father and the Son. But God dwells in us: by the Spirit we know the Son is in the Father, a divine Person thereby; we know we are in Him, and He in us. And in Romans 8 we find Christ and the Spirit in this respect identified. The Holy Ghost is a divine person and in the unity of the Godhead adored and worshipped. He is the immediate agent of all that God does - immediate to the effects. But His place in the divine ways is not in the same way objective - as divine and as personal, but not in God's ways so objective.
May 10th, 1870.