Reply To: Holy Spirit His own Person or an emination from Jesus?

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D. M. Canright, wrote an article entitled “The Holy Spirit”, printed in The Signs of the Times (July 25, 1878), and expressed the view:

“All Trinitarian creeds make the Holy Ghost a PERSON, equal in substance, power, eternity, and glory with the Father and Son. . . . But this we cannot believe. The Holy Spirit is NOT a person. In all our prayers we naturally conceive of God as a person, and of the Son as a person, but whoever conceived of the Holy Ghost as being a person, standing there beside the Father and equal with Him?”

(Dudley Canright is a very unfortunate character in Adventist history. He was once a prominent SDA minister, but fell away and actively opposed Ellen White and many of the Adventist beliefs. His anti-Trinitarian position has been the one taken up by quite a number of our people today.)

However, Mrs. White spoke to the students at Avondale College in 1899, saying,

“we have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a PERSON as God is a PERSON, is walking through these grounds, that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper. He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.” (7Manuscript Release p.299, Evangelism 616)

Today a number of SDA’s hold the view that, while referring to the Holy Spirit in the piece just quoted, Mrs. White actually means Jesus. But this, in my view, is quite a desperate measure… Some also deny that the Holy Spirit is “a distinct personality”. But

“the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ’s name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality. We may have the Holy Spirit if we ask for it and make it [a] habit to turn to and trust in God rather than in any finite human agent who may make mistakes.” (1893)  (20Manuscript Release p.324)