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Holy Spirit

Early Church Fathers Quotes on The Holy Spirit

Papias 60 -130 A.D

The presbyters, the disciples of the apostles, say that this is the gradation and arrangement of those who are saved, and that they advance through steps of this nature; and that, moreover, they ascend through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father; and that in due time the Son will yield up His work to the Father. – fragment V

Second Clement 100 A.D

For this flesh is the counterpart and copy of the spirit. No man therefore, when he has defiled the copy, shall receive the original for his portion. This therefore is what He means, brethren; Guard you the flesh, that you may receive the spirit. – Second Clement ch.14

The Shepherd of Hermas 80 A.D

For they received of Him a spirit free from lies. This if they shall return a lying spirit, they have defiled the commandment of the Lord and have become robbers. –  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg. 21

For if you are long-suffering, the Holy Spirit that abides in you shall be pure, not being darkened by another evil spirit, but dwelling in a large room shall rejoice and be glad with the vessel in which he dwells, and shall serve God with much cheerfulness, having prosperity in himself. But if any angry temper approach, forthwith the Holy Spirit, being delicate, is straitened, not having [the] place clear, and seeks to leave from the place. -ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.23

But the angry temper is in the first place foolish, fickle and senseless; then from foolishness is engendered bitterness, and from bitterness wrath, and from wrath anger, and from anger spite; then spite being composed of all these evil elements becomes a great sin and incurable. For when all these spirits dwell in one vessel, where the Holy Spirit also dwells, that vessel cannot contain them, but overflows. The delicate spirit therefore, as not being accustomed to dwell with an evil spirit nor with harshness, departs from a man of that kind, and seeks to dwell with gentleness and tranquility. Then, when it has removed from that man, in whom it dwells, that man becomes emptied of the righteous spirit. – ibid, Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.23

Afflict not the Holy Spirit that dwells in you, lest haply He intercede with God [against you], and depart from you. For the Spirit of God, that was given unto this flesh, endures not sadness neither constraint.-  ibid, Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg. 26

The Holy Pre-existent Spirit, which created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that He desired. This flesh, therefore, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was subject unto the Spirit, walking honorably in holiness and purity, without in any way defiling the Spirit. When then it had lived honorably in chastity, and had labored with the Spirit, and had cooperated with it in everything, behaving itself boldly and bravely, He chose it as a partner with the Holy Spirit; for the career of this flesh pleased [the Lord], seeing that, as possessing the Holy Spirit, it was not defiled upon the earth. – ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.35

For all flesh, which is found undefiled and unspotted, wherein the Holy Spirit dwelt, shall receive a reward… “Listen now,” said he, “Keep this your flesh pure and undefiled, that the Spirit which dwells in it may bear witness to it, and your flesh may be justified” – ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg. 35-36

The Lord, how great and glorious it is, and He has given (His) Spirit to those that are worthy of repentance. -ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg. 41

If therefore you are thus vexed in the matter of your garment, and complain because you receive it not back whole, what do you think the Lord will do to you, He, Who gave you the spirit whole, and you have made it absolutely useless, so that it cannot be of any use at all to its Lord? For its use began to be useless, when it was corrupted by you. Will not therefore the Lord of this spirit for this your deed punish [you with death]? – ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.54

Justin Martyr 160 A.D.

The Holy Ghost reproaches men because they were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves. –  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.262

Irenaeus  180 A.D. 

Still further did He also make it manifest, that we ought, after our calling, to be also adorned with works of righteousness, so that the Spirit of God may rest upon us; for this is the wedding garment, of which also the apostle speaks, “Not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up by immortality.” But those who have indeed been called to God’s supper, yet have not received the Holy Spirit, because of their wicked conduct “shall be,” He declares, “cast into outer darkness.” He thus clearly shows that the very same King who gathered from all quarters the faithful to the marriage of His Son, and who grants them the incorruptible banquet, [also] orders that man to be cast into outer darkness who has not on a wedding garment, that is, one who despises it. For as in the former covenant, “with many of them was He not well pleased;” so also is it the case here, that “many are called, but few chosen.” – Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 517

And on this account does Paul declare to the Corinthians, “I have fed you with milk, not with meat, for hitherto you were not able to bear it.” That is, you have indeed learned the advent of our Lord as a man; nevertheless, because of your infirmity, the Spirit of the Father has not as yet rested upon you. “For when envying and strife,” he says, “and dissensions are among you, are you not carnal, and walk as men?” That is, that the Spirit of the Father was not yet with them, on account of their imperfection and shortcomings of their walk in life. As, therefore, the apostle had the power to give them strong meat – for those upon whom the apostles laid hands received the Holy Spirit, who is the food of life [eternal] – but they were not capable of receiving it, because they had the sentient faculties of the soul still feeble and undisciplined in the practice of things pertaining to God.-  ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 521

But if the Spirit be wanting to the soul, he who is such is indeed of an animal nature, and being left carnal, shall be an imperfect being, possessing indeed the image [of God] in his formation, but not receiving the similitude through the Spirit; and thus is this being imperfect.- ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 532

So likewise men, if they do truly progress by faith towards better things, and receive the Spirit of God, and bring forth the fruit thereof, shall be spiritual, as being planted in the paradise of God. But if they cast out the Spirit, and remain in their former condition, desirous of being of the flesh rather than of the Spirit, then it is very justly said with regard to men of this stamp, “That flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God;”- ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.536

Wherefore also “the first Adam was made” by the Lord “a living soul, the second Adam a quickening spirit.” As, then, he who was made a living soul forfeited life when he turned aside to what was evil, so, on the other hand, the same individual, when he reverts to what is good, and receives the quickening Spirit, shall find life. -ibid, Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 538

Christ, who was called the Son of God before the ages, was manifested in the fullness of time, in order that He might cleanse us through His blood, who were under the power of sin, presenting us as pure sons to His Father, if we yield ourselves obediently to the chastisement of the Spirit. -ibid,  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.575

Tatian  160 A.D

But the Spirit of God is not with all, but, taking up its abode with those who live justly, and intimately combining with the soul, by prophecies it announced hidden things to other souls. And the souls that are obedient to wisdom have attracted to themselves the cognate spirit; but the disobedient, rejecting the minister of the suffering God, have shown themselves to be fighters against God, rather than His worshippers. – Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.71

Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D

Therefore God does not here take the semblance of man, but of a dove, because He wished to show the simplicity and gentleness of the new manifestation of the Spirit by the likeness of the dove. For the law was stern, and punished with the sword; but grace is joyous, and trains by the word of meekness. Hence the Lord also says to the apostles, who said that He should punish with fire those who would not receive Him, after the manner of Elias: “You know not what manner of spirit you are of.” –  Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.584

For God conspires with willing souls. But if they abandon their eagerness, the spirit which is bestowed by God is also restrained. For to save the unwilling is the part of one exercising compulsion; but to save the willing, that of one showing grace. Nor does the kingdom of heaven belong to sleepers and sluggards… – ibid, Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.597

Tertullian 198 A.D

For since, by the introduction into an appropriation (in) us of the Holy Spirit, we are all “the temple of God,” modesty is the sacristan and priestess of that temple, who is to suffer nothing unclean or profane to be introduced (into it), for fear that the God who inhabits it should be offended, and quite forsake the polluted abode. – Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 18

Origen  248 A.D 

Moreover, the Holy Spirit gave signs of His presence at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, and after His ascension He gave still more; but since that time these signs have diminished, although there are still traces of His presence in a few who have had their souls purified by the Gospel, and their actions regulated by its influence. “For the holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding.” – Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 614


And yet it is not to no purpose that in this Trinity the Son and none other is called the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit and none other the Gift of God, and God the Father alone is He from whom the Word is born, and from whom the Holy Spirit principally proceeds. And therefore I have added the word principally, because we find that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son also. But the Father gave Him this too, not as to one already existing, and not yet having it; but whatever He gave to the only-begotten Word, He gave by begetting Him. Therefore He so begot Him as that the common Gift should proceed from Him also, and the Holy Spirit should be the Spirit of both. This distinction, then, of the inseparable Trinity is not to be merely accepted in passing, but to be carefully considered; for hence it was that the Word of God was specially called also the Wisdom of God, although both Father and Holy Spirit are wisdom. If, then, any one of the three is to be specially called Love, what more fitting than that it should be the Holy Spirit?— namely, that in that simple and highest nature, substance should not be one thing and love another, but that substance itself should be love, and love itself should be substance, whether in the Father, or in the Son, or in the Holy Spirit; and yet that the Holy Spirit should be specially called Love.

See also the Trinity in Church Fathers Quotes by Topic

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