Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

them his Holy Spirit, and that the miraculous Gift, we now commemorate, as bestowed upon the Apostles, proved his Exaltation, at the same Time that they enabled them to propagate his Religion throughout the World. i

net Lord, I beseech, increase my Faith, and strengthen it against the Weakness and Frailty of my own Mind, against the false Reasonings of Infidels, and against the Pride and Presumption of Libertines. Let no unreasonable Prejudice cloud the Light of my Understanding; let no Pride and Vanity obscure the Proofs of thy holy Revelations; let no Partiality pervert my Judgment in Matters of such great Consequence; but above all, let no unreasonable Passion or sinful Lust, corrupt my Will, and indispose me to entertain thy holy and excellent Laws...

Make my Faith lively and effectual, and let the Fruits of it appear in my Life and Conversation; Extend it to all the Circumstances of thy holy Obedience, that it may not only enlighten imy Mind, but purify my Heart, iconquer my Passions, and correct all those false Maxims concerning Riches, and Honours, and Pleasures, which prevail in the World; and make it perfect by Charity, which is the true Character of thy Disciples; that by belieying in thee, and loving thee in this Life, I may see and enjoy thee eternally in thy heavenly Kingdom, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Saviour. Amen. Bei :!!!!

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

On
CHAP. XXIV. ..
TRINITY SUNDAY.-À MOVEABLE FEAST.
Q. WHAT Festival doth the Church celebrate
.. this Day?

..!
A. The Mystery of the Blessed Trinity.

Q. What is meant by the Trinity in the Christian
Church?

A. That there is one God in three distinct Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: jisai 3 vr ts.

Q. What is God? :;:31. De p rije

A. An eternal incomprehensible Spirit, infinite in all Perfections; who made all Things out of nothing, and who governs them by his wise Providence.

Q. What is meant by the Word Person? ;

A. It signifies the Essence with a particular Manner of Subsistence, which the Greek Fathers called Hypostasis, taking it for the incommunicable Property that makes a Person.

Q. Why do we believe the Father, Son, ånd Holy
Ghost, to be three distinct Persons in the Divine
Nature?
.

.
A. Because the Holy Scriptures in speaking of
these Three, do distinguish them from another,
as we use in common Speech to distinguish three
several Persons. . .

Q. What Instances have we in the Holy Scriptures to this Purpose?

A. Several; more particularly the Form in administering the Sacrament of Buptism, which is in Mat. the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. ** And that solemn Benediction with which Št. Puul concludes his , second Epistle to the Corinthians : The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, 2 Cor. xiii. and the Fellowship of the Holy Ghost. And the three Witnesses in Heaven, mentioned by St. John, the 1 Joha v. Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.

Q. How does it appear that each of these Persons is God?

1. Because the Names, Properties, and Operations of God, are attributed to each of them in the Holy Scriptures. • Q. What are the Names, Properties, and Operations of God, attributed to the second Person in the blessed Trinity, the Son?

A. St. John says, The Word was God; St. Paul, Johoi. 1: That God was manifest in the Flesh. That Christ is 16.

xviii. 19

[ocr errors]

Tim. i

5.

Heb.

12.

15.

10.

[ocr errors]

16.

Rom. iv. over all, God blessed for ever. That the TVord of God iv. is sharper than a two edged Sword, and is a Discerner

of the Thoughts and Intents of the Heart, Eternity is John v, 26. geb. : 12: attributed to him, the Son hath Life in himself. He John X. is the same, and his Years shall not fail. Perfection of

Knowledge, As the Father knoweth me, so know I

the Father. The Creation of all Things, All Things Ch. i. 3. were made by him, and without him was not any Thing Ch. v. 23. made that was made. And we are commanded to

honour the Son, as we honour the Father. And the Rev. 7. glorified Saints sing their Hallelujahs as to God the

Father, so also to the Lamb for ever and ever.
.Q. Where are the Names, Properties, and Ope-,
rations of God attributed to the third Person in the

blessed Trinity, the Holy Ghost ? Acts v. 3. A. Lying to the Holy Ghost is called Lying to God.

. And because the Christians are the Temples of the 1 Cor. iï.

Holy Ghost, they are said to be the Temples of God. His teaching all Things; his guiding into all Truth; his telling Things to come ; his searching all Things; even the deep Things of God; his being called the Spirit of the Lord, in opposition to the Spirit of Man;

are plain Characters of his Divinity. Besides, he is • Mat. xviii. joined with God the Father, who will not impart his 2 Cor. xiii.

Glory to another, as an Object of Faith and Worship 14. in Baptism, and the Apostolical Benediction. And the

Blasphemy committed against him is said to be Mat. xii. forgiven neither in this World nor the World to come.

Which although it be not therefore unpardonable because he is God, yet unless he was God, it could not be unpardonable.

Q. What are we obliged to believe concerning the

Holy Trinity ? Art. 19.

A. That there is but one living and true God everlasting, without Body, Parts, or Passions, of infinite Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all Things both visible and invisible; and in the Unity of this Godhead there be three Persons of one Substance, Power and Eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

19.

32.

Q. Wherein consists the Mystery of the blessed Trinity? - Å. In that we are not able to comprehend the particular Manner of the Existence of the three Persons in the Divine Nature. : Q. Is it reasonable to believe Things concerning God which we cannot comprehend?

A. The Perfections of the Divine Nature are infinite, and consequently above our Reach; and therefore if there be such Divine Perfections, which our Faculties are not sufficient to comprehend, and yet that we have all imaginable Reason to believe them; there can be no Ground from Reason to reject such a Doctrine which God hath revealed, though very mysterious, and the Manner of it incomprehensible to us; since Natural Light did always acknowledge the Divine Nature to be incomprehensible.

Q. But though the Doctrine of the Trinity is above Reason, in that we cannot comprehend the Manner of it ; is it not also contrary to Reason? And does it not imply a Contradiction to say, the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and yet there are not three Gods, but one God?

A. No:. Because we do not affirm they are one and three in the same Respect. The Divine Essence is that alone which makes God; that can be but one, and therefore there can be no more Gods than one; but because the Scriptures, which assure us of the Unity of the Divine Essence, do likewise with the Father join the Son and Holy Ghost, in the same Attributes, Operations, and Worship, therefore they are capable of Number as to their Relation to each other, but not as to their Essence, which is but one.

Q. Is any farther Explication of this great Mys. tery necessary?...)

A. I think it, with Submission, not necessary, it being sufficient firmly to believe that to be true, which God has thought fit to reveal concerningst. Cyk this Matter, though at the same Time we do not Hier. Caperfeetly comprehend the Manner of the Thing p. 144.

which is the Object of our Faith: Besides, the Attempt, as it is attended with great Difficulty, so

with great Danger; the Enemies of our Faith being, Orat. 1.. ready to wound the holy Doctrine through the Sides' de Incom- of our Explications. This Method, St. Chrysostom, pre. Homil. 24. who is justly placed in the first Rank of the learned ! in Joan.

and pious Fathers, observed. When he treated upon the Mysteries of the Christian Religion, he proves them from the Testimonies of Holy Writ, and the Universal Belief of Christians, without pretending to make them clearer by a nice Explication.

Q. Are there any Foot-steps of the Doctrine of the Trinity among the Jews and Gentiles ?

A. There hath been a very ancient Tradition concerning three Persons in the Divine Nature. The Jews did distinguish the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God, from him whom they looked upon as the first Principle of all Things: As is plain from

Philo Judæus, and Moses Nachmanides, as cited by De Verit. Grotius. And among the Heathens, Plato made Christ. • three Distinctions in the Deity, by the Names of essential Goodness, Mind, and Spirit.ie

Q. What Usé may we make of this?

A. That neither the Jews nor Gentiles have any Reason to object this Doctrine to us Christians, especially since they have only their own Reason or Tradition to ground it upon : whereas we have express divine Revelation for what we believe in this Matter, and do believe it singly upon that Account. ,

Q. What may we learn from the Observation of this Festival?.. . ejca asosit 1951

A. To submit our Reason to the Obadience of Faith, To believe what we are sufficiently assured God hath revealed, though we cannot comprehend it, because the Incomprehensibility of a Thing is no concluding uc incompenso ng no concus Argument against the Truth of it; the Perfections of the Deity being in their own Nature infinite. To contain ourselves within the Bounds of Sobriety, without wading too far into abstruse, curious, and useless S Speculations. To admire and adore the ..

Relig.

« EdellinenJatka »