« PoprzedniaDalej »
versation. Extend it to all the Circumstances of holy Obedience, that it may not only enlighten my Mind, but purify my Heart, conquer 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 believing 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.
CH A P.
HAT Festival doth the Churcb cele.
brate this Day? A. The Mystery of the blessed Trinity.
Q. What is meant by the Trinity in the Christan Church?
A. That there is one God in Three distinct Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Q. What is God?
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?
thers called Hypostasis, taken it for the incommunicable Property that makes a Person.
Q. Why do we believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be three diftinet Persons in the Divine Nature ?
A. Because the Holy Scriptures in speaking of these three, do distinguish them from one another, as we use in common Speech to distinguish three several Persons.
Q. What Instances have we in the Holy Scriptures to this Pærpose ?
A. Several; more particularly the Form in administring the Sacrament of Baptism, which is in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Mat. 28. Holy Ghost. And thạt folemn Benediction with 19. which St. Paul concludes his second Epistle to the Corinthians : The Grace of our Lord Jesus 2 Cor. 13. Christ, the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the 14. Holy Ghoft. And the three Witnesses in Heaven, mentioned by St. John, the Father, the 1 Joh. 5:7. Word, and the Holy Ghost.
Q. How does it appear that each of the Persons is God?
A. Because the Names, Properties, and Opetations of God are attributed to each of them in the Holy Scriptures.
Q. Where 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, John 1. 1. That God was manifested in the Flesh. That Tim. 3.
16. Christ is over all, God blessed for ever. the Word of God is Marper than a two-edged Heb. 4. Sword, end is a Difcerner of the Thoughts and 12. Intents of the Heart. Eternity is attributed John 5. to him, the Son bath Life in himself. He is the Heb. 1.
Acts 5. 3,
same, and bis Years shall not fail. Perfection of John 10. Knowledge, As the Father knoweth me, so know
I the Father. The Creation of all Things, All ch. 1. 3. Things were made by bim, and without him was
not any Thing made that was made. And we are ch. 5. 23.commanded, to honour the Son as we honour the
Father. And the glorified Saints fing their HalRev.7.10. lelujohs as to God the Father, so also to the
Lamh for ever and ever.
Q. Where are the Names, Properties, and Operations of God, attributed to the third Person in the blessed Trinity, The Holy Ghost ?
A. Lying to the Holy Ghost is called Lying to
God. And because the Christians are the Tem1 Cor. 3. ples of the Holy Ghost, they are said to be the
Temples of God. His teaching all Things ; His
joined with God the Father, who will not imMat. 28. part his Glory to another, as an Object of Faith
and Worship in Baptism, and the Apostolical Be2 Cor. 13. nedi&tion.
And the Blasphemy committed a-
World nor the World to come. Which although
Q. What are we obliged to believe concerning the
Holy Trinity ?
everlasting, without Body, Parts, or Passions, of
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.
Q. Wherein consists the Mistery of the blessed Trinity ?
A. 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 misterious, 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 only 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 Elence 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 Elfence, do likewise with the Father join the Son
and Holy Ghost, in the fame Attributes, Operations, and Worship, therefore they are capable of Number as to their Relation to each other, but not as to the Elence, which is but one.
Q. Is any farther Explication of this great Mystery necesary ?
A. I think it, with Submission, not necessary,
it being sufficient firmly to believe that to be St. Cyr. true, which God hath thought fit to reveal conHier. ca- cerning this Matter, though at the same Time we tech. XI. do not perfectly comprehend the Manner of the P. 144. Thing 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 ready to wound the holy Doctrine Orat. 1. through the Sides of our Explications. This de incom-Method St. Chrysostom, who is justly placed in mil. 24.in
the first Rank of the learned and pious Fathers, obferved. 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 Footsteps of the Doetrine of the Trinity among ihe Jews and Gentiles?
A. There hath been a very ancient Tradition concerning three Persons in the Divine Na
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 NachDe Verit. inanides, as cited by Grotius. And among the Christ.
Heathins, Plato made three Distinctions in the