« PoprzedniaDalej »
that he is in heaven :" that he is at once God, the Son of God, and Man, the son of man; the true Emanuel, God with us; in short, the Word made flesh, uniting in his person the buman nature with the divine, in order to reconcile all things unto himself.*
Thus are revealed to us the two great mysteries, that of the Trinity, and that of the Incarnation. But he who has revealed them, makes us to find the image of them in ourselves, that 60 they may be ever present with us, and that we may understand the dignity of our nature.
In fact, if we impose silence on our senses, and shut our. selves up for a while in the inmost recesses of our soul, that is, in that part where truth makes its voice to be heard, we shall there see some image of the Trinity we adore. The thought which we perceive to spring up as the bud of our mind, as the sun of our understanding, gives us some idea of the Son of God eternally conceived in the mind of the heavenly Father. Wherefore this Son of God assumes the name of the Word, that so we may understand bim springing up in the bosom of the Father, not as bodies spring up, but as does that internal Word, which we perceive in our soul, when we contemplate the truth.
But the fruitfulness of our mind is not confined to that internal world, that intellectual thought, that image of the truth, which is formed in us. We love both that internal word, and the mind in which it springs; and by loving it we perceive in ourselves something no less precious to us than our mind and our thought, which is the fruit of both, which unites them, is united to them, and constitutes with them but one and the same life.
Thus, and as far as there can be found any analogy between God and man, thus, I say, is produced in God the eternal love, which proceeds from the Father who thinks, and from the Son who is his thought, in order to make with him and his thought, one and the same nature equally happy and perfect.
In short, God is perfect; and his Word, the living image of
Col. i. 20.
infinite truth, is no less perfect than he; and his love, which, proceeding from the inexhaustible source of good, hath all the fullness of it, cannot fail of having an infinite perfection: and since we have no other idea of God than that of perfection, each of these subsistences considered in itself deserves to be called God: but because these three agree necessarily to one and the same nature, these three are but one God.
We must not then conceive any thing unequal, or separate in this adorable Trinity: and however incomprehensible the equality may be, our soul, if we listen to it, will tell us some- : thing of it.
It is, and as it knows perfectly what it is, its understanding is correspondent to the truth of its being; and as it loves its being, together with its understanding, as much as they deserve to be loved, its love equals the perfection of both. These three are never to be separated, and contain one another: we : understand that we are, and that we love; and we love to be, and to understand, Who can deny this if he understands himself? And not only one is no better than another, but the three together are no better than any one of them in particular, seeing each contains the whole, and in the three consists the happiness and dignity of the rational nature. Thus, and in an infinitely higher degree is the Trinity, whom we worship, and to whom we are consecrated by our baptism, perfect, inseparable, one in essence, and in short, equal in every sense.
But we ourselves, who are the image of the Trinity, in another respect are also the image of the incarnation.
Our soul, of a spiritual and incorruptible nature, has a corruptible body united to it; and from the union of both results a whole, which is man, a mind and body together, at the same time incorruptible and corruptible, at once intelligent, and merely brutish. These attributes agree to the whole,? with relation to each of its two parts: thus, the divine Word, whose virtue sustains the whole, is united in a peculiar man- ' ner, or rather becomes itself, by a perfect union, that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, which makes one to be God and man
together : begotten in eternity, and begotten in time; ever living in the bosom of the Father, and dying upon the cross for our salvation.
But wherever God is concerned, comparisons drawn from human things cannot but be imperfect. Our soul is not before our body, and something is wanting to that, when separated from this. The Word, perfect in itself from all eternity, unites itself to our nature, only to honour it. That soul which presides over the body, and makes various changes in it, suffers itself some from it in its turn.. If the body is moved at the command, and according to the will of the soul, the soul is troubled, the soul is afflicted, and agitated a thousand ways, either painful or pleasing, according to the disposition of the body; so that as the soul exalts the body to itself by governing it, it is also debased beneath itself by the things it suffers from it; but in Jesus Christ the Word presides over all, the Word keeps all under its management. Thus man is exalted, and the Word is not debased by any occurrence; immoveable and unalterable, it rules in all things, and in all places that nature which is united to it.
Hence it comes, that in Jesus Christ man is absolutely subject to the inward direction of the Word, which exalts him to itself, has none but divine thoughts, none but divine affections. All he thinks, all he wills, all he says, all he conceals within, all he discovers without, is animated by the Word, guided by the Word, worthy of the Word, that is, worthy of reason itself, of wisdom itself, and of truth itself. Therefore all is light in Christ Jesus; his conduct is a rule; his miracles are instructions; his words are spirit, and life.
It is not given to all rightly to understand these sublime truths, nor perfectly to see in themselves that marvellous image of divine things which St. Augustine and the other fathers have believed so certain. The senses govern us too much, and our imagination, which will intrude itself in all our thoughts, does not permit us. always to dwell upon so pure a light. We do not know ourselves; we are ignorant of the riches we bear in our nature, and no eyes, but the most pure, can per. ceive them. But the little we do enter into this secret, and discern in ourselves the image of the two mysteries, which are the foundation of our faith, is sufficient to raise us above all earthly things, so that no mortal object can turn us from it. · And therefore does Jesus Christ call us to an immortal glory, which is the fruit of the faith we have in the mysteries.
That God-man, that incarnate truth and wisdom, which makes us believe so great things upon his sole authority, promises us the clear and beatific vision of them in eternity, as the certain reward of our faith.
In this way, is the mission of Jesus Christ infinitely exalted above that of Moses.
B. Bossuet's Universal History, Part II. pp. 197—208.
THE FIRST VOLUME.
and perpetual triumph of the church of God over her enemies,
· shows Unitarianism to be a false system, ...........................
intelligible meaning is, when understood, in the Unitarian sense,
false, irrational, and absurd,..............
cate himself at all to them; and if man cannot reasonably believe
what is above the sphere of his reason, he can believe nothing, .....
is itself a contradiction in the very terms............
On Original Sin.
cient heresies' that impugned original sin, .............
sufficient for him to know him, ..........
man, demonstrate that man is not such as he was created by his