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God, is one of Fear. In a state like this, Creation must have languished. But God, in the action of his own Nature, generated from his own Spiritual Essence another Quality, equal in Power and Being to Himself,—the Quality of Love. We speak of the existence of God, under the single aspect of Power and Might, for the sake of giving that succession of ideas to the mind, by which it may be enabled to discern the different Persons or Qualities of the Trinity ; but we have no notion at all, in point of fact, that God really subsisted for a moment in that single character. It would be impossible. The Quality of Love, generated and begotten by the Father, was coeternal with the Father. The Godhead of the Father existed not at all without the Quality of Love. The two Essences were inseparable. God begat the Son—the Power or Quality of Love from all eternity; and drew hence the title which we attribute to him of Father. No sooner therefore did the first fiat of Creation proceed from the power of the Eternal than Love sprang forth from the Deity. God beheld his work, and loved it. The Second Person was generated from the First; but was yet inseparable from it; and Creation proceeded under the double influence of Power and Love. Take now the ideas which we have sketched out in regard to God, under our first view. Apply them to the Earth ; to Man; or indeed to any Creation either higher or lower, in the scale of the Universe : and we shall at once see the full necessity of that Spiritual Emanation, which is the Son,—that the Father might regard with affection, the works which were moulded by his Power. We shall also see, in the perfect distinction of the
two properties, the principle on which the Son may be said to be subject, and to be different in action from the Father; and yet to be so indissolubly united with him, that the two Essences should form One God. The supremacy of the Father may be invaded by disobedience. He may be offended with the violator of his given Law; but the offence may still be healed, and the transgressor reconciled through Love which is the agency of the Son.
As an illustration, we might adduce a fact of every day experience. The soul of man is single and indivisible in its nature. It is the One Principle of his existence; one and indivisible. Yet to what endless, distinct, powerful, and contradictory passions is it subject. They are each separable from one another; each based on its own grounds and motives; and yet all proceed from the one indivisible mind. The same bosom which breathes forth revenge, and the blackest hate, may yet beat towards certain objects with tenderness, and be susceptible of love. Nay, feelings of the strongest nature, and contrary to each other, may stand out in action at the same moment and towards the same individual. Let a favored child sin against its Parent; let him, by some offence, deeply wound his feelings; and the Father, if he gives free way to the first impulse of his mind, may feel deep anger and indignation against the offender, even while at the same moment he regards him with the utmost warmth of love and affection. The feelings are wholly opposed: and yet they not only arise from the same person: but are in exercise at the same instant.
The point in which the illustration is deficient is
this; that the passions of a man are only so many feelings, arising from certain ideas preconceived in the mind ; and depend for their effect upon outward circumstances. They bear with them no intrinsic power. But the Qualities of the Godhead are sentient, powerful, active and dominant Beings. God is a Spirit in his Omnipotence; and God is also a Spirit in the Love—or Son, whom he has generated; and the Moving Principle of the First has been communicated to the Second. They are no abstract qualities; but each God and Lord. In this distinction of the Powers, we may gain an idea of an agency of the Spirit of the Son, distinct in mode from the Spirit of the Father. The Personal Quality of Love may reconcile transgressors with the offended Personal Quality of Power; although both being One in the Godhead, the Father acts not without the Son, nor the Son without the Father. Though different in mode, they must necessarily be one in mind and principle.
But a third Quality is still required. Power and Love act towards Creation, and bear upon the destinies and existence of human nature; but there is as yet no strength or influence in man which acts reciprocally towards God. Omnipotence formed, and Love regards him ; but he has no means in his own breast which enable him either to merit or preserve a continuance of the Divine Favor. He requires a Sustaining Power ; an energy which shall both raise his mind to God, and keep it firm in its fidelity. Without it he must die. Now this is precisely the Quality which we find in the Holy Spirit. He is the Comforter, or Sustainer. Love, the first
born, is begotten of the Father in his single property of Omnipotence. But the Comforter is neither begotten of the Father nor the Son, but “proceeds” from both. From the unity of the two, a third proceeds; and hence the deep wisdom of that assertion in the Athanasian creed; “ The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.” .
Now as the Son may act after a manner, which, speaking in man's ideas, may be termed peculiar to Himself: so also the Holy Ghost has assigned to Him his own peculiar province ; although both, as emanating from, and being inherent in the Unity of the Godhead, only act in accordance with the Will of the Father. How it may so happen that each of these Qualities or Powers stands forth in the Godhead a Divine and sentient Being,--a Spirit possessing all the properties and functions of God-is what we are not called upon - nor is it possible by any thought or reasoning, to conceive. God is a Spirit, and pervades all things. It has not been given us to trace out to the mind the visible Glory of the Eternal; nor to imagine the focus or Throne whence its rays proceed and diffuse themselves over the Universe. That is left for other faculties, and another state of existence. It is sufficient for us to gain certain distinct, abstract notions of the several powers of the Trinity; to reconcile these with the known nature of things — to perceive that they flow out of the fundamental position of the Unity of God; and to find in them a sign and symbol of the operation of the Triple Powers of the Deity. More than this we cannot obtain, and in a subject so lofty and solemn it seems a great acquirement, that we are enabled to evolve the three Principles in such regular sequence; in such perfect consistency; and more than all, in such entire harmony, that the Three centre necessarily in One; and the One acts and reciprocates with the Three.
Under this notion of the Persons, or Qualities of the Trinity, we gain a glimmering of the mode of Redemption, and of the Dominion and Supremacy which Christ assumed over the earth. God, the first Power was offended, in that his Law had been violated. Under that Law human nature in its guilt became subject to the penalty of death. But the Quality of Love was inseparable from the first Power of Omnipotence ; and Love, a Spirit coequal with the Father, interceded with offended Omnipotence, and undertook the recovery of human nature, and its re-installation into the Divine Favor. Christ was the Spirit or God, whom in our abstract ideas we term Love; and into his hands was conceded by offended Omnipotence the full power and dominion over the creatures whom he had covenanted to save. God the Father could not personally have intervened, since He, in his own Quality, was not the Mediator of men, but the Person with whom men, by Christ's aid, were to become reconciled; and who had promised, in consequence of his mediation, hereafter to receive them. It would have been inconsistent with such a design, that the Father should have intervened. He was the Quality alienated from human nature. He was the God offended. And it would have been equally inconsistent, if Christ had not intervened, since he was the Quality, who by the