Trinity Sunday The Gospel Mat. 28 v.18. Sunday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO
The Holy Trinity, St Jerome and Two Saints
GOSPEL Matt. 28:18-20
At that time, Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity being the main fundamental point of all the frame,or building of the Catholic faith whereupon all other points are raised & built, was in the primitive Church impugned, and called in question by Heretics,every person thereof and almost every particular point pertaining unto them; in so much that the four first general Councils next after those of the Apostles, were assembled of all the most selected and prime men of the Clergy (for the Laity had nothing to do therein more then in the first Council of the Apostles at Jerusalem) to consider and consult thereof, wherein the matter was thoroughly sifted in all points, as they use to sift corn to make the purest bread that can be, the opposites confuted and condemned for heretics, the Catholic verity declared, decreed & promulgated, a form of belief composed by St. Athanasius, surname the Great,called the Creed of Athanasius, but was rather to be called the Creed of the general Council which commanded him to compose it, & being composed approved the same, and afterwards ordained for a perpetual memory these words, Glory (that is to say equal Glory) be to the Father, & to the Son, & to the holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end, Amen, to be said or sung in the public Office or Service of the Church after every Psalm of David as we see now used, and a solemn Holy day,or Festival day instituted to the honor of all three persons together in one, called Trinity Sunday, which is this day; & a Gospel appointed by the Church, to be said or sung in the Mass of purpose, wherein Christ after his resurrection immediately before his Ascension into heaven, gave Commission to his disciples to go & preach the Gospel unto all Nations of the world, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that is to say, in the power and authority of those three persons and one God, in equal terms.
This main fundamental point, was by the good providence of God, so fully discussed,and established by the four General Councils aforesaid, that never any heretic since was able to lift up his head, nor so much as his finger against it, for which in some sort we may thank those heretics, for if their heresy had not been, the Church had never so discussed, that point, and armed herself against all impugners thereof, as now she is: and this is the reason why St Paul said, There must come heresies,that the good Catholics may be discerned from the bad, and approved of God,and the Church better armed & fortified against her impugners, and her doctrine more clearly declared: a good effect of an ill cause.
Wherefore let us not be dismayed, or scandalize at the heresies of these days and the long continuance thereof; for that of the Arians, against the Blessed Trinity, continued three hundred years and prevailed so much, that St. Jerome said of it, that the world did groan under it, and wondered that it was become Arian, and yet it had an end: so let us hope that the heresies and errors of these times will, and leave the Church much more fortified,and illustrated thereby.