MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA.TREATISE II. 16. THE EQUALITY OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
St. Edward, King of England, C
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA.
16. THE EQUALITY OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
I. The three Divine Persons are perfectly equal in all things inasmuch as They are perfectly one. The Divine Essence is not divided amongst Them, but They are of identically the same nature and the same substance. No one, and no two of Them, can be greater than another . nor can the three together possess more or do more than any one of Them. Even considering Them separately in Their personalities, with the differences of Their mutual relationships, there is still perfect equality between Them. The Sonship and the procession of the Third Person are as perfect and as necessary in the Divinity as the Paternity. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are eternally simultaneous constituents of the activity of the One Godhead within It self. The reception of the Divine Essence is as infinite and noble as the communication of it. It is an equal dignity and glory to the Father to be without first principle or source, to the Son to be produced by the infinite Father, and to the Holy Ghost to be the termination and completeness of the divine action without producing another person. Take a comparison. A ray of bright sunlight was long supposed to be a unity only : now it is proved to be a trinity of three rays, each having a different colour and a different effect on vegetation. These act as one principle. They occur in a certain order, but one does not exist before the other nor apart from another. Each is equally sunlight, and is equally necessary to constitute the glowing unity of the sunbeam and to maintain life on earth. Attach great importance to right thinking about doctrines. But this requires right living and right worship. Each of this trinity is essential to make up the unity of full religiousness.
II. The three Persons are also equal in their attributes and powers : for these, though spoken of as separate qualities, are but the one immovable, unchangeable, Divine Essence. The three Divine Persons have the same sovereign supremacy over all things, the same eternity, the same goodness and love and justice, the same knowledge and wisdom. Their actions, too, are inseparable. They have not made different worlds or originated different religions ; all combined equally in creating all the universe, and in establishing the two dispensations of the Old and New Testament. What Our Lord said of Himself applies equally to the other Persons : " The Son cannot do any thing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do : for what things soever He doth, these the Son also doth in like manner " (John v. 19). So do you strive in all things to think and act with God. Do nothing without Him, still less in opposition to Him. So His likeness will be perfected in you until it grows into an intimate union.
III. The three Divine Persons are equal in Their right to the adoration, service and love of all creatures, on account of the equality in Their greatness and holiness, in Their love and Their operations towards us. What we worship in one we worship in all ; what we see in one we see in all. It is true that the Second Person has brought Himself into closer relations with us by becoming man ; and that His human life and virtues and His presence in the Blessed Sacrament appear rather to reveal the Second Person to us than the Father and the Holy Ghost, and rather to draw out our tenderness towards Him. But yet Ve must remember that the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption is the joint work of the whole Trinity, only manifested differently on account of the relative differences of the Persons ; and that the revelation of the one Person of Our Lord is the revelation of all, according to His words, " Philip, he that seeth Me seeth the Father also " (John xiv. 9). So when Our Lord comes to you He brings with Him the Father and the Holy Ghost. Love and worship each Person separately and all three in Their supreme unity.
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA BY THE RIGHT REV. JAMES BELLORD, D.D