MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA.TREATISE III. 1. CREATION IN GENERAL.
St. Ursula & Comp., VvMm
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA.
1. CREATION IN GENERAL.
I. God was under no obligation to create anything. It is only His intrinsic activity in producing the Persons of the Trinity that is necessary ; all other action might or might not be, according to His will. God did not require the world or any creatures. He was rich in all good, perfectly happy, powerful, enjoying immovable repose and perfect activity in His own being. That which was, before creation, was not a dead solitude ; but the three Divine Persons formed a kind of society in Their unity. There was a manifestation of infinite perfections by each to each, a mutual understanding and appreciation of the attributes of each, and action, proportioned to the greatness of the divine nature, rendering glory to each. No further witnesses were required of the divine glory, no audience for the celestial communications between the Persons. Indeed no created being could give and take, by the action of its intelligence and will, in any thing like the same measure as do the Divine Persons. God has no need of you. You can do nothing that is of any use to Him. " I have said to the Lord, Thou art my God, for Thou hast no need of my goods" (Ps. xv. 2). When you have exerted all your talents and done all that you can, you may say with most perfect truth, " I am an unprofitable servant."
II. We, on the other hand, cannot do without God. So many million centuries ago, man, and the earth, and the whole universe were not. They were in an abyss of nothingness whence only the command of God was able to bring them forth. No creature could have drawn out a developed being from non-being, even if any creature had been pre- existent. The mode in which something is created from nothing is absolutely inconceivable to us. Only a being of infinite intelligence and omnipotent power could do such a thing. A creature could not have acted before it existed so as to produce itself, or develop itself by its own energies. And the whole universe of things was as powerless to evolve itself as a single atom or a degree of force. What a vast difference between God and creatures ! They were once in nothingness, He was always existent ; they began a definite time ago, He had no beginning ; they are dependent and imperfect, He is absolute uncontrolled Master, all powerful and all perfect. What an enormity it is, and how ridiculous, when any of God s creatures dare to deny His authority, and disobey His commands, and raise their heads in pride, and say " I will not serve ! " This you do when you commit sin.
III. The number of the possible worlds and beings is absolutely without limit, which God might have made after the model of His ideas, and as reflections of His perfections, God determined on certain series of forces and substances, both in spirit and matter; and, by some incomprehensible pro jection of His infinite activity beyond Himself, He produced the commencements of force and motion and matter, endowed with enormous energies and latent powers of trans formation and development. God thus inaugurated a new order. Outside of, or anterior to creation, God was the ocean of the supernatural only ; at creation things were produced which had a thitherto unexampled relation to God. He became then the source and author of the natural order as well as of the supernatural, acting freely on two different planes, carrying out two different series of laws. Those two orders were separate and independent, till God united them in man as raised to the life of grace and participation with God. Admire God's wonderful dispositions. He unites the natural and supernatural orders as being the source of both ; here below the two are united again in you.
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA BY THE RIGHT REV. JAMES BELLORD, D.D