25 May 2024

Bishop Challoner's Meditations ~ Trinity Sunday


Consider first, that on this day the church sets before the eyes of our souls this principal mystery of the Christian faith, by which we believe one eternal God in three several persons, which we call the mystery of the blessed Trinity, or of three persons in one - three persons in one God. This is the great object of the Christian’s worship. This we ought to adore every day and every hour. Every Sunday in the year might be called Trinity Sunday, because every Sunday is set aside for the worship of this adorable Trinity, our Lord and our God. Yea, all our time belongs to him, and the great sacrifice that is offered daily on millions of altars throughout the world is principally designed to give sovereign adoration, homage, praise, and glory to the most holy Trinity. But then this day is more particularly appointed by the church, (which has now just finished celebrating the other great festivals relating to the mysteries of our redemption and sanctification, wrought by the three divine Persons,) in order to honour in a more particular manner the chief mystery of our religion. Come then, my soul, and come all ye Christian souls with me this day, and let us bow down all our powers to adore this incomprehensible mystery. The more it is above our reach the more worthy it is both of our faith and veneration.

Consider 2ndly, more in particular what our faith teaches us with relation to this mystery. We believe there is but one true and living God, and no more - eternal, incomprehensible, omnipotent, and infinite in all his attributes and perfections. In this one God we believe three distinct persons of the same substance and essence, and perfectly equal in age, in power, in wisdom, and in all perfections - the Father, who has no beginning, and proceeds from no one; the Son, who proceeds from the Father by an eternal and ineffable generation, as his living word and wisdom, the brightness of his glory, and the most perfect image of his person; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, who proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son. We believe that these three are one by having all three the same Godhead; that is, the same divine nature. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God, one Lord, one Almighty in three several Persons. This is the true Christian catholic belief of the mystery of the blessed Trinity essentially necessary for our eternal salvation. Let us, then, make frequent acts of faith concerning this sovereign truth - let us cast down every proud thought that offers to rebel against it - for God himself has taught it, who never can deceive nor be deceived.

Consider 3rdly, that it is not our faith alone, but our lives also, that must render proper homage to this adorable mystery of the eternal Trinity. ‘What will it avail thee to discourse profoundly of the Trinity,’ saith the servant of God, ‘if; through want of humility, thou be so disagreeable to the Trinity?' Humility of mind and heart is the most agreeable homage that man can pay to this infinite majesty. 'Heaven's my throne,’ saith he, Isaia. lxvi. 1,2, 'and the earth my footstool - my hand made all these things - but to whom shall I have respect but to him that is poor and little, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembled, at my words?’ Learn also from the epistle of this day, as a part of the homage thou owest to the most sacred Trinity, to adore in silence the depth of the sacred counsels and judgments of God, and the wisdom of his unsearchable ways, and in all events to give glory to him. ‘For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things - to him be glory for ever. Amen.’ Rom. xi. 36.

Conclude to come daily before the throne of the eternal Trinity with thy best homage of faith, love, and humility. Adore the almighty power of the Father, the infinite wisdom of the Son, and the incomprehensible goodness and love of the Holy Ghost. And give up the three powers of thy soul, and thy whole being, without reserve, to be ruled and disposed of for time and eternity by this infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.

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