Importance of a Right Idea of the Trinity

Importance of a Right Idea of the Trinity

Having written of the Triune God, it is important also to treat of the Divine Trinity,—which is known in the Christian world, and yet unknown. For by this alone can a just idea of God be obtained; and a just idea of God in the church is as the sanctuary and altar in the temple, and as the crown upon the head and sceptre in the hand of a king sitting upon his throne. For hereon depends, as a chain upon its first link, the whole body of theology. And, if you will believe it, every one is assigned his place in heaven according to his idea of God; for this is as the touchstone by which is discovered the quality of the gold and silver, that is, the good and truth, in man. For there is no saving good in him, except from God; nor any truth, that does not derive its quality from out the bosom of good….

But how the things written in the Word respecting the Trinity are to be understood,—whether, that there are three Gods, who in essence and hence in name are one God; or, that there are three objects of one subject, so that they are only qualities or attributes of one God, which are so named, or in another way,—reason left to itself can by no means see. But what counsel is to be offered? There is no other than that a man shall go to the Lord God the Saviour, and read the Word under His guidance,—for He is the God of the Word,—and he will be enlightened and see truths, which reason also will ac­knowledge…. But to read the Word under guidance of one’s own intelligence,—as is done by all who do not acknow­ledge the Lord as God of heaven and earth, and therefore approach and worship Him alone,—may be likened to children playing, who tie a bandage over the eyes and try to walk in a straight line, and even think they are walking in a straight line, when yet step by step they are turning aside, and at length go in the opposite direction, strike against a stone, and fall (TCR n. 163, 165)

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