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Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday

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Published by glennpease
BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.



Thou art tvorthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power :
for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and
were created. REV. iv. II.
BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.



Thou art tvorthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power :
for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and
were created. REV. iv. II.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 05, 2013
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TRIITY SUDAYBROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.Thou art tvorthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power :for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are andwere created. REV. iv. II.THIS day not only reminds us of a very great andsolemn doctrine which lies at the root of our Christianbelief, but it forms a marked point in the course of our Christian year. Some among us, I trust, who tryto understand the meaning and order of our Prayer-Book, have noticed that the whole period fromAdvent to Trinity is full of great festivals in memoryof the chief events of our Saviour s life, while thereis not one from Trinity to Advent. This is a strik ing fact, and we cannot doubt that it has a gravepurpose in it. That purpose, then, I take to bethis : that we first learn the history of the Lord slife, and then we are taught His law ; first we learnwhat He has done for us. and then we are taughtowhat we have to do for Him.Since, then, the Christian year is divided intothese two chief periods, you will see, I think, whyTrinity Sunday should stand between them, andbe, as it were, their common centre. It is not inmemory of any event in the Saviour s life, nor is itagain designed to afford a lesson in any practical228
 
VILLAGE SERMOS 229duty, but rather it gives a summary of the divinetruths implied in the work of Christ on earth, andshows us the nature of that faith by which ouractions are made holy in God s sight.To-day we are invited to think upon the greatarticle of our belief as Christians : we are calledupon in an especial manner to consider the natureof Him whom we profess to serve of Him whomwe call our Father, our Saviour, our Comforter of Him who made us, who redeemed us, who sanctifiesus of Him in whom all things live and move andhave their being. Such thoughts as these cannotbut seem very solemn and serious to all of us. Weare assembled here to give that worship and praiseto One which we should refuse to the mightiestlord or king on earth, and it is therefore veryneedful for us to bear in mind whom that gloriousBeing is, and why He claims our service, that wemay render it to Him with a better understandingand a warmer heart.It would be vain to attempt to explain the mysteryof the Holy Trinity "three Persons in One God"which is a mystery because our poor minds arelimited. Even heathen men of old felt that theknowledge of God s nature was impossible. A greatking asked one of the wisest of them to tell himwhat God is. The sage asked for a day to think over his answer. The day passed, and when theking came, he asked again for two more days ; thattime passed, and again the king came, but he foundno answer ready, and as he wondered the sage said," Ah ! sire, the more I think of God, the harder do Ifind it to understand Him." We know, indeed, much
 
230 VILLAGE SERMOSXXVImore than this old philosopher knew, and yet thereis much that we can never know on earth. Thereis another beautiful legend of Christian times whichwill explain what I mean. It is said that one of the wisest of the Christian Fathers was once walkingin deep thought by the sea-shore thinking on themystery of godliness, and he was struck by the sightof a child who had hollowed out a little pool inthe sand, and was pouring the water into it witha shell. As he smiled at the idle play, the child saidto him for indeed the story says that it was nochild but the vision of an angel "You smile, andyet I shall have emptied the sea with my shell beforeyou have found out the mystery of the Holy Trinity."And so it is, my brethren, we may labour and reason,and yet we shall not understand it. Why then, itmay be said, must we believe it ? Just for thisreason, that the doctrine is to be a help to our life,and not a satisfaction to our curiosity. All the bestand noblest and most useful acts we do spring frombelieving and not from knowing. We sow and webelieve that the harvest time will come, but wecannot know it. And so to believe that God is ourFather in Heaven ; that He is our Saviour, having diedfor us on earth ; that He is our Comforter, speakingto our hearts even now, is indeed, as I hope toshow, a source of great hope and love and strengthto us as we journey on our Christian way.This, then, in well-known words, is the substanceof the Creed which we repeat, honestly and heartily,I hope, from Sunday to Sunday, that we believe in

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