To the Editor of Light.
sir, – Your contributor, “1st M.B. Lond.,” who writes under the above heading in your issue of the 25th ult., must penetrate very much deeper into the Christian mysteries before he can be accepted as a competent interpreter thereof. His remarks at the outset on the Athanasian Creed and its framers shew that the subject is wholly new to him; and his explanations of the Trinity, the Christ, and the method of inspiration, while excellent as regards tone and intention, shew that as a student of Divine things he has as yet not mastered their alphabet. Had he studied the mere history of the Athanasian Creed, he would have found that so far from the framers of that famous symbol being persons devoid of culture and logic, easily satisfied, and intellectually the inferiors of the present generation, it was the very profundity of their metaphysical science which has caused them and their ideas to be misunderstood and unappreciated by the present materialistic and superficial age.
I do not propose to inflict upon you a lengthy disquisition on the Trinity or any of the other subjects which, equally with it, your contributor treats at once so inadequately and so confidently. I wish but to shew that the dogmas concerned, when subjected to examination by minds trained to the exercise of abstract thought and acquainted with the terminology and method of ancient mysticism, are neither incomprehensible nor illogical, but constitute symbolical expressions for truths which are necessary, self-evident, and incapable of being conceived of as otherwise, concerning the nature, and mode of operation under manifestation of Original Being, and this, whether as subsisting in the “Heavens” or world of pure unmanifested Spirit, or in the macrocosm of the universe and the microcosm man.
A single and familiar instance will suffice to justify this allegation so far as concerns the doctrine ordinarily regarded as the climax of absurdity – the doctrine of the Trinity. For the
instance will shew that it is impossible to conceive of anything whatever as having being which does not constitute in some mode a trinity consisting of elements which correspond respectively to the Three Persons of theological dogma.
These elements, in the world merely physical, are Force, Substance, and Phenomenon, the sensible resultant of these. Thus, for example, a stone consists, first, of force; next, of substance – wherein its force resides and operates; and, thirdly, of their joint -product, the material object palpable to the senses. Each of these is stone, and yet they are not three stones but one stone. And as the last is that by which the two first are manifested, it constitutes their expression or “word.” And as force is the masculine and substance the feminine principle of things, the former, or first person, may be fitly called the father; and the latter, or second person, the mother; and their joint issue, or third person, the son.
This is not, however, the Trinity of the Churches, though it involves that conception. For in the ecclesiastical Trinity the substance, or “mother,” in the Godhead, is combined with and merged in the “father,” the two making one person; the offspring – expression or “word” – of this dual unity, the “son being the second person; while the potency which proceeds from the former through the latter (the son being the manifestor of the father-mother, and more properly called the son-daughter), and denotes deity in its dynamic or active, as distinguished from its static or passive mode, is termed the Holy Ghost or Spirit, and made the third person.
Such is the key to the mystery of the Trinity.
(242:1) Light, 16th July 1887, pp. 324-325.