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Chapter IV.

The Unity of God is necessarily implied in the order of Nature, in the Faith, and in Baptism. The gifts of the Magi declare (1) the Unity of the Godhead; (2) Christ’s Godhead and Manhood. The truth of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is shown in the Angel walking in the midst of the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

31. All nature testifies to the Unity of God, inasmuch as the universe is one. The Faith declares that there is one God, seeing that there is one belief in both the Old and the New Testament. That there is one Spirit, all holy,17281728    The Spirit here spoken of is, according to Hurter’s interpretation, not the Third Person of the Trinity, but the Triune God, Who is a Spirit (John iv. 24; 2 Cor. iii. 17). grace witnesseth, because there is one Baptism, in the Name of the Trinity. The prophets proclaim, the apostles hear, the voice of one God. In one God did the Magi believe, and they brought, in adoration, gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Christ’s cradle, confessing, by the gift of gold, His Royalty, and with the incense worshipping Him as God. For gold is the sign of kingdom, incense of God, myrrh of burial.17291729    Hymns A. and M. 76, stanza 4.

20632. What, then, was the meaning of the mystic offerings in the lowly cattle-stalls, save that we should discern in Christ the difference between the Godhead and the flesh? He is seen as man,17301730    Phil. ii. 7. He is adored as Lord. He lies in swaddling-clothes, but shines amid the stars; the cradle shows His birth, the stars His dominion;17311731    Rev. i. 16; xxii. 16: S. Matt. ii. Cf. Num. xxiv. 17. it is the flesh that is wrapped in clothes, the Godhead that receives the ministry of angels. Thus the dignity of His natural majesty is not lost, and His true assumption of the flesh is proved.

33. This is our Faith. Thus did God will that He should be known by all, thus believed the three children,17321732    Dan. iv. 17. and felt not the fire into the midst whereof they were cast, which destroyed and burnt up unbelievers,17331733    Dan. iv. 22. whilst it fell harmless as dew upon the faithful,17341734    Hosea xiv. 5. for whom the flames kindled by others became cold, seeing that the torment had justly lost its power in conflict with faith. For with them there was One in the form of an angel,17351735    Dan. iv. 28. comforting them,17361736    S. Luke xxii. 43. to the end that in the number of the Trinity one Supreme Power might be praised. God was praised, the Son of God was seen in God’s angel, holy and spiritual grace spake in the children.17371737    Dan. iv. 25. In the number of the three children was shadowed forth the number of Persons in the Trinity, whilst in the Angel, who was one, was shown the Unity of power or nature. In another way, too, St. Ambrose points out, was the Trinity typified in that event, inasmuch as God was praised, the Angel of God was present, and the Spirit, or the Grace of God spake in the children.—H.


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