Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trinity: "No man hath ascended...but he that came down"

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us Thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech Thee that Thou wouldst keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen. [Thomas Cranmer]
THERE was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [John III]
Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son,
Glory be to God the Spirit,
Great Jehovah, Three in One!
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
While eternal ages run!

Glory be to Him who loved us,
Washed us from each spot and stain!
Glory be to Him who bought us,
Made us kings with Him to reign!
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
To the Lamb that once was slain!

Glory to the king of angels,
Glory to the Church's king,
Glory to the king of nations!
Heaven and earth, your praises bring;
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
To the King of glory bring!

"Glory, blessing, praise eternal!"
Thus the choir of angels sings;
"Honor, riches, power, dominion!"
Thus its praise creation brings;
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
Glory to the King of kings!

[Horatius Bonar, 1866]