Essay / Theology

Monod’s Farewell

Adolphe Monod (1802 – 1856), delivered a sermon on the Trinity from his sickbed as he came within the month of his death. His text was Romans 8:12-17, and two most arresting paragraphs for me are these:

Holy Scripture is wise, even in its silence. You would look in vain therein for the word Trinity, to express the doctrine concerning which I have it on my heart, if God gives me strength, to speak a few words to you. Why? Because this word the Trinity would present to our minds the idea of something speculative, while the biblical doctrine, which human theology later and very appropriately called by the name of “Trinity,” is most practical and most tender, because it is the very expression of that love which is in God, whether in His relations with humanity, or whether in the inner relationship which God has with Himself.

The relation of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to man corresponds to a relationship in God between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the love which is poured out to save us is the expression of that love which has dwelt eternally in the bosom of God. Ah! the doctrine then becomes for us so touching and profound! There we find the basis of the Gospel, and those who reject it as a speculative and purely theological doctrine have therefore never understood the least thing about it; it is the strength of our hearts, it is the joy of our souls, it is the life of our life, it is the very foundation of revealed truth.

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