Menno Simons on ... the trinity of God

We believe and confess with the Holy Scriptures, that there is an only, eternal and true God, who is a Spirit. One God, who created heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is therein. Such a God, whom heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot comprehend. Whose throne is heaven and earth his footstool; who measures "the waters in the hollow of his hand;" who spanneth the heavens; who comprehendeth the dust of the earth in a measure, and weigheth the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance; who is as high as heaven, deeper than hell, lower than earth and broader than the sea; "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see;" who is an Almighty, powerful and an over-ruling King, in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; whose strength, hand and power none can withstand. A "God of Gods, and a Lord of Lords;" there is none like unto him, but he is a mighty, holy, terrible, praiseworthy, wonderful, and consuming fire; whose kingdom, power, dominion, majesty and glory is eternal, and shall endure forever, and besides this only, eternal, living, Almighty over-ruling God and Lord we know no other; and since he is a Spirit so great, terrible, and invisible, he is also inexpressible, incomprehensible and indescribable, as may be deduced and understood from the following Scriptures, Deut. 4:35; 6:4; 7:6; 10:17; 32:39; Jn. 4:24; 1:18; Gen. 1:1; Ps. 33:6; Col. 1:16; Isa. 43:11; 44:6; 48:13; 40:12; Job 11:8; 1 Tim. 6:16; Eccl. 1:7; Matt. 11:27; Rev. 17:14; 19:16; Heb. 12:29; 1:8, 10.

This only, eternal, Omnipotent, ineffable, invisible, inexpressible and indescribable God, we believe and confess with the Scriptures, to be the eternal, incomprehensible Father, with his eternal, incomprehensible Son, and with his eternal, incomprehensible Holy Spirit. The Father, we believe and confess to be a true Father, the Son, a true Son, and the Holy Spirit, a true Holy Spirit; not carnal and comprehensible, but spiritual and incomprehensible, for Christ says "God is a Spirit." [p. 183]

John says, "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one." Read also Matt. 28:18; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:8; John 14:16; 15:26; 1 Cor. 12:11. And although they are three, yet in Godliness, will, power and operation they are one, and can no more be separated from each other than the sun, brightness and warmth; for the one cannot exist without the other. [p. 187]

Brethren, understand all this in a divine and spiritual sense, and not in a human or carnal manner! Then you will be satisfied with the plain, clear and simple testimony of the prophets, evangelists and apostles, concerning this deep mystery. Let every one see to it with fear and trembling, lest he put his hand in the consuming fire.

Cordially beloved brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus! mark well the following; Since the eternal God is such a great and terrible God, as you have read; since Christ was thus born of the Father as said, and as the attributes of God so richly abound in Christ; and, also, as the prophets, evangelists and apostles so strongly declare, preach and teach him as God; and as the Scriptures so abundantly teach and testify of the Holy Spirit and confess that the eternal Father, with his eternal Son and Holy Spirit, in their divine state, power, glory and sovereignty are ineffable, inexpressible and incomprehensible, as may be plainly understood from the cited Scriptures (for it is all Spirit and God, and therefore beyond human understanding); therefore it is that I pray, admonish and desire all my beloved brethren and fellows in Christ Jesus, with all that men can pray, not to allow and consent to flatterings, innovations nor human explanations, be it by whom it may, concerning this incomprehensible majesty. [pp. 187-188]

Brethren, I, for myself confess that I would rather die than to believe, and teach unto my brethren, a single word or letter concerning the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (behold, before God I lie not), differing from the express, testifying word of God which so clearly points out and teaches through the prophets, evangelists and apostles. [p. 188]

All excerpts are from The complete works of Menno Simon (Elkhart, Ind., 1871).

Next »