Scrutinize Majesty and Be Crushed by Glory: Reason and the Trinity

Yesterday was the Feast of the Trinity, for which the traditional Gospel text comes from John 3:1-15. For this post, I’ve translated a brief passage from Niels Hemmingsen’s Postil sermon on this text that, in the course of discussing the divine Persons, deals with the necessity of submitting reason to divine mystery when it comes to our high and holy Triune God.

Reason does not grasp that there are three Persons in the one divine nature–a nature not multiplied, but remaining one in number. Therefore, this mystery should be worshiped rather than scrutinized. Hence Bernard says, “To scrutinize this mystery is rashness, but to know it is eternal life.” And Solomon says, “He who scrutinizes majesty is crushed by glory.” Therefore, here let us hold our reason captive under the Word of God, and let us believe the testimonies about so great a mystery.


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