together begat the third; these three made all things.?? The Egyptian triad of Abydos was Osiris, Isis his wife, and Horus their Son. But these were no true persons; for not only did the Son proceed from the Father but also the Father proceeded from the Son; the Egyptian trinity was pantheistic in its meaning. See Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, 29; Rawlinson, Religions of the Ancient World, 46, 47. The Trinity of the Vedas was Dyaus, Indra and Agni. Derived from the three dimensions of space? Or from the family ? father, mother, son? Man creates God in his own image, and sees family life in the Godhead?
The Brahman Trimurti or Trinity, to the members of which are given the names Brahma, Vishnu, Siva ? source, supporter, end ? is a personification of the pantheistic All, which dwells equally in good and evil, in god and man. The three are represented in the three mystic letters of the syllable Om , or Aum, and by the image at Elephanta of the three heads and one body; see Hardwick, Christ and Other Masters, 1:276. The places of the three are interchangeable. Williams: ?In the three persons the one God is shown; Each first in place, each last, not one alone; Of Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, each may be, first, second, third, among the blessed three.? There are ten incarnations of Vishnu for men?s salvation in various times of need; and the one Spirit which temporarily invests itself with the qualities of matter is reduced to its original essence at the end of the ^on (Kalpa). This is only a grosser form of Sabellianism, or of a modal Trinity. According to Renouf it is not older than AD 1400. Buddhism in later times had its triad. Buddha or Intelligence, the first principle, associated with Dharma or Law, the principle of matter, through the combining influence of Sangha or Order, the mediating principle. See Kellogg, The Light of Asia and the Light of the World, 184, 355. It is probably from a Christian source.
The Greek trinity was composed of Zeus, Athena and Apollo. Apollo or Loxias lo>gov utters the decisions of Zeus, ?These three surpass all the other gods in moral character and in providential care over the universe. They sustain such intimate and endearing relations to each other, that they may be said to ?agree in one??; see Tyler, Theol. of Greek Poets, 170, 171; Gladstone, Studies of Homer, vol. 2, sec. 2. Yet the Greek trinity, while it gives us three persons, does not give us oneness of essence. It is a system of tri-theism. Plotinus, AD300, gives us a philosophical Trinity in his to< e[n oJ nou~v hJ yuch> .
Watts, New Apologetic, 195 ? The heathen trinities are ?residuary fragments of the lost knowledge of God, not different stages in a process of theological evolution, but evidence of a moral and spiritual
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