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The Secret of the Universe, by Nathan R. Wood, [1932], at

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The explanation of the things of the universe—Which explains which?—The reason of the universe—The Divine Method of Work—The Deeper Mysteries—The Riddle of the Universe and the Secret of the Universe.

The Trinity, imaged in the universal law of Triunity, explains the deep things of the universe. It shows why space is what it is. It shows why matter is what it is. It shows why time is what it is. It explains why human existence is exactly what it is. The Trinity, imaged in the universal triunity, is the basis of unity in all things. It shows that unity lies, not in a common substance, which is impossible, but in a common structure and pattern. It underlies the relations of space, matter and time. It shows space as potential motion, motion as embodied space, time as successive motion. It shows what is the vast and true relativity among them. It shows the infinite circuit of the universe, out from the mind and power of God, through space, motion and time, back into the mind and eternity of God. It shows the process of existence, the same in all things, and shows that there is no conflict between "being" and "becoming," because "being" is, within itself, "becoming." It shows the law of progress and of change and fixity in the universe, and the method of human progress. It shows the procedure and pattern of moral action, and the basis of the good. It shows the forms of reality, or the true, and why they are what they are, and why the process of reason is what it is. It shows the nature and reason of the beautiful. Wherever there is a universal thing, there,

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apparently, is triunity, and always with the same relations and characteristics. Triunity in the likeness of the Three in One is the structure, the pattern, the unity, the process, the progress, the reality, of the entire universe. The Triune being of God is the mighty solution of the riddles of the Universe.

This is only as it should be. The being of God ought to be the basis of the basic things of the universe. It ought to explain the problems of the universe. It ought to make clear many things which the mind by itself cannot settle. But until that being of God is seen in its full nature, as Jesus and the Bible reveal it, as Triune, the vision of it does not explain, it has never explained, these universal problems and mysteries. What we have done is an obvious thing. We have realized that when the being of God is recognized in its marvelous Triunity it explains all of these universal things at once and self-evidently. In so recognizing that we have here the solution of supreme problems we need not claim supreme minds. Anyone may gaze on the stars or see the sunrise. The true attitude is humility. What we need is not supreme minds, but a supreme Fact. There is no intellectual conceit in realizing that here is the key to the riddles of the universe. Why should not the being of God be such a key? It is as it should be. The central fact of the universe, the being of the Creator, the Three in One, explains the great things and illumines the otherwise difficult mysteries of the universe.

Which Explains Which?

The Divine Triunity explains these universal things. But these things do not explain that Triunity. The

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structure of the universe, the nature of space, of matter, of time, of human life, attest the Trinity. They reflect the Trinity. They demand the Trinity. But while they do all these things, they do not explain the Trinity. The Trinity explains them.

Someone will try to turn this whole revelation around, and argue that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the effort of some long-ago thinker to put this universal triunity into theistic form. It will be so argued by some one who does not personally know the Triunity of God.

The answer to such an effort is, as we have said before, overwhelming.

1. There is no sign of such an origin in the Biblical presentation of the Trinity.

2. No man or men could build out of this universal triunity such a matter-of-fact, and natural, and almost casual, and wholly untheoretical presentation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. There is no reason to think that any man in New Testament days knew or could know this scientific, universal triunity.

4. Above all, such an explanation does not explain this universal triunity itself, in space, in matter, in time, in all three together, in human existence, in human self-realization, in human self-direction, in the laws of reality, in the process of the universe. This universal triunity has a cause, if this is an orderly universe. If this is a theistic universe, that cause must be in God. Such triunity in God is not the result of the universal triunity. It is the cause.

For that is what the universe demands as its explanation.

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[paragraph continues] It demands such a Triunity in God, as the cause of the universal triunity.

And that is what the New Testament Triunity demands as its explanation. It can have come only from the Triunity which the whole universe reveals in God.

The universal triunities, therefore, in space, matter and time, and in other universal things, do not cause and do not explain the Divine Triunity.

But the Divine Triunity alone could cause and alone explains these universal triunities.

The Reason of the Universe

Is the universe as it is because of some special plan which requires that the universe should be so?

Or is the universe as it is from some inherent necessity?

These great questions disappear in the light of an answer deeper and greater than either. It is not simply a special arbitrary plan, chosen out of endless possibilities. Nor is it on the other hand simply a necessity in the nature of the universe itself. It lies far deeper. The universe is as it is because it naturally and inevitably reflects the being of its Maker and Worker. That means indeed a plan of the universe, but not an arbitrary plan. It means a necessity, but a necessity far deeper than anything in the nature of the universe itself. The universe inevitably reflects the being of its Maker and Worker. He creates it upon lines of His own being. He perpetually creates it and works in it in harmony with His own being. He expresses His own being in it. He shines through its processes. It is the visible vesture conformed to His own mighty being.

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The Divine Method of Work

All these triunities are the workings of an immanent God. He is not merely the Creator. He works now in His universe. These things are His method of working. They are not static. They are not fixed and hard. They are His living method of working.

The relation between energy, motion and phenomena, or between future, present and past, or between space, matter and time, or between nature, person and personality, is an active relation. It is not merely an architectural relation between the three in each of these triunities. It is an active relation. These things are not buildings. They are processes. It is a working relation. It is the immanent God, working through these methods. He works from energy through motion and phenomena. He works from future through present and past. He works from space through motion or matter and time. He works from nature through person and personality. They are His constant and active method. He works through these triunities in His universe. They are not merely a passive reflection of Him in a fixed and universal mirror. Your mirror reflects you. But far better and more truly your ways of work reflect you. These triunities reflect God not only as the passive mirror of creation reflecting the Creator. They reflect Him as your ways of work reflect you. They are the triune methods of the Triune God working in His universe. As Creator He is reflected in them. As the Worker in His universe He shines through them.

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The Deeper Mysteries and the Universe

So all-explaining is the light of the Divine Triunity of God in His universe, that even the deeper mysteries of that Triunity cast a revealing light upon the mysteries of the universe.

What holds the universe together, so that it works as one immeasurable whole?

What holds the stars in their order and harmony? What keeps them in their orbits?

What holds the atoms in order? What holds the electrons in their orbits around the proton in the infinitesimal solar system which we call the atom?

The only answer which has ever been given at all is the answer of the Bible, that "in him,"—the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son, the Creator,—"all things hold together," or "consist."

What holds the mind together, in the yet more wonderful inner universe? What holds intelligence, and feeling, and willing, and memory, and imagination, together in order and harmony in the mind? The only answer which has ever been given, or ever attempted, is the answer of the New Testament, that "in him," the Son, "all things hold together."

It means that the Creator, the Son, holds atoms, stars, forces of nature, forces of the mind, "things visible and things invisible," the whole vast universe, together in order and harmony, in life and unity.

If this mighty answer is true,—and certain it is that no other answer has ever been given, then the universe centres in the Son. The same New Testament which brings to us that Divine Triunity of Father, Son

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and Holy Spirit which the universe requires depicts also the universe as centering in the Second Person of that Triunity.

But if the universe centres in the Second Person of the Trinity, should not the reflection of the Divine Triunity in the universe be primarily a reflection of the Son? Would not that be strange?

Yes, but so it is. The image in each of those great triunities which make up the universe is above all an image of the Son! The emphasis is upon Him in all of these universal reflections of triunity. Nature and Personality centre in the Person. They are both invisible. It is the Person which we see and know. Future and Past centre in the Present. It is the Present which alone we can touch and know. Energy and Phenomena centre in Motion. Space, Matter or Motion and Time centre in Matter or Motion. Space and Time we know only through Motion or Matter. The second factor is the most vivid in each triunity. The second factor is not greater than the other two, but it is the most vivid, and so the first and third elements centre in it. It is motion, in energy, motion and phenomena,—it is the present, in future, present and past,—it is matter or motion, in space, motion and time, it is person, in nature, person and personality,—which is central and most vivid. And now we see the reason. It is not because the Son is greater than the Father or the Spirit. It is because the universe in its vast triunity reflects most vividly the Second Person in the Three in One, the Son, the Creator, "in whom all things consist."


A yet deeper mystery the Bible declares in regard to the Divine Triunity. And yet it fits the facts of the universe

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and casts light upon these mysteries of the universe which we know only too well. The Bible declares, in a mysterious passage, that "at the end" "the Son shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father." This is to be when He, the Son, "shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power." It alludes to the power of every evil authority or force, and to the power of death. "For he," the Son, "must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death." This evidently means all that force of death and destruction, both in human life and in the universe at large, which negatives God's whole creative purpose and work. "And when all things have been subjected unto him," the Son, "then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all." A profound mystery, but a profound illumination! We see it going on now. Sin, disorder and destruction permeate the universe now. The Son, the Creator, Himself enters the life of the universe in a peculiar and personal way. He does it by entering, as a Person, the life of the human race. He becomes man. He overcomes sin. He does this in His own life for thirty-three years. He does it for mankind, the Bible declares, by His Personal death and resurrection. Then He works it out, in men and in the universe. He works in men, the key to the whole vast situation, by His Spirit. At last, "at the end," He brings all things into subjection. A new-created race emerges, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. A new universe, no longer groaning and travailing in pain. New heavens and a new earth. "All things new." Sin and evil and destruction cast out from it all. Then at last all things are in harmony with God. The Nature of God at last

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holds absolute sway in the universe. The redeeming, reorganizing, recreating work of the Son is done. No longer must one of the Three in One make it His work to reclaim the universe from sin and disaster. God, the Three in One, the One in Three, is at last all in all in His universe.


But now, as we can see everywhere in the universe, as we have been seeing in one realm of the universe after another, it is the Son in the Divine Triunity who is above all reflected. It is He who is reelected in the vast interwoven fabric of Motion. It is He who is mirrored in the living Present. It is He who is imaged in Persons. And it is through Jesus, the Son, that we came to know that whole Divine Triunity of which He is the Second Person. He was our point of contact with the Three in One. It was His claims, backed up by His character and personality, that brought the Divine Triunity to us. To know Jesus is to know the Triune God. Anyone who knows the Triune God will agree to that. And to know Jesus is to know the Secret of the triune universe. He is the key to the great mysteries and realities of God, and the great mysteries of the universe, of space, of matter, of time, of the relations of space, matter and time, of human existence, of the process of all existence, of the law of all progress, of the forms of reason, of "being" and "becoming," of the unity of all things, and of countless mysteries yet to be revealed. He is the key, "in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden."

The Riddle of the Universe and Its Almighty Answer

The Riddle of the Universe brings its own universal Answer. The Riddle leads to Reality.

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"Why are all things what they are?" becomes "Why are space, and matter, and time, and space-matter-and-time, and human existence, and progress, and moral action, and reality, and beauty, all triune, in exactly the same sort of way?"

And by its universal corroboration and its universal demand the Riddle leads directly to its own Answer in the Triune God. That is as it should be. What else but the being of God could explain His universe? He is the Cause of all its triune structure. He is the Worker in all its triune methods. He is the Solution of all its triune mysteries.

Who knows what wonders we may yet discover, beyond all the wonders of modern science, in the natural world and the inner world, when we have learned to see and interpret the universe in the light of its Triune God?

How many decisive formulæ, to unlock new resources of power, lie undiscovered in the triune Formula of the universe?

How many far-reaching principles may radiate from the triune Principle of the universe?

How many processes, of value to men, may reasonably be produced from the Process of the universe?

And surely the more we penetrate into the secrets of personal being, in our intense modern study of human life, the more we must see as their Secret the Triune Being who upholds the universe and in whose likeness and reflection man is what he is.

We may escape the danger, which now threatens us, that our immeasurably growing knowledge of the physical universe may overwhelm us,—if only we will learn to see the natural world in the light of its Triune God.

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We may escape, too, the greater danger of the present day, in our over-eager study of our own being, our actions and reactions, our behaviour, our thinking, our reason, and everything else about us, that we shall analyze ourselves into conceit, inbreeding and ineffectiveness, and the deification of man,—if only we will see human existence always in the light of its Triune God.

Is it too much to say, that all things lie open to the thinker who knows the Triune God, and who dares to apply the supreme Fact of the universe to the other facts of the universe? And what greater things are open to him who applies it to his own life? There lies indeed the way of vision and power, for life is greater than thought, and to know truly the Triune God is life indeed.