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On the Creation of the Universe: The Assistance of Divine Wisdom in the Creation of the Universe

Putting a wrap on Bossuet’s Elevations on the Mysteries, III, 8:

Now there is only this beautiful place in Proverbs, where the uncreated wisdom speaks thus: The Lord has possessed me, generated me, from the beginning of his ways.  I am myself this beginning, being the worker idea of this great artisan and the original model of all his architecture.  He has generated me from the beginning and before he made anything.  Before these works I was, and I was consequently from all eternity, as there was only eternity before all the ages.  From all eternity I was ordered, according to the Vulgate: I was the commandment and the same order from God which ordered all.  I was founded, said the Septuagint: I was the support and the upholding of all beings, and the word by which God carries the world.  I was the primacy, the principality, the sovereignty over all things, according to the original Hebrew.  I was from the beginning and before the world was made.  The depths were not yet and I, I already had conceived them; already formed in the womb of God and always perfect.  Before the mountains were formed with their heavy mass; before the hills and ridges I was born.  He had made neither the earth nor the habitable and inhabitable places, according to the Septuagint; neither that which holds the earth in its state and that which keeps it from dissipating into powder, according to the Hebrew; according to the Vulgate, the hinges and the supports of this heavy and dry elementI was with him, not only when he formed, but also when he prepared the heavens: when he held the waters in state and formed them in a circle, with his compass, when he raised the heavens; when he steadied the source of waters to flow forever and water the earth; when he made the law to the sea and fixed it in its borders; when he steadied the earth on its foundations and held it balanced by a counterweight: I was in him and with him composing, nourishing, ruling and governing all things: rejoice in me all the days, and saying each day with God that all is good, in rejoicing with me always, rejoice with me in the universe by the facility, the variety, and the agreement of works which I have produced: magnificent in great things, industrious in the little ones, and then rich in the little and inventive in the great ones.  And my delight is to converse with the sons of men: forming man, in a way more familiar and tender as he made him appear; because man merits well this particular meditation which we will do in the following days.

So, let us admire the work of the wisdom of God assisted and cooperating with his power.  Let us praise with the Sage and summarise all his praises in saying with him: The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth, hath established the heavens by prudence.  By his wisdom the depths have broken out, and the clouds grow thick with dew. (Proverbs III:19-20)

Let us conclude: God has decorated and ordered the world by his word; it is in the decorating and in the order that the operation of his word and wisdom begins to appear, when he placed distinction and beauty in the universe.  It was only God who made the foundation as the order and decoration by his wisdom.  Because as have seen, if his wisdom alone could order and form the world, she alone could also make it capable of order and form.  We principally attribute to the word and wisdom, the order and decoration of the universe, because it is where his operation appears most distinctly and properly.  But for the rest, it is necessary to say with Saint John: In the beginning was the Word; by him all was made; and nothing was made without him.  By him heaven and earth were made with all their decoration.  All the work of God is filled with wisdom; and we ought to learn to put wisdom to good use.

The first good use of wisdom which we ought to do, it is to praise God by his works.  Thus here let us sing in deed the song of the three children, and inviting all the works of God to bless them, let us finish in ourselves and invite ourselves in saying: O children of men, bless the Lord! May Israel bless the Lord: bless him, you who are his ministers and his sacrificers; bless him, servants of the Lord: souls of the just, bless him: bless him, O you all who are holy and humble of heart: praise him and exalt him for ever and ever.


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