For this covenant-relationship, which the name “Elohim” expresses, is first a relationship in God. He is One, but in Him also, as His name declares, there is plurality; and in this plurality He has certain relationships, both in and with Himself, which, because He is God, can never be dissolved or broken. Thus, as Parkhurst says, this name contains the mystery of the Trinity. For the perfect revelation of this great mystery man had indeed to wait until it was declared by the Only-begotten of the Father, and even then only after His resurrection from the dead, to those whom He had called to be His disciples. But from the beginning the name “Elohim” contained and shadowed it forth, and the visions and words of the prophets gave still clearer intimations of it.
Into this mystery, however, I do not here enter, further than to say, with St. Augustine, that, if God is love, then in God there must be a Lover, a Beloved, and the Spirit of love, for there can be no love without a lover and a beloved. (Note: “Ubi amor, ibi trinitas.” See Augustine, De Trinitate, lib. viii. cap. 10; lib. ix. cap. 2; and lib. xv. cap. 3.) And if God be eternal, then there must be an eternal Lover, and an eternal Beloved, and an eternal Spirit of Love, which unites the eternal Lover to the eternal Beloved, in a bond of Love which is eternal and indissoluble. The relationship in God, in and with Himself, is one in which there can be no breach. From the beginning God is “Elohim,” in covenant-union with Himself for evermore.