There are those who Think that the Christian Religion is what we Should Smile at Rather than Hold Fast, for this Reason, That, in It, not what May be Seen, is Shown, but Men are Commanded Faith of Things which are not Seen. We Therefore, that we May Refute These, who Seem to Themselves through Prudence to be Unwilling to Believe what they Cannot See, Although we are not Able to Show unto Human Sight those Divine Things which we Believe, yet do Show unto Human Minds that Even those Things which are not Seen are to be Believed. And First they are to be Admonished, (Whom Folly Hath So Made Subject to their Carnal Eyes, as That, Whatsoever they See not through Them, they Think not that they are to Believe,) How Many Things they not Only Believe but Also Know, which Cannot be Seen by Such Eyes. Which Things Being Without Number in Our Mind Itself, (The Nature of which Mind is Incapable of Being Seen,) not to Mention Others, the Very Faith Whereby we Believe, or the Thought Whereby we Know that we Either Believe any Thing, or Believe Not, Being as it is Altogether Alien from the Sight of those Eyes; what So Naked, So Clear, what So Certain is There to the Inner Eyes of Our Minds? How Then are we not to Believe what we See not with the Eyes of the Body, Whereas, Either that we Believe, or that we Believe Not, in a Case Where we Cannot Apply the Eyes of the Body, we Without any Doubt See? C2. But, Say They, those Things which are in the Mind, in that we Can by the Mind Itself Discern Them, we have no Need to Know through the Eyes of the Body; but those Things, which You Say unto us that we Should Believe, You Neither Point to Without, that through the Eyes of the Body we May Know Them; nor are they Within, in Our Own Mind, that by Exercising Thought we May See Them. And These Things they So Say, as Though any one Would be Bidden to Believe, if That, which is Believed, He could Already See Set Before Him. Therefore Certainly Ought we to Believe Certain Temporal Things Also, which we See Not, that we May Merit to See Eternal Things Also, which we Believe. But, Whosoever Thou Art who Wilt not Believe Save what Thou Seest, Lo, Bodies that are Present Thou Seest with the Eyes of the Body, Wills and Thoughts of Thine Own that are Present, Because they are in Thine Own Mind, Thou Seest by the Mind Itself; Tell Me, I Pray Thee, Thy Friend's Will Towards Thee by what Eyes Seest Thou? for no Will Can be Seen by the Eyes of the Body. What? See You in Your Own Mind this Also which is Going on in the Mind of Another? but if You See it Not, How do You Repay in Turn the Good Will of Your Friend, if what You Cannot See, You Believe Not? Will You Haply Say that You See the Will of Another through his Works? Therefore You Will See Acts, and Hear Words, but Concerning Your Friend's Will, that which Cannot be Seen and Heard You Will Believe. For that Will is not Color or Figure, So as to be Thrown Upon the Eyes; or Sound or Strain, So as to Glide into the Ears; nor Indeed is it Your Own, So as to be Perceived by the Motion of Your Own Heart. It Remains Therefore That, Being Neither Seen, nor Heard, nor Beheld Within Thyself, it be Believed, that Thy Life be not Left Deserted Without any Friendship, or Affection Bestowed Upon Thee be not Repaid by Thee in Return. Where Then is that which Thou Saidest, that Thou Oughtest not to Believe, Save what Thou Sawest Either Outwardly in the Body, or Inwardly in the Heart? Lo, Out of Thine Own Heart, Thou Believest an Heart not Thine Own; and Lendest Thy Faith, Where Thou Dost not Direct the Glance of Thy Body or of Thy Mind. Thy Friend's Face Thou Discernest by Thy Own Body, Thy Own Faith Thou Discernest by Thine Own Mind; but Thy Friend's Faith is not Loved by Thee, Unless There be in Thee in Return that Faith, Whereby Thou Mayest Believe that which in Him Thou Seest Not. Although a Man May Also Deceive by Feigning Good Will, and Hiding Malice: Or, if He have no Thought to do Harm, yet by Expecting Some Benefit from Thee, Feigns, Because He Has Not, Love. Mereamur
1. There are those who think that the Christian religion is what we should smile at rather than hold fast, for this reason, that, in it, not what may be seen, is shown, but men are commanded faith of things which are not seen. We therefore, that we may refute these, who seem to themselves through prudence to be unwilling to believe what they cannot see, although we are not able to show unto human sight those divine things which we believe, yet do show unto human minds that even those things which are not seen are to be believed. And first they are to be admonished, (whom folly hath so made subject to their carnal eyes, as that, whatsoever they see not through them, they think not that they are to believe,) how many things they not only believe but also know, which cannot be seen by such eyes. Which things being without number in our mind itself, (the nature of which mind is incapable of being seen,) not to mention others, the very faith whereby we believe, or the thought whereby we know that we either believe any thing, or believe not, being as it is altogether alien from the sight of those eyes; what so naked, so clear, what so certain is there to the inner eyes of our minds? How then are we not to believe what we see not with the eyes of the body, whereas, either that we believe, or that we believe not, in a case where we cannot apply the eyes of the body, we without any doubt see? c2. But, say they, those things which are in the mind, in that we can by the mind itself discern them, we have no need to know through the eyes of the body; but those things, which you say unto us that we should believe, you neither point to without, that through the eyes of the body we may know them; nor are they within, in our own mind, that by exercising thought we may see them. And these things they so say, as though any one would be bidden to believe, if that, which is believed, he could already see set before him. Therefore certainly ought we to believe certain temporal things also, which we see not, that we may merit to see eternal things also, which we believe. But, whosoever thou art who wilt not believe save what thou seest, lo, bodies that are present thou seest with the eyes of the body, wills and thoughts of thine own that are present, because they are in thine own mind, thou seest by the mind itself; tell me, I pray thee, thy friend's will towards thee by what eyes seest thou? For no will can be seen by the eyes of the body. What? see you in your own mind this also which is going on in the mind of another? But if you see it not, how do you repay in turn the good will of your friend, if what you cannot see, you believe not? Will you haply say that you see the will of another through his works? Therefore you will see acts, and hear words, but concerning your friend's will, that which cannot be seen and heard you will believe. For that will is not color or figure, so as to be thrown upon the eyes; or sound or strain, so as to glide into the ears; nor indeed is it your own, so as to be perceived by the motion of your own heart. It remains therefore that, being neither seen, nor heard, nor beheld within thyself, it be believed, that thy life be not left deserted without any friendship, or affection bestowed upon thee be not repaid by thee in return. Where then is that which thou saidest, that thou oughtest not to believe, save what thou sawest either outwardly in the body, or inwardly in the heart? Lo, out of thine own heart, thou believest an heart not thine own; and lendest thy faith, where thou dost not direct the glance of thy body or of thy mind. Thy friend's face thou discernest by thy own body, thy own faith thou discernest by thine own mind; but thy friend's faith is not loved by thee, unless there be in thee in return that faith, whereby thou mayest believe that which in him thou seest not. Although a man may also deceive by feigning good will, and hiding malice: or, if he have no thought to do harm, yet by expecting some benefit from thee, feigns, because he has not, love.