Hence we May Know Why God Appeareth not in a visible Manner
Hence we may know why God appeareth not in a visible manner, is because He is invisible. Those who are angry with the Deity for not showing Himself to their bodily eyes are not displeased with the manner of revelation, but that He is such a God as He is. But though He is invisible, yet say they, He may assume a body, and make Himself visible therein. We ask them therefore what kind of body they desire, for if He should take upon Himself a visible body, that body must represent some of His perfections. What perfections then would they have that body to express? If His infinity, that body then must be infinite. Upon which the same absurdity would follow as before, for being infinite it would exclude all Being beside out of place. If His Eternity, that cannot by a body be represented. Neither is any sense able to judge of infinity or eternity. For if He should represent Himself by an infinite wall; sight being too short might apprehend itself defective, and be assured that it could not apprehend the ends of that wall; but whether it had ends, which itself was not able to discern, it could not be satisfied, Would you therefore have it to express some other of His perfections; as particularly that of His beauty? Beauty being a thing consisting of variety, that body could not be one simple being, but must be sweetly tempered of a manifold and delightful mixture of figures and colours: and be some such thing as Ezekiel saw in his vision. For uniform beauty the Sun is the most delightful, yet is not that Sun the most delightful thing that is possible. A body more beautiful than it may be made. Suppose therefore the most beautiful that is possible were created. What would follow? Being a silent and quiet object of the eye, would be no more noted than if it had not a being, The most beautiful object being always present, grows common and despised. Even as a picture is at first admired, but at length no more regarded than the bare wall. Since therefore the most beautiful thing that is possible, being always continued, would grow into contempt; how do we know, but the world is that body, which the Deity bath assumed to manifest His Beauty and by which He maketh Himself as visible, as it is possible He should?