« Prev Chapter XXVIII. The World is the Great Book of… Next »

CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE WORLD IS THE GREAT BOOK OF GOD.

IF we carefully and wisely reflect upon creatures, they will wonderfully fill our minds with admiration, and greatly inflame us with love of the Supreme Creator. For the whole universe is, as it were, a book written by the finger of God, in which each creature forms a letter. But as one who has not learnt to read, when he looks into an open book, sees indeed the characters of the letters, but understands not their significance and force; in like manner, he who perceives not the things of God, beholds the external aspect of creatures, but comprehends not their interior meaning. “The senseless man shall not 74know; nor will the fool understand these things” (Ps. xci. 7).

But the spiritual man, whose mental eyes are open, when he contemplates the external works of God, inwardly perceives how wonderful is the Maker of them; and from the fairness of those things which he is contemplating, he parses on to that Divine Beauty, which is fairer than all other beauty, and from whence all beauty springs. To him who is occupied with this joyful contemplation, all things are miraculous; so that in amazement he is forced to exclaim with the Prophet, “How great are Thy works, O Lord! Thou hast made all things in wisdom ” (Ps. ciii. 24); “Thou hast given me, O Lord, a delight in Thy doings; and in the works of Thy hands I shall rejoice ” (Ps. xci. 5).

It certainly ought not to appear to us less astonishing that the juice of the vine should be every year changed into wine (by the disposition of God), than that formerly in Cana of Galilee, water should, also at His command, have been changed into wine (St. John ii. 7, 8); and it is a greater work to create daily many things which were not, than to restore life to those which were dead. There is no creature so minute or so vile as not to show forth these three invisible attributes of God—His power, wisdom, and goodness. Therefore, God is known by those things which He has made, as St. Paul asserts, saying, “The invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made ” (Rom. i. 20).

75

How worthy is it of admiration that God should have created out of nothing the heavens, and the earth, and all that they contain; and that He is able to create more, since He is an infinite ocean of substance! He made all things (sin alone He did not make; and, indeed, sin ought not to be called a created substance), He also preserves all things. For, if He did not by His power preserve what He has created, all things would instantly return to nothingness; because, in themselves, they are nothing, and depend entirely on God, by whom they were made. His care extends over all things: He “reacheth from end to end mightily,” and from the Angel to the minutest worm “ordereth all things secretly” (Wisdom viii. 1); so that not even a leaf can fall from a tree without His Providence.

« Prev Chapter XXVIII. The World is the Great Book of… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |