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Chapter XXXIV.

And we do not ask the question, “How shall we go to God?” as though we thought that God existed in some place.  God is of too excellent a nature for any place:  He holds all things in His power, and is Himself not confined by anything whatever.  The precept, therefore, “Thou shalt walk after the Lord thy God,”47564756    Deut. xiii. 4. does not command a bodily approach to God; neither does the prophet refer to physical nearness to God, when he says in his prayer, “My soul followeth hard after Thee.”47574757    Ps. lxiii. 8.  Celsus therefore misrepresents us, when he says that we expect to see God with our bodily eyes, to hear Him with our ears, and to touch Him sensibly with our hands.  We know that the holy Scriptures make mention of eyes, of ears, and of hands, which have nothing but the name in common with the bodily organs; and what is more wonderful, they speak of a diviner sense, which is very different from the senses as commonly spoken of.  For when the prophet says, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law,”47584758    Ps. cxix. 18. or, “the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes,”47594759    Ps. xix. 8. or, “Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,”47604760    Ps. xiii. 3. no one is so foolish as to suppose that the eyes of the body behold the wonders of the divine law, or that the law of the Lord gives light to the bodily eyes, or that the sleep of death falls on the eyes of the body.  When our Saviour says, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,”47614761    Matt. xiii. 9. any one will understand that the ears spoken of are of a diviner kind.  When it is said that the word of the Lord was “in the hand” of Jeremiah or of some other prophet; or when the expression is used, “the law by the hand of Moses,” or, “I sought the Lord with my hands, and was not deceived,”47624762    Ps. lxxvii. 2, according to the LXX.—no one is so foolish as not to see that the word “hands” is taken figuratively, as when John says, “Our hands have handled the Word of life.”47634763    1 John i. 1.  And if you wish further to learn from the sacred writings that there is a diviner sense than the senses of the body, you have only to hear what Solomon says, “Thou shalt find a divine sense.”47644764    Prov. ii. 5, Eng. Vers. and LXX., “Thou shalt find the knowledge of God.”


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