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Chapter XXVI.—Sixth Suggestion.

“But it is said:  We do better, who give thanks both to Himself, and to all with Him.  In this you do not understand that there is the ruin of your salvation.  For it is as if a sick man should call in for his cure at once a physician and poisoners; since these could indeed injure him, but not cure him; and the true physician would refuse to mix his remedies with their poisons, lest either the man’s destruction should be ascribed to the good, or his recovery, to the injurious.  But you say:  Is God then indignant or envious, if, when He benefits us, our thanks be rendered to others?  Even if He be not indignant, at all events He does not wish to be the author of error, that by means of His work credit should be given to a vain idol.  And what is so impious, so ungrateful, as to obtain a benefit from God, and to render thanks to blocks of wood and stone?  Wherefore arise, and understand your salvation.  For God is in need of no one, nor does He require anything, nor is He hurt by anything; but we are either helped or hurt, in that we are grateful or ungrateful.  For what does God gain from our praises, or what does He lose by our blasphemies?  Only this we must remember, that God brings into proximity and friendship with Himself the soul that renders thanks to Him.  But the wicked demon possesses the ungrateful soul.

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