| Foscarini, Paolo Antonio An Epistle to Fantoni 1661, tr. Salusbury, Thomas |
Sorrow, Repentance, and the like.
What shall we say there
Without doubt such like Attributes agree with God (to
use the Schoolmens words Metaphorically, Proportionally, and by
Similitude: And touching Passions, it may be said, that God
condescendeth to represent himself after that manner: as for
instance, The Lord is angry; i.e. He revealeth himself as one that
is angry: He grieved; i.
e. He revealeth himself, as one that
is sorrowful: It repented him that he had made man; i.e. He see
med as one that repented. And indeed all these things are Com
parativè ad nos, and in respect of us.
So God is said to be in
Heaven, to move in time, to shew himself, to hide himself, to
observe and mark our steps; to seek us, to stand at the door,
to knock at the door; not that he can be contained in a bodily
place, nor that he is really moved, nor in time; nor that humane
manners or customes can agree with him, save only according to
our manner of Apprehension: This Conception of ours orderly
distinguisheth these Attributes in him one from another, when,
notwithstanding, they are one and the same with him: This Ap
prehension of ours divideth also his actions into several times,
which, neverthelesse, for the most part, are produced in one and
the same instant: And this, to conclude, alwayes apprehendeth
those things with some defect, which, notwithstanding are in
God most perfect.
For this reason doth the Sacred Scripture
express it self according to the Vulgar Opinion, whilst it ascribes
to the Earth Ends and Foundations, which yet it hath not; to
the Sea a Depth not to be fathomed; to Death (which is a Pri
vation, and consequently a Non entity) it appropriates Actions,
Motion, Passions, and other such like Accidents, of all which it is
deprived, as also Epithites and Adjuncts, which really cannot
suit with it: Is not the bitternesse of Death past?
Let death come upon them, Psal 6. He hath prepared the Instru
ments of Death, Psal.
7. 14. Thou raisest me from the gates of
84. In the midst of the shadow of Death, Psal.
Love is strong as Death, Cant.
8. 9. The First-Born of Death, Job
18. 13. Destruction and Death say, &c. Job 28. 22. And who knows
not that the whole History of the rich Glutton doth consist of
the like phrases of Vulgar Speech?
So Ecclesiasticus, Chap.
11. The godly man abideth in wisdome, as the Sun; but a
fool changeth as the Moon; and yet the Moon according to the
real truth of the matter no wayes changeth, but abides the same
for ever, as Astronomers demonstrate, one half thereof remain
ing alwayes lucid, and the other alwayes opacous.
Nor at any
time doth this state vary in it, unlesse in respect of us, and ac
cording to the opinion of the Vulgar. Hence it is cleer, that the
holy Scripture speaks according to the common form of speech u