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p. 4


Of himself no one can know Him; His nature can only be known through Himself. Reason sought His truth,--it ran not well; impotence hastened on His road, and knew Him. His mercy said, Know me; otherwise who, by reason and sense, could know Him? How is it possible by the guidance of the senses? How can a nut rest firmly on the summit of a dome? Reason will guide thee, but only to the door; His grace must carry thee to Himself. Thou canst not journey there by reason's guidance; perverse like others, commit not thou this folly. His grace leads us on the road; His works are guide and witness to Him. O thou, who art incompetent to know thine own nature, how wilt thou ever know God? Since thou art incapable of knowing thyself, how wilt thou become a knower of the Omnipotent? Since thou art unacquainted with the first steps towards a knowledge of Him, how thinkest thou to conceive of Him as He is?

In describing Him in argument, speech is a comparison, and silence a dereliction of duty. Reason's highest attainment on His road is amazement; the people's riches is their zeal for Him.

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Imagination falls short of His attributes; understanding vainly boasts her powers; the prophets are confounded at these sayings, the saints stupefied at these attributes. He is the desired and lord of reason and soul, the goal of disciple and devotee. Reason is as a guide to His existence; all other existences are under the foot of His existence. His acts are not bounded by 'inside' and 'outside'; His essence is superior to 'how' and 'why.' Intelligence has not reached the comprehension of His essence; the soul and heart of reason are dust upon this road; reason, without the collyrium of friendship with Him, has no knowledge of His divinity. Why dost thou instigate imagination to discuss Him? How shall a raw youth speak of the Eternal?

By reason and thought and sense no living thing can come to know God. When the glory of His nature manifests itself to reason, it sweeps away both reason and soul. Let reason be invested with dignity in the rank where stands the faithful Gabriel; yet before all His majesty a Gabriel becomes less than a sparrow through awe;

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reason arriving there bows down her head, the soul flying there folds her wing. The raw youth discusses the Eternal only in the light of his shallow sense and wicked soul; shall thy nature, journeying towards the majesty and glory of His essence, attain to a knowledge of Him?