John Donne, Dean of St. Paul's, London





St. Paul's. Christmas Day [1629] (Part 2)

WHAT EYE CAN FIXE it self upon East and West at once? And he must see more than East and West, that sees God, for God spreads infinitely beyond both: God alone is all; not onely all that is, but all that is not, all that might be, if he would have it be. God is too large, too immense, and then man is too narrow, too little to be considered, for, who can fixe his eye upon an Atome? and he must see a lesse thing than an Atome, that sees man, for man is nothing. First, for the incomprehensiblenesse of God, the understanding of man, hath a limited, a determined latitude; it is an intelligence able to move that Spheare which it is fixed to, but could not move a greater: I can comprehend naturam naturatam, created nature, but for that natura naturans, God himselfe, the understanding of man cannot comprehend. I can see the Sun in a looking-glasse, but the nature, and the whole working of the Sun I cannot see in that glasse. I can see God in the creature, but the nature, the essence, the secret purposes of God, I cannot see there. There is defatigatio in intellectualibus, sayes the saddest and soundest of the Hebrew Rabbins, the soule may be tired, as well as the body, and the understanding dazeled, as well as the eye.

[LXXX. Sermons (7), 1640]

Fr. Lance Mc Adam

The Study has been prepared by Father Lance McAdam

who entered into rest July 14, 2003

May his soul, and the souls of all the departed rest in peace.

And light perpetual shine upon him.

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