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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Manichæan Controversy.: Chapter 20

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 20.—We are Required to Despise All Sensible Things, and to Love God Alone.

37.  Bodily delights have their source in all those things with which the bodily sense comes in contact, and which are by some called the objects of sense; and among these the noblest is light, in the common meaning of the word, because among our senses also, which the mind uses in acting through the body, there is nothing more valuable than the eyes, and so in the Holy Scriptures all the objects of sense are spoken of as visible things.  Thus in the New Testament we are warned against the love of these things in the following words:  "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 102   This shows how far from being Christians those are who hold that the sun and moon are to be not only loved but worshipped.  For what is seen if the sun and moon are not?  But we are forbidden to regard things which are seen.  The man, therefore, who wishes to offer that incorrupt love to God must not love these things too.  This subject I will inquire into more particularly elsewhere.  Here my plan is to write not of faith, but of the life by which we become worthy of knowing what we believe.  God then alone is to be loved; and all this world, that is, all sensible things, are to be despised,—while, however, they are to be used as this life requires.


Footnotes

52:102

2 Cor. iv. 18.


Next: Chapter 21

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