Section 4 - The Revelations of God
The written word of God is full of mystery; and no less so His word fulfilled in the events of the world.
These are two sealed books, and of both it can be said "the letter killeth." God is the centre of faith; all that emanates from this centre is hidden in the deepest mystery. This word and these events are, so to say, but feeble rays from a sun obscured by clouds. It is vain to expect to see with our mortal eyes the rays of this sun; even the eyes of our soul are blind to God and His works. Darkness takes the place of light, ignorance of knowledge, and one neither sees nor understands.
The sacred Scripture is the mysterious utterance of a God yet more mysterious and the events of the world are the obscure language of this same hidden and unknown God. They are mere drops from an ocean of midnight darkness, and partake of the nature of their source.
The fall of the angels and of Adam; the impiety and idolatry of men before and after the Deluge up to the time of the Patriarchs who knew, and related to their children the history of the Creation, and of the still recent preservation from the universal deluge; these are, indeed, very obscure words of holy Scripture. That, at the coming of the Messiah, only a handful of men should be preserved from idolatry in the general ruin and overthrow of faith throughout the world: that impiety should prove always dominant, always powerful, and the small numbers of the upholders of truth should be ever persecuted and maltreated, seems incredible!
Consider the treatment of Jesus Christ. Think of the plagues of the Apocalypse, yet these are words of God. They are what He has revealed! He has dictated them!
And the effect of these terrible mysteries which will continue till the end of time is still the living word, teaching us His wisdom, power, and goodness. All the events which form the world's history show forth these divine attributes; all teach the same adorable word. We cannot doubt it, although we do not see. What is meant by the existence of Turks, heretics, and all the other enemies of the Church ? Surely they all proclaim loudly the divine perfections. Pharaoh and the impious men who follow his example are allowed to exist only for that purpose, but assuredly, unless beheld with the eye of faith, it would all have the exactly contrary appearance.
To behold divine mysteries it is necessary to shut the eyes to what is external, and to cease to reason. You speak, Lord, to the generality of men by great public events. Every resolution is as a wave from the sea of Your providence, raising storms and tempests in the minds of those who question Your mysterious action.
You speak also to each individual soul by the circumstances occurring at every moment of life. Instead, however, of hearing Your voice in these events, and receiving with awe what is obscure and mysterious in these Your words, men see in their only the outward aspect, or chance, or the caprice of others, and censure everything. They would like to add, or diminish, or reform, and to allow themselves absolute liberty to commit any excess, the least of which would be a criminal and unheard-of outrage. They respect the holy Scriptures, however, and will not permit the addition of even a singe comma. "It is the word of God" say they, "and is altogether holy and true. If we cannot understand it, it is all the more wonderful and we must give glory to God, and render justice to the depths of His wisdom."
All this is perfectly true, but when you read God's word from moment to moment, not written with ink on paper, but on your soul with suffering, and the daily actions that you have to perform, does it not merit some attention on your part? How is it that you cannot see the will of God in all this?
Instead you find fault with everything that happens, nothing pleases you. Do you not see that you are gauging everything by the senses, and by reason, not by faith the only true standard; and that when you read the word of God in the sacred Scriptures with the eye of faith, you do wrong to make use only of your reason in reading the word in His marvellous operations.