Nicholas of Cusa: Sermon XXIII: Domine, in Lumine Vultus Tui

14 October 2019

If, then, we ought first to ascend unto a knowledge of His name, and if we wish to turn our attention to gradations, then it does not seem necessary to look at books, since there are countless books. Therefore, if we become involved with a countless multiplicity, we will fall into inescapable vanity. For the first wise men, viz., Pythagoras, Socrates, and even Christ, wrote nothing, as Augustine says in his Harmony of the Gospels. For they did not dream of bestowing on wisdom the writing about it; for this [action] would serve rather to diminish and to bedarken wisdom’s majesty. Moreover, there is only one Book of life in which is contained all wisdom, which is our goal. The many other books do not have a goal. But the Book of life is spiritual and intellectual. All other books—assimilated by learning, reasoning, or sensing—bear the image of this Book. Therefore, we ought not to concern ourselves with a host of books that have been produced by men. Rather, if we need to ascend from the perceptual to the intelligible, from the outer to the inner, from the visible to the immaterial, then let us turn to the one Book written by the Finger of God.

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