world, but by expelling both according to the simplicity of the Gospel. For
it teaches the righteous that it raises them even to a participation in
divinity itself; that in this lofty state they still carry the source of all
corruption, which renders them during all their life subject to error,
misery, death, and sin; and it proclaims to the most ungodly that they are
capable of the grace of their Redeemer. So making those tremble whom it
justifies, and consoling those whom it condemns, religion so justly tempers
fear with hope through that double capacity of grace and of sin, common to
all, that it humbles infinitely more than reason alone can do, but without
despair; and it exalts infinitely more than natural pride, but without
inflating; thus making it evident that alone being exempt from error and
vice, it alone fulfils the duty of instructing and correcting men.
Who, then, can refuse to believe and adore this heavenly light? For is it
not clearer than day that we perceive within ourselves ineffaceable marks of
excellence? And is it not equally true that we experience every hour the
results of our deplorable condition? What does this chaos and monstrous
confusion proclaim to us but the truth of these two states, with a voice so
powerful that it is impossible to resist it?
436. Weakness.--Every pursuit of men is to get wealth; and they cannot have
a title to show that they possess it justly, for they have only that of
human caprice; nor have they strength to hold it securely. It is the same
with knowledge, for disease takes it away. We are incapable both of truth
437. We desire truth, and find within ourselves only uncertainty.
We seek happiness, and find only misery and death.
We cannot but desire truth and happiness, and are incapable of certainty or
happiness. This desire is left to us, partly to punish us, partly to make us
perceive wherefrom we are fallen.
438. If man is not made for God, why is he