|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
|The Attributes of God|
|By Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?1618)|
From The History of the World
GOD, whom the wisest men acknowledge to be a power uneffable, and virtue infinite; a light by abundant clarity invisible; an understanding which itself can only comprehend; an essence eternal and spiritual, of absolute pureness and simplicity; was and is pleased to make himself known by the work of the world; in the wonderful magnitude whereof (all which he embraceth, filleth, and sustaineth) we behold the image of that glory which cannot be measured, and withal, that one, and yet universal nature which cannot be defined. In the glorious lights of heaven we perceive a shadow of his divine countenance; in his merciful provision for all that live, his manifold goodness; and lastly, in creating and making existent the world universal, by the absolute art of his own word, his power, and almightiness; which power, light, virtue, wisdom, and goodness, being all but attributes of one simple essence, and one God, we in all admire, and in part discern per speculum creaturarum, that is, in the disposition, order, and variety of celestial and terrestrial bodies: terrestrial, in their strange and manifold diversities; celestial, in their beauty and magnitude; which, in their continual and contrary motions, are neither repugnant, intermixed, nor confounded. By these potent effects we approach to the knowledge of the omnipotent Cause, and by these motions, their almighty Mover.