ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

415. Philosophical Teaching. -- According to Raymond of Sabunde, man reads truth in two books, the book of Nature and the book of the Sacred Scriptures. Their contents are identical: but to decipher the former we must have recourse to reasoning; to secure the latter we have only to believe in its instructions and precepts. "Quamvis autem omnia quae probantur per librum creaturarum, sint scripta in libro sacrae scripturae et ibi contineantur, et etiam illa quae ibi contineantur in libro Bibliae, sint in libro creaturarum, tamen aliter et aliter."{1} It is undeniable that the reading of the book of Nature must precede that of the inspired book, for to believe the word of God we must first know that God exists; and it is equally certain that there are truths, like the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, which reason could never discover from a study of the world; and others again which it could not discover in this way, had not revelation already pointed them out to us: those facts show clearly that man obtains his knowledge through two distinct channels which pour truth in parallel streams into his soul. Man is the connecting-link between visible nature and God. In this conception of the nature and state of humanity the Theologia Naturalis seeks an explanation of all the mysteries of the Christian Religion.

We need not follow Raymond's doctrine into its details: it is the principle of his theosophy that is of importance. His philosophy is a sickly brand of scholasticism. Inspired by a thirteenth-century conception (355), it appeared at a critical epoch in scholasticism as a supreme but fruitless effort of the catholic mind to repulse the invasion of novel and dangerous tendencies.

{1} Theol. Natur. (edit. of 1852), Tit. 212, p. 314.

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