Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/426

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404
SPINOZA.

openly, that belief in the existence of angels was immaterial and unnecessary? I have mocked at the miracles? What do you accuse me of? Open at the passage where Balaam's ass speaks, and look what Ebn Esra says there. I have blasphemed God? I pity thee that thou knowest not that no human intellect which follows its innate laws can escape him."

"Have you not said," interrupted Chisdai—"woe is me that I must speak it after you!—have you not said that in the Holy Scriptures many imperfect and false ideas of the nature of God are to be found?"

"I think I honor God more than you by that. Is not God called 'great' in the Bible, and is there a 'greatness' without limited extension in space? It is true the Bible can only be explained by itself. It carries the ground of its truths in itself. It will not be measured by the laws of intellect; but neither will it overrule them. The reason God has given us, therefore, is no less divine, and can and must create its ideal of God for itself, and find in itself what is necessary to the leading of a godly life. The Bible itself recognizes this sacred right of our Reason, in recognizing a godly war of life in the men who lived before the revelation on Sinai, while it detracts from the truth in the law-giving of Moses as a merely temporal revelation, by saying: 'It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who