The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
but not so far beyond His intention that God could not foreknow in Himself their wickedness; but so great was the loving desire to produce the Spiritual creature that the foreknowledge that some would come to a bad end neither could nor should prevent God from continuing the production; as it would not be to the praise of Nature if, knowing of herself that the flowers of a tree in a certain part must perish, she should refuse to produce flowers on that tree, and should abandon the production of fruit-bearing trees as vain and useless.  I say, then, that God, who encircles and understands all, in His encircling and His understanding sees nothing so gentle, so noble, as He sees when He shines on this Philosophy.  For, although God Himself, beholding, may see all things together, inasmuch as the distinction of things is in Him in the same way as the effect is in the cause, yet He sees those things also apart and distinct.  He sees, then, this Lady the most noble of all absolutely, inasmuch as most perfectly He sees her in Himself and in her essence.  If what has been said above be recalled to mind, Philosophy is a loving use of Wisdom; which especially is in God, because in Him is Supreme Wisdom, and Supreme Love, and Supreme Action; which cannot be elsewhere except inasmuch as it proceeds from Him.  It is, then, the Divine Philosophy of the Divine Being, since in Him nothing can be that is not part of His Essence; and it is most noble, because the Divine Essence is most noble, and it is in Him in a manner perfect and true, as if by eternal wedlock; it is in the other Intelligences in a less degree, as if platonic, as if a virgin love from whom no lover receives full and complete joy, but contents himself by gazing on the beauty of her countenance.  Wherefore it is possible to say that God sees not, that He does not intently regard, anything so noble as this Lady; I say anything, inasmuch as He sees and distinguishes the other things, as has been said, seeing Himself to be the cause of all.  Oh, most noble and most excellent heart, which is at peace in the bride of the Ruler of Heaven; and not bride only, but sister, and the daughter beloved above all others.


Having seen in the beginning of the praises of this Lady how subtly it is said that she is of the Divine Substance, as was first to be considered, we proceed now to consider her as she is in the Intelligences that proceed thence.  “All minds of Heaven wonder at her worth,” where it is to be known that I say, “minds of Heaven,” making that allusion to God which has been mentioned above; and from this one excludes the Intelligences who are exiled from the eternal country, who can never study Philosophy, because love in them is entirely extinct, and for the study of Philosophy, as has been already said, Love is necessary.  One sees, therefore, that the spirits of Hell are deprived of the sight of this most beautiful Lady; and, since she is the blessing of the intellect, the deprivation of her is most bitter and full of every sadness.

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The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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