‘divinity is indeed beautiful’

“…divinity is indeed beautiful, and the most splendid of all beautiful things. Yet he is not a beautiful body, but that whence beauty flows into body; nor a beautiful meadow, but that whence the meadow is beautiful. The beauty of a river and the sea, of heaven and the gods it contains, all this beauty flows from thence, as from a perpetual and incorruptible fountain. So far as everything participates of this, it is beautiful, stable, and safe; and so far as it falls off from this, it is base, dissipated, and corrupted. If these things are sufficient, you have seen God. If not, after what manner may he be enigmatically described? Do not attribute to him either magnitude, or colour, or figure, or any other property of matter, but act like the lover, who should denudate a beautiful body, which is concealed from the view by many and various garments, that it may be clearly seen. Let this also be now done by you; and by the reasoning energy, take away this surrounding scene, and thus busy employment of the eyes, and then behold that which remains; for it is that very thing which you desire”.

Maximus of Tyre