September 12, 2009

Solvitur ambulando...

Wilfrid Ward, in Witnesses to the Unseen, 1894...

...and while the intellect, when moving in mere speculation, and as a spectator of the riddle of life, tends to lose itself, to become morbid and paralyzed, and reach no conclusion, we are reminded with equal power of the light shed by a living practical faith, which brings us into the action of life, and gives knowledge and experience which cannot be translated into language intelligible to purely passive speculation, any more than the glow of the hunting field or the wild excitement of the field of battle can be known by those who have always lived an inactive life.

To this extent faith is its own evidence, and establishes itself by a solvitur ambulando. The doubt is seen by him who has shaken it off to have been in great part the result of hesitation and inaction, due to the absence of perceptions which action alone can supply; and faith justifies itself to the mind which is aroused from undue passivity.

Faith sees further and more truly, just as the confident rider sees clearly, and acts promptly, and clears the fence successfully, while the man who hesitates fails to see with precision, and fails in gaining the additional experience and perception which prompt action on that first rapid vision would have brought. The whole being moves together, and sight, action, experience, and knowledge are inseparably linked. Hopefulness, promptness, decision, affect mental perception as well as moral action...
Posted by John Weidner at September 12, 2009 8:50 PM
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