Perhaps what is required is not a scene from the Bible, but a precept from
the Bible in which faith is given precedence over the senses. Here it is:
"for we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Co 5:7). It's not that our hero
fails to follow the example; he fails to follow the precept.
Re: "The question is, faith in what, besides the senses?" Well, he ought to
have had faith in Una, or in whatever Spenser means Una to represent.
I have two discovered two particularly powerful online tools for helping me
to search the Bible:
I would encourage everyone on the list to explore these sights, or at least
bookmark them. They have served me very well.
>From: "James C. Nohrnberg" <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Sidney-Spenser Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 18:37:20 -0400
>On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 17:28:05 -0700
> "James W. Broaddus" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>If I don't make myself clear this time, I promise to quit!
>>Andy Fleck responded:
>>Just to make sure I'm on the same page, you're trying to find an example
>>a biblical scene in which the senses tell an individual that one thing is
>>before him/her while faith tells the person that something else entirely
>>is before him/her. Correct?
>>Well, not really.
>>I would like to know if there is a biblical scene in which the senses tell
>>an individual that one thing is before him/her, but that if his/her faith
>>were firm he/she would refuse to believe that which is presented to
>>by his/her senses.
>>Critics typically hold Redcrosse up to such a standard when his senses
>>him that Una and a lusty Squire are in bed together. That is, as Genevieve
>>Guenther noted, a very high standard.
>The question is, faith in what, besides the senses? -- Esp. the abusions
>of the sense of sight ("Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of
>what you see."). Negative instances of blindness to what's there, if such
>instances count, are the incorrigible Sodomites in Gen. 19:10-11, the
>corrigible Balaam in Numbers 22, and the corrigible Elisha's servant et al.
>in 2 Kings 6:15ff. In the latter cases faith is created, rather than
>firmed up, in the course of the story.
>Nearly irrelevant footnote on the transformation of the senses by the art
>which has replaced faith in this function:
>...Here's a man that couldn't walk
>Come back from God, or the dead: by the bands
>His pallet's lowered through the roof, and lo, he looketh up,
>And behold, the opening of his tomb: Mark Two.
> -- Wisdom, less innocent by degrees, might brave it still,
>Pointing out the man born blind: he began to see
>He couldn't see inside the very Synagogue
>He'd been circumciséd in, churched and salted
>—And she his mother. The Ninth of John.
> -- Sensibilities and the senses
>Also have their gospel, claims upon
>Whatever art might save them from
>Their own captivity. The art itself indicts,
>"'I am the resurrection, and the life' -- it is I,
> Who raiseth dead perception, I the German graver
> Study optic like a faithful scribe, and fix the quickened creature
> With the creature’s own, naked, sidelong eye: it is I
> Have made you see;
> I the storming rising Grecian
> Diva, frightened and excited, melt mutes from passages
> Egyptian balmers' mud hath stopped: it is I
> Have let you hear;
> I the carver Florentine, disfigured, broken-hearted,
> Anatomize the slab and tablet, the flaw divine,
> Divide the mass, secure and poise it: it is I
> Have made thy fragile strong and whole again;
> I the Russian dancer, despite my splinted shins,
> And a partner's crazed and numbing toes,
> Reach the dying swan in time: it is I
> That let you find, interiorly, thine own
> Endangered balance, and unto you I say,
> ‘Rise and walk, cast off your dark and pent,
>Your halt and dumb and weak: your crippling
>Is forgiven: disfiguration, stupor, bonds.'"
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