The Knowing of the Son

And the Father himself which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you; for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

— John 5:37-38

I would not forget that there are many in whom foolish forms cover a live heart, warm toward everything human and divine; but let each be true after the fashion possible to him, and he shall have the Master’s praise. If the Lord were to appear, he has been so misrepresented by such as have claimed to present him, and especially in the one eternal fact of facts—the relation between him and his father—that it is impossible for many that they should see any likeness. For my part, I would believe in no God rather than in such a God as is generally offered for believing in. How far those may be to blame who, righteously disgusted, cast the idea from them, nor make inquiry whether something in it may not be true, though most must be false, neither grant it any claim to investigation on the chance that some that call themselves his prophets may have taken spiritual bribes “to mingle beauty with infirmities, and pure perfection with impure defeature”--how far those may be to blame, it is not my work to inquire. Some would grasp with gladness the hope that such chance might be proved a fact; others would not care to discern upon the palimpsest, covered but not obliterated, a credible tale of a perfect man revealing a perfect God: they are not true enough to desire that to be fact which would immediately demand the modelling of their lives upon a perfect idea, and the founding of their every hope upon the same.

But we all, beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image.