| Quote #7
[The Eagle]: …"No one without belief in Christ
Here, the Eagle points out the false words of sinful men who insincerely cry out "Christ! Christ!" without living by their words. He suggests that their faith is so faulty that even "Ethiopians" who "know…not Christ" will be better rewarded in their innocent ignorance than these false Christians.
| Quote #8
[Dante to St. Peter]: …"Father, as the truthful pen
St. Peter and Dante's conversation here echoes one that St. Peter had with St. Paul ("your dear brother") in the New Testament. There, St. Peter questions St. Paul on faith, just as he does with Dante here, and Dante answers with the identical words St. Paul uses. Faith is, paradoxically, a "substance" of things not yet achieved, but "hope[d] for" and also "evidence of things not seen." These are unusual definitions because we usually think of "substance" and "evidence" as things we can perceive with one or more of our five senses.
| Quote #9
[Dante to St. Peter]: I next: "The deep things that on me bestow
Dante explains why faith is a "substance": the "deep things" which are "hid[den] from sight" are Paradise and its blessedness. Because man is blind to these things and cannot sense, he must take the assumption of "their being" on faith alone. Faith is also called "evidence" because, where we usually take evidence to be something we can sense, Paradise and blessedness cannot be perceived by man, and thus their "evidence" must be only faith.