173. The idea of three Gods cannot be effaced by a lip-confession of one God, for the reason that from childhood this idea has been implanted in the memory, and it is from the things contained in the memory that everyone thinks. The memory in man is like the ruminatory stomach in birds and beasts; into which they thrust the food from which they gradually derive nourishment; and from time to time they draw the food from it and convey it to the true stomach, where it is digested and meted out to the various uses of the body. The human understanding is this latter stomach, as the memory is the former. That the idea of three Divine persons from eternity, which is the same as the idea of three Gods, cannot be effaced by a lip confession of one God, can be seen by anybody from this fact alone, that it has not yet been effaced, and that among the notable there are some who do not wish it to be effaced; for while they insist that the three Divine persons are of one God, they obstinately deny that God, on account of being one, is one person. But what wise man does not think within himself that the term person can not in this case mean person but that it predicates some quality, though what quality is not known? And this not being known, what has been implanted in the memory from childhood remains, as the roots of a tree remain in the ground, and from them, even if the tree be cut down, a shoot will spring forth.
 But, my friend, not only cut down the tree, but also dig up the root, and then plant in your garden trees bearing good fruit. Thus beware, lest in your mind there should lurk the idea of three Gods, while your mouth utters the words one God, with no idea in them. In that case is not the understanding (which above the memory is thinking of three Gods, and at the same time below the memory is causing the mouth to utter one God), like a player on the stage able to act two roles by running from one side to the other, at one side saying one thing and at the other just the opposite, and by such contradiction playing on the one side the wise man and on the other the fool? What else can result from this but that when the understanding stands in the center and looks both ways it will conclude that neither this nor that amounts to anything, and so, perhaps, that there is neither one God nor three, thus that there is no God? The prevailing naturalism of the day is from no other source. In heaven no one can utter the words, A trinity of persons each one of whom singly is God; for it is resisted by the very aura of heaven, in which the thoughts of those there fly and undulate, as sounds do in our air. Such words can be uttered only by a hypocrite, and the sound of his speech grates in the heavenly aura like the gnashing of teeth, or is like the croak of a raven trying to imitate a bird of song. Moreover, I have heard from heaven that to efface a belief established in the mind by confirmations favoring a trinity of Gods, by means of a lip-confession of one God, is as impossible as it is to draw a tree back through its seed, or a man's chin through a hair growing out of it.