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Reason of Mankind, as a Part is less than SERM. the Whole. Now besides the Absurdity of VIII. crowding the whole of Reason into a Part, that is not capable of containing it, this is to set up Mankind independant upon one another, every one an absolute Lord for himself, contrary to the Nature of his Condition and Make. Besides, if this were the Case, that

one's own Reason were to be his Rei ligion, there must then be as many Reli

gions as there are Men in the World, or
rather no Religon at all; for every one
having by the Supposition as much a
Right to a System of his own, as every
other, there would never be a Public Ma-
nifestation of any, because it would want
a proper Authority to support it; which
in this case could not be had, no one be-
ing of Importance enough to be a Center
of Unity to the rest ; and so every one
would move round his own Axis with-
qut any Dependance upon, or Relation to
any other, and would never unite in any
regular System, but perpetually move on

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Serm. in the utmost Disorder and Confusion. VIII.

And indeed, to say the Truth with respect to all human Schemes whatsoever, how wise foever the Authors of them may be, yet if they have nor infinite Wisdom, tho’ it is right to put some Trust in them in proportion to their knowledge, they can have no Foundation in them for an absolute Trust. This belongs only to an absolute Perfection.

But the Scheme I am talking of, doeś not suppose any Degree of Trust to be plac'd any where, but sets out in Defiance of all Faith: And in this respect modern Deism is worse than Heathenism, because that does not exclude Faith, but only wants to know how to make it compleat, Accordingly the true Deists,

among whom we may reckon some of the best of the Philosophers, never made Unbelief a Principle; If they did not believe a Revelation, it was certainly not out of a Principle of disbelieving every thing, but because they were out of the Reach of it, and for want of having it rightly recom

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mended to their Faith. Besides, Faith SERM.
being a sort of an unknown Principle be- VIII.
fore Christianity, what there was of it,
as a System, being in the Possession of
Handful of People in Yudea, it would
not be so great a Surprize, if they had not
so easily embrac'd a Revelation, if it had
been offer'd them: But after Christianity
has been established for so many Hundred
Years, and Faith is known to be not only
a Principle in Man, but a reasonable one
too, to disbelieve now argues a great Sla-
very

somewhere in Heart, or Mind, or
both.

But do they, who are for shaking off Faith, do fo in reality? Are they uniform, and all of a Piece in this Practice? No, they shake it off only, in Religion ; they are not Unbelievers, but only with respect to Christianity; in no other Case, but only where there is the greatest Foundation for Faith: They believe still at the fame time that they profess not to do it, and that too upon the smallest Grounds without

any

real Reason at all: They can believe, that the Reason of

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Serm. gle Man is equal to the Reason of all VIII. Mankind; and not only so, but to the

Reason of God: They can believe, that tho' God made Man a Creature compounded of Sense and Passions, which ought to have their proper Influence, together with a mind capable of Reflexion, all which together make

up

what we call a Rational Creature, yet that he ought to tear this Composition asunder, render one half of it useless, and set up the other to act a Part to which it is not at all

proportion’d; for notwithstanding all the fine Things, that some have said of Humane Reason, and the extraordinary Compliments that have been paid to it, as if it really was right Reason, or Reafon in Perfection, yet it is in truth a Composition of all these,

or very much influenc'd by them; for let a Man endeavour to reason ever so abstractedly, yet the Senses and the other Faculties will steal in, if I may so call it, insensibly into the Imagination, and give a Tincture to the Thought: They can, I say, digest fuch Contradictions as these: They can believe themselves

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out of their Senses ; nay, believe away SERM.
their
very
Belief.

VII.
But this is a very un-
fair Practice ; for Faith ought to be quite
discarded, or else it should be shewn why
Christianity is the only Scheme, that
Thould be depriv'd of it.

But what, if after all, Reason itself should lead us to Revelation ? Nay, thạt Revelation should be founded upon the highest Reason? 'Tis true it is an Object of Faith, but it is nevertheless reasonable for that, but on the contrary it contains in it the Sum of all Reason, it is the Reason of God Substituted in the room of the Reason of Man.

It appears then now that Faith is by no means contrary to Reason, but Reason sublimated, and carried to a higher Pitch: To shake it off therefore, when it has all the Marks of a Revelation come from God (which I Thall now take for granted, because this must depend upon some other Proof, which neither the Time, nor Subject will permit me to enter upon here) to shake it off, I say, under Pretence of being govern’d by Reason, as if Faith was some

what

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