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Serm. what contrary to it, is a strong Symptom
VIII. of a flavilh Mind, and argues the same

Weakness, as it would be to shake off
Reason, or any

other
part

of the Human
Composition; nay more, for if any Prin-
ciple is predominant in Human Nature,
Faith is that Principle; for the World is
govern’d by it, and they themselves too,
who at the same time dispute against it,
this being an Elastticity in the mind of
Man, an Endeavour to recover its for-
mer State, however it may be depriv'd of
it for a certain time. Religion, Philofo.
phy, nay even Trade, and every Thing
in Human Life turn upon this Axis; all se-
cular and temporal things being carried on
by Faith in Man, all religious and spiritual
things by Faith in God; all the Know-
ledge we have from abroad depends upon
a Faith in others, and we must likewife
put a Faith in ourselves too, and give
every Faculty within us Credit for so much
Knowledge as we receive from thence.
I do not say this to depreciate Reason, or
make it less than it is, but only to shew
that it is not greater, and that there are

other

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other Principles in Man, that put in for SERM.
át least an equal Share with it. In Beings VIII.
that are all Mind and Spirit, Reason may
be the Sole Governing Principle; but
where there is a mixture of Sense along
with it, it must do as it can, and we
ought to rest satisfied with that Share of
it that belongs to such a State: However
where it is defective, Faith is that Prin-
ple that is to help it out, and give it all
the Perfection it is capable of.

But it is said, that the Religion of Na-
ture or Reason is a plain simple thing, cal-
culated for the Benefit of all Mankind,
which Revelation is not, but only fome-
what thrown in by the Craft of designing
Men, to harass and perplex Mankind,
and make them Slaves and Bigots; and
that it is always universally the same,
whereas Revelation is a precarious, change-
able. Thing, subject to Alterations, on:
thing in one Age, and another thing in
another, and therefore cannot be suppos'd
to come from God, who is infinite in
Widom, as well as every thing else, and
therefore would do nothing that should

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want

SERM. want any Correction, or Amendment. VIII. As to the first part of the Objection,

, that Reason is a plain simple thing, calculated for the Benefit of all Mankind, I do not know any one, who denies the Benefit of it, as far as it goes; but that it is calculated for so universal a Benefit as Revelation, is false. For the Bulk of Mankind are not provided for in the

way

of Reason, whatever some particular People may be, or rather fancy themselves to be; whereas in the way of Faith, where People find Employment for their Eyes and Ears, and the Faculties together, they are all equally provided for ; all are capable of the Grounds of Faith, tho' they are not capable of abstracted Reason. As. to the Purity and Simplicity of it, I think I have said enough already, and I will only add further, that whenever they talk of this, they must mean not Human Reafon, but Right Reason, or the Reason of God, which is nothing at all to the Purpose.

Then as to the other part of the Objection, that Reason is always universally

the

Nature is very

the same, whereas Revelation is a change- SERM.

VIII. able thing, it is readily granted, that Right Reason is so, but the Reason of Man is not: For the Reason of one Age and

different from the Reason of another Age and Nature; nay, the Reason of one Man is not the same at different Times. Now where is this Difference in Revelation? How does that alter, or vary?

It is the same now, as it ever has been ; only there are different Manifestations of it at different Times. The Faith of a Christian is not a different thing from the Faith of a Jew, or any other Faith, only as it comprehends, and fwallows up all the rest ; i. e. just as different as the Whole is from its Parts; which Diffeernce is only this, that the Whole is not any one Part more than another, but all the Parts united : So that God did not mend his own Work by making Faith to shine out more at one time than another, for He perfected, and compleated it at once ; but the Alteration is in Ourselves, and in our way of apprehending Things : For, being only Creatures of Time in this present

State,

Z 2

SERM. State, we see every thing by Succession, VIII. and can fee no more of any thing, than the Portion of Time we take

up

will admit of.

The whole of the Matter in short is this: Liberty consists in a Power of thinking and acting right; and we are then most free, when nothing hinders us from it: But now Man, as he is an imperfect Creature, must of course, as far as he is imperfect, want so much Liberty ; i.e. he must be in Proportion a Slave; and the greater this Imperfection is, the be the Slavery of such a Being. The Scripture gives us an Account of the Original of this Imperfection, that it was brought into the World by Sin; which the Deist despises and ridicules: But then it is easier to laugh at Things than to difprove them; and this Account must be allow'd to stand good, till we have a better in the room of it. 'Tis plain, Man could not be made incapable of Error without being made a God at the fame Time; and if he was capable of Error, who can take upon him to prove that he

greater will

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