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will stand still, or make but bad and unhandsome work; so, when reason is laid asleep, or out of the way, what may not the appetites do ? and what may not the passions do ? and what may not temptations do with the soul? A wise man, when he is asleep, has as little use of his reason as a fool. A learned man, when he is asleep, cannot dispute with an unlearned man that is awake. A strong man, that is very skilful at his weapons, is scarce able, when asleep, to deal with the weakest child that is awake. Why, all the powers of
your soul are as it were asleep, till consideration awake them and set them to work; and what are you the better for being man, and having reason, if you make no use of your reason, when you need it.
MILTON. There is no real opposition between reason and revelation, faith and science, nature and grace, when judiciously stated. Enthusiasm has misled some persons into as many extremes in one direction, as scepticism bas in another. Reason, as far as it can conduct us, and in relation to things within its province, is no blind guide. We are not to shut our eyes when we make use of a telescope. It has its ne plus ultra, no doubt; “ bitherto shalt thou go, but no further ; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” Then it is, that revelation steps in to supply the defects of the most exalted human wisdom, which in these bigh matters is comparative folly. If "the world by wisdom knew not God,” is it any marvel, that “the wise dom of this world is foolishness with God ?”
Reason and faith, we have been told a thousand times, by men at whose feet we ought to bow in point of intellect and science, have their totally distinct provinces. Wby should they not be carefully observed? why suffer them to intrench on each other, to the violation of propriety and order ? why transgress their rightful limits? Let reason be permitted the privilege and honour to conduct us to the boundaries of revelation; we are then consigned to the superior guidance of faith. There we may safely rest, and enjoy the advantages of both
Temple of Truth
Why should'st thou disbelieve ?—"Tis reason bids,
Watts. Reason is the power of placing ideas together, and comparing them with each other, in order to see their agreement or difference, and to infer one thing from another, and thus draw just conclusions from true and clear principles; that is, make fair deductions from solid axioms and self-evident truths,
By slow degrees his reason drove away
DRYDEN. What is right reason, in short, but that which alone can conduct and preserve us in the good and right way, instruct us to speak right things, and direct us to do that which is good and right in the
sight of the Lord? It is a mighty easy thing to prate about a certain jumble of ideas, which are compounded together with a certain set of terms, as unintelligible to the million as a foreign tongue, and then to call it pbilosopby; but nothing is in truth philosophy, but right reason; nor any thing right reason, in the most refined and valuable definition of it, than that which I have here attempted to delineate in its great outline: nor would it be any dishonour to bighest talents, to display it to much greater advantage.
Temple of Truth. Reason exalts man above all earthly beings; it is his dignity and privilege, that God hath furnished him with abilities of mind, to recollect, animadvert, compare, infer, ponder, and judge his own actions. Hereby be becomes not only capable of moral government by human laws, (which no creature beside him is) but also of spiritual
government by divine laws, and the blessed fruition of God in glory, which no other species of creatures (angels only excepted) have a subjected capacity for.
Right reason, by the law of nature, (as an home-born judge) arbitrates and determines all things within its proper province; which province is extended far and wide. All actions, natural, moral, and civil, are weighed at this beam and standard ; none are exempted, but matters of supernatural revelation; and yet even these are not wholly and in every respect exempt from right reason: for though there be some mysteries in religion above the sphere and flight of Teason : yet nothing can be found in religion, that is unreasonable.
And though these mysteries be not of natural investigation, best of supernatural revelation ; yet reason is convinced, nothing can be more reasonable, than that it take its place at the feet of faith; which is but to suffer itself to becoine pupil to an omniscient and infallible instructor. The resolution of our reason into faith, and of faith into God's veracity, are acts bighly becoming reasonable beings in such cases as these. It
may not pry too nicely into unrevealed mysteries, demand the Teasons, or examine the causes of them as bold and daring Socinians do; but it feels itself obliged to receive all those things, both as possible and true, which God hath revealed, counting his revelation
alone to be reason sufficient. For the veracity of God takes out of reason's mouth all objections against the truth of them; and his almighty power silences all its scruples against the possibility of them.
But in all matters properly under the jurisdiction of reason, every man is obliged to account with bimself, as well as others, for the reasonableness of his own actions; and that act which will not endure the test of sound reason, it judges not fit for the entertainment of man. If reason cannot justify it, it is beneath the rank and dig. nity of a man to do it.
YOUNG. Conscience signifies knowledge in conjunction; that is, in conjunction with the fact to wbich it is witness, as the eye is to the action done before it; or, as South observes, it is a double or joint knowledge; namely, one of a divine law, and the other of a man's own actions. It may be defined to be the judgment which a man passes on the morality of his actions, as to their purity or turpitude; or the secret testimony of the soul, whereby it approves things that are good, and condemns those that are evil. Some object to its being called an act, babit, or faculty. An act, say they, would be represented as an agent, whereas conscience is a testimony. To say it is a habit, is to speak of it as a disposition acting, which is scarcely more accurate than ascribing one act to another; and besides, it would be strange language, to say that conscience itself is a habit. Against defining it by the name of a power or faculty, it is oba
jected, that it occasions a false notion of it, as a distinct power from
Conscience has been considered as natural, or that common principle which instructs men of all countries and religions in the daties to which they are all alike obliged; there seems to be something of this in the minds of all men, even in the darkest regions of the earth; and among the rudest tribes of men, a distinction has ever been snade between just and unjust, a duty and a crime.
O'treach'rous ('onscience ! while she seems to sleep
Writes our whole history, which death shall read. Young. Conscience, like all our other powers, comes to maturity by insensible degrees; and may be aided' in its strength and vigour By proper culture.
It is peculiar to man, one of those prerogatives by which we are raised above the brutes.
It is evidently intended by nature to be the immediate guide and director of our conduct, after we arrive at the years of understand