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conscience, which is a sparkle of the purity of his first estate in which latter sense only he is participant of some light and discerning touching the perfection of the moral law: but how? sufficient to check the vice, but not to inform the duty. So then the doctrine of religion, as well moral as mystical, is not to be attained but by inspiration and revelation from God.

The use, notwithstanding, of reason in spiritual things, and the latitude thereof, is very great and general: for it is not for nothing that the apostle calleth religion our reasonable service of God; insomuch as the very ceremonies and figures of the old law were full of reason and signification, much more than the ceremonies of idolatry and magic, that are full of non-significants and surd characters. But most especially the Christian Faith, as in all things, so in this deserveth to be highly magnified; holding and preserving the golden mediocrity in this point between the law of the heathen and the law of Mahomet, which have embraced the two extremes. For the religion of the heathen had no constant belief or confession, but left all to the liberty of argument; and the religion of Mahomet, on the other side, interdicteth argument altogether: the one having the very face of error, and the other of imposture whereas the faith doth both admit and reject disputation with difference.

The use of human reason in religion is of two sorts the former, in the conception and apprehension of the mysteries of God to us revealed; the

other, in the inferring and deriving of doctrine and direction thereupon. The former extendeth to the mysteries themselves; but how? by way of illus-tration, and not by way of argument: the latter consisteth indeed of probation and argument. In the former, we see, God vouchsafeth to descend to our capacity, in the expressing of his mysteries in sort as may be sensible unto us; and doth graft his revelations and holy doctrine upon the notions of our reason, and applieth his inspirations to open our understanding, as the form of the key to the ward of the lock: for the latter, there is allowed us an use of reason and argument, secondary and respetive, although not original and absolute. For after the articles and principles of religion are placed and exempted from examination of reason, it is then permitted unto us to make derivations and inferences from, and according to the analogy of them, for our better direction. In nature this holdeth not; for both the principles are examinable by induction, though not by a medium or syllogism; and besides, those principles or first positions have no discordance with that reason which draweth down and deduceth the inferiour positions. But yet it holdeth not in religion alone, but in many knowledges, both of greater and smaller nature, namely, wherein there are not only posita but placita ; for in such there can be no use of absolute reason: we see it familiarly in games of wit, as chess, or the like: the draughts and first laws of the game are positive, but how ? merely ad placitum, and not examinable by reason; but

then how to direct our play thereupon with best advantage to win the game, is artificial and rational. So in human laws, there be many grounds and maxims which are placita juris, positive upon authority, and not upon reason, and therefore not to be disputed but what is most just, not absolutely but relatively, and according to those maxims, that affordeth a long field of disputation. Such therefore is that secondary reason, which hath place in divinity, which is grounded upon the placets of God.

Here therefore I note this deficiency, that there hath not been, to my understanding, sufficiently inquired and handled the true limits and use of reason in spiritual things, as a kind of divine dialectic which for that it is not done, it seemeth to me a thing usual, by pretext of true conceiving that which is revealed, to search and mine into that which is not revealed; and by pretext of enucleating inferences and contradictories, to examine that which is positive: the one sort falling into the errour of Nicodemus, demanding to have things made more sensible than it pleaseth God to reveal them, “ Quo" modo possit homo nasci cum sit senex?" the other sort into the errour of the disciples, which were scandalized at a show of contradiction, "Quid est hoc

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quod dicit nobis? Modicum, et non videbitis me; "et iterum, modicum, et videbitis me, &c."

Upon this I have insisted the more, in regard of the great and blessed use thereof; for this point, well laboured and defined of, would in my judgment

be an opiate to stay and bridle not only the vanity of curious speculations, wherewith the schools labour, but the fury of controversies, wherewith the church laboureth. For it cannot but open men's eyes, to see that many controversies do merely pertain to that which is either not revealed, or positive; and that many others do grow upon weak and obscure inferences or derivations: which latter sort, if men would revive the blessed stile of that great doctor of the Gentiles, would be carried thus, "Ego, non

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Dominus;" and again, "Secundum consilium "meum," in opinions and counsels, and not in positions and oppositions. But men are now over-ready to usurp the stile, "Non ego, sed Dominus;" and not so only, but to bind it with the thunder and denunciation of curses and anathemas, to the terror of those which have not sufficiently learned out of Solomon, that "the causeless curse shall not come."

Divinity hath two principal parts; the matter informed or revealed, and the nature of the information or revelation: and with the latter we will begin, because it hath most coherence with that which we have now last handled. The nature of the information consisteth of three branches; the limits of the information, the sufficiency of the information, and the acquiring or obtaining the information. Unto the limits of the information belong these considerations; how far forth particular persons continue to be inspired; how far forth the church is inspired; how far forth reason may be used: the last point whereof I have noted as deficient. Unto

the sufficiency of the information belong two considerations; what points of religion are fundamental, and what perfective, being matter of further building and perfection upon one and the same foundation; and again, how the gradations of light, according to the dispensation of times, are material to the sufficiency of belief.

Here again I may rather give it in advice, than note it as deficient, that the points fundamental, and the points of farther perfection only, ought to be with piety and wisdom distinguished: a subject tending to much like end as that I noted before; for as that other were likely to abate the number of controversies, so this is like to abate the heat of many of them. We see Moses when he saw the Israelite and the Egyptian fight, he did not say, Why strive you? but drew his sword and slew the Ægyptian : but when he saw the two Israelites fight, he said, You are brethren, why strive you? If the point of doctrine be an Egyptian, it must be slain by the sword of the Spirit, and not reconciled; but if it be an Israelite, though in the wrong, then, Why strive you? We see of the fundamental points, our Saviour penneth the league thus, "he that is not with us, is

against us;" but of points not fundamental, thus, "He that is not against us, is with us." So we see the coat of our Saviour was entire without seam, and so is the doctrine of the Scriptures in itself; but the garment of the church was of divers colours, and yet not divided: we see the chaff may and ought to be severed from the corn in the ear, but the tares

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VOL. II.

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