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Sp».viii Blank to us; And beyond it, if any Thkig, the Manner of the Divine Existence, and the Nature of the Unity and Distinction in the tremendous Deity, are infinitely removed.
I may observe farther, that the Antitrinitarians firji introduced Metaphysics into this Question, on purpose to perplex it with laboured Abstractions, and studied Refinements; and then the Catholics were obliged, though reluctant, to follow them through all their Mazes and Windings, to shew that the Doctrine would abide the Test of Metaphysics. For if fome Men's Understandings, like the Earth under the Curse, will be fruitful of little else, but Thorns and Thistles to entangle and perplex j it is a Duty incumbent upon the Labourers in the Vineyard, to weed the Soil, and not let the Doctrine be over-run and choaked by them.
Whoever has examined all the wild Pa* radoxcs, and particular Tenets, of the Philosophers, ancient and modern > must be sensible, that Stupidity has not misled the Unthinking into more palpable Absurdities j than an Assentation of thinking out of the common Road, has betrayed some of the finest Geniuses and ablest Scholars.
Not Nor is Reason oftener in some Men the Ser.viii. Pupe of the PaJ/ions; than it is in others of the Imaginationt of an inventive, adventurous Imagination, launching out into those Depths, where it can find no sure Footing. 1
The grand Inlet of Error has been to argue a priori, from antecedent philosophical Notions; and then to pervert the Scripture to countenance those Notions, ta press it into the Service, and compel it to come in j which has been the Source of Heresy: Or else to rejeEt it j which has been the Source of Infidelity'.
And what is this, but to push our Enquiries beyond our Capacities? Matter of Fact (a Revelation supported by well-attested Matters of Fact) is here all in all: But to argue from the abstraB Nature o£ the Thing, of which we know little or: nothing, is what we may miscal human Reason; but is in Reality human Conjecture, not to fay, human Folly and Pride, It is to pretend to Wisdom, without having, what is the Beginning of Wisdom, a reverential Fear of God before our Eyes. There is a metaphysical Knight-Errantry, a speculative Fool-Hardiness, in some very , .* great
Ssr.viti. great but tod enterprizing Men, which tempts them to grapple with Objects, towhich every judicious Stander-by fees their Strength to be vastly unequal.
And whatever Absurdities some People may alledge, without being able to prove, against the Trinity; the greatest Absurdity of all: \\' that weak ignorant Creatures should pretend to fathom' an infinite Subject1 with a very scanty "Line. Want of Humility in Points of .so.high a Nature, fs always, in some Degree, want of Sense, There may be a bright and sparklidg Imagination, without Humility; but there can be no such' Thing as a well-poised Judgment, and found sober Sense. For good Sense teaches us to be diffident of our own Sense j. ,where the Subject is placed beyond , the Boundaries of clear and distinct Perception.' . Yhose Repugnancies to Reason which some ,People, imagine they have discovered in this Point, are like the Retrogradations of the Planets and rile Irregularities of their Motions; They are only seeming, not real, and are owing to the Height of the Objects, their Distance from' us, and the Incommodiousness of our Situation for a just Discernment of these Things: Could
we we see from a proper Point ofView, weSErshould find, that what appeared to its irregular, was in itself equal and uniform.
Let us then proceed, in our Researches after Truth, with all due Humility and Modesty. It is better to be in the Wrong in some few Points, with Modesty and Humility; than to be in the Right, (which is not often the Cafe) with those proud and presumptuous Reasoners, who stand upon Terms with their Maker, and lose the humble and meek Christian, in the vain Disputer of this World. For however valuable a clear Discernment, and an uncommon Reach of Thought may be; yet Humility, which does not exercise itself in Matters which are too high, is undoubtedly far more amiable in the Sight of that Being, who though he inhabiteth Eternity, yet dwells with the Lowly and Contrite. It is better having one Eye, though we do not fee so clearly, to enter into Life ; than having two Eyes, with all our Quick-Sightedness, and enlarged Views, to be cast into Hell: Which may be the Cafe, if Misbelief in an important practical Point, is occasioned, not by any Defect of Understanding, but by the Perverfenefs of the Will. Vol. II. H h To
Ser.viii.to withhold our Assent, till all Difficulties are cleared up, and all Intricacies unravelled, is very unreasonable. For All cannot be cleared up, unless we, who hardly guess aright at Things before us, could comprehend, whatever He, whose Glory is above the Heavens, is in himself, and whatever he does for us. We then give the best Proofs of the Strength of our Reason, when we own the Weakness of it, in the deep Things of God; humbly content toy^r him through a Glass darkly; till we can see him as he is, Face to Face: To whom, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed, &c.