Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter 16: The Light of Reason Is Calme and Peaceable - An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
chapter 16: The Light of Reason Is Calme and Peaceable - Nathaniel Culverwell, An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature 
An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature, ed. Robert A. Greene and Hugh MacCallum, foreword by Robert A. Greene (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
About Liberty Fund:
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
The Light of Reason Is Calme and Peaceable
’Tis Lumen tranquillum & amicum,’tis a Candle, not a Comet, it is a quiet and peaceable light. And though this Candle of the Lord may be too hot for some, yet the Lamp ’tis only maintain’d with soft and peaceable Oile. There is no jarring in pure intellectuals; if men were tun’d and regulated by Reason more, there would be more Concord and Harmony in the world. As man himself is a sociable creature, so his Reason also is a sociable Light. This Candle would shine more clearly and equally if the windes of passions were not injurious to it. ’Twere a commendable piece of Stoicisme, if men could alwayes hush and still those waves that dash and beat against Reason, if they could scatter all those clouds that soil and discolour the face and brightnesse of it, would there be such fractions and commotions in the State, such Schismes and Ruptures in the Church, such hot and fiery prosecutions of some trifling opinions? If the soft and sober voice of Reason were more attended to, Reason would make some differencies kisse and be friends, ’twould sheath up many a sword, ’twould quench many a flame, ’twould binde up many a wound. This Candle of the Lord ’twould scatter many a dark suspition, many a sullen jealousie. Men may fall out in the dark sometimes, they cannot tell for what, if the Candle of the Lord were but amongst them, they would chide one another for nothing then but their former breaches, ἡἐπιστήμηἵστησιτὴνψυχὴν[knowledge calms the soul] it calmes and composes a soul, whereas passion, as the grand Stoick Zeno paints it, is ὁρμὴπλεονάξουσακαὶπαρὰφύσιντη̑ςψυχη̑ςκίνησις.1 An abounding and over-boyling impetus, a preternatural agitation of soul, animi commotio aversa a recta ratione, & contra naturam2 [a disturbance of the soul opposed to right reason and contrary to nature], as the Orator stiles it. The soul ’tis tost with passion, but it anchors upon Reason. This gentlenesse and quietnesse of Reason doth never commend it self more then in its agreeing and complying with faith, in not opposing those high and transcendent mysteries that are above its own reach and capacity; nay it had alwayes so much humility and modesty, waiting and attending upon it, that it would alwayes submit and subordinate it self to all such divine revelations as were above its own sphere. Though it could not grasp them, though it could not pierce into them; yet it ever resolv’d with all gratitude to admire them, to bow its head, and  to adore them. One light does not oppose another; Lumen fidei & Lumen rationis, may shine both together though with farre different brightnesse; the Candle of the Lord,’tis not impatient of a superiour light, ’twould both ferre parem & priorem[endure an equal and a superior]. The light of the Sun that indeed is Lumen Monarchicum, a supreme and sovereign light, that with its golden Scepter rules all created sparkles, and makes them subject and obedient to the Lord and rule of light. Created intellectuals depend upon the brightnesse of Gods beams, and are subordinate to them, Angelical Star-light is but Lumen Aristocraticum, it borrows and derives its glory from a more vast and majestical light. As they differ from one another in glory, so al of them infinitly differ from the Sun in glory. Yet ’tis far above the Lumen Democraticum, that light which appears unto the sons of men, ’tis above their lamps & Torches, poor and contemptible lights, if left to themselves; for do but imagine such a thing as this, that this external and corporeal world should be adjudg’d never to see the Sun more, never to see one Star more. If God should shut all the windows of heaven, and spread out nothing but clouds and curtains, and allow it nothing but the light of a Candle, how would the world look like a Cyclops with its eye put out? ’Tis now but an obscure prison with a few grates to look out at; but what would it be then, but a capacious grave, but a nethermost dungeon? yet this were a more grateful shade, a pleasanter and more comely darknesse, then for a soul to be condemned to the solitary light of its own Lamp, so as not to have any supernatural irradiations from its God. Reason does not refuse any auxiliary beams, it joyes in the company of its fellow-Lamp, it delights in the presence of an intellectual Sun, which will so far favour it, as that ’twill advance it, and nourish it, and educate it; ’twill encrease it, and inflame it, and will by no means put it out. A Candle neither can nor will put out the Sun, & an intellectual Sun, can, but will not put out the Lamp. The light of Reason doth no more prejudice the light of faith, then the light of a Candle doth extinguish the light of a Star. The same eye of a soul may look sometimes upon a Lamp, and sometimes upon a Star; one while upon a first principle, another while upon a revealed truth, as hereafter it shall alwayes look upon the Sun and see God face to face; Grace doth not come to pluck up nature as a weed, to root out the essences of men; but it comes to graft spirituals upon morals, that so by their mutual supplies and intercourse they may produce most noble and generous fruit. Can you tell me why the shell and the kernel may not dwell together? why the bodies of nature may not be quickened by the soul of grace? Did you never observe an eye using a prospective-glasse, for the discovering and amplifying and approximating of some remote and yet desirable object? and did you perceive any opposition between the eye and the glasse? was there not rather a loving correspondency and communion between them? why should there be any greater strife between Faith and Reason, seeing they  are brethren? do they not both spring from the same Father of Lights,3 and can the Fountain of love and unity, send forth any irreconcileable streams? do you think that God did ever intend to divide a rational being, to tear and rend a soul in pieces, to scatter principles of discord and confusion in it? If God be pleased to open some other passage in the soul, and to give it another eye, does that prejudice the former? Man you know is ordained to a choicer end, to a nobler happinesse, then for the present he can attain unto, and therefore he cannot expect that God should now communicate himself in such bright and open discoveries, in such glorious manifestations of himself, as he meanes to give hereafter. But he must be content for the present, to behold those infinite treasures of reserved love, in a darker and more shadowy way of faith, and not of vision: Nature and Reason are not sufficiently proportion’d to such blessed objects, for there are such weights of glory in them, as do opprimere ingenium humanum[overwhelm the human mind], there are such depths, such pleonasmes, such oceans of all perfections in a Deity as do infinitely exceed all intellectual capacity but its own. The most that mans Reason can do, is to fill the understanding to the brim, but faith that throws the soul into the Ocean, and lets it roll and bathe it self in the vastnesse and fulnesse of a Deity. Could the sons of men have extracted all the spirits of Reason, and made them meet and jump in one head; nay, could Angels and men have united and concentricated all their Reason, yet they would never have been able to spy out such profound and mysterious excellencies, as faith beholds in one twinckling of her eye. Evangelical beauties shine through a veile that’s upon their face; you may see the precious objects of faith like so many pearls and diamonds sparkling and glittering in the dark. Reveal’d truths shine with their own beams, they do not borrow their Primitive and original lustre from this Candle of the Lord, but from the purer light, wherewith God hath cloathed and attir’d them as with a garment; God crowns his own Revelations with his own beams. The Candle of the Lord it doth not discover, it doth not oppose them, it cannot eclipse them. They are no sparks of Reasons striking, but they are flaming darts of heavens shooting, that both open and enamour the soul. They are Stars of Heavens lighting, men behold them at a great distance twinckling in the dark. Whatsoever comes in Gods name does aut invenire viam, aut facere[either discover or make a way]. Whatever God reveals in his Word, ’tis supra providentiam rerum communem constitutum4 [above the ordinary providence of things]. ’Tis not in the road of nature, and therefore for the welcoming and entertaining of it (as a noble Author of our own doth very well observe,) explicatur sensus quidam super-naturalis, & θαυμάσιος5 [a certain supernatural and wonderful sense is brought into play], there’s an opening of a new window in the soul, an intellectual eye looks out at the window, and is much pleased and affected with the oriency of  that light that comes springing and rushing in upon it; as there’s a νόμοςγραπτὸς[written law], so there’s an εὐαγγέλιονγραπτὸν[written gospel] too; the one ’tis written by the pen of nature; the other by the finger of the Spirit, for ubi desinit natura, ibi incipit gratia[grace begins where nature ends]; and this second Edition set out by Grace, ’tis auctior & emendatior[expanded and corrected], yet so as it doth not at all contradict the first Edition, that was set out by Nature; for this is the voice of Nature it self, that whatsoever God reveals must needs be true; and this common Principle is the bottome and foundation of all Faith to build upon. The soul desires no greater satisfaction then an αὐτὸςἜφη[ipse dixit], for if God himself say it, who can question it? who dare contradict it? Reason will not, Reason cannot; for it does most immovably acknowledge a Deity, and the unquestionable truth of a Deity: in all believing there is an assent, a yielding to him that speaks by vertue of his own Authority; though he don’t prove it, though he don’t evince it. Now men themselves look upon’t as a contempt and injury not to have their words taken, and Reason it self dictates thus much, that we are to believe such a one whom we have no reason to distrust; for without some Faith there would be no commerce nor traffiking in the world, there’s no trading without some trusting. A general and total incredulity would threaten a present and fatal dissolution to humane society. Matters of fact are as certain in being and reality, as demonstrations; yet in appearance most of them can never be prov’d or evinc’d any other way then by meer testimony; much historical knowledge, many a truth has been lost and buried in unbelief, when as many a falsity in the mean time has prov’d more fortunate and triumphant, & has past currantly through the world under the specious disguise of probability; yet because no created being is infallible or authentical, because the sons of men are so easily deceived themselves, and are so apt and propense to deceive and impose upon others, ’twill be very lawful to move slowly and timerously, warily and vigilantly in our assents to them; for a sudden and precocious faith here, is neither commendable nor durable: But God being truth it self, an Eternal, Immutable truth, his word being vehiculum veritatis[the vehicle of truth]; and all Revelations flowing from him, shining with the prints and signatures of certainty, hence it is that his naked word is a demonstration; and he that won’t believe a God, is worse then a Devil, he is the blackest Infidel that was e’re yet extant. This sin is so unnatural, as that none but an Atheist can be guilty of it; for he that acknowledges a Deity, and knows what he acknowledges, sure he won’t offer to make his God a liar. That which might otherwise seem to some to be against Reason, yet if it bring the seal of God in its forehead, by this you may know that ’tis not against Reason. Abrahams slaying of his son may seem a most horrid and unnatural act, against the νόμοςγραπτὸς6 [written law], against the Candle of the Lord, yet being commanded  and authorized by God himself, the Candle durst not oppose the Sun. That pattern of faith the father of the faithful does not dispute and make Syllogismes against it; he does not plead that ’tis against common Notions, that ’tis against Demonstrations (for he had said false if he had said so,) but he doth dutifully obey the God of Nature, that high and supreme Law-giver, who by this call and voice of his did plainly and audibly proclaime, that for Abraham to kill his son in these circumstances, was not against the Law of Nature. So that all the stresse and difficulty will be to know whether God reveals such a thing or no; for here Reason (corrupt reason I mean,) is wont to slip and evade, and when it cannot frame a conceit adequate & commensurate to some transcendent and superlative mysteries, it would then fain cloud them and eclipse them, that it may quench and avoid the dazling brightnesse of them. It would faine make them stoop and condescend to its own capacity, and therefore it puts some inferiour notion upon them. When it cannot grasp what God saith, it then presently questions whether God say so or no, whether that be the minde of his Word. Hence many may erre very deeply and dangerously, yet will acknowledge the Scriptures, they will own and honour them as the Word of God; for they are not yet arriv’d to that full perfection of Errour, as those lumps and dunghills of all Sects, I mean that young and upstart generation of gross Anti-Scripturists,7 that have a Powder-plot against the Gospel, that would very compendiously behead all Christian Religion at one blow, a device which old and ordinary Hereticks were never acquainted withall. Though they be not come to such an height as this, yet either by their flat and frigid explicating, they do endeavour to dispirit and enervate the Word of God; or else in a more violent and injurious manner, they do even ravish it, and deflower the virginity of it; or else in a more subtle and serpentine manner, they seek to bend the rule, and expound it to their purposes and advantages. The letter of the word, the vagina verbi[the sheath of the word] that does not wound them, that does not strike them, and as for the edge they think they can draw that as they please, they can blunt it as they list, they can order it as they will. But the Law of sound Reason and Nature does oppose such unworthy dealings as these are; for men look upon’t very heinously to have their words misinterpreted, to have their meaning wrested and violenc’d. Can you think that the majesty of Heaven will allow or endure that a creature should study or busie it self in perverting his words, in corrupting his meaning, in blending it and mixing it with the crude imaginations of their own braine? That Spirit which breath’d out the word at first, and which convinces and satisfies the soul, that ’tis the word of God; the very same Spirit is the Interpreter of it, he is the Commentator upon it. The text is his, and the glosse is his, and whosoever shall call this a private spirit, must needs be a bold blasphemer, a Jesuit, an Atheist. But they that know what the Spirit of God is, will easily grant that the  Spirit of God unsheaths his own sword, that he polishes Evangelical Pearls, that he anoints and consecrates the eye of the soul, for the welcoming and entertaining of such precious objects. ’Tis true indeed, that some explications are so impertinent and distorted, as that a prophane and carnal eye may presently discerne that there was either some violence or deceit used in them, as who cannot tell when any Author is extremely vext and wrong’d? but if there be any such obscurity as may give just occasion of doubting and diffidence, who then can be fitter to clear and unfold it, then the Author himself? nay, who can explaine his minde certainly but he himself? is it not thus in spirituals much rather? When God scatters any twilight, any darknesse there, is it not by a more plentiful shedding abroad of his own beams? such a knot as created understanding cannot unty, the edge of the Spirit presently cuts asunder; Nor yet is providence wanting in external means, which by the goodnesse and power of God, were annexed as sigilla verbi[seals of the word], miracles I mean, which are upon this account very suitably and proportionably subservient to Faith, they being above natural power, as revealed truths are above natural understanding. The one’s above the hand of nature, as the other’s above the head of nature; But Miracles, though they be very potent, yet they are not alwayes prevalent, for there were many spectators of Christs Miracles, which yet like so many Pharoahs were hardened by them, and some of them that beheld them were no more moved by them, then some of them who only hear of them [and] will not at all attend to them. So that only the seal of the Spirit can make a firme impression upon the soul, who writes his own word upon the soul with a conquering and triumphant Sun-beam, that is impatient either of cloud or shadow. Be open therefore ye everlasting doors, and stand wide open ye intellectual gates, that the spirit of grace and glory, with the goodly train of his revealed truths may enter in.8 There’s foundation for all this in a principle of nature; for we must still put you in minde of the concord that is betwixt Faith and Reason. Now this is the voice of Reason, that God can, and that none but God can assure you of his own mind; for if he should reveal his minde by a creature, there will still be some tremblings and waverings in the soul, unlesse he does withal satisfie a soul, that such a creature does communicate his minde truly and really as it is; so that ultimately the certainty is resolv’d into the voice of God, and not into the courtesie of a creature. This holy Spirit of God creates in the soul a grace answerable to these transcendent objects, you cannot but know the name of it, ’tis called Faith, Super-naturalis forma fidei[a super-natural form of faith], as Mirandula the younger stiles it, which closes and complies with every word that drops from the voice or pen of a Deity, and which facilitates the soul to assent to revealed truths; So as that with a heavenly inclination, with a delightful propension it moves to them as to a centre.9  Reason cannot more delight in a common notion or a demonstration, then Faith does in revealed truth. As the Unity of a Godhead is demonstrable and clear to the eye of Reason, so the Trinity of persons, that is, three glorious relations in one God is as certain to an eye of Faith. ’Tis as certain to this eye of Faith that Christ is truly God, as it was visible to an eye both of Sense and Reason that he is truly man. Faith spies out the resurrection of the body; as Reason sees the immortality of the soul. I know there are some Authors of great worth and learning, that endeavour to maintain this Opinion, that revealed truths, though they could not be found by reason, yet when they are once revealed, that Reason can then evince them and demonstrate them: But I much rather encline to the determinations of Aquinas, and multitudes of others that are of the same judgement, that humane Reason when it has strecht it self to the uttermost, is not at all proportion’d to them, but at the best can give only some faint illustrations, some weak adumbrations of them.10 They were never against Reason, they were alwayes above Reason. ’Twill be employment enough, and ’twill be a noble employment too, for Reason to redeeme and vindicate them from those thornes and difficulties, with which some subtle ones have vext them and encompast them. ’Twill be honour enough for Reason to shew that Faith does not oppose Reason; and this it may shew, it must shew this; for else οἱἜσω[those within], those that are within the inclosure of the Church will never rest satisfied, nor οἱἜξω[those without], Pagans, Mahumetans, Jewes, will ever be convinc’d.11 God indeed may work upon them by immediate revelation; but man can only prevaile upon them by Reason; yet ’tis not to be expected, nor is it required, that every weak and new-born Christian, that gives reall assent, and cordial entertainment to these mysterial truths, should be able to deliver them from those seeming contradictions which some cunning adversaries may cast upon them. There are some things demonstrable, which to many seeme impossible, how much more easily may there be some matters of faith which every one cannot free from all difficulties. ’Tis sufficient therefore for such, that they so farre forth understand them as to be sure that they are not against Reason, and that principally upon this account, because they are sure God has revealed them. And others that are of more advanced and elevated intellectuals, may give such explications of them, as may disentangle them from all repugnancy, though they cannot display them in their full glory. Nor must the multitude or strength and wit of opposers fright men out of their Faith and Religion. Though the major part of the world do disesteeme and look upon them as meer contradictions; yet this being the censure of most unequal and incompetent judges, is not at all prejudicial to their worth and excellency; for to most of the world they were never revealed so much as in an external manner, and to all others that refuse and reject them, they were never powerfully revealed by the  irradiations of the Holy Ghost. So that one affirmative here is to be preferred before a whole heap of negatives; the judgement of one wise, enlighten’d, experienc’d, spiritualiz’d Christian is more to be attended to, then the votes and suffrages of a thousand gainsayers; because this is undeniable, that God may give to one that Eye, that Light, that discerning power, which he does deny to many others. ’Tis therefore a piece of excessive vanity and arrogancy in Socinus, to limit and measure all Reason by his own. Nor does this put any uncertainty in Reason, but only a diversity in the improvings of it, one Lamp differs from another in glory; and withal it laies down an higher and nobler principle then Reason is: for in things meerly natural, every rational being is there a competent Judge in those things that are within the Sphere & compasse of Reason, the Reason of all men does agree and conspire, so as that which implies an expresse and palpable contradiction, cannot be own’d by any; but in things above Nature and Reason, a paucity here is a better argument then a plurality; because Providence uses to open his Cabinets only for his Jewels. God manifests these mysterious secrets only to a few friends, his Spirit whispers to a few, shines upon a few, so that if any tell us that Evangelical mysteries imply a contradiction, because they cannot apprehend them, it is no more then for a blinde man confidently to determine, that it involves a contradiction to say there is a Sun, because he cannot see it. Why should you not as well think that a greater part of the world lies in Error, as that it lies in wickednesse? is it not defective in the choisest intellectuals, as well as in the noblest practicals? Or can any perswade himself, that a most eminent and refined part of mankinde, and (that which is very considerable) a Virgin-company which kept it self untoucht from the pollutions of Antichrist, upon mature deliberation, for long continuance upon many debatings, examinings, discussings, constant prayers unto God for the discovery of his minde, should all this while embrace meere contradictions, for the highest points of their Religion? or can any conceive that these Evangelical Mysteries were invented, and contriv’d, and maintain’d by men? Could the Head of a creature invent them? could the arme of a creature uphold them? have they not a Divine super-scription upon them? have they not an heavenly original? or can you imagine that Providence would have so blest and prosper’d a contradiction? as alwayes to pluck it out of the pawes of devouring adversaries? when the whole Christian world was ready to be swallowed up with Arrianisme, dare any to say that God then prepar’d an Arke only for the preserving of a contradiction? Providence does not use to countenance contradictions, so as to let them ride in triumph over Truth. The most that any opposer can say, if he will speak truth, is no more then this, that they seeme to him to imply a contradiction; which may very easily be so, if he want an higher principle of faith, suitable and answerable to these matters of faith, both of them (the principle and object I mean) being  supernatural, neither of them contranatural; for there is a double modesty in Reason very remarkable: As it does not multa asserere[assert much], so it does not multa negare[deny much]; as it takes very few things for certain, so it concludes very few for impossible; Nay, Reason though she will not put out her eye, for that’s unnatural, yet she will close her eye sometimes, that faith may aime the better, and that’s commendable: And Faith makes Reason abundant compensation for this; for as a learned Author of our own, and a great Patron both of Faith and Reason, does notably expresse it, Faith is a supply of Reason in things intelligible, as the imagination is of sight in things visible.12 The imagination with her witty and laborious pensil drawes and represents the shapes, proportions and distances of persons and places, taking them only by the help of some imperfect description, and ’tis faine to stay here, till it be better satisfied with the very sight of the things themselves. Thus Faith takes things upon an heavenly representation and description, upon a word, upon a promise, it sees a heavenly Canaan in the Map before an intellectual eye can behold it in a way of cleere and open vision; for men are not here capable of a present Heaven, and happinesse of a compleat and beatifical vision; and therefore they are not capable of such mysteries in their full splendor and brightnesse; for they would make it, if they were thus unfolded, but they now flourish only in the latices,13 as Christ himself the Head of these Mysteries; they do σκηνου̑νἐνἡμι̑ν14 [dwell among us], they put a veile upon their face, out of pure favour and indulgence to an intellectual eye, lest it should be too much overcome with their glory; the veiles of the Law were veiles of obscurity, but the veiles of the Gospel are only to allay the brightnesse of it. ’Tis honour enough for a Christian, if he can but touch the hem of Evangelical Mysteries, for he will never see a full Commentary upon the Gospel, till he can behold the naked face of his God. Yet the knowledge which he hath of him here, imperfecta cognitio rerum nobilissimarum[an imperfect knowledge of the most splendid things], ’tis most pleasant and delicious. ’Tis better to know a little of God and Christ, then to see all the creatures in their full beauty and perfection. The gleanings of spirituals is better then the vintage of naturals and morals. The least spangle of happinesse is better then a globe of temporals. This sets a glosse and lustre upon Christian Religion, and highly commends the purity and perfection of it, above all other whatsoever, in that in hath τὰβάθητου̑θεου̑15 [the deep things of God]. Christ tries all his followers by his own Sun-beams. Whereas the dull and creeping religion of Mahomet has nothing at all above Nature and Reason, though it may have many things against both; no need of Faith there, there are no Mysteries in his Alcoran, unlesse of deceit and iniquity. Nothing at all nisi quod de facili, a quolibet mediocriter sapiente naturali ingenio cognosci potest[except what may be known to some extent by a moderately wise mind easily and naturally], as that  solid Author16 very well observes. And therefore that stupid imposter did not seale his words with any miracles, for there was not one supernatural truth to be sealed, nor could he have sealed it if it had been there, but only he prosecutes it with a sword. Mahomets Loadstone17 does not draw men, but his sword that conquers them; he draws his sword, he bids them deliver up their souls, and tells them, that upon this condition he will spare their lives. Signa illa quae tyrannis & latronibus non desunt18 [those signs which tyrants and thieves do not lack], as he speaks notably. But the very principles of Christian Religion are attractive and magnetical, they enamour and command, they overpower the understanding, and make it glad to look upon such mysterious truths as are reflected in a glasse, because it is unable to behold them πρόσωπονπρὸςπρόσωπον19 [face to face]. This speaks the great pre-eminence of Mount Sion above Mount Sina.20 In the Law you have the Candle of the Lord shining; in the Gospel you have the day-spring from on high,21 the Sun arising. Nature and Reason triumph in the Law, Grace and Faith flower out in the Gospel. By vertue of this wise and free dispensation, weak ones chiefly receive the Gospel, for they are as well able to believe as any other, nay they are apter to believe then others. If it had gone only by the advancement of intellectuals, by the heightenings and clarifyings of Reason, who then would have been saved but the grandees of the world? the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Philosophers, the Disputers? but God has fram’d a way that confounds those heads of the world, and drops happinesse into the mouths of babes. There are some understandings that neither spin nor toile, and yet Solomon in all his wisdome and glory was not clothed like one of these:22 for this way of Faith ’tis a more brief & compendious way Longum iter per Rationem, breve per Fidem[the road of reason is long, that of faith short]. Very few understandings much lesse all can demonstrate all that is demonstrable, but if men have a power of believing, they may presently assent to all that’s true and certain. That which Reason would have been sweating for this many a yeer, Faith sups up the quintessence of in a moment. All men in the world have not equal abilities, opportunities, advantages of improving their Reason, even in things natural and moral, so that Reason it self tels us, that these are in some measure necessitated to believ others. How many are there that can’t measure the just magnitude of a Star, yet if they will believe an Astronomer, they may know it presently, and if they be sure that this Mathematician hath skill enough, and will speak nothing but truth, they cannot then have the least shadow of Reason to dis-believe him. ’Tis thus in spirituals, such is the weaknesse of humane understanding pro hoc statu[in its present state], as that they are necessitated to believing here; yet such is its happinesse, that it hath one to instruct it who can neither deceive nor be deceived. God hath chosen this way of Faith, that he may staine the pride and glory of man, that he may pose his  intellectuals, that God may maintaine in man great apprehensions of himself, of his own incomprehensiblenesse, of his own truth, of his own revelations, as that he may keep a creature in a posture of dependency, so as to give up his understanding, so as to be disposed and regulated by him. And if a Cherubim be ambitious of stooping, if Angelical understanding do so earnestly παρακύψαι23 [stoop to look], me thinks then the sons of men might fall down at the beautiful feet of Evangelical mysteries, with that humble acknowledgment, Non sum dignus solvere corrigiam hujus mysterii24 [I am not worthy to unloose the shoe latchet of this mystery]. Only let thy Faith triumph here, for it shall not triumph hereafter; let it shine in time, for it must vanish in eternity. You see then that Reason is no enemy to Faith, for all that has been said of Faith, it has been fetcht out of Reason. You see there are mutual embraces twixt the Law and the Gospel, Nature and Grace may meet together, Reason and Faith have kissed each other.25