« EdellinenJatka »
the Do&trine ; than speculative Refiners, Ser. VII. .
The Objections against the mysterious
fór Arbeifm, as they do againt Christi-
exifted from all Eternity, is a 'Truth, which
SER; VII. Digeftion in the Doctrine of the Irinity;
as there is in the Notion of Eternity, vizu that, whatever has existed without anyBeginning, must have existed no longer at this prefent Moment of Time, than it had existed Millions of Ages, age. For the present Moment of Time is in the Center or Middle between two Eternities, that which is past, and that which is come the Moment of Tiine, that was present fome Millions of Ages ago, was, įthen the Center 'or, Middle'; , and the Moinent to come, some Millions of Ages hence, will be then the Center.
Christianity does not require us to puzzle. ourselves or others with metaphyfcal Difquisitions ; how or in what particular. Manner three are so inseparably united as to be one; no more than natural Religion enjoins, us to embarrass our Minds with Inquiries, how Fore-Knowledge in God is reconcileable with Free-Will in Man; bow our Father) which is in Heaven, can be about our Path and about our Bed; how, if he is extended, the Consciousness of Being in Heaver (though: locally distinct and immensely disant), can be one and the same with the Consciousness of Being on Earth; or how, if he is unex
bë can a&tlederý where, without Ser: VII being sfubftantially present; or bow any Thing Can be made out of Nothing. In all these Points we understand the Terms of the Propofitions, and the Proofs of them from Reafon or Revelation, withour being able to penetrate into the Minutiæ of them, and every curious Nicety relating to them.
Men may pretend to understand what they "" not; and be ambitious of 'understanding, what they cannot ; grasping at Things, 90 which their Capacities are not suited. The Man, who, without ever considering these Points as to their Modus, hould immediately decläre he knows nothing of the Matter, has made as great Advances in Knowledge in a Moment ; as the Perfon who has impaired his Health, and exhaufted his Spirits in such unconcerning Researches. Such are several Points in natural Philosophy, 'aś 'well as Theology. The only use they are of, is to check our Presuniption, and to make us know (a very useful Part of Knowledge, but of which fóme reem incapable,) that there are many Things," which we cannot know; that we had much better lay out our Time in knowing ourselves' as to our moral Character';
Ser. VII.the only Subject perhaps as to which the more minute, particular
and full our garch is, without letting any Thing, however small, escape our Notice, the more useful it will be : Yet this is a Subject, which we gene rally decline, as to any punctual and tho. rough Examination, As far as our Ideas extend, our Faith, which must keep Pace with our Ideas, reaches; and, no farther. Thus we believe nothing concerning the precise and particular Modus, of the divine Uniiy, of the Reconcileableness of Fore, Knowledge with Free-Will
, of Creation, &c. because we underftand nothing about it. Only we think it' highly unreafonable not to believe a Doctrine, as far we understand it; because there is something in it which we do not understand. As well might we reject the whole Theory of
Vifion, merely because we cannot conceive, 'how our Ideas, which have no Dimenfons,
represent Columns, Statues, Buildings, which have. We have no very adequate Notions of the Manner, of Unity eyen as to material Beings: For each material Being, however one in some Respect, in another is an Infinity of Beings, as it is infinitely divisible : How much more muft we be
at a Loss to afcertain the Manner of the di- Ser. VII. vine Unity : P03:19 - Let us then consider, how far our Point of Viow extends, what falls within the Reach of every well-conftituted Eye, and what is far above out of our Sight. Let us not venture upon any immenfe Ocean in a little feeble Bark, which will be carried away with everg Windand soon overset. We
We cannot perceive the internal Conftitution and'real Nature of material Things, as they are in themselves; we only perceive them, as they are relative to, and affect us. Just fo neither Reason nor Revelation were given us to attain to a Knowledge of the intimate Er fence of the Deity, or, as fome affect to call its his abstract metaphysical Substance, what real Distinctions it may admit of, and how they are confiftent with it's Unity. Revelation was designed to let us know what the three Persons in the Divine Nature have done for us, and what relative Duties we owe to them. So far Knowledge is useful; and where Usefulness ends, Darkness and Ignorance generally commences. There are in every Branch of Science, as well as ..in Divinity, the weightier Matters, which may be understood with a proper Degree