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opposition to what Saint James hath advanced on the same subject, that it clearly resolves itself into the very doctrine which that apostle hath established, that "by works faith is made "perfect."

I cannot conclude this head with more propriety than in the words of Saint Ignatius, in his epistle to the Ephesians, as a doctrine perfectly corresponding with that of the inspired Apostles, which we have been considering, and as the clear result of the whole, that "faith is "the beginning or the principle, and charity "the end or the completion of the christian "life."*


The Conclusion.

INOW beg leave to conclude the whole subject with an address, first to those who, maintaining the sufficiency of reason, do blindly reject the assistance of revelation: and secondly, to those who imagine that revelation doth wholly supersede the use of reason, and exclude its exercise from the noblest subject on which it can be employed, the subject of religion.

And first, let the advocates of unassisted reason "produce their cause, and bring forth * Epist. ad Ephes. sec. 14.


"their strong reasons" in support of it. That first structure of religion, wherein human reason and human virtue might have had a greater share, was laid in ruins by man's first disobedience. By redemption our system of duty is now placed on a new and a firmer basis, it is strengthened in all its parts, and new reinforcements given to virtue, which was become too feeble to sustain itself. But how vainly do you attempt to rear again that system which hath been long since overthrown; and labor by your own strength to repair the ruins of fallen nature! An attempt not unlike that of those infidels, who in defiance of the decrees of Omnipotence, undertook to erect again the fallen temple of Jerusalem. Their design was blasted by heaven.

You must allow that virtue in a state of nature is insufficient for its own support. Why then, if you are truly lovers of virtue, why will you rob it of all those new and powerful helps which it receives from religion, "nor hear that "virtue which you love, complain?”

It is on your own principles that we embrace faith. Reason leads us to faith. Reason pleads for it, and shows it to be every way worthy of God, every way calculated to promote the dignity of human nature. Reason flies to faith as its only protector, as the only ally that can rescue it from the tyranny of the passions under which it groans, from that base slavery to the inferior part by which it is so shamefully

degraded, sunk below itself, and disabled in all its noblest operations.

They misrepresent faith who say, that like a false ally it would enslave that very reason which it was called in to defend. Reason is never so free as when united to faith: all its faculties are strengthened, and all its aims exalted. Its sphere of action is enlarged, new fields of contemplation are laid open before it, where it finds for its exercise objects of the noblest nature, with which it was before little acquainted; and its glorious views are now extended far beyond that narrow circle within which they were before coniined, even into a boundless eternity.

But what wonder that by one party revelation is mistaken for the enemy of reason, when by another, reason is constantly represented as the enemy of revelation?

Little do these mistaken advocates of religion consider how much an unskilful defence may injure a cause which they no doubt mean to serve; and how much strength they add to the real adversaries of religion, whilst by a charge so groundless they attempt to force into rebellion one of its surest friends.

It cannot be, that redemption, which was given to improve and exalt our nature, should thus degrade it, by despoiling us of the noblest endowment with which the Omnipotent had distinguished us above the rest of the lower creation. It is reason alone that renders us worthy of salvation. Take away reason, and

man will not be worth saving. Nothing will remain but blind passions, and grovelling appetites. Nothing but the brute.

And how shall salvation be addressed to such a being? Without reason, and free-will that belongs to reason, he can neither apprehend the terms of salvation, nor fulfil them. He can neither apprehend our Saviour's merits, nor follow his example. Without reason there can be no faith; the evidence, and the motives of religion are all lost. Man is no longer capable of knowing, of loving, of serving his God and his Redeemer. As rational indeed would be the attempt of that supposed Saint, who is said to have preached the gospel to the inhabitants of the air and of the deep, as to preach salvation to man, if you suppose him without reason; or, which amounts to the same thing, that his reason is of no use in religion.

Can there be a clearer proof, that God intended we should make use of our understanding in his service, than that he hath every way applied and suited his religion to our understanding? Why hath he so admirably fitted out his system of religious laws, and all that bright display of evidence with which they are attended, completing the design with so much beauty, fixing every part with such nice propriety, and adjusting the whole with such due proportion, that we cannot cease to admire it; but the more we inquire, the more we discover throughout of wisdom and admi

rable contrivance: why is this ample and this glorious field prepared for the exercise of our reason, if yet our reason must be restrained from entering upon it?

Can it be, that it should be a sacrilege for the understanding to lay hold of that knowledge which the gospel holds forth to it? Can it be, that its sacred truths are no better than the fruit of that ancient tree of trial which it will be death for our reason to taste? Shall we charge the Creator with giving reason and truth in vain ? Reason not to be exercised, and truth not to be understood?

Indeed the necessity of reason in apprehending the evidences of revelation hath been so often urged, and is in itself so extremely obvious, that even they who seem most inclined to prevent its entrance on the sacred ground, and to send it an exile into the world of nature, have been compelled to admit its right of proceeding thus far. But they seem not to be aware that the use of reason is no less necessary in every part of religion than in the bare investigation of its evidence. It is as necessary to the knowledge of the laws of christianity, as of its evidence. The very existence of religion in the soul depends on the knowledge of God, the knowledge of our Redeemer, and the knowledge of ourselves. Take away knowledge from religion, and you leave nothing but intemperate zeal, wild enthusiasm, or dark superstition. Even in our devo tions, if we must pray with the heart, and with all

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