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method of leading her into right sentiments upon that head; but was ready to wonder that she had not, before that, seen the matter in the same light, as it appeared so very obvious, now she had attended to it and carefully considered it.

“I know, my friend Pyrrho, that you are a speculative man, and will make reflections on such a story, which would not occur to others. Instead of news therefore or business, I thought it might not be amiss to send you this story. If it can afford you any useful hints, it is at your service. If not, accept it as a testimony of my being ready to oblige you."

When Pyrrho had read this letter, Theophilus said, that Novatianus had acted like a man of sense; and that he had clearly shown that men cannot believe what they do not understand. How, said Pyrrho, is it possible that Theophilus and I should think so much alike upon such a subject? Yes, said Theophilus, and I further apprehend that, when the terms are explained, and persons of different sects and parties understand one another upon this head, they are more agreed than is at first imagined. Pyrrho could hardly be persuaded of this, and alleged, that it was the opinion of the infidels, that men must understand before they can believe ; and he observed, that they commonly charged Christians, and even divines, with being of the contrary opinion. well, Theophilus, that the author of Christianity not founded on Argument, has in a sneering manner said,

You know very

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“Though men cannot be all of one opinion, they may of one faith ; which they hold, not in unity of understanding, but, as our Liturgy well expresses it, in the bond of peace and unity of spirit.:

And again, “ I am fully persuaded, that the judging at all of religious matters is not the proper province of reason ; or, indeed, an affair where she has any concern.

I need not point you out more passages to the same purpose in an author, which you have so much studied.

The author of Christianity as old as the Creation (pp. 199, &c. 12mo, ed.] says, “If I do not understand the terms of a proposition; or if they are inconsistent with one another; or so uncertain, that I know not what meaning to fix on them; here is nothing told me, and consequently no room for belief. But, although designing men very well know, that it is impossible to believe, when we know not what it is we are to believe ; or to believe an absurd or contradictory proposition ; yet they, because without examination people may be brought to fancy they believe such things, and it being their interest to confound men's understandings, and prevent all inquiry, craftily invented the notion of believing things above reason. Here the ravings of an enthusiast are on a level with the dictates of infinite wisdom, and nonsense is rendered most sacred; here a contradiction is of great use to maintain a doctrine, that, when fairly stated, is

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testimony, the assent to that is properly called faith. If it be the testimony of man, it is human faith, if it be the testimony of God, it is divine faith.

But, in all these cases, it is impossible to assent to that, of which we have no ideas, for that would be to believe we know not what. And, if we have credible testimony, or some other good arguments, then we have a reason for believing; otherwise we believe we know not why. And we ought, in all such cases, to suspend our belief, or withhold our assent.

Pyrrho said, I think I clearly apprehend your meaning, which I would express in my own way, and I desire you would set me right, if, in any particular, I have mistaken you.

There are two parts in every proposition, a subject and a predicate, which are united in an affirmative, or separated in a negative, proposition. Now we must have the ideas affixed to the words, which express the subject, and the predicate ; or understand the subject, and what is affirmed, or denied, concerning that subject. And we must likewise have the testimony of God, or of some credible person, for joining those two ideas together in an affirmative proposition; or separating them in a negative proposition. And without

a . understanding the words, and having that, or some other reason for assenting to the proposition, which they express, we can neither understand nor believe anything about them.

Theophilus acknowledged, that Pyrrho had spoken exactly agreeable to his sentiments on this subject.

proposition is laid before us, and we are required to believe it, it is necessary we should understand the words in which it is expressed or delivered. Your friend Novatianus has clearly shown, that as long as it continues in an unknown language, we can neither believe nor know anything about it. But

suppose we understand the words in which any proposition is expressed, or have in our minds the ideas signified by those words, it does not follow from thence, that we must immediately believe that proposition to be true. No doctrine of divine revelation can possibly contradict any principle of reason, or be inconsistent with it. Neither can any two doctrines or propositions in divine revelation be contradictory to, or irreconcileable with, one another. In such cases, the things proposed cannot be any part of divine revelation, though some persons may assert them to

Or, if the words in which they are expressed be contained in the divine writings, we may depend upon it, we have not yet found out the right meaning of those words.

If a proposition be selfevident, or we perceive the truth of it by intuition; or, if it be proved by a train of undoubted propositions, each of them ranged in a proper order, and connected with one another, which is termed demonstration; then we do not call that faith, but knowledge. If there be only probable arguments for the truth of any proposition, we call that opinion. If a proposition is supported by credible

be so.

testimony, the assent to that is properly called faith. If it be the testimony of man, it is human faith, if it be the testimony of God, it is divine faith.

But, in all these cases, it is impossible to assent to that, of which we have no ideas, for that would be to believe we know not what. And, if we have credible testimony, or some other good arguments, then we have a reason for believing; otherwise we believe we know not why. And we ought, in all such cases, to suspend our belief, or withhold our assent.

Pyrrho said, I think I clearly apprehend your meaning, which I would express in my own way, and I desire you would set me right, if, in any particular, I have mistaken you.

There are two parts in every proposition, a subject and a predicate, which are united in an affirmative, or separated in a negative, proposition. Now we must have the ideas affixed to the words, which express the subject, and the predicate ; or understand the subject, and what is affirmed, or denied, concerning that subject. And we must likewise have the testimony of God, or of some credible person, for joining those two ideas together in an affirmative proposition ; or separating them in a negative proposition. And without understanding the words, and having that, or some other reason for assenting to the proposition, which they express, we can neither understand nor believe anything about them.

Theophilus acknowledged, that Pyrrho had spoken exactly agreeable to his sentiments on this subject.

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