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children that are used to have everything given them which they cry for, will be sure to cry before they will be crossed of their desire. So is it with our sensitive appetite; if you use to satisfy it when it is eager or importunate, you shall be mastered by its eagerness and importunity: and if you use but to regard it overmuch, and delay your commands till sense is heard and taken into counsel, it is two to one but it will prevail, or at least will be very troublesome to you, and prove a traitor in your bosom, and its temptations keep you in continual danger. Therefore be sure that you never loose the reins; but keep sense under a constant government, if you love either your safety or your ease. Direct. v III. “You may know whether sense, or faith and reason be the chief in government, by knowing which of their objects is made your chiefest end, and accounted your best, and loved, and delighted in, and sought accordingly. If the objects of sense be thus taken for your best and end, then certainly sense is the chief in government: but if the objects of faith and reason, even God and life etermal be taken for your best and end, then faith and reason are the ruling power.” Though you should use never so great understanding and policy for sensual things, (as riches, and honour, and worldly greatness, or fleshly delights,) this doth not prove that reason is the ruling power; but proveth the more strongly that sense is the conqueror, and that reason is depraved and captivated by it, and truckleth under it, and serveth it as a voluntary slave. And the greater is your learning, wit, and parts, and the nobler your education, the greater is the victory and dominion of sense, that can subdue, and rule, and serve itself by parts so noble. Direct. 1x. “Though sense must be thus absolutely ruled, its proper power must neither be disabled, prohibited, nor denied.’ You must keep your horse strong and able for his work, though not headstrong and unruly: and you must not keep him from the use of his strength, though you grant him not the government. Nor will you deny but that he may be stronger than the rider, though the rider have the ruling power: he hath more of the power called ‘Sovauc,’ “natural power,’ though the ‘ossia' be yours. So is it here, 1. No man must destroy his bodily sense. The quickest sense is the best servant to the soul, if it be not headstrong and too impetuous. The body must be stricken so far, as to be “kept under and brought into subjection *;” but not be disabled from its service to the soul. 2. Nor must we forbid or forbear the exercise of the senses, in subordination to the exercise of the interior senses". It is indeed a smaller loss to part with a right hand or a right eye, than with our salvation; but that proveth not that we are put to such straights as to be necessitated to either (unless persecution put us to it). 3. Nor must we deny the certainty of the sensitive apprehension, when it keepeth its place; as the Papists do that affirm it necessary to salvation to believe that the sight, and taste, and smell, and feeling of all men in the world that take the sacrament, are certainly deceived, in taking that to be bread and wine which is not so: for if all the senses of all men, though never so sound and rational, be certainly deceived in this, we know not when they are not deceived, and there can be no certainty of faith or knowledge: for if you say that the Church telleth us that sense is deceived in this, and only in this, I answer, If it be not first granted that sense (as so stated) is certain in its apprehension, there is no certainty then that there is a church, or a man, or a world, or what the church ever said, or any member of it. And if sense be so fallible, the church may be deceived, who by the means of sense doth come to all her knowledge. To deny faith is the property of an infidel: to deny reason is to deny humanity, and is fittest for a madman, or a beast (if without reason, reason could be denied): but to deny the certainty of sense itself, and of all the senses of all sound men, and that about the proper objects of sense, this sheweth that ambition can make a religion, which shall bring man quite below the beasts, and make him a mushroom, that Rome may have subjects capable of her government, and all this under pretence of honouring faith, and saving souls; making God the destroyer of nature in order to its perfection, and the deceiver of nature in order to its edification. Direct. x. “Sense must not be made the judge of matters that are above it, as the proper objects of faith and reason: nor must we argue negatively from our senses, in such cases, which God, in nature, never brought into their court.' We & 1 Cor. ix. 27. * Heb. iv. 14.
cannot say, that there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no angels, no souls of men, because we see them not. We cannot say, I see not the antipodes, nor other kingdoms of the world, and therefore there is no such place: so we say, as well as the Papists, that sense is no judge whether the spiritual body of Christ be present in the sacrament, no more than whether an angel be here present. But sense with reason is the judge whether bread and wine be there present, or else human understanding can judge of nothing. Christ would have had Thomas to have believed without seeing and feeling, and blesseth those that neither see him nor feel, and yet believe; but he never blesseth men for believing contrary to the sight, and feeling, and taste of all that have sound senses and understandings in the world. Their instance of the Virgin's conception of Christ, is nothing contrary to this: for it belongeth not to sense to judge whether a virgin may conceive. Nor will any wise man's reason judge, that the Creator, who, in making the world of nothing was the only cause, cannot supply the place of a partial, second cause in generation: they might more plausibly argue with Aristotle against the creation itself, that ‘ex nihilo nihil fit; but as it is past doubt that the infallibility of sense is nothing at all concerned in this, so it is sufficiently proved by Christians, that God can create without any pre-existent matter. Reason can see much further than sense, by the help of sense; and yet much further by the help of divine revelation by faith. To argue negatively against the conclusions of reason or divine revelation, from the mere negation of sensitive apprehension, is to make a beast of man. We must not be so irrational or impious as to say, that there is nothing but what we have seen, or felt, or tasted, &c. If we will believe others who have seen them, that there are other parts of the world, we have full reason to believe the sealed testimony of God himself, that there are such superior worlds and powers as he hath told us. We have the use of sense in hearing, or seeing God's revelation; and we have no more in receiving man's report of those countries which we never saw. If they will make it the question, whether the sense may not be deceived; I answer, we doubt not by distance of the objects, or distempers, or disproportions of itself or the
‘media,” it may: but if the sense itself, and all the means and objects have their natural soundness, aptitude, and disposition, it is a contradiction to say it is deceived: for that is to say, it is not the sense which we suppose it is. If God deceive it thus, he maketh it another thing. It is no more the same, nor will admit the same definition. But however, it is most evident that the senses being the first entrance or inlet of knowledge, the first certainty must be there, which is presupposed to the certain judgment of the intellect. But if these err, all following certainty which supposeth the certainty of the senses is destroyed. And this error in the first reception (like an error in the first concoction) is not rectified by the second. And if God should thus leave all men under a fallibility of sense, he should leave no certainty in the world: and I desire those that know the definition of a lie, to consider whether this be not to feign God to lie, in the very frame of nature, and by constant lies to rule the world, when yet it is impossible for God to lie. And if this blasphemy were granted them, yet it would be man's duty still to judge by such senses as he hath, about the objects of sense: for if God have made them fallible, we cannot make them better; nor can we create a reason in ourselves which shall not presuppose the judgment of sense, or which shall supply its ordinary, natural defects. So that the Roman faith of transubstantiation, denying the reality of bread and wine, doth not only unman the world, but bring man lower than a beast, and make sense to be no sense, and the world to be governed by natural deceits or lies, and banish all certainty of faith and reason from the earth; and after all, (with such wonderful enmity to charity, as maketh man more like the devil than else could easily be believed) they sentence all to hell that believe not this ; and decree to burn them first on earth, and to depose temporal lords from their dominions, that favour them, or that will not exterminate them from their lands; and so absolve their subjects from their allegiance, and give their dominions to others. All this you may read in the third canon of the Lateran General Council under Innocent III. Direct. x 1. ‘Look not upon any object of sense with sense alone, nor stop in it, but let reason begin where sense doth
end, and always see by faith or reason the part which is inWO L. I. ii. A. A
visible, as well as the sensible part by sense. By that which is seen, collect and rise up to that which is unseen.” If God had given us an eye, or ear, or taste, or feeling, and not a mind, then we should have exercised no other faculty but what we had. But sure he that hath given us the higher faculty, requireth that we use it as well as the lower. And remember that they are not mere co-ordinate faculties, but the sensitive faculty is subordinate to the intellectual : and accordingly that which the sensible creature objectively revealeth through the sense unto the intellect, is something to which things sensible are subordinate. Therefore if you stop in sensible things, and see not the principle which animateth them, the power which ordereth and ruleth them, and the end which they are made for, and must be used for, you play the beasts; you see nothing but a dead carcase without the soul, and nothing but a useless, senseless thing. You know nothing indeed to any purpose; no, not the creature itself; while you know not the use and meaning of the creature, but separate it from its life, and guide, and end. Direct. x11. ‘First therefore see that you ever look upon all things sensible as the products of the will of the invisible God, depending on him more than the sunshine doth upon the sun; and never see or taste a creature separatedly from God.” Will you know what a plant is, and not know that it is the earth that beareth and nourisheth it? Will you know what a fish is, and yet be ignorant that he liveth in the water? Will you know what a branch or fruit is, and yet not know that it groweth on the tree? The nature of things cannot be known without the knowledge of their causes, and respective parts. It is as no knowledge to know incoherent scraps and parcels. To know a hand as no part of the body, or an eye or nose without knowing a head, or a body without knowing its life or soul, is not to know it, for you make it another thing. It is the difference between a wise man and a fool, that “sapiens respicit ad plura, insipiens ad pauciora: a wise man looketh comprehensively to things as they are conjunct, and takes all together, and leaveth out nothing that is useful to his end; but a fool seeth one thing and overseeth another which is necessary to the true knowledge or use of that which he seeth. See God