Believe your Eyes,
but still suspect your Ears,
You’ll need no Star-light, when the day appears.
This is the account of his way of Philosophizing, the greatest part of which is enigmatical and full of obscurity, and for that reason of no use to any but such as thoroughly perceive and understand the matter before, and then afterwards hear it from him again, or at least such as are of an excellent Capacity, and can apprehend a thing from the least intimation. The same Author says in his Aljawahir [i.e. The Jewels] that he had Books not fit to be communicated, but to such only as were qualified to read them, and that in them he had laid down the Naked Truth; but none of them ever came into Spain that we know of: we have indeed had Books which some have imagin’d to be those incommunicable ones he speaks of, but ’tis a mistake, for those are Almaareph Alakliyah [Intellectual notices] and the Alnaphchi walteswiyal [Inflation and AEquation] and besides these, a Collection of several Questions. But as for these, tho’ there are some hints in them, yet they contain nothing of particular use to the clearing of things, but what you may meet with in his other Books. There are, ’tis true, in his Almeksad Alasna, some things which are more profound than what we meet with in the rest of his Books, but he expressly says, that that Book is not incommunicable; from whence it follows, those Books which are come to our hands are not those incommunicable ones which he means. Some have fancy’d that there were some great matters contain’d in that Discourse of his, which is at the end of his Meschal [i.e. Casement] (which Belief of theirs, has plung’d them into inextricable Difficulties) where speaking of the several sorts of those who are kept from nearer Approaches, by the Brightness of the radiation of the Divine light, and then of those who had attain’d to the UNION, he says of these later, That they apprehended such Attributes to belong to the Divine Essence as were destructive of its Unity; from, whence it appear’d to them that he believ’d a sort of Multiplicity in the Godhead, which is horrid Blasphemy. Now I make no Question but that the worthy Doctor Algazali was one of those which attain’d to the utmost degree of Happiness, and to those heights which are proper to those who enjoy the UNION; but as for his secret or incommunicable Books, which contain the manner of Revelation, they never came to my hands: and that pitch of knowledge which I have attain’d to, is owing to his other works and to Avicenna, which I read and compar’d with the Opinions of the present Philosophers, till at length I came to the Knowledge of the Truth. At first indeed, by way of Enquiry and Contemplation;but afterwards I came to have a perfect sense, and then I found that I could say something which I could call