The Improvement of Human Reason eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 166 pages of information about The Improvement of Human Reason.

Sec. 19.  I have now shewn that what is here held by our Author, and too many others in our times, has no manner of Foundation.  That it was never promis’d nor expected, either under the Mosaical or Christian Dispensation; from whence I have inferr’d, that it cannot be expected any where else, and consequently that there is no such thing at all.  If I have not spoken all the while particularly to my Author, the reason is, because I write to Christians, and chiefly have regard to those Errors, held by some of that Denomination, which are common with those of our Author.  Besides, if that were requisite, ’tis only allowing for Argument sake, that the Alcoran was written by Inspiration, and that Mahomet was a Prophet, and then the same way of Arguing proves the Enthusiasm of our Author, who being a profess’d Mahometan, and they being oblig’d to believe that Mahomet is the Catimo’l anbyai, i.e. The Seal of the Prophets, and that theirs is the last Dispensation, which Mankind shall ever receive from God, has ventured to suppose the Possibility of a Man’s attaining to the true Knowledge of God, and Things necessary to Salvation, and all other Things, both Spiritual and Natural, belonging either to this World, or that to come, without the Help of any outward Instruction.

Sec. 20.  I need not insist upon this any longer; I shall only remark, that as true Piety is the same in all Ages and Climates, and good solid Sense too, so also is Enthusiasm. And I have sometimes wonder’d, when I have read the Whimsies and Conceits of the Arab Enthusiasts (whose numerous Sects equal those Heresies mention’d by Epiphanius, or even that plentiful Crop which the Devil has sow’d of them in our times) to find such a Harmony between them and ours at present.  Such a perfect Agreement in their wild Notions, and these express’d in the very self-same Cant, may easily convince any one, that the Instruments of both were strung and tun’d by the same Hand.  Another thing observable is this; Let the Enthusiast have never such great Abilities, there is always something or other which proves his Pretensions to Revelation to be false; and as they tell us, that, let the Devil change himself into what Shape he will he can never conceal his Cloven Foot; so neither can the Enthusiast make himself pass for Inspired, with any Person of tolerable discerning; but there will appear some very considerable Flaw, which shall manifestly prove him a Deceiver, or at least a Person deceiv’d.  This is the Fate of them, and our Author could not avoid it.  He has indeed carried his Philosopher beyond the Orb of Saturn[46], but he might as well have sav’d him that Trouble; for he brought nothing down with him, but what he himself was able to furnish him withal before he went; viz.  Mahometan Divinity, and Aristotelian Philosophy.  As to the former of these I shall not need to say any thing; but I am well assur’d, that when he talk’d of those Discoveries in the latter, made by him when in that glorious State, he never dream’d in the least of those more certain Discoveries which should be made afterwards, by the Sagacity of our Astronomers and Philosophers; and that the contrary of what he believ’d; as to those things, should be prov’d by undeniable Demonstration.

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The Improvement of Human Reason from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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