unknown artist; Ralph Wardlaw (1779-1853); The Congregational Memorial Hall Trust (1978) Limited; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/ralph-wardlaw-17791853-46177

unknown artist; Ralph Wardlaw (1779-1853); The Congregational Memorial Hall Trust (1978) Limited; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/ralph-wardlaw-17791853-46177

“There is a way which some persons have of distinguishing between reason and faith, in which, as it seems to us, there is neither faith nor reason. They talk of faith, as if it were something quite independent of reason;—something quite above it,—quite transcendental;—something that rests on no ascertained, defined, proveable grounds;—something, in a word, that begins where reason ends, and with which argument has little or nothing to do.—This is a description of mysticism, of which the tendency is most pernicious, and of which the effects have been most mischievous. We utterly disclaim it. We are quite aware of its source. That source is to be found in a sound Bible doctrine; the doctrine of the necessity of divine influence to the spiritual discernment and faith of divine truth. But it is on an entirely mistaken apprehension of that doctrine that the mystical notions of which we speak are founded. There is perfect harmony between that doctrine and the position that faith rests on evidence, and can rest on nothing else. In this respect, the belief of the Bible being the Word of God differs not in its nature from the belief of any other proposition. In that word itself, indeed, evidence of its own divine authority, of various descriptions, is appealed to. The Spirit of God makes use of that evidence, whether existing in the truth itself or extraneous to it, for working conviction. We call on no man to receive any thing whatsoever as truth, for which satisfactory evidence cannot be produced. No; nor does, nor can, a righteous God.”

 

Ralph Wardlaw, On Miracles (Edinburgh: A. Fullarton and Co., 1852), pp. 8-9

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