Thus, it is almost a received formula on the evidences of the Gospel, that the province of reason is antecedent to that of faith ; that we are on grounds of reason to believe in Revelation, in other words, to receive Faith, and then on the ground of Faith, to receive its contents, which are not to be contrary toReason. True, as is urged, since reason is a gift of God, it will not conflict with His other gift, Revelation or Faith. But then, what Reason ? Reason, such as Adam had it, before the Fall, unwarped by prejudices, unswayed by pride, undeafened by passions, unallured by self-idolizing, unfettered by love of independence, master of itself because subdued to God, enlightened by God, a mirror of the Mind of God, reflecting His Image and likeness after which it was created; a finite copy of the perfections of the Infinite ? Truly, no one would demur to the answer of such an oracle as this. A work of God, which remained inharmony with God, must be in harmony with every other creation of God ; for both would be the finite expressions of the one Archetype, the Mind of God.
But that poor blinded prisoner, majestic in its wreck, bearing still the lineaments of its primaeval beauty and giant might, yet doomed, until it be set free, to grind in the mill of its prison-house and make sport for the master to whom it is enslaved, this, which can not guide itself, is no guide into the Mind of God.
More truly might that saying be reversed, and it might be affirmed, that the province of reason is after faith, not before. Reason, unaided, cannot even penetrate into the sphere of the objects of Faith ; nor can it, in any case, discern their substance or measure them by earthly laws. But reason, healed, restored, guided, enlightened, by the Spirit of God, has a power of vision above nature, and can spiritually discern a fitness, and correspondence, and harmony in the things of God which, through faith, it has received and believed. But to what end to measure by a crooked rule ?