North Western Winds

Contemplating it all from the great Pacific Northwest

Labyrinth of the mind

with 2 comments

More from Newman’s Grammar of Assent. Here, the argument (see #9) is something like the argument from reason (although, of course, Newman pre-dates Lewis):

AS the structure of the universe speaks to us of Him who made it, so the laws of the mind are the expression, not of mere constituted order, but of His will. I should be bound by them even were they not His laws; but since one of their very functions is to tell me of Him, they throw a reflex light upon themselves, and, for resignation to my destiny, I substitute a cheerful concurrence in an overruling Providence. We may gladly welcome such difficulties as there are in our mental constitution, and in the interaction of our faculties, if we are able to feel that He gave them to us, and He can overrule them for us. We may securely take them as they are, and use them as we find them. It is He who teaches us all knowledge; and the way by which we acquire it is His way. He varies that way according to the subject-matter; but whether He has set before us in our particular pursuit the way of observation or of experiment, of speculation or of research, of demonstration or of probability, whether we are inquiring into the system of the universe, or into the elements of matter and of life, or into the history of human society and past times, if we take the way proper to our subject-matter, we have His blessing upon us, and shall find, besides abundant matter for mere opinion, the materials in due measure of proof and assent.

And especially, by this disposition of things, shall we learn, as regards religious and ethical inquiries, how little we can effect, however much we exert ourselves, without that blessing; for, as if on set purpose, He has made this path of thought rugged and circuitous above other investigations, that the very discipline inflicted on our minds in finding Him, may mould them into due devotion to Him when He is found. “Verily, Thou art a hidden God, the God of Israel, the Saviour,” is the very law of His dealings with us. Certainly we need a clue into the labyrinth which is to lead us to Him; and who among us can hope to seize upon the true starting-points of thought for that enterprise, and upon all of them, to understand their right direction, to follow them out to their just limits, and duly to estimate, adjust, and combine the various reasonings in which they issue, so as safely to arrive at what it is worth any labour to secure, without a special illumination from Himself? Such are the dealings of Wisdom with the elect soul. “She will bring upon him fear, and dread, and trial; and She will torture him with the tribulation of Her discipline, till She try him by Her laws, and trust his soul. Then She will strengthen him, and make Her way straight to him, and give him joy.”


Written by Curt

August 31, 2006 at 9:07 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] This was the post. […]

  2. Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!|

    Dorothy Russell

    June 30, 2013 at 5:32 am

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