Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts by Henry Rogers


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts
by Henry Rogers

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts
From The Edinburgh Review, October 1849, Volume 90, No.
CLXXXII. (Pages 293-356)

Author: Henry Rogers

Release Date: April 6, 2005 [EBook #15563]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Michael Madden


[by Henry Rogers]


OCTOBER, 1849.

[Volume 90] No. CLXXXII. [Pages 293-356]

Art.I--1. Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte Eighth
edition, pp. 60. 8vo. London. 2. The Nemesis of Faith. By J. A. Froude,
M. A., Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. 12mo. London: pp. 227. 3.
Popular Christianity, its Transition State and Probable Development. By
F. J. Foxton, B. A.; formerly of Pembroke College, Oxford, and Perpetual
Curate of Stoke Prior and Docklow, Herefordshire. 12mo. London: pp. 226.

'Reason and Faith,' says one of our old divines, with the quaintness
characteristic of his day, 'resemble the two sons of the patriarch;
Reason is the firstborn, but Faith inherits the blessing. The image is
ingenious, and the antithesis striking; but nevertheless the sentiment
is far from just. It is hardly right to represent Faith as younger
than reason: the fact undoubtedly being, that human creatures trust and
believe, long before they reason or know. But the truth is, that both
reason and Faith are coeval with the nature of man, and were designed to
dwell in his heart together. In truth they are, and were, and, in such
creatures as ourselves, must be, reciprocally complementary--neither
can exclude the other. It is as impossible to exercise an acceptable
faith without reason for so exercising it,--that is, without exercising
reason while we exercise faith*,--as it is to apprehend by our reason,
exclusive of faith, all the truths on which we are daily compelled to
act, whether in relation to this world or the next. Neither is it right
to represent either of them as failing of the promised heritage,
except as both may fail alike, by perversion from their true end, and
depravation of their genuine nature; for it to the faith of which the
New Testament speaks so much, a peculiar blessing is promised, it is
evident from the same volume that it is not a 'faith without reason' any
more than a 'faith without works,' which is approved by the Author of
Christianity. And this is sufficiently proved by the injunction 'to
be ready to give a reason for the hope,'--and therefore for the
faith,--'which is in us.'


* Let it be said that we are here playing upon an ambiguity in the
word Reason;--considered in the first clause as an argument; and in the
second, as the characteristic endowment of our species. The distinction
between Reason and Reasoning (though most important) does not affect our
statement; for though Reason may be exercised where there is no giving
of reasons, there can be no giving of reasons without the exercise of

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