and political science. Fisher, Nat. and Meth. of Revelation, 145 ? Hume and Gibbon refer to faith as something too sacred to rest on proof. Thus religious beliefs are made to hang in mid air, without any support. But the foundation of these beliefs is no less solid for the reason that empirical tests are not applicable to them. The data on which they rest are real, and the inferences from the data are fairly drawn.? Hodgson indeed pours contempt on the whole intuitional method by saying: ?Whatever you are totally ignorant of, assert to be the explanation of everything else!? Yet he would probably grant that he begins his investigations by assuming his own existence. The doctrine of the Trinity is not wholly comprehensible by us, and we accept it at the first upon the testimony of Scripture; the full proof of it is found in the fact that each successive doctrine of theology is bound up with it, and with it stands or falls. The Trinity is rational because it explains Christian experience as well as Christian doctrine.
(c) Even though there were no orderly arrangement of these facts, either in nature or in Scripture, an accurate systematizing of them by the human mind would not therefore be proved impossible, unless a principle were assumed which would show all physical science to be equally impossible. Astronomy and geology are constructed by putting together multitudinous facts, which at first sight seem to have no order. So with theology. And yet, although revelation does not present to us a dogmatic system ready made, a dogmatic system is not only implicitly contained therein, but parts of the system are wrought out in the epistles of the New Testament, as for example in <450512>Romans 5:12-19; <461503>1 Corinthians 15:3,4; 8:6; <540316>1 Timothy 3:16; <580601>Hebrews 6:1, 2.
We may illustrate the construction of theology from the dissected map, two pieces of which a father puts together, leaving his child to put together the rest. Or we may illustrate from the physical universe, which to the unthinking reveals little of its order ?Nature makes no fences.? One thing seems to glide into another. It is man?s business to distinguish and classify and combine. Origen: ?God gives us truth in single threads, which we must weave into a finished texture.? Andrew Fuller said of the doctrines of theology that ?they are united together like chain-shot, so that, whichever one enters the heart, the others must certainly follow.? George Herbert ??Oh, that I knew how all thy lights combine, And the configuration of their glory; Seeing not only how each verse doth shine, But all the constellations of the story !?
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