The Works of Lord Bolingbroke: With a Life, Prepared Expressly for This Edition, Containing Additional Information Relative to His Personal and Public Character - Vol. 4

The Works of Lord Bolingbroke: With a Life, Prepared Expressly for This Edition, Containing Additional Information Relative to His Personal and Public Character - Vol. 4

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The Works of Lord Bolingbroke: With a Life, Prepared Expressly for This Edition, Containing Additional Information Relative to His Personal and Public Character - Vol. 4

The Works of Lord Bolingbroke: With a Life, Prepared Expressly for This Edition, Containing Additional Information Relative to His Personal and Public Character - Vol. 4

Read FREE!

Excerpt

But it is time I should return to speak of the trinity, and to show what discordant opinions arose about it among the Christians; for among the heathens, though there were different opinions, yet it was rather a secret doctrine, in which philosophers instructed their scholars behind the curtain, than a doctrine which they published to all men indifferently. Now it is impossible to conceive any thing more monstrous than some of these opinions, or more litigated, or longer unsettled than others. The least we have to observe of this kind is about the first hypostasis, and yet something of this kind is to be observed about that. For instance, though we cannot explain God's manner of being, and though to attempt it is unpardonable presumption, yet we may, and we must assert, that he is not a system of matter; because there arise, from the contrary supposition, a multitude of absurdities, that cannot destroy the demonstration of his existence, but that are inconsistent with it: notwithstanding which, the fathers of the church spoke of him sometimes, in such terms, that to make out any sense in what they said, we must understand them to have thought him material, at least not immaterial, and what they thought him then it is not possible to conceive.

But the various doctrines that were taught about the second and third hypostasis, the second especially, are still more beyond all conception extravagant and profane. Concerning these, and one or two more, it is necessary that I should descend into some . . .

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