— 696 —
If the boundaries be not set between Faith and Reason, no Enthusiasm, or extravagancy in Religion can be contradicted.
      §11. If the Provinces of Faith and Reason are not kept distinct by these
Boundaries, there will, in matter of Religion, be no room for Reason
at all; and those extravagant Opinions and Ceremonies, that are to
be found in the several Religions of the World, will not deserve to
be blamed. For, to this crying up of Faith, in opposition to Reason,
we may, I think, in good measure, ascribe those Absurdities, that
fill almost all the Religions which possess and divide Mankind. For
Men having been principled with an Opinion, that they must
not consult Reason in the Things of Religion, however apparently
contradictory to common Sense, and the very Principles of all their
Knowledge, have let loose their Fancies, and natural Superstition;
and have been, by them, led into so strange Opinions, and extrava-
gant Practices in Religion, that a considerate Man cannot but stand
amazed at their Follies, and judge them so far from being acceptable
to the great and wise GOD, that he cannot avoid thinking them
ridiculous, and offensive to a sober, good Man. So that, in effect
Religion which should most distinguish us from Beasts, and ought
most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational Creatures, above Brutes, is
that wherein Men often appear most irrational, and more senseless
than Beasts themselves. Credo, quia impossibile est: I believe, because
it is impossible, Cf. Tertullian, De Carne Christi, V. might, in a good Man, pass for a Sally of Zeal; but
would prove a very ill Rule for Men to chuse their Opinions, or
Religion by.
Locke Hum IV, 18, §11, p. 696