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Samuel Drew on the Fall and Limits of Reason

That God is able to communicate, to intelligent agents, an accurate knowledge of the real origin of moral evil, I will not presume to question; but whether the physical origin of any thing be communicable to man, unless his powers were to undergo such changes as would place him among some more exalted order of beings, is what I very much doubt. To comprehend the origin of principles, and the nature of essences, may require intellectual energies, as far advanced above our sphere of knowledge, as man is removed from the brute creation; and this may, perhaps, be included in those systems of philosophy, which are peculiarly adapted for such exalted states of existence; and which, in our present condition, can no more lie within our reach, than the solar system can be rendered intelligible to an elephant or an ape. To make man susceptible of such superior knowledge, would be to raise him in the scale of being, above that station in which God has placed him; and, possessed of these powers, he would be no longer man, but some higher order of intelligent nature, for which, perhaps, we want a name. To these relative considerations you seem to have paid no attention; and, without having any certainty, that a more intelligible account of the introduction of moral evil, than that given by Moses, is within the reach of possibility, you reject it with disdain, and represent, as fabulous, the cause he assigns; because his narration deviates from that standard, by which you reduce the conduct of Omnipotence to a resemblance with earthly analogies.


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