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A Tender, Unitarian Christmas

A Tender, Unitarian Christmas
While the Puritans spurned the writings of the medieval\r\nsehoolmen, they were nonetheless obsessed with logie. As the\r\nmoniunental work of the late Perry Miller suggests, the Puritans\r\ntraded what they perceived to be the syllogistic logic of Aristotle\r\n(and St. Thomas) for the aesthetic logie of Petrus Ramus. Ramus,\r\na French humanist who converted to generic Protestantism\r\nin 1561, was a Platonist who believed that "science\r\nought to shidy the lessons that are innate in .select minds" and\r\nuse them as a model to "formulate the rules for those who desire\r\nto reason well." The incarnahonal philosophy of St. Thomas,\r\nwhereby man builds his store of knowledge through real-world\r\nexperience—founded on mankind's historic encounter with\r\nthe Incarnate Christ—is replaced by the inward-himing pursuit\r\nof innate ideas alongside the revealed truths of Scriphire, under\r\nthe alleged guidance of the Holy Ghost. For Aristotle, outward\r\nappearances were all we have to go by; for American Puritan divines\r\nsuch as Thomas Hooker, godly men arc to judge truth\r\nbased on the experience of "what is found and felt in the heart."\r\nHence, the Incarnation as a real-world event did not have a direct\r\ninfluence on the Puritan divines' pursuit of truth.\r\nDenying that regeneration is wrought by God through the\r\nSacrament of Baptism, the Puritans insisted fliat God works directly\r\non the mind and the heart, when man looks squarely on\r\nthe biblical statements...

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