RALPH CUDWORTH, B.D.: _A Sermon Preached before the Honourable House of Commons at Westminster, Mar_. 31, 1647 (1st edn.), pp. 3, 14, 42, and 43.
The Cambridge Platonists were not ascetics; their moral doctrine was one of temperance. Their sound wisdom on this point is well evident in the following passage from WHICHCOTE: "What can be alledged for Intemperance; since Nature is content with very few things? Why should any one over-do in this kind? A Man is better in Health and Strength, if he be temperate. We enjoy ourselves more in a sober and temperate Use of ourselves."
 BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE: _The Venerable Nature and Transcendant Benefit of Christian Religion. Op. cit_., p. 40.
The other great principle animating their philosophy was, as I have said, the essential unity of reason and revelation. To those who argued that self-surrender implied a giving up of reason, they replied that "To go against REASON, is to go against GOD: it is the self same thing, to do that which the Reason of the Case doth require; and that which God Himself doth appoint: Reason is the DIVINE Governor of Man's Life; it is the very Voice of God." Reason, Conscience, and the Scriptures, these, taught the Cambridge Platonists, testify of one another and are the true guides which alone a man should follow. All other authority they repudiated. But true reason is not merely sensuous, and the only way whereby it may be gained is by the purification of the self from the desires that draw it away from the Source of all Reason. "God," writes MORE, "reserves His choicest secrets for the purest Minds," adding his conviction that "true Holiness [is] the only safe Entrance into Divine Knowledge." Or as SMITH, who speaks of "a GOOD LIFE as the PROLEPSIS and Fundamental principle of DIVINE SCIENCE," puts it, ". . . if . . . KNOWLEDGE be not attended with HUMILITY and a deep sense of SELF-PENURY and _*Self-emptiness_, we may easily fall short of that True Knowledge of God which we seem to aspire after."[1b] Right Reason, however, they taught, is the product of the sight of the soul, the true mystic vision.
 BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE: _Moral and Religious Aphorisms OP. cit_., p. 67.
[1b] JOHN SMITH: _A Discourse concerning the true Way or Method of attaining to Divine Knowledge. Op. cit_., pp. 80 and 96.
In what respects, it may be asked in conclusion, is the philosophy of the Cambridge Platonists open to criticism? They lacked, perhaps, a sufficiently clear concept of the Church as a unity, and although they clearly realised that Nature is a symbol which it is the function of reason to interpret spiritually, they failed, I think, to appreciate the value of symbols. Thus they have little to teach with respect to the Sacraments of the Church, though, indeed, the highest view, perhaps, is that which regards every act as potentially a sacrament; and, whilst admiring his morality, they criticised BOEHME as an enthusiast. But, although he spoke in a very different language, spiritually he had much in common with them. Compared with what is of positive value in their philosophy, however, the defects of the Cambridge Platonists are but comparatively slight. I commend their works to lovers of spiritual wisdom.
He is to weet a melancholy carle: