In Dr. Van Kleeck’s excellent article on “Reason and Theology” three uses of reason in the formulation and defense of theology are identified. This post is an excerpt from a 17th c. commentary on Daniel where reason is utilized to answer the doctrine of the ubiquitous presence of the body of Christ in the Eucharist.
Controversy: Against Ubiquitarians
“They which maintain the omnipresence of Christ’s flesh, and the body of Christ may be in the Eucharist, without the essential properties thereof, as circumscription, quantity, visibility, and such life, do thus reason out of this place [Daniel 3:25]. The burning heat is an essential property of the fire, but this was separated from the fire, and yet the essence of the fire remained. Therefore the essential properties of a thing may be separated from it, the nature still remaining.
Contra 1. The burning faculty of the fire is not an essential property, but an effect of the heat, which is an essential quality of fire.
2. The heat was not separated from the fire, for then it should no longer be fire but the heat thereof was only restrained and hindered from working, and that not generally but only where the servants of God were, for without the furnace of flames killed the king’s ministers. If the fire had lost the heat, the miracle had not been so great, for the thing not being hot, not to be burnt. Polan.
3. If all this were admitted, it serveth not their turn, for the Scriptures testifieth that there was fire and it burned not. They must then allow the like warrant for their miracle in the Eucharist, that the body should be there without the due properties. It followeth not because it pleased God at this time to set forth his glory, that he should do so continually.
Andrew Willet, Hexapla in Danielum: that is, a sixfold commentary upon the most divine prophecy of Daniel. Printed by Cantrell Legge, Printer to the University of Cambridge, 1610, 115.