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in ascending and resolution) as well of sciences and conclusions, as of entities and natures, as I before noted. And therefore as the understanding is not quieted in philosophical enquiries about created things, till it have, according to their several differences, ranged them severally within the compass of some finite line, and subordinated the inferiors of every kind, 'sub uno summo genere,' under one chief; and rests not in the resolution of effects into their causes, till it come to aliquid primum' in time, in motion, in place, in causality, and essential dependance;-so likewise it is in knowledge and truth, notwithstanding 'à parte-post,' downward, our pursuits of them seem infinite and unlimited, by reason of our own infiniteness and æviternity that way; yet upward, in the resolving of truth into its causes and originals, the understanding is altogether impatient of proceeding ' in infinitum,' and never rests till it finds a 'non ultra,' an utmost link in the chain of any science; and such a prime, universal, unquestionable, unprovable truth, from whence all inferior collections are fundamentally raised; and this is the truth of principles: which if it be traduced and made crooked by the wrestings of any private conceit, mis-shapes all conclusions that are derived from it. For if the foundation be weak, the whole edifice totters: if the root and fountain be bitter, all the branches and streams have their proportionable corruptions.

Now the abuse of principles, is either by falsifying and casting absurd glosses upon them within their own limits; as when philosophical errors are falsely grounded upon philosophical axioms, which is 'error consequentiæ,' or 'illationis,' an error in the consequence of one from the other: or else by transferring the truth of them beyond their own. bounds, into the territories (as I may so speak) of another science, making them to encroach and to uphold conclusions contrary to the nature of their subject; which is 'error dependentiæ,' or 'subordinationis,' an error in the dependance of one or the other. For the former, it hath been always either the subtilty or modesty of error, to shroud itself under truth; and, that it might make its fancies the more plausible, to fasten them upon undeniable grounds, and by a strange kind of chymistry, to extract darkness out of light. Fraus

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sibi in parvis,' said Fabius Maximus, in Livy a, upon another occasion I will alter it thus, "Error sibi in parvis fidem præstruit, ut cum mercede magna fallat.” b Unreasonable and groundless fancies always shelter themselves under a plausible pretence of truth, and ostentation of reason: as Praxiteles the painter drew the picture of Venus by the face of his minion Cratina, that so, by an honourable pretext, he might procure adoration to a harlot. Thus as Platod is said, when he inveighed chiefly against orators, most of all to have played the orator; (making a sword of eloquence to wound itself) so they, on the contrary, never more wrong knowledge, than when they promise to promote it most. was the custom of that Scipio, honoured afterwards by the name of his Punic conquest, always before he set upon any business, (as Livy reports of him) to enter the Capitol alone, pretending thereby a consultation with the Gods, about the justness, issue, and success of his intended designs; and then, "Apud multitudinem, pleraque, velut mente divinitus monita, agebat ;" he bore the multitude in hand, that whatsoever exploits he persuaded them to attempt, had all the approbation and unerring judgement of their Deities. What were the ends of this man, whether an ambitious hope of fastening an opinion of his own divineness in the midst of the people, or a happy and politick imposture, the better to press those people (always more inclinable to the persuasion of superstition than reason) to a free execution of his designs,— it is not here necessary to enquire. Sure I am, even in matters of greatest consequence, there have never been wanting the like impostors, who boldly pretend unto truth, when they cunningly oppose it; as Jacob, in Esau's clothes, robbed Esau of the blessing; or as the ivy, which when it embraceth the oak, doth withal weaken and consume it. And this is a very preposterous and perverse method, first, to entertain corrupt conceits, and then to wrest and hale principles to the

a Liv. 1. 28.

bEx his eam impugnat, ex quibus constat. Tert. de Bapt. c. 2.-Vid. de Præscr. c. 36, 39. Sententias proprias communibus argumentationibus muniant: de Anim. c. 2. Inde sumentes præsidia, quo pugnant. c. 50. Omnia adversus veritatem, de ipsa veritate constructa sunt. Apol. c. 47. e Clem. Alex. in Protreptic. d Cic. Orat. 1. 1. In irridendis oratoribus orator summus. Liv. 1. 26. Nec aliter Numa simulans siba esse, apud eundem. 1. 1.—Vide Val. Mar. f Scripturarum esse volumus, quæ nostra

cum dea Egeria nocturnos congressus 1. 1. c 2.-Plut. in Numa.


countenancing and protecting of them :--it being in the errors of the mind, as in the distempers of the palate, usual with men to find their own relish in every thing they read.

Concerning the other abuse, it is an often observation of Aristotle, that principles and conclusions must be within the sphere of the same science; and that a man of learning ought always to be faithful unto his own subject, and make no excursions from it into another science. And therefore he saith, that it is an equal absurdity for a mathematician (whose conclusions ought to be peremptory, and grounded on principles of infallible evidence) only to ground them on rhetorical probabilities, -as it were for a rhetorician, whose arguments should be more plausible and insinuative, to leave all unsaid that might reasonably be spoken, except it may be proved by demonstrative principles.' This leaping 'à genere ad genus,' and confounding the dependencies of truth, by transferring principles unto sciences, which they belong not unto, hath been ever prejudicial to knowledge; an error hath thereby easily crept upon the weakest apprehensions, while men have examined the conclusions of one science by the principles of another. As when religion, which should subdue and captivate, is made to stoop and bow to reason; and when those assents which should be grounded upon faith, and not on mere human disquisition, shall be admitted according to the conformity which they have with nature, and no further. And hence it is, that so many of the philosophers denied those two main doctrines, of the creation and resurrection", (although, in some of them, the very sight of nature reacheth to the acknowledgment of the former of those) because they repugned those main principles of nature, (which are indeed naturally true, and no further) that "ex nihilo nihil fit," nothing can be made of nothing. And "à privatione ad habitum non datur

sunt. Aug. Vid. quæ adversus hanc curiositatis lasciviam passim occurrunt apud Tert. Apol. c. 46, 47.-Contra Hermog. c. 1.-De Prescr. c. 17, 38, 39, 40.-De Resurrect. c. 40.—De fug. in persec. c. 6.—De Pudic. c. 26.—Simplicitatem sermonis Ecclesiastici id volunt significare, quod ipsi sentiunt. Epiph. ad Joan. Hieros.-Justin. Mart. ad Zenam.-Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 7. p. 5. 45.—D. Aug. contr. Pelag. et Cœlest. 1. 1. c. 46. De Gratia Christi. 8 Πάσης πλάνης καὶ

h Vi

ψευδοξίας αἴτιον τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι διακρίνειν, &c. Clem. Αlex. Strom. 6. derint qui Stoicum, et Platonicum, et dialecticum Christianismum protulerunt, Tert. de Præscr. c. 7.

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egressus;" that there is no regress from a total privation to the habit lost. And this reason was evidently implied in that answer, which was given by him, who knew the root of all error, unto the obstinate opposers of the resurrection, "Erratis, nescientes Scripturas atque potentiam Dei :" where are intimated two main principles of that mystery of the resurrection, the word' and the 'power of God;' the latter commanding our assent, that it may be; that other, our assurance that it will be. So that wherever there is an ignorance of these two, and we go about to examine this or any other mystery, rather by a disputing than an obeying reason, the immediate consequence of such peremptory and preposterous course, is error and depravation of the understanding. Pythagoras and his scholars, out of a strong conceit that they had of the efficacy of music, or numbers, examining all the passages of nature by the principles thereof, fell into that monstrous error, that number was the first and most essential element in the constitution of all creatures. Thus as men which see through a coloured glass, have all objects, how different soever, represented in the same colour; so they, examining all conclusions by principles forestalled for that purpose, think every thing, of what nature soever, to be died in the colour of their own conceits, and to carry some proportion unto those principles: like Antipheron, Orites, and others in Aristotle', who did confidently affirm every thing for real, which their imagination fancied to itself. But Tully hath prettily reprehended this abuse, in that satirical reprehension which he gives to Aristoxenus the musician, who needs, out of the principles of his art, would conceit the soul of man to consist of harmony; “Hæc magistro concedat Aristoteli: canere ipse doceat ;" let him leave these things to Aristotle, and content himself with teaching men how to sing;-intimating thereby the absurdity of drawing any science beyond its own bounds.

Cic. lib. de Universo. Plat. in Timæo.-Eus. de Præpar. Evan. 1. 11. c. 29.Theod. Ser. 4.-Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 5. Quin et Resurrectionem philosophis notam (sed ex Hebræorum doctrina) affirmat Eus. 1. 11. c. 33, 36. Tert. de Resurrect. Car. c. 1.-Nescio an huc etiam pertineant illa, Sen. Qu. 1. 3. c. 20. k Plut. de Placit. Philos. 1. 1. c. 3. Laert. in Pyth. Quint. Instit. 1. 10. c. 10. 1 Lib. de Memor. et Reminisc. c. 1. Τὰ φαντάσματα ἔλεγον, ὡς γινόμενα, καὶ ὡς μνημονεύοντες,

2. Another cause of error may be affectation of singularity, and a disdain of being but an accession unto other men's inventions, or of tracing their steps; when men shall rather desire to walk in the ways of their own making, than in the beaten paths which have been trodden before them; to be guilty of their own invented errors, than content with a derived and imputed learning; and had rather be accounted the purchasers of heresy, than the heirs of truth: "Quasi nihil fuisset rectum, quod primum est; melius existimant quicquid est aliud;" as Quintilian spake elegantly on another occasion; as if nothing had been right which had been said before, they esteem every thing therefore better, be

cause new.

3. Another cause may be the other extreme, (for a man may lose his way, as well by inclining too much to the right hand as to the left) I mean a too credulous prejudice and opimion of authority"; when we bow our judgements not so much to the nature of things, as to the learning of men. "Et credere, quam scire, videtur reverentius ;" we rather believe, than know what we assent unto. 'Tis indeed a wrong to the labours of learned men, to read them always with a cavilling and sceptical mind; and to doubt of every thing, is to get resolution in nothing. But yet withal, our credulity must not be peremptory, but with reservation. We may not captivate and resign our judgements into another man's hand. Belief, without evidence of reason, must be only there absolute, where the authority is unquestionable; and where it is impossible to err, there only it is impious to distrust. As for men's assertions, "Quibus possibile est subesse falsum," what he said of friendship, "Sic ama, tanquam osurus," love with that wisdom, as to remember you may be provoked to the contrary, is more warrantable and advantageous in knowledge; "Sic crede tanquam dissensurus," so to believe, as to be ready, when cause requires, to dissent. It is a too much straitening of a man's own understanding", to enthral it unto any; or to esteem the dissent from some particular authorities, presumption and self-conceit. Nor indeed is there any thing which hath bred more distempers

m Non tam autoritas in disputando, quam rationis momenta quærenda sunt, &e. Cic. de Nat. Deor. 1. 1. n Vid. Aug. ep. 6. lib. de Unit. Eccles. c. 19.Contra Crescon. Gram. 1. 2. c. 32. et ep. 111.-Cypr. 1. 2. ep. 3. ad Cæcilium.

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