Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

or an untoward Representation of them. And afte he has thus misused me, then to beat up for Voluntiers, and to endeavour to animate and stir up the whole Clergy against me as a Common Enemy, who mean no harm to any Body But I will lay no more, than that by it he has utterly forfeited all the Thanks which perhaps he might otherwise pretend due to him for his kind intentions and Endeavours.

I confess however, that I did not expect to be so publickly assaulted by a Neighbour and a Friend, who bhillay methinks might with greater Decorum have left so ungrateful a Work to another hand, especially at this time of Day, when we have no need of quarrelling among our selves for want of Adversaries to try our Skill upon. But it seems, contrary to the Proverb, Neceffity has now too much Law; and Neighbourhood, Friendship, Peace, Decorum, and every thing must be facrificed to that which is better than Sacrifice. But to the point. . In order to which be it premised, that in all Personal Difputation or Controversie an Objection carries in it this Addition to the Nature of an Argument in general, that 'tis an Argument against fomething before laid down or maintain d by the Party opposed. So that an Objection is an Argument, and something more; and consequently there goes more to make an Objection good, than to make an Argument good. For to make an Argument good, 'tis Tufficient that ic be True as to Matter and Form ; but to make an Objection good, it must not only be a Truth, but a Cone tradi&tory Truth. So that though a good Objection be also a good Argument (because Objection includes Argument in it) yet a good Argument is not always a good Objection, and that becaute an Objection implies something more than bare Argument as such, as being not only an Argument, but a Contradi&tory Argument

And therefore though there be but one general way whereby an Argument may be Faulty, viz. by reason

[ocr errors]

of the T'atruth of it, either as to Matter or Form; yet an Objecti. on muy be Faully two ways, either for want of Truth, or for wanr of Centralic?ion; that is, it may be Faulty either inply as an Argument, or as an Objection, or if you will, either as to the Argument part, or as to the Objection part of it. Either the Thing Objected is not True, or if it be True, yer it is not a Contradictory Truth; and io a bad Objection, though perhaps a good Argument.

Accordingly there are two general ways of dealing with an Objection, according as the deficiency of it is in one or other of these relpects. It ir be truly Contradictory, but not absolutely true, as to the Matter or Form of it, then I have something to deny, the Syllogism it self if wrong in Form, or some Propolition of it if wrong as to Matter, and thar again either Major or Minor, or Coniequence according to the Matter of the Peopofitions, and the Form of the Syllogism.

But if the Objection be Absolutely true both Materially and Formally, bur noutruly Contradictory, what is to be done then? Why in this Car: B. Sanderson fays in his Appendix de usu Logi. cl, pag. 273. that the Conclusion is to be denied. There are

Three Things, says he, that may be denied, the Conclusion, the Form, and the Propofition. The Conclulion if it be Forreign, the Form if Virious, and the Propofition if Falle. And again says he, Si Opporaciis aut in primo Sy!!og ijvio non Contradicat Thesi Respondentis, aut in reliquis non inferat propofitionem ab co proxime Negatam, Refpondens habet negare Conclufionem. But then he after explains wout le Micans by Denying, viz. by rcjecting it as not to the purpose, or (which he fays is allone) by admisting the whole Argument. In which Accountiho' his meaning be righe enough, it rightly understood, yet I think he has not express'd hmelf with either his usual, or with Suficient Clearneis. Fora: 'tis inost Cercaia in the general, that the ConcluHion can never be denied if the Preiniles are allow'd to be True, (becaute the Conclusion is contain'd in the Premises) and therefore the Denial when any is necessary, properly falls upon one of the Premises, nor upon the Conclusion; so 'tis allo molt certain that in the present Case there is no need of denying any thing, there being indeed nothing at all to be denied. And therefore this grea(and otherwise very Logical Wrirer did not do so well in using the word Deny, however Interpreted afterwards by Rejecting, in reference to the Conclufion, lince Denying is al. ways applied to the Truth of the objection, and that as to the Mutter, or as to the Form of it; in relation to the Former of wiich we say Negatir Propofitio, and in reiation to the Latter, Negaizer Syllogifmus. but now here che Objection is suppoled to

be Absolutely True both as to the Material and also as to the Formal part of it. And therefore 'tis most certain that here is nothing to be Denied, or that can be said with any Propriery to be so. And then again, whereas he says, by Rejecting it as Ima' pertinent, or (which is the fame) by admitting the whole Argument, I cannot think this neither to be a clear Account of the Malter. For Rejecting and Admitting are in themselves so far from being the same, that they are Formally Contrary, and Vertually Contradictory to each other, and are no otherwise to be reconciled than by the difference of Respects, which yet he has not here assign'd.

Let us see then whether this Matter may not be ser in a little clearer Light. The Question is what is to be done when the Objection is Absolutely true, both Materially and Formally; but not truly Contradictory? To which it is answer's in the first Place, Absolutely and without any qualification, that here is Nothing to be Denied, the Matter and Form of the Argument being supposed to be True. And as there is nothing that can justly be denied, because all is supposed to be true; so neither has the Respondent any Reason, Perlwalive or Inducement to deny any thing, since though a . Truth 'tis yet an uncontradictory one, and luch as though ad. mitted does not concern him, nor affect the Thesis he Maintains. What then is he to do? I answer Secondly, That he is e'n frankly to admit the whole. For what should he do elle? He cannot deny it because it is True, and he need nor deny ic because ’ris also an uncontradiciory Truth. He must then, and may safely grant it intirely. Not that the Admision iz lo in. tire Neither, but that it Consequentially implies a Rejection too, though in a different Respect. That is, he Admits it as a Truth, but then by doing to docs by Contequence Reject it as an Innpertinent unconcerning Truth, (ince if it were to the purpose, and againit him, lie would not Admit, but Deny is) or if you will Idmits it as an Arguinent, but Rejects it as an Objection, because not a Contradictory Argument, as every good Objection should be.

But then it may be further Confider'd (which is all that can be said in this Matter) that as in denying any part of an Argument, either as to Matter or Form, The Reipondent may be sometimes Obliged to align Bonne Reason of his Denial (for otherwise there would be no End of Disputation, Guce one Fool may deny more than a Hundred Wife Men can prove) so likewise in this Second way of dealing with an objection by admitting the Argument as True, but rejecting it as Imperdie ment, the Respondent may sometimes be concernd to allign a

Realon

04

Reason of his Procedure, which is to be done only by Scating his own Thesis, and by Mewing that the Conclusion of his Oppolers Argument does not really Contradict it. This indeed is a Mort Cur,bur 'cis all that can or need be done in this Case; and when he has done this, he has done as much as his Opposer can juftly demand, and though in this way of proceeding he has no. thing of Denying Solving Refuting, &c. he has yet answered his Objuction as fullyas such an Objection is Capable of being Answer'd.

Now thus itands the Case between me and my late worthy Opposers, who have both of them (especially the Second) raken a gread deal of Pains not to contradict me. They pretend to wrise again't me, acid feem not to doubt but that they have Confured me, and yer do not so much as attaque me. Not attendir,g suficiently to the Principles, nor to the Conclusion of the Discourse they offer to oppose, nor duly considering the exact Hate of the Question, they misapprehend my Meaning; and so fuppoíing me to hold what indeed I do not, they run on upon a wrong Ground, viry elaborately fer themselves to prove a Conclusion that is no: Contradictory to mine, and so fight, nor with me, bur with a Shadow of their own. In short, they both harp all along upon the same falle String, and beltow great Pains to prove a wrong Proposition: Wrong I mean, not abfolutely in it lelf, but in relation to re, as not being truly Contradictory to what I maintain; and so are guilty of that Fallacy which in Logick is call d Ignoratio Elenchi, as Sr. James would have been in relation to St. Paul; (lupposing he had intended to contradict him) when he says thar a Man is not justified by Faith only, he not taking Faith in the fame Sense, when he lays a Man is not justified by Faith only, as St. Paul does when he says that he is; and so roi truly Contradicting him, because noe denying the fame thing that the other affirms, whereas all Contradiction hould be ad Idem. And therefore I look upon any felf to be no further concern'd with my present Adversaries (if I may so call theni) than only to grant them, without any more ado, the inain body of their Argument, allowing it to be True, but ar the lame rime rejecting it as an Uncontradictory, and therefore nor Pertinent Truth. I say I have no more upon my hands than this, unless ir be for their Satisfaction to give them some Account why I do thus, which may be done in a little room.

I remark then that the whole Argument of the present Controverfie is a mere Equivoque upon these two Terms, Love and Good, which my Adversaries (I hope they will pardon me for. giving them a wrong Title) are pleased to take in the most large and popular Sense, and nor according to chat due strictness wherein I do, and wherein they should take them to contradict

me. Thus as to the term (Good) they ufe it according to the
urmoft Laricude, as it comprehends all that which any manner
of way contributes to our good, minifters to our conveniency,
and is better for us to have than to be withour. And taking
(Good) in this large popular Sense, shey contend that the World
is good, that the Creatures are good, that Meat is good, and
Drink is good, &c. and for the truth of this appeal to Experience,
And no doubt all this is true. But herein they do not Contradict
me, who use the term (Good) in a stricter, and as I think inore
Philolophical Sense, meaning by ir that which really and truly
does us good, or is the efficient Cause of Pleasure to us. Ia
which Sense it is that I deny the World, or any Creature in it,
to be a Good to us, truly and properly fpeaking; because not
efficient Causes of the least degree of Happiness or Good to us;
wherein I am not at all contradicted by their saying that the
Creatures are good in the other larger Sense; especially contidere
ing that at the same time that I deny them to be Efficient Causes,
I allow them to be Occasions of Good to us.

Then again as to the term (Love) this also they use in the large and popular Acceptation, as it extends even to the willing Abe refe of a thing, as suppose of Fire when we are Cold, or Meat and Drink when we are Hungry and Thirsty, and the like. But now I use the rerm (Love) more strictly, and it may be more Philosophically, for the Souls uniting it felf to any thing as its true Good, Beatifick Object, or the Cause of its Good or Happinels. And accordingly in this strict and rigorous Sense of Love I make God the only due Object of it; and deny that the World, or any Creature in it, is to be loved by us; and zhar because God only, not the Creature, is our true Good, Beatifick Object, and Efficient Cause of all our Happiness. Whereas they taking the word (Love) more largely and popu. larly, as it comprebends within its Latitude even the willing the use of a thing, conrend that God is not the only Object of our Love, but that tbe Creature may also be loved by us. Wherein

e, indeed they say true, but do not Contradict me;

The especially considering that ar the same time that web, l' Love of God. I deny that the Creacures are to be loved 45 min

our Good, I allow that they may be sought and used for our Good.

And indeed setting alide the Passage last quoted, which fully expresses my meaning, and several others which I might quote both from the Discourse it self, and the Letters which Comment upon it, to the like purpose; the very Principles I go upon, my way of arguing upon those Principles, and the whole Current of the Discourses ihemselves do ali so jointly combine to-de

termine

Pag. 74.

« AnteriorContinuar »