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leave as fair examples of wisdom, virtue, and religion to those who shall succeed us, as any have been left to us by those who have gone
before us; and our posterity pursuing the same method, the last age will appear at the day of judgment less un. daunted than any
before it. Montpellier, 1670.
AGAINST THE MULTIPLYING CONTROVERSIES, BY
INSISTING UPON PARTICULARS THAT ARE NOT
Molins, 1672. It cannot but be very reasonably wondered at, and the grounds thereof are very worthy to be enquired into and discovered, why so few matters in difference between men, of what nature soever, have ever been adjusted and determined by disputation in conference, or by writing in the way of controversy; which are the best, if not the only, remedies and expedients for the discovery of error, and for the establishment of truth. The first may naturally prove ineffectual, from the excess of passion with which the parties abound, and which, by the warmth and contradiction of debate, transports them into many more arguments than those they came together to reconcile, and administers
new animosities, which usually deprives them of their faculty of judging with that sincerity they ought to have, and renders the contention more for victory than for truth. But why a calm reasoning by writing, when the motives may be duly weighed, the questions clearly answered, and solid arguments administered to all doubts that are urged, without any personal reflections, or undervaluing those objections, which, however weak, are never removed by being despised, (which are the rules all men ought to observe in such encounters) should not produce the wished effect, must proceed from some depraved affection in the one, or from want of comprehension or ingenuity in the other; and yet where no such defect can be discovered in either, the issue of those contentions falls still out to be the same. Few princes enter into a war with their neighbours, but they first publish a manifesto and declaration of the reasons and grounds which obliged them to it, of the justice of their pretences, and of the injuries they have received; and this they hold necessary to be done, both for the satisfaction of their own subjects, and to induce their allies the more chearfully to concur in the carrying it on, and likewise that neighbour princes may not think themselves concerned in the quarrel; but the encountering this manifesto with the clearest and fullest answer ima
ginable, in which the injuries and provocations appear to be only alleged, never acted, and the pretences to be against all the elements of justice, and the greatest violation of right, and to gain that by force, only because they have no right to it, never prevented nor diverted that war. When they have once said what they think convenient, how untruly soever, they proceed to do what they judge will be profitable, how unjustly soever; nor hath the interposition of other princes, upon the merit of such case usually prevented or reconciled such an engagement. The reason of this is manifest to all men, because few princes make war for those reasons, or upon those grounds, which they publish in their declarations; but for others which they think not fit to publish, and so are not capable of being answered. A barefaced resolution of doing wrong, is so impudent a thing, that no man dares own it, and therefore a title must be pretended which is easily answered, by which the pretences appear to be groundless ; whereas the true reason is an inordinate appetite of what belongs to another, the convenience that will redound from his being possessed of it, and a confidence that he is able to take it from the owner. And this men very absurdly and unreasonably would have called reason of state, to the discredit of all solid reason, and all rules of probity; as if reason of state would
support acts of lying, and of the foulest dissimulation: whereas reason of state, without which order and government cannot be preserved, nor no great action performed, though it results from notions which are neither common, nor, in the view of standers-by, are yet so solid and conclusive, that when the time is ripe for communicating them, all men of judgment, upon the first view of them, will conclude that the action was wise and necessary; and the concealing or disguising of it till the proper time for discovery, is the highest mystery in policy, and the quintessence of reason of state. No unreasonable, no unjust, no wicked enterprise, ever was, ever can be, supported and justified under pretence of reason of state.
The managery of the politic affairs of this world is naturally liable to this want of ingenuity and of integrity; which keeps all questions and controversies of this nature from being truly stated, and consequently from being ever reasonably determined : but how this mystery of iniquity comes to introduce itself into controversies of religion, upon which the salvation of men's souls depends, in which either party seldom conceals their true and real motives (how weak and unreasonable soever) upon which their opinions are grounded; that men of equal learning, equal integrity, and equal piety, should differ so diametrically from each other,
that they hardly allow a capacity of salvation to any man who is not of their own individual communion, that is, not of their own opinion, is worth a serious enquiry into the true reason thereof; and, it may be, if the true reasons were discovered, those reasons which naturally may prevail upon the affections, and judgments, and minds of men, the remedy itself would be easily prescribed; that all the conferences held, and all the books written, between those of the Romans and those of the re. formed religion, for the space of above one hundred and fifty years, by men of unquestionable knowledge and virtue, should not work upon any one man, for aught appears, to change the opinion he brought with him: for of those who run from one communion to another, they are such who do not pretend to judge of arguments, or such who seldom give an account of their true inducements, and others can give the true reasons from the course of their lives, and the talent of their understandings, which they can hardly deny though they will never confess: that a book should be published by those of one judgment, so clear in point of reason, and founded upon such unquestionable authority, that dispassionate and impartial men believe to be unanswerable ; and that another book varnished over with new and reproachful words, without coherence, and artificially declining and evading the real sub.