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ing, that ridicule is such a test : but that the taste of ridicule is the test of what is ridiculous.
Who doubts that? It is the very thing complained of. For when our taste for ridicule gives us a sensible pleasure in a ridiculous representation of any object, we do not stay to examine whether that representation be a true one, but conclude it to be so, from the pleasure it affords us.
• His second change of the question is a new substitution, viz. Whether ridicule be a talent to be used or employed at all? Of which he supposes me to hold the negative. What else is the meaning of these words ? “ To condemn a talent for ridicule, because it may be converted to wrong purposes, is not a little ridiculous.' Could one forbear to smile if a talent for reasoning was condemned, because it also may be perverted ?" p. 57. He has no reason to smile fure, at his own misrepresentation. I never condemned a talent for ridicule because it may be abused; nor for any other reason. Though others, perhaps, may be disposed to smile at his absurd interence, that we may as well condemn a talent for reasoning. As if reason and ridicule were of equal importance for the conduct of human life.
• He may then perhaps ask, “ If I do not condemn the use of ridicule, on what employment I would put it, when I have excluded it from being a test of truth?". Let him not be uneasy about that. There is no danger that the talent for ridicule should lie idle, for want of proper business. When reason, the only teft of truth I know of, has performed its office, and unmarked hypocrisy and formal error, then ridicule, I think, may be fairly called in, to quicken the operation. Thus, when Dr. S. Clarke had, by superior reasoning, exposed the wretched sophistry which Mr. Collins had employed to prove the soul to be only a quaJity of body; Dr. Arbuthnot, who very rarely misemployed his inimitable talent for ridicule, followed the blow, and gave that foolish and impious opinion up to the contempt and laughter it deserved, in a chapter of the Memoirs of Scriblerus. But to fet ridicule on work before, would be as unfair, indeed as scandalous, as to bestow the language due to convicted vice, on a character but barely suspected.'
This dedication is followed by a Postscript of about 12 pages, wherein his lordihip considers what the Author of the Pleasures of the imagination has advanced concerning the use and abuse of ridicule
. The discerning Reader will be at no loss to account for this attack upon Dr. Ak-de, when he recollects a late short publication of the Doctor's.
The first volume concludes with an appendix of 48 pages, wherein his lordship considers what Lord Bolingbroke has advanced concerning the moral attributes of the Deity; but the whole of this is taken, with little or no variation, from the view of Lord Bolingbreke’s Philosophy, Letter 2d.
In Book 2d. Sell. 6th. we have the following addition. « On this occasion, it may not be improper, once for all, to expose the ignorance and malice of those, whom the French call philosophers, and we English, free thinkers; who, with no more knowlege of antiquity, than what the modern sense of a few Latin and Greek words could afford them, have his odium humani generis perpetually in their mouths, to disgrace the chosen people of God, or rather the author of their religion. Their favourite author, Tacitus himself, by extending the abuse, discountenances it. He makes this odium humani generis the characteristic both of Jews and Christians; and by so doing, shews us, in what it conlisted. Nor do the ancients in general, by affixing it as the common brand to these two inhospitable religions contribute to this calumny, any otherwise than by the incapacity of our philosophers to understand them. Diodorus Siculus speaking of Antiochus's profanation of the Jewish Temple, and his contemptuous destruction of the sucred books, applauds the tyrant's exploits, as thofe books contained τα μισόξενα νόμιμα, Ιαus which bore hate and enmity to all the rest of mankind. This pretended odium humani generis, we find then, was not any thing in the personal temper of the Jews, but in the nature and genius of their law. These laws are extant and lie now before us; and we see, the only hate they contain is the hate of idols. With regard to the race of mankind, nothing can be more endearing than the Mofaic account of their common original; nothing more benign or falutary than the legal directions to the Jews concerning their treatment of all, out of the covenant. Whatever there might be of this odious temper fairly ascribed to the Jews, by our philosophers, it received no countenance from the law, and is expresly condemned by the Almighty author of it, when it betrayed itself amongst certain corrupt and apostate members of that nation. These, indeed, the Prophet Isaiah describes, as saying to all others,-Stand by thyself, come not near me ; for I an holier than thou ti And left this should be mistaken for the fruits of the unhospitable genius of the law, he takes care to inform us these men were the rankcst and most abandoned apostates. — A rebellious people who facrifice in gardens, and burn incense upon altars of brick-who remain amongst the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's fish, &c I. that is, a people thoroughly paganized.
In Section 4th. Book 3d. we find the following addition.« Against all this force of evidence, weak, indeed, as it is against the force of prejudice, the learned Chancellor of Gottingen has opposed his authority, which is great, and his talents of reason
ing and eloquence, which are still greater. “Magnam non ita pridem (says he) ut antiquiores mittam, ingenii vim et doctrinæ copiam impendit, ut in hanc nos sententiam induceret Gulielmus Warburtonus, vir alioquin egregius et inprimis acu!us, in celeberrimo et eruditiffimo libro, quem, The Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated, inscripsit Lib. iii. Sect. 4. Jubet ille nos existimare omnes philofophos, qui animorum immortalitatem docuerunt, eamdem clam negaffe, naturam rerum revera Dei loco habuiffe atque mentes hominum particulas censuifTe ex mundi ani. ma decerptas, et ad eam poft corporum obitum reversuras. Verum, lit taceam, Græcorum tantum philosophos eum teftari, quum aliis tamen populis sui etiam philofophi fuerint, a Græcorum sententiis multis modis femoti, ut hoc, inquam, feponam, non apertis & planis teftimoniis causam fuam agit vir præclarus, quod in tanti momenti accusatione neceffarium videtur, fed conjecturis tantum, exemplis nonnullis, denique consectariis ex inftitutis quibusdam et dogmatibus philosophorum quorumdam ductis—" De rebus Christ. ante Constantinum Magnum, p. 18. Here the learned critic supposing the question to be, -What the philosophers of the antient world in general thought concerning a future state? charges the author of the Divine Legation with falling thort in his proof, which reaches, says he, only the Greek philosophers, though there were many other in the world besides, who dogmatized on very different principles. Now I had again and again declared, that I confined my inquiry to the Greek philosophers. We fall see presently, for what reason. What then could have betrayed this great man into so wrong a representation? It was not, I am persuaded, a want of candour, but of attention to the author, he criticized. - For, seeing so much, written by me against the principles of those ancients who propagated the doctrine of a future state, he unwarily concluded that it was in my purpose to discredit the doctrine, as discoverable by the light of nature; and, on that ground, rightly inferred that my bufiness was with the whole tribe of anticnt philofophers : and that to ftop at the Greeks was mistaking the extent of my course. But a little attention to my general argument would have thewn him, that this inquiry into the real sentiments of a race of sages, then most eminent in all political and moral wisdom, concerning this point, was made solely to shew the vast importance of the doctrine of a future state of reward and punishment to society, when it was seen that these men, who publicly and sedulously taught it, did not indeed believe it. For this end the Greek philosophers served my purpose to the full. Had my end been not the importance, but the difcredit of the doctrine (as this learned man unluckily conceived it) I had then, indeed, occasion for much more than their suffrage to carry my point.
« In what follows of this learned criticisın I am much fure ther to seek for that candour which fo eminently adorns the writings of this worthy person. He pretends I have not proved my charge against the Greek philosophers
. Be it fo. But when he says, I have not attempted it by any clear and evident teftimonies ; but only by conjectures; by instances in some particulars ; by consequences deduced from the doctrines and institutes of certain of the philojophers; this, I cannot reconcile to his ingenuous spirit of criticisin. For what are all thofe passages given above, from Timæus the Locrian, from Diogenes Laertius, from Plutarch, Sextus Empiricus, Plato, Chryfippus, Strabo, Aristotle, Epictetus, M. Antoninus, Seneca and others, but teftimonies, clear and evident, either of the parties concerned, or of some of their school, or of those who give us historical accounts of the doctripes of those schools, that none of the theistical sects of Greek philosophy did believe any thing of a future state of rewards and punishments. • So much for that kind of evidence which the learned
perfon says I have not given.
• Let us consider the nature of that kind, which he owns I have given, but owns it in terms of discredit. - In tanti momenti accusatione-conje&uris tantum, exemplis nonnullis denique confe&tariis ex inftitutis, &c.
"1. As to the conjeElures he speaks of- Were there offered for the purpose he represents them; that is to say, directly to inforce the main question, I Tould readily agree with him, that in an accusation of such moment they were very impertinently urged. But they are imployed only occasionally to give credit to some of those particular testimonies, which I efteem clear and evident, but which he denies to exist at all, in my inquiry.
• 2. By what he says of the instances or examples in some particulars, he would infinuate that what a single philosopher says, hold only against himself, not against the fect to which he belongs : though he insinuates it in defiance of the very genius of the Greek philosophy, and of the extent of that temper (by none better understood than by this learned man himself) which disposed the members of a school
jurare in verba magistri. (3. With regard to the inferences deduced from the doctrines and inflitutes of certain of the philosophers ; by which he principally means those deduced from their ideas of God and the foul, we must diftinguish.
• If the inference, which is charged on an opinion be diravowed by the opinionist, the charge is unjufl.
• If it be neither avowed or disavowed, the charge is inconslufive,
• But if the consequence be acknowledged and even contended fur, the charge is just: and the evidence resulting from it has all the force of the most direct proof.
• Now the confequence I draw from the doctrines of the philosophers concerning God and the soul, in support of my charge against them, is fully and largely acknowledged by them. The learned person proceeds, and assures his reader that, by the same way of reasoning, he would undertake to prove that none of the Christian divines believed any thing of that future state which they preached up to the people. “ Ego quidem mediocris ingenii homo et tanto viro quantus eft Warburtonus longe inferior, omnes Christianorum theologos nihil eorum, quæ publice tradunt, credere, et callide hominum mentibus impietatis venenum affilare velle, convincam, fi mihi cadem eos via invadendi poteftas concedatur, qua philofophos vir doctissimus aggreffus eft.”
• This is civil. But what he gives me on the side of ingenuity, he repays himself on the side of judgment. For if it be, as he says, that by the same kind of reasoning which I employ to convict the philosophers of impiety, the fathers themselves might be found guilty of it, the small talent of ingenuity, which nature gave me, was very ill bestowed.
• Now if the learned person can shew that Christian divinesy like the Greek philosophers, made use of a double doctrine — that they held it lawful 10 deceive, and say one thing when they thought angther--that they sometimes owned and sometimes denied a future state of reward and punishment --- that they held God could not be angry nor hurt any one that the foul was part of the substance of God and avowed that the consequence of these ideas of God ani the foul was, ne future state of rewards and punishments - When, I say, he has shewn all this, I shall be ready to give up the divines, as I have given up the philosophers.
• But if, instead of this, he will first of all misrepresent the force of my reasoning against the philosophers, and then apply it, thus misrepresented, against the divines; bringing vague conjettures in support of the main question ; making the case of particulars (Synefius for instance) to include the whole body; or urging consequences not seen, or abhorred when seen, (such as Polytheism from the Trinity :) If, I say, with such kind of proof (which his ingenuity and erudition may find in abundance) he will maintain that he has proved the charge in question as Itrongly against Christian divines as I have done against the Greek philosophers; why then I will agree with the first sceptic I meet, that all enquiries concerning the opinions either of the one set of men or of the other, is an idler employment than picking straws : for when logic and criticism will serve no longer to discover truth, but may be made to serve the wild vagaries, the blind prejudices and the oblique ioterests of the disa