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Estimate of the Philosophical Character In the prosecution of his very able

of the Antagonists of Hobbes. argument on this subject, Cudworth
(From Dissertation 1. by Dugald Stewart, displays a rich store of enlightened

prefixed to Supplement to Encyclopædia and choice erudition, penetrated
Britannica, Vol I. p. 65–71.]

throughout with a peculiar vein of
YUDWORTH* was one of the sobered and subdued Platonism, from

this new philosophy. As Hobbes, in have attracted no sinall notice in our
the frenzy of his political zeal, had own times, will be found, when
been led 'to sacrifice wantonly all the stripped of their deep neological dis-
principles of religion and morality to guise, to have borrowed their most
the establishment of his conclusions, valuable materials. I
his works not only gave offence to the The mind (according to Cudworth)
friends of liberty, but excited a general perceives, by occasion of outward objects,
alarm among all sound moralists. His as much more than is represented to it by
doctrine, in particular, that there is sense, as a learned man does iò the best
no natural distinction between right written book, than an illiterate person or
and wrong, and that these are de. brute. To the eyes of both, the same
pendent on the arbitrary will of the characters will appear ; but the learned
oivił magistrate, was so obviously man, in those characters, will see heaven,
subversive of all the commonly re-

earth, sun, and stars; read profound
ceived ideas concerning the moral tlworems of philosophy or geometry; learn
constitution of human nature, that it a great dcal of new knowledge from them,

and admire the wisdom of the composer ; became indispensably necessary, either

while, to the otber, nothing appears but to expose the sophistry of the attempt black strokes drawn on white paper. The or to adınit, with Hóbbes, that man

reason of which is, that the mind of the is a beast of prey, incapable of being one is furnished with certain previous ingoverned by any motíves but fear, ward anticipations, ideas, and instrucand the desire of self-preservation. tion, that the other wants."-" In the

Between some of these tenets of the room of this book of human composition, courtly Hobbists, and those incul- let us now substitute the book of Nature, cated by the Cromwellian Antino. written all over with the characters and mians, there was a very extraordinary impressions of divine wisdom and goodand unfortunate coincidence; the lat. ness, but legible only to an intellectual ter insisting, that, in expectation of eye. To the sense both of man and brute, Christ's second coming, "the obliga. there appears nothing else in it, but, as in tions of morality and natural law were the other, so many inky scrawls ; that is, suspended; and that the elect, guided nothing but figures and colours. But the by an internal principle, inore perfect divine wisdom that made it, upon occa

mind, wbich hath a participation of the and divine, were superior to the bego sion of those sensible delineations, exertgorly elements of justice and huma- ing its own inward activity, will have not nily."It was the object of Cud- only a wonderful scene, and large prosworth to vindicate, against the assaults pects of other thoughts laid open before it, of both parties, the immutability of and variety of knowledge, logical, mathemorat distinctions.

matical, and moral displayed; but also

clearly read the divine wisdom and goods.
Born 1617, died 1688. ness in every page of this great volume, as
+ Hume. For a more particular it were written in large and legible cha-
account of tbe English Antinomians, See racters."
Mosheim, Vol. IV. p. 534, et seq.

I do not pretend to be an adept in the


agency of

• You

Another coincidence between the Hobbists), “grew up from the docHobbists and the Antinomians, may trine of the fatal necessity of all actions be remarked in their common zeal for and events, as from its proper root." the scheme of necessity ; which both of The unsettled, and, at the same time, them stated in such a way as to be disputatious period during which Cud. equally inconsistent with the moral worth lived, afforded him peculiarly


and with the moral favourable opportunities of judging attributes of God.* The strongest of from experience, of the practical tenall presumptions against this scheme is dency of this metaphysical dogma; afforded by the other tenets with and the result of his observations de which it is almost universally com- serves the serious attention of those bined, and accordingly, it was very who may be disposed to regard it in shrewdly observed by Cudworth, that the light of a fair and harmless theme the licentivus system which flourished for the display of controversial subtilty. in his riine, (under which title, I pre- To argue, in this manner, against a sume, he comprehended the immoral speculative principle from its palpable tenets of the fanatics, as well as of the effects, is not always so illogical as

some authors have supposed. philosophy of Kant; but I certainly think repeat to me incessantly,” says Rous

seau to one of his correspondents, I pay it a very high compliment, when I

“ that truth can never be injurious to suppose, that, in the Critic of pure Rca

the world. I myself believe so as *son, the leading idea is somewhat analogous to what is so much better expressed firınly as you do ; and it is for this in the foregoing passage. To Kant it was very reason. I am satisfied that your probably suggested by the following very proposition is false,"+. acute and decisive remark of Leibnitz on But the principal importance of Locke's Essay: “ Nempe, nihil est in Cudworth, as an ethical writer, arises "intellectu, quod non fuerit in sensu, nisi from the influence of his argument ipse intellectus."

concerning the immutability of right In justice to Aristotle, it may be here and wrong on the various theories of observed, that, although the general strain morals which appeared in the

course of his language is strictly conformable to of the eighteenth century. To this the scholastic maxim just quoted, he does argument may, more particularly, be not seem to have altogether overlooked the traced the origin of the celebrated important exception to it pointed out by Leibnitz. Indeed, this exception or limi- question, Whether the principle of tation is very nearly a translation of moral approbation is to be ultimately Aristotle's words. Και αυτος δε νους

resolved into reason, or into sentiνοητος εστιν, ώσπερ τα νοητα. επι nished the chief ground of difference

ment ? question, which has fur, μεν γαρ των ανευ υλης, το αυτο

between the systems of Cudworth aud

TO YOOULLEVOY. of Clarke, on the one hand; and “ And the mind itself is an object of those of Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, knowledge, as well as other things which Hume, and Smith, ou the other. are intelligible. For, in immaterial

The Intellectual System of Cudbeings, that which understands is the worth, embraces a field much wider same with that which is understood.” than his treatise of Immutable Morality: (Do Anima, Lib iii. cap. *) quote The latter is particularly directed this very curious, and, I suspect, very little known sentence, in order to vindi. against the ethical doctrines of Hobbes, cato Aristotle against the misrepresenta- and of the Antinomians ; but the tions of some of his present idolaters, who, former aspires to lear up by the roots in their anxiety to secure to him all the all the principles, both physical and credit of Locke's doctrine concerning the metaphysical, of the Epicurcan phiOrigin of our Ideas, haye overlooked the losophy. It is a work, certainly. occasional traces which occur in his works, which reflects much honour on the of that higher and sounder philosophy in talents of the author, and still more which he had been educated."

on the boundless extent of his learn: # “ The doctrines of fate or destiny were deemed by the Independents cssen- + « Voas répétez sans cesse que la tial to all religion. In these rigid opi- vérité ne peut jamais faire de inal aux nions, the whole 'sectaries, amidst all hommes; je le crois, et c'est pour moi la their other differences, unanimously con.

preuve que ce que vous dites n'est pas la catred." Hume's History, chap. Irij. vérité.''

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Estimate of the Philosophical Character of the Antagonists of Holbes. 695
mg; but it is so ill suited to the taste with the paradoxes of Hobbes, and
of the present age, that, since the time with the no less dangerous errors
of Mr. Härris and Dr. Price, I recently propagated among the people
scarcely recollect the slightest refer- by their religious instructors, to turn
ence to it in the writings of our Bri- the thoughts of sober and speculative
tish metaphysicians. Of its faults towards ethical disquisitions.
(heside the general disposition of the The established clergy assumed a
author to discuss questions placed higher tone than before in their ser-
altogether beyond the reach of our mons; sometimes employing them in
faculties), the most prominent is the combating that Epicurean and Ma-
wild hypothesis of a plastic nature; or, chiavellian philosophy which was then.
in other words, " of a vital and spi- fashionable" at court, and which may
ritual, but uniutelligent and necessary be always suspected to form the secret
agent, created by the Deity for the creed of the enemies of civil and
execution of his purposes." "Notwith- religious liberty ;-on other occasions,
standing, however, these, and many to overwhelm, with the united force
other abatements of its merits, the of arguıment and learning, the extra-
Intellectual System will for ever remain vagancies by which the ignorant en
a precious mine of information to thusiasts of the preceding period had
those whose curiosity may lead them exposed Christianity itself to the scoffs
to study the spirit of the ancient of their libertine opponents. Among
theories ; and to it we may justly the divines who appeared at this era,
apply what Leibnitz has somewhere it is impossible to pass over in silence
said, with far less reason, of the works the name of Barrow, whose theolo-
of the schoolmen, “ Scholasticos gical works (adorned throughout by
agnosco abundare ineptiis ; sed aurum classical erudition, and by a vigorous,
est in illo cæno."*

though unpolished eloquence), ex-
Before dismissing the doctrines of hibit, in every page, marks of the
Hobbes, it may be worth while to same inventive genius which, in ma-
remark, that all his leading principles thematics, has secured to him a rank
are traced by Cudworth to the remains second alone to that of Newton. . As
of the ancient sceptics, by some of a writer, he is equally distinguished
whom, as well as by Hobbes, they by the redundancy of his matter, and
seem to have been adopted from á by the pregnant brevity of his expres.
wish to flatter the uncontrolled pas- sion; but what more peculiarly cha-
sions of sovereigns. Not that I am racterizes his manner, is a certain
disposed to call in question the origi- air of powerful and of conscious fa-
nality of Hobbes; for it appears, from cility in the execution of whatever he
the testimony of all his friends, that undertakes. Whether the subject, be
he had much less pleasure in reading mathematical, metaphysical, or theo-
than in thinking. "If I had read," logical, he seems always to bring to it
he was accustomed to


“ as much a mind which feels itself superior to as some others, I should have been as the occasion; and which, in conignorant as they are." But similar tending with the greatest difficulties, political circumstances invariably re- puts forth but half its strength." produce similar philosophical iheo- He has somewhere spoken of his ries; and it is one of the numerous Lectiones Mathematicæ (which it may. disadvantages attending an inventive in passing, be remarked, display meiamind; not properly furnished with physical talents of the highest order), acquired information, to be con- as extemporaneous effusions of his tinnally liable to a waste of its powers pen; and I have no doubt that the on subjects previously exhausted. same epithet is still more literally

The sudden tide of licentiousness, applicable to his pulpit Jiscourses. It
both in principles and in practice, is, indeed, only thus we can account
which burst into th island at the for the variety and extent of his volu.
moment of the Restoration, conspired minous remains, when we recollect

that the author died at the age of
The Intellectual System was pub- forty-sixst
lished in 1678. The Treatise concerning
Eternal and Inmutable Morality did not + In a note annexed to an English
appcar till a considerable number of years translation of the Cardinal Maury's Prix-
after tbe author's death.

ciples of Eloquence, it is stated, upon the

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To the extreme rapidity with which sages here, merely to shew the very Barrow committed his thoughts to litile attention that had been paid, at writing, I ain inclined to ascribe the the era in question, to ethical science, hasty and not altogether copsistent by one of the most learned and proopinions which he has hazarded on found divines of his age. This is the some important topics. I shall con- more remarkable, as his works every fine myself to a single example, which where inculcate the purest lessons of 1 select in preference to others, as it practical morality, and evince a sinbears directly on the most interesting gular acuteness and justness of eye in of all questions connected with the the observation of human character. theory of morals. “If we scan," says Whoever compares the views of Barhe, " the particular nature, and search row, when he touches on the theory

into the original causes of the several of morals, with those opened about · kinds of naughty dispositions in our fifty years afterwards by Dr. Butler,

souls, and of miscarriages in our lives, in his Discourses on Human Nature, we shall find inordinate self-love to be will be abundantly satisfied, that, in a main ingredient, and a common this science, as well as in others, the source of them all; so that a divine of progress of the philosophical spirit great name had some reason to affirm, during the intervening period was not

that original sin (or that innate disinconsiderable. temper from which men generally The naine of WILKINS, (although become 80 very prone to evil, and he too wrote with some reputation averse to good), doth consist in self- against the Epicureans of his day), is love, disposing us to all kinds of irre- now remembered chiefly in consegularity and excess. In another pas- quence of his treatises concerning a sage, the same author expresses him- universal language and a real character. self thus : “ Reason dictateth and pre- With all the ingenuity displayed in scribeth to us, that we should have a them, they cannot be considered as sober regard to our true good and accessions of much value to science : welfare; to our best interests and solid and the long period since elapsed, content; to that which (all things during which no attempt has been being rightly stated, considered and made to turn them to any practical computed) will, in the final event, use, affords of itself no slight presumpprove most beneficial and satisfactory tion against the solidity of the project. to us : a self-love working in prosecu- A few years before the death of tion of such things, common sense Hobbes, Dr. CUMBERLAND (aftercannot but allow and approve." wards Bishop of Peterborough) pub

Of these two opposite and irrecon- lished a book; entitled, De Legibus cilable opinions, the latter is incom- Natura, Disquisitio Philosophica; the parably the least wide of the truth; principal aim of which was to conand accordingly Mr. Locke, and his firm and illustrate, in opposition to innumerable followers, both in Eng- Hobbes, the conclusions of Grotius, land and on the Continent, have concerning Natural Law. The work maintained, that virtue and an en- is executed with ability, and discovers lightened self-love are one and the juster views of the object of moral same. I have quoted the two pas- science, than any modern system that

had yet appeared; the author resting authority of a manuscript of Dr. Dod- the strength of his argument, not, as dridge, that most of Barrow's sermons Grotius had done, on an accuinulawere transcribed three times, and sometion of authorities, but on the princimuch oftener. They seem to me to con- ples of the human frame, and the tain very strong intrinsic evidence of the mutual relations of the human race. incorrectness of this anecdote.

Mr. Abra- The circumstance, however, which ham Hill, (in his Account of the Life of chiefly entitles this publication to our tents himself with saying, that « Some notice is, that it seems to have been of his sermons were written four or fire the earliest on the subject which altimes over;"mentioning, at the same tracted, in any considerable degree, time, a circumstance which may account the attention of English scholars. for tbis fact, in perfect consistency with from this time, the writings of Growhat I have stated above,—that “ Barrow tius and of Puffendorff began to be was very ready to lend bis sermons as often generally studied, and soon after made as desired."

their way into the Universities. In

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Free Specch on the Sulject of Reformalion. 1530.

697 Scotland, the impression produced by abuse that we do not seek to rectify ? them was more peculiarly remarkable. Or can there be such a rectification as They were every where adopted as the that there shall be no abuses? Or are best manuals of ethical and of political not clergymen to rectify the abuses of instruction that could be put into the clergy? Or shall men find fault the hands of students; and gradually with other mens' manners while they contributed to form ibal memorable forget their own; and punish where school, from whence so many phi- they have no authority to correct? If losophers and philosophical historians we be not executive in our laws, let were afterwards to proceed.

each man suffer for his delinquency;

or, if we have not power, aid us with Free Speech on the Sulject of Reforma- your assistance, and we shall give you

tion, in the House of Commons, in the thanks. But, my Lords, I hear there Reign of Henry VIII. 1530. is a motion made, that the small mo

[We extract the following very sin- nasteries should be given up into the gular speech, with the necessary preface, king's hands, which makes me fear from Colbeti's Parliamentary flistory of that it is not so much the good as the England, I. 501--508. It may be goods of the church that is looked after. found also in less modern language, in Truly, my Lords, how this may sound Collier's Eccles. Ilist. (folio) II. 45-47. in yonr ears I cannot tell, but io me it Collier makes this comment upon it ; appears no otherwise, than as if our "This odd speech is not mentioned holy mother the church were to be either by Hollingshead, Goodwin or come a bondinaid, and now brought Stow : neither does Lord Herbert tell into servility and thraldom; and by us the person's name. All that I shall little and litile to be quite banished out observe upon this Free-thinker is, that of those dwelling-places, which the he gives too much liberty to private piety and liberality of our forefathers, reason. His maxims are dangerous, as most bountiful benefactors, have and his scheme ill suited to the general conferred upon her. Otherwise, to capacity." ED.]

what tendeth these portentous and cu(AVY

ceived daily from the clergy were To no other intent or purpose, but to loudly complained of; and the king, bring the clergy in contempt with the being now willing that they should be laity, that they may seize their patristrictly inquired into, referred the re- mony. But, my Lords, beware of dress thereof to the Commons in this yourselves and your country; beware parliament. Complaints also being of your holy mother the Catholic made in that House against exactions church; the people are subject to nofor probats of testimonies and mor- velties, and Lutheranism spreads itself tuaries; for pluralities, non-residence, amongst us. Remember Germany and against priests that were farmers of and Bohemia, what miseries are bé lands, tanners, wool-buyers, &c. the fallen them already; and let our neighspirituality were much offended at bours' houses that are now on fire teach these proceedings; and, when the bills us how to beware of our own disasters. for regulating these exorbitances were Wherefore, my Lords, I will tell you brought before the House of Lords, plainly what I think ; that, excepe ye John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, resist manfully, by your authorities, made a remarkable speech against this violent heap of mischiess offered them, of which the following is a copy, by the Commons, you shall see all as it is-printed in a small treatise on obedience first drawn from the clergy, the life and death of that prelate, by and secondly from yourselves; and if Dr. Thomas Bailey.

you search into the true causes of all • My Lords-Here are certain bills these mischiefs which reign amongst exhibited against the clergy, wherein them, you shall find that they all arise there are complaints made against the through want of faith. viciousness, idleness, rapacity and The same authority tells us, that cruelty

of bishops, abbots, priests and this speech pleased or displeased several their officials. But, my Lords, are all of the House of Lords, as they were vicious, all idle, all ravenous and cruel diversely inclined to forward or faster priests or bishops? And for such as the King's designs. But none made a are such, are there not laws provided reply to it, but only the Duke of Noralready against such? Is there any folk, who said to the Bishop, " My

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