Imatges de pÓgina
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ville, and various others, who generously devoted their

time and labours to enrich the Encyclopedic Dicstionary, and thereby conferred an everlasting benefit

on Europe. Most assuredly, not one of them is chargable with the abominations you impute to them. Only yourself, and Abraham Chaumieux the vinegar merchant and crucified convulsionary, could be capable of broaching so infamous a calumny.

You confound error with truth, because you have not sense sufficient to distinguish between them. You wish to stigmatise as impious the maxim adopted by all publicists, “That every man is free to choose his country.' What! you contemptible preacher of slavery, was

Christina free to travel to France and reside at Rome? Were not Casimir and Stanislaus authorised to end their days in France? Was it necessary, because they were Poles, that they should die in Poland ? Did Goldoni, Vanloo, and Cassini give offence to God by settling at Paris ? Have all the Irish, who have established themselves in fame and fortune in France, committed by so doing a mortal sin ?

And you have the stupidity to print such extravagance and absurdity as this, and Riballier has stupidity enough to approve and sanction you; and you range in one and the same class Bayle, Montesquieu, and the madman de La Metrie ; and it may be added, you have found the French nation too humane and indulgent, notwithstanding all your slander and malignity, to deliver you over to anything but scorn!

What! do you dare to calumniate your country (if indeed a jesuit can be said to have a country)? Do you dare to assert, “that philosophers alone in France attribute to chance the union and disunion of the atoms which constitute the soul of man?" • Mentiris impudentissime!" I defy you to produce a single book, published within the last thirty years, in which anything at all is attributed to chance, which is merely a word without a meaning.

Do you dare to accuse the sagacious and judicious Locke of having said, “ that it is possible the soul may be a spirit, but that he is not perfectly sure it is so; and that we are unable to decide what it may be able or unable to acquire ?".

“ Mentiris impudentissime !". Locke, the truly respectable and venerable Locke, says expressly, in his answer to the cavilling and sophistical Stillingfleet; “I am strongly persuaded, that although it cannot be shown (by mere reason) that the soul is immaterial, because the veracity. of God is a demonstration of the truth of all that he has revealed, and the absence of another demonstration can never throw any doubt apon what is already demonstrated.”

See moreover, under the article Soul, how Locke expresses himself on the bounds of human knowledge; and the immensity of the power of the Supreme Being.

The great philosopher Bolingbroke declares, that the opinion opposite to Locke's is blasphemy.

All the fathers, during the three first ages of the church, regarded the soul as a light attenuated species of matter, but did not the less, in consequence, regard it as immortal. But now, forsooth, even your college drudges consequentially put themselves forward, and denounce as “atheists” those who, with the fathers of the christian church, think that God is able to bestow and to preserve the immortality of the soul, whatever may be the substance it consists of.

You carry your audacity so far as to discover atheism in the following words, “Who produces motion in nature ? God. Who produces vegetation in plants ? God. Who produces motion in animals ? God. Who produces thought in man? God."

We cannot so properly say on this occasion," mentiris impudentissime;" but we should rather say, you impudently blaspheme the truth.

We conclude with observing, that the hero of the exjesuit Paulian is the ex-jesųit Patouillet, the author of a bishop's mandate in which all the parliaments of the kingdom are insulted. This mandate was burnt by the hands of the executioner. Nothing after this was wanting but for the ex-jesuit Paulian to elevate the ex-jesuit

Nonotte to be a father of the church, and to canonise the jesuits Malagrida, Guignard, Garnet, and Oldham, and all other jesuits to whom God has granted the grace of being hanged or quartered : they were all of them great metaphysicians, great philosophicotheologians.

SECTION IV. People who never think, frequently enquire of those who do think, what has been the use of philosophy ? To destroy in England the religious rage which brought Charles I. to the scaffold ; to deprive an archbishop in Sweden of the power, with a papal bull in his hand, of shedding the blood of the nobility; to preserve in Germany religious peace, by holding up theological disputes to ridicule; finally, to extinguish in Spain the hideous and devouring flames of the inquisition.

Gauls! unfortunate Gauls! it prevents stormy and factious times from producing among you a second “Fronde," and a second “Damiens."

Priests of Rome! it compels you to suppress your bull“ In cena domini," that monument of impudence and stupidity.

Nations ! it humanizes your manners. Kings, it gives you instruction!

SECTION V. The philosopher is the lover of wisdom and truth; to be a sage, is to avoid the senseless and the depraved. The philosopher therefore should live only among philosophers.

I will suppose that there are still some sages among the Jews : if one of these, when dining in company with some rabbis, should help himself to a plate of eels or hare, or if he cannot refrain from a hearty laugh at some superstitious and ridiculous observations made by them in the course of conversation, he is for ever ruined in the synagogue : the like remark may be made of a Mussulman, a Gueber, or a Banian.

I know it is contended by many, that the sage should never develop his opinions to the vulgar; that he

VOL. V.

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should be a madman with the mad, and foolish among fools: no one however has yet ventured to say, that he should be a knave among knaves. But if it be required that a sage should always join in opinion with the deluders of mankind, is not this clearly the same as requiring that he should not be an honest man? Would any one require that a respectable physician should always be of the same opinion as charlatans? ! The sage is a physician of souls. He ought to bestow his remedies on those who ask them of him, and avoid the company of quacks, who will infallibly persecute him. If therefore a madman of Asia Minor, or a madman of India, says to the sage, My good friend, I think you do not believe in the mare Borac, or in the metamorphoses of Vishnoo : I will denounce you, I will hinder you from being bostangi, I will destroy your credit, I will persecute you; the sage ought to pity him and be silent. If ignorant persons, but at the same time

persons of good understanding and dispositions, and willing to receive instruction, should ask him, Are we bound to believe that the distance between the moon and Venus is only five hundred leagues, and that between Mercury and the sun the same, as the principal fathers of the Mussulman religion insist, in opposition to all the most learned astronomers ?—the sage may reply to them, that the fathers may possibly be mistaken. He should at all times inculcate upon them, that'an hundred abstract dogmas are not of the value of a single good action, and that it is better to relieve one individual in distress, than to be profoundly acquainted with the abolishing and abolished ....

When a rustic sees a serpent ready to dart at him, he will kill it; when a sage perceives a bigot and a fanatic, what will he do? he will prevent them from biting.

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PHILOSOPHY. WRITE filosophy or philosophy as you please, but agree that as soon as it appears it is persecuted. Dogs to whom you present an aliment for which they have no taste,

bite

you.

You will say that I repeat myself; but we must an hundréd times remind mankind, that the holy conclave condemned. Galileo, and that the pedants who declared all the good citizens excommunicated who should submit to the great Henry IV. were the same who condemned the only truths which could be found in the works of Descartes. • All the spaniels of the theological kennel bark at one another, and all together at De Thou, La Mothe, Le Vayer, and Bayle. What nonsense has been written by little Celtic scholars against the wise Locke!

These Celts say that Cesar, Cicero, Seneca, Pliny, and Marcus Aurelius, might be philosophers, but that philosophy is not permitted among the Celts. We answer, that it is permitted and very useful among the French; that nothing has done more.good to the English; and that it is time to exterminate barbarity.

You reply, that that will never come to pass. No, with the uninformed and foolish it will not; but with honest people the affair is soon concluded.

SECTION II. One of the great misfortunes, as also one of the great follies, of mankind, is, that in all countries which we call polished, except perhaps China, priests concern themselves with what belongs only to philosophers. These priests interfered with regulating the year.; it was, they say, their right; for it was necessary that the people should know their holydays. Thus the Chaldean, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman priests believed themselves mathematicians and astronomers;—but what mathematics and astronomy! Whoever makes a trade of quackery cannot have a just and enlightened mind. They were astrologers, and never astronomers.*

The Greek priests themselves first made the year to consist only of three hundred and sixty days. Their geometricians must haye informed them that they were deceived by five days and more. They therefore cor.

* See the article ASTROLOGY,

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