Imatges de pÓgina

countrymen, the richness, variety, and, or of Raleigh. It is with the philosograce, which might be lent to the phicul merits, however, of Hobbes, that English idiom, by the hand of a we are alone concerned at present ; master.

and, in this point of viewv, what a It is not improbable that Mr. Fox space is filled in the subsequent hismight have included the name of tory of our domestic literature, by his Hobbes in the same enumeration, had own works, and by those of his innuhe not been prevented by an aversion merable opponents! Little else, into his slavish principles of govern- deed, but the systems which he puhment, and by his general disrelish lished, and the controversies which for metaplıysical theories. As a wri- they provoked, occurs, during the inter, Hobbes unquestionably ranks terval between Bacon and Locke, to high among the older English classics ; mark the progress of English Philosoand is so peculiarly distinguished by phy, either in the study of the Mind, the simplicity and case of his manner or in the kindred researches of Ethical that one would naturally have ex. and Political Science. pected froin Mr. Fox's characteristical “ The philosopher of Malmesbury," iaste, that he would have relished his says Dr Marburton,“ was the terror of style still more than that of Bacont the last age, as Tindall and Collins are

of this. The prese sweat with contro* To prevent being misunderstood, it versy; and every young churchman is necessary for me to add, that I do not militant would try his arins in thunspeak of the general style of these old dering on Hobbes's steel cap."* Nor authors; but only of detached passages, was the opposition to Hobbes confined which may be selected from all of then, to the clerical order, or to the contra as earnests or first fruits of a new and versialists of his own times. The brighter era in English literature. It may most eminent moralists and politicians be safely affirmed, that in their works, of the eighteenth century may be rankand in the prose compositions of Milton, ed in the number of his antagonists, are to be found some of the finest sen- and even at the present moment, tences of which our Janguage has yet to scarcely does there appear a new pobliboast. To propose them now as models

cation on Ethics or Jurisprudence, for imitation, would be quite absurd. Dr. Lowth certainly went much too far where a refulation of Hobbism is not when he said, “That in correctness, pro

to be found. priety and purity of English style,

Theo period when Hobbes began his Hooker bath hardly been surpassed, or literary career, as well as the princieren equalled, by any of his successors." pal incidents of his life, were, in a Preface to Lowth's English Grammar. singular degree, favourable to a mind

† According to Dr. Burnet (no con- like his; impatient of the yoke of temptible judge of style), Bacon was “the authority, and ambitious to attract first that writ our language correctly." attention, if not by solid and useful The same learned prelate pronounces Ba- discoveries, at least by an ingenious con to be “ still our best author;" and defence of paradoxical tenets. After this, at a time, wben the works of Sprat, a residence of five years at Oxford, and many of the prose compositions of and a very extensive tour through Cowley and of Dryden, were already in France and Italy, he had the good the hands of the public. It is difficult to conceive on what grounds Burnet pro- The prose of Bacon, Harrington, and ceeded, in bazarding so extraordinary an

Milton, is altogether stiff and pedantic, opinion. See the Preface to Burnet's thougb their sense be excellent." Translation of More's l'lopia.

How insignificant are the petty gramIt is still more difficult, on the other matical improvements proposed by Swift, hand, to account for the following very when compared with the inexhaustible bold decision of Mr. Hume. I transcribe riches imparted to the English tongue by it from an Essay first published in 1742; the writers of the seventeenth century: but the same passage is to be fouod in the

and bow inferior, in all the higher qualilast edition of his works, corrected by ties and graces of style, are his prose himself. “ The first polite prose we bare, compositions, to those of bis immediate was writ by a man (Dr. Swift) who is predecessors, Dryden, Pope, and Addistill alive. As to Sprat, Locke, and eren

son ! Temple, they knew too little of the rules

# Divine Legation, Pref. to Vol. II. of art to be esteemed elegant writers.

p. 9.

Estimate of the Philosophical Character of Hobbes.

631 fortune, upon his return to England, The fundamental doctrines incul. to be admitted into the intimacy and cated in the political works of Hobbes, confidence of Lord Bacon ; a circum- ale contined in the following propostance which, we may presume, con

sitions. All men are by nature equal; tributed not a little to encourage that and, prior to government, they had bold spirit of inquiry, and that aversion all an equal right to enjoy the good to scholastic learning, which charac- things of this world. Man, too, is terize his writings. Happy, if he had, (according to Hobbes), by nature a at the same time, imbibed some por- solitary and purely seltish animal; the tion of that love of truth and zeal' for social union being entirely an intethe advancement of knowledge, which rested league, suggested by prudential seem to have been Bacon's ruling pag- views of personal advantage. The sions! But such was the obstinacy of necessary consequence is, that a state his temper, and his overweening self- of nature must be a state of perpetual conceit, that, instead of co-operating warfare, in which no individual has with B.icon in the execution of his any other means of safety than his magnificent design, he resolved to rear, own strength or ingenuity; and in ou a foundation exclusively his own, which there is no rooin for regular a complete structure both of moral industry, because no secure enjoyment and physical science; disdaining to of its fruits. In confirmation of this avail himself even of the materials view of the origin of society, Hobbes collected by his predecessors, and appeals to facts falling daily within treating the experimentarian philoso- the circle of our own experience. pbers as objects only of contempt and “ Does not a man (he asks) when ridicule!

taking a journey, arm himself and In the political writings of Hobbes, seek to go well accompanied ? When we may perceive the infuence also of going to sleep, does he not lock his other motives. From his earliest doors? Nay, even in his own house, years, he seems to have been decidedly does he not lock his chests? Does hostile to all the forms of popular he not there as much accuse mankind government; and it is said to have by his actions, as I do by my words ?"* been with the design of impressing An additional argument to the same his countrymen with a just sense of purpose may, according to some later the disorders incident to democratical Hobbists, be derived from the instinctestablishments, that he published, in ive aversion of infants for strangers ; 1618, an English translation of Thu- and from the apprehension which it cydides. In these opinions he was is alleged) every person feels, when more and more confirmed by the he hears the tread of an unknown foot events he afterwards witnessed in in the dark. England; the fatal consequences of For the sake of peace and security, which he early foresaw with so much it is necessary that each individual alarm, that, in 1640, he withdrew should surrender a part of his natural from the approaching storm, to enjoy right, and be contented with such a the society of his philosophical friends share of liberty as he is willing to at Paris. It was here he wrote his allow to others; or, to use Hobbes's book De Cive, a few copies of which own language, “ every man must diwere printed, and privately circulated vest himseļf of the right he has to all in 1642. The same work was after things by nature; the right of all men wards given to the public, with ma- to all things being in effect no better terial corrections and improvements, than if no man had a right to any in 1647, when the author's attach- thing." + In consequence of this ment to the royal cause being strength- transference of natural rights to an ened by his personal connexion with individual, or to a body of individuals, the exiled king, he thought it incum- the multitude become one person, bent on him to stand forth avowedly under the name of a State or Repubas an advocate for these principles lic, by which person the cominon which he had long professed. The will and power are exercised for the great object of this perforinance was to cominon defence The ruling power strengthen the hands of sovereigns against the rising spirit of democracy, * Of Man, Part I. chap. xiii. by arming them

with the weapons of + De Corpore Politicu, Part I, shap. a new pbilosopby.

i. g 10.



cannot be withdrawn from those to The ethical principles of Hobbes * hom it has been committed ; nor are so completely interwoven with his can

they be punished for misgovern- political system, that all which has ment. The interpretation of the laws been said of the one may be applied is to be sought, not from the com- to the other. It is very remarkable, ments of philosophers, but from the that Descartes should have thought so authority of the ruler ; otherwise "highly of the former, as to pronounce society would every inoment be in Hobbies to be “a much greater master danger of resolving itself into the dis- of morality than of metaphysics ;” a corilant elements of which it was at judgment which is of itself sufficient first composed. The will of the magis- to mark the very low state of ethical irate, therefore, is to be regarded as science in France about the middle of the ultimate standard of right and the seventeenth century: Mr. Addiwroug, and his voice to be listened to son, on the other hand, gives a deby every citizen as the voice of cou- cided preference (among all the books science.

written by Hobbes) to his Treatise on many

afterwards, * Iluman Nature ; and to his opinion on Hohbės pushed the argument for the this point I most implicitly subscribe ; absolvie power of princes still further, including, howerer, in the same comiii a work to which he gave the name mendation, some of his other philoof Letlatlan. Under this appellation sophical Essays on similar topics. he means the lody politic; insinuating, They are the only part of his works that man is an uutameable beast of which it is possible now to read witin prey, and that govemment is the any interest; and they every where strong chún

Ly'which he is kept from evince in their author, even when he mischief. The fundamental princi- thinks most unsoundly himself, that ples here," maintained are the same power of setting his reader a thinking, as in the Book De Cive; but as it which is one of the most unequivocal inveighs more particularly against marks of original genius. They have scclesiastical tyranny, with the view of plainly been studied with the utmost subjecting the consciences of men to care both by Locke and Hume. To the civil authority, it lost the author the former they have suggested some the favour of some powerful pro- of his most important observations on tectors he had hitherto enjoyed among the Association of Ideas, as well as the Euglish divincs who attended much of the sophistry displayed in the Charles II. in France; and he even first book of his Essay on the Origin found it convenient to quit that king- of our Kyowledge, and on the facdóm, and to return to England, where titious nature of our moral principles; Cronwell (to whose government his to the latter (among a variety of hints political tenets were now as favourable of less consequence), his theory conas they were meant to be to the royal cerning the nature of those established claims) suffered him to remain unmo- connexions among physical events, leseed. The same circumstances ope- which it is the business of the natural rated to his disadvantage after the philosopher to ascertain, t and the Restoration, and obliged the king, who always retained for him a very strong attachment, to confer his mark's + The same doctrine, concerning the of favour on him with the utmost proper object of natural philosophy (comreserve and circumspection.

monly ascribed to Mr. Hume, both by bis The details which I have entered followers and by his opponents), is to be

found in various writers contemporary into, with 'respect to the history of with Hobbes. It is stated with uncomHobbes's political writings, will be

mon precision and clearness, in a book found, by those who may peruse entitled Scepsis Scientifica, or Confessed them, to throw much light on the ignorance the way to Science; by Joseph auihor's reasonings. Indeed, it is Glanvill (printed in 1665). The whole only by thus considering tliem in their work is strongiy marked with the features connexion with the circumstances of of an acute, an original, and (in matters the times, and the fortunes of the of science) a somewhat sceptical genius; writer, that a just notion can be and, when compared with the treatise on formed of their spirit and tendency, witchcraft, by the same author, adds

another proof to those already mentioned, of the possible union of the highest intel.


. In 1651.

Remarkable Providence in the Life of Crellius.


substance of his argument against the A remarkable Example of God's Provi scholastic doctrine of general concep- dence, visible during a Journey of tions. It is from the works of Hobbes, Christopher Crellius. Copied ( Amstertoo, that our later Necessitarians have dam, 1774,) from MS. Papers of borrowed the most formidable of those Samuel Crellius, und now Translated weapons with which they have com- from a Dutch Copy. The Original bated the doctrine of moral liberty ; Letler was written in Latin. and from the same source has been (Communicated to the Editor by Mr. Vanderived the leading idea which runs der Kemp, of the United States of through the philological materialism America.) of Mr. Horne Tooke. It is probable, Samuel ČRELLIUS wishes happiness indeed, that this last author borrowed

to H. V.0. it, at second hand, from a hint in I WILL, tote gratify your desire, stated by Hobbes, in the most explicit remarkable event, which you

listened and confident terms. Of this idea, to with pleasure. When my father, * (than which, in point of fact, nothing Christopher Crellius, with other Unis can be imagined more puerile and tarians was driven from Poland in the unsound,) Mr. Tooke's etymologies, year 1666, he became acquainted in when he applies thein to the solution London with a pious woman, who of metaphysical questions, are little was instructed by John Biddle and more than an ingenious expansion, was called Stuckey, the mother of adapted and levelled to the Nathaniel Stuckey, a youth of bright

comprehension of the multitude.

hope, and mentioned by Sandius, in The speculations of Hobbes, how- bis Biblioth. Antitrin. page 172, but ever, concerning the theory of the who, very, prematurely, and if I ain understanding, do not seem to have not mistaken, died in the sixteenth been nearly so much attended to die year of his age. This woman spoke ring his own life, as some of his other to my father in this manner—“ You, doctrines, which, having a

nore my dear Crellius ! wander now as an immediate reference to human affairs, exile, in poverty—a widower-burwere better adapted to the unsettled thened with four children ; give me and revolutionary spirit of the times

. two of these, a son and a daughter, in It is by these doctrines, chiefly, that England, and I will take care of their his name has since become so mcmo education.” My father thanked her rable in the annals of modern litera- cordially, and promised to consider it: Inre; and although they now derive when returned to Silesia he consulted their whole interest from the extra- his friends on the subject, and departordinary combination they exhibit of ed with his eldest son and daughter in acuteness and subtlety with a dead the year 1605 from Breslau, through palsy in the powers of taste and of Poland, towards Dantzic, to embark moral sensibility, yet they will be from there to Holland, and so to Engfound, on an attentive examination, land. This voyage to Dantzic my fåto have had a far more extensive influ-ther undertook with his own waggon ence on the subsequent history both and horses. His driver was the pious of political and of ethical science, Paul Sagosky, from whom I heard an than any other publication of the same

account of the event in Brandenburg, period.

Prussia, in the year 1704, when he

was far advanced in age. lectual gifts with the most degrading

It was afternoon, the sun declining intellectual weaknesses.

to the west, when my father, only With respect to the Scepsis Scientifica, twelve Polish miles from Dantzic it deserves to be noticed, that the doc- reached a tavern, in whieh he resolved trine maintained in it concerning physical to tarry that night, because he saw causes and effects does not occur in the before him a large wood, which he form of a detached observation, of the could not pass through by day light, value of which the author might not have and he deemed it unadvisable to enter been fully aware, but is the very basis it towards night, uncertain if he of the general argument running through should find another house, and, moreall bis discussions.

over, was not well acquainted with the road. They stopped then at the

tavern, and brought the waggon into a young children in jeopardy ; return large stable, and fastened the horses rather with me to my tavern, there. to the manger. The landlady, her you may refresh yourself and your husband being from home, received horses, spend the night comfortably, them with civility. She gave orders to and continue your journey early in the take the baggage from the waggon and morning. My father answered, that bring it into the inner room, where he was obliged to proceed on his she invited my father with the chil- journey, however unpleasant it was. dren to the table. Meanwhile the The landlord urged his entreaties with driver, when he had sed the horses, greater importunity, and approaching explored the spacious stable, not for- my father's waggon, and taking hold getting to scrutinize with careful of it, he renewed to dissuade a fur. anxiety every corner, because the ther process with a lowered brow and taverns in Poland, at such a distance a grim countenance, and insisted that froin cities and villages as this was, they should, and must return; on are seldom a safe refuge for travellers, which my father ordered the driver and there is always apprehension of to lay his whip over the horses, to robbers a:od murderers." In this search disengage himself from this dangerous he discovered in one corner of the man, in which he succeeded. stable a large heap of straw, of which They then proceeded on. My father, he moved a part with a stick, when sitting in the waggon, sent up his he perceived that this straw covered prayers in an audible voice to his God, a large hole which emitted an offen- as was his usual custom on his trasive smell, while the straw was vels, and recommended himself and tainted with blood. On this he di- those dear to him in this perilous rectly returned to the inner room, situation to his providential care, in mentioned to my father in secret which devotion he was accompawhat he had seen, and saying that nied by the driver and his two he doubted not that the landlord was children. Meanwhile the sun was a robber and murderer. My father set, an increasing darkness prevailed, left the room directly, and, having they lost the road, entered a deep yerified the faci, ordered directly to swamp, in which soon the waggon bring the baggage again on the wag. stuck, the horses being too fatigued gon, and harness the horses.

to draw it out again. My father and When the landlady observed these the driver jumped from the waggon in preparations, she shewed her surprise, the inud, strengthened every nerve, and dissuaded my father to proceed and animated the horses with words, on his journey through such a large and the whip, but all in vain; the wood in a cold night, with two young waggon could not be stirred one single children, and engaged that she would inch. My father became apprehenendeavour to render his stay as com- sive that he must pass the night in fortable as it was in her power; but that dreary spot, and that he or his he replied, that something very inte driver should be compelled to leave testing had struck his mind, which the wood next morning, and search rendered it impossible for him to re- for assistance in the nearest village, main there, and compelled him to without even a prospect of success; proceed on. He thanked her for her meanwhile nothing was left him but civilities, went with his children into silent ejaculations to his God. the waggon, and departed.

After having covered his children as When they were arrived in the well as he could, and secured them wood, they met the landlord driving against a rigorous cold night, he home a load of wood, who accosted walked to a little distance from his my father, “Sir,” said he, “I beg waggon, and employed himself in of you, what moves you to enter this sending up his prayers to his God, wood, so large and extensive, and when he saw a man of small stacut in two or three cross roads, in ture, in a grey or whitish coat, with the fall of the evening, at the approach a stick in his hand, approaching him. of night; I doubt not, that you will After mutual salutations, this man lose the right road, and remain in asked my father what he did there, the wood during night: you endanger and why he travelled in the night, and your health and place that of these especially through such a wood ? My

« AnteriorContinua »