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more extended than the effects of punishment. Here are his words : “ Of all the perfections of God, goodness would be most visible, if men would consider it. Is it not great goodness to have so ordered things, that all our necessary actions are attended with pleasure, and to have made us susceptible of pleasure a thousand ways? It is in vain to say that we are more susceptible of sorrow and pain; this is not true, and if it were true, we should not for all that forget the great goodness of God, since we might easily see that the pleasures we enjoy come from the laws he has established in nature, and that, on the contrary, most of our sorrows proceed from the ill use we make of our reason.” Note, by the by, that the difference he speaks of, and which he grounds upon the consequences of the ill use we make of liberty, could not satisfy a difficult adversary, who would say that this very thing, viz. the ill use a man makes of his reason, to vex himself to no purpose, is a great unhappiness, and ought necessarily
to be placed amongst afflictions; so that if we make a parallel between the good and evil which Providence imparts to men, we must reckon the evils which proceed from the weakness of our reason, as well as sickness, hunger, thirst, &c.
I shall only add, that the Greek proverb, “ Every thing that nourishes me is a god to me,” is more deceitful than people think. See the answer which was made to Philip de Comines, and that of a surgeon to a monk of St. Denis. “It is certain that a certain disease was unknown in France before the reign of Charles VIII; the greatest part of that prince's army died of it, because being not yet known, they knew no remedy for it, which shews that it was not the leprosy. Necessity put men upon finding some remedies to cure it, whereby many surgeons grew very rich. One of them, very thankful for his happiness, went one day to St Denis, and kneeled down before the statue of Charles VIII to thank him for it; but a monk having told him that he was mistaken, and that it was not the image of a saint—Hold your tongue, father,' said he, ' I know very well what I do; he is a true saint to me, since I have got by his means thirty thousand livres a year, so that it is a piece of justice for me to thank him for it.'” The author of Moyen de Parvenir makes the sum less, and names the surgeon. Here are his words : “ You put me in mind of that monk of St Denis in France, who was an assuming fellow.
When he saw Thierre de Hery upon his knees before the statue of Charles VIII, he told bim, my friend, you are mistaken; that is not the image of a saint.' • I know it very well,' said the surgeon, 'I am not so great a fool as you are, I know it is the statue of king Charles VIII, for whose soul I pray, because he brought a certain disease into France, whereby I have got six or seven thousand livres a year.'
I will not conclude without quoting Virgil. He was very much disposed to deify his benefactors: his lands having been spared by a particular favour of Octavius, he styled him a god.
O Melibee, Deus nobis hæc otia fecit :
VIRGIL Eclog. 1. ver. 6.
TRAPP. Good Maturinus Corderius, out of a pious fraud, which may be well excused, made school-boys believe that those words were very pious. He translated them thus : Melibæus, that favour comes to us from the only wise god. Virgil had no such thought; he only meant Augustus.-- Art. PERICLES.
PHILOSOPHICAL AND THEOLOGICAL SIN.
Cardinal De Lugo is said to be the first author of the discovery of the philosophical sin. See the book intitled, “ The Philosophism of the Jesuits of Marseilles," there you will find the following words. “ That which embarrasses De Lugo, in admitting actual sins purely philosophical in a savage, at least during the short time in which he supposes and maintains that he may be inculpably ignorant of God, is, that this savage may possibly die within this small time in his philosophical sins, and that he does not know what God may think fit to do with, nor what judgment he may pass upon such a sinner, nor in what rank he may place him for eternity. Some other Jesuits send him to the limbo of still born infants after a temporal punishment, proportioned to the philosophical sin, of what nature soever it be, whether parricide, incest, &c.; but De Lugo chooses rather to establish a new order of Providence. In this new order, God, rather than banish out of this world the philosophical sin, which is so necessary in it, and not to be embarrassed what to do in the next, with this sort of sinners, will work a miracle rather than let them die in this state. He will give them, before they leave this world, as much knowledge of the true God, as shall be necessary to qualify them for sinning theologically, or at least as much light as may be necessary to create a doubt in their minds that there may be a God, and wait and prolong their life till they have committed, with this knowledge or under this doubt, some sin which he may proceed against as a mortal sin, and punish it eternally in hell. That doubt alone, which he would neglect to remove, would render his sin eternally punishable, because, by sinning in this state, he would expose himself to the danger of offending him, who is the
author of his being. The thought is wholly new, and worthy of him who appears to be the first Jesuit who made the discovery of philosophical sin.” We may easily perceive that the author, who thus sets forth the doctrine of this Jesuit, mixes some touches of raillery in what he says : but after all, it is not strange that a doctor should be embarrassed, when he endeavours to reconcile the eternal damnation of man with the natural ideas, which clearly discover to us, that in order to an action's having a character of morality, it is indispensably necessary that a person committing this action know whether it be good or bad, or be ignorant of it through his own fault. It is an easy matter to stumble in such way, since we can hardly avoid making some false steps, even when we propose to acquit the judgments of God, of whatever seemingly makes them appear less equitable. The supposition of our De Lugo does not tend to diminish the number of the damned, but to render them more notoriously worthy of damnation.
Art. Lugo. PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION. TAKIDDIN, a Mahometan author, said that the Caliph Almamon would be infallibly punished by God, for having disturbed the devotion of the Mussulmans by the introduction of philosophical studies. This thought has nothing singular in it: it has appeared in all the countries of the world, and in all ages, and at this very day we find an infinite number of people complaining of Des Cartes, and other moJern philosophers of the first rank, as having occasioned the contempt which so many persons express for devotion and the mysteries of Christianity. A thousand things might be said upon this subject, both as to the fact itself, and the reason for it. Philosophers have been at all times suspected of having but little religion. The ancient rhetoricians, after having
said that among probable propositions, some were grounded upon what generally happens, and others upon the common opinion, alleged immediately these two examples: Mothers love their children-philosophers do not believe the existence of the gods. “ Probabile est id quod ferè fieri solet, aut quod in opinione positum est. In eo genere, quod fere solet fieri, probabile hujusmodi est: si mater est, diligit filium : si avarus est, negligit jusjurandum. In eo autem, quod in opinione positum est, hujusmodi sunt probabilia : Impiis apud inferos pænas esse præparatas: Eos, qui philosophiæ dent operam, non arbitrari
-That is probable which is confirmed by general experience, or which is commonly believed. Among the first sort, from general experience, are these examples following: a mother loves her child ; a miser never regards an oath. Among the latter from common belief are these: infernal punishments are prepared for the wicked ; philosophers do not believe there are any gods.” Apuleius observes, that almost all the ancient philosophers were accused either of denying the existence of the gods, or of applying themselves to magic. “ These things are generally by the ignorant vulgar objected against the philosophers, that one part of them who are for enquiring into the first and simple causes of bodies are irreligious, and deny the being of the gods, as Anaxagoras, Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and other patrons of nature ; that the others, who search more curiously into the conduct of Providence in the world, and worship the gods with greatest zeal, are commonly stiled magicians, as if they themselves had found out how to do those things which they find to be done; as formerly Epimenides, Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Osthanes.”+ Our Takiddin would not have delivered over to divine justice the great Almamon, that pro
Cicero, de Inventione, lib. i. fol. m. 29. f Apuleius, in Apologia, pag. 291.