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which are not unknown to learned men (and I wish they had never been known) because both the doctrine, and the unadvised abettors of it are (and shall be) to me apocryphal.
Another little story I must not pass in silence, being an argument of Dr. Sanderson's Piety, great ability and judgment as a casuist. Discoursing with an * honourable person (whose piety I value more than his nobility and learning, though both be great) about a case of conscience concerning oaths and vows, their nature and obligation; (in which for some particular reasons) he then desired more fully to be informed; I commended to him Dr. Sanderson's book De Juramento : which having read (with great satisfaction) he asked me, if I thought the doctor could be induced to write cases of conscience, if he might have an honorary pension allowed him, to furnish him with books for that purpose? I told him I believed he would : and (in a letter to the doctor) told him what great satisfaction that honourable person and many more) had reaped by reading his book De Juramento: and asked him, whether he would be pleased (for the benefit of the church) to write some tract of cases of conscience? He replied, that he was glad that any had received any benefit by his books; and added further, that if any
question of great importance, upon the ancient landmarks by Dr. Jeremy Taylor, so unhappily (and so unseasonably too) endeavoured to be removed, in the doctrine of original sin.' 2. Another letter of Dr. Sanderson to Dr. Barlow, at Queen's College, dated Botheby Pagnell, Sept. 17, 1657,' expressing himself, • that Dr. Taylor is so pereinptory and pertinacious of his errors, as not to hearken to the sober advices of his grave, reverend, and learned friends, amidst the distractions of these times.' See Kennet's Register, p. 633." From Dr. Zouch’s edition of Walton's Lives, p. 442. Edit. 2nd. * Robt. Boyle, Esq.
of' his could bring such benefit to any, as we seemed to say his former had done, he would willingly (though without any pension) set about that work. Having received this answer, that honourable person (before mentioned) did (by my hands) return fifty pounds to the good doctor (whose condition then, as most good men's at that time were, was but low) and he presently revised, finished, and published that excellent book De Conscientia. A book little in bulk; but not so if we consider the benefit an intelligent reader may receive by it. For there are so many general propositions concerning conscience, the nature and obligation of it explained and proved with such firm consequence and evidence of reason, that he who reads, remembers, and can (with prudence) pertinently apply them Hic et nunc to particular cases, may (by their light and help) rationally resolve a thousand particular doubts and scruples of conscience. Here you may see the charity of that honourable person in promoting, and the piety and industry of the good doctor in performing that excellent work.
And here I shall add the judgment of that learned and pious prelate concerning a passage very pertinent to our present purpose. When he was in Oxon, and read his public lectures in the schools as regius professor of divinity, and by the truth of his positions, and evidences of his proofs, gave great content and satisfaction to all his hearers, especially in his clear resolutions of all difficult cases which occurred in the explication of the subject matter of his lectures; a person of quality (yet alive) privately asked him, what course a young divine should take in his studies to enable him to be a good casuist? His answer was, that a convenient understanding of the learned languages (at least of Hebrew, Greek and Latin) and a sufficient
knowledge of arts and sciences presupposed, there were two things in human literature, a comprehension of which would be of very great use, to enable a man to be a rational and able casuist, which otherwise was very difficult, if not impossible : 1. A convenient knowledge of moral philosophy; especially that part of it which treats of the nature of human actions : to know, quid sit actus humanus (spontaneus, invitus, mixtus) unde habent bonitatem et malitiam moralem? an er genere et objecto, vel er circumstantiis? How the variety of circumstances varies the goodness or evil of human actions. How far knowledge and ignorance may aggravate or excuse, increase or diminish the goodness or evil of our actions? For every case of conscience being only this--Is this action good or bad? May I do it, or may I not? He who in these) knows not how and whence huinan actions become morally good and evil, never can (in hypothesi) rationally and certainly determine, whether this or that particular action be so. 2. The second thing, which (he said) would be a great help and advantage to a casuist, was a convenient knowledge of the nature and obligation of laws in general: to know what a law is; what a natural and a positive law; what is required to the Latio, dispensatio, derogatio, vel abrogatio legis; what promulgation is antecedently required to the obligation of any positive law; what ignorance takes ofi' the obligation of a law, or does excuse, diminish, or aggravate the trangression : for every case of conscience being only this—Is this lawful for me, or is it not? and the law the only rule and nieasure, by which I must judge of the law fulness or unlawfulness of any action ; it evidently follows, that he, who in these) knows not the nature and obligation of laws, never can be a good casuist, or rationally assure himself (or
others) others) of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of actions in particular. This was the judgment and good counsel of that learned and pious prelate; and having (by long experience) found the truth and benefit of it, I conceive, I could not without ingratitude to him, and want of charity to others, conceal it. -- Pray pardon this rude, and (I fear) impertinent scribble, which (if nothing else) may signify thus much, that I am willing to obey your desires, and am indeed