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The effects of love are strongly and well pourtrayed. * “ Love to the slowest, subtilty can teach,
And to the dumb give fair and flowing speech ;
Estrella del mar, puerto de folgura
Que me saque à puerto."
Fasele fabra fermoso al que antes era mudo
Love spreads its misty veil o'er all, and when
Probably the verses on death, which are, however, too long for quotation, are one of the finest specimens of the archpriest's powers.
“ Thou art abandon'd now, proud man! by all,
ART. III.—The true Intellectual System of the Universe, wherein
all the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is confuted, and its Impossibility demonstrated, &c. By Ralph Cudworth, D.D. 2 vols. 4to. 1743.
How seldom does it happen, that the actual productions of the pen are answerable to the conceptions and intentions of an author's mind ! Either the style displeases, or the argument is felt unsound; or some inadvertencies in statement, some frustrations of beauty, some sinkings from the heights of his aspirations, make him wish some parts unsaid, and all said better, and some things introduced which have been passed by forgotten. But if there be nothing to displease in quality, there is oft times a sad deficiency in quantity. Ars longa, vita brevis, weigheth down the mind that museth on many things. The sighings of the author are, not for more worlds to conquer, but for a longer period of being to gather the abundance which nature hath spread for him, to enlarge the basis of his fame, and to fill up the measure of his thoughts. So that besides the legacy of his works, which the writer leaves to posterity, there is also left an inventory of intentions, and a catalogue of projected labours. Thus it has been with Ralph Cudworth. The ponderous work, of which we propose to give an analysis for the benefit of those who, before they undertake the task of journeying through it, may wish to have some directions con
Mas noble que los otros por ende todo cubre
El atoda pera dura grand tiempo la madura.”
cerning the road they are about to travel, is but part of the scheme with which he set out. In his preface, he tells us,
“ I acknowledge, that when I engaged the press, I intended only a discourse concerning liberty and necessity, or, to speak out more plainly, against the fatal necessity of all actions and events; which, upon whatsoever grounds or principles maintained, will, as we conceive, serye the design of atheism, and undermine Christianity, and all religion, as taking away all guilt and blame, punishments and rewards, and plainly rendering a day of judgement ridiculous; and it is evident, that some have pursued it of late, in order to that end. But afterwards we considered, that this, which is indeed a controversy concerning the true intellectual system of the universe, does in the full extent thereof, take in other things; the necessity of all actions and events being maintained by several persons upon very different grounds, according to that tripartite fatalism mentioned by us in the beginning of the first chapter. "For, first, the Democritic Fate is nothing but the material necessity of all things without a God, in supposing senseless matter necessarily moved to be the only original and principal of all things; which therefore is called by Epicurus the physiological, by us the atheistic fate. Besides which, the divine fate is also bipartite : some Theists supposing God both to decree and do all things in us (evil as well as good), or by his immediate influence to determinate all actions, and so make them alike necessary to us. From whence it follows, that his will is no way regulated or determined by any essential and immutable goodness and justice; or that he hath nothing of morality in his nature, he being only arbitrary will omnipotent. As also, that all good and moral evil, to us creatures, are mere thetical and positive things; vóuw, and not quosi, by law or command only, and not by nature. This therefore may be called the divine fate, immoral and violent. Again, there being other divine fatalists, who acknowledge such a Deity, as both suffers other things, besides itself, to act, and hath an essential goodness and justice in its nature, and consequently, that there are things, just and unjust to us naturally, and not by law and arbitrary constitution only; and yet nevertheless take away from meh all such liberty as might make them capable of praise and dispraise, rewards and punishments, and objects of distributive justice; they conceiving necessity to be intrinsical to the nature of every thing, in the actings of it, and nothing of contingency to be found any where; from whence it will follow, that nothing could possibly have been otherwise in the whole world than it is. And this may be called the divine fate moral, (as the other immoral) and natural (as the other violent); it being a concatenation or implexed series of causes, all in themselves necessary, depending upon a Deity moral (if we may so speak); that is such as is essentially good, and naturally just, as the head thereof: the first contriver and orderer of all. Which kind of divine fate hath not only been formerly asserted by the Stoics, but also, of late, by divers modern writers. Wherefore, of the three fatalisms, or false hypotheses of the universe, mentioned in the beginning of this book, one is absolute atheism, another immoral theism, or religion without any natural justice and morality (all just and unjust, according to this hypothesis, being mere thetical or factitious things, made by arbitrary will and command only); the third and last, such a theism, as acknowledges not only a God, or omnipotent understand ing being, but also natural justice and morality, founded in him, and derived from him; nevertheless no liberty from pecessity any where, and therefore no distributive or retributive justice in the world. Whereas these three things are (as we conceive) the fundamentals or essentials of true religion. First, that all things in the world do not float without a head and governor; but that there is a God, an omnipotent understanding being, presiding over all. Secondly, that this God, being essentially good and just, there is quoen randy sai dixanov, something in its own nature immutably and eternally just and unjust; and not by arbitrary will, law, and command only. And, lastly, that there is something ipi shpão, or that we are so far forth principals or masters of our own actions, as to be accountable to justice for them, or to make us guilty and blame-worthy for what we do amiss, and to deserve punishment accordingly.”
Our author's design was then the establishment of these three points: but the first part of the work grew beneath his hands, and spread itself into an unanticipated extent. To overthrow the principles of atheism, it was necessary to state them: to overthrow them effectually, it was also necessary to state them fairly, to present all the several shades, and bearings, and doublings, of the atheistic argument: and this was not to be done without quotations, and these quotations were to be translated, and these translations to be defended as accurate, and the inferences from them to be established as fair and legitimate. There was need to examine the writings of philosophers and of poets, of every description, gay or grave, dull or ingenious; to unravel the tangled web of sophistry, to hold up to the light the various logical deformities of the atheistic school, to disperse the mass of misty words, and look for some residuum of meaning. Cudworth lived in times when there was no opportunity of quoting quotations; it was nécessary that he should really read what he would seem to have read. In those days, it was no easy task to make a book, and no light work to read one. Reading was then an employment, not merely a recreation. It consisted of something more solid than the flippancies of chit-chat, and the bandying of truisms in the shape of paradoxes. Books were written in the study, that they might be read in the study; and, for the most part, the readers were better paid for their trouble than the writers. But the latter had their reward in the consciousness of having laboured for the information and improvement of society, and in the anticipation of names that should live.
Authors, however, even then had their share of mortification and disappointment, and narrow-minded opposition. Will it be believed, that the honest and studious author of the True Intellectual System of the Universe could not escape the shafts of calumny, but that his sincerity was called into question ? That, instead of receiving the well merited praise which his refutation of atheism demanded, he should be accused of entertaining those very principles which he opposed, and that this very accusation should be founded in his having fairly stated those doctrines which he as fairly overturned? That this, however, was the case appears from a few passages which we shall extract from a brief memoir of the author, prefixed to Birch's edition. After speaking of some objections made by a Catholic divine to the view which Cudworth had taken of the pagan idolatry, his learned editor proceeds:
“ But let us now see, in how severe a manner he was treated, even by a Protestant divine, Mr. John Turner, in his Discourse of the Messiah. He tells us, · We must conclude Dr. Cudworth to be himself a tritheistic; a sect, for which, I believe, he may have a kindness, because he loves hard words, or something else, without either stick or trick, which I will not name, because his book pretends to be written against it.' And again, that the most that charity itself can allow the doctor, if it were to step forth, and speak his most favourable character to the world, is, that he is an Arian, a Socinian, or a Deist.
“ Mr. Dryden likewise tells us, that our author has raised such strong objections against the being of a God and Providence, that many think he has not answered them.' And the late Earl of Shaftesbury, in his Moralists, a rhapsody, has the following passage :—- You know the common fate of those who dare to appear fair authors. What was that pious and learned man's case, who wrote the Intellectual System of the Universe? I confess, it was pleasant enough to consider, that though the whole world were no less satisfied with his capacity and learning, than with his sincerity in the cause of the Deity; yet was he accused of giving the upper hand to the atheists, for having only stated their reasons and those of their adversaries fairly together.'
“Such was the treatment which our great author received for his immortal volume; wherein, as Mr. Warburton says, with a boldness uncommon indeed, but very becoming a man conscious of his own integrity, and of the truth and evidence of his cause, he launched out into the immensity of the Intellectual System, and at his first essay, penetrated the very darkest recesses of antiquity, to strip Atheism of all its disguises, and drag up the lurking monster to conviction. Where, though few readers could follow him, yet the very slowest were able to unravel his secret purpose to tell the world that he was an Atheist in his heart, and an Arian in his book. However, thus ran the popular clamour against this excellent person. Would the reader know the consequence? Why, the zealots inflamed the bigots :
'Twas the time's plague, when madmen led the blind :