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MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
JOHN BRAMHALL, D. D.
SOMETIME LORD ARCHBISHOP OP ARMAGH,
PRIMATE AND METROPOLITAN OF ALL IRELAND.
A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
AND A COLLECTION OF HIS LETTERS.
JOHN HENRY PARKE R.
In the volume now published will be found the whole of Bramhall's Discourses against Hobbes, which form the third part of his collected Works. An account of the controversy that gave rise to them has been given in vol. i. pp. xxxi Xxxiii. A list of the tracts relating to it is here subjoined.
1. A Discourse of Liberty and Necessity by John Bramhall Bishop of Derry.—Written, and sent to the (then) Marquis of Newcastle to be transmitted to Hobbes, in 1645, after a verbal discussion of the subject in the Marquis's presence; but first published in 1655 with the two tracts to be next mentioned. i. Of Liberty and Necessity; a Treatise wherein all Con
troversy concerning Predestination, Election, Free will, Grace, Merit, Reprobation, &c., is fully Decided and Cleared : in Answer to a Treatise by the Bishop of Londonderry on the same Subject. Lond. 1654. 12mo. by Thomas Hobbes.—Written as a letter to the Marquis of Newcastle, Aug. 20. 1645“, from Rouen, in answer to
* The original edition of this letter (in 1654) the present editor has not seen; and Hobbes (Qu., Animadv. upon the Bp's. Epist. to the Reader, p. 19) speaks of it as written in 1646 instead of 1645. But as Bramhall had had the MS. in his possession a considerable time so early as April 1646
(see p. 23 of the present volume), and as the date of the letter as published in 1679 by Bp. Laney (see p. 19, note b of this vol.) is as above given (viz. Aug. 20. 1645), it seems probable that Hobbes was himself mistaken, and that 1645 is the true date.
Bramhall's Discourse, and to be transmitted to him. It was first published in 1654 without Hobbes's knowledge, with the above title and a Preface, for neither of which is Hobbes responsible, and with the erroneous date of
1652b. 2. Defence of True Liberty from Antecedent Necessity, &c. &c., by John Bramhall, D.D. and Lord Bishop of Derry. In answer to the last named; written in 1646, and communicated then to the Marquis of Newcastle and to Hobbes, but first published in 1655 (8vo. Lond.), upon the appearance of Hobbes's Letter just mentioned; the original Discourse and that Letter being divided into sections, and published together in one volume, section by section, with Bramhall's reply to each,
These three tracts, thus intermixed one with the other, constitute the first Discourse in the present volume. ii. The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity, and
Chance, clearly Stated and Debated between Dr. Bramhall Bishop of Derry and Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury (Lond. 4to. 1656).—Containing all three of the above named tracts, printed section by section, together with Hobbes's rejoinder, in the shape of “Animadversions"
upon each section. 3. Castigations of Mr. Hobbes his last Animadversions in the case concerning Liberty and Universal Necessity, by John Bramhall, D.D. and Bishop of Derry (Lond. 8vo. 1657– 1658).—The second Discourse in the present volume.
4. The Catching of Leviathan or the Great Whale, &c. &c., by John Bramhall, D.D. and Bishop of Derry (Lond. 8vo. 1658) at first designed to form a part of the Castigations, but enlarged afterwards into a distinct tract, although still printed as an appendix and continuation of that work. It is professedly an exposure of the gross and dangerous errors of Hobbes's Leviathan, but refers also to his book De Cive and to his Questions just now mentioned : and forms the third Discourse in the present volume. iïi. An Answer to a Book published by Dr. Bramhall, late
6 Molesworth in his late edition of Hobbes's Works (vol. iv. p. 278) has mistaken the matter altogether. He imagines 1652 to be the correct date of the letter, and gives 1646 as the erro
neous date of the original publication in 1654: the case at best (i. e, supposing 1646 were the true date and vot 1645) being precisely the reverse.
Bishop of Derry, called The Catching of the Leviathan; together with an Historical Narration concerning Heresy and the Punishment thereof: by Thomas Hobbes.-Published at London in 1682 (8vo.) after the author's death, but written (according to the Advertisement to the Reader) ten years only after the publication of Bramhall's book (which had not sooner come to the writer's knowledge). This would mark its date to 1668, in which year Hobbes was in great alarm lest legal measures should be taken against him on account of his writings (see his Life in the Biogr. Brit. note K). Among other steps to justify and protect himself, he appears to have composed this tract; of which the first part is an "answer" (what Hobbes at least called such) to the first chapter of the Leviathan, that relating to his religious sentiments. To the Castigations he made no reply, nor to the remainder
of Bramhall's attack upon his Leviathan. Such was the course of the controversy, with which the present volume is concerned ; from which Hobbes appears to have come off with less loss of credit than from his complete defeat he deserved (see, for instance, Brucker's account of the matter). It is to be regretted, that Bramhall should have been led to cast his thoughts upon such a subject into the form of an answer to Hobbes's tracts. The consequence is, that instead of a complete and connected discussion of a very abstruse subject, such as his peculiar talents and knowledge especially fitted him to produce, and