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“ and the direct impression of knowledge, as naturally “ and necessarily issuing from the affecting those senses, " as it is to feel heat, cold, pain, pleasure, or any other “ material quality.” So that, according to this difcourse, the basis of tradition is not man's nature considered as moral, and capable of intellectual reflection ; for in this consideration, it is dark and defectible : but man's. nature, considered only as capable of direct sensitive knowledge, as acting naturally and necessarily: which is to say, that tradition is founded in the nature of man, considered not as a man, but a brute; under which confideration, I see no reason why he should call it the best nature in the universe. But now, how will he reconcile this discourse with the grounds of his demonstration, where he tells us, that the stability of tradition is founded in the arguments of hope and fear; the objects of which, being future and at a distance, cannot work upon a man immediately by direct impressions upon his senses, but must work' upon him by way of intellectual reflection and confideration ? For I hope he will not deny, but that the arguments of hope and fear work upon man according to his moral and intellectual part, else How are they arguments ? And if man, according to his moral part, be (as he says) defectible, how can the indefectibility of tradition be founded in those arguments which work upon man only according to his moral part ? I have purposely all along, both for the reader's ease and mine own, neglected to take notice of several of his inconsistencies: but there are such clear and transparent contradictions, that I could do no less than make an example of them.
SECT. V. The third answer to his demonstration.
Hirdly, This demonstration is confuted by clear
and undeniable instances to the contrary. I will mention but two.
ili, The tradition of the one true God, which was the easiest to be preserved of any doctrine in the world, being short and plain, planted in every man's nature, and perfectly suited to the reason of mankind. And yet this tra
dition, not having passed through many hands, by reason of the long age of man, was so defaced and corrupted, that the world did lapse into polytheism and idolatrị. Now, a man that were so hardy as to demonstrate against matter of fact, might, by a fronger demonstration than Mr S.'s, prove, that though it be certain this tradition hath failed, yet it was impoffible it should fail : as Zeno denonstrated the impoflibility of motion, against Diogenes walking before his eyes. For the doctrine of the one true God “ was settled in the heart of Noah, “ and firmly believed by him to be the way to happi“ ness; and the contradicting or deserting of this, to be " the way to misery.” And this doctrine was by him fo taught to his children; who were“ encouraged by 56 these motives to adhere to this doctrine, and to propa
gate it to their children, and were deterred by them “ from relinquishing it. And this was in all ages the
persuasion of the faithful.” Now, the "hores of hap“ piness, and the fears of misery, strongly applied, are 66 the causes of actual will. Besides, the thing was fea“ fible, or within their power; that is, what they were " bred to, was knowable by them ;” and that much more easily than any other doctrine whatsoever, being short, and plain, and natural. “ This put, it follows
as certainly, that a great number in each age would os continue to hold themselves, and teach their children
as themselves had been taught, that is, would follow 66 and stick to this tradition of the one true God, as it os doth, that a cause put actually causing, produceth its “ effect. Actually, I fay; for lince the cause is put, " and the patient dispofed, it follows inevitably, that " the cause is put still actually causing." This demonstration, which concludes an apparent falsehood, hath the whole strength of Mr S.'s, and several advantages beyond it. For the doctrine conveyed by this tradition, is the most important, being the first principle of all religion; the danger of corrupting it as great, the facility of preserving it much greater, than of the Christian doctrine, for the causes before mentioned: and yet, after all, it signifies nothing against certain experience, and unquestionable matter of fact; only it fufficiently fhews
the vanity of Mr S.'s pretended demonstration, built up. on the fame or weaker grounds.
§ 2. 2dly, The other instance shall be in the Greek church, who received the Christian doctrine as entire from the Apostles, and had as great an obligation to propa gate it truly to posterity, and the same « fears and hopes : “ strongly applied to be the actual causes of will;" in a word, all the same arguments and causes to preserve and continue tradition on foot, which the Roman churchhad : and yet, to the utter confusion of Mr S.'s demonstration, tradition hath failed among them. For, as fpeculators, they deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son; and, as testifiers, they disown any such. doctrine to have been delivered to them by the precedent. age, or to any other age of their church, by the Apofles, as the doctrine of Christ.
$ 3. To this instance of the Greek church, because Mr White hath offered something by way of answer, I shall here consider it. He tells us, (Apology for tradition, p. 51.), that “ the plea of the Greek church is non-" tradition; alledging only this, that their fathers did
not deliver the doctrine of the procession of the Holy " Ghost; not that they say. the contrary : which clear“ ly demonstrates there are no opposite traditions be
tween them and us." But this was not the thing Mr White was concerned to do, to demonstrate there were no opposite traditions between the Greeks and the Latins, but to secure his main demonstration of the impoffibility of tradition's failing, against this instance. For that the Greeks have no such tradition as this, “ that the
Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son,” is as good evidence of the failure of tradition, as if they had a positive tradition," that he proceeds only from the Father;" especially if we consider, that they (Phoc. ep. 7.) charge the Latin church with innovation in this matter; and say, that the addition of that clause, “ of the procession «from the Son also,” is a corruption of the ancient faith, and a devilish invention. Why then does Mr White about to baffle fo material an objection, and I fear his own conscience likewise, by a pitiful evasion, instead of a solid answer ? What though there be no op: posite traditions between the Greek and Latin church?
yet, if their faith be opposite, will it not from hence follow, that tradition hath failed in one of them? I wonder that Mr White, who hath so very well confuted the infallibility of Popes and councils, and thereby undermined the very foundation of that religion, should not, by the same light of reason, discover the fondness of his own opinion concerning the infallibility of oral tradition, which hath more and greater absurdities in it than that which he confutes. And to shew Mr White the absurdity of it, I will apply his demonstration of the infallibility of Christian tradition in general, to the Greek church in particular; by which every one will see, that it does as strongly prore the impossibility of tradition's failing in the Greck church, as in the Roran Catholic, as they are pleased to call it. His demonstration is this: (De fid. et theolog. tract. 1. § 4.) “ Christ commanded “ his Apoftles to preach to all the world ; and left any
one should doubt of the effect, he sent his Spirit into them, to bring to their remembrance what he had taught them ; which Spirit did not only give them a
power to do what he inclined them to, but did cause " them actually to do it.” I cannot but take notice by the way, of the ill consequence of this; which is, that men may doubt whether those who are to teach the doctrine of Christ will remember it, and teach it to others, unless they have that extraordinary and efficacious asliftance of the Holy Ghost, which the Apostles had. If this be true, his denionstration is at an end ; for he cannot plead that this assistance hath been continued ever since
the Apostles. He proceeds, “ The Apostles preached this •“ doctrine ; the nations understood it, lived according to
“ it, and valued it as that which was necessary to them “and their posterity incomparably beyond any thing “else.” All this I suppose done to and by the Greeks, as well as any other nation. " These things being put, “ it cannot enter into any man's understanding, but “ that the Christian [Greeks] of the first age, being " the scholars of the Apostles, could and would earnestas ly commend the Christian doctrine to their posterity; “ if so, it is evident that they did. So that the conti
nuance of purity of the faith in the [Greek] church, e is founded upon this, that fathers always delivered
“ the same doctrine to their children which they had re"s ceived from their fathers, and did believe it under “ this very notion and title as received. Nor could any
one [of that church] deliver another doctrine under " this title, but he would be convinced of a lie by the “ rest : and if the whole [Greek] church ihould endea
vour to deliver a new doctrine under that title, [and " there is the same reason if they should leave out any “ article of the old doctrine] that whole age would be “ in their consciences condemned of perfidiousness and
parricide. Now, this is as impossible, as it is that all “ mankind should conspire to kill themselves.” And he “ afterwards (ibid. § 3.) gives the reason why it is so impossible that tradition should fail, and it is a very bold and faucy one, that “if the tradition of the Christian “ faith be not more firm than the course of the sun and
moon, and the propagation of mankind, then God " hath shewn himself an unskilful artificer.' What is there in all this demonstration which may not be accommodated to the Greek church with as much force and advantage as to the Catholic ? unless he can shew, that it is very possible that all the men in Greece may conspire to kill themselves, but yet absolutely impoffible that all the men in the world should do fo ; which I am sure he cannot shew, unless he can demonstrate, that though it be possible for a million of as wise men as any are to be found in the world together, to conspire to do a foolish action, yet it is impossible that a hundred millions, not one jot wiser than the other, should agree together to the doing of it.
§ 4. From all this it appears, that Mr White's answer to this objection doth not signify any thing to his purpose. For if the procession of the Holy Ghost was part of Christ's doctrine, then it was delivered by the Apoftles to the Greek church; if so, they could not fail to deliver it down to the next age, and that to the next, and so on ; but it seems they have failed. Where then. is “ the force of hopes and fears strongly applied ?" Where are " the certain causes of actual will to adhere
to this doctrine? Why is not the effect produced, “ the causes being put actually causing?”. If the ApoAles delivered this doctrine, oral tradition is so clear and