Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

The answers to the Professor are on inferior points.

In the following chapter are introduced upon the stage ARISTOTLE, CICERO, GROTIUS, and Hooker, as Authorities against Mr. Locke,' and being opposite to the Lockian system of government.' His principal view in this, it seems, is to contradict what he calls an assertion of Mr. Locke, that mankind are driven into fociety, and to thew, that these great men thought society was natural to men. And this, he is constantly remarking to us, is a difference between the Lochians and him, self of the highest importance. Nay, he every where speaks of this supposed idea of Mr. Locke, as a fundamental of his system, without which it is annihilated; and includes all his disciples, without exception, as maintaining the same position. "The Lockias,' says he, p. 124, `maintain, that mankind, have a capacity for becoming members of a civil society ;-but no natural desire or inclination for entering into fuch a state of life.' And again, p. 378, • The disciples of Mr. Locke,' says he, differ from the reit of mankind, ancient and modern, in two effential points. I. They often maintain, in express terms, and the tenor of their argument always doth, that mankind have no natural bias, no innate initinct or propecîty towards civil society, as an end or object.' Locke's own expression is, that men are DRIVEN into society. But why driven? And who drives them? Their own wants and fears, he tells us. For, it seems, that after having deliberated on the matter, pro and con, men at last resolved to abandon the charms of native liberty, in order to guard agaioft those dangers and inconveniencies, which they found to be unavoidable in their natural and solitary Itate. Hence, therefore, it necessarily follows, according to the Lockian idea, that government itself, even in its best ellare, and when best administered, is no other than a neceffary evil, which must be endured, for the sake of escaping from such other evils as are still more intolerable.'

This is the Dean's affertion. We have already noticed how true it appears to be, with regard to Dr. Priestley and Major Cartwright. We will now examine its veracity in respect of Dr. Price. In his Discourse addressed to a Congregation at Hackney, Feb. 21, 1781, p. 9, he delivers himself thus; “We find ourselves,” says the Doctor, “ so made, that we necessarily seek fociety, and cannot exist happily out of it. There is reason to think this must be the case with all intelligent creatures; for it is not to be conceived that any of them can want social affections, or be entirely indifferent to all social connections and intercourse. An existence absolutely folitary must, one would think, be dreary and melancholy. But whatever in this respect may be true of intelligent creatures in general, we know, that what I am observing is true of ourselves. The principles of our natures lead us to unite, and to form ourselves into societies. In consequence of this, we gain many pleasures and advantages which we could not otherwise enjoy. Some of our nobleft affections,

[ocr errors]

which would otherwise lie dormant, are drawn forth into exercise; and the strength of a whole community is employed in the defence and protection of every particular member of it.” Can words be stronger ? And might not our Author have known, that so strongly did the Doctor feel this social paflion in his own breast, that he published some years ago an express difcourse, to shew the probability of its remaining with mankind beyond the grave, Thus far, it seems, our Author is very unfortunate; for unfortunate, indeed, it is, to be convicted of palpable misrepresentations. Let us now see, whether it be really TRUE, that Mr. Locke himself, denied this natural propensity to society fo strongly afierted by his disciple Dr. Price?

In the 15th Section of his ift Book, he says, “ To those that say, there were never any men in the state of nature, I WILL NOT ONLY OPPOSE THE AUTHORITY of the judicious Hooker *, Eccl. Pol. lib. 1. $ :0. where he says, The laws which have been hitherto mentioned, i.e. the laws of nature, do bind men abfolutely, &c.--- therefore to supply those defects and imperfections which are in us, as living single and solely by curselves, WE ARE NATURALLY INDICED TO SEEK CUMMUNION LOWSHIP WITH OTHERS: this was the CAUSE of men's uniting themselves at first in politic focieties: but l, moreover, afirm,

-Again, Sect. 77. "God having made man such a creature, that in his own judgment it was not good for him to be alone, put him under ftrong obligations of necessity, convenience, and INCLINATION to drive + him into fociety (distinguished by Italics in the original], as well as fired him with understanding and language to continue and enjoy it. The firA fociety (again printed in Italics] was between man and wite, which gave beginning, Scc." And lastly, Sect. 101. after ftating the two objections made to the doctrine of an implied Original compact, he proceeds thus, “ To the first there is this to

AND FEL

&c,'

* See p. 402, where Hocker is quoted as an authori:y against Locke, delivering these words, “ Two foundations there are which bear up public societies; the one, a natural inclinarion, whereby all men defire fociable life and fellowhip; the other, an order expressly or fecretly agreed upon, touching the manner of iheir union in living together.” Mr. Lucke bimtelf could not furely have wished for a Itronger support!

+ But this is not the passage alluded ro, when our Author, as above, tells us, that · Mr. Locke's own expression is, that men are DRIVEN into society. For that, as quoted p. 9, is from the 127th Section, and runs as follows : “ Thus mankind, notwithstanding all the privileges of the fate of nature, being but in an ill condition while they remain in it, are quickly driven inio society.” Who could not confute either Locke, or Newton, or Euclid, or the four Evangelists themselves at this rate?

answer, answer, That it is not at all to be wondered, that history. gives us but a very little account of men, that lived together in the siate of nature. The inconveniences of that condition, and the LOVE AND WANT OF SOCIETY, no sooner brought any number of them together, but they presently united and incorporated, if they designed to continue together."

Is not a love of society a natural bias, instinct, or propensity ?' And does not this want of society, evidently fignify a natural want, alias a ' natural bias, instinct, or propensity?'-if the Dean likes those words better than Locke's own. Are there the premises from whence, as the Dean says, 'it neceffarily follows, according to the Lockian idea, that government itself, even in its beft eftate, and when beft adminiftered, is no other than a necessary evil ?' p. 25. 45. 379. But this false and malignant conclufion was, it thould seem, necessary to be drawn at all events; in order to serve that cause in which the reverend Author has thought fit to embark,

We shall now leave our Readers to judge, whether the Dean of Glocester, after all his arrogant boastings, has confuted the Lockians, or himself; and to those who may propole to read his curious performance, we fall only recommend, that they also examine, FOR THEMSELVES, those particular treatises of the Lockians which he refers to; as the above specimens of his candour and fidelity to the truth, may possibly convince them that it is absolutely necessary; especially when they take notice, that the words last quoted from Mr. Locke are to be found in the very same chapter with the first seven quotations made by himself in the opening of the work,-- which we now dismiss.

M.SC.

[ocr errors]

ART. II. Conclusion of the Account of the Bishop of Worcefer's

Sermons, N our Review for Auguft, we gave an account of the second

volume of these Sermons, and now proceed to the third; in the first sermon of which, his Lordship discourses from Ija. I. 11. Echold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks which ye have finaled: this all ye bave of my band, ye mall lie down in forrow.--The Prophet's purpose in the text, we are told, is to inculcate this great truth, that Revelation is the only sure and comfortable guide in matters of riligion. To second this purpose, fo energetically exprefled by the Prophet, his Lordship endeavours to Thew, that all the sparks of human knowledge, on this important subject, are but Imoke; and all the fire, which human genius and induftry can kindle at the altar of human reason, ice islelf; when compared with the light and heat of Divine Revulation.

The second fermon well deserves the attentive perusal of unbelievers. The Preacher shews, that an inquirer into the truth of the moft rational, and the purest of all religions may be prejudiced against it by a double pride, by the PRIDE OF REASON, and the PRIDE OF VIRTUE. The words of the text are- - If the Gospel be bid, it is bid to them that are lot. If what Dr. Hurd advances in this sermon be true (and we see no reason to doubt it), the man who rejects the Gospel may tremble for himself, when he considers that his REASON, nay his virTUE, may be the instrument of his ruin, and may learn to suspect the power and influence of his grosser passions, when he fees that even his more refined ones may corrupt his judgment, and betray him into infidelity,

In the third sermon, 'his Lordship explains and illustrates those words— Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; and, in the fourth, he inquires into those circumflances, in the discourses of our Saviour, which give real weight and dignity to the observation in the text-that never man spake like this man.

In the fifth and fixth sermons, the Preacher confiders two very remarkable circumstances in the conduct of our Saviour towards the Jews. He came to inflruct them in the principles of a new religion, and to convince them of its divine authority. Yet, to such of them as were least enlightened by his doctrine, he generally addressed himself in parables; and before such as were backward to admit his pretensions, he was sparing of his miracles. Now the contrary of this conduct, it is said, might be expected ; that he should have explained limself in the clearest manner to the uninformed Jews; and should have multiplied his miracles for the conviction of the unbelieving. His Lordship thews, in a very clear, diftinct, and satisfactory manner, that our Saviour's conduct, in either case, was suitable to his character and million.

The subject of the seventh sermon is, one single infiance of that indifference which the Apostles shewed to their own interests, viz. Their total disregard of human applause in preaching the Gospel. The words of the text are, we preach not ourselves, but Chrift Fcus the Lord. Men, we are told, may be said to preach themselves, in two respects : when they thew'a solicitude to let themselves forth with advantage; first, as to their moral character: and secondly, as to their intelleclun!. When men would give an advantageous idea of their moral charaéler, they usually express this delign, either, 1. By representing or insinuating their superior worth and virtue : or, 2. By suppreifing or palliating what may render it jupected: or, lalliy, Ly dwelling on such topics, and in such a manner, as may give occasion to others to think well of their moral qualities. His Lordship tries the Apostolic writings by each of theie marks.

moral theme

• Consider, says he, thore apologists for themselves, who have left us memoirs of their own lives. You will find, in most of these, an ambitious display of those moral virtues, by which they desire to be distinguished. They lose no opportunity of setting forth the purity of their designs, and the integrity of their practice. The reit may do this with less pomp and olientation ; they may preserve a modefty in the language, and a decent reserve in the air and cast of their narration. Scill the same purpose is discoverable in all these writers, whether they openly proclaim, or nicely suggest and insinuate their own importance. When men are actuated with a frong desire of appearing in the faireft light to others, it unavoidably breaks out in fome mape or other, and all the indirect ways of address cannot conceal it from the intelligent observer,

• We have a great example in two, the most extraordinary persons of the Pagan' world, I mean, XENOPHON, and Julius CÆSAR. These admired men thought fit to record their own acts and archieve. ments; and have done it with that air of neglect and unpretending fimplicity, which has been the wonder of mankind. Yet, through all this apparent indifference, every one sees the real drift of these elaborate volumes: every one sees, that they are composed in such a way as to excite the highest opinion, not of their ability in the art of war only, but of the justice, generosity, benevolence, in thort, the moral qualities of their respective au hors. I evidenily appears, that they designed to be their own panegyrills; though none but such men could have executed that dengn in so inoffensive and successful

a manner.

But

now,

if we turn to the sacred writers, we shall find no traces of their preaching themselves, in this respect. These plain ilhermen tell their fiory unambitioully, and without art; or, if we call it art, it is such an one as Greece and Rome had never been able to put in practice. No exaggerations of what may be thought praise-worthy in themselves: no oblique encomiums on their own best qualities or allions: no complacent airs in the recital of what may reflect honour on their own characters : no studied reserve and refinement in the turn and language of their history.

. If there be any virtue, which we may suppose them more than commonly anxious to arrogate to themselves, any moral quality in which they would thine out to the observation of others, what more likely than an unfhaken fidelity to their Mafter, that Master, whom they made it their glory, their fole glory, as the Text speaks, to preach?? Yet they are so far from respecting their own credit in this particular, that they relate their own infirmities and miscarriages; they acknowledge how wavering and precarious their faith was; nay, they tell us, that, in his last distresses, they all forfook him, and fied.

• This last circumstance reminds us of the next artifice which men employ to set off their moral character, that of Juppreffing or palliating wbarever may render it suspected.

As accomplished persons, as the great men before mentioned, were, can we doubt that many exceptionable steps were taken by

« PreviousContinue »