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men too are fit for bad purposes; like to like, as the proverb fays. A Tyrant also should fhew no favour to a man of Worth or a Freeman; for he fhould think, that no one deserved to be thought these but himself; for he who fupports his dignity, and is a friend to freedom, encroaches upon the fuperiority, and the defpotifm of the Tyrant: fuch men, therefore, they naturally hate, as destructive to their Government. A Tyrant alfo fhould rather admit Strangers to his table and familiarity, than Citizens, as thefe are his enemies, but the others have no defign against him. Thefe and fuch-like are the fupports of a Tyranny, for it comprehends whatsoever is wicked.”
To this extract we fhall add the following fentences, felected from different parts of the work, with Mr. Ellis's tranflation: Ἡ δέ πολιτική ελευθέρων καὶ A political ftate is the ἴσων ἀρχὴ. government of freemen and equals.
Διὰ τὸ τὴν φυσιν ἴσες εἶναι πάνας, ἅμα δὲ καὶ δίκαιον, εἴτ' ἀγαθόν είτε φαῦλο τὸ ἄρχειν, πῶντας αυτε μετέχειν.
Nature has made all men
equal, and therefore it is juft, be the adminiftration good or bad, that all should partake of it.
The legiflator ought to make all the citizens happy.
All perfons ought to endeavour to follow what is right, not what is established.
It is evident that all those governments which have the common good in view are rightly eftablished, and ftrictly just; but thofe which have in view only the good of the rulers, are all founded on wrong principles, and are widely different from what a government ought to be; for they are tyranny over flaves, whereas a city [ftate] is a community of freemen.
We have feledted thefe paffages, partly that our learned Readers may form tome judgment of the merit of the tranflation, but chiefly to thew that Mr. Locke and his followers might quote Ariftotle, as well as appeal to reafon, in fupport of their unfafhionable doctrines.
ART. II. Dialogues concerning innate Principles. Containing an Examination of Mr. Locke's Doctrine on that Subject. By the Author of "Three Dialogues concerning Liberty *." 8vo. 2 S. Dodfley. 1779
HIS ingenious Writer, to whofe mèrit we have, on a former occafion, borne our teftimony [fee Three Dialogues on Liberty, vol. Iv. p. 218] undertakes, in thefe Dialogues, to refute Mr. Locke's doctrine concerning innate principles. For this purpose he fets out with obferving, that Mr. Locke has been led to conclude that there are no innate principles, by miftaking certain moral propofitions, perceived as true by the understanding, for the internal fentiments on which thofe propofitions are founded. Nothing, he remarks, can be more obvious, than that the former, confidered merely as propofitions, formed by our rational faculty after a due confideration of things, as all true propofitions muft be, are not innate. But in the nature of things there must be principles, which had exiftence anterior to the formation of the axioms and propofitions which arise from them. Thefe principles bear no refemblance to any propofitions whatfoever. Benevolence is pleafant, and malevolence painful, because there are principles in human nature which render them fo. The truth or falfehood of moral propofitions can only be judged of by appealing to our internal fenfe, which perceives the juft or unjuft, the right or wrong of actions. All created beings have certain principles, neceflarily innate, which conftitute their natures what they are. If it be allowed that ideas are not innate, it will follow that no propofitions can be innate, but not that we have no innate principles; for the moral principles are the foundation of our moral ideas, and must exift prior to them. Prejudice and paffion may diftort men's ideas, and prevent them from clearly difcerning moral truth; but the principles on which they are grounded, have their existence in nature, and muft ftill remain the fame.
Our Author proceeds to obferve, that by principles we are to understand fuch properties, qualities, energies, or laws, as are neceffarily inherent in any being, and conftitute its nature. The general laws by which every kind of being exists, and is moved and acts, are the general principles of that kind: the particular laws by which every fpecies exifts differently, and is moved and actuated differently, are the particular principles of that species. Very different from thefe, are thofe beginnings of human reafoning, data, axioms, maxims, rules, &c. which are fometimes called principles. These are only inventions of the human mind to assist its progress in the search of truth. Moral
*For the Three Dialogues on Liberty, fee Monthly Review, vol. lv. p. 218 and 258.
maxims, if true, muft be founded on moral principles originally and independently inherent in man: for reafoning could never make a man devoid of innate moral principles perceive the juftice or truth of any moral maxim. Indeed, without fuch principles he could never know any thing at all of moral maxims; for when any such are proposed to us, we judge of their truth or falfehood by observing their agreement or difagreement with our innate moral fentiments. These are the fame in kind in every man, and the diversity of men's opinions on moral subjects arifes from the different degrees of clearnefs in their dif cernment, or of ftrength in their principles.
It is no objection, our Author remarks, that the ideas and knowledge arifing from them is progreffive. Do we say, that the fenfe of hearing is not innate, because we are not born perfectly accomplished in mufic? Do we infer, that our fight is not innate, because we are not born opticians? - Certainly not. Why, then, fhould we prefume, that our confcience is not innate, because we are not born moral philofophers? If, to the fight, to the hearing, and to the other fenfes, time and experience be allowed neceflary; and if, to adjuft properly the ideas and thoughts they convey to us, understanding, attention, and judgment be wanting; why may we not, as reasonably, allow, the fame time and experience; the fame understanding, attention, and judgment, to be requifite to the nature and proper conduct of our innate moral fense?—It seems reasonable, anfwered I.
In the imbecility of infancy, and giddinefs of childhood, continued he, we are but poorly qualified, for making nice observations on our fenfations and ideas of any fort: but much lefs on those of the moral kind; because the nature of our condition is, then, fuch as fcarcely, if at all, places us in the cir cumftances of moral agents. In intancy, it is out of the queftion and in childhood, there are but few calls for the exercise of conscience, which is wifely ordered, for then we have but little judgment to obferve its effects. God has naturally placed us, at thefe times, and much longer, under the care and tuition. of parents; clearly indicating thereby, our inexperience and want of capacity to govern ourselves. In fhort, in morals, as in every thing elfe, our knowledge is progreffive: and whoever defires to be a proficient in that icience, will find, that experience, application, and good fenfe, are, at least, as requifite, as they are to the learning of any other inferior art or science. Nor do the nature and circumstances of human life, by any means, require, what Mr. Locke affumes to be neceffary as an evidence of innate moral principles, i. e. that they should be fo born with us, as to be inftantaneously perceptible in the forms of indifputably true propofitions. For though all our faculties
of mind and body, be born with us; yet, as the most perfect ufe, and highest perfection, of any one of them, is not natu-s rally requifite, or useful, in infancy or childhood; God having created both our minds and bodies in a progreffive, and not in a perfect or full grown, ftate; to object against any one of them, as not innate, because it is not born with us, perfect or full-grown; is only to object against it, because it is not, what. it was never intended to be: and the fame objection may, as reasonably, be made against the innateness of every part or faculty of a man's body. Your fenfes may be as ftrong, as clear, and as perfect, as ever human fenfes were; your moral fenfe, may be as true, and as juft; and though all be innate, yet is the knowledge acquired by them progreffive; and perfected, if ever perfected, by flow degrees: nor do I fee the leaft reafon for excluding the moral fenfe out of this predicament. For my part, I can perceive nothing in all this, but what is intirely natural,. and quite confonant to the condition and circumstances of humanity.'
Such is the fubftance of the Author's reafoning on the fubject of innate principles, the exiflence of which, according to his definition of them, he has, in our opinion, fully established. The whole piece is written with a degree of precifion and correctness, both in thought and expreffion, which will render it highly acceptable to those who are fond of metaphyfical difquifitions.
ART. III. The Sadducee: A Poem. Occafioned by feveral Publications, and particularly Difquifitions relating to Matter and Spirit, by Jofeph Priestley, LL. D. F. R. S. 4to. 1 s. Fielding, 1778.:
INCE the days of Blackmore-the Father and indeed the Homer of the Bathos-we have met with few proficients in the true profound, who have excelled the Writer of the prefent Poem. In imitation of our venerable predeceffor, the learned and facetious Martinus Scriblerus, we fhall execute our critical task by felecting certain characteristical fpecimens; confining ourfelves principally to a few of the many paffages in which our Poet exhibiteth the fubject of his poem under various forms or fimilitudes, either in the way of description or comparison.
He compares him to Lucifer-We fuppofe he means old Beelzebub himself, with whofe character he makes very free, by fuggefting that he too-the Devil-would have killed his own father:
Like him thou art
• Still thou art like him!-Yes, more like him, ratherFor, if a fpirit-thou would't kill thy father!'
He queftions whether the Doctor be a man, or a beast.—-Apoftrophifing him, he says,
For man, too foolish! and, for beaft, too wife!'
He next likens him to an afs-and a fkittish one too!-if all be true that our Poet avers in his allufion to Balaam, and his afinine poney,-where he makes a ftrong effort towards wit and humour:
'He patient bore the prophet! Not fo thou
For thou'lt no prophet bear-Nor falfe-Nor true!'
He questions, however, whether he is not too tall for an ass : I crave thy mercy, fhould I thee mifcall!
But, can't thou be an ass; and yet fo tall?'
In another place, he doubts whether he be a man;—and yet we have heard that the Doctor hath begotten several children: • Vain man! and vain thy works!—If man thou be !' Next, however, he is an archer-and fhooting at high game indeed!
• Thy fhafts shot upwards, aimed at God the Son,
That, not quite dead, will flutter in the dish
Now, in divinity, thou'rt juft like him,'
Firft of my God-next of my foul bereft!
-Not much indeed, poor Gentleman! if he even leaves you the laft!
Towards the end, our Poet grows downright fcurrilous; calls the Doctor a fool, and a liar; calls his mother a wh-re, and him a baftard:
Thy Difquifitions, fpirit to decry
Proclaim thee fool and all thy creed a lie!
Thy father to disown, and shame thy mother!
Plagu'd as thou art to prove thy mother wed,
In the latter ftanzas, however, our Poet, belike, meaneth only to speak figuratively.—Quidlibet audendi, &c.
The only inftance of modefty that our Poet betrays is exhibited in a fingle line, where he thus addreffeth himself to the man he has been fo unconscionably abufing:
Teach me good common fenfe, and clear my pate.