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THE the prodigious Hover the Worl
" of Ambition or worldly Concerns, to misuse " the Credit, which their Character, and the os sacredTruths they are intrusted with,give them “ over People's Minds. Men hate the Craft of " the Clergy; this is enough to make them hate 6 also their Church itself, and their Religion : 66 they take a delight in contradicting whatever o is asserted by the Man they didike.”
The last Cause of Pyrrhonism we shall men-tion, is the prodigious number of different O pinions that are held all over the World. How can the Mind of Man, incompassed, as it is, with narrow Bounds, examine those numberless Opinions, to chuse that which is most agreeable to Reason? Or if a Man be capable of such an Inquiry,' how shall he find Time and Leisure for it? That Inquiry being then supposed impossible, the consequence will be, there is no ching certain, and all Sciences resolve at laft into a bare Probability. Mr. De Crousaz seems to own, that this Cause of Pyrrhonism is not easy to be removed ; because, as he shews it at large, Youth is brought up in most Univer'ficies in a very bad and preposterous Manner: here the Author bears very hard upon the Professors and Teachers. We select as an Instance what he fays of the Professors of Divinity.
“ Such a Professor, says Mr. D. C. writes in .“ the Morning, the Lecture he is to read to his « Scholars in the Afternoon : being a healthy 66 and laborious Man, he has in a few Years o collected Materials enough to fill up a Vo“ lume in folio ; but he wrote them all in a hur.
ry, and very often when he was not in an "humour to write: 'tis much to have drawn “ from his Brains in a little time so many Ideas,
66 and to have tack’d to them whatever could be “ scrap'd together from other Authors: it would “ have cost too much trouble to examine all those « Nocions thoroughly; and besides, there “ was not cime enough for such an Inquiry. “ Lectures must be read every day: new things “ must be said constantly, or at least old ones, ” or those borrowed from other People, must “ be offered as tho' they were new, and had " never been said before.” Such Lectures, adds our Author, written in haste and without due . Consideracion, soon become publick : Young Students now become Ministers of the Gospel, preach from the Pulpit what they have been taught by their Professor: if there is any thing amifs, any Error in the Lectures he delivered to them, he dares neither own it, nor correct it ; thus Errors and Falfhood are pro. pogated in the World, through one Man's Laziness and Pride. There are indeed some Men of Learning that love the Truth, that inquire after it sincerely, and suspend their Aflent till unresistible Arguments force them to give it: but the number of such Men is very small, and the World does not reap from their Labours, all the Benefit' that could be expected. If they have found out the Truth, they dare not openly declare it ; for fear of being persecuted for it: If you publish Thoughts, says ourAuthor, that are a little out of the way, you will not only make Truth it self odious ; you will also be banished, you will starve, you will be thrown into a Dungeon, where you all have time to think and refle Et go lone, as long as you please. Who will, at that price, give himself the trouble to search after Truth ; is it not a thousand times more safe, to conform to the received Notions ? Thus the
Difficulties and Discouragements, which attend the more important Studies, are the most coms mon and the most effectual Causes of Pyrrhonisi. Let us fee what Remedies Mr. D. C. thinks must be used to prevent fo great an Evil; this he undertakes to shew in the third Section.
The first Remedy oar Author prescribes against Pyrrhonism, is the Love of Truth : this will make a Man cautious, and fearful of being mistaken, it will pur him upon inquiring after Truth calmly; he will prefer the pleasure of knowing a few things certainly, to the Vainglory of knowing a great many, which are not within the reach of Human Understanding, It must be confessed, that the Love of Truth is a very good Remedy against Pyrrhonism, the only Difficulty is, how to make Men take that Remedy: I hope our laborious and learned Author will one day or other give us this Remedy, with Directions how to take it. in
The second Remedy he prescribes, is to make use of other People's Knowledge and Advice. Is it not a great Folly in a Man, never to admit of any Truth, but what he has found out himself? And is it not in his power to overcome fuch a ridiculous Stubbornness? Therefore a Person, who desires to improve his Mind, and to acquire a folid Learning, should consult his Friends, and compare their Answers and Opis nions; and if he find they differ among themselves, he should carefully inquire whether the Difference is only in the Words, or if their O. pinions are really different: finally, what is clearly proved to hini, must help him to remove the Clouds that still remain upon those Subjects, that are not yet puc in a strong light..
· ANOTHER Remedy against Pyrrhonism, is to make a Sacrifice of Ambition and all worldly Views to the Love of Truth: This is as much as if our Author had faid, that to find out Truth, one must have a Spirit of Martyrdom.'
The Author fays afterwards, that we must, not be too hafty in the building of Systems: if all Philosophers would follow that Advice, they would not, by their various and inconfif tent Opinions, give che Scepricks an opportu: nity of pretending, that Truch cannot be found out, since so many wise Men scarce agree amongft themselves upon one single Subject. When a Man will be the Author of a new Sys: tem, he will blend together Certainty with Uncertainty, disputable Tenets with Matter of Fact; and admit any Proposition that is link'd with his Scheme, or any ways proper to fup-' port ic: but he will never impofe upon our un byaffed Judges, who will be able to distinguish what is grounded on Reason, from what is precarioufly asserted. A Pyrrhonian would conclude all is false or dubious in that System, because some part of it is unsupported; but a Man that knows how to use his Reason, will admit what is proved, and doubt of what is not yet made out by strong Arguments, and reject what he knows to be false. .
MR. D. C. makes next an Observation, which we think proper to insert here : “ All the
“ Christian Sects, says be, tho' there be never ." so great a Difference between their Opinions,
"agree nevertheless in severalDoctrines, and they “confess that those Doctrines are the easiest and " the plainest, and therefore the safest, nay and " the most important; bue for all that, every “Sect is more zealous for the Doctrines in which
so they differ from others, than for those in $ which all agree. The Christians have com“mon Enemies, who oppose the very Princi: $6 ples of the Gospel, and endeavour to overso throw all Religion: If a Man takes up the « Defence of the Common Cause, and the bet$ter to maintain it, forbears to insist upon che
Doctrines, which distinguish his Church from " all others ;-ict him, withi all the Strength 65 of Reason imaginable, answer all Objecstions, he shall be branded with the odious "Name of an Heretick, he shall be accused of “having deserted the Cause, and given up the " most essential Parts of Christian Faith. If you " dare to silence the Infidels with other Reasons " than those that are in fafhion in your own « Party, if you venture to fight and conquer " them with other Arms than those, which " your Divines furnish you with, in more than
one Country the Victory will cost you your "Life ; in other countries indeed you won't pay fo dear for it; but there are very fewPlaces,
if any, where you may do it safely,” This is but too just an Observation. We have seen a Book lately written against the Christianity as old, &c. which is highly esteemed abroad, and we are sorry that some of our Countrymen should look upon the Author of that Book as 'a Deserter of the Faith, he undertook to defend.
Mr. De Croufaz shews, that there are some Scepticks, who can never be reclaim'd; there are Persons that take a delight in their Doubts, that would be sorry if they were removed ; these, says, our Author, are as positive, as the most obftinate of the Dogmatists. He closes this Section with some Passages quoted from Mr. .
We have seen a
&c. which written againit the