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MR. LOCKE'S REPLY
THE RIGHT REVEREND THE
LORD BISHOP OF WORCESTER'S ANSWER
Wherein, besides other incident Matters, what his Lordship has
said concerning Certainty by Reason, Certainty by Ideas, and Certainty by Faith ; the Resurrection of the Body; the Immateriality of the Soul; the Inconsistency of Mr. Locke's Notions with the Articles of the Christian Faith, and their Tendency to Scepticism ; is examined.
MR. LOCKE'S REPLY.
BISHOP OF WORCESTER'S ANSWER
MY LORD, Your lordship, in the beginning of the last letter you honoured me with, seems so uneasy and displeased at my having said too much already in the question between us, that I think I may conclude, you would be well enough pleased if I should say no more; and you would dispense with me, for not keeping my promise I made you to answer the other parts of your first letter. If this proceeds from any tenderness in your lordship for my reputation, that you would not have me expose myself by an overflow of words, in many places void of clearness, coherence, and argument, and that therefore might have been spared; I must acknowledge it is a piece of great charity, and such wherein you will have a lasting advantage over me, since good manners will not permit me to return you the like. Or should I, in the ebullition of thoughts, which in me your lordship finds as impetuous as the springs of Modena mentioned by Ramazzini, be in danger to forget myself, and to think I had some right to return the general complaint of length and intricacy without force; yet you have secured yourself from the suspicion of any such trash on your side, by making cobwebs the easy product of those who write out of their own thoughts, which it might be a crime in me to impute to your lordship.
If this complaint of yours be not a charitable warning to me, I cannot well guess at the design of it; for I
would not think that in a controversy, which you, my lord, have dragged me into, you would assume it as a privilege due to yourself to be as copious as you please,
think fit, and expect I should reply only so, and so much, as would just suit your good liking, and serve to set the cause right on that side which your lordship contends for.
My lord, I shall always acknowledge the great distance that is between your lordship and myself, and pay that deference that is due to your dignity and person. But controversy, though it excludes not good manners, will not be managed with all that submission which one is ready to pay in other cases. Truth, which is inflexible, has here its interest, which must not be given up, in a compliment. Plato and Aristotle, and other great names, must give way, rather than make us renounce truth, or the friendship we have for her.
This possibly your lordship will allow, for it is not spun out of my own thoughts; I have the authority of others for it, I think it was in print before I was born. But you will say however, I am too long in my replies. It is not impossible but it may be so. But with all due respect to your lordship’s authority (the greatness whereof I shall always readily acknowledge), I must crave leave to say, that in this case you are by no means a proper judge. We are now, as well your lordship as myself, before a tribunal to which you have appealed, and before which you have brought me: it is the public must be judge, whether your lordship has enlarged too far in accusing me, or I in defending myself. Common justice makes great allowance to a man pleading in his own defence; and a little length (if he should be guilty of it) finds excuse in the compassion of bystanders, when they see a man causelessly attacked, after a new way, by a potent adversary; and, under various pretences, occasions sought, and words wrested to his disadvantage.
This, my lord, you must give me leave to think to be my case, whilst this strange way your lordship has brought me into this controversy; your gradual accusations of my book, and the different causes your lordship