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are the works of God. I know much better what light is by seeing it, than I know what an accident or a qualitg is.
So I know by feeling what heat is, I know what motion or action is, I know what pain and pleasure is, I know what love and hatred is, I know partly what it is to think, to know, to will, to choose and refuse; but what is the right universal notion of these, what true definition to give of any one of them, the most learned man doth not well know; insomuch, as I dare boldly say, that the vulgar ordinarily know all these better without definition, than the most learned man living can know them by definitions alone.
XII. And it is so hard a thing to bring men to that self-denial and labour, as at age thoroughly and impartially to revise their juvenile conceptions, and for them that learn words before things, to proceed to learn things now as appearing in their proper evidence ; and to come back and cancel all their old notions, which were not sound, and to build up a new frame; that not one of a mu tude is ever master of so much virtue as to attempt it and go through with it. Was it not labour enough to study so many years to know what others say, but they must now undo much of it, and begin a new and harder labour ? who will attempt it ?
XIII. And indeed none but men of extraordinary acuteness and love of truth, and self-denial and patience, are fit to do it. For, 1. The common dullards will fall into the ditch when they leave their crutches. And will multiply sects in philosophy and religion, while they are unable to see the truth in itself. And indeed this hath made the Protestant churches so liable to the derision and reproach of their adversaries. And how can it be avoided, while all must pretend to know and jndge, what indeed they are unable to understand !
2. Yea, the half-witted men, that think themselves acute and wise, fall into the same calamity.
3. And the proud will not endure to be thought to err, when they plague the world with
4. And the impatient will not endure so long and difficult studies.
5. And when all is done, as Seneca saith, they must be content with a very few approvers, and must bear the scorn of the ignorant-learned ; who have no way to maintain the reputation of their own wisdom, orthodoxy, and goodness, but by calling him proud, or self-conceited, or erroneous,
that differeth from them by knowing more than they. And who but the truly selfdenying can be at so much cost and labour for such reproach, when they foreknow that he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow ?
XIV. By these means, men's minds that should be taken up with God and his service, are abused and vilified, and filled with the dust and smoke of vain, and false, and confused notions. And man's life is spent (as David saith) in a vain show. And men dream waking with as great industry, as if they were about a serious work. Alas, how pitifully are many of the learned world employed.
CHAP. IV. III. WHAT ARE THE CERTAINTIES THAT MUST
BE KNOWN AND HELD FAST, AND WHY. It is none of the apostle's meaning that men should be mere sceptics : nor am I seconding Sanchez's nihil scitur,' unless you take science for adequate science, or in a transcendent notion, as it signifieth that which is proper to another world, and therefore may be denied of this. He can neither play the part of a Christian or of a man, who doubts of all things, and is confident of nothing.
That our discourse of this may be orderly and edifying it is of great use that I first help you rightly to understand what certainty is. The word is ambiguous, and sometimes is applied to the object, and sometimes to the act and agent. The former is called objective certainty; the latter subjective certainty.
The Objective is either certainty of the thing, or certainty of evidence, by which the thing is discernible or perceptible
us; and this either sensible or rational evidence ; and the latter is either self-evidence of principles, or derived evidence of consequences.
Subjective certainty is also either considered in the nature of it, or in the degree; and as to the nature it is either the senses' certainty, or the intellects'; and this is either of incomplex objects, or complex : the first is either of sensible objects, or purely spiritual : the second of principles, or of conclusions. Of all these there are certainty.
The degrees are these: It being first supposed that no human apprehension here is absolutely perfect; and therefore all our certainties subjective are imperfect; the word therefore signifieth not only a perfect apprehension, but it signifieth ‘non falli,' not to be deceived, and such an apprehension of the evidence as giveth us a just resolving and quieting confidence. And so, 1. The due objects of sense, and, 2. The immediate acts of the soul itself, are certain in the first and highest degree. I know certainly what I see clearly, so far as I see it: and I know certainly that I think, and know, and will. The next degree of certainty is of rational principles, and the next of consequents.
A few propositions may further help your understandings,
I. All things in the world have their certainty physical of being; that is, it is a certainty, or a truth that this thing is.
II. The thing which is most commonly called objective certainty, is such a degree of perceptibility or evidence as may aptly satisfy the doubting intellect.
III. Evidence is called infallible ; 1. When he that receiveth it is never deceived ; and so all truth is infallible truth; for he is not deceived who believeth it: 2. Or when a man cannot err about it. And there is no such evi. dence in the world, unless you suppose all things else agreeable.
IV. The perception is called infallible, l. Either . quia non falsa,' because it is not deceived : and so every man is infallible in every thing which he truly perceiveth : 2. Or because it cannot or will not err. And so absolute infallibility is proper to God; but • secundum quid' in certain cases, upon certain objects, with certain conditions, all sound men's senses and iutellects are infallible.
V. Certainty of evidence consisteth in such a position of the thing evident, as maketh it an object perceptible to the faculty perceiving ; to which many conditions are required. As, 1. That the thing itself have such intrinsic qualifications, as make it fit to be an object. 2. That it have the due intrinsic conditions concomitant.
1. To the nature of an object of perception it is necessary, 1. That it be a thing which in its nature is within the reach of the perceiving faculty; and not (as spirits are to sense) so above us, or alien to us, as to be out of the orb of our perception. 2. That they have a perceptible quantity, magnitude or degree. 3. That, if it be an incomplex term and object, and not an universal of the highest notion, it be. hoc aliquid,' and have its proper individuation. 4. That it have some special distinct conformity to the distinct perceiving faculty. In sum, that it be · Ens, unum, verum, bonum, vel hisce contraria reductive et per accidens cognita.'
2. To the extrinsic conditions, it is necessary, 1. That the object have a due site or position. 2. And a due distance ; neither too near nor too far off. 3. And that it have a due medium, fitted to it and the faculty. 4. And that it have a due abode or stay, and be not like a bullet out of a gun, imperceptible through the celerity of its motion.
VI. That the erception of sense be certain,