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be in Scythia, Bentley exclaims, “ Good indeed, Johr.ny!” (Euge vero, 'Iwavvidov). Dr. Monk thought that this was said to Dr. John Mill, and reproved it as “an indecoruin which neither the familiarity of friendship nor the license of a dead language can justify towards the dignified Head of a House.” Mr. Maebly, in a memoir of Bentley, rejoins: “That may be the view of English high life; a German savant would never have been offended by the expressions in question.” (Das mag Anschauung des englischen high life sein: einem deutschen Gelehrten würden die fraglichen Ausdrücke nie aufgefallen sein.) But our Aristarchus was not addressing the Principal of St. Edmund Hall; he was sportively upbraiding the ancient chronicler. Indeed, Monk's slip-a thing most rare in his work — was pointed out in a review of his first edition, and is absent from the second.
Two of the first scholars of that day-John George Graevius and Ezechiel Spanheim-separately saluted the young author of the Letter to Mill as a new and already bright star” of English letters. But the Letter to Mill received by far its most memorable tribute, years after Bentley's death, from David Ruhnken, in his preface to the Hesychius of Alberti. “Those great men,” he saysmeaning such scholars as Scaliger, Casaubon, Saumaise“ did not dare to say openly what they thought (about Hesychius), whether deterred by the established repute of the grammarian, or by the clamours of the half-learned, who are always noisy against their betters, and who were uneasy at the notion of the great Hesychius losing his pre-eminence. In order that the truth should be published and proved, we needed the learned daring of Richard Bentley-daring which here, if anywhere, served literature better than the sluggish and credulous superstition of those who wish to be called and deemed critics. Bentley shook off the servile yoke, and put forth that famous Letter to Mill—a wonderful monument of genius and learning, such as could have come only from the first critic of his time."
THE BOYLE LECTURES.
ROBERT BOYLE, born in the year after Bacon's death (1627), stands next to him among the Englishmen of the seventeenth century who advanced inductive science. His experiments-“physico-mechanical," as he describes them
- led to the discovery of the law for the elasticity of the air; improvements in the air-pump and the thermometer were due to him; and his investigations were serviceable to Hydrostatics, Chemistry, and Medicine. In his theological writings it was his chief aim to show “the reconcilableness of reason and religion,” and thus to combat the most powerful prejudice which opposed the early progress of the New Philosophy. Boyle's mind, like Newton's, became more profoundly reverent the further he penetrated into the secrets of nature; his innermost feeling appears to be well represented by the title which he chose for one of his essays—“On the high veneration man's intellect owes to God, peculiarly for his wisdom and power.” Thus his “Disquisition of Final Causes” was designed to prove, as against inferences which had been drawn from the cosmical system of Descartes, that the structure of the universe reveals the work of a divine intelligence. Dying on December 30, 1691, he left a bequest wbich was in harmony with the main purpose of his life, and which might be regarded as his personal and permanent protest against the idea that a servant of science is an enemy of religion.
He assigned fifty pounds a year as a stipend "for some divine, or preaching minister,” who should “preach eight Sermons in the year for proving the Christian religion against notorious infidels, viz. Atheists, Deists, Pagans, Jews, and Mahometans; not descending to any controversies that are among Christians themselves : The lectures to be on the first Monday of the respective months of January, February, March, April, May, September, October, November; in such church as the trustees shall from time to time appoint.” The four trustees named in the will-Bishop Tenison, Sir Henry Ashurst, Sir John Rotheram, and John Evelyn (the author of the Sylva and the Diary)-soon appointed the Lecturer who was to deliver the first course. “We made choice of one Mr. Bentley,” says Evelyn – “chaplain to the Bishop of Worcester." Bishop Stillingfleet, himself so eminent an apologist, would naturally be consulted in such an election.
Bentley took for his subject the first of the topics indicated by the founder—“A confutation of Atheism.” At this time the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes had been forty years before the world : and Bentley's lectures stand in a peculiar relation to it. Hobbes resolved all ideas into sensations; he denied that there was
any common rule of good and evil, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves." He did not, however, deny the existence of a God. “Curiosity about causes," says Hobbes, "led men to search out, one after the other, till they came to the necessary conclusion, that there is some eternal cause which men called God. But they have no more idea of his nature than a blind man has of fire, though he knows that there is something which warms him.” So elsewhere he distinguishes between the necessary "acknowledgment of one infinite, omnipotent, and eternal God," and the attempt—which he pronounces delusiveto define the nature of that Being "by spirit incorporeal."
Bentley held with those who regarded Hobbes, not merely as a materialist who destroyed the basis of morality, but as an atheist in the disguise of a deist. Writing to Bernard, Bentley says roundly of Hobbes, “his corporeal God is a meer sham to get his book printed.” Hobbes had said-not in the Leviathan, but in “ An Answer to Bishop Bramhall,” who had pressed him on this point—“I maintain God's existence, and that he is a most pure and most simple corporeal spirit:" adding, "by corporeal I mean a substance that has magnitude.” Elsewhere he adds “invisible" before “corporeal.” But at this time the suspicion of a tendency was sometimes enough to provoke the charge of atheism : thus Cudworth, in his “Intellectual System "— published fourteen years before Bentley's lectures, and, like them, directed mainly against Hobbes-casts the imputation, without a shadow of reason, on Gassendi, Descartes, and Bacon. Bentley declared that atheism was rife in taverns and coffee-houses, nay Westminster-hall and the very churches." The school of Hobbes, he was firmly persuaded, was answerable for this. “There may be some Spinosists, or immaterial Fatalists, beyond seas,” says Bentley; "but not one English infidel in a hundred is any other than a Hobbist; which I know to be rank atheism in the private study and select conversation of those men, whatever it may appear abroad.” Bentley's Lectures are, throughout, essentially an argument against Hobbes. The set of the lecturer's thoughts may be seen from an illustration used