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in my large appendix to my Impartial Enquiry into the Nature of Sin, $ 68. p. 193, as far as p. 200.
Sir, I have rather made it my choice to transcribe all above out of the letters of Dr. Sanderson, which lie before me, than venture the loss of my originals by post or carrier, which, though not often, yet sometimes fail. Make use of as much or as little as you please, of what I send you from himself (because from his own letters to me) in the penning of his life, as your own prudence shall direct you ; using my name for your warranty in the account given of him, as much or as little as you please too. You have a performance of my promise, and an obedience to your desires from
Humble Servant, North Tidworth,
THO. PIERCE. March 5, 1677–8.
THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN'S LETTER.
“ MY WORTHY FRIEND MR. WALTON, “I am heartily glad, that you have undertaken to write the Life of that ex. cellent person, and, both for learning and Piety, eminent Prelate, Dr. Sander. sou, late Bishop of Lincoln; because I know your ability to know, and integrity to write truth : And sure I am, that the life and actions of that pious and learned Prelate will afford you matter enough for his commendation, and the imitation of posterity. In order to the carrying on your intended good work, you
desire my assistance, that I would communicate to you such particular passages of his life, as were certainly known to me. I confess I had the happiness to be particularly known to him for about the space of twenty years; and, in Oxon, to enjoy his conversation, and his learned and pious instructions while he was Regius Professor of Divinity there. Afterwards, when (in the time of our late unhappy confusions) he left Oxon, and was retired into the country, I had the benefit of his letters ; wherein, with great candour and kindness, he answered those doubts I proposed, and gave me that satisfaction, which I neither had nor expected from some others of greater confidence, but less judgment and humility. Having, in a letter, named two or three books writ (ex professo) against the being of any original sin : and that Adam, by his fall, transmitted some calamity only, but no crime to his posterity ; the good old man was exceedingly troubled, and bewailed the misery of those licentious times, and seemed to wonder (save that the times were such) that any should write, or be permitted to publish any error so contradictory to truth, and the doctrine of the Church of England, established (as he truly said) by clear evidence of Scripture, and the just and supreme power of this nation, both sacred and civil. I name not the books, nor their authors, which are not
unknown to learned men (and I wish they had never been known) because both the doctrine, and the unadvised abettors of it are, and shall be, to me apocryphal.
Another little story I must not pass in silence, being an argument of Dr. Sanderson's piety, great ability, and judgment, as a casuist. Discoursing with an honourable person* (whose piety I value more than his nobility and learning, though both be great) about a case of conscience concerning oaths and yows, their nature and obligation; in which, for some particular reasons, he then desired more fully to be inforined ; I commended to him Dr. Sanderson's book · De Juramento;' which having read, with great satisfaction, he asked me,– If I thought the Doctor could be induced to write Cases of Conscience, if he might have an honorary pension allowed him to furnish him with books for that purpose ? I told him I believed he would : And, in a letter to the Doctor, told him what great satisfaction that honourable person, and many more, had reaped by reading his book · De Juramento ;' and asked him,
whether he would be pleased, for the benefit of the Church, to write some tract of Cases of Conscience ? He replied, “That he was glad that any had received any benefit by his books:' and added further, “That if any future tract of his could bring such benefit to any, as we seemed to say his former had done, he would willingly, though without any Pension, set about that work.' Having received this answer, that honourable person, before mentioned, did, by iny hands, return 501. to the good Doctor, whose condition then (as most good men's at that time were) was but low; and he presently revised, finished, and published that excellent book, · De Conscientia :' A book little in bulk, but not so if we consider the benefit an intelligent reader may receive by it. For there are so many general propositions concerning conscience, the nature and obligation of it, explained and proved with such firm consequence and evidence of reason, that he who reads, remembers, and can with prudence pertinently apply them hîc et nunc to particular cases, may, by their light and help, rationally resolve a thousand particular doubts and scruples of conscience. Here you may see the charity of that honourable person in promoting, and the piety and industry of the good Doctor, in performing that excellent work.
And here I shall add the judgment of that learned and pious Prelate concerning a passage very pertinent to our present purpose. When he was in Oxon, and read his public lectures in the schools as Regius Professor of Divinity, and by the truth of his positions, and evidences of his proofs, gave great content and satisfaction to all his hearers, especially in his clear resolutions of all difficult cases which occurred in the explication of the subject-matter of his lectures; a person of quality (yet alive) privately asked him, "What course a young Divine should take in his studies to enable him to be a good casuist ?' His answer was, “That a convenient understanding of the learned languages, at least of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and a sufficient knowledge of arts and sciences presupposed; there were two things in human literature, a compre
* Robert Boyle, Esq.
THE LIFE OF DR. ROBERT SANDERSON.
nension of which would be of very great use, to enable a man to be a rational and able casuist, which otherwise was very difficult, if not impossible: 1. A convenient knowledge of moral philosophy; especially that part of it which treats of the nature of human actions ; To know, " quid sit actus humanus (spontaneus, invitus, mixtus,) unde habet bonitatem et malitiam moralem ? an ex genere et objecto, vel ex circumstantiis ?” How the variety of circumstances varies the goodness or evil of human actions ? How far knowledge and ignorance may aggravate or excuse, increase or diminish the goodness or evil of our actions ? For every case of conscience being only this—“ Is this action good or bad ? May I do it, or may I not ?"—He who, in these, knows not how and whence human actions become morally good and evil, never can (in hypothesi) rationally and certainly determine, whether this or that particular action be so.—2. The second thing, which, he said, would be a great help and advantage to a casuist, was a convenient knowledge of the nature and obligation of laws in general : to know what a law is ; what a natural and a positive law; what's required to the “ latio, dispensatio, derogatio, vel abrogatio legis;" what promulgation is antecedently required to the obligation of any positive law; what ignorance takes off the obligation of a law, or does excuse, diminish, or aggravate the transgression : For every case of conscience being only this—" Is this lawful for ine, or is it not ?" and the law the only rule and measure by which I must judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of any action; it evidently follows, that he, who, in these, knows not the vature and obligation of laws, never can be a good casuist, or rationally assure himself or others, of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of actions in particular.
This was the judgment and good counsel of that learned and pious Prelate: And having, by long experience, found the truth and benefit of it, I conceive, I could not without ingratitude to him, and want of charity to others, conceal it. Pray pardon this rude, and, I fear impertinent scribble, which if nothing else, may signify thus much, that I am willing to obey your desires, and am indeed,
Your affectionate friend,
THOMAS LINCOLN." London, May 10, 1678
Abbot, Dr. Robert, Bishop of Salisbury, 323.
Bacon, Sir Francis, Lord Verulam, 156, 269.
Cæsar, Sir Julius, 155.
Charke, William, 240.
Mrs., 197, 193
Davenant, Dr. John, Bishop of Salisbury, 281.
Religious enquiries of, 55. His travels, 56. Entertained by Lord Elles-