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It will be observed that to avoid unnecessary prolixity, I have in most of the above syllogisms suppressed one
regard an uninquiring assent as a mark of commendable faith; and hence he has probably never even thought of proposing to himself the question, – Why should I receive Christianity as a divine revelation? Christianity being nothing new to him, he is not stimulated to seek reasons for believing it, till he finds it controverted. And when it is controverted,—when an opponent urges—How do you reconcile this, and that, and the other, with the idea of a divine revelation ? these objections strike by their novelty,—by their being opposed to what is generally received. He is thus excited to inquiry ; which he sets about, naturally enough, but very unwisely, by seeking for answers to all these objections: and fancies that unless they can all be satisfactorily solved, he ought not to receive the religion. “As if,” (says the Author already cited) “ there could not be truth, and truth supported by irrefragable arguments, and yet at the same time obnoxious to objections, numerous, plausible, and by no means easy of solution. There are objections (said Dr. Johnson) against a plenum and objections against a vacuum; but one of them must be true.” He adds, that “sensible men, really desirous of discovering the truth, will perceive that reason directs them to examine first the argument in favour of that side of the question, where the first presumption of truth appears. And the presumption is manifestly in favour of that religious creed already adopted by the country. .... Their
very earliest inquiry therefore must be into the direct arguments for the authority of that book on which their country rests its religion.”
But reasonable as such a procedure is, there is, as I have said, a strong temptation, and one which should be carefully guarded against, to adopt the opposite course ;-to attend first to the objections which are brought against what is established, and which, for that very reason, rouse the mind from a state of apathy.
When Christianity was first preached, the state of things was reversed. Seeing that all these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet,” was a sentiment which favoured an indolent acquiescence in the old pagan worship. The stimulus of novelty was all on the side of those who came to overthrow this, by a new religion. The first inquiry of any one who at all attended to the subject, must have been, not,What are the objections to Christianity ?—but, On what grounds do these men call on me to receive them as divine messengers? And the same appears to be the case with the Polynesians among whom our Missionaries are labouring: they begin by inquiring,—Why should we receive this religion? and those of them accordingly who have embraced it, appear to be Christians on much more rational and deliberate conviction
premiss, which the learner will be able easily to supply for himself. E. G. In the early part of this analysis it will easily be seen, that the first of the series of cumulative arguments to prove that the propagators of Christianity did suffer, would at full length stand thus; “Whoever propagated a religion unwelcome to the Jews and to
the Gentiles, was likely to suffer ; The Apostles did this ; Therefore they were likely to suffer,” fc. fc.
It is also to be observed, that the same proposition used in different syllogisms may require to be differently expressed, by a substitution of some equivalent, in order to render the argument in each formally correct. This of course is always allowable, provided the exact meaning be preserved : e. g. if the proposition be, “ The persons who attested the Christian miracles underwent sufferings in attestation of them," I am authorized to state the same assertion in a different form, thus, “The Christian miracles are attested by men who suffered in attestation of their reality,” gc.
Great care however should be used to avoid being misled by the substitution of one proposition for another, when the two are not (though perhaps they sound so) really equivalent, so that the one warrants the assumption of the other.
Lastly, the learner is referred to the Supplement to Chap. iii. $ 1, p. 95, where I have treated of the statement of a proposition as several distinct ones, each implying all the rest, but differing in the division of the Predicate from the Subject. Of this procedure the above analysis affords an instance.
than many among us, even of those who in general maturity of intellect and civilization, are advanced considerably beyond those Islanders.
I am not depreciating the inestimable advantages of a religious education; but, pointing out the peculiar temptations which accompany it. The Jews and Pagans had, in their early prejudices, greater difficulties to surmount, than ours; but they were difficulties of a different kind.
PRINCIPAL TECHNICAL TERMS.
Absolute terms, page 123.
ing to separately, some portion of an object presented to
the mind, 128.
buted to another, and can only be conceived as belonging
of the Species remaining the same, 134.
ties of a Species, or the Accidents of an Individual; it is
otherwise called a Description, 140.
the agreement of the Predicate with the Subject, 62.
applies with unequal propriety to more than one object,
the other depends, 111.
Argument.-An expression in which, from something laid down
as granted, something else is deduced, 73.
employed as a Term, 58.
dicate of a Subject, absolutely, and without any hypothesis,
more than one individual object, 47, 60, 123,
mises of an Argument, 25, 74.
of one categorical Proposition on another. A conditional
depends on the other. (Consequens), 111.
Consequent of a conditional Proposition. (Consequentia),
terms of it in part agree, and in part disagree, 64.
terms, differ both in Quantity and Quality, 90.
negative, with the same terms, 68,
that the subject is made the Predicate, and vice versa, 70.
Predicate of the Subject; viz. is, or is not, expressed or
Definition.—An expression explanatory of that which is defined,
i. e. separated, as by a boundary, from everything else, 139.
the essence, of a Species, 132.
more than one Antecedent in the Major Premiss, and a
disjunctive Minor, 106.
categoricals, so stated as to imply that some one of them
soning of which turns on such a proposition, 104.
extent, so as to comprehend all its significates,-every-
thing to which it is applicable, 44, 76.
signified by a common name; and it is so called metapho-
called) division of a whole into its parts, 136.
the other understood, 115.
significations apply equally to several objects. Strictly
ing to the various meanings of one of its terms, 183.
Accidents of the thing defined, but what are regarded as its
essential parts, whether physical or logical, 139.
its Extremes or Terms, being, as it were, the two boun-