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On the 31st of May, 1823, was Published, 





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LOGIC in the most extensive sense which it can with 
propriety be made to bear, may be considered as the 
Science and also as the Art of Reasoning. It investigates 
the principles on which argumentation is conducted, 
and furnishes rules to secure the mind from error in 
its deductions. Its most appropriate office, however, 
is that of instituting an analysis of the process of the 
mind in Reasoning : and in this point of view it is, as 
has been stated, strictly a Science : while considered 
in reference to the practical rules above mentioned, it 
may be called the Art of Reasoning. This distinction, 
as will hereafter appear, has been overlooked, or not 
clearly pointed out by most writers on the subject, Logic 
having been in general regarded as merely an Art j 
and its claim to hold a place among the Sciences having 
been expressly denied. 

Considering how early Logic attracted the attention 
of philosophers, it may appear surprising that so 
little progress should have been made, as is confes- 
sedly the case, in developing its principles, and per- 
fecting the detail of the system : and this circum- 
stance has been brought forward as a proof of the 
barrenness and futility of the study. But a similar 
argument might have been urged with no less plausi- 
bility, in past ages, against the study of Natural Phi- 
losophy, and very recently against that of Chemistry. 
No Science can be expected to make, any considerable 
progress, which is not cultivated on right principles. 
Whatever may be the inherent vigour of the plant, it 
will neither be flourishing nor fruitful till it meet with 
a suitable soil and culture : and in no case is the remark 
more .applicable than in the present ; the greatest 
mistakes having always prevailed respecting the nature 
of Logic, and its province having in consequence been 
extended by many writers to subjects with which it 
has no proper connection. Indeed, with the exception 
of Aristotle, (who is himself not entirely exempt from 
the errors in question,) hardly a writer on Logic can 
be mentioned who has clearly perceived, and steadily 
kept in view throughout, its real nature and object. 
Before his time, no distinction was drawn between 
the Science of which we are speaking, and that which is 
now usually called Metaphysics : a circumstance which 
alone shews how small Avas the progress made in 
earlier times. Indeed those who first turned their 
attention to the subject, hardly thought of inquiring 
into the process of Reason itself, but confined them- 
selves almost entirely to certain preliminary points, 
the discussion of which is (if logically considered) 
subordinate to that of the main inquiry. 

VOL. i. 

Zeno the Eieatic, whom most accounts represent introduc- 
as the earliest systematic writer on the subject of tory 
Logic, or as it was then called, Dialectics, divided his Sectl n- 
work into three parts ; the first of which (upon Con- ^""V~" > 
sequences) is censured by Socrates [Plato, Parmeti.~\ 
for obscurity and confusion. In his second part, 
however, he furnished that interrogatory method of 
disputation [e/3WT/;r(9] which Socrates adopted, 
and which has since borne his name. The third part 
of his work was devoted to what may not improperly 
be termed the art of wrangling, [C/J^TJA:?}] which sup- 
plied the disputant with a collection of sophistical 
questions, so contrived that the concession of some 
point which seemed unavoidable, immediately involved 
some glaring absurdity. This, if it is to be esteemed 
as at all falling w ithin the province of Logic, is cer- 
tainly not to be regarded (as some have ignorantly or 
heedlessly represented it) as its principal or proper 
business. The Greek philosophers generally have 
unfortunately devoted too much attention to it : but 
we must beware of falling into the vulgar error of 
supposing the ancients to have regarded as a serious 
and intrinsically important study, that which in fact 
they considered as an ingenious recreation. The dispu- 
tants diverted themselves in their leisure hours by 
making trial of their own and their adversary's acute- 
ness, in the endeavour mutually to perplex each other 
with subtle fallacies ; much in the same way as men 
amuse themselves with propounding and guessing 
riddles, or with the game of chess ; to each of which 
diversions the sportive disputations of the ancients 
bore much resemblance. They were closely analogous 
to the wrestling and other exercises of the gymnasium, 
these last being reckoned conducive to bodily vigour 
and activity, as the former were to habits of intellec- 
tual acuteness ; but the immediate object in each was 
a sportive, not a serious contest j though doubtless 
fashion and emulation often occasioned an undue 
importance to be attached to sviccess in each. 

Zeno then is hardly to be regarded as any further a 
logician than as to what respects his erotetic method 
of disputation ; a course of argument constructed on 
this principle being properly an hypothetical sorites, 
which may easily be reduced into a series of syllo- 

To Zeno succeeded Euclid of Megara, and Antis- 
thenes, both pupils of Socrates. The former of these 
prosecuted the subject of the third part of his prede- 
cessor's treatise, and is said to have been the author 
of many of the fallacies attribiited to the Stoical school. 
2 D 



Logic. Of the writings of the latter nothing certain is known : 
: >$> however, we suppose the above mentioned sect to 
be his disciples in this study, and to have retained his 
principles, he certainly took a more correct view of 
the subject than Euclid. The Stoics divided all Xexra, 
every thing that could be* said, into three classes : 
1st, the simple term ; 3d, the proposition ; 3d, the 
syllogism ; viz. the hypothetical ; for they seem to 
have had little notion of a more rigorous analysis of 
argument than into that familiar form. 

We must not here omit to notice the merits of 
Archytus, to whom we are indebted for the' doctrine 
of the categories. He, however, (as well as the other 
writers on the subject,) appears to have had no dis- 
tinct uew of the proper object and just limits of the 
science of Logic ; but to have blended with it Meta- 
physical discussions not strictly connected with it, 
and to have dwelt on the investigation of the nature 
of terms and propositions, without maintaining a con- 
stant reference to the principles of Reasoning, to 
which all the rest should be made subservient. 

The state then in which Aristotle found the Science, 
(if indeed it can properly be said to have existed at all 
before his time,) appears to have been nearly this : 
the division into simple terms, propositions and syllo- 
gisms, had been slightly sketched out ; the doctrine 
of the categories, and perhaps that of the opposition 
of propositions, had been laid down; and, as some 
believe, the analysis of species into genus and diffe- 
rentia, had been introduced by Socrates. These, at 
best, were rather the materials of the system than the 
system itself ; the foundation of which indeed he dis- 
tinctly claims the merit of having laid ; and which 
remains fundamentally the same as he left it. 

It has been remarked, that the Logical system is one 
of those few theories which have been begun and per- 
fected by the same individual. The history of its dis- 
covery, as far as the main principles of the science are 
concerned, properly commences and ends with Aris- 
totle. And this may perhaps in part account for the 
subsequent perversions of it. The brevity and sim- 
plicity of its fundamental truths, (to which indeed all 
real science is -perpetually tending,) has probably led 
many to suppose that something much more com- 
plex, abtruse, and mysterious, remained to be disco- 
vered. The vanity by which all men are prompted 
unduly to magnify their own pursuits, has led unphi- 
losophical minds, not in this case alone, but in many 
others, to extend the boundaries of their respective 
Sciences, not by the patient developement and just 
application of the principles of those Sciences, but by 
wandering into irrelevant subjects. The mystical em- 
ployment of numbers by Pythagoras, in matters 
utterly foreign to Arithmetic, is perhaps the earliest 
instance of the kind. A more curious and important 
one is the degeneracy of Astronomy into judicial Astro- 
logy ; but none is more striking than the misapplica- 
tion of Logic, by those who have treated of it as 
" the art of rightly employing the rational faculties," 
or who have intruded it into the province of Natural 
Philosophy, and regarded the syllogism as an engine 
for the investigation of nature : overlooking the bound- 
less field that was before them within the legitimate 
limits of the Science j and not perceiving the import- 
ance and difficulty of the task of completing and 
properly filling up the masterly sketch before them. 
The writings of Aristotle were not only absolutely 


lost to the world for about two centuries, but seem to Introduc- 
have been but little studied for a long time after their _ toI 7 
recovery. An Art, however, of Logic, derived from 
the principles traditionally preserved by his disciples, 
seems to have been generally known, and was em- 
ployed by Cicero in his philosophical works ; but the 
pxirsuit of the science seems to have been abandoned 
for a long time. Early in the Christian era, the Peripa- 
tetic doctrines experienced a considerable revival ; and 
we meet with the names of Galen and Porphyry as 
Logicians : but it is not till the fifth century that Aris- 
totle's Logical works were translated into Latin by the 
celebrated Boethius Not one of these seems to have 
made any considerable advances in developing the 
Theory of Reasoning. Of Galen's labours little is 
known ; and Porphyry's principal work is merely on 
the predicables. We have little of the Science till the 
revival o. learning among the Arabians, by whom 
Aristotle's treatises on this as well as on other subjects 
were eagerly studied. 

Passing by the names of some Byzantine writers of 
no great importance, we come to the times of the 
Schoolmen, whose waste of ingenuity and frivolous 
subtilty of disputation need not be enlarged upon. It 
may be sufficient to observe, that their fault did not 
lie in their diligent study of Logic, and the high 
value they set upon it, but in their utterly mistaking 
the true nature and object of the science ; and by 
attempting to employ it for the purpose of physical 
discoveries, involving every subject in a mist of 
words, to the exclusion of sound philosophical inves- 
tigation. Their errors may serve to account for the 
strong terms in which Bacon sometimes appears to 
censure Logical pursuits ; but that this censure was 
intended to bear against the extravagant perversions, 
not the legitimate cultivation of the Science, may be 
proved from his own observations on the subject, in 
his Advancement of Learning. 

His moderation, however, was not imitated in other 
quarters. Even X<ocke confounds in one sweeping 
censure the Aristotelic theory, with the absurd misap- 
plications and perversions of it in later years. His 
objection to the Science, as unserviceable in the disco- 
very of truth, (which has of late been often repeated) 
while it holds good in reference to many (misnamed) 
Logicians, indicates that with regard to the true nature 
of the Science itself he had no clearer notions than they 
have, of the proper province of Logic, viz. Reasoning ; 
and of the distinct character of that operation from the 
observations and experiments which are essential to 
the study of nature. 

An error apparently different, but substantially the 
same, pervades the treatises of Watts and other 
modern writers on the subject. Perceiving the inade- 
quacy of the syllogistic theory to the vast purposes to 
which others had attempted to apply it, he still craved 
after the attainment of some equally comprehensive 
and all-powerful system ; which he accordingly 
attempted to construct, under the title of The Right 
Use of Reason which was to be a -method of invigo- 
rating and properly directing all the powers of the 
mind : a most magnificent object indeed, but one 
which not only does not fall under the province of 
Logic, but cannot be accomplished by any one Science 
or system that can even be conceived to exist. The 
attempt to comprehend so wide a field is no extension 
of Science, but a mere verbal generalization, which 



Logic, leads only to vague and barren declamation. In every 
~-*y-~*S pursuit, the more precise and definite our object, the 
more likely we are to attain some valuable result ; if, 
like the Platonists, who sought after the avrd^aOov, 
the abstract idea of good, we pursue some specious 
out ill-defined scheme of universal knowledge, we 
shall lose the substance while grasping at a shadow, 
and bewilder ourselves in empty generalities. 

It is not perhaps much to be wondered at, that in 
still later times several ingenious writers, forming 
their notions of the Science itself from professed 
masters in it, such as have just been alluded to, and 
judging of its value from their failures, should have 
treated the Aristotelic system with so much reproba- 
tion and scorn. Too much prejudiced to bestow on it 
the requisite attention for enabling them clearly to 
understand its real character and object, or even to 
judge correctly from the little they did understand, 
they have assailed the study with a host of objections, 
so totally irrelevant, and consequently impotent, that, 
considering the talents and general information of 
those from whom they proceed, they might excite 
astonishment in any one who did not fully estimate 
the force of very early prejudice. 

Logic has usually been considered by these objectors 
as professing to furnish a peculiar method of Reason- 
ing, instead of a method of analyzing that mental pro- 
cess which must invariably lake phice in all correct 
Reasoning; and accordingly they have contrasted the 
ordinary mode of reasoning with the syllogistic ; and 
have brought forward with an air of triumph the argu- 
mentative skill of many who never learned the system : 
a mistake no less gross than if any one should regard 
Grammar as a peculiar language, and contend against 
its utility on the ground that many speak correctly 
who never studied the principles of Grammar ; 
whereas Logic, which is, as it were, the Grammar of 
Reasoning, does not bring forward the regular syllo- 
gism as a distinct mode of argumentation, designed to 
be substituted for any other mode ; but as the form to 
which all correct Reasoningmay be ultimately reduced, 
and which consequently serves the purpose (when we 
are employing Logic as an Art) of a test to try the 
validity of any argument, in the same manner as by 
chemical analysis we develope and submit to a distinct 
examination the elements of which any compound 
body is composed, and are thus enabled to detect any 
latent sophistication and impurity. 

Complaints have also been made that Logic leaves 
untouched the greatest difficulties, and those which 
are the sources of the chief errors in Reasoning ; viz. the 
ambiguity or indistinctness of terms, and the doubts 
respecting the degrees of evidence in various proposi- 
tions : an objection which is not to be removed by 
any such attempt as that of Watts to lay down " rules 
for forming clear ideas, and for guiding the judgment ;" 
but by replying that no Art is to be censured for not 
teaching more than falls within its province, and 
indeed more than can be taught by any conceivable 
art. Such a system of universal knowledge as should 
instruct us in the full meaning of every term, and the 
truth or falsity, certainty or uncertainty, of every 
proposition, thus superseding all other studies, it is 
most unphilosophical to expect or even to imagine. 
And to find fault with Logic for not performing this 
is as if one should object to the Science of Optics for 
not giving sight to the blind ; or as if (like the man 

of whom Warburton tells a story in his Div. Leg.} one 
should complain of a reading glass for .being of no 
service to a person who had never learned to 'read. 

In fact, the difficulties and errors above alluded to 
are not in the process of Reasoning itself, (which alone 
is the appropriate province of Logic,) but in the sub- 
ject matter about which it is employed. This process 
will have been correctly conducted if it have con- 
formed to the Logical rules which preclude the possi- 
bility of any error creeping in between the principles 
from which we are arguing, and the conclusions we 
deduce from them. But still that conclusion may be 
false, if the principles we start from are so. In like 
manner, no Arithmetical skill will secure a correct 
result to a calculation, unless the data are correct 
from which we calculate ; nor does any one on that 
account undervalue Arithmetic ; and yet the objection 
against Logic rests on no better foundation. 

There is in fact a striking analogy in this respect 
between the two Sciences. All numbers (which are 
the subject of Arithmetic) must be numbers of some 
things, whether coins, persons, measures, or any thing 
else ; but to introduce into the Science any notice of 
the things respecting which calculations are made, 
would be evidently irrelevant, and would destroy its 
scientific characters: we proceed therefore with arbi- 
trary signs representing numbers in the abstract. So 
also does Logic pronounce on the validity of a regu- 
larly-constructed argument equally well, though 
arbitrary symbols may have been substituted for the 
terms, and consequently without any regard to the 
things signified by those terms. And the probability 
of doing this (though the employment of such arbi- 
trary symbols has been absurdly objected to, even by 
writers who understood not only Arithmetic but Alge- 
bra) is a proof of the strictly scientific character of the 
system. But many professed Logical writers, not 
attending to the circumstances which have been just 
mentioned, have wandered into disquisitions on various 
branches of knowledge ; disquisitions which must 
evidently be as boundless as human knowledge itself, 
since there is no subject on which Reasoning is not 
employed, and to which consequently Logic may not 
be applied. The error lies in regarding every thing as 
the proper province of Logic, to which it is applicable. 
A similar error is complained of by Aristotle, as having 
taken place with respect to Rhetoric ; of which indeed 
we find specimens in the arguments of several of the 
interlocutors in Cic. de Oratore. 

From what has been said, it will be evident that 
there is hardly any subject to which it is so difficult 
to introduce the student in a clear and satisfactory- 
manner, as the one we are now engaged in. In any 
other branch of knowledge, the reader, if he have 
any previous acquaintance with the subject, will 
usually be so far the better prepared for comprehend- 
ing the exposition of the principles ; or if he be 
entirely a stranger to it, will at least come to the 
study with a mind unbiassed, and free from prejudices 
and misconceptions ; whereas in the present case it 
cannot but happen that many who have given some 
attention to Logical pursuits, (or what are usually con- 
sidered as such) will frequently have rather been 
bewildered by fundamentally erroneous views, than 
prepared by the acquisition of just principles for ulte- 
rior progress ; and that not a few who pretend not to 
any acquaintance whatever with the Science, will yet 
2 D 2 



have imbibed either such prejudices against it, or such 
false notions respecting its nature, as cannot but prove 
obstacles in their study of it. 

There is, however, a difficulty which exists more 
or less in all abstract pursuits, though it is perhaps 
more felt in this, and often occasions it to be rejected 
by beginners as dry and tedious.; viz. the difficulty of 
perceiving to what ultimate end, to what practical 
or interesting application the abstract principles lead 
which are first laid before the student ; so that he 
will often have to work his way patiently through the 
most laborious part of the system before he can gain 
any clear idea of the drift and intention of it. 

This complaint has often been made by chemical 
students, who are wearied with descriptions of oxygen, 
hydrogen, and other invisible elements, before they 
have any knowledge respecting such bodies as com- 
monly present themselves to the senses. And accord- 
ingly some teachers of Chemistry obviate in a great 
degree this objection, by adopting the analytical' 
instead of the synthetical mode of procedure, when 
they are first introducing the subject to beginners ; 
i. e. instead of synthetically enumerating the elemen- 
tary substances, proceeding next to the simplest com- 
binations of these, and concluding with those more 
complex substances which are of the most com- 
mon occurrence, they begin by analyzing these last, 
and resolving them step by step into their simple 
elements ; thus presenting the subject at once in an 
interesting point of view, and clearly setting forth the 
object of it. The synthetical form of teaching is 
indeed sufficiently interesting to one who has made 
considerable progress in any study ; and being more 
concise, regular, and systematic, is the form in which 
our knowledge naturally arranges itself in the mind, 
and is retained by the memory : but the analytical is 
the more interesting 1 , easy, and natural kind of intro- 
duction, as being the form in which the first invention 
or discovery of any kind of system must originally have 
taken place. 

It may be advisable, therefore, to begin by giving 
a slight sketch, in this form, of the Logical system, 
before we enter regularly upon the details of it. The 
reader will thus be presented with a kind of imaginary 
history of the course of inquiry by which the Logical 
system may be conceived to have occurred to a 
philosophical mind. 

In every instance in which we reason, in the strict 
sense of the word, i. e. make use of arguments, whe- 
ther for the s-ike of refuting an adversary, or of con- 
veying instruction, or of satisfying our own minds on 
any point, w r hatever may be the subject we are engaged 
on, a certain process takes place in the mind, which 
is one and the same in all cases, provided it be 
correctly conducted. 

Of course it cannot be supposed that every one is 
even conscious of this process in his own mind, much, 
less is competent to explain the principles on which it 
proceeds ; which indeed is, and cannot but be, the 
case with every other process respecting which any 
system has been formed ; the practice not only may 
exist independently of the theory, but must have pre- 
ceded the theory; there must have been language 
before a system of Grammar could be devised ; and 
musical compositions previous to the science of Music. 
This by the way will serve to expose the futility of 
the popular objection against Logic, that men may 

reason very well who know nothing of it. The 
parallel instance adduced, shews that such an objec- 
tion might be applied in many other cases, where its 
absurdity would be obvious ; and that there is no rea- 
son for deciding thence, either that the system has no 
tendency to improve practice, or that even if it had 
not, it might not still be a dignified and interesting 

One of the chief impediments to the attainment of 
a just view of the nature and object of Logic, is the 
not fully understanding, or not sufficiently keeping in 
mind, the SAMENESS of the Reasoning process in all 
cases ; if, as the ordinary mode of speaking would 
seem to indicate, Mathematical Reasoning, and Theo- 
logical, and Metaphysical, and Political, &c. were 
essentially different from each other, i. e. different 
kinds of reasoning, it would follow, that supposing 
there could be at all any such Science as we have 
described Logic, there must be so many different 
species, or at least different branches of Logic. And 
such is perhaps the most prevailing notion. Nor is 
this much to be wondered at ; since it is evident to 
all that some men converse and write in an argumen- 
tative way, very justly on one subject, and very 
erroneously on another, in which again others excel, 
who fail in the former. This error may be at once 
illustrated and removed, by considering the parallel 
instance of Arithmetic, in which every one is aware 
that the process of a calculation is not affected by the 
nature of the objects whose numbers are before us : 
but that (e. g.) the multiplication of a number is 
the very same operation, whether it be a number of 
men, of miles, or of pounds ; though nevertheless 
men may perhaps be found who are accurate in calcu- 
lations relative to Natural Philosophy, and incorrect 
in those of Political Economy, from their different 
degrees of skill in the subjects of these two Sciences ; 
not surely because there are different arts of Arithme- 
tic applicable to each of these respectively. 

Others again, who are aware that the simple system 
of Logic may be applied to all subjects whatever, are 
yet disposed to view it as a peculiar method of Reason- 
ing, and not as it is, a method of unfolding and 
analyzing our Reasoning : whence many have been led 
(e. g. the author of the Philosophy of Rhetoric) to 
talk of comparing syllogistic Reasoning with moral 
Reasoning, and to take it for granted that it is possible 
to reason correctly without reasoning Logically ; which, 
is in fact as great a blunder as if any one were to mis- 
take Grammar for a peculiar language, and to suppose 
it possible to speak correctly without speaking Gram- 
matically. They have in short considered Logic as 
an Art of Reasoning ; whereas, so far as it is an Art, it 
is the Art of Reasoning : the Logician's object being, 
not to lay down principles by which one mat/ reason, 
but by which all must reason, even though they are not 
distinctly aware of them : to lay down rules, not 
which may be followed with advantage, but which 
cannot possibly be departed from in sound reasoning. 
These misapprehensions and objections being such as 
lie on the very threshold of the subject, it would have 
been hardly possible, without noticing them, to con- 
vey any just notion of the nature and design of the 
Logical system. 

Supposing it then to have been perceived that the 
operation of Reasoning is in all cases the same, the 
analysis of that operation could not fail to strike the 





mind as an interesting matter of inquiry : and 
moreover, since (apparent) arguments which are 
unsound and inconclusive, are so often employed 
either from error or from design ; and even those who 
are not misled by these fallacies, are so often at a loss 
to detect and expose them in a manner satisfactory to 
others, or even to themselves, it could not but appear 
desirable to lay down some general rules of Reasoning, 
applicable to all cases, by which a person might be 
enabled the more readily and clearly to state the 
grounds of his own conviction, or of his objection to 
the arguments of an opponent, instead of arguing at 
random without any fixed and acknowledged princi- 
ples to guide his procedure. Such rules would be 
analogous to those of Arithmetic, which obviate the 
tediousness and uncertainty of calculations in the 
head, wherein, after much labour, different persons 
might arrive at different results, without any of them 
being able distinctly to point out the error of the rest. 
A system of such rules, it is obvious, must, instead of 
deserving to be called the Art of wrangling, be more 
justly characterised as " the Art of cutting short 
wrangling," by bringing the parties to issue at once, 
if not to agreement, and thus saving a waste of 

In pursuing the supposed investigation, it will be 
found that every conclusion is deduced, in reality, 
from two other propositions, (thence called pre- 
mises ;) for though one of these may be, and com- 
monly is, suppressed, it must nevertheless be under- 
stood as admitted ; as may easily be made evident by 
supposing the DENIAL of the suppressed premiss, 
which will at once invalidate the argument : e. g. if 
any one from perceiving that the world exhibits 
marks of design, infers that " it must have had an 
intelligent author," though he may not be aware in 
his own mind of the existence of any other premiss, 
he will readily understand, if it be denied that 
" whatever exhibits marks of design must have had an 
intelligent author," that the affirmative of that propo- 
sition is necessary to the validity of the argument. 
An argument thus stated regularly and at full length 
is called a Syllogism ; which therefore is evidently not 
a peculiar kind of argument, but only a peculiar form 
of expression, in which every argument may be 
stated. When one of the premises is suppressed, 
(which for brevity's sake it usually is) the argument 
is called an Enthymeme. And it may be worth while 
to remark, that when the argument is in this state, 
the objections of an opponent are (or rather appear 
to be) of two kinds ; viz. either objections to the 
assertion itself, or objections to its force as an argu- 
ment ; e. g. in the above instance, an atheist may be 
conceived either denying that the world does exhibit 
marks of design, or denying that it follows from thenca 
that it had an intelligent author. The only difference 
in the two cases is, that in the one the expressed pre- 
miss is denied, in the other the suppressed ; for the 
force as an argument of either premiss depends on the 
other premiss : if both be admitted, the conclusion 
legitimately connected with them cannot be denied. 

It is evidently immaterial to the argument whether 
the conclusion be placed first or last ; but it may be 
proper to remark, that a premiss placed after its con- 
clusion is called the reason of it, and is introduced by 
one of those conjunctions which are called causal ; 
viz. <( since," " because/' e, which may indeed be 

employed to designate a premiss, whether it came first Introduc- 
or last ; the illative conjunctions, " therefore," &c. toj ? 
designate the conclusion. It is a circumstance which -. a ' 
often occasions error and perplexity, that both these *^ v 
classes of conjunctions have also another signification, 
being employed to denote, respectively, cause and 
effect, as well as premiss and conclusion : e. g. if I 
say, (to use an instance employed by Aristotle) " yon- 
der is a fixed star, because it twinkles," or, " it 
twinkles, and therefore is a fixed star," I employ 
these conjunctions to denote the connection of pre- 
miss and conclusion ; for it is plain that the twink- 
ling of the star is not the cause of its being fixed, but 
only the cause of my knowing that it is so : but if I say, 
" it twinkles because it is a fixed star," or it is a fixed 
star, and therefore twinkles," I am using the same 
conjunctions to denote the connection of cause and 
effect ; for in this case the twinkling of the star, being 
evident to the eye, would hardly need to be proved, 
but might need to be accounted for. There are, 
however, many cases in which the cause is employed 
to prove the existence of its effect ; especially in argu- 
ments relating to future events : the cause and the 
reason, in that case, coincide ; and this contributes to 
their being so often confounded together in other 
cases. In an argument, such as the example above 
given, it is, as has been said, impossible for any one, 
who admits both premises, to avoid admitting the 
conclusion ; but there. will be frequently an apparent 
connection of premises with a conclusion which does 
not in reality follow from them, though, to the inat- 
tentive or unskilful the argument may appear to be 
valid : and there are many other cases in which a 
doubt may exist whether the argument be valid or 
not 5 i. e. whether it be possible or not to admit the 
premises, and yet deny the conclusion. It is of the 
highest importance, therefore, to lay down some 
regular form to which every valid argument may be 
reduced, and to devise a rule which shall prove the 
validity of every argument in that form, and conse- 
quently the unsoundness of any apparent argument 
which cannot be reduced to it : e. g. if such an 
argument as this be proposed, " every rational agent 
is accountable ; brutes are not rational agents ; there- 
fore they are not accountable :" or again, " all 
wise legislators suit their laws to the genius of their 
nation ; Solon did this ; therefore he was a wise 
legislator :" there are some, perhaps, who would not 
perceive any fallacy in such arguments, especially if 
enveloped in a cloud of words ; and still more when 
the conclusion is true, or, which comes to the same 
point, if they are disposed to believe it ; and others 
m'ght perceive indeed, but might be at a loss to 
explain the fallacy. Now these (apparent) arguments 
exactly correspond respectively with the following, 
the absurdity of the conclusions from which is manifest : 
" every horse is an animal ; sheep are not horses ; 
therefore they are not animals:" and, " all vegetables 
grow ; an animal grows ; therefore it is a vegetable." 
These last examples; it has been said, correspond 
exactly (considered as arguments) with the former ; 
the question respecting the validity of an argument 
being, not whether the conclusion be true, but whe- 
ther it follows from the premises adduced. This mode 
of exposing a fallacy, by bringing forward a similar 
one whose conclusion is obviously absurd, is often, 
and very advantageously, resorted to in addressing 



those who are ignorant of Logical' rules ; but to lay 
down such rules, and employ them as a test, is evi- 
dently a safer and more compendious, as well as a 
more philosophical mode of proceeding. To attain 
these, it would plainly be necessary to analyze 
some clear and valid arguments, and to observe in what 
their conclusiveness consists. Let us suppose, then, 
such an examination to be made of tha syllogism 
above mentioned : " whatever exhibits marks of design 
had an intelligent author." 

The world exhibits marks of design ; therefore the 
world had an intelligent author. In the first of these 
premises we find it assumed universally of the class of 
" things which exhibit marks of design," that they 
had an intelligent author ; and in the other premiss, 
" the world" is referred to that class as comprehended 
in it : now it is evident, that whatever is said of the 
whole of a class, may be said of any thing compre- 
hended in that class ; so that we are thus aythorized 
to s-.xy of the world, that it had an intelligent author. 
Again, if we examine a syllogism with a negative con- 
clusion, as, e. g. " nothing which exhibits marks of 
design could have been produced by chance : the world 
exhibits, &c. ; therefore the world could not have 
been produced by chance.' 1 The process of Reasoning 
will be found to be the same ; since it is evident, 
that whatever is denied universally of any class, may 
be denied of any thing that is comprehended in that 

On further examination it will be found, that all 
valid arguments whatever may be easily reduced to 
such a form as that of the foregoing syllogisms ;" and 
that consequently the principle on which they are 
constructed is the universal principle of Reasoning. 
So elliptical indeed is the ordinary mode of expression, 
even of those who are considered as prolix writers, 
i. e. so much is implied and left to be understood in 
the course of argument, in comparison of what is 
actually stated, (most men being impatient, even to 
excess, of any appearance of unnecessary and tedious 
formality of statement,) that a single sentence will 
often be found, though perhaps considered as a single 
argument, to contain, compressed into a short com- 
pass, a chain of several distinct arguments ; but if 
each of these be fully developed, and the whole of 
what the author intended to imply be stated expressly, 
it will be found that all the steps even of the longest 
and most complex train of Reasoning, may be reduced 
into the above form. 

It is a mistake (which might appear scarcely worthy 
of notice had not so many, even esteemed writers, 
fallen into it) to imagine that Aristotle and other 
Logicians meant to propose that this prolix form of 
unfolding arguments should universally supersede, in 
argumentative discourses, the common forms of ex- 
pression ; and that to reason Logically, means, to state 
all arguments at full length in the syllogistic form : 
and Aristotle has even been charged with inconsistency 
for not doing so ; it has been said, that " in his 
Treatises of Ethics, Politics, &c. he argues like a 
rational creature, and never attempts to bring his own 
system into practice :" as well might a Chemist be 
charged with inconsistency for making use of any of 
the compound substances that are commonly em- 
ployed, without previously analyzing and resolving 
them into their simple elements ; as well might it be 
imagined that, to speak grammatically, means, to 

parse every sentence we utter. The Chemist (to pur- 
sue the illustration) keeps by him his tests and his 
method of analysis, to be employed when any sub- 
stance is offered to his notice, the composition of which 
has not been ascertained, or in which adulteration is 
suspected. Now a fallacy may aptly be compared to 
some adulterated compound ; it consists of an inge- 
nious mixture of truth and falsehood, so entangled, 
so intimately blended, that the falsehood is (in the 
chemical phrase) held in solution : one drop of sound 
Logic is that test which immediately disunites them, 
makes the foreign substance visible, and precipitates 
it to the bottom. 

But to resume the investigation of the principles of 
Reasoning : the maxim resulting from the examination 
of a syllogism in the foregoing form, and of the 
application of which every valid argument is in reality 
an instance, is, " that whatever is predicated (i. e. 
affirmed or denied) universally, of any class of things, 
may be predicated, in like manner, (viz. affirmed or 
denied) of any thing comprehended in that class." 
This is the principle, commonly called the dictum d 
omni et nullo, for the establishment of which we are 
indebted to Aristotle, and which is the keystone of his 
whole Logical system. It is not a little remarkable 
that some, otherwise judicious writers, should have 
been so carried away by their zeal against that philo- 
sopher, as to speak with scorn and ridicule of this 
principle, on account of its obviousness and simplicity ; 
though they would probably perceive at once, in any 
other case, that it is the greatest triumph of philoso- 
phy to refer many, and seemingly very vai'ious, phe- 
nomena to one, or a very few, simple principles ; and 
that the more simple and evident such a principle is, 
provided it be truly applicable to all the cases in 
question, the greater is its value and scientific beauty. 
If, indeed, any principle be regarded as not thus appli- 
cable, that is an objection to it of a different kind. 
Such an objection against Aristotle's dictum, no one 
has ever attempted to establish by any kind of proof ; 
but it has often been taken for granted ; it being (as 
has been stated) very commonly supposed, without 
examination, that the syllogism is a distinct kind of 
argument, and that the rules of it do not apply, nor 
were intended to apply, to alt Reasoning whatever. 
Under this misapprehension, Campbell (Philosophy of 
Rhetoric) labours, with some ingenuity, and not 
without an air of plausibility, to shew that every 
syllogism must be futile and worthless, because the 
premises virtually assert the conclusion : little dream- 
ing, of course, that his objections, however specious, 
lie against the process of Reasoning itself universally ; 
and will therefore, of course, apply to those very 
arguments which he is himself adducing. 

It is much more extraordinary to find another 
author (Dugald Stewart) adopting, expressly, the very 
same objections, and yet distinctly admitting within 
a few pages, the possibility of reducing every course 
of argument to a series of syllogisms. 

The same writer brings an objection against the 
dictum of Aristotle ; which it may be worth while 
to notice briefly, for the sake of setting in a clearer 
light the real character and object of that principle. 
Its application being, as has been seen, to a regular 
and conclusive syllogism, he supposes it intended to 
prove and make evident the conclusiveness of such a 
syllogism ; and remarks how unphilosophical it is to 




Logic, attempt giving a demonstration of a demonstration. 

' And certainly the charge would be just, if we could 

imagine the Logician's object to be, to increase the 
certainty of a conclusion which we are supposed to 
have already arrived at by the clearest possible mode 
of proof. But it is very strange that such an idea 
should ever have occurred to one who had even the 
slightest tincture of Natural Philosophy : for it might 
as well be imagined that a Natural Philosopher or a 
Chemist's design to strengthen the testimony of our 
senses by a priori reasoning, and to convince us that 
a stone when thrown will fall to the ground, and that 
gunpowder will explode when fixed, because they 
shew that according to their principles those pheno- 
mena must take place as they do. But it would be 
reckoned a mark of the grossest ignorance and stu- 
pidity, not to be aware that their object is not to 
prove the existence of an individual phenomenon, 
which our eyes have witnessed, but (as the phrase is) 
to account for it : i. e. to shew according to what 
principle it takes place ; to refer, in sJiort, the 
individual case to a general law of nature. The object 
of Aristotle's dictum is precisely analogous : he 
had, doubtless, no thought of adding to the force of 
any individual syllogism ; his design was to point 
out the general principle on which that process is con- 
ducted which takes place in each syllogism. And as 
the laws of nature (as they are called) are in reality 
merely generalized facts, of which all the phenomena 
coming under them are particular instances ; so the 
proof drawn from Aristotle's dictum is not a distinct 
demonstration brought to confirm another demonstra- 
tion, but is merely a generalized and abstract state- 
ment of all demonstration whatever ; and is therefore 
in fact, tlie very demonstration which (mutatis mutandis) 
accommodated to the various subject matters, is 
actually'employed in each particular case. 

In order to trace more distinctly the different steps 
of the abstracting process, by which any particular 
argument may be brought into the most general form, 
we may first take a syllogism stated accurately and at 
full length, such as the example formerly given, 
" whatever exhibits marks of design, &c.," and then 
somewhat generalize the expression, by substituting 
(as in Algebra) arbitrary unmeaning symbols for the 
significant terms that were originally used ; the syllo- 
gism will then stand thus ; ' ' every B is A ; C is B ; 
therefore C is A." The Reasoning is no less evidently 
valid when thus stated, whatever terms A, J3, and C, 
respectively may be supposed to stand for : such 
terms may indeed be inserted as to make all, or any 
of, the assertions false ; but it will still be no less im- 
possible for any one who admits the truth of the 
premises, in an argument thus constructed, to deny the 
conclusion ; and this it is that constitutes the conclu- 
siveness of an argument. 

Viewing then the syllogism thus expressed, it ap- 
pears clearly, that " A stands for any thing whatever 
that is predicated of a whole class," (viz. of every B) 
" which comprehends or contains in it something else," 
viz. C, of which B is, in the second premiss affirmed ; 
and that consequently the first term (A) is, in the con- 
clusion, predicated of the third C. 

Now to assert the validity of this process, now 
before us, is to state the very dictum we are treating 
of with hardly even a verbal alteration, viz.: 

1. Any thing whatever, predicated of a whole class. 

2. Under which class something else is contained, 

3. May be predicated of that which is so con- 

The three members into which the maxim is here 
distributed, correspond to the three propositions of 
the syllogism to which they are intended respectively 
to apply. 

The advantage of substituting for the terms, in a 
regular syllogism, arbitrary unmeaning symbols such 
as letters of the alphabet, is much the same as in 
Mathematics : the Reasoning itself is then considered, 
by itself, clearly, and without any risk of our being 
misled by the truth or falsity of the conclusion, which 
are, in fact, accidental and variable ; the essential 
point, being, as far as the argument is concerned, the 
connection between the premises and the conclusions. 
We are thus enabled to embrace the general principle 
of all Reasoning, and to perceive its applicability to 
an indefinite number of individual cases. That 
Aristotle, therefore, should have been accused of 
making use of these symbols for the purpose of 
darkening his demonstrations, and that too, by per- 
sons not unacquainted with Geometry and Algebra, 
is truly astonishing. If a Geometer, instead of desig- 
nating- the four angles of a square, by four letters, 
were to call them north, south, east, and west, he 
would not render the demonstration of a theorem the 
easier ; and the learner would be much more likely 
to be perplexed in the application of it. 

It belongs then exclusively to a syllogism, properly 
so called (i. e. a valid argument, so stated that its 
conclusiveness is evident from the mere form of the 
expression) that if letters or any other unmeaning 
symbols be substituted for the several terms, the 
validity of the argument shall still be evident. 
Whenever this is not the case, the supposed argu- 
ment is either unsound and sophistical, or else may 
be reduced, (without any alteration of its meaning) 
into the syllogistic form ; in which form, the test 
just mentioned may be applied to it. 

What is called an unsound or fallacious argument, 
i. e. an apparent argument which is, in reality, none, 
cannot, of course, be reduced into this form ; but 
when stated in the form most nearly approaching to 
this that is possible, its fallaciousness becomes more 
evident, from its nonconformity to the foregoing 
rule : e. g. " whoever is capable of deliberate crime 
is responsible ; an infant is not capable of deliberate 
crime; therefore, an infant is not responsible :" here, 
the term " responsible " is affirmed universally of 
" those capable of deliberate crime ;" it might, there- 
fore, according to Aristotle's dictum, have been 
affirmed of any thing contained under that class ; but 
in the instance before us nothing is mentioned as con- 
tained under that class, only the term infant is 
excluded from that class ; and though what is affirmed 
of a whole class may be affirmed of any thing that is 
contained under it, there is no ground for supposing 
that it may be denied of whatever is not so contained ; 
for it is evidently possible that it may be applicable to 
a whole class and to something else besides : to say, 
e. g. that all trees are vegetables, does not imply that 
nothing else is a vegetable. It is evident, therefore, 
that such an apparent argument as the above does not 
comply with the rule laid down, and is consequently 

Again, in this instance, <( food is necessary to life; 



corn is food ; therefore corn is necessary to life :" the 
' term " necessary to life" is affirmed of food, but not 
universally ; for it is not said of every kind of food: the 
meaning of the assertion being manifestly that some 
food is necessary to life : here again therefore the rule 
has not been complied with, since that which is pre- 
dicated, (i. e. affirmed or denied,) not of the whole, but 
of a part only of a certain class, cannot be predicated 
of any thing, whatever is contained under that class. 

The fallacy in this last case is, what is usually 
described in Logical language as consisting in the 
" non-distribution of the middle term." In order to 
understand this phrase, it is necessary to observe, 
that a proposition being an expression in which one 
thing is affirmed or denied of another ; e. g. " A is B," 
both that of which something is said, and that which 
is said of it, (i.e. both A and B,) are called " Terms," 
from their being (in their nature) the extremes or 
boundaries of the proposition ; and there are, of course, 
two, and but two, terms in a proposition, (though it 
may so happen that either of them may consist either 
of one word, or of several ;) and a term is said to be 
" distributed," when it is taken universally, so as to 
stand for every thing it is capable of being applied to: 
and consequently " undistributed," when it stands 
for a part only of the things signified by it ; thus, " all 
food," or every kind of food, are expressions which 
imply the distribution of the term " food ;" " some 
food " would imply its non-distribution : and it is also 
to be observed, that the term of which, in one pre- 
miss, something is affirmed or denied, and to which 
in the other premiss something else is referred as con- 
tained in it, is called the " middle" term in the syl- 
logism, as standing between the other two, (viz. the 
two terms of the conclusion,) and being the medium 
of proof. Now it is plain, that if in each premiss a 
part only of this middle term is employed, i. e. if it 
be not at all distributed, no conclusion can be drawn. 
Hence, if in the example formerly adduced, it had 
been merely stated that " something" (not " whatever," 
or " every thing") " which exhibits marks of design, 
is the work of an intelligent author," it would not 
have followed, from the world's exhibiting marks of 
design, that that is the work of an intelligent author. 

It is to be observed, also, that the words " all," 
and " every," which mark the distribution of a term, 
and " some," which marks its non-distribution, are 
not always introduced : they are frequently under- 
stood, and left to be supplied by the context ; e. g. 
" food is necessary:" viz. "some food;" " man is 
mortal ;" viz. " every man." Propositions thus ex- 
pressed are called by Logicians " indefinite," because 
it is left undetermined by the form of the expression 
whether the " subject," (the term of which some- 
thing is affirmed or denied being called the " subject" 
of the proposition, and that which is said of it, the 
" predicate") be distributed or not. Nevertheless it 
is plain that in every proposition the subject either is, 
or is not, distributed, though it be not declared whe- 
ther it is or not ; consequently every proposition, 
whether expressed indefinitely or not, must be either 
''universal" or "particular;" those being called 
universal, in which the predicate is said of the whole 
of the subject, (or in other words, where the subject 
is distributed ;) and those, particular, in which it is 
said only of a part of the subject : e. g. " All men 
are sinful," is universal ; " some men are sinful/' 

particular : and this division of propositions is in 
Logical language said to be according to their 
" quantity." 

But the distribution or non-distribution of the 
predicate is entirely independent of the quality of the 
proposition; nor are the signs "all" and "some" 
ever affixed to the predicate ; because its distribution 
depends upon, and is indicated by the " quality' of 
the proposition ; i. e. its being affirmative or negative ; 
it being a universal rule, that the predicate of a nega- 
tive proposition is distributed, and, of an affirmative, 
undistributed. The reason of this may easily be under- 
stood, by considering that a term which stands for a 
whole class may be applied to (i. e. affirmed of) any 
thing that is comprehended under that class, though 
the term of which it is thus affirmed may be of much 
narrower extent than that other, and may, therefore, 
be far from coinciding with the whole of it : thus it 
may be said with truth, that " the Negroes are un- 
civilized," though the term uncivilized be of much 
wider extent than " Negroes," comprehending, be- 
sides them, Hottentots, &c. : so that it would not be 
allowable to assert, that " all who are uncivilized are 
Negroes;" it is evident, therefore, that it is a part 
only of the term " uncivilized " that has been affirmed 
of " Negroes :" and the same reasoning applies to 
every affirmative proposition ; for though it may so 
happen that the subject and predicate coincide, i.e. are 
of equal extent, as, e. g. " all men are rational ani- 
mals," (it being equally true, that " all rational 
animals are men,) yet this is not implied by the form of 
the expression ; since it would be no less true, that 
" all men are rational animals," even if there were 
other rational animals besides man. 

It is plain, therefore, that if any part of the predi- 
cate is applicable to the subject, it may be affirmed, 
and, of course, cannot be denied of that subject; and 
consequently, when the predicate is denied of the sub- 
ject, it is implied that no part of that predicate is 
applicable to that subject ; i. e. that the whole of the 
predicate is denied of the subject : for to say, e.g. that 
" no beasts of prey ruminate," implies that beasts of 
prey are excluded from the whole class of ruminant 
animals, and consequently that "no ruminant animals 
are beasts of prey. And hence results the above men- 
tioned rule, that the distribution of the predicate 
is implied in negative propositions, and its non- 
distribution in affirmatives. 

It is to be remembered, therefore, that it is not 
sufficient for the middle term to occur in a universal 
proposition, since if that proposition be an affirmative, 
and the middle term be the predicate of it, it will not 
be distributed : e.g. if in the example formerly given 
it had been merely asserted, that " all the works of an 
intelligent author shew marks of design," and that 
" the universe shows marks of design," nothing could 
have been proved ; since, though both these proposi- 
tions are universal, the middle term is made the pre- 
dicate in each, and both are affirmative; and accord- 
ingly the rule of Aristotle is not here complied with, 
since the term, " work of an intelligent author," 
which is to be proved applicable to " the universe," 
is not affirmed of the middle term, (" what shows 
marks of design,") under which " universe " is con- 
tained ; but the middle term on the contrary is 
affirmed of it. 

If, however, one of the premises be negative, 


L O G I C. 


the middle term may then be made the predicate 
' of it, and will thus, according to the above remark, 
be distributed : e. g. " no ruminant animals are 
predacious ; the lion is predacious ; therefore the 
lion is not ruminant :" this is a valid syllogism ; and 
the middle term (predacious) is distributed by being 
made the predicate of a negative proposition. The 
form, indeed, of the syllogism, is not that prescribed 
by the dictum of Aristotle, but it may easily be 
reduced to that form, by stating the first proposition 
thus ; no predacious animals are ruminant ; which is 
manifestly implied (as was above remarked) in the 
assertion, that " no ruminant animals are predacious." 
The syllogism will thus appear in the form to which 
the dictum applies. 

It is not every argument, indeed, that can be reduced 
to this form by so short and simple an alteration as in 
the case before us : a longer and more complex pro- 
cess will often be required ; and rules will hereafter 
lie laid down to facilitate this process in certain cases : 
but there is no sound argument but what can be 
reduced into this form, without at all departing from 
the real meaning and drift of it : and the form will be 
found (though more prolix than is needed for ordi- 
nary use) the most perspicuous in which an argument 
can be exhibited. 

All reasoning whatever, then, rests on the one sim- 
ple principle laid down by Aristotle ; that, " what is 
predicated, either affirmatively or negatively, of a term 
distributed, may be predicated, in like manner, (i.e. 
affirmatively or negatively) of any thing contained 
under that term." So that when our object is to prove 
any proposition, i. e. to shew that one term may 
rightly be affirmed or denied of another, the process 
which really takes place in our minds is, that we 
refer that term (of which the other is to be thus pre- 
dicated,) to some class, (i. e. middle term) of which 
that other may be affirmed, or denied, as the case may 
be. Whatever the subject matter of an argument 
may be, the Reasoning itself, considered by itself, is 
in every case the same process ; and if the writers 
against Logic had kept this in mind, they would have 
been cautious of expressing their contempt of what 
they call " syllogistic Reasoning," which is in truth 
all Reasoning ; and instead of ridiculing Aristotle's 
principle for its obviousness and simplicity, would 
have perceived that these are in fact its highest 
praise : the easiest, shortest, and most evident theory, 
provided it answer the purpose of explanation, being 
ever the best. 

If we conceive an inquirer to have reached, in his 
investigation of the theory of Reasoning, the point 
to which we have now arrived, a question which 
would be likely next to engage his attention, is, that 
of predication ; i.e. since in Reasoning we are to find 
a middle term, which may be predicated affirmatively 
of the subject in question, we are led to inquire what 
terms may be affirmed, and what denied, of what others. 

It is evident that proper names, or any other terms, 
which denote each but a single individual, as " Caesar," 
" the Thames," " the Conqueror of Pompey," 
" this river," (hence called in Logic, " singular 
terms") cannot be affirmed of any thing besides them- 
selves, and are therefore to be denied of any thing 
else; we may say, "this river is the Thames," or 
" Caesar was the conqueror of Pompey ;" but we 
cannot say of any thing else that it is the Thames. 

On the~ other hand, those terms which are called 
" common," as denoting any one individual of a 
whole class, as " river," " conqueror," may of 
course be affirmed of any, or all that belong to that 
class ; as, " the Thames is a river ;" " the Rhine 
and the Danube are rivers." 

Common terms, therefore, are called " predica- 
bles," (viz. affirmatively predicable,) from their 
capability of being affirmed of others : a singular term 
on the contrary may be subject of a proposition, 
but never the predicate, unless it be of a negative 
proposition; (as, e.g. the first-born of Isaac was not 
Jacob ;) or, unless the subject and predicate be only 
two expressions for the same individual object, as in 
some of the above instances. 

The process by which the mind arrives at the 
notions expressed by these " common" (or in popular 
language, " general") terms, is properly called gene- 
ralization ; though it is usually (and truly) said to be 
the business of abstraction ; for generalization is one 
of the purposes to which abstraction is applied : when 
we draw off, and contemplate separately, any part of an 
object presented to the mind, disregarding the rest 
of it, we are said to abstract that part. Thus, a per- 
son might, when a rose was before his eyes or mind, 
make the scent a distinct object of attention, laying 
aside all thought of the colour, form, &c. ; and thus, 
though ie were the only rose he had ever met with, 
he would be employing the faculty of abstraction ; 
but if, in contemplating several objects, and finding 
that they agree in certain points, we abstract the cir- 
cumstances of agreement, disregarding the differences, 
and give to all and each of these objects a name appli- 
cable to them in respect of this agreement, i.e. a 
common name, (as " rose,") we are then said to 
generalize. Abstraction, therefore, does not neces- 
sarily imply generalization, though generalization 
implies abstraction 

Much needless difficulty has been raised respecting 
the results of this process ; many having contended, and 
perhaps more having taken for granted, that there must 
be some really existing thing, corresponding to each 
of these general or common terms, and of which such 
term is the name, standing for and representing it : 
e. g. that as there is a really existing being cor- 
responding to the proper name -(Etna, and signifying 
it, so the common term " mountain," must have some 
one really existing thing corresponding to it, and of 
course distinct from each individual mountain, (since 
the term is not singular, but common,) yet existing 
in each, since the term is applicable to each of them. 
" When many different men," it is said, " are at the 
same time thinking or speaking about a mountain, 
i. e. not any particular one, but a mountain generally, 
their minds must be all employed on something ; which 
must also be one thing, and not several, and yet can- 
not be any one individual :" and hence a vast train of 
mystical disquisitions about ideas, &c. has arisen, 
which are at best nugatory, and tend to obscure our 
view of the process which actually takes place in the 

The fact is, the notion expressed by a common 
term is merely an inadequate (or incomplete) notion 
of an individual ; and from the very circumstance of 
its inadequacy, it will apply equally well to any one 
of several individuals : e. g. if I omit the mention 
and the consideration of every circumstance which 
2 E 




Lode, distinguishes ^Etna from any other mountain, I then 

v J form a notion (expressed by the common term 

mountain) which inadequately designates ^Etna, and 

is equally applicable to any one of several other 


Generalization, it is plain, may be indefinitely 
extended by a further abstraction applied to common 
terms : e. g. as by abstraction from the term Socrates 
we obtain the common term philosopher; so from 
" philosopher," by a similar process, we arrive at the 
more general term " man ; " from " man " to 
" animal," &c. 

The employment of this faculty at pleasure has been 
regarded, and perhaps with good reason, as the cha- 
racteristic distinction of the human mind from that of 
the brutes. We are thus enabled, not only to sepa- 
rate, and consider singly, one part of an object pre- 
sented to the mind, but also to fix arbitrarily upon 
whatever part we please, according as may suit the 
purpose we happen to have in view : e.g. any indivi- 
dual person to whom we may direct our attention, 
may be considered either in a political point of view, 
and accordingly referred to the class of merchant, 
farmer, lawyer, &c. as the case may be ; or physio- 
logically, as negro, or white man j or theologi- 
cally, as Pagan or Christian, Papist or Protestant ; 
or geographically, as European, American, &c. &c. 
And so, in respect of anything else that may be the 
subject of our Reasoning : we arbitrarily fix upon and 
abstract that point which is essential to the purpose in 
hand ; so that the same object may be referred to 
various different classes, according to the occasion. 
Not, of course, that we are allowed to refer anything 
to a class to which it does not really belong; which 
would be pretending to abstract from it something 
that was no part of it ; but that we arbitrarily fix on 
any part of it which we choose to abstract from the 
rest. It is important to notice this, because men are 
often disposed to consider each object as really and 
properly belonging to some one class alone, from their 
having been accustomed, in the course of their own 
pursuits, to consider in one point of view only things 
which may with equal propriety be considered in other 
points of view also : i. e. referred to various classes, 
(or predicates.) And this is that which chiefly consti- 

Chap. I. 

tutes what is called narrowness of mind : e. g. a mere Introduc- 
Botanist might be astonished at hearing such plants as tor y 
clover and lucerne included, in the language of a 
fanner, under the term " grasses," which he has been 
accustomed to limit to a tribe of plants widely different 
in all Botanical characteristics ; and the mere farmer 
might be no less surprised to find the troublesome 
" weed," (as he has been accustomed to call it,) 
known by the name of couch grass, and which he has 
been used to class with nettles and thistles, to which 
it has no Botanical aifinity, ranked by the Botanist as a 
species of wheat, (Triticum Repens.) And yet neither 
of these classifications is in itself erroneous or irra- 
tional ; though it would be absurd in a Botanical 
treatise to class plants according to their Agricultural 
use ; or in an Agricultural treatise, according to the 
structure of their flowers. 

The utility of these considerations, with a view to 
the present subject, will be readily estimated, by 
recurring to the account which has been already given 
of the process of Reasoning ; the analysis of which 
shews, that it consists in referring the term we are 
speaking of to some class, viz. a middle term ; which 
term again is referred to or excluded from (as the case 
may be) another class, viz. the term which w r e wish to 
affirm or deny of the subject of the conclusion. So 
that the quality of our Reasoning in any case must 
depend on our being able, correctly, clearly, and 
promptly, to abstract from the subject in question that 
which may furnish a middle term suitable to the 

The imperfect and irregular sketch which has here 
been attempted, of the Logical System, may suffice 
(even though some parts of it should not be at once 
fully understood by those who are entirely strangers 
to the study) to point out the general drift and pur- 
pose of the Science, and to render the details of it both 
more interesting and more intelligible. The analytical 
form, which has here been adopted, is, generally 
speaking, the best suited for introducing any science in 
the plainest and most interesting form 5 though the 
synthetical, which will henceforth be employed, is the 
most regular and the most compendious form for 
storing it up in the memory. 



THERE are three operations of the mind which are 
concerned in argument: 1st. Simple Apprehension ; 
2d. Judgment; 3d. Discourse or Reasoning. 1st. Sim- 
ple apprehension is the notion (or conception) of any 
object in the mind, analogous to the perception of the 
senses. It is either incomplex or complex : "incom- 
plex apprehension is of one object, or of several with- 
out any relation being perceived between them, as of 
" a man," " a horse," " cards : " complex is of 
several with such a relation, as of " a man on horse- 
back," " a pack of cards." 

2d. Judgment is the comparing together in the 
mind two of the notions, (or ideas) whether complex 
or incomplex, which are the objects of apprehension, 
and pronouncing that they agree or disagree with each 

other ; (or that, one of them belongs or does not belong 
to the other.) Judgment therefore is either affirmative 
or negative. 

3d. Reasoning (or discourse) is the act of proceed- 
ing from one judgment, to another founded upon it, 
(or the result of it.) 

2. Language affords the signs by which these 
operations of the mind are expressed and communi- 
cated. An act of Apprehension expressed in language, 
is called a Term ; an act of Judgment, a Proposition ; 
an act of Reasoning, an Argument or Syllogism ; as 


< e Every dispensation of Providence is beneficial ; 
Afflictions are dispensations of Providence, 
Therefore they are beneficial :" is a Syllogism 5 



Logic, (the act of Reasoning being indicated by the word 
" therefore,") it consists of three Propositions, each of 
which has (necessarily) two Terms, as " beneficial/' 
" dispensations of Providence," &c. 

Language is employed for various purposes, e. g. 
the province of an historian is to convey information ; 
of an orator, to persuade, &c. Logic is concerned 
with it only when employed for the purpose of 
Reasoning, (i. e. in order to convince ;) and whereas, in 
reasoning, Terms are liable to be indistinct, (i. e. with- 
out any clear determinate meaning,) Propositions, to 
be false, and Arguments, inconclusive, Logic undertakes 
directly and completely to guard against this last 
defect, and incidentally and in a certain degree 
against the others, as far as can be done by the proper 
use of language : it is, therefore, (when regarded as an 
art*) " the art of employing language properly for the 
purpose of Reasoning." Its importance no one can 
rightly estimate who has not long and attentively con- 
sidered how much our thoughts are influenced by 
words, and how much error, perplexity, and labour, 
are occasioned by a faulty use of language. 

A Syllogism being, as aforesaid, resolvable into three 
Propositions, and each Proposition containing two 
Terms ; of these Terms, that which is spoken of, is 
called the Subject ; that which is said of it, the Predi- 
cate ; and these two together are called the Terms, (or 
extremes,) because, logically, the subject is placed 
first, and the predicate last : and, in the middle, the 
Copula, which indicates the act of Judgment, as by it, 
the Predicate is affirmed or denied of the Subject. It 
must be either is or is NOT; the substantive verb 
being the only verb recognised by Logic : all others 
are resolvable, by means of the verb, " to be," and 
a participle or adjective ; e. g. " the Romans con- 
quered :" the word " conquered" is both Copula and 
Predicate, being equivalent to " were (Cop.) victorious 11 

3. IT is evident that a Term may consist 
either of one word or of several ; and that it is not 
every word that is capable of being employed by 
itself as a Term ; e. g. adverbs, prepositions, &c. and 
also nouns in any other case besides the nominative. 
A noun may be by itself a Term ; a verb (all except 
the substantive verb used as the Copula,) is resolvable 
into the Copula and Predicate, to which it is equiva- 
lent, and indeed is often so resolved in the mere ren- 
dering out of one language into another ; as " ipse 
adest," he is present. It is to be observed, however, 

* It is to be observed, however, that as a science is conversant 
about knowledge only, an art is the application of knowledge to 
practice ; hence Logic (as well as any other system of know- 
ledge) becomes, when applied to practice, an art ; while con- 
fined to the theory of Reasoning, it is strictly a science : aad it is 
as such that it occupies the higher place in point of dignity, since 
it professes to develope some of the most interesting and curious 
intellectual phenomena. 

t It is proper to observe, that the Copula, as such, has no 
relation to time; hut expresses merely the agreement or disagree- 
ment of two given terms : hence, if any ofcher tense of the sub- 
stantive verb, besides the present, is used, it is either to be under- 
stood as the same in sense, (the difference of tense being regarded 
as a matter of grammatical convenience only ;) or else, if the cir- 
cumstance of time really do modify the sense of the whole propo- 
sition, so as to make the use of that tense an essential, then this 
circumstance is to be regarded as a part of one of the terms : 
" at that time," or some such expression, being understood. 
Sometimes the substantive verb is both Copula and Predicate ; 
i. e. where existence only is predicated : e. g. Deus 

that under " verb," we do not include the infinitive, 
which is properly a noun substantive, nor the parti- 
ciple, which is a noun adjective. They are verbals, 
being related to their respective verbs in respect of 
the things they signify ; but not verbs, inasmuch as they 
differ entirely in their mode of signification. It is worth 
observing, that an infinitive (though it often comes 
last in the sentence) is never the Predicate, except 
when another infinitive is the Subject. It is to be 
observed, also, that in English there are two infinitives, 
one, in " ing," the same in sound and spelling as the 
participle present, from which, however, it should be 
carefully distinguished ; e.g. " rising early is health- 
ful," and " it is healthful to rise early," are 

An adjective (including participles) cannot, by 
itself, be made the Subject of a Proposition ; but is 
often employed as a Predicate ; as " Crassus was 
rich 5" though some choose to consider some substan- 
tives as understood in every such case, (e. g. rich 
man) and consequently do not .reckon adjectives 
among simple Terms ; i. e. words which are capable, 
simply, of being employed as Terms. This, however, 
is a question of no practical consequence. 

Of simple Terms, then, (which are what the first 
part of Logic treats of) there are many divisions;* of 
which, however, one will be sufficient for the present 
purpose; viz. into singular and common; because, 
though any Term whatever may be a Subject, none but 
a common Term can be affirmatively predicated of 
several others. A singular Term stands for one indivi- 
dual, as " Caesar," " the Thames ;" (these, it is 
plain, cannot be said [or predicated] affirmatively, of 
any thing but themselves.) A common Term stands 
for several individuals : i. e. can be applied to any of 
them, as comprehending them in its single signification ; 
as " man," " river," " great." The notions expressed 
by these common Terms, we are enabled to form, by 
the faculty of abstraction : for by it, in contemplating 
any object (or objects,) we can attend exclusively to 
some particular circumstances belonging to it, [some 
certain parts of its nature as it were] and quite with- 
hold our attention from the rest. When, therefore, 
we are thus contemplating several individuals which 
resemble each other in some part of their nature, we 
can (by attending to that part alone, and not to those 
points in which they differ) assign them one common 
name, which will express or stand for them merely as 
far as they all agree ; and which of course will be 
applicable to all or any of them ; (which process is 
called generalization,) and each of these names is 
called a common Term, from its belonging to them all 
alike ; or a Predicable, because it may be predicated 
affirmatively of them, or of any one of them. 

Generalization (as has been remarked) implies 
abstraction, but it is not the same thing ; for there 
may be abstraction without generalization : when we 
are speaking of an individual, it is usually an abstract 
notion that we form ; e. g. suppose we are speaking 
of the present King of France ; he must actually be 

* The usual divisions of words into univocal, equivocal, and 
analogous, and into words of the first and second intention, 
however, are not, strictly speaking, divisions of worilx, but divi- 
sions of the manner of f mplnying them . the -same word may he 
employed either univocally, equivocally, or analogously ; either 
in the first intention or in the second. 
2 E 2 

Chap. I. 



either at Paris or elsewhere ; sitting, standing, or in 
' some other posture ; and in such and such a dress, &c. 
Yet many of these circumstances, (which are separable 
accidents, (vide 7*) and consequently) which are 
regarded as non-essential to the individual, are quite 
disregarded by us ; and we abstract from them what 
we consider as essential ; thus forming an abstract 
notion of the individual. Yet there is here no 

4. Whatever Term can be affirmed of several 
things, must express either their whole essence, which 
is called the Species > or a part of their essence, (viz. 
either the material part, which is called the Genus, or 
the formal and distinguishing part, which is called 
Differentia,) or in common discourse, characteristic, or 
something joined to the essence, whether necessarily, 
which is called a property, or contingently, which is 
an accident. 

Every Predicable expresses either 

The whole essence 
of its subject : 
viz. : Species 

or part of its 


Genus Difference 

or something 

joined to its 





f~ . 


but not 

but not 

and pe- 

culiar r i 
inseparable separable. 

It is evident from what has been said, that the Genus 
and Difference put together make up the Species : 
e. g. "rational" and "animal" constitute " man j" 
so that, in reality, the Species contains the Genus 
(i. e. implies it ;) and when the Genus is called a 
whole, and is said to contain the Species, this is only a 
metaphorical expression, signifying that it comprehends 
the Species, in its own more extensive signification : 
e. g. if I predicate of Caesar that he is an animal, I say 
the truth indeed, but not the whole truth ; for he is not 
only an animal, but a man ; so that " man" is a more 
full and complete expression than "animal;" which 
for the same reason is more extensive, as it contains, 
(or rather comprehends) and may be predicated of, 
several other Species, i. e. " beast," " bird," &c. In 
the same manner the name of a Species is a more exten- 
sive, but less full and complete term than that of an 
individual, (viz. a singular term;) since the Species 
may be predicated of each of these. [Note, that 
Genus and Species are commonly said to be predicated 
in quid, (T) (i. e. to answer to the question " what ?" 
as, " what is Caesar ? " Answer, " a man :" " what 
is a man ? " Answer, " an animal.") Difference, in 
" quale quid;" (TTOIOV TI) Property and Accident in 
quale (jrotoi/).] 

5. A Genus, which is also a Species, is called a 
subaltern Genus or Species j as " bird," which is the 
Genus of " pigeon, (i. e. of which " pigeon " is a 
Species) is itself a Species of " animal." A Genus 
which is not considered as a Species of anything, is 
called summum (the highest) Genus ; a Species which 
is not cpnsidered as a Genus of any thing, i. e. is 

regarded as containing under it only individuals, is Cliap. I. 
called injima (the lowest) Species. 

When I say of a magnet, that it is ' ' a kind of iron 
ore," that is called its proximum Genus, because it is 
the closest (or lowest) Genus that can. be predicated 
of it : " mineral " is its more remote Genus. 

When I say that the Differentia of a magnet is its 
" attracting iron," and that its Property is " polarity," 
these are called respectively a specific Difference and 
Property ; because magnet is an injima Species, (i. e. 
only a Species.) 

When I say that the Differentia of iron ore is its 
" containing iron," and its Property " being attracted 
by the magnet," these are called respectively, a generic 
Difference and Projxjrty, because iron ore is a subaltern 
Species or Genus, being both theGenusof magnet, and 
a Species of mineral. 

That is the most strictly called a Property, which 
belongs to the whole of a Species, and to that Species 
alone ; as polarity to the magnet. [And such a pro- 
perty, it is often hard to distinguish from the 
Differentia ; but whatever you consider as the most 
essential to the nature of a Species with respect to the 
matter you are engaged in, you must call the Diffe- 
rentia i as "rationality" to " man " and whatever you 
consider as rather an accompaniment (or result) of that 
Difference, you must call the Property ; as the " use 
of speech" seems to be a result of rationality.] But 
very many Properties which belong to the whole of a 
Species are not peculiar to it ; as, " to breathe air" 
belongs to every man, but not to man alone ; and it 
is, therefore, strictly speaking, not so much a Pro- 
perty of the Species " man," as of the higher, i. e. 
more comprehensive, Species, which is the Genus of 
that, viz. of " land animal." Other Properties, as 
some Logicians call them, are peculiar to a Species, but 
do not belong to the whole of it : e. g. man alone can 
be a poet, but it is not every man that is so. These, 
however, are more commonly and more properly 
reckoned as Accidents. 

For that is most properly called an Accident, which 
may be absent or present, the essence of the (Species 
continuing the same j as, for a man to be " walking," 
or a " native of Paris :" of these two examples, the 
former is what Logicians call a separable Accident, 
because it may be separated from the individual : 
(e.g. he may sit down}) the latter is an inseparable 
Accident, being not separable from the individual, 
(5. e. he who is an individual of Paris can never be 
otherwise ;) " from the individual." I say, becaiise 
every Accident must be separable from the Species, else 
it would be a Property. 

Let it here be observed, that both the general name 
" Predicable," and each of the classes of Predicables, 
(viz. Genus, Species, &c.) are relative ; i.e. we cannot 
say what Predicable any Term is, or whether it is any at 
all, unless it be specified of what it is to be predicated : 
e.g. the Term " red " would be considered a Genus, 
in relation to the Terms " pink," " scarlet," &c. it 
might be regarded as the Differentia, in relation to 
"red rose;" as a property of " blood j" as an 
Accident of "a house, " &c. 

And universally, it is to be steadily kept in mind, 
that no " common Terms" have, as the names of 
individuals have, any real thing existing in nature cor- 
responding to them j (ro$e TI, as Aristotle expresses it, 
though he has been represented as the champion of 

LOG! C. 


the opposite opinion : vide Categ. c. 3.) but is 
merely a name denoting a certain inadequate notion 
which our minds have formed of an, and 
which, consequently, not including any thing wherein 
that individual differs from certain others, is applicable 
equally well to all or any of them : thus " man " 
denotes no real thing (as the sect of the Realists 
maintained,) distinct from each individual, but merely, 
any man, viewed inadequately, i. e. so as to omit and 
abstract from all that is peculiar to each individual ; 
by which means the Term becomes applicable alike to 
any one of several individuals, or (in the plural) to 
several together ; and we arbitrarily fix on the circum- 
stance which we thus choose to abstract and consider 
separately, disregarding all the rest ; so that the same 
individual may thus be referred to any of several 
different Species, and the same Species to several 
Genera, as suits our purpose. Thus it suits 
the farmer's purpose to class his cattle with his 
ploughs, carts, and other possessions, under the 
name of " stock .-" the naturalist, suitably to his pur- 
pose, classes them as " quadrupeds," which Term 
would include wolves, deer, &c., which to the farmer 
would be a most improper classification : the 
commissary, again, would class them with corn, 
cheese, fish, &c. as " provision." That which is 
most essential in one view, being subordinate in 

6'. An individual is so called because it is inca- 
pable of logical Division ; which is a metaphorical 
expression to signify " the distinct (i. e. separate) 
enumeration of several things signified by one common 
name." This operation is directly opposite to genera- 
lization, (which is performed by means of abstfac- 
tion ;) for as in that, you lay aside the difference by 
which several things are distinguished, so as to call 
them all by one common name, so, in Division, you 
add on the differences, so as to enumerate them by 
their several particular names. Thus, " mineral " is 
said to be divided into " stones, metals," &c. ; and 
metals again into " gold, iron," &c. and these are 
called the parts (or members) of the Division. 

The rules for Division are three : 1st. each of the 
parts, or any of them short of all, must contain less 
(i. e. have a narrower signification) than the thing 
divided. 2d. All the parts together must be exactly 
equal to the thing divided ; (therefore we must be 
careful to ascertain that the summum Genus may be 
predicated of every Term placed under it, and of 
nothing else.) 3d. The parts or members must be 
opposed ; i. e. must not be contained in one another : 
e. g. if you were to divide " book " into " poetical, 
historical, folio, quarto, French, Latin," &c. the mem- 
bers would be contained in each other ; for a French 
book may be a quarto, and a quarto, French, &c. 
You must be careful, therefore, to keep in mind the 
principle of Division with which you set out : e. g. whe- 
ther you begin dividing books according to their mat- 
ter, their language, or their size, &c. these being also 
so many cross Divisions. And whenuny thing is capable 
(as in the above instance) of being divided in several 
different ways, we are not to reckon one of these as 
the true, or real, or right one, without specifying 
what the object is which we have in view : for one 
mode of dividing may be the most suitable for one 
purpose, and another, for another j as e. g. one of 
the above modes of dividing books would be the most 

suitable to a bookbinder ; another in a philosophical, 
and the other in a philological view. v 

It must be carefully remembered, that the word 
" Division," as employed in Logic, is, as has been 
observed already, metaphorical ; for to divide, means 
originally and properly to separate the component 
parts of any thing, each of which is of course abso- 
lutely less than the whole : e.g. a tree (i. e. any indi- 
vidual tree) might be divided " physically," as it is 
called, into root, trunk, branches, leaves, &c. Now 
it cannot be said that a root or a leaf is a tree :. 
whereas in a logical Division each of the members is, 
in reality, more than the whole : e. g. if you divide 
tree (i. e. the Genus, tree) into oak, ash, elm, &c. we 
may say of the oak, or of any individual oak, that 
" it is a tree j" for by the very \vord " oak," we 
express not only the general notion of a tree, but 
more, viz. the peculiar characteristic (i. e. difference) 
of that kind of tree. 

It is plain, then, that it is logically only, i. e. in our 
mode of speaking, that a Genus is said to contain (or 
rather, comprehend) its Species ; while metaphysi- 
cally, i. e. in our conceptions, a Species contains, 
i. e. implies, its Genus. 

Care must be taken not to confound a physical Divi- 
sion with a Logical, against which a caution is given 
under R. 1. 

7'. Definition is another metaphorical word, which 
literally signifies, " laying down a boundary ;" and is 
used in Logic to signify an expression which explains 
any term, so as to separate it from every thing else, as 
a boundary separates fields. A nominal Definition 
(such as are those usually found in a dictionary of one's 
own language) explains only the meaning of the term, 
by giving some equivalent expression, which may 
happen to be better known. Thus you might define 
a " Term," that which forms one of the extremes or 
boundaries of a " Proposition j" and a " Predicable," 
that which may be predicated ; " decalogue," " ten 
commandments j" " telescope," an instrument for 
viewing distant objects, &c. A real Definition is one 
which explains and unfolds the nature of the thing ; 
and each of these kinds of Definition is either accidental 
or essential. An essential Definition assigns (or lays 
down) the constituent parts of the essence, (or nature.) 
An accidental Definition (which is commonly called a 
Description) assigns the circumstances belonging to the 
essence, viz. Properties and Accidents, (e. g. causes, 
effects, &c.) thus, " man" may be described as " an 
animal that uses fire to dress his food," &c. [And 
here note, that in describing a Species, you cannot men- 
tion any thing which is strictly an Occident, because if 
it does not belong to the whole of the Species, it can- 
not define it : in describing an individual, on the 
contrary, you enumerate the Accidents, because by 
them it is that one individual differs from another, 
and in this case you add the Species : e. g. " Philip was 
a man of Macedon, who subdued Greece," &c. Indi- 
viduals, it is evident, can be defined in this way 

Lastly, the essential Definition is divided into 
physical (i. e. natural) and Logical or Metaphysical .- 
the physical Definition lays down the real parts of the 
essence which are actually separable ; the logical, lays 
down the ideal parts of it, which cannot be separated 
except in the mind : thus, a plant would be defined 
physically, by enumerating the leaves, stalks, roots, 



&c. of which it is composed : logically, it would be 
defined an organized being, destitute of sensation ; 
the former of these expressions expressing the Genus, 
the latter, the Difference : for a logical Definition must 
always consist of the Genus and Differentia, which are 
the parts of which Logic considers every thing as con- 
sisting, and which evidently are separable in the 
mind alone. Thus "man" is denned " a rational 
animal," &c. ^So also a " Proposition " might be 
defined, physically, a Subject and Predicate combined 
by a Copula : the parts here enumerated being actually 
separable ; but logically it would be defined " a sen- 
tence which affirms or denies ;" and these two parts 
of the essence of a Proposition (which are the Genus 
and Differentia of it) can be separated in the mind 
only. And note, that the difference is not always 
one quality, but is frequently compounded of several 
together, no one of which would alone suffice. 

Definitions are divided into nominal and real, 
according to the object accomplished by them ; whether 
to explain, merely, the meaning of the word, or the 
nature of the thing : they were divided into accidental, 
physical, and logical, according to the means employed 
by each for accomplishing their respective objects, 
whether it be the enumeration of attributes, or of the 
physical or the metaphysical parts of the essence. 
These, therefore, are evidently two cross divisions. 
In this place we are concerned with nominal Definitions 
only, (except, indeed, of logical Terms,) because all 
that is requisite for the purposes of Reasoning (which 
is the proper province of Logic,) is, that a Term shall 

not be used in different senses : a real Definition of any Chnp'I. 
thing belongs to the science or system which is em- 
ployed about that thing. It is to be noted, that in C!iP- II. 
Mathematics the nominal and real Definition exactly ^~v~" 
coincide ; the meaning of the word, and the nature of 
the thing, being exactly the same. This holds good also 
with respect to logical Terms, most legal, and many 
ethical terms. 

It is scarcely credible how much confusion has 
arisen from the ignorance of these distinctions which 
has prevailed among logical writers. 

The principal rules for Definition are three ; viz. 
1st. The Definition must be adequate; i.e. neither too 
extensive nor too narrow for the thing defined : 
e.g. to define " fish," " an animal that -lives in the 
water," would be too extensive, because many insects, 
&c. live in the water ; to define it, " an animal that 
has an air-bladder," would be too narrow , because 
many fish are without any. 

2d. The Definition must be in itself plainer than the 
thing defined, else it would not explain it ; I say, " in 
itself," (i. e. generally) because, to some particular 
person, the term defined may happen to be even more 
familiar and better understood, than the terms of the 

3d. It must be couched in a convenient number of 
appropriate words, (if such can be found suitable for 
the purpose :) for figurative words (which are opposed 
to appropriate) are apt to produce ambiguity or indis- 
tinctness : too great brevity may occasion obscurity ; 
and too great prolixity, confusion. 



1. THE second part of Logic treats of the Proposi- 
tion; which is, " Judgment expressed in words." 

A. proposition is defined logically " a sentence indica- 
tive," i. e. affirming or denying ; (this excludes com- 
mands and questions.) " Sentence" being the Genus, 
and" indicative" the Difference, this definition expresses 
the whole essence ; and it relates entirely to the words 
of a Proposition. With regard to the matter, its Pro- 
perty is to be true or false, and therefore it must not 
be ambiguous, (for that which has more than one 
meaning, is in reality several Propositions ;) nor imper- 
- f ect, nor ungrammatical, for such an expression has no 
tneaning at all. 

Since the Substance (i. e. Genus, or material part) of 
a Proposition is, that it is a sentence; and since every 
sentence (whether it be a -Proposition or not) may be 
expressed either absolutely, (as " Caesar deserved 
death;" "did Caesar deserve death?") or under an 
hypotliesis, (as, " if Caesar was a tyrant, what did he 
deserve?" "Was Caesar a hero or a villain?" "If 
Caesar was a tyrant, he deserved death 5" " he was 
either a hero or a villain,") on this we found the 
division of Propositions according to their substance; 
viz. into categorical and hypothetical. And as Genus 
is said to be predicated in quid (what,) it is by the 
members of this division that we answer the question, 
what is this Proposition ? (qua; est propositio.J Answer, 
categorical or hypothetical. 

Categorical Propositions are subdivided into pure, 
which asserts simply or purely, that the Subject does 
or does notagree with the predicate, and modal, which 
expresses in what mode (or manner) it agrees ; e. g. 
"an intemperate man will be sickly ;'' "Brutus killed 
Caesar;" are pure. "An intemperate man will pro- 
bably be sickly;" " Brutus killed Caesar justly ;" are 
modal At present we speak only of pure categorical 

It being the Differentia of a Proposition, that it affirms 
or denies, and its Property to be true or false ; and Dif- 
ferentia being predicated in quale quid ; Property in 
quale, we hence form another division of Propositions, 
viz. according to their quality, into affirmative, and 
negat'we, (which is the quality of the expression, and 
therefore (in Logic) essential -j) and into true and false, 
(which is the quality of the matter, and therefore acci- 
dental.) An affirmative Proposition is one whose Copula 
is affirmative, as " birds fly ;" " not to advance is to 
go back ;" a negative proposition is one whose Copula 
is negative, as "man is not perfect 5" no "miser is 

Another division of Propositions is according to 
their quantity, (or extent;) if the Predicate is said of 
the whole of the Subject, the Proposition is universal ; if 
of a part of it only, the Proposition is particular, (or 
partial ;) e.g. " England is an island ;" " all tyrants are 
miserable;" " no miser is rich;" are universal Propo- 



Lo^ic. sitions, and their Subjects are therefore said to be 
\T~~* distributed, being understood to stand, each, for the 
whole of its significates : but, "some islands are fertile ;" 
"all tyrants "are not assassinated ;" are particular, and 
their Subjects, consequently not distributed, being taken 
to stand for a part only of their significates. 

As every Proposition must be either affirmative or 
negative, and must also be either universal or parti- 
cular, we reckon in all, four kinds of pure categorical 
Propositions, (i. e. considered as to their quantity and 
quality both ;) viz. universal affirmative, whose symbol 
(used for brevity,) is A ; universal negative, E; par- 
ticular affirmative, I; particular negative, O. 

2. When the subject of a Proposition is a common 
Term, the universal signs (" all, no, every,") are used 
to indicate that it is distributed, (and the Proposition 
consequently is universal 5) the particular signs, 
(" some, &c.") the contrary ; should there be no sign 
at all to the common Term, the quantity of the Pro- 
position (which is called an indefinite Proposition) is 
ascertained by the matter ; i. e. the nature of the 
connection betvteen the extremes ; which is either 
necessary, impossible, or contingent. In necessary 
and in impossible matter, an indefinite is understood 
as a universal: e.g. "birds have wings;" i. e. all : 
" birds are not quadrupeds ;" i. e. none : in contingent 
matter, (i. e. where the terms partly (i. e. sometimes) 
agree, and partly not,) an indefinite is imderstood as a 
particular; e.g. "food is necessary to life;" "birds 
sing;" i.e. some do 5 "birds are not carnivorous;" 
i. e. " some are not," or, " all are not." 

As for singular Propositions, (viz. those whose Sub- 
ject is either a proper name, or a common Term with a 
singular sign,) they are reckoned as universals, (see 
ch. iv. 2.) because in them we speak of the whole of 
the subject; e.g. when we say, " Brutus was a 
Roman," we mean, the whole of Brutus : this is the 
general rule ; but some singular Propositions may 
fairly be reckoned particular ; i.e. when some qualify- 
ing word is inserted, which indicates that you are not 
speaking of the whole of the subject ; e. g. " Caesar 
was not wholly a tyrant;" "this man is occasionally 
intemperate ;" " non omnis moriar." It is evident 
that the Subject is distributed in every universal Propo- 
sition, and never in a particular ; (that being the very 
difference between universal and particular Proposi- 
tions ;) but the distribution or non-distribution of the 
Predicate, depends (not on the quantity, but) on the 
quality, of the Proposition ; for, if any part of the Pre- 
dicate agrees with the Subject, it must be affirmed and 
not denied of the Subject ; therefore, for an affirmative 
Proposition to be true, it is sufficient that some part of 
the Predicate agree with the Subject ; and (for the 
same reason) for a negative to be true, it is necessary 
that the whole of the Predicate should disagree with 
the Subject : e.g. it is true that " learning is useful," 
though the whole of the Term "useful" does not 
agree with the Term "learning," (for many things are 
useful besides learning,) but " no vice is useful," 
would be false, if any part of the Term " useful" agreed 
with the Term " vice ;" (i. e. if you could find any one 
useful thing which was a vice.) The two practical 
rules then to be observed respecting distribution, are, 

1st. All universal Propositions (and no particular) 
distribute the Subject. 

2d. All negative, (and no affirmative) the Predi- 

It may happen indeed, that the whole of the Predi- Chap. II 
cate in an affirmative may agree with the Subject; ^~ -v~" " 
e. g. it is equally true, that <e all men are rational 
animals;" and " all rational animals are men :" but 
this is merely accidental, and is not at all implied in the 
form of expression, which alone is regarded in Logic. 

Of Opposition. 

3. Two Propositions are said to be opposed to 
each other, when having the same Subject and Predi- 
cate ; they differ in quantity, or quality, or both. It 
is evident, that with any given Subject and Predicate, 
you may state four distinct Propositions, viz. A, E, I, 
and O ; and any two of these are said to be opposed ; 
hence there are four different kinds of opposition, viz. 
1st. the two universals (A and E) are called contraries 
to each other ; 3d. the two particular, (I and O,) 
subcontraries ; 3d. A and I, or E and O, subalterns ; 
4th. A and O, or E and I, contradictories. As it is 
evident that the truth or falsity of any Proposition (its 
quantity and quality being known,) must depend on 
the matter of it, we must bear in mind that, " in neces- 
sary matter all affirmatives are true and negatives false ; 
in impossible matter, vice versd ; in contingent matter, all 
universals false, and particulars true;" (e. g. " all 
islands, (or, some islands,) are surrounded by water," 
must be true, because the matter is necessary . to say, 
" no islands, or some not, &c." would have been 
false ; again, " some islands are fertile ; " some are not 
fertile," are both true, because it is contingent matter: 
put "all' ' or " no" instead of "some,' ' and the propositions 
will be false.) Hence it will be evident, that contraries 
will be both false in contingent matter, but never both 
true: subcontraries, both true in contingent matter, 
but never both false : contradictories, always one true 
and the other false, &c. with other observations, which 
will be immediately made on viewing the scheme ? in 
which the four Propositions are denoted by their 
symbols ; the different kinds of matter, br the initials 
n, i, c, and the truth or falsity of each Proposition in 
each matter, by the letter v. for (verum) true, f. for 
(falsum) false. 

By a careful study of this scheme, bearing in mind, 
and applying the above rule concerning mutter, 
the learner will easily elicit all the maxims relating 



to Opposition ; as that, in the subalterns, the truth of 
the particular (which is called the subalternate) follows 
from the truth of the universal (subalternans) and the 
falsity of the universal from the falsity of the particular : 
that subalterns differ in quantity alone ; contraries, and 
also subcontraries in quality alone; contradictories, in 
both : and hence, that if any Proposition is known to 
be true, we infer that its contradictory is false ; if false, 
its contradictory true, &c. 

Of Conversion. 

4. A Proposition is said to be converted when its 
Terms are transposed : when nothing more is done, this 
is called simple Conversion. No Conversion is of any 
use, unless it be illative; i.e. when the truth of the 
converse follows from the truth of the exposita, (or pro- 
position given 5) e. g. 

" No virtuous man is a rebel, therefore 
No rebel is a virtuous man." 
" Some boasters are cowards, therefore 
Some cowards are boasters." 

Conversion can then only be illative when no Term is 
distributed in the converse, which was not distributed in 
the exposita : (for if that be done, you will employ a 
Term universally in the converse, which was only used 
partially in the exposita.) Hence, as E distributes both 
Terms, and I neither, these Propositions may be illa- 
tively converted in the simple manner ; (vid. Rule 2.) 
But as A does not distribute the Predicate, its simple 
Conversion would not be illative; (e.g. from " all 
birds are animals," you cannot infer that "all animals 
are birds,") as there would be a Term distributed in 
the converse, which was not before. We must there- 
fore limit its quantity from universal to particular, and 
the Conversion will be illative : (e.g. " some animals 
are birds ;") this might be fairly named Conversion by 
limitation ; but is commonly called " Conversion per 
accidens." E may thus be converted also. But in 
O, whether the quantity be changed or not, there will a Term (the Predicate of the converse) distri- 
buted, which was not before : you can therefore only 
convert it by changing the quality 3 i. e. considering 

Chap. III. 

the negative as attached to the Predicate itistead of to the Chap. II. 
Copula, and thus regarding it as I. One of the Terms 
will then not be the same as before j but the Proposi- 
tion will be equipollent ; ^i. e. convey the same mean- 
ing,) e. g. " some members of the University are not 
learned :" you may consider " not learned" as the Pre- 
dicate, instead of " learned;' the Proposition will then 
be I, and of course may be simply converted, " some 
who are not learned are members of the University." 
This may be named Conversion by negation ; or as it 
is commonly called, by contra-position. A may also 
be fairly converted in this way, e. g. 

" Every poet is a man of genius ; therefore 
He who is not a man of genius, is not a poet :" 
(or, " None but a man of genius can be a poet.") 

For (since it is the same thing, to affirm some Attri- 
bute of the Subject, or to deny the absence of that Attri- 
bute,) the original Proposition is precisely equipollent 
to this, 



" No poet is not a man of genius j" 

which, being E, may of course be simply converted. 
Thus, in one of these three ways, every Proposition 
may be illatively converted : viz. " E, I, simply , A, 
O, by negation ; A, E, limitation." Note, that as it 
was remarked, that in some affirmatives, the whole of 
the Predicate does actually agree with the Subject; 
so, when this is the case, A may be illatively converted, 
simply ; but this is an accidental circumstance. In a 
just definition, this is always the case ; for there the 
Terms being exactly equivalent, (or, as they are called, 
convertible Terms) it is no matter which is made the 
Subject, and which the Predicate, e. g. " a good 
government is that which has the happiness of the 
governed for its object ;" if this be a right definition, it 
will follow that " a government which has the happi- 
ness of the governed for its object, is a good one." 
Most Propositions in Mathematics are of this descrip- 
tion : e. g. 

" All equilateral triangles are equiangular ;" and 
" All equiangular triangles are equilateral." 



1 . THE third operation of the mind, viz. Reason- 
in* (or discourse) expressed in words, is Argument ; 
and an Argument stated at full length, and in its regu- 
lar form is called a Syllogism : the third part of Logic 
therefore treats of the Syllogism. Every Argument 
consists of two parts ; that which is to be proved ; and 
that by means of which it is proved : the former is called 
before it is proved the Question ; when proved, the Con- 
clusion, (or inference ;) that which is used 10 prove it, 
if stated last, (as is often done in common discourse,) is 
called the Reason, and is introduced by " because," or 
some other casual conjunction ; (e. g. " Caesar 
deserved death, because he was a tyrant, and all 
tyrants deserve death.") If the Conclusion be stated 

last, (which is the strict logical form, to which all 
Reasoning may be reduced,) then that which is 
employed to prove it is called the Premises ; and the 
Conclusion is then introduced by some illative con- 
junction, as " therefore" e. g. 

" All tyrants deserve death ; 
Caesar was a tyrant ; 
therefore he deserved death." 

Since then an Argument is an expression in which 
"from something laid down and granted as true, (i. e. 
the Premises) something else, (i. e. the Conclusion) beyond 
this, must be admitted to be true, as following necessarily, 
(or resulting) from the other j" and since Logic is 



Logic, wholly concerned in the use of language, it follows 
that a Syllogism (which is an Argument stated in a 
regular logical form,) must be " an Argument so 
expressed, that the conclusiveness of it is manifest 
from the mere force of the expression," i. e. without con- 
sidering the meaning of the Terms: e. g. in this syllo- 
gism, "B is A, C is B, therefore C is A :" the Con- 
clusion is inevitable, whatever Terms A, B, and C, 
respectively, are understood to stand for. And to 
this foim, all legitimate Arguments may ultimately be 

2. The rule or axiom, (commonly called " dictum 
ue omni et nullo,") by which Aristotle proves the 
validity of this Argument is this : " whatever is pre- 
dicated of a Term distributed, whether affirmatively or 
negatively, may be predicated in like manner, of every 
thing contained under it." Thus, in the examples above, 
A is predicated of B distributed, and C is contained 
under B, (i.e. is its Subject j) therefore A is pre- 
dicated of C : so "all tyrants, &c." (p. 208.) This 
rule may be ultimately applied to all Arguments ; (and 
their validity ultimately rests on their conformity 
thereto 5) but it cannot be directly and immediately 
applied to all, even of pure categorical Syllogisms ; 
for the sake of brevity therefore some other axioms 
are commonly applied in practice, to avoid the occa- 
sional tediousness of reducing all Syllogisms to that 
form in which Aristotle's dictum is applicable. 

We will speak first of pure categorical Syllogisms ; 
and the axioms or canons by which their validity is to 
be proved : viz. first, if two Terms agree with one and the 
same third, they agree with each other : second, if one 
Term agrees and another disagrees with one and the same 
third, these two disagree with ecch other. On the former of 
these canons rests the validity of affirmative conclu- 
sions ; on the latter, of negative : for no Syllogism can 
be faulty which does not violate these canons ; none 
correct which does : hence on these two canons are 
built the rules or cautions which are to be observed 
with respect to Syllogisms, for the purpose of ascer- 
taining whether those canons have been strictly 
observed or not. 

1st. Every Syllogism has three, and only three Terms; 
viz. the two Terms (or extremes, as they are commonly 
called) of the Conclusion, (or question ;) (whereof first, 
the Subject is called the minor Term; second, the Predi- 
cate, the major;) and third, the middle Term, with which 
each of them is separately compared, in order to judge 
of their agreement or disagreement with each other. 
If therefore there were two middle Terms, the extremes, 
(or Terms of the Conclusion) not being both compared to 
the same, could not be compared to each other. 

2d. Every syllogism has three, and only three Pro- 
positions ; viz. first, the major Premiss, (hi which the 
major Term is compared with the middle;) second, the 
minor Premiss, (in which the minor Term is compared 
with the middle;) and third, the Conclusion, in which, 
the minor Term is compared with the major. 

3d. Note, that if the middle Term is ambiguous, there 
are in reality two middle Terms, in sense, though but one 
in sound. An ambiguous middle Term is either an 
equivocal Term, used in different senses in the two 
Premises ; (e.g. 

" Light is contrary to darkness ; 
Feathers are light ; therefore 
Feathers are contrary to darkness.") 

VOL. I. 

Or a Term not distributed; for as it is then used to Chap. III. 
stand for apart only of its signification, it may happen s . -. -^> 
that one of the extremes may have been compared 
with one part of it, and the other, with another part 
of it ; e. g. 

" White is a colour, 

Black is a colour 5 therefore 

Black is white." Again, 

" Some animals are beasts, 

Some animals are birds j therefore 

Some birds are beasts." 

The middle Term therefore must be distributed once, at 
least, in the Premises ; (i. e. by being the Subject of 
an universal, or Predicate of a negative, Ch. II. 2. 
p. 207.) and once is sufficient ; since if one extreme 
has been compared to apart of the middle Term, and 
another to the whole of it, they must have been both 
compared to the same. 

4th. No Term must be distributed in the Conclusion which 
was not distributed in one of the Premises; for that (it 
is called an illicit process, either of the major or the 
minor Term) would be to employ the whole of a Term 
in the Conclusion, when you had employed only a 
part of it in the Premiss 5 and thus, in reality, to 
introduce a fourth Term 5 e. g. 

" All quadrupeds are animals, 

A bird is not a quadruped ; therefore 

It is not an animal." Illicit process of the major. 

5th. From negative Premises you can infer nothing. For 
in them the middle is pronounced to disagree with 
both extremes; not to agree with both; or to agree with 
one, and disagree with the other ; therefore they cannot 
be compared together ; e. g. 

" A fish is not a quadruped," 

" A bird is not a quadruped," proves nothing. 

6th. If one Premiss be negative, the conclusion must be 
negative; for in that Premiss the middle Term is pro- 
nounced to disagree with one of the extremes, and in 
the other Premiss, (which of course is affirmative, by 
the preceding rule) to agree with the other extreme 5 
therefore the extremes disagreeing with each other, 
the conclusion is negative. In the same manner it 
may be shewn, that to prove a negative conclusion one of 
the Premises must be a negative. 

By these six rules, all Syllogisms are to be tried ; 
and from them it will be evident ; first, that nothing can 
be proved from two particular Premises; (for you will 
then have either the middle Term undistributed, or an 
illicit process ; e. g. 

" Some animals are sagacious j 
Some beasts are not sagacious ; 
Some beasts are not animals.") 

And for the same reason secondly, that if one of the 
Premises be particular, the Conclusion must be par- 
ticular j e. g. from 

<f All who fight bravely deserve reward ; 
Some soldiers fight bravely ;" you can only infer 
that some soldiers deserve reward. 

For to infer a universal Conclusion, would be an 
illicit process of the minor. But from two universal 
2 F 


L O G I C. 

Premises you cannot always infer a universal Con- 
clusion ; e. g. 

" All gold is precious, 

All gold is a mineral j therefore 

Some mineral is precious." 

And even when we can infer a universal, we are 
always at liberty to infer a particular ; since what is 
predicated of all may of course be predicated of some. 

Of Moods. 

3. When we designate the three Propositions of a 
Syllogism in their order, according to their respective 
quantity and quality, (i. e. their symbols') we are said to 
determine the Mood of the Syllogism ; e. g. the 
example just above, " all gold, &c." is in the Mood 
A, A, I. As there are four kinds of Propositions, and 
three Propositions in each Syllogism, all the possible 
ways of combining these four, ( A, E, I, O,) by threes, are 
sixty-four. For any one of these four may be the major 
Premiss ; each of these four majors may have four dif- 
ferent minors, and of these sixteen pairs of Premises, 
each may have four different Conclusions. 4x4 
( = 16) x 4 = 64. This is a mere arithmetical calcu- 
lation of the Moods, without any regard to the Logical 
rules : for many of these Moods are inadmissible in 
practice, from violating some of those rules j e. g. 
the Mood E, E, E, must be rejected, as having nega- 
tive Premises; I, O, O, for particular Premises; and 
many others for the same faults. By examination then 
of all, it will be found that of the sixty-four, there 
remain but twelve Moods, which can be used in a 
legitimate Syllogism, viz. A, A, A, A, A, I, A, E, E, 
A, E, O, A, I, I, A, O, O, E, A, E, E, A, O, E, I, O, 
I,A,I, I,E, O, 0,A, O. 

Of Figure. 

4. The Figure of a Syllogism consists in the situa- 
tion of the middle Term with respect to the extremes 
of the conclusion, (i. e. the major and minor term.) 
When the middle Term is made the subject of the major 
Premiss, and the Predicate of the minor, that is called the 
first Figure ; (which is far the most natural and clear 
of all, as to this alone, Aristotle's dictum may be at 
once applied.) In the second Figure the middle Term 
is the Predicate of both Premises: in the third, the 
Subject of both : in the fourth, the Predicate of the 
major Premiss, and the Subject of the minor. (This 
is the most awkward and unnatural of all, being the 
very reverse of the first.) Note, that the proper order 
is to place the major Premiss f.rst, and the minor 
second; but this does not constitute the major and 
minor Premises ; for that Premiss (wherever placed) 
is the major which contains the major Term, and the 
minor, the minor, (v. R. 2. p. 209.) Each of the 
allowable Moods mentioned above, will not be allow- 
able in every Figure ; since it may violate some of the 
foregoing rules, in one Figure, though not in another : 
e. g, I, A, I, is an allowable Mood in the third Figure ; 
but in the first, it wou^d have an undistributed middle. So 
A, E, E, would in the first Figure have an illicit process 
of the major, but is allowable in the second j and 
A, A, A, which in the first Figure is allowable, would 
in the third have an illicit process of the minor: all 
which may be ascertained by trying the different 
Moods in each Figure, as per scheme. 

Let A represent the major Term, C the minor, B the Chap. III. 

1st Fig. 

B, A, 

C, B, 
C, A, 

2d Fig. 
A, B, 
C, B, 
C, A, 

3d Fig. 
B, A, 

B, C, 

C, A, 

4th Fig. 

A, B, 

B, C, 

C, A. 

The Terms alone being here stated, the quantity and 
quality of each Proposition (and consequently the 
Mood of the whole Syllogism) is left to be filled up : 
(1. e. between B, and A, I may place either a negative 
or affirmative Copula; and I may prefix either a universal 
or particular sign to B.) By applying the Moods then 
to each Figure, it will be found that each Figure Avill 
admit six Moods only, as not violating the rules 
against undistributed middle, and against illicit process : 
arid of the Moods so admitted, several (though valid) 
are useless, as having a particular Conclusion, \vhen 
a universal might have been drawn; e. g. A, A, I, in 
the first Figure, 

" All human creatures are entitled to liberty ; 
All slaves are human creatures ; therefore 
Some slaves are entitled to liberty." 

Of the twenty-four Moods then (six in each Figure) 
five are for this reason neglected : for the remaining 
nineteen, Logicians have devised names to distinguish 
both the Mood itself, and the Figure in which it is 
found ; since when one Mood (i. e. one in itself, with- 
out regard to Figure) occurs in two different Figures, 
(as E, A, E, in the first and second) the mere letters 
denoting the Mood would not inform us concerning 
the Figure. In these names then, the three vowels 
denote the Propositions of which the Syllogism is 
composed ; the consonants (besides their other uses, 
of which hereafter) serve to keep in mind the Figure 
of the Syllogism. 

Fig. 1. bArbArA, cElArEnt, dArll, fErlOque 

Fig. 2. cEsArE, cAmEstrEs, fEstlnO, bArOkO, 


r tertia, dArAptl, dlsAmls, dAtlsI, f ElAptOn, 
Fig. 3.J bOkArdO, fErlsO, habet: quarta insuper 


Fig. 4. brAmAntlp, cAmEnEs, dlmArls, fElApo, 

By a careful study of these mnemonic lines (which 
must be committed to memory) you will perceive 
that A can only be proved in the first Figure, in which 
also every other Proposition may be proved ; that the 
second proves only negatives; the third only particulars, 
&c. ; with many other such observations, which will 
readily be made, (on trial of several Syllogisms, in 
different Moods) and the reasons for which will be 
found in the foregoing rules. E. G. to shew why the 
second Figure has only negative Conclusions, we have 
only to consider, that in it the middle Term being the 
Predicate in both Premises, would not be distritmted 
unless one Premiss were negative; (v. R. 2. p. 2O5.) 
therefore the conclusion must be negative also, by 
R. 6. p. 209. One Mood in each Figure may suffice in 
this place by way of example ; first, Barbara, viz. (bAr.) 

Every B is A ; (bA) every C is B ; therefore (rA) 
every C is A, e. g. let the major Term (which is 
represented by A) be *' one who possesses all virtue 3" 



the minor term (C) " every man who possesses one 
virtue ;" and the middle term (B) "every one who 
possesses prudence ;" and you will have the cele- 
brated argument of Aristotle, Eth. sixth book, to 
prove that the virtues are inseparable ; viz. 

" He who possesses prudence, possesses all virtue ; 
He who possesses one virtue, must possess pru- 
dence ; therefore 
He who possesses one, possesses all." 

Second, Camestres, (cAm) every A is B ; (Es) no C 
is B j (trES) no C is A. Let the major term (A) be 
" true philosophers," the minor (C) " the Epicu- 
reans ;" the middle (B) " reckoning virtue a good in 
itself,-" and this will be part of the reasoning of 
Cicero, Off. book first and third, against the Epicu- 
reans. Third, Darapti, viz. (dA) every B is A; 
(rAp) every B is C ; therefore (tl.) Some C is A. e. g. 

" Prudence has for its object the benefit of indivi- 
duals ; 

But prudence is a virtue ; therefore 

Some virtue has for its object the benefit of the 
individual," is part of Adam Smith's reasoning, 
(Moral Sentiments,) against Hutcheson and others, 
who placed all virtue in benevolence. Fourth, Camenes, 
viz. (cAni) every A is B ; (En,) no B is C j there- 
fore (Es,) no C is A, e. g. 

" Whatever is expedient, is conformable to nature; 
Whatever is conformable to nature, is not hurtful 

to society ; therefore 
What is hurtful to society is never expedient," 

is part of Cicero's argument in Off. third book : but 
it is an inverted and clumsy way of stating what 
would much more naturally fall into the first Figure ; 
for if you examine the propositions of a Syllogism in 
the fourth Figure, beginning at the Conclusion, you will 
see that as the major Term is predicated of the minor, 
so is the minor of the middle, and that again of the 
major : so that the major appears to be merely pre- 
dicated of itself . Hence the five Moods in this Figure 
are seldom or never used ; some one of the fourteen 
(Moods with names) in the first three Figures, being the 
forms into which all Arguments may most readily be 
thrown ; but of these, the four in the first Figure are 
the clearest and most natural ; as to them, Aristotle's 
dictum will immediately apply. And as it is on this 
dictum that all Reasoning ultimately depends, so all 
Arguments may be somehow or other brought into 
some one of these four Moods ; and a Syllogism is, in 
that case, said to be reduced : (i. e. to the first Figure.) 
These four are called the perfect Moods, and all the 
rest, imperfect. 

Ostensive Reduction. 

5. In reducing a Syllogism, we are not of course 
allowed to introduce any new Term or Proposition, 
having nothing granted but the truth of the Pre- 
mises ; but these Premises are allowed to be illa- 
tively converted, (because the truth of any Proposition 
implies that of its illative converse) or transposed: by 
taking advantage of this liberty, where there is need, 
we deduce in Figure one, from the Premises origin- 
ally given, either the very same Conclusion as the original 
one, or another from which the original Conclusion 
follows, by illative Conversion; e. g. Darapti. 

" All wits are dreaded ; Chap. III. 

All wits are admired ; ^"V^ 

Some who are admired are dreaded." 

Into Darii, by converting by limitation (per accidens) 
the minor Premiss. 

" All wits are dreaded ; 

Some who are admired are wits ; therefore 

Some who are admired are dreaded." 


" All true philosophers account virtue a good in 


The advocates of pleasure do not account, &c. 
Therefore they are not true philosophers." 

Reduced to Celarent, by simply converting the minor, 
and then transposing the Premises. 

" Those who account virtue a good in itself, are 

not advocates of pleasure ; 

All true philosophers account virtue, &c.; therefore 
No true philosophers are advocates of pleasure." 

' This Conclusion may be illatively converted into the 
original one. 
Baroko, e. g. 

" Every true patriot is a friend to religion ; 
Some great statesmen are not friends to religion ; 
Some great statesmen are not true patriots." 

To Ferio, by converting the major by negation (con- 
traposition) vide Ch. II. 4. 

" He who is not a friend to religion, is not a true 
patriot ; 

Some great statesmen, &c." 

and the rest of the Syllogism remains the same ; 
only that the minor Premiss must be considered as 
affirmative, because you take " not a friend to reli- 
gion" as the middle Term. In the same manner 
Bokardo to Darii; e. g. 

" Some slaves are not discontented ; 

All slaves are wronged ; therefore 

Some who are wronged are not discontented." 

Convert the major by negation (contraposition) 
and then transpose them ; the Conclusion will be the 
converse by negation of the original one, which therefore 
may be inferred from it ; e.g. 

" All slaves are wronged ; 

Some who are not discontented are slaves j 

Some who are not discontented are wronged." 

In these ways (which are called Ostensive Reduction, 
because you prove in the first Figure, either the very 
same conclusion as before, or one which implies it) all 
the imperfect Moods may be reduced to the four per- 
fect ones. But there is also another way, called 
reductio ad impossibile, 

6. By which we prove (in the first Figure) not 
directly that the original Conclusion is true, but that 
it cannot be false; i. e. that an absurdity would follow 
from the supposition of its being false ; e. g. 

" All true patriots are friends to religion ; 

Some great statesmen are not friends to religion j 

Some great statesmen are not true patriots. 

If this conclusion be not true, its contradictory must 
be true ; viz. 

2 r2 



" All great statesmen are true patriots." 

Let this then be assumed, in the place of the minor 
Premiss of the original Syllogism, and a false con- 
clusion will be proved ; e. g. bAr. 

" All true patriots are friends to religion ; 
bA, All great statesmen are true patriots ; 
rA, All great statesmen are friends to religion ." 

for as this Conclusion is the contradictory of the 
original minor Premiss, it must be false, since the 
Premises are always supposed to be granted ; there- 
fore one of the Premises (by which it has been cor- 
rectly proved) must be false also; but the major Pre- 
miss (being one of those originally granted) is true; 
therefore the falsity must be in the minor Premiss; 
which is the contradictory of the original Conclusion ; 
therefore the original Conclusion must be true. This 
is the indirect mode of Reasoning. 

7. This kind of Reduction is seldom employed but 
for Baroko and Bokardo, which -are thus reduced by 
those who confine themselves to simple Conversion, 
and Conversion by limitation, (per acridens;) and they 

framed the names of their Moods with a view to Chap. III. 
point out the manner in which each is to be reduced ; 
viz. B, C, D, F, which are the initial letters of all the \^*'_/ 
Moods, indicate to which Mood of the first Figure, """*""* 
(Barbara, Celarent, Darii, and Ferio,) each of the 
others is to be reduced : m, indicates that the Pre- 
mises are to be transposed ; s, and p, that the Propo- 
sition denoted by the vowel immediately preceding, 
is to be converted ; s, simply, p, per accidens, (by 
limitation :) thus, in Camestres, (see example, p. 211,) 
the C, indicates that it must be reduced to Celarent; 
the two ss, that the minor Premiss and Conclusion 
must be converted simphj ; the m, that the Premises 
must be transposed. K, (which indicates the reduction 
ad impossible) is a sign that the Proposition denoted 
by the vowel immediately before it, must be left out, 
and the contradictory of the Conclusion substituted j 
viz. for the minor premiss in Baroko, and the major in 
Bokardo. But it has been already shewn, that the 
Conversion by contraposition, (by negation,) will 
enable us to reduce these two Moods, ostensively. 



Of Modals. 

1. HITHERTO we have treated of pure categorical 
Propositions, and the Syllogisms composed of such : a 
Modal Proposition may be stated as a pure one, by attach- 
ing the Mode to one of the Terms: and the Proposition 
will in all respects fall under the foregoing rules ; e. g. 
" John killed Thomas wilfully and maliciously ;" here 
the Mode is to be regarded as part of the Predicate. 
" It is probable that all knowledge is useful j" " pro- 
bably useful " is here the Predicate ; but when the 
Mode is only used to express the necessary, contingent, 
or impossible connection of the Terms, it may as well 
be attached to the Subject : e. g. " man is necessarily 
mortal;" is the same as, " all men are mortal:" and 
" this man is occasionally intemperate," has the force 
of a particular: (vide Part II. <2. p. 207.) It is 
thus that two singular Propositions may be contradic- 
tories ; e. g. " this man is never intemperate," will be 
the contradictory of the foregoing. Indeed every sign 
(of universality or particularity) may be considered as 
a Mode. Since, however, in all Modal Propositions, 
you assert that the dictum (i.e. the assertion itself ') and 
the mode, agree together, or disagree, so, in some 
ases, this may be the most convenient Way of stating 

subj. cop. pred. 


a Modal, purely, e. g. " It is impossible that all men 


should be virtuous." Such is a proposition of St. 

subj. cop. pred. subject. 

Paul's : " This is a faithful saying, &c. that Jesus 


Christ came into the world to save sinners." In these 
cases, one of your Terms (the Subject) is itself an entire 
Proposition. Thus much for Modal Propositions. 

Of Hypothetical. 

2. A hypothetical Proposition is defined to be, 
two or more categoricals united by a Copula, (or conjunc- 
tion ;) and the different kinds of hypothetical Propo- 
sitions are named from their respective conjunctions j 
viz. conditional, disjunctive, causal, &c. 

When a hypothetical Conclusion is inferred from 
a hypothetical Premiss, so that the force of the 
Reasoning does not turn on the hypothesis, then the 
hypothesis (as in Modals) must be considered as part 
of one of the Terms ; so that the Reasoning will be, in 
effect, categorical : e. g. 


<c Every conqueror is either a hero or a villain 
Caesar was a conqueror ; therefore 


He was either a hero or a villain." 
" Whatever comes from God is entitled to reverence 5 


If the Scriptures are not wholly false, they must 

come from God ; 
If they are not wholly false, they are entitled to 


But when the Reasoning itself rests on the hypothe- 
sis, (in which way a categorical Conclusion may be 
drawn from a hypothetical Premiss,) this is what is 
called a hypothetical Syllogism ; and rules have been 
devised for ascertaining the validity of such Arguments, 
at once, without bringing them into the categorical 
form. (And note, that in these Syllogisms the hypo- 
thetical Premiss is called the major, and the categorical 
one, the minor.) They are of two kinds, conditional 
and disjunctive. 



Of Conditionals. 

3. A Conditional Proposition has in it an illative 
force; i.e. it contains two, and only two categorical 
Propositions, whereof one results from the other, (or, 
follows from it,) e. g. 

" If the Scriptures are not wholly false, 


they are entitled to respect." 

That from which the other results, is called the antece- 
dent; that which results from it, the consequent, (con- 
sequents ;) and the connection between the two, (ex- 
pressed by the word " if") the consequence, (conse- 
quentia.) The natural order is, that the antecedent 
should come before the consequent; but this is fre- 
quently reversed : e. g. " the husbandman is well off 
if he knows his own advantages ;" Virg. Geor. And 
note, that the truth or falsity of a conditional Propo- 
sition depends entirely on the consequence : e. g '' if 
Logic is useless, it deserves to be neglected ;" here 
both antecedent and consequent are false . yet the 
whole proposition is true ; i. e. it it true that the 
consequent follows from the antecedent. " If Crom- 
well was an Englishman, he was an usurper," is just 
the reverse case': for though it is true that " Crom- 
well was an Englishman," and also that " he was an 
usurper," yet it is not true that the latter of these 
Propositions depends on the former ; the whole Propo- 
sition, therefore, is false, though both antecedent and 
consequent are true. A Conditional Proposition, in 
short, may be considered as an assertion of the validity 
of a certain Argument ; since to assert that an Argu- 
ment is valid, is to assert that the Conclusion neces- 
sarily results from the Premises, whether those Pre- 
mises be true or not. The meaning, then, of a 
Conditional Proposition is this ; that, the antecedent 
being granted, the consequent is granted : which may be 
considered in two points of view : first, if the antece- 
dent be true, the consequent must be true ; hence the 
first rule ; the antecedent being granted, the consequent 
may be inferred : secondly, if the antecedent were true, 
the consequent would be true ; hence the second rule ; 
the consequent being denied, the antecedent may be denied ; 
for the antecedent must in that case be false; since if 
it were true, the consequent (which is granted to be 
false) would be true also : e.g. " if this man has a 
fever, he is sick ;" here, if you grant the antecedent, 
the first rule applies, and you infer the truth of the 
consequent ; " he has a fever, therefore he is sick : ** 
if A is B, C is D ; but A is B, therefore C is D, (and 
this is called a constructive Conditional Syllogism ;) 
but if you deny the consequent (i. e. grant its contradic- 
tory,) the second rule applies, and you infer the contra- 
dictory of the antecedent : " he is not sick, therefore he 
has not a fever:" this is the destructive Conditional 
Syllogism : if A is B, C is D ; C is not D, therefore 
A is not B. Again, " if the crops are not bad, corn 
must be cheap :" for a major ; then, " but the crops 
are not bad, therefore corn must be cheap," is con- 
structive. " Corn is not cheap', therefore the crops 
are bad," is destructive. " If every increase of popu- 
lation is desirable, some misery is desirable ; but no 
misery is desirable, therefore, some increase of popu- 
lation is not desirable," is destructive. But if you affirm 

the consequent, or deny the antecedent, you can infer Chap IV. 
nothing ; for the same consequent may follow from V ^ 
other antecedents : e. g. in the example above, a man 
may be sick from other disorders besides a fever ; 
therefore it does not follow from his being sick, that 
he has a fever; nor (for the same reason) from his not 
having a fever, that he is not sick. There are, there- 
fore, two, and only two kinds of Conditional Syllo- 
gisms ; the constructive, founded on the first rule, and 
answering to direct Reasoning ; and the destructive on 
the second, answering to indirect. And note, that a 
conditional Proposition may (like the categorical A,) be 
converltd by negation; i.e. you may take the contradic- 
tory of the consequent, as an antecedent, and the contra- 
dictory of the antecedent, as a consequent : e.g. " if this 
man is not sick, he has not a fever." By this con- 
version of the major Premiss, a constructive Syllogism 
may be reduced to a destructive, and vice versa. (See 
6. Ch. IV. p. 214. ) 

Of Disjunctives. 

4. A disjunctive Proposition may consist of any 
number of categoricals ; and, of these, some one, at least, 
must be true, or the whole Proposition will be false : 
if, therefore, one or more of these categoricals be 
denied, (i. e. granted to be false,) you may infer that 
the remaining one, or (if several) some one of the 
remaining ones is true : e. g. " either the earth is 
eternal, or the work of chance, or the work of an 
intelligent being; it is not eternal, nor the work of 
chance ; therefore it is the work of an intelligent 
being." " It is either spring, summer, autumn, or 
winter ; but it is neither spring nor summer, there- 
fore it is either autumn or winter." Either A is B, 
or C is D : but A is not B, therefore C is D. Note, 
that in these two examples (as well as very many 
others,) it is implied not only that one of the mem- 
bers (the categorical Propositions) must be true, but 
that only one can be true ; so that, in such cases, if one 
or more members be affirmed, the rest may be denied; 
[the members may then be called exclusive .-] e. g. " it 
is summer, therefore it is neither spring, autumn, nor 
winter;" " either A is B, or C is D; but A is B, 
therefore C is not D." But this is by no means uni- 
versally the case ; e. g. " virtue tends to procure us 
either the esteem of mankind or the favour of God :" 
here both members are true, and consequently from 
one being affirmed, we are not authorized to deny the 
other. It is evident that a disjunctive Syllogism may 
easily be reduced to a conditional : e. g. if it is not 
spring or summer, it is either autumn or winter, &c. 

The Dilemma. 

5. Is a complex kind of Conditional Syllogism. 

1st. If you have in the major Premiss several antece- 
dents all with the same consequent, then these antece- 
dents, being (in the minor) disjunctively granted, (i. e. 
it being granted that some one of them is true,) the 
one common consequent may be inferred, (as in the case 
of a simple constructive syllogism:) e.g. if A is B, 
C is D ; and if X is Y, C is D ; but either A is B, or 
X is Y ; therefore C is D. " If the blest in h Haven 
have no desires, they will be perfectly content j so 
they will, if their desires are fully gratified ; but 



Logic, either they will have no desires, or have them fully 
v ^ gratified} therefore they will be perfectly content." 
Note, in this case, the two conditionals which make 
up the major Premiss may be united in one Proposi- 
tion by means of the word " whether :" e. g. " whe- 
ther the blest, &c. have no desires, or have their 
desires gratified, they will be content." 

2d. But if the several antecedents have each a 
different consequent, then the antecedents, being as 
before, disjunctively granted, you can only disjunc- 
tively infer the consequents : e.g. if A is B, C is D ; 
and if X is Y, E is F : but either A is B, or X is Y ; 
therefore either C is D, or E is F. " If ^Eschines 
joined in the public rejoicings, he is inconsistent ; if 
he did not, he is unpatriotic ; but he either joined, or 
not, therefore he is either inconsistent or unpatriotic." 
(Demost. For the Crown) This case, as well as the 
foregoing, is evidently constructive. In the destruc- 
tive . form, whether you have one antecedent with 
several consequents, or several antecedents, either 
with one, or with several consequents ; in all these 
cases, if you deny the whole of the consequent or con- 
sequents, you may in the conclusion, deny the whole 
of the antecedent or antecedents : e. g. " if this fact 
be true, it must be recorded either in Herodotus, Thu- 
cydides, orXenophon : it is not recorded in any of the 
three, therefore it is not true." " If the world existed 
from eternity there would be records prior to the 
Mosaic ; and if it were produced by chance, it would 
not bear marks of design : there are no records prior 
to the Mosaic ; and the world does bear marks of design ; 
therefore it neither existed from eternity, nor is the 
work of chance." These are commonly called Dilem- 
mas, but hardly differ from simple conditional Syllo- 
gisms. Nor is the case different if you have one antece- 
dent with several consequents, which consequents you 
disjunctively deny ; for that comes to the same thing 
as wholly denying them ; since if they be not all true, 
the one antecedent must equally fall to the ground ; 
and the Syllogism will be equally simple : e. g. " if 
we are at peace with France by virtue of the treaty 
of Paris, we must acknowledge the sovereignty of 
Buonaparte ; and also we must acknowledge that of 
Louis : but we cannot do both of these ; therefore we 
are not at peace," &c. ; which is evidently a plain 
destructive. The true dilemma is, " a conditional 
Syllogism with several antecedents in the major, and a 
disjunctive minor ;" hence, 

3d. That is most properly called a destructive Dilemma, 
which has (like the constructive ones) a disjunctive 
minor Premiss ; i. e. when you have several antecedents 
with each a different consequent ; which consequents, 
(instead of wholly denying them, as in the last case,) 
you disjunctively deny ; and thence, in the Conclusion, 
deny disjunctively the antecedents : e. g. if A is B, 
C is D ; and if X is Y, E is F : but either C is not D, 
or E is not F ; therefore, either A is not B, or X is not 
Y. " If this man were wise, he would not speak 
irreverently of Scripture in jest ; and if he were 
good he would not do so in earnest ; but he does it, 
either in jest or in earnest; therefore he is either 
not wise or not good." Every Dilemma may be 
reduced into two or more simple Conditional Syllo- 
gisms : e. g. " if jEschines joined, &c. he is incon- 
sistent ; he did join, &c. therefore he is inconsistent : 
and again, if ^Eschines did not join, &c. he is unpa- 
triotic ; he did not, &c. therefore he is unpatriotic." 

Now an opponent might deny either of the minor Pre- Chap. IV. 
mises in the above Syllogisms, but he could not deny ' 
both ; and therefore he must admit one or the other of 
the Conclusions : for, when a Dilemma is employed, it 
is supposed that some one of the antecedents must he 
true, (or, in the destructive kind, some one of the con- 
sequents false,) but that we cannot tell which of them 
is so ; and this is the reason why the argument is 
stated in the form of a Dilemma. From what has 
been said, it may easily be seen that all Dilemmas are 
in fact conditional syllogisms ; and that disjunctive Svl- 
logisms may also be reduced to the same form : but as 
it has been remarked, that all Reasoning whatever may 
ultimately be brought to the one test of Aristotle's 
" dictum/' it remains to shew how a Conditional Syl- 
logism may be thrown into such a form that that test 
will at once apply to it ; and this is called the 

Reduction of Ht/potheticals. 

6. For this purpose we must consider every 
Conditional Proposition as a universal affirmative 
categorical Proposition, of which the Terms are entire 
Propositions, viz. the antecedent answering to the 
Subject, and the consequent to the Predicate ; e. g. to 
say, "if Louis is a good king, France is likely to 
prosper;" is equivalent to saying, " the case of Louis 
being a good king, is a case of France being likely to 
prosper :" and if it be granted, as a minor Premiss to 
the Conditional Syllogism, that " Louis is a good 
king ;" that is equivalent to saying, " the present 
case is the case of Louis being a good king :" from 
which you will draw a conclusion in Barbara, (viz. 
" the present case is a case of France being likely to 
prosper,") exactly equivalent to the original Conclusion 
of the Conditional Syllogism ; viz. " France is likely 
to prosper." As the constructive condition may thus 
be reduced to Barbara, so may the destructive in like 
manner, to Celarent, e. g. " if the Stoics are rrght, 
pain is no evil: but pain is an evil; therefore/ the 
Stoics are not right :" is equivalent to, " the case of 
the Stoics being right, is the case of pain being no 
evil; the present case is not the case of pain being no 
evil ; therefore the present case is not the case of the 
Stoics being right." This is Camestres, which of 
course is easily reduced to Celarent. Or, if you will, 
all Conditional Syllogisms may be reduced to Barbara, 
by considering them all as constructive ; which may- 
be done, as mentioned above, by converting by nega- 
tion the major Premiss, (see p. 212. 3. Ch. IV.) The 
reduction of Hypothetical may always be effected in 
the manner above stated ; but as it produces a cir- 
cuitous awkwardness of expression, a more convenient 
form may in some cases be substituted : e. g. in the 
example above, it may be convenient to take, " true," 
for one of the Terms : " that pain is no evil is not 
true; that pain is no evil is asserted by the Stoics; 
therefore something asserted by the Stoics is not 
true." Sometimes again it may be better to unfold 
the argument into two Syllogisms : e. g. in a former 
example ; first, " Louis is a good king ; the governor 
of France is Louis; therefore the governor of France 
is a good king." And then, second, " every country 
governed by a good king is likely to prosper," &c. 
[A Dilemma is generally to be reduced into two or 
more categorical Syllogisms.] And when the ante- 
cedent and consequent have each the same Subject, 
you may sometimes reduce the Conditional by merely 



substituting a categorical major Premiss for the con- 
ditional one : e. g. instead of " if Caesar was a tyrant, 
he deserved death ; he was a tyrant, therefore he 
deserved death ;" you may put for a major, " all 
tyrants deserve death," &c. But it is of no great 
consequence, whether Hypotheticals are reduced in the 
most neat and concise manner or not ; since it is not 
intended that they should be reduced to categorical, 
in ordinary practice, as the readiest way of trying their 
validity, (their own rules being quite sufficient for 
that purpose ;) but only that we should be able, if re- 
quired, to subject any argument whatever to the test 
of Aristotle's dictum, in order to shew that all Reason- 
ing turns upon one simple principle. 

Of Enthymeme f Sorites, &;C. 

7. There are various abridged forms of Argument 
which may be easily expanded into regular Syllogisms : 
such as, first, the Enthymeme, which is a Syllogism 
with one Premiss suppressed. As all the Terms will 
be found in the remaining Premiss and Conclusion, it 
will be easy to fill up the Syllogism by supplying the 
Premiss that is wanting, whether major or minor : 
e. g. " Csssar was a tyrant ; therefore he deserved 
death." " A free nation must be happy ; therefore 
the English are happy." 

This is the ordinary form of speaking and writing. 
It is evident that Enthymemes may be filled up 

2d. When you have a string of Syllogisms, in which 
the Conclusion of each is made the Premiss of the 
next, till you arrive at the main and ultimate Conclu- 
sion of all, you may sometimes state these briefly, in 
a form called Sorites ; in which the Predicate of the 
first proposition is made the Subject of the next; and 
so on, to any length, till finally the Predicate of the 
last of the Premises is predicated (in the Conclusion) 
of the Subject of the first : e. g. A is B, B is C, C is D, 
D is E 5 therefore A is E. " The English are a brave 
people ; a brave people are free ; a free people are 
happy ; therefore the English are happy." A Sorites 
then has as many middle Terms as there are interme- 
diate Propositions between the first and the last; and 
consequently it may be drawn out into as many sepa- 
rate Syllogisms ; of which the first will have, for its 
major Premiss, the second ; and for its minor, ihejlrst 
of the Propositions of the Sorites ; as may be seen by 
the example. It is also evident, that in a Sorites you 
cannot have more than one negative Proposition, and 
one particular; for else, one of the Syllogisms would 
have its Premises both negative or both particular, 
(vid. p. 2O9.) A string of Conditional Syllogisms may 
in like manner be abridged into a Sorites ; e. g. if A 
is B, C is D ; if C is D, E is F ; if E is F, G is H ; 
but A is B, therefore G is H. " If the Scriptures are 
the word of God, it is important that they should be 
well explained ; if it is important, &c. they deserve 
to be diligently studied ; if they deserve, &c. an order 
of men should be set aside for that purpose : but 
the Scriptures are the word, &c. ; therefore an order 
of men should be set aside for the purpose, &c." 
Hence, it is evident, how injudicious an arrangement 
has been adopted by former writers on Logic, who 
have treated of the Sorites and Enthymeme before they 
entered on the subject of Hypotheticals. 

Those who have spoken of induction or of example, 
as a distinct kind of Argument in a Logical point of 

view, have fallen into the common error of confound- Chap. IV 
ing Logical with Rhetorical distinctions, and have ^ y ^ 
wandered from their subject as much as a writer on 
the orders of Architecture would do, who should 
introduce the distinction between buildings of stone and 
of marble. Logic takes no cognizance of induction, for 
instance, or of a priori reasoning, &c. as distinct 
Forms of argument ; for when throwninto the syllogistic 
form, and when letters of the alphabet are substituted 
for the Terms (and it is thus that Argument is properly 
to be brought under the cognizance of Logic,) there 
is no distinction between them; e.g. a Property which 
belongs to the ox, sheep, deer, goat, and antelope, 
belongs to all horned animals ; rumination belongs 
to these ; therefore, to all. This, which is an induc- 
tive argument, is evidently a Syllogism in Barbara. 
The essence of an inductive argument (and so of the 
other kinds which are distinguished for it,) consists, 
not in the form of the Argument, but in the relation 
which the Subject matter of the Premises bears to that 
of the Conclusion. 

3d. There are various other abbreviations commonly 
used, which are so obvious as hardly to call for expla- 
nation : as, where one of the Premises of a Syllogism 
is itself the Conclusion of an Enthymeme which is 
expressed at the same time : e. g. " all useful studies 
deserve encouragement ; Logic is such, (since it helps 
us to reason accurately,) therefore it deserves encou- 
ragement;" here, the minor Premiss is what is called 
an Enthymematic sentence. The antecedent in that minor 
Premiss, (i. e. that which makes it Enthymematic,) is 
called by Aristotle the Prosyllogism. 

It is evident that you may for brevity substitute for 
any term an equivalent ; as in the last example, "it" 
for " Logic ;" "such" for " a useful study," &c. 

4th. And many Syllogisms, which at first appear 
faulty, will often be found, on examination, to contain 
correct reasoning, and, consequently, to be reducible 
to a regular form ; e. g. when you have, apparently, 
negative Premises, it may happen, that by considering 
one of them as affirmative, (seeCh. II. 4. p. 208.) the 
Syllogism will be regular : e. g. " no man is happy 
who is not secure ; no tyrant is secure ; therefore no 
tyrant is happy," is a Syllogism in Celarent* Some- 
times there will appear to be too many terms ; and 
yet there will be no fault in the Reasoning, only an 
irregularity in the expression : e. g. " no irrational 
agent could produce a work which manifests design j 
the universe i? a work which manifests design ; there- 
fore no irrational agent could have produced the 
universe." Strictly speaking, this Syllogism has five 
Terms ; but if you look to the meaning, you will see, 
that in the first Premiss (considering it as apart of this 
Argument,) it is not, properly, " an irrational agent" 
that you are speaking of, and of which you predicate 
that it could not produce a work manifesting design ; 
but rather it is this "work," &o. of which you are 
speaking, and of which it is predicated that it could 

* If this experiment lie tried on a Syllogism which lias really 
negative Premises, the only effect will be to change that fault into 
another: viz. an excess of Terms, or, (which is substantially the 
same) an undistributed middle ; e. g. " an enslaved people is not 
happy; the English are not enslaved; therefore they are happy :" 
if " enslaved" be regarded as one of the Terms, and " not en- 
slaved" as another, there will manifestly be four. Hence you may 
see how very little difference there is in reality between the dif- 
ferent faults which are enumerated. 




not be produced by an irrational agent ; if then you 
' state the Propositions in that form, the Syllogism will 
be perfectly regular. 

Thus, such a. Syllogism as this, " every true 
patriot is disinterested ; few men are disinterested ; 
therefore few men are true patriots;" might ap- 
pear at first sight to be in the second Figure, 
and faulty ; whereas it is Barbara, with the Premises 
transposed ; for you do not really predicate of " few 
men," that they are " disinterested," but of " disin- 
terested persons," that they are " few." Again, " none 
but candid men are good reasoners ; few infidels are 
candid ; few infidels are good reasoners." In this it 
will be most convenient to consider the major Pre- 
miss as being " all good reasoners are candid," (which 
of course is precisely eequipollent to its illative con- 
verse by negation 5) and the minor Premiss and Con- 
clusion may in like manner be fairly expressed thus 
" most infidels are not candid ; therefore most 
infidels are not good reasoners :" which is a regular 
Syllogism in Camestres. Or, if you would state it in 
the first Figure, thus those who are not candid (or 
uncandid) are not good reasoners ; most infidels are 
not candid ; most infidels are not good reasoners. 

8. The foregoing rules enable us to develope the 
principles on which all Reasoning is conducted, what- 
ever be the Subject matter of it, and to ascertain the 
validity or fallaciousness of any apparent argument, 
as far as iheform of expression is concerned ; that being 
alone the proper province of Logic. 

But it is evident that we may nevertheless remain 
liable to be deceived or perplexed in Argument by the 
assumption of false or doubtful Premises, or by the 
employment of indistinct or ambiguous terms ; and, 
accordingly, many Logical writers, wishing to make 
their systems appear as perfect as possible, have 
undertaken to give rules " for attaining clear ideas," 
and for "guiding the judgment;" and fancying- or 
professing themselves successful in this, have con- 
sistently enough denominated Logic, the " Art of 
using the Reason ;" which in truth it would be, and 
would supersede all other studies, if it could alone 
ascertain the meaning of every Term, and the truth or 
falsity of every Proposition, in the same manner as it 

actually can the validity of every Argument. And 
they have been led into this, partly by the consider- ' 
ation that Logic is concerned about the three opera- 
tions of the mind simple Apprehension, Judgment, 
and Reasoning ; not observing that it is not equally 
concerned about all ; the last operation being alone its 
appropriate province 3 and the rest being treated of 
only in reference to that. 

The contempt justly due to such pretensions has 
most unjustly fallen on the Science itself, much in the 
same manner as Chemistry was brought into disrepute 
among the unthinking by the extravagant pretensions 
of the Alchemists. And those Logical writers have 
been censured, not (as they should have been) for 
making such professions, but for not fulfilling them. 
It has been objected, especially, that the rules of Logic 
leave us still at a loss as to the most important and 
difficult point in Reasoning ; viz. the ascertaining the 
sense of the terms employed, and removing their 
ambiguity. A complaint resembling that made 
(according to a story told by Warburton in his Div. 
Leg.) by a man who found fault with all the read- 
s ing-glasses presented to him by the shopkeeper ; the 
fact being that he had never learnt to read. In the 
present case, the complaint is the more unreasonable, 
inasmuch as there neither is, nor ever can possibly be, 
any such system devised as will effect the proposed 
object of clearing up the ambiguity of Terms. It is, 
however, no small advantage, that the rules of Logic, 
though they cannot alone, ascertain and clear up 
ambiguity in any Term, point out in which Term of an 
Argument it is to be songht for, directing our attention 
to the middle Term, as the one on the ambiguity of 
which a fallacy is likely to be built. 

It will be useful, however, to class and describe the 
different kinds of ambiguity which are to be met with ; 
and also the various ways in which the insertion of 
false, or, at least, unduly assumed Premises, is most 
likely to elude observation. And though the remarks 
which will be offered on these points may not be con- 
sidered as strictly forming apart of Logic, they cannot 
be thought out of place, when it is considered how 
essentially they are connected with the application 
of it. 






Logic. BY a Fallacy is commonly understood, ' ' any unsound 
- Y-- J mode of arguing, which appears to demand our con- 
viction, and to be decisive of the question in hand, 
when in fairness it is not so." As we consider the ready 
detection and clear exposure of Fallacies to be both 
more extensively important, and also more difficult 
than many are aware of, we propose to take a Logical 
view of the subject ; referring the different Fallacies 
to the most convenient heads, and giving a scientific 
analysis of the procedure which takes place in each. 

After all, indeed, in the practical detection of each 
individual Fallacy, much must depend on natural and 
acquired acuteness ; nor can any rules be given, the 
mere learning of which will enable us to apply them 
with mechanical certainty and readiness : but still we 
shall find that to take correct general views of the 
subject, and to be familiarized with scientific discus- 
sions of it, will tend, above all things, to engender 
such a habit of mind as will best fit us for practice. 

Indeed the case is the same with respect to Logic in 
general ; scarce any one would in ordinary practice, 
state to himself either his own or another's reasoning 
in Syllogisms in Barbara at full length ; yet a fa- 
miliarity with Logical principles, tends very much, 
(as all feel, who are really well acquainted with 
them,) to beget a habit of clear and sound, Reasoning. 
The truth is, that in this, as in many other things, there 
are processes going on in the mind (when we are 
practising any thing quite familiar to us) with such 
rapidity as to leave no trace in the memouy ; and we 
often apply principles which did not, as far as we are 
conscious, even occur to us at the time. 

It would be foreign, however, to the present pur- 
pose, to investigate fully the manner in which certain 
studies operate in remotely producing certain effects 
on the mind : it is sufficient to establish the fact, that 
habits of scientific analysis (besides the intrinsic beauty 
and dignity of such studies) lead to practical advan- 
tage. It is on Logical principles therefore that we 
propose to discuss the subject of Fallacies : and it 
might, indeed, seem to be unnecessary to make any 
apology for so doing, after what has been formerly 
said, generally, in defence of Logic : if the. majority 
of Logical writers had not usually followed a very 
opposite plan. Whenever they have to treat of any 
thing that is beyond the mere elements of Logic, they 
totally lay aside all reference to the principles which 
they have been occupied in establishing and explaining, 
and have recourse to a loose, vague, and popular kind 
of language ; such as would be the best suited indeed 
to an exoterical discourse, but seems strangely incon- 
gruous in a professed Logical treatise. What should 
we think of a Geometrical writer, who, after having 
gone through the Elements with strict definitions and 
demonstrations, should, on preceding to Mechanics, 
totally lay aside all reference to scientific principles, 
all use of technical terms, and treat of the subject in 
xmdefined terms, and with probable and popular argu- 
ments? It would be thought strange, if even a 
Botanist, when addressing those whom he had been 

VOL. I. 

instructing in the principles and the terms of his Chap. V. 
system, should totally lay these aside when he came to ^~-^J 
describe plants, and should adopt the language of the 
vulgar. Surely it affords but too much plausibility to 
the cavils of those who scoff at Logic altogether, that 
the very writers who profess to teach it, should never 
themselves make any application of, or reference to 
its principles, on those very occasions, when, and 
when only, such application and reference are to be 
expected. If the principles of any system are well 
laid down, if its technical language is well framed, 
then, surely those principles and that language will 
afford, (for those who have once thoroughly learned 
them,) the best, the most clear, simple, and concise 
method of treating any subject connected with that 
system. Yet even the accurate Aldrich, in treating 
of the Dilemma and of the Fallacies, has very much 
forgotten the Logician, and assumed a loose and rhe- 
torical style of writing, without making any application 
of the principles he had formerly laid down, but on 
the contrary, sometimes departing widely from them. 

The most experienced teachers, when addressing 
those who are familiar with the elementary principles 
of Logic, think it requisite, not indeed to lead them, 
on each occasion, through the whole detail of those 
principles, when the process is quite obvious, but 
always to put them on the road, as it were, to those 
principles, that they may plainly see their own way to 
the end, and take a scientific v^ew of the subject : in 
the same manner as Mathematical writers, avoid 
indeed the occasional tediousness of going all through 
a very simple demonstration which the learner, if he 
will, may easily supply ; but yet always speak in strict 
Mathematical language, and with reference to Mathe- 
matical principles, though they do not always state 
them at full length. We would not profess, therefore, 
anymore than they do, to write (on subjects connected 
w r ith the science,) in a language intelligible to those 
who are ignorant of its first rudiments; to do so, 
indeed, would imply that we were not taking a scien- 
tific view of the subject, nor availing ourselves of the 
principles which had been established, and the accurate 
and concise technical language which had been framed. 
1 . The division of Fallacies into those in the 
words, IN DICTIONE, and those in the matter 
EXTRA DICTIONEM, has not been, by any 
writers hitherto, grounded on any distinct principle ; 
at least, not on any that they have themselves adhered 
to. The confounding together, however, of these 
two classes is highly detrimental to all clear notions 
concerning Logic ; being obviously allied to the pre- 
vailing erroneous views which make Logic the art of 
employing the intellectual faculties in general, having the 
discovery of truth for its object, and all kinds of know- 
ledge for its proper subject matter ; with all that train 
of vague and groundless speculations which have led 
to such interminable confusion and mistakes, and 
afforded a pretext for such clamorous censures. 

It is important, therefore, that rules should be. 
given for a division of Fallacies into Logical, and Non- 
logical, on such a principle as shall keep clear of all 
this indistinctness and perplexity. 



If any one should object that the division we adopt 
is in some degree arbitrary, placing under the one head 
Fallacies, which many might be disposed to place 
tinder the other, let him consider not only the in- 
distinctness of all former divisions, but the utter 
impossibility of framing any that shall be completely 
secure from the objection urged, in a case where men 
have formed such various and vague notions, from the 
very want of some clear principle of division. Nay, 
from the elliptical form in which all Reasoning is 
Tisually expressed, and the peculiarly involved and 
oblique form in which Fallacy is for the most part 
conveyed, it must of course be often a matter of 
doubt, or rather, of arbitrary choice, not only to 
which genus each kind of Fallacy should be referred, 
but even to which kind to refer any one individual 
Fallacy : for since in any course of argument, one 
Premiss is usually suppressed, it frequently happens, 
in the case of a Fallacy, that the hearers are left to 
the alternative of supplying either a Premiss which is 
not true, or else, one which does not prove the conclu- 
sion; e. g. if a man expatiates on the distress of the 
country, and thence argues that the government is 
tyrannical, we must suppose him to assume either that 
" every distressed country is under a tyranny," which 
is a manifest falsehood, or, merely that " every 
country under a tyranny is distressed," which, how- 
ever true, proves nothing, the middle term being 
undistributed. Now, in the former case, the Fallacy 
would be referred to the head of " extra dictionem ' 
in the latter, to that of " in dictione :" which are we 
to suppose the speaker meant us to understand ? surely 
just whichever each of his hearers might happen to 
prefer : some might assent to the false Premiss ; 
others, allow the unsound Syllogism : to the Sophist 
himself it is indifferent, as long as they can but be 
brought to admit the conclusion. 

Without pretending then to conform' to every one's 
mode of speaking on^he subject, or to lay down rules 
which shall be, in themselves, (without any call for 
labour or skill in the person who employs them,) 
readily applicable to, and decisive on each individual 
case ; we propose a division which is at least perfectly 
clear in its main principle, and coincides, perhaps, as 
nearly as possible with the established notions of 
L/ogicians on the subject. 

2. In every Fallacy, the conclusion either does, or 
does not follow from the Premises : where the conclu- 
sion does not follow from the Premises, it is manifest 
that the fault is in the Reasoning, and in that alone j 
these, therefore, we call Logical Fallacies,* as being 
properly violations of those rules of Reasoning which 
it is the province of Logic to lay down. Of these, 
however, one kind are more purely Logical, as ex- 
hibiting their fallaciousness by the bare form of the 
expression, without any regard to the meaning of the 
terms : to which class belong : 1st. undistributed 
middle; 2d. illicit process ; 3d. negative Premises, or 
affirmative conclusion from a negative Premiss, and 
vice versd : to which maybe added, 4th. those which 
have palpably (i. e^ expressed) more than three terms. 
The other kind may be most properly called semi- 
logical ; viz. all the cases of ambiguous middle term 

* Just as tve call thnt a criminal Court in which crimes are 

except its non-distribution : for though in such cases Chap. V. 
the Conclusion does not follow, and though the rules 
of Logic shew that it does not, as soon as the ambiguity 
of the middle term is ascertained, yet the discovery and 
ascertainment of this ambiguity requires attention to 
the sense of the term, and knowledge of the subject 
matter ; so that here, Logic " teaches us not how to 
find the Fallacy, but only where to search for it," and 
on what principles to condemn it. Accordingly it has 
been made a subject of bitter complaint against Logic, 
that it presupposes the most difficult point to be already 
accomplished, viz. the sense of the terms to be ascer- 
tained. A similar objection might be urged against 
every other art in existence ; e. g. against Agriculture, 
that all the precepts for the cultivation of land presup- 
pose the possession of a farm ; or against Perspective, 
that its rules are useless to a blind man. The objec- 
tion is indeed peculiarly absurd when urged against 
Logic, because the object which it is blamed for not 
accomplishing, cannot possibly be within the province 
of any owe art whatever. Is it indeed possible or con- 
ceivable that there should be any method, science, or 
system, that should enable one to know the full and 
exact meaning of every term in existence? The utmost 
that can be done is to give some general rules that 
may assist us in this work ; which is done in the two 
first parts of Logic. 

The very author of the objection says, " this (the 
comprehension of the meaning of general terms) is a 
study which every individual must carry on for himself j 
and of which no rules of Logic (how useful soever 
they may be in directing our labours) can supersede 
the necessity." D. Stewart, Phil.\ol. ii. ch. ii. s. 2. . 

Nothing perhaps tends more to conceal from men 
their imperfect conception of the meaning of a term, 
than the circumstance of their being able fully to 
comprehend a process of Reasoning in which it is in- 
volved, without attaching any distinct meaning, or 
perhaps any meaning at all to that term ; as is evident 
when ABC, are used to stand for terms, in a regular 
Syllogism : thus a man may be familiarized with a 
term, and never find himself at a loss from not com- 
prehending it ; from which he will be very likely to 
infer that he does comprehend it, when perhaps he 
does not, but employs it vaguely and incorrectly, 
which leads to fallacious reasoning and confusion. It 
must be owned, however, that many Logical writers 
have, in great measure, brought on themselves the 
reproach in question, by calling Logic " the right 
use of Reason," laying down " rules for gaining clear 
ideas," and such-like a\agovela, as Aristotle calls it. 
Rhet. book i. ch. ii, 

3. The remaining class (viz. where the Con- 
clusion does follow from the Premises,) may be called 
the Material, or Non-logical Fallacies : of these there 
are two kinds ; 1st. when the Premises are such as 
ought not to have been assumed ; 2d. when the 
Conclusion is not the one required, but irrelevant; 
which Fallacy is called " ignoratio elenchi," because 
your argument is not the elenchus, (i. e. proof of the 
contradictory) of your opponent's assertion, which it 
should be ; but proves, instead of that, some other 
proposition resembling it. Hence, since Logic defines 
what Contradiction is, some may choose rather to 
range this with the Logical Fallacies, as it seems, so 
far, to come under the jurisdiction of that art . never- 
theless, it is perhaps better to adhere to the original 



Logic, division, both on account of its clearness, and also 
because few would be inclined to apply to the Fallacy 
in question the accusation of being inconclusive, and 
Consequently illogical reasoning: besides which, it 
seems an artificial and circuitous way of speaking, to 
suppose in all cases an opponent and a contradiction ; 
the simple statement of the matter being this, I am 
required, by the circumstances of the case, (no matter 
why) to prove a certain Conclusion ; I prove, ifot that, 
but one which is likely to be mistaken for it ; in this 
lies the Fallacy. 

It miii'ht be desirable therefore to lay aside the name 
of " ignoratio elenchi," but that is so generally adopted 
as absolutely to require some mention to be made of 
it. The other kind of Fallacies in the matter. will 
comprehend, (as tar as the vague and obscure language 
of Logical writers will allow us to conjecture,) the 
Fallacy of " non causa pro cnusd," and that of " petitio 
principii :'" of these, the former is by them distinguished 
into " a non verdpro verd, and " a non tali pro tali ;" this 
last would appear to be arguing from a case not 
parallel as if it were so ; which, in Logical language, is, 
having the suppressed Premiss false ; (for it is in that 
the parallelism is affirmed) and the "a non verd pro verii' 
will in like manner signify the expiessed Premiss being 

false ; so that this Fallacy will turn out to be, in plain 
terms, neither more nor less than "falsity, (or unfair 
assumption) of a Premiss. 

The remaining kind, "petitio principii" (begging 
the question) takes place when a Premiss, whether 
true or false, is either plainly equivalent to the Con- 
clusion, or depends on it for its own reception. It is 
to be observed, however, that in all correct Reasoning 
the Premises must, virtually, imply the conclusion ; so 
that it is not possible to mark precisely the distinction 
between the Fallacy in question and fair argument j 
since that may be correct and fair Reasoning to one 
person, which would be, to another, begging the 
question, since to one the Conclusion might be more 
evident than the Premiss, and to the other, the reverse. 
The most plausible form of this Fallacy is arguing in, 
a circle ; and the greater the circle, the harder to 

4. There is no Fallacy that may not properly be 
included under some of the foregoing heads; those 
which in the Logical Treatises are separately enu- 
merated, and contradistinguished from these, being in 
reality instances of them, and therefore more properly 
enumerated in the subdivision thereof ; as in the 
scheme annexed. 



( i. e. when the fault is, strictly, in the very process 

of Reasoning ; the conclusion not following from 

the Premises. 1 

Non-logical or Material. 

(i. e. when the conclusion, does follow from the 

r Purely-logical. ( 7.) Semi-logical, 
(i. e. where the fallacious- (the middle term being 
ness is apparent from the ambiguous in sense.) 

f Premiss unduly assumed. Conclusion irrevelant? 
(ignoratio elenchi.) 

mere form oj expression.) f 

( 12.) ( 13.) ^ 
(Petitio principii.) Premiss false or 
Premiss depend- unsupported, 
ing on the Con- 


r Undistributed illicit process, &.c. 

r in itself, from the context, 1 

'accidentally, from some connection 
between the different 

r circle. assuming a proposition 1 
not the very same as 
the question, but un- 
fairly implying it. 

'resemblance, analogy, cause and ^ 
effect, &c. 

( 10-) ( 11.) 

Fallacy of Division fallacia acci- 
and Composition. dentis, &c. 


f ( 1.) ( 15.) 
Fallacy of Fallacy of shifting 
objections, &c. ground, 

( 1-1-) ( 14.) ^ 
Fallacy of using Fallacy of appeals to the 
complex andge- passions ; ad hominem ; 
neral terms. ad ve.recundiam, &c. 

to something wholly 

from Premiss to Pr 
miss alternately. 

5. On each of the Fallacies which have been thus 
enumerated and distinguished, we propose to offer 
some more particular remarks : but before we proceed to 
this, it will be proper to premise two general observa- 
tions, 1st. on the importance, and !2d. the difficulty, 

of detecting and describing Fallacies ; both have been 
already slightly alluded to, but it is requisite that they 
should here be somewhat more fully and distinctly set 

1st. It sterns by most persons to be taken for granted 
2c 2 



that a Fallacy is to be dreaded merely as a weapon 
> fashioned and wielded by a skilful Sophist : or if they 
allow that a man may with honest intentions slide 
into one, unconsciously, in the heat of argument, still 
they seem to suppose that where there is no dispute, 
there is no cause to dread Fallacy ; whereas there is 
much danger, even in what may be called solitary 
Reasoning, of sliding unawares into some Fallacy, by 
which one may be so far deceived as even to act upon 
the Conclusion thus obtained. By solitary Reasoning 
is meant the case in which we are not seeking for 
arguments to prove a given question, but labouring to 
elicit from our previous stock of knowledge some 
useful inference. To select one from innumerable exam- 
ples which might be cited, and of which some more will 
occur in the subsequent part of this Essay ; it is not 
improbable that many indifferent sermons have been 
produced by the ambiguity of the word "plain :" a 
young divine perceives the truth of the maxim, that 
" for the lower orders one's language cannot be too 
plain;' (i. e. clear and perspicuous, so as to require 
no learning nor ingenuity to understand it,) and when 
he proceeds to practice, the word "plain' indistinctly 
flits before him, as it were, and often checks him in 
the use of ornaments of style, such us metaphor, epi- 
thet, antithesis. &c. which are opposed to "plainness" 
in a totally different sense of the word, being by no 
means necessarily adverse to perspicuity, but rather, 
in many cases, conducive to it ; as may be seen in 
several of the clearest of our Lord's discourses, 
which are of all others the most richly adorned with 
figurative language. So far indeed is an ornamented 
style from being unfit for the vulgar, that they are 
pleased with it even in excess. Yet the desire to be 
"plain," combined with that dim and confused notion 
which the ambiguity of the word produces in such as 
do not separate in their minds, and set distinctly before 
themselves, the two meanings, often causes them to 
write in a dry and bald style, which has no advantage 
in point of perspicuity, and is least of all suited to the 
taste of the vulgar. The above instance is not drawn 
from mere conjecture, but from actual experience of 
the fact. 

Another instance of the strong influence of words 
on our ideas may be adduced from a widely different 
subject : most persons feel a certain degree of surprise 
on first hearing of the result of some late experiments 
of the agricultural Chemists, by which they have ascer- 
tained that universally what are called heavy soils are 
specifically the lightest ; and vice versd. Whence this 
surprise? for no one ever distinctly believed the esta- 
blished names to be used in the literal and primary 
sense, in consequence of the respective soils having 
been weighed together ; indeed it is obvious on a 
moment's reflection that tenacious clay soils (as well as 
muddy roads) are figuratively called heavy from the 
difficulty of ploughing or passing over them, which 
produces an effect like that of bearing or dragging a 
heavy weight ; yet still the terms, " light" and 
" heavy," though used figuratively, have most un- 
doubtedly introduced into men's minds something of 
the ideas expressed by them in their primitive sense. 
So true is the ingenious observation of Hobbes, that 
" words are the counters of wise men, and the money 
of fools." 

More especially deserving of attention is the in- 
fluence of analogical terms in leading men into erro- 

neous notions in Theology ; where the most important Chap. V. 
terms are analogical; and yet, they are continually 
employed in Reasoning without due attention (oftener 
through want of caution than by unfair design; to their 
analogical nature ; and most of the errors into which 
Theologians have fallen may be traced, in part, to this 

Thus much, as to the extensive practical influence 
of Fallacies, and the consequent high importance of 
detecting and exposing them. 

6. 2dly. The second remark is, that while sound 
Reasoning is ever the more readily admitted, the more 
clearly it is perceived to be such, Fallacy, on the 
contrary, being rejected as soon as perceived, will, of 
course be the more likely to obtain reception, the 
more it is obscured and disguised by obliquity and com- 
plexity of expression : it is thus that it is the most likely 
either to slip accidentally from the careless reasoner, 
or to be brought forward deliberately by the Sophist. 
Not that he ever wishes that obscurity and complexity 
to be perceived ; on the contrary it is for his purpose 
that the expression should appear as clear and simple 
as possible, while in reality it is the most tangled net 
he can contrive. Thus, whereas it is usual to express 
our Reasoning elliptically, so that a Premiss, (or even 
two or three entire steps in a course of argument) 
which may be readily supplied, as being perfectly 
obvious, shall be left to be understood, the Sophist in 
like manner suppresses what is not obvious, but is in 
reality the weakest part of the argument; and uses 
every other contrivance to withdraw our attention (his 
art closely resembling the juggler's) from the quarter 
where the Fallacy lies. Hence the uncertainty before 
mentioned, to which class any individual Fallacy is to 
be referred : and hence it is that the difficulty of 
detecting- and exposing Fallacy, is so much greater 
than that of comprehending and developing a process 
of sound argument. It is like the detection and 
apprehension of a criminal in spite of all his arts of 
concealment and disguise; when this is accomplished, 
and he is brought to trial with all the evidence of his 
guilt produced, his conviction and punishment are 
easy; and this is precisely the case with those Fallacies 
which are given as examples in Logical Treatises; they 
are in fact already detected, by being stated in a plain 
and regular form, and are, as it were, only brought up 
to receive sentence. Or again, fallacious Reasoning may 
be compared to a perplexed and entangled mass of 
accounts, which it requires much sagacity and close 
attention to clear up, and display in a regular and in- 
telligible form ; though when this is once accomplished, 
the whole appears so perfectly simple, that the un- 
thinking are apt to undervalue the skill and pains 
which have been employed upon it. 

Moreover, it should be remembered that a very long 
discussion is one of the most effectual veils of Fallacy. 
Sophistry, like poison, is at once detected, and nau- 
seated when presented to us in a concentrated form ; 
but a Fallacy which when stated barely, in a few 
sentences, would not deceive a child, may deceive half 
the world if diluted in a quarto volume. To speak 
therefore of all the Fallacies that have ever been enu- 
merated as too glaring and obvious to need even being 
mentioned, because the simple instances given in 
books, and there stated in the plainest and conse- 
quently most easily detected form, are such as would 
(in that form) deceive no one ; this, surely, shews 

L O fi I C. 


Logic, either extreme weakness, or else unfairness. It may 
* "V*"' readily be allowed, indeed, that to detect individual 
Fallacies, and bring them under the general rules, is a 
harder task than to lay dozen those general rules ; but 
this does not prove that the latter office is trifling or 
useless, or that it does not essentially conduce to the 
performance of the other : there may be more inge- 
nuity shewn in detecting arid arresting a malefactor, 
and convicting him of the fact, than in laying down a 
law for the trial and punishment of such a person ; but 
the latter office, i. e. that of a legislator, is surely 
neither unnecessary nor trifling. 

It should be added that a close observation and 
Logical analysis of fallacious arguments, as it tends 
(according to whnt has been already said) to form a 
habit of mind well suited for the practical detection 
of Fallacies ; so, for that very reason, it will make us 
the more careful in making allowance for them ; i. e. 
bearing in mind how much men in general are liable 
to be influenced by them : e. g. a refuted argument ought 
to go for nothing ; but in fact it will generally prove 
detrimental to the cause, from the Fallacy which will 
be presently explained. No one is more likely to be 
practically aware of this, and to take precautions 
accordingly, than he who is most versed in the whole 
theory of Fallacies ; for the best Logician is the least 
likely to calculate on men in general being such. 

Of Fallacies in form. 

7- Enough has already been said in the preceding 
compendium ; and it has been remarked above, that 
it is often left to our choice to refer an individual 
Fallacy to this head or to another. 

To the present class we may the most conveniently 
refer those Fallacies, so common in practice, of sup- 
posing the Conclusion false, because the Premiss is 
false, or because the argument is unsound -, and 
inferring the truth of the Premiss from that of the 
Conclusion ; e. g. if any one argues for the existence 
of a God, from its being universally believed, a man 
might perhaps be able to refute the argument by pro- 
ducing, an instance of some nation destitute of such 
belief ; the argument ought then (as has been observed 
above) to go for nothing .- but many would go further, 
and think that this refutation had disproved the exist- 
ence of a God ; in which they would be guilty of an 
illicit process of the major term ; viz. " whatever is 
universally believed must be true ; the existence of a 
God is not universally believed ; therefore it is not 
true." Others again from being convinced of the 
truth of the Conclusion would infer that of the Pre- 
mises ; which would amount to the Fallacy of undis- 
tributed middle : viz. " what is universally believed, 
is true ; the existence of a God is true ; therefore it 
is universally believed." Or, these Fallacies might 
be stated in the hypothetical form ; since the OIK; 
evidently proceeds from the denial of the antecedent 
to the denial of the consequent ; and the other from 
the establishing of the consequent to the inferring of 
the antecedent; which two Fallacies correspond re- 
spectively with those of illicit process of the major, 
and undistributed middle. 

Fallacies of this class are very much kept out of 

sight, being seldom perceived even by those who 

employ them ; but of their practical importance there 

. can be no doubt, since it is notorious that a weak 

argument is always, in practice, detrimental ; and that 

there is no absurdity so gross which men will not 
readily admit, if it appears to lead to a Conclusion of 
what they are already convinced. Even a candid and 
sensible writer is not unlikely to be, by this means, 
misled, when he is seeking for arguments to support 
a Conclusion which he has long been fully convinced 
of himself; i.e. he will often use such arguments as 
would never have convinced himself, and are not 
likely to convince others, but rather (by the operation 
of the converse Fallacy) to confirm in their dissent 
those who before disagreed with him. 

It is best therefore to endeavour to put yourself in 
the place of an opponent to your own arguments, and 
consider whether you could not find some objection to 
them. The applause of one's own party is a very 
unsafe ground for judging of the real force of an ar- 
gumentative work, and consequently of its real utility. 
To satisfy those who were doubting, and to convince 
those who were opposed, is the only sure test ; but 
these are seldom very loud in their applause, or very 
forward in bearing their testimony. 

Of Ambiguous middle. 

8. That case in which the middle is undistributed, 
belongs of course to the preceding head, the fault 
being perfectly manifest from the mere form of the 
expression : in that case the extremes are compared 
with two parts of the same term ; but in the Fallacy 
which has been called semi-logical, (which we are 
now to speak of) the extremes are compared with 
two di/trent terms, the middle being used in two 
different senses in the two Premises. 

And here it may be remarked, that when the argu- 
ment is brought into the form of a regular Syllogism, the 
contrast between these two senses will usually appear 
very striking, from the two Premises being placed 
together ; and hence the scorn with which many have 
treated the very mention of the Fallacy of equivocation, 
deriving their only notion of it from the exposure of it 
in Logical Treatises; whereas, in practice it is common 
for the two Premises to be placed very far apart, and 
discussed in different parts of the discourse ; by which 
means the inattentive hearer overlooks any ambiguity 
that may exist in the middle term. Hence the advan- 
tage of Logical habits, to fix our attention strongly and 
steadily on the important terms of an argument. 

One case which may be regarded as coming under 
the head of Ambiguous middle, is, what is called 
" Fallacia Figures -Dictionis," the Fallacy buil^ on the 
grammatical structure of language, from men's usually 
taking for granted that paronymous words, (i. e. those 
belonging to each other, as the substantive, adjective, 
verb, &c. of the same root) have a precisely corres- 
pondent meaning : which is by no means universally 
the case. Such a Fallacy could not indeed be even 
exhibited in strict Logical form, which would 
preclude even the attempt at it, since it has two 
middle terms in sound as well as sense ; but nothing 
is more common in practice than to vary continually 
the terms employed, with a view to grammatical con- 
venience ; nor is there any thing unfair in such a 
practice, as long as the meaning is preserved unaltered : 
e. g. " murder should be punished with death ; this 
man is a murderer ; therefore he deserves to die ; " 
&c. &c. Here we proceed on the assumption (in this 
case just) that to commit murder and to be a mur- 
derer, to deserve death and to be one who ought to 



die, are, respectively, equivalent expressions ; and it 
s would frequently prove a heavy inconvenience to be 
debarred this kind of liberty ; but the abuse of it 
gives rise to the Fallacy in question : e. g. projectors 
are unfit to be trusted ; this man has formed a project, 
therefore he is unfit to be trusted :* here the Sophist 
proceeds on the hypothesis that he who forms a project 
must be a projector whereas the bad sense that 
commonly attaches to the latter word, is not at all 
implied in the former. 

This Fallacy may often be considered as lying not in 
the middle, but in one of the terms of the Conclusion; 
so that the Conclusion drawn shall not be, in reality, 
at all warranted by the Premises, though it will 
appear to be so, by means of the grammatical affinity 
of the words : e. g. "to be acquainted with the guilty 
is a presumption of guilt ; this man is so acquainted ; 
therefore we may presume that he is guilty :" this 
argument proceeds on the supposition of an exact 
correspondence between " presume" and " presump- 
tion," which however does not really exist; for 
" presumption" is commonly used to express a kind 
of slight susp>icion ; whereas " to presume" amounts to 
absolute belief. 

The above remark will apply to some other cases 
of ambiguity of term ; viz. the Conclusion will often 
contain a term, which (though not as here, different in 
expression from the corresponding one in the Premiss, 
yet) is liable to be understood in a sense different from 
that which it bears to the Premiss ; though of course 
such a Fallacy is less common, because less likely to 
deceive, in those cases, than in this ; where the term 
used in the Conclusion, though professing to correspond 
with one in the Premiss, is not the very same in 
expression, and therefore is more certain to convey a 
different sense ; which is what the Sophist wishes. 

There are innumerable instances of a non-corres- 
pondence in paronymous words, similar to that above 
instanced ; as between art and artful, design and 
designing, faith and faithful, &c. j and the more slight 
the variation of meaning, the more likely is the Fallacy 
to be successful j for when the words have become so 
widely removed in sense as " pity" and " pitiful," 
every one would perceive such a Fallacy, nor could it 
be employed but in jest. 

This Fallacy cannot in practice be refuted, by stating 
merely the impossibility of reducing such an argument 
to the strict Logical form ; (unless indeed you are 
addressing regular Logicians,) you must find some way 
of pointing out the non-correspondence of the terms 
in question ; e. g. with respect to the example above, 
it may be remarked, that we speak of strong or faint 
" presumption," but yet we use no such expression 
in conjunction with the verb " presume," because 
the word itself implies strength. 

No Fallacy is more common in controversy than the 
present, since in this way the Sophist will often be 
able to misinterpret the propositions which his oppo- 
nent admits or maintains, and so employ them against 
him : thus in the examples just given, it is natural to 
conceive one of the Sophist's Premises to have been 
borrowed from his opponent. 

Perhaps a dictionary of such paronymous words as 
do not regularly correspond in meaning, would be 
nearly as useful as one of synonyms ; i. e. properly 

* Wealth of Nations, A. Smith : Usury. 

speaking, of pseudo-synonyms. The present Fallacy is Chap. V. 
nearly allied to, or rather perhaps may be regarded 
as a branch of that founded on Etymology , viz. when 
a term is used, at one time, in its customary, and at 
another, in its Etymological sense. Perhaps no 
example of this can be found that is more extensively 
and mischievously employed than in the case of the 
word representative : assuming that its right meaning 
must correspond exactly with the strict and original 
sense of the verb represent, the Sophist persuades the 
multitude, that a member of the House 'of Commons 
is bound to be guided in all points by the opinion of 
his constituents ; and, in short, to be merely their 
spokesman : whereas law and custom, whicli in this 
case may be considered as fixing the meaning of the 
term, require no such thing, but enjoin the represen- 
tative to act according to the best of his own judgment, 
and on his own responsibility. H.Tooke has furnished 
a whole magazine of such weapons for any Sophist 
who may need them, and has furnished some speci- 
mens of the employment of them. 

9. It is to be observed, that to the head of 
Ambiguous middle should be referred what is called 
" Fallacia plurium Interrogationum ," which may very 
properly be named, simply, " the Fallacy of Interro- 
gation ;" viz. the Fallacy of asking several questions 
which appear to be but one ; so that whatever one 
answer is given, being of course applicable to one only 
of the implied questions, may be interpreted as applied 
to the other ; the refutation is, of course, to reply 
separately to each question, i. e. to detect the ambiguity. 

We have said several " questions which appear to be 
but one, for else there is no Fallacy ; such an example 
therefore, as " estne homo animal et lapis?" which 
Aldrich gives, is foreign to the matter in hand ; for 
there is nothing unfair in asking two distinct ques- 
tions, or asserting two distinct propositions, distinctly 
and avowedly. 

This Fallacy may be referred, as has been said, to 
the head of Ambiguous middle : in all Reasoning 
it is very common to state one of the Premises in. 
form of a question, and when that is admitted, or 
supposed to be admitted, then to fill up the rest ; if 
then one of the terms of that question be ambi- 
guous, whichever sense the opponent replies to, the 
Sophist assumes the other sense of the term in the 
remaining Premiss. It is therefore very common to 
state an unequivocal argument, in form of a question 
so worded, that there shall be little doubt which reply 
will be given : but if there be such doubt, the Sophist 
must have two Fallacies of equivocation ready : e. g. 
the question "whether any thing vicious is expedient," 
discussed in Cic. Off"., book iii. (where, by the bye, he 
seems not a little perplexed with it himself,) is of the 
character in question, from the ambiguity of the word 
" expedient," which means sometimes, " conducive to 
temporal prosperity," sometimes, " conducive to the 
greatest good :" whichever answer therefore was 
given, the Sophist might have a Fallacy of equivoca- 
tion founded on this term ; viz. if the answer be in the 
negative, his argument Logically developed, will 
stand thus, " what is vicious is not expedient ; 
whatever conduces to wealth and aggrandizement is 
expedient, therefore it cannot be vicious :" if, in the 
affirmative, then thus, " whatever is expedient is 
desirable ; something vicious is expedient, therefore 



Logic. This kind of Fallacy is frequently employed in such 
-~V~-" < ' a manner, that the uncertainty shall be, not about 
the meaning, but the extent of a term, i. e. whether it 
is distributed or not : e. g. " did A B in this case act from 
such and such a motive ?" which may imply either, 
" was it his sole motive r" or " was it one of his 
motives ?" in the former case the term " that which 
actuated A B" is distributed ; in the latter not : now 
if he acted from a mixture of motives, whichever 
answer you give, may be misrepresented and thus 

10. In some cases of Ambiguous middle, the term 
in question may be considered as having; in itself, from 
its own equivocal nature, two significations ; (which 
apparently constitutes the " Fallacia equivocationis of 
Logical writers ;) others again have a middle term 
which is ambiguous from the context, i. e. from what 
is understood, in conjunction with it : this division will 
be found useful, though it is impossible to draw the 
line accurately in it. 

There are various ways in which words come to have 
two meanings ; 1st. by accident ; (i. e. when there is 
no perceptible connection between the two meanings) 
as " light" signifies both the contrary to " heavy," 
and the contrary to " dark." Thus, such proper 
names as John or Thomas, &c. which happen to 
belong to several different persons, are ambiguous, 
because they have a different signification in each case 
where they are applied. Words which fall under this 
first head are what are the most strictly called equivocal. 

2dly. There are several terms in the use of v 
it is necessary to notice the distinction between first 
and second intention: the " first intention" of a 
term, (according to the usual acceptation of this 
phrase,) is a certain vague and general signification 
of it, as opposed to one more precise and limited, 
which it bears in some particular art, science, or 
system, and which is called its " second intention." 
Thus, among farmers in some parts, the word " beast" 
is applied particularly and especially to the ox kind; 
and " bird," in the language of many sportsmen is 
in like manner appropriated to the partridge : the 
common and general acceptation (which every one 
is well acquainted with) of each of those two words, 
is the first intention of each ; the other, its second 

It is evident that a term may have several second 
intentions, according to the several systems into 
w T hich it is introduced, and of which it is one of the 
technical terms : thus line signifies, in the Art Military, 
a certain form of drawing up ships or troops ; in 
Geography, a certain division of the earth ; to the 
fisherman, a string to catch fish, &c. &c. ; all which 
are so many distinct second intentions, in each of 
which there is a certain signification of " extension 
in length" which constitutes the first intention, and 
which corresponds pretty nearly with the employ- 
ment of the term in Mathematics. 

It will sometimes happen, that a term shall be 
employed always in some one or other of its second 
intentions ; and never, strictly, in the first, though that 
first intention is a part of its signification in each case. 
It is evident, that the utmost care is requisite to avoid 
confounding together, either the first and second 
intentions, or the different second intentions with each 

3dly. "When two or more things are connected by 

resemblance or analogy, they will frequently have the Chap, V. 
same name. Thus a " blade of grass," and the con- Vy v~ " 
trivance in building called a " dove-tail," are so called 
from their resemblance to the blade* of a sword, and 
the tail of a real dove : but two things may be con- 
nected by analogy, though they have in themselves no 
resemblance .- for analogy is the resemblance of ratios, 
(or relations) thus, as a sweet taste gratifies the palate, 
so does a sweet sound gratify the ear ; and hence the 
same word, " sweet," is applied to both, though no 
flavour can resemble a sound in itself: so, the leg of 
a table, does not resemble that of an animal ; nor the 
foot of a mountain that of an animal : but the leg 
answers the same purpose to the table, as the leg of an 
animal to that animal ; the foot of a mountain has the 
same situation relatively to the mountain, as the foot 
of an animal, to the animal ; this analogy therefore 
may be expressed like a Mathematical analogy j (or 
proportion) leg : animal : : supporting stick : table. 
In all these cases, (of this 3d head) one of the meanings 
of the word is called by Logicians proper, i. e. original 
or primary ; the other improper, secondary or trans- 
ferred : thus, sweet, is originally and properly applied 
to tastes ; secondarily and improperly (i. e. by analogy,) 
to sounds : thus also, dove-tail is applied secondarily 
though not by analogy, but by direct resemblance to 
the contrivance in building so called. When the 
secondary meaning of a word is founded on some 
jful analogy, and especially when it is introduced 
for ornament sake, we call this a metapJior ; as when 
we speak of " a ship's ploughing the deep." The 
turning up of the surface being essential indeed to 
the plough, but incidental only to the ship ; but if the 
analogy be a more important and essential one, and 
especially if we have no other word to express our 
meaning but this transferred one, we then call it 
merely an analogous word, (though the metaphor is 
analogous also ;) e. g. one would hardly call it meta- 
phorical orjigurative language to speak of the leg of a 
table, or mouth of a river. 

4thly. Several things may be called by the same 
name, (though they have no connection of resemblance 
or analogy) from being connected by vicinity of time or 
place ; under which head will come the connection of 
cause and effect, or of part and whole, &c. Thus a 
donr signifies both an opening in the wall, (more 
strictly called the door- way,) and a board which closes 
it: which are things neither similar nor analogous. 
When I say, " the rose smells sweet " and " I smell 
the rose :" the word " smell" has two meanings in 
the latter sentence, I am speaking of a certain sensa- 
tion in my own mind ; in the former, of a certain 
quality in the flower, which produces that sensation, 
but which of course cannot in the least resemble it : 
and here the word smell, is applied with equal propriety 
to both. Thus we speak of Homer, for " the works 
of Homer ;" and this is a secondary or transferred 
meaning : and so it is when we say, " a good shot, ' 
for a good marksman : but the word " shot" has two 
other meanings, which are both equally proper ; viz. 
the ihing put into a gun in order to be discharged from 
it, and the act of discharging it. 

* Unless indeed the primary application of the term be to the 
leaf of grass, and the secondary, to cutting instruments ; which 
is perhaps more probable ; but the question is unimportant in 
the present case. 



Thus, " learning" signifies either the act of ac- 
' quiring knowledge, or the knowledge itself; e. g. 
" he neglects his learning." " Johnson was a man 
of learning." Possession is ambiguous in the same 
manner ; and a multitude of others. Much confusion 
often arises from ambiguity of this kind, when un per- 
ceived ; nor is there any point in which the copious- 
ness and consequent precision of the Greek language 
is more to be admired than in its distinct terms for 
expressing an act, and the result of that act ; e. g. 
irpagis " the doing of anything ;" irpa^jia, " the thing 
done ;" so, 6otrtt and Swpov, Xiy^rtyand A^/i/ia, &c. It 
will very often happen, that two of the meanings of a 
word will have no connection Avith one another, but 
will each have some connection with a third. Thus 
" martyr," originally signified a witness, thence it 
was applied to those who suffered in bearing testimony 
to Christianity ; and thence again it is often applied to 
sufferers in general : the first and third significations 
are not the least connected. Thus " post" signifies 
originally a pillar, (postum, from pono;) then a distance 
marked out by posts ; and then the carriages, 
messengers, &c. that travelled over this distance. 

Innumerable other ambiguities might be brought 
under this fourth head, which indeed comprehends 
all the cases which do not fall under the three others. 

The remedy for ambiguity is a definition of the 
term which is suspected of being used in two senses ; 
viz. a verbal, not necessarily a real definition ; as was 
remarked in the Compendium. 

But here it may be proper to remark, that for the 
avoiding of Fallacy or of verbal controversy, it is only 
requisite that the term should be employed uniformly 
in the same sense as far as the existing question is con- 
cerned. -Thus, two persons might, in discussing the 
question, whether Buonaparte was a GREAT man, have 
some difference in their acceptation of the epithet 
" great," which would be non-essential to that ques- 
tion ; e. g. one of them might understand by it nothing 
more than eminent intellectual, and moral qualities; 
while the other might conceive it to imply the per- 
formance of splendid actions : this abstract difference 
of meaning would not produce any disagreement in 
the existing question, because both those circum- 
stances are united in the case of Buonaparte ; but if 
one of the parties understood the epithet " great" to 
imply GENEROSITY of character, &c. then there would 
be a disagreement. Definition, the specific for am- 
biguity, is to be employed and demanded with a 
view to this principle ; it is sufficient on each occasion 
to define a term as far as regards the question in hand. 

Of those cases in which the ambiguity arises from 
the context, there are many species ; several of which 
Logicians have enumerated, but hare neglected to 
refer them, in the first place, to one common class, 
(viz. the one under which they are here placed ;) and 
have even arranged some under the head of Fallacies 
" in dictione," and others, " extra diction em." 

We may consider, as the first of these species, the 
Fallacy of " Division" and that of " Composition," 
taker, together, since in each of these the middle term 
is used in one Premiss collectively, in the other, dis- 
tributively : if the former of these is the major Premiss, 
and the latter the minor, this is called the " Fallacy of 
division ;" the term which is first taken collectively 
being afterwards divided ; and vice versd. The ordinary 
examples are such as these ; all the angles of a triangle 

are equal to two right angles : A B C, is an angle of Chap. V. 
a triangle ; therefore ABC, is equal to two right *^^LJ 
angles. Five is one number ; three and two are five ; 
therefore three and two are one number; or, three 
and two are two numbers, five is three and two, 
therefore five is two numbers : it is manifest that the 
middle term, three and two, (in this last example) is 
ambiguous, signifying, in the major Premiss " taken 
distinctly," in the minor, " taken together-:" and so 
of the rest. 

To this head may be referred the Fallacy by which 
men have sometimes been led to admit, or pretend to 
admit, the doctrine of necessity ; e. he who neces- 
sarily goes or stays (i. e. in reality, " who neces- 
sarily goes, or who necessarily stays") is not a free agent; 
you must necessarily go or stay ; (i. e. " you must 
necessarily take the alternative,") therefore you are not 
a free agent. Such also is the Fallacy which probably 
operates on most adventurers in lotteries ; e. g. the 
gaining of a high prize is no uncommon occurrence ; 
and what is no uncommon occurrence may reasonably 
be expected ; therefore the gaining of a high prize 
" may reasonably be expected :" the conclusion when 
applied to the individual, (as in practice It is) must 
be understood in the sense of " reasonably expected 
by a certain individual ;" therefore for the major Premiss 
to be true the middle term must be understood to 
mean, " no uncommon occurrence to some one 
particular person ;" whereas for the minor (which has 
been placed first) to be true, you must understand it 
of " no uncommon occurrence to some one or other ' 
and thus you will have the Fallacy of Composition. 

There is no Fallacy more common, or more likely 
to deceive than the one now before us : the form in 
which it is most usually employed, is, to establish 
some truth, separately, concerning each single member 
of a certain class, and thence to infer the same of the 
whole collectively : thus some infidels have laboured to 
prove concerning some one of our Lord's miracles, that 
it might have been the result of an accidental conjunc- 
ture of natural circumstances ; next, they endeavour 
to prove the same concerning another ; and so on ; 
and thence infer that all of them might have been so. 
They might argue in like manner, that because it is 
not very improbable one may throw sixes in any one 
out of a hundred throws, therefore it is no more impro- 
bable that one may throw sixes a hundred times 

This Fallacy may often be considered as turning on 
the ambiguity of the word " all;" which may' easily 
be dispelled by substituting for it the word " each" 
or " every," where that is its signification ; e. g. "all 
these trees make a thick shade" is ambiguous, mean- 
ing, either " every one of them," or " all together." 

This is a Fallacy with which men are extremely apt 
to deceive themselves : for when a multitude of par- 
ticulars are presented to the mind, many are too weak 
or too indolent to take a comprehensive view of them; 
but confine their attention to each single point, by 
turns; and then decide, infer, and act, accordingly ; 
e. g. the imprudent spendthrift, finding that he is able 
to afford this, or that, or the other expense, forgets 
that all of them together will ruin him. 

To the same head may be reduced that fallacious 
reasoning by which men vindicate themselves to their 
own conscience and to others, for the neglect of those 
undefined duties, which though indispensable, and 



Logic, therefore not left to our choice whether we will practise 
-v-^*' them or not, are left to our discretion as to the mode, 
and the particular occasions of practising them ; e. g. 
" I am not bound to contribute to this charity in par- 
ticular ; nor to that ; nor to the other :" the practical 
conclusion which they draw, is, that all charity may 
be dispensed with. 

As men are apt to forget that any two circum- 
stances (not naturally connected) are more rarely to 
be met with combined than separate, though they be 
not at all incompatible ; so also they are apt to imagine 
from finding that they are rarely combined, that there 
is an incompatibility ; e. g. if the chances are ten to one 
against a man's possessing strong reasoning powers, and 
ten to one against exquisite taste, the chances against 
the combination of the two (supposing them neither 
connected nor opposed) will be a hundred to one. Many 
therefore, from finding them so rarely united, will 
infer that they are in some measure incompatible ; 
which Fallacy may easily be exposed in the form of 
Undistributed middle : " qualities unfriendly to each 
other are rarely combined ; excellence in the reasoning 
powers and in taste are rarely combined ; therefore 
they are qualities unfriendly to each other." 

11. The other kind of ambiguity arising from the 
context, and which is the last case of Ambiguous 
middle that we shall notice, is the "fallatiaaccidentis," 
together with its converse " fallacia a dicto secundum 
quidad dictum simpliciter ;" in each of which the middle 
is used in one Premiss to signify something considered 
simply, in itself, and as to its essence ; and in the 
other Premiss, so as to imply that its accidents are taken 
into account with it : as in the well-known example, 
" wKftt is bought in the market is eaten ; raw meat is 
bought in the market ; therefore raw meat is eaten." 
Here the middle has understood in conjunction with 
it, in the major Premiss " as to its substance merely ." 
in the minor, " as to its condition and circumstances." 

To this head perhaps, as well as to any, may be 
referred the Fallacies which are frequently founded on 
the occasional, partial, and temporary variations in 
the acceptation of some term, arising from circum- 
stances of person, time, and place, which will occasion 
something to be understood in conjunction with it 
beyond its strict literal signification ; e. g. the phrase 
<f Protestant ascendancy," having become a kind of 
watch-word or gathering-cry of a party, the expression 
of good wishes for it would commonly imply an ad- 
herence to certain measures not literally expressed by 
the words ; to assume therefore that one is unfriendly 
to " Protestant ascendancy" in the literal sense, 
because he has declared himself unfriendly to it when 
implying and connected with such and such other 
sentiments, is a gross Fallacy ; and such an one as 
perhaps the authors of the above would much object 
to, if it was assumed of them that they were adverse 
to " the cause of liberty throughout the world," and 
to " a fair representation of the people," from their 
objecting to join with the members of a factious party 
in the expression of such sentiments. 

Such Fallacies may fairly be referred to the present 

12. Of the Non-logical (or material) Fallacies, 
and first of begging the question. 

The indistinct and unphilosophical account which 
has been given by Logical writers of the Fallacy of 
" nnn-r.mis'i," and that of " petitio principii," makes it 

VOL.- I. 

very difficult to ascertain wherein they conceived them Chap. V 
to differ, and what, according to them, is the nature v^-v. , 
of each ; without therefore professing to conform 
exactly to their meaning, and with a view to distinct- 
ness only, which is the main point, let us confine the 
name " petitio principii" to those cases in which the 
Premiss either appears manifestly to be the same as 
the Conclusion, or is actually proved from the Conclu- 
sion, or is such as would naturally and properly so be 
proved ; (as if one should attempt to prove the being 
of a God from the authority of holy writ;) and to the 
other class be referred all other cases, in which* the 
Premiss (whether the expressed or the suppressed one) 
is either proved false, or has no sufficient claim to be 
received as true. Let it however be observed, that in 
such cases (apparently) as this, we must not too 
hastily pronounce the argument fallacious ; for it 
may be perfectly fair at the commencement of an argu- 
ment to assume a Premiss that is not more evident than 
the Conclusion, or is even ever so paradoxical, provided 
you proceed to prove fairly that Premiss : and in like 
manner it is both usual and fair to begin by deducing 
your Conclusion from a Premiss exactly equivalent to 
it ; which is merely throwing the proposition in ques- 
tion into the form in which it will be most conveniently 
proved. Arguing in a circle however must necessarily 
be unfair j though it frequently is practised unde- A . 
signedly ; e. g. some Mechanicians, attempt to prove, |H 
(what they ought to lay down as a probable but 
doubtful hypothesis,) that every particle of matter 
gravitates equally j " why ?" because those bodies 
which contain more particles ever gravitate more 
strongly, i. e. are heavier : " but (it may be urged) 
those which are heaviest are not always more bulky ;" 
" no, but still they contain more particles, though 
more closely condensed ; " how do you know that ?" 
"because they are heavier ;" "how does that prove it r" 
" because all particles of matter gravitating equally, 
that mass which is specifically the heavier, must needs 
have the more of them in the same space." 

Obliquity and disguise being of course most im- 
portant to the success of the petitio principii, as well 
as of other Fallacies, the Sophist will in general either 
have recourse to the circle, or else not venture to state 
distinctly his assumption of the point in question, but 
will rather assert some other proposition which implies 
it ; thus keeping out of sight (as a dexterous thief does 
stolen goods) the point in question, at the very 
moment when he is for granted : hence the 
frequent union of this Fallacy with " ignoratio elenchi:" 
vide 14. The English language is perhaps the more 
suitable for the Fallacy of petitio principii, from its 
being formed from two distinct languages, and thus 
abounding in synonymous expressions which have no 
resemblance in sound, and no cqnnection in etymology ; 
so that a Sophist may bring forward a proposition 
expressed in words of Saxon origin, and give as a 
reason for it, the very same proposition stated in 
words of Norman origin ; e. g. " to allow every man 
an unbounded freedom of speech, must always be, 
on the whole, advantageous to the State ; for it is 
highly conducive to the interest of the community, 
that each individual should enjoy a liberty perfectly 
unlimited of expressing his sentiments." 

13. The next head is, the falsity, or at least, 
undue assumption of a Premiss when it is not equiva- 
lent to, or dependent on the Conclusion ; which, as has 
2 H 



been before said, seems to correspond nearly with the 
' meaning of Logicians, when they speak of " non causa 
pro causd .-" this name indeed would seem to apply a 
much narrower class, there being one species of 
arguments which are from cause to effect, in which of 
course two things are necessary ; 1st. the sufficiency of 
the cause, 2d. its establishment; these are the two 
Premises ; if therefore the former be unduly assumed, 
we are arguing from that which is not a sufficient 
cause as if it were so; e.g. as if one should contend from 
such a man's having been unjust or cruel, that he will 
certainly be visited with some heavy temporal judg- 
ment, and come to an untimely end. In this instance 
the Sophist, from having assumed in the Premiss, 
the (granted) existence of a pretended cause, infers in 
the conclusion the existence of the pretended effect, 
which we have supposed to be the Question : or vice 
versd, the pretended effect may be employed to esta- 
blish the cause ; e. g. inferring sinfulness from tem- 
poral calamity : but when both the pretended cause, 
and effect are granted, i.e. granted to exist, then the 
Sophist will infer something from their pretended 
connection ; i. e. he will assume as a Premiss, that " of 
these two admitted facts, the one is the cause of the 
other ; "as the opponents of the Reformation assumed 
that it was the cause of the troubles which took place 
at that period, and thence inferred that it was an evil. 
Such an argument as either of these might strictly be 
called " non causa pro causd ;" but it is not probable, 
that the Logical writers intended any such limitation, 
(which indeed would be wholly unnecessary and im- 
pertinent,) but rather that they were confounding 
together cause and reason ,- the sequence of Conclusion 
from Premises being perpetually mistaken for that of 
effect from physical cause. It is indeed a very necessary 
caution in philosophical investigation not to assume too 
hastily that one thing is the cause of another, when 
perhaps it is only an accidental concomitant ; (as was 
the case in the assumption of the Premises of the last 
mentioned examples :) but investigation is a perfectly 
distinct business from argumentation ; and to mingle 
together the rules of the two, (as Logical writers have 
generally done, especially in the present case,) tends 
only to produce confusion in both. It may be better 
therefore to drop the name which tends to perpetuate 
this confusion, and simply state (when such is the case) 
that the Premiss is unduly assumed ; i. e. without 
being either self-evident, or satisfactorily proved. 

The contrivances by which men may deceive them- 
selves or others, in assuming Premises unduly, so that 
that undue assumption shall not be perceived, (for it is in 
this the Fallacy consists) are of course infinite. Some- 
times (as was before observed) the doubtful Premiss is 
suppressed, as if it were too evident to need being 
proved, or even stated, and as if the whole question 
turned on the establishment of the other Premiss. 

Thus H. Tooke proves, by an immense induction, 
that all particles were originally nouns or verbs ; and 
thence concludes, that in reality they are so still, and 
that the ordinary division of the parts of speech is 
absurd ; keeping out of sight, as self-evident, the 
other Premiss, which is absolutely false ; viz. that the 
meaning and force of a term, now and for ever, must 
be that, which it, or its root originally bore. 

Sometimes men are shamed into admitting an un- 
founded assertion, by being assured, that it is so 
evident it would argue great weakness to doubt it. In 

general, however, the more skilful Sophist will avoid Chap. V. 
a direct assertion of what he means unduly to assume; *" -v" ' 
since that might direct the reader's attention to the 
consideration of the question whether it be true or not, 
since that which is indisputable does not so often need 
to be asserted : it succeeds better, therefore, if you 
allude to the proposition as something curious and re- 
markable ; just as the Royal Society were imposed on 
by being asked to account for the fact that a vessel of 
water received no addition to its weight by a live fish 
put into it ; while they were seeking for the cause, 
they forgot to ascertain the fact, and thus admitted 
without suspicion a mere fiction. Thus an eminent 
Scotch writer, instead of asserting that " the advocates 
of Logic have been worsted and driven from the field 
in every controversy," (an assertion, which if made, 
would have been the more readily ascertained to be 
perfectly groundless,) merely observes, that " it is a 
circumstance not a little remarkable." 

Frequently the Fallacy of ignoratio clenchi is called 
in to the aid of this ; i. e. the Premiss is assumed on 
the ground of another proposition, somewhat like it, 
having been proved ; thus in arguing by example, &c. 
the parallelism of two cases is often assumed from 
their being in some respects alike, though perhaps they 
differ in the very point which is essential to the argu- 
ment ; e. g. from the circumstance that some men of 
humble station, who have been well educated, are apt 
to think themselves above low drudgery, it is argued 
that universal education of the lower order, would 
beget general idleness : this argument rests of course 
on the assumption of parallelism in the two cases, viz. 
the past and the future ; whereas there is a circum- 
stance that is absolutely essential, in which they differ 5 
for when education is universal it must cease to be a 
distinction; which is probably the very circumstance 
that renders men too proud for their work. 

This very same Fallacy is often resorted to on the 
opposite side ; an attempt is made to invalidate some 
argument from example, by pointing out a difference 
between the two cases, though they agree in every 
thing that is essential to the question. Lastly, it may 
be here remarked, conformably with what has been 
formerly said, that it will often be left to your choice 
whether to refer this or that fallacious argument to 
the present head, or that of Ambiguous middle j " if 
the middle term is here used in t/iis sense, there is an 
ambiguity ; if in that sense, the proposition is false." 

14. The last kind of Fallacy to be discussed is that 
of Irrelevant Conclusion, commonly called ignoratio 
elenchi. Various kinds of propositions are, according 
to the occasion, substituted for the one of which proof 
is required. 

Sometimes the particular for the universal ; some- 
times a proposition with different terms : and various 
are the contrivances employed to effect and to conceal 
this substitution, and to make the Conclusion which the 
Sophist has drawn, answer, practically, the same pur<- 
pose as the one he ought to have established. We say, 
" practically the same purpose," because it will very 
often happen that some emotion will be excited some 
sentiment impressed on the mind (by a dexterous 
employment of this Fallacy) such as shall bring men 
into the disposition requisite for your purpose, though 
they may not have assented to, or even stated dis- 
tinctly in their own minds the proposition which it was 
your business to establish. Thus if a Sophist has to 



defend one who has been guilty of some serious offence,, 
' which he wishes to extenuate, though he is unable dis- 
tinctly to prove that it is not such, yet if he can suc- 
ceed in making the audience laugh at some casual matter, 
he has gained practically the same point. So also if 
any one has pointed out the extenuating circumstances 
in some particular case of offence, so as to shew that it 
differs widely from the generality of the same class, 
the Sophist, if he find himself unable to disprove these 
circumstances, may do away the force of them, by 
simply referring the action to that very class, which no 
one can deny that it belongs to, and the very name of 
which will excite a feeling of disgust sufficient to 
counteract the extenuation ; e. g. let it be a case of 
peculation, and that many mitigating circumstances 
have been brought forward which cannot be denied ; 
the sophistical opponent will reply, "' well, but after 
all, the man is a rogue, and there is an end of it " 
now in reality this was (by hypothesis) never the 
question ; and the mere assertion of what was never 
denied, ought not, in fairness, to be regarded as deci- 
sive 3 but, practically, the odiousness of the word, 
arising in great measure from the association of those 
very circumstances which belong to most of the class, 
but which we have supposed to be absent in this par- 
ticular instance, excites precisely that feeling of disgust , 
which in effect destroys the force of the defence. In 
like manner we may refer to this head all cases of 
improper appeals to the passions, and every thing else 
which is mentioned by Aristotle as extraneous to the 
matter in hand, (ei^w rS Tr^a^/iaTo?.) 

In all these cases, as has been before observed, if 
the Fallacy we are now treating of be employed for 
the apparent establishment, not of the ultimate Con- 
clusion, but (as it very commonly happens) of a 
Premiss, (i. e. if the Premiss reqxiired be assumed on 
the ground that some proposition resembling it has 
been proved,) then there will be a combination of this 
Fallacy with the last mentioned. A good instance 
of the employment and exposure of this Fallacy 
occurs in Thucydides, in the speeches of Cleon and 
Diodotus concerning the Mitylenaeans : the former 
(over and above his appeal to the angry passions of his 
audience,) urges the justice of putting the revolters to 
death ; which, as the latter remarked, was nothing to 
the purpose, since the Athenians were not sitting in 
judgment, but in deliberation, of which the proper 
end is expediency. 

It is evident that ignoratio elenchi may be employed 
as well for the apparent refutation of your opponent's 
proposition, as for the apparent establishment of your 
own ; for it is substantially the same thing to prove what 
was not denied, or to disprove what was not asserted : 
the latter practice is not less common, and it is more 
offensive, because it frequently amounts to a personal 
affront, in attributing to a person opinions, 8cc. which 
he perhaps holds in abhorrence. Thus, when in a 
discussion one party vindicates, on the ground of gene- 
ral expediency, a particular instance of resistance to 
Government in a case of intolerable oppression, the 
opponent may gravely maintain that " we ought not 
to do evil that good may come:" a proposition which 
of course had never been denied, the point in dispute 
being " whether resistance in this particular case were 
doing evil or not." In this example it is to be re- 
marked, (and the remark will apply very generally,) 
that the Fallacy of petitio principii is combined with that 

of ignoratio elenchi, which is a very common and suc- 
cessful practice ; viz. the Sophist proves, or disproves, 
not the proposition which is really in question, but one 
which so implies it as to proceed on the supposition 
that it is already decided, and can admit of no doubt ; 
by this means his " assumption of the point in 
question" is so indirect and oblique, that it may easily 
escape notice ; and he thus establishes, practically, 
his Conclusion, at the very moment when he is with- 
drawing your attention from it to another question. 

There are certain kinds of argument recounted and 
named by Logical writers, which we should by no means 
universally call Fallacies ; but which when unfairly 
used, undsofaras they are fallacious, may very well be 
referred to the present head ; such as the " argumentum 
ad hominem," or personal argument, " argumentum ad 
verecundiam," " argumentum ad populum," &c. all of 
them regarded as contradistinguished from " argu- 
mentum ad rem," or according to others (meaning 
probably the very same thing) " ad judicium." These 
have all been described in the lax and popular language 
before alluded to, but not scientifically : the " argu- 
mentum ad hominem" they say, " is addressed to the 
peculiar circumstances, character, avowed opinions, 
or past conduct of the individual, and therefore has a 
reference to him only, and does not bear directly 
and absolutely on the real question, as the ' argumen- 
tum ad rent does :" in like manner the " argumentum 
ad verecundiam" is described as an appeal to our reve- 
rence for some respected authority, some venerable 
institution, &.c. and the " argumentum ad populum," as 
an appeal to the prejudices, passions, &c. of the mul- 
titude, and so of the rest. Along with these is 
usually enumerated " argumentum ad ignorantiam," 
which is here omitted as being evidently nothing more 
than the employment of some kind of Fallacy, in the 
Avidest sense of that word, towards such as are likely 
to be cleceived by it. It appears then, (to speak rather 
more technically,) that in the " argumentum ad homi- 
nem" the Conclusion which actually is established, is 
not the absolute and general one in question, but 
relative and particular ; viz. not that "such and such 
is the fact," but that " this man is bound to admit it, in 
conformity to his principles of Reasoning, or in consis- 
tency with his own conduct, situation, &c." Such a 
Conclusion it is often both fair and necessary to esta- 
blish, in order to silence those who will not yield to 
fair general argument ; or to convince those whose 
weakness and prejudices would not allow them to 
assign to it its due weight : it is thus that our Lord 
on many occasions silences the cavils of the Jews ; as 
in the vindication of healing on the Sabbath, which is 
paralleled by the authorized practice of drawing out a 
beast that has fallen into a pit. All this, as we have 
said, is perfectly fair, provided it be done plainly, 
knowingly, and avowedly ; but if you attempt to substi- 
tute this partial and relative Conclusion for a more 
general one if you triumph as having established 
your proposition absolutely and universally, from 
having established it, in reality, only as far as it relates 
to your opponent, then you are guilty of a Fallacy of 
the kind which we are now treating of : your Conclu- 
sion is not in reality that which was, by your own 
account, proposed to be proved : the fallaciousness 
depends upon the deceit or attempt to deceive. The 
same observations will apply to " argumentum ad vere- 
cundiam," and the rest. 

2 H 2 



It is very common to employ an ambiguous term 
' for the purpose of introducing the Fallacy of Irrelevant 
Conclusion ; i. e. when you cannot prove your propo- 
sition in the sense in -which it was maintained, to 
prove it in some other sense ; e. g. those who contend 
against the efficacy of faith, usually employ that word 
in their arguments in the sense of mere belief, unac- 
companied with any moral or practical result, but 
considered as a mere intellectual process ; and when 
they have thus proved their Conclusion, they oppose 
it to one in which the word is used in a widely 
different sense. 

15. The Fallacy of ignoratlo elenchi is no where 
more common than in protracted controversy, when 
one of the parties, after having attempted in vain to 
maintain his position, shifts his ground as covertly as 
possible to another, instead of honestly giving up the 
point. An instance occurs in an attack made on the 
system pursued at one of our Universities. The ob- 
jectors finding themselves unable to maintain their 
charge of the present neglect of Mathematics in that 
place, (to which neglect they had attributed the late 
general decline in those studies,) they shifted their 
ground, and contended that that University was never 
famous for Mathematicians j which not only does not 
establish, but absolutely overthrows their own origi- 
nal assertion ; for if it never succeeded in those pur- 
suits, it could not have caused their late decline. 

A practice of this nature is common in oral contro- 
versy especially; viz. that of combating both your 
opponent's Premises alternately, and shifting the 
attack from the one to the other, without waiting to 
have either of them decided upon before you quit it. 

It has been remarked above, that one class of the 
propositions that may be, in this Fallacy, substituted 
for the one required, is the particular for the universal : 
nearly akin to this is the very common case of proving 
something to be possible when it ought to have been 
proved highly probable; or probable, when it ought to 
have been proved necessary ; or, which comes to the very 
same, proving it to be not necessary, when it should 
have been proved not probable ; or improbable, when 
it should have been proved impossible. Aristotle, (in 
Rhet. book ii.) complains of this last branch of the 
Fallacy, as giving an undue advantage to the respon- 
dent : many a guilty person owes his acquittal to this ; 
the jury considering that the evidence brought does 
not demonstrate the absolute impossibility of his being 
innocent, though perhaps the chances are innumerable 
against it. 

16. Similar to this case is that which may be 
called the Fallacy of objections ; i. e. shewing that there 
are objections agayist some plan, theory or system, 
and thence inferring that it should be rejected ; when 
that which ought to have been proved, is, that there 
are more, or stronger objections against the receiving 
than the rejecting of it. This is the main, and almost 
universal Fallacy of infidels, and is that of which 
men should be first and principally warned. This is 
also the stronghold of bigoted anti-innovators, who 
oppose all reforms and alterations indiscriminately ; 
for there never was, nor will be, any plan executed 
or proposed, against which strong and even unan- 
swerable objections may not be urged ; so that unless 
the opposite objections be set in the balance on the 
other side, we can never advance a step. " There 
are objections," said Dr. Johnson, " against a plenum, 

and objections against a vacuum ; but one of them Chap. V. 
must be true." 

The very same Fallacy indeed is employed on the 
other side, by those who are for overthrowing what- 
ever is established as soon as they can prove an 
objection against it, without considering whether more 
and weightier objections may not lie against their own 
schemes : but their opponents have this decided advan- 
tage over them, that they can urge with great plausi- 
bility, " we do not call upon you to reject at once 
whatever is objected to, but merely to suspend your 
judgment and not come to a decision as long as there 
are reasons on both sides :" now since there always will 
be reasons on both sides, this non-decision is practically 
the very same thing as a decision in favour of the 
existing state of things ; the delay of trial becomes 
equivalent to an acquittal.* 

17. Another form of ignoratio elenchi, which is 
also rather the most serviceable on the side of the 
respondent, is, to prove or disprove some part of that 
which is required, and dwell on that, suppressing all 
the rest. 

Thus, if a University is charged with cultivating 
only the mere elements of Mathematics, and in reply 
a list of the books studied there is produced, should 
even any one of those books be not elementary, the 
charge is in fairness refuted 5 but the Sophist may 
then earnestly contend that some of those books are 
elementary ; and thus keep out of sight the real 
question, viz. whether they are all so. 

Hence the danger of ever advancing more than can 
be well maintained ; since the refutation of t'hat will 
often quash the whole : a guilty person may often 
escape by having too much laid to his charge : so he 
may also by having too much evidence against him, 
i. e. some that is not in itself satisfactory : thus, a 
prisoner may sometimes obtain acquittal by shewing 
that one of the witnesses against him is an infamous 
informer and spy ; though perhaps if that part of the 
evidence had been omitted, the rest would have been 
sufficient for conviction. 

Cases of this nature might very well be referred 
also to the Fallacy formerly mentioned, of inferring 
the Falsity of the Conclusion from the Falsity of a 
Premiss, which indeed is very closely allied to the 
present Fallacy : the real question is " whether or 
not this Conclusion ought to be admitted ;" the Sophist 
confines himself to the question, " whether or not 
it is established by this particular argument ;" leaving it 
to be inferred by the audience, if he has carried his 
point as to the latter question, that the former is 
thereby decided. 

18. It will readily be perceived that nothing is 
less conducive to the success of the Fallacy in question 
than to state clearly, in the outset, either the propo- 
sition you are about to prove, or that which you ought 
to prove ; it answers best to begin with the Premises, 
and to introduce a pretty long chain of argument before 
you arrive at the Conclusion. The careless hearer 
takes for granted, at the beginning, that this chain 

* " Not to resolve, is to resolve." Bacon. 

How happy it is for mankind that in the most momentous con- 
cerns of life their decision is generally formed for them by 
external circumstances ; which thus saves them not only from 
the perplexity of doubt and the danger of delay, but also from 
the pain of regret, since we acquiesce much more cheerfully in 
that which is unavoidable. 



Logic, will lead to the Conclusion required j and by the time 
you are come to the end, he is ready to take for 
granted that the Conclusion which you draw is the one 
required ; his idea of the question having gradually 
become indistinct. This Fallacy is greatly aided by 
the common practice of suppressing the Conclusion and 
leaving it to be supplied by the hearer, who is of 
course less likely to perceive whether it be really that 
" which was to be proved," than if it were distinctly 
stated. The practice therefore is at best suspicious ; 
and it is better in general to avoid it, and to give and 
require a distinct statement of the Conclusion intended. 
19. Before we dismiss the subject of Fallacies, it 
may not be improper to mention the just and inge- 
nious remark, that Jests are Fallacies ; i. e. Fallacies so 
palpable as not to be likely to deceive any one, but 
yet bearing just that resemblance of argument which 
is calculated to amuse by the contrast ; in the same 
manner that a parody does, by the contrast of its levity 
with the serious production which it imitates. There 
is indeed something laughable even in Fallacies which 

are intended for serious conviction, when they are Chap. V. 
thoroughly exposed. There are several different kinds ^ Y"~ " 
of joke and raillery, which will be found to corres- 
pond with the different kinds of Fallacy : the pun (to 
take the simplest and most obvious case) is evidently 
a mock argument founded on a palpable equivocation 
of the middle term : and the rest in like manner will 
be found to correspond to the respective Fallacies, and 
to be imitations of serious argument. It is probable 
indeed that all jests, sports, or games, (-aittai} pro- 
perly so called, will be found, on examination, to be 
imitative of serious transactions : but to enter fully 
into this subject would be unsuitable to the present 

We shall conclude the consideration of this subject 
with some general remarks on the legitimate province 
of Reasoning, and on its connection with Inductive 
philosophy, and with Rhetoric : on which points much 
misapprehension has prevailed, tending to throw 
obscurity over the design and use of the Science under 






LOGIC being concerned with the theory of Reasoning 
1 it is evidently necessary, in order to take a correct 
view ot this Science, that all misapprehensions should 
be removed, relative to the occasions on which the 
Reasoning process is employed, the purposes it has 
in view, and the limits within which it is confined. 

Simple and obvious as such questions may appear 
to those who have not thought much on the subject, 
they will appear on further consideration to be in- 
volved in much perplexity and obscurity, from the 
vague and inaccurate language of many popular 
writers. To the confused and incorrect notions that 
prevail respecting the Reasoning process, may be 
traced most of the common mistakes respecting the 
Science of Logic, and much of the unsound and un- 
philosophical argumentation which is so often to be 
met with in the works of ingenious writers. 

These errors have been incidentally adverted to in 
the foregoing part of this article ; but it may be 
desirable, before we dismiss the subject; to offer on 
these points some further remarks, which could not 
have been there introduced without too great an in- 
terruption to the developement of the system. Little 
or nothing indeed remains to be said that is not 
implied in the principles which have been already laid 
down ; but the results and applications of those prin- 
ciples are liable in many instances to be overlooked if 
not distinctly pointed out. These supplementary 
observations will neither require, nor admit of, so 
systematic an arrangement as has hitherto been 
arrived at, as they will be such as are suggested 
principally by the objections and mistakes of those 
who have misunderstood, partially, or entirely, the 
nature of the Logical system. 

Of Induction. 

1. Much has been said by some writers of the 
superiority of the Inductive to the Syllogistic method 
of seeking truth, as if the two stood opposed to each 
other ; and of the advantage of substituting the Orga- 
non of Bacon for that of Aristotle, &c. &c. which indi- 
cates a total misconception of the nature of both. 
There is, however, the more excuse for the confusion 
of thought which prevails on this subject, because 
eminent Logical writers have treated or at least 
have appeared to treat of Induction as a distinct 
kind of argument from the Syllogism : which if it 
were, it certainly might be contrasted with the Syllo- 
gism : or rather the whole Syllogistic theory would 
fall to the ground, since one of the very first prin- 
ciples it establishes, is that all Reasoning, on whatever 
subject, is one and the same process, which may be 
clearly exhibited in the form of Syllogisms. It is 
.hardly to be supposed, therefore, that this was the 
meaning of those writers ; though it must be admitted 
that they have countenanced the error in question, by 

their inaccurate expressions. This inaccuracy seems Essay on 
chiefly to have arisen from a vagueness in the use of *V e 
the word Induction, which is sometimes employed to 
designate the process of investigation and of collect- 
ing facts ; sometimes the deducing of an inference from 
those facts. The former of these processes (i. e. that 
of observation and experiment) is undoubtedly distinct 
from that which takes place in the Syllogism ; but 
then it is not a process of argument ; the latter again is 
an argumentative process ; but then it is, like all 
other arguments, capable of being Syllogistically 
expressed. And hence Induction has come to be 
regarded as a distinct kind of argument from the 
Syllogism. This Fallacy cannot be more concisely 
or clearly stated, than in the technical form with 
which we may now presume our readers to be familiar. 

Induction is distinct from Syllogism : 
Induction is a process of Reasoning ; therefore 
There is a process of Reasoning distinct from Syl- 

Here, " Induction" which is the middle term, is 
used in different senses in the two Premises. 

In the process of Reasoning by which we deduce, 
from our observation of certain known cases, an in- 
ference with respect to unknown ones, we are employ- 
ing a Syllogism in Barbara with the major* Premiss 
suppressed ; that being always substantially the same, 
as it asserts that " what belongs to the individual or 
individuals we have examined, belongs to the whole 
class under which they come :" e. g. from an exami- 
nation of the history of several tyrannies, and finding 
that each of them was of short duration, we con- 
clude that " the same is likely to be the case with all 
tyrannies j" the suppressed major Premiss being easily 
supplied by the hearer ; viz. " that what belongs to 
the tyrannies in question is likely to belong to all." 

Induction, therefore, so far forth as it is an argu- 
ment, may of course he stated Syllogistically ; but so 
far forth as it is a process of inquiry with a view to 
obtain the Premises of that argument, it is of course 
out of the province of Logic. Whether the Induction 
(in this last sense) has been sufficiently ample, i. e. 
takes in a sufficient number of individual cases, 
whether the character of those cases has been correctly 
ascertained and how far the individuals we have 
examined are likely to resemble, in this or that circum- 
stance, the rest of the class, &c. &c. are points that 
require indeed great judgment and caution j but this 
judgment and caution are not to be aided by Logic, 
because they are, in reality, employed in deciding 
whether or not it is fair and allowable to lay down your 
Premises ; i. e. whether you are authorized or not, 
to assert that " what is true of the individuals you 

* Not the minor, as Aldrich represents it. 


Logic, have examined, is true of the whole class :" and that 
_, -,_! this or that is true of those individuals. Now the 
rules of Logic have nothing to do with the truth or 
falsity of the Premises, but merely teach us to decide 
(not whether the Premises are fairly laid down, but) 
whether the Conclusion/o/ZoMJS/airfy/rom the Premises 
or not. 

Whether the Premises may fairly be assumed, or 
not, is a point which cannot be decided without a 
competent knowledge of the nature of the subject, e. g. 
in Natural Philosophy, in which the circumstances 
which in any case affect the result, are usually far 
more clearly ascertained, a single instance is often 
accounted a sufficient Induction : e. g. having once 
ascertained that an individual magnet will attract iron, 
we are authorized to conclude that this property is 
universal : in the affairs of human life, a much fuller 
Induction is required ; as in the former example. In 
short the degree of evidence for any proposition we 
originally assume as a Premiss, (whether the expressed, 
or the suppressed one) is not to be learned from Logic, 
nor indeed from any one distinct Science ; but is the 
province of whatever Science furnishes the subject 
matter of your argument. None but a Politician can 
judge rightly of the degree of evidence of a proposi- 
tion in Politics ; a Naturalist, in Natural History, 
&c. &c. e. g. from examination of many horned 
animals, as sheep, cows, &c. a Naturalist finds that 
they have cloven feet ; now his skill as a Naturalist 
is to be shewn in judging whether these animals 
are likely to resemble in the form of their feet all 
other horned animals ; and it is the exercise of this 
judgment, together with the examination of indivi- 
duals, that constitutes what is usually meant by the 
Inductive process ; which is that by which we gain new 
truths, and which is not connected with Logic ; being 
not what is strictly called Reasoning, but Investigation. 
But when this major Premiss is granted him, and is 
combined with the minor, viz. that the animals he has 
examined have cloven feet, then he draws the conclusion 
Logically : viz. that " the feet of all horned animals 
are cloven." Again, if from several times meeting 
with ill-luck on a Fridaj r , any one concluded that 
Friday, universally, is an unlucky day, one would 
object to his Induction ; and yet it would not be, as an 
argument, illogical; since the conclusion follows fairly, 
if you grant his implied Premiss, that the events which 
happened on those particular Fridays are such as must 
happen on all Fridays j" but we should object to his 
laying down this Premiss; and therefore should justly 
say that his Induction was faulty, though his argument 
was correct. 

And here it may be remarked that the ordinary rule 
for fair argument, viz. that in an Enthymeme the 
suppressed Premiss should be always the one of whose 
truth least doubt can exist, is not observed in Induc- 
tion ; for the Premiss which is usually the more doubt- 
ful of the two, is, in that, the major ; it being in few 
cases quite certain that the individuals respecting 
which some point has been ascertained are to be fairly 
regarded as a sample of the whole class ; the major 
Premiss nevertheless is seldom expressed, for the 
reason just given, that it is easily understood, as being 
mutatis mutandis, the same in every Induction. 

What has been said of Induction will equally apply 
to Example, which differs from it only in having a 
singular instead of a general conclusion : e. g. in the 

instance above, if the conclusion had been drawn, not Essay on 
respecting tyrannies in general, but respecting this or ; 1>ro " 
that tyranny, that it was not likely to be lasting, each 
of the cases adduced to prove this, would have been 
called an Example. 

On the Discovery of Truth. 

2. Whether it is by a process of Reasoning that 
New Truths are brought to light, is a question which 
seems to be decided in the negative by what has been 
already said, though many eminent writers seem to 
have taken for granted the affirmative. It is perhaps, 
in a great measure, a dispute concerning the use of 
words ; but it is not for that reason either uninterest- 
ing or unimportant, since an inaccurate use of lan- 
guage may often, in matters of Science, lead to con- 
fusion of thought, and to erroneous conclusions. And in 
the present instance much of the undeserved contempt 
which has been bestowed on the Logical system may 
be traced to this source ; for when any one has laid 
down that "Reasoning is important in the discovery 
of Truth," and that " Logic is of no service in the dis- 
covery of Truth," each of which propositions is true 
in a certain sense of the terms employed, but not in 
the same sense ; he is naturally led to conclude that 
there are processes of Reasoning to which the Syllo- 
gistic theory does not apply, and of course to mis- 
conceive altogether the nature of the Science. 

In maintaining the negative side of the above ques- 
tion, three things are to be premised : first, that it is 
not contended that Discoveries of any kind of Truth 
can be made (or at least are usually made) without 
Reasoning ; only that Reasoning is not the whole of 
the process, nor the whole of that which is important 
therein : secondly, that Reasoning shall be taken in 
the sense, not of every exercise of the Reason, but of 
Argumentation, in which we have all along used it, 
and in which it has been defined by all the Logical 
writers, viz. " from certain granted propositions to 
infer another proposition as the consequence of them :" 
thirdly, that by a " New Truth," be understood 
something neither expressly nor virtually asserted 
before, not implied and involved in any thing already 

To prove then this point demonstratively becomes 
in this manner perfectly easy ; for since all Reasoning 
(in the sense above defined) may be resolved into 
Syllogisms ; and since even the objectors to Logic 
make it a subject of complaint, that in a Syllogism the 
Premises do virtually assert the Conclusion, it follows 
at once that no New Truth (as above defined) can be 
elicited by any process of Reasoning. 

It is on this ground indeed, that the justly celebrated 
author of the Philosophy of Rhetoric objects to the 
Syllogism altogether, as necessarily involving a petitio 
principii; an objection which, of course, he would not 
have been disposed to bring forward, had he perceived 
that, whether well or ill founded, it lies against all 
arguments whatever. 

Had he been aware that a Syllogism is no distinct 
kind of argument otherwise than in form, but is, in 
fact, any argument whatever stated regularly and at 
full length, he would have obtained a more correct 
view of the object of all Reasoning, which is merelv to 
expand and unfold the assertions wrapt up, as it were, 
and implied in those with which we set out, and to 



bring- a person to perceive and acknowledge the full 
force of that which he has admitted, to contemplate 
it in various points of view, to admit in one shape 
what he has already admitted in another, and to give 
up and disallow whatever is inconsistent with it. 

Nor is it always a very easy task even to bring 
before the mind the several bearings, the various 
applications, of any one proposition. A common 
term comprehends several, often numberless individu- 
als, and these often, in some respects, widely differing 
from each other ; and no one can be, on each occasion 
of his employing such a term, attending to and fixing 
his mind on each of the individuals, or even of the 
species so comprehended. It is to be remembered 
too, that both Division and Generalization are in a 
great degree arbitrary ; i. e. that we may both divide 
the same genus on several different principles, and 
may refer the same species to several different classes, 
according to the nature of the discourse and drift of 
the argument ; each of which classes will furnish a 
distinct middle term for an argument, according to 
the question : e. g. if we wished to prove that " a 
horse feels," (to adopt an ill-chosen example from 
the above writer,) we might refer it to the genus 
" animal j" to prove that " it has only a single 
stomach," to the genus of " non-ruminants ;" to 
prove that it is " likely to degenerate in' a very cold 
climate," we should class it with " original produc- 
tions of a hot climate, &c. &c." Now each of these, 
and numberless others to which the same thing might 
be referred, are implied by the very term " horse ;" 
yet it cannot be expected that they all be at once 
present to the mind whenever that term is uttered. 
Much less, when instead of such a term as that, we 
are employing terms of a very abstract, and perhaps 
complex signification,* as " government, justice, &c." 

The ten Categoriesf or Predicaments which Aris- 
totle and other Logical writers have treated of, being 
certain general heads or summa- genera, to one or 
more of which every term may be referred, serve the 
purpose of marking out certain tracks, as it were, 
which are to be pursued in searching for middle terms 
in each argument respectively ; it being essential that 
we should generalize on a right principle, with a view 
to the question before us ; or, in other words, that we 
should abstract that portion of any object presented 
to the mind, which is important to the argument in 
hand. There are expressions in common use which 
have a reference to this caution ; such as " this is a 
question, not as to the nature of the object, but the 
magnitude of it :" " this is a question of time, or of 
place, &c." i. e. " the subject must be referred to this 
or to that Category." 

With respect to the meaning of the terms in ques- 
tion, "Discovery," and "New Truth ;" it matters not 
whether we confine ourselves to the narrowest sense, 

* On this point there are some valuable remarks in the Philo- 
sophy of Rhetoric itself, book iv. ch. vii. 

f The Categories enumerated by Aristotle, are ovo-ia, iricrov, 
waZov, irgbcm, irov, irSre, KeTtrScw, e^fiv, irotfiv, ira.ff'% ftv > which are 
usually rendered, as adequately as perhaps they can be in our 
language, Substance, Quantity, Quality, Relation. Place, Time, 
Situation, Possession, Action, Suffering. The catalogue has been 
by some writers enlarged, as it is evident may easily be done by 
subdividing some of the heads ; and by others curtailed, as it is 
no less evident that all may ultimately be referred to the two 
heads of Substance and Attribute, or in the language of some 
Logicians, Accident. 

or admit the widest, provided we do but distinguish Essay on 
there certainly are two kinds of " New Truth, and rf 
" Discovery," if we take those words in the widest 
sense in which they are ever used. First, such Truths 
as were, before they were discovered, absolutely 
unknown, being not implied by any thing we previ- 
ously knew, though we might perhaps suspect them 
as probable ; such are all matters of fact strictly so 
called, when first made known to one who had not 
any such previous knowledge, as would enable him to 
ascertain them a priori ; i. e. by Reasoning ; as if we 
inform a man that we have a colony at Botany Bay ; 
or that the earth is at such a distance from the sun ; 
or that platina is heavier than gold. The communi- 
cation of this kind of knowledge is most usually and 
most strictly called information : we gain it from obser- 
vation, and from testimony ; no mere internal workings 
of our own minds, (except when the mind itself is the 
very object to be observed,) or mere discussions in 
words, will make these known to us ; though there is 
great room for sagacity in judging what testimony to 
admit, and forming conjectures that may lead to profit- 
able observation, and to experiments with a view to it. 
The other class of Discoveries is of a very different 
nature ; that which may be elicited by Reasoning, and 
consequently is implied in that which we already know, 
we assent to on that ground, and not from observa- 
tion or testimony : to take a Geometrical truth upon 
trust, or to attempt to ascertain it by observation, would 
betray a total ignorance of the nature of the Science. 
In the longest demonstration the Mathematical teacher 
seems only to lead us to make use of our own stores, 
and point out to us how much we had already admit- 
ted ; and in the case of many Ethical propositions, 
we assent at first hearing, though perhaps we had 
never heard or thought of the proposition before ; so 
also do we readily assent to the testimony of a respect- 
able man who tells us that our troops have gained a 
victory ; but how different is the nature of the assent 
in the two cases. In the latter, we are ready to thank 
the person for his information, as being such as no 
wisdom or learning would have enabled us to ascer- 
tain ; in the former we usually exclaim " very true /" 
" that is a valuable and just remark ; that never struck 
me before !" implying at once our practical ignorance 
of it, and also our consciousness that we possess, in 
what we already know, the means to ascertain the 
truth of it. 

To all practical purposes, indeed, a Truth of this 
description may be as completely unknown to a man 
as the other ; but as soon as it is set before him, and 
the argument by which it is connected with his pre- 
vious notions is made clear to him, he recognises it as 
something conformable to, and contained in his former 

It is not improbable that Plato's doctrine of Remi- 
niscence arose from a hasty extension of what he had 
observed in this class, to all acquisition of knowledge 

His Theory of ideas served to confound together 
matters of fact respecting the nature of things, (which 
may be perfectly new to us,) with propositions relating 
to our own notions, and modes of thought ; (or to speak 
perhaps more correctly, our own arbitrary signs) which 
propositions must be contained and implied in those 
very complex notions themselves ; and whose truth 
is a conformity, not to the nature of things, but to 



Logic, our own hypothesis. Such ate all propositions in pure 
-V- ' Mathematics, and many in Ethics, viz. those which 
involve no assertion as to real matters of fact. It has 
been rightly remarked, that Mathematical propositions 
are not properly true or false in thte same sense as any 
proposition respecting real fact is so called ; and 
hence the truth (such as it is) of such propositions is 
necessary and eternal ; since it amounts only to this, 
that any complex notion which you have arbitrarily 
framed, must be exactly conformable to itself. The 
proposition that " the belief in a future state, com- 
bined with a complete devotion to the present life, is 
not consistent with the character of prudence," would 
be not at all the less true if a future state were 
a chimera, and prudence a quality which was 
nowhere met with ; nor would the truth of the 
Mathematician's conclusion be shaken, that " circles 
are to each other as the squares of their diameters," 
should it be found that there never had been a circle 
or a square, conformable to the definition, in rerum 

The Ethical proposition just instanced, is one of 
those which Locke calls "trifling," because the Pre- 
dicate is merely a part of the complex idea implied by 
the subject ; and he is right, if by " trifling " he means 
that it gives not, strictly speaking, any information ; 
but he should consider that to remind a man of what 
he had not, and what he would have thought of, may 
be, practically, as valuable as giving him information ; 
and that most propositions in the best sermons, and 
all in pure Mathematics, are of the description which 
he censures. 

It is indeed rather remarkable that he should speak so 
often of building Morals into a demonstrative Science, 
and yet speak so slightingly of those very propositions 
to which we must absolutely confine ourselves, in order 
to give to Ethics even the appearance of such a 
Science ; for the instant you come to an assertion 
respecting a matter of fact, as that "men (i. e. actually 
existing men) are bound to practise virtue," or " are 
liable to many temptations," you have stepped off the 
ground of strict demonstration, just as when you pro- 
ceed to practical Geometry. 

But to return : it is of the utmost importance to 
distinguish these two kinds of Discovery of Truth; 
to the former, as we have said, the word " infor- 
mation" is most strictly applied ; the communication 
of the latter is more properly called " instruction." 
We speak of the usual practice ; for it would be 
going too far to pretend that writers are uniform and 
consistent in the use of these, or of any other term. 
We say that the Historian gives us information res- 
pecting past times ; the Traveller, respecting foreign 
countries : on the other hand, the Mathematician gives 
'instruction in the principles of his Science ; the Moralist 
instructs us in our duties ; and \ve generally use the 
expressions " a well-informed man," and " a well- 
. instructed man," in a sense conformable to that which 
'has been here laid down. However, let the words be 
used as they may, the things are evidently different, 
_and ought to be distinguished. It is a question com- 
paratively unimportant, whether the term "Discovery" 
shall or shall not be extended to the eliciting of those 
Truths, which, being implied in our previous know- 
ledge, may be established by mere strict Reasoning. 
Similar verbal questions indeed might be raised res- 
pecting many other cases ; e. g. one has forgotten 

VOL. I. 

(i. e. cannot recollect) the name of ,s'dtt>e person or Esaay on 
place ; perhaps we even try to think of it, but in vain ; ll . lc 1>ro " 
at last some one reminds us, and we instantly recog- R eason i n 
nise it as the one we wanted to recollect ; it may be <._,_ - 
asked, was this in our mind or not ? The answer is, that 
in one sense it was, and in another sense, it was not. 
Or, again, suppose there is a vein of metal on a man's 
estate which he does not know of ; is it part of his 
possessions or not? and when he finds it out and works 
it, does he then acquire a new possession or not ? Cer- 
tainly not, in the same sense as if he has a fresh estate 
bequeathed to him, which he had formerly no right to ; 
but to all practical purposes, it is a new possession. 
This case indeed may serve as an illustration of the one 
we have been considering ; and in all these cases, if 
the real distinction be understood, the verbal question 
will not be of much consequence. To use one more 
illustration ; Reasoning has been aptly compared 
to the piling together blocks of stone ; on each of 
which, as on a pedestal, a man can raise himself a 
small, and but a small, height above the plain ; but 
which, when skilfully built up, will form a flight of 
steps, which will raise him to a great elevation. Now 
(to pursue this analogy) when the materials are all 
ready to the builder's hand, the blocks ready dug and 
brought, his work resembles one of the two kinds of 
Discovery just mentioned, viz. that to which we have 
assigned the name of instruction : but if his materials 
are to be entirely, or in part, provided by himself, if he 
himself is forced to dig fresh blocks from the quarry, 
this corresponds to the other kind of Discovery. 

We have hitherto spoken of the employment of 
argument in the establishment of those hypothetical 
Truths (as they may be called) which relate only to 
our own abstract notions ; it is not, however, meant 
to be insinuated that there is no room for Reasoning 
in the establishment of a matter of fact ; but the other 
class of Truths have first been treated of, because in 
discussing subjects of that kind the process of Rea- 
soning is always the principal, and often the only thing 
to be attended to, if we are but certain and clear as to 
the meaning of the terms ; whereas, when assertions 
respecting real existence are introduced, we have the 
additional and more important business of ascertain- 
ing and keeping in mind the degree of evidence for 
those facts, since, otherwise, our Conclusions could not 
be relied on, however accurate our Reasoning ; but, 
undoubtedly, we may by Reasoning arrive at matters 
of fact, if we have matters of fact to set out with as data; 
only that it will very often happen that " from certain 
facts, "as Campbell remarks, " we draw only probable 
Conclusions ;" because the other Premiss introduced 
(which he overlooked) is only probable. He observed 
that in such an instance, for example, as the one lately 
given, we infer from the certainty that such and such 
tyrannies have been short-lived, the probability that 
others will be so ; and he did not consider that there 
is an understood Premiss which is essential to the 
argument ; (viz. that all tyrannies will resemble those 
we have already observed) which being only of a pro- 
bable character, must attach the same degree of un- 
certainty to the Conclusion. An individual fact is not 
unfrequently elicited by skilfully combining, and 
Reasoning from, those already known j of which 
many curious cases occur in the detection of crimi- 
nals by officers of justice and Barristers, who acquire 
by practice such dexterity in that particular depart- 

2 i 



merit, as sometimes to draw trie right Conclusion from 
'-' data, which might be in the possession of others, with- 
out being applied to the same use. In all cases of 
the establishment of a general fact from Induction, 
that general fact (as has been formerly remarked) is 
ultimately established by Reasoning ; e. g. Bakewell, 
the celebrated cattle-breeder, observed, in a great 
number of individual beasts, a tendency to fatten 
readily, and in a great number of others the absence 
of this constitution in every individual of the former 
description, he observed a certain peculiar make, though 
they differed widely in size, colour, &c. Those "of 
the latter description differed no less in various points, 
but agreed in being of a different make from the 
others : these facts were his data ; from which, com- 
bining them with the general principle that Nature 
is steady and uniform in her proceedings, he Logically 
drew the conclusion that beasts of the specified make 
have universally a peculiar tendency to fattening : but 
then his principal merit consisted in making the ob- 
servations, and in so combining them as to abstract 
from each a multitude of cases, differing widely in 
many respects, the circumstances in which they all 
agreed ; and also in conjecturing skilfully how 
far those circumstances were likely to be found 
in the whole class ; the making such observa- 
tions, and still more the combination, abstraction, 
und judgment employed, are what men commonly 
mean (as was above observed) when they speak of 
Induction; and these operations are certainly distinct 
from Reasoning. The same observations will apply 
to numberless other cases, as, for instance, to the 
Discovery of the law of " vis inertia" and the other 
principles of Natural Philosophy. 

But to what class, it may be asked, should be re- 
ferred the Discoveries thus made ? All would agree 
in calling them, when first ascertained, " New Truths," 
in the strictest sense of the word ; which would seem 
to imply their belonging to the class which may be 
called, by way of distinction, "Physical Discoveries:" 
and yet their being ultimately established by Reason- 
ing, would seem, according to the foregoing rule, to 
refer them to the other class, viz. what may be called 
" Log ical Discoveries ;" since whatever is established 
by Reasoning, must have been contained and virtually 
asserted in the Premises. In answer to this, it is to 
be observed, that they certainly do belong to the 
latter class, relatively, to a person who is in possession 
of the data; but to him who is not, they are New Truths 
of the other class ; for it is to be remembered', that 
the words " Discovery" and " New Truths " are ne- 
cessarily relative : there may be a proposition which 
is to one person absolutely known ; to another, (viz. 
one to whom it has never occurred, though he is in 
possession of all the data from which it may be proved) 
it will be, when he comes to perceive it, by a process 
of instruction, what we have called a Logical Discovery; 
to a third, (viz. one who is ignorant of these data,) it 
\vill be absolutely unknown, and will have been, when 
made known to him, a perfectly and properly New 
Truth, a piece of information, a Physical Discovery 
as we have called it. To the Philosopher, therefore, who 
arrives at the Discovery by Reasoning from his obser- 
vations, and from established principles combined with 
them, the Discovery is of the former class ; to the mul- 
titude, probably of the latter, as they will have been most 
likely not possessed of all his data. It follows from 

what has been said, that in Mathematics, and in such Essay oa 
Ethical propositions as we were lately speaking of, the Pro- 
we do not allow the possibility of any but a Logical !? nce . f 
Discovery ; i. e. no proposition, of that class, can be ^ "fj 
true, which was not implied in the definitions we set *~" v ~""" 
out with, which are the first principles : for since 
these propositions do not profess to state any matter 
of fact, the only Truth they can possess, consists in 
conformity to the original principles ; to one, there- 
fore, who knows these principles, such propositions 
are Truths already implied, since they may be de- 
veloped to him by Reasoning, if he is not defective 
in the discursive faculty ; to one who does not under- 
stand those principles, (i. e. is not master of the defini- 
tions) such propositions are absolutely unmeaning. On 
the other hand, propositions relating to matters of fact, 
may be, indeed, implied in what he already knew; 
(as he who knows the climate of the Alps, the Andes, 
&c. &c. has virtually admitted the general fact, that 
"the tops of mountains are comparatively cold;") 
but as these possess an absolute and physical Truth, 
they may also be absolutely " new," their Truth not 
being implied by the mere terms of the propositions. 
The truth or falsity of any proposition concerning a 
triangle, is implied by the meaning of that and of the 
other Geometrical terms ; whereas, though one may 
understand (in the ordinary sense of that word) the 
full meaning of the terms, "moon" and "inhabited," 
and of all the other terms in the language, he cannot 
thence be certain that the moon is, or is not, inhabited. 
It has probably been the source of much perplexity 
that the term " true " has been applied indiscriminately 
to two such different classes of propositions. The 
term definition is used with the same laxity ; and 
much confusion has thence resulted. 

Such Definitions as the Mathematical, must imply 
every attribute that belongs to the thing defined; 
because that thing is merely our meaning, which, 
meaning the Definition lays down ; whereas, real 
substances, having an independent existence, may 
possess innumerable qualities (as Locke observes) 
not implied by the meaning AVC attach to their names, 
or, as Locke expresses it, by our ideas of them. 
" Their nominal essence (to use his language) is not 
the same as their real essence:" whereas the nominal 
essence, and the real essence, of a circle, &c. are the 
same. A Mathematical Definition, therefore, cannot 
properly be called true, since it is not properly a 
proposition, (any more than an article in a Dictionary,) 
but merely an explanation of the meaning of a term. 
Perhaps in Definitions of this class, it might be better 
to substitute (as Aristotle usually does) the imperative 
mood for the indicative ; thus bringing them into the 
form of postulates ; for the Definitions and the pos- 
tulates in Mathematics differ in little or nothing but 
the form of expression : e. g. " let a four-sided figure, 
of equal sides and right angles, be called a square," 
would clearly imply that such a figure is conceivable, 
and that the writer intended to employ that term to 
signify such a figure ; which is precisely all that is 
intended to be asserted. If, indeed, a Mathematical 
writer mean to assert that the ordinary meaning of 
the term is that which he has given, that, certainly, 
is a proposition, which must be either true or false ; 
but in defining a new term, the term indeed may be 
ill-chosen and improper, or the Definition may be 
self-contradictory, and consequently unintelligible; 



L g> c - but the words, "true," and "false/' do not apply. 
*%^*^ The same may be said of what are called nominal 
Definitions of other things, i. e. those which merely 
explain the meaning of the word ; viz. they can be 
true or false only when they profess (and so far as they 
profess) to give the ordinary and established meaning 
of the term. But those which are called real Defini- 
tions, viz. Avhich unfold the nature of the thing, 
(which they may do in various degrees,) to these the 
epithet " true " may be applied; and to make out 
such a Definition will often be the very end (not as in 
Mathematics the begimting) of our study. 

In Mathematics there is no such distinction between 
nominal and real Definition ; the meaning of the term, 
and the nature of the thing, being one and the same : 
so that no correct Definition whatever of any Mathema- 
tical term can be devised, which shall not imply 
every thing which belongs to the term. 

When it is asked, then, whether such great Dis- 
coveries, as have been made in Natural Philosophy, 
were accomplished, or can be accomplished by Rea- 
soning ? the inquirer should be reminded, that the 
question is ambiguous ; it may be answered in the 
affirmative, if by " Reasoning " is meant to be in- 
cluded the assumption of Premises ; to the right 
performance of that work, is requisite, not only in 
many cases, the ascertainment of facts, and of the 
degree of evidence for doubtful propositions, (in which 
observation and experiment will often be indispensa- 
ble,) but also a skilful selection and combination of 
known facts and principles ; such as implies, amongst 
other things, the exercise of that powerful abstraction 
"which seizes the common circumstances the point 
of agreement in a number of, otherwise dissimilar, 
individuals : it is in this that the greatest genius is 
shewn. But if " Reasoning " be understood in the 
limited sense in which it is usually defined, then we 
must answer in the negative ; and reply that such 
Discoveries are made by means of Reasoning combined 
with other operations. 

In the process we have been speaking of, there is 
much Reasoning throughout ; and thence the whole 
has been carelessly called a " Process of Reasoning." 

It is not, indeed, any just ground of complaint that 
the word Reasoning is used in two senses ; but that 
the two senses are perpetually confounded together : 
and hence it is that some Logical writers fancied that 
Reasoning (viz. that which Logic treats of) was the 
method of discovering Truth ; and that so many other 
writers have accordingly complained of Logic for not 
accomplishing that end, urging that f< Syllogism 
(i. e. Reasoning; though they overlooked the co- 
incidence) never established any thing that is, strictly 
speaking, unknown to him who has granted the 
Premises : and proposing the introduction of a certain 
f * rational Logic " to accomplish this purpose ; i. e. 
to direct the mind in the progress of investigation. 
Supposing that some such system could be devised 
that it could even be brought into a Scientific form, 
(which he must be more sanguine than Scientific who 
expects,) that it were of the greatest conceivable 
utility, and that it should be allowed to bear the 
name of " Logic," since it would not be worth while 
to contend about a word, still it would not, as these 
writers seem to suppose, have the same object proposed 
with the Aristotelian Logic ; nor be in any respect a 
rival to that system. A. plough may be a much more 

ingenious and valuable instrument than a flail, but it 
never can be substituted for it. 

Those Discoveries of general laws of Nature, &c. 
of which we have been speaking, being of that cha- 
racter which we have described by the name of 
" Logical Discoveries," to him who is in possession of 
all the Premises from which they are deduced; but being, 
to the multitude (who are unacquainted with many of 
those Premises) strictly " New Truths j" hence it is, 
that men in general give to the general facts, and to 
them, most peculiarly, the name of Discoveries ; for to 
themselves they are such, in the strictest sense j the 
Premises from which they were inferred being not 
only originally unknown to them, but frequently 
remaining unknown to the very last : e. g. the general 
conclusion concerning cattle, which Bakewell made 
known, is what most Agriculturists (and many others 
also) are acquainted with ; but the Premises he set 
out with, viz. the facts respecting this, that, and the 
other, individual ox, (the ascertainment of which 
facts was his first Discovery) these are what few know, 
or care to know, with any exact particularity. 

And it maybe added, that these discoveries of parti- 
cular facts, which are the immediate result of observation, 
are, in themselves, uninteresting and insignificant, 
till they are combined so as to lead to a grand general 
result ; those Avho on each occasion watched the 
motions, and registered the date of a comet, little 
thought, perhaps, themselves, what magnificent results 
they were preparing the way for. So that there is an 
additional cause which has confined the termDiscovery 
to these grand general conclusions ; and, as was just 
observed, they are, to the generality of men, per- 
fectly New Truths in the strictest sense of the word, 
not being implied in any previous knowledge they 
possessed. Very often it will happen, indeed, that 
the conclusion thus drawn will amount only to a 
probable conjecture ; which conjecture will dictate to 
the inquirer such an experiment, or course of experi- 
ments, as will fully establish the fact ; thus Sir H. 
Davy, from finding that the flame of hydrogen gas 
was not communicated through a long slender tube, 
conjectured that a shorter, but still slenderer tube, 
would answer the same purpose ; this led him to try 
the experiments, in which, by continually shortening 
the tube, and at the same time lessening its bore, 
he arrived at last at the ^wire-gauze of his safety- 

It is to be observed also, that whatever credit is con- 
veyed by the word "Discovery," to him who is regarded 
as the author of it, is well deserved by those who 
skilfully select and combine known Truths, (especially 
such as have been long and generally known,) so as to 
elicit important, and hitherto unthought-of, conclu- 
sions ; theirs is the master mind ; apxneKTovticfj 0/uoV^o-js' 
whereas men of very inferior powers may sometimes, 
by immediate observation, discover perfectly new 
facts, empirically, and thus be of service in furnishing 
materials to the others j to whom they stand in the 
same relation (to recur to a former illustration) as the 
brickmaker or stonequarrier, to the architect. It is 
peculiarly creditable to A. Smith, and to Mr. Malthus, 
that the data from which they drew such important 
Conclusions had been in every ones hands for cen- 

As for Mathematical Discoveries, they (as we have 
before said) must always be of the description to which 
2 i 2 

ssay on 
ll . ie Vr - 



we hive" given the name of " Logical Discoveries j" 
' since to him who properly comprehends the meaning 
of the Mathematical terms, (and to no other are the 
Truths themselves, properly speaking, intelligible,) 
those results are implied in his previous knowledge, 
since they are Logically deducible therefrom. It is 
not, however, meant to be implied that Mathematical 
Discoveries are effected by pure Reasoning, and by 
that singly. For though there is not here, as in Phy- 
sics, any exercise of judgment as to the degree of evi- 
dence of the Premises, nor any experiments and obser- 
vations, yet there is the same call for skill in the 
selection and combination of the Premises in such a 
manner as shall be best calculated to lead to a new, 
that is, unperceived and unthought-of Conclusion. 

In following, indeed, and taking in a demonstration, 
nothing is called for but pure Reasoning; but the 
assumption of Premises is not a part of Reasoning, in 
the strict and technical sense of that term. Accord- 
ingly, there are many who can follow a demonstration, 
or any other train of argument, who would not suc- 
ceed well in framing one of their own.* 

For both kinds of Discovery then, the Logical, as 
well as the Physical, certain operations are requisite, 
beyond these which can fairly be comprehended under 
the strict sense of the word "Reasoning; "in the Logical, 
is required a skilful selection and combination of known. 
Truths ; in the Physical we must employ, in addition 
(generally speaking) to that process, observation and 
experiment. It will generally happen, that in the 
study of Nature, and, universally, in all that relates to 
matters of fact, both kinds of investigation will be 
united ; i. e. some of the facts or principles you 
reason from as Premises, must be ascertained by 
observation ; or, as in the case of the safety-lamp, 
the ultimate Conclusion will need confirmation from 
experience ; so that both Physical and Logical Dis- 
covery will take place in the course of the same 
process : we need not, therefore, wonder, that the 
two are so perpetually confounded. In Mathematics, 
on the other hand, and in great part of the discussions 
relating to Ethics and Jurisprudence, there being no 
room for any Physical Discovery whatever, we have 
only to make a skilful use of the propositions in our 
possession, to arrive at every attainable result. 

The investigation, however, of the latter class of 
subjects differs in other points also from that of the 
former ; for setting aside the circumstance of our 
having, in these, no question as to facts, no room for 
observation, there is also a considerable difference in 
what maybe called the process of Logical investigation; 
the Premises on which we proceed being of so different 
a nature in the two cases. 

To take the example of Mathematics, the defini- 
tions, which are the principles of our Reasoning, are 
\eryfew, and the axioms still fewer ; and both are, 
for the most part, laid down, and placed before the 
student in the outset; the introduction of a new defi- 
nition or axiom, being of comparatively rare occur- 
rence, at wide intervals, and with a. formal statement; 
besides which, there is no room for doubt concerning 
either. On the other hand, in all Reasonings which 
regard matters of fact, we introduce, almost at every 
step, fresh and fresh propositions (to a very great 

* Hence the Student must not confine himself to this passive 
kind of employment, if he would become truly a Mathematician. 

number) which had not been elicited in the course of Essay on 
our Reasoning, but are taken for granted ; viz. facts tlte P f - 
and laws of Nature which are here the principles of lce . f 
our Reasoning, and maxims, or " elements of belief," ^ ^ *S^ 
which answer to the axioms in Mathematics. If, at 
the opening of a, for example, on Chemistrv, 
on Agriculture, on Political Economy, &c. the author 
should make, as in Mathematics, a formal statement 
of all the propositions he intended to assume, as 
granted t.hro\ighout the whole work, both he and his 
readers would be astonished at the number : and, of 
these, many would be only probable, and there would 
be much room for doubt as to the degree of proba- 
bility, and for judgment, in ascertaining that degree. 

Moreover, Mathematical axioms are always em- 
ployed precisely in the same simple form; e.g. the 
axiom that " things equal to the same, are equal to 
one another," is cited, whenever there is need, in those 
very words ; whereas the maxims employed in the other 
class of subjects, admit of, and require, continual mo- 
difications in the application of them : e.g. "the sta- 
bility of the laws of Nature," which is our constant 
assumption in inquiries relating to Natural Philosophy, 
assumes many different shapes, and in some of them, 
does not possess the same absolute certainty as in 
others : e. g. when from having always observed a cer- 
tain sheep ruminating, we infer, that this individual 
sheep will continue to ruminate, we assume that " the 
property which has hitherto belonged to this sheep, 
will remain unchanged ;" when we infer the same pro- 
perty of all sheep, we assume that "the property which 
belongs to this individual, belongs to the whole 
species :" if, on comparing sheep with some other 
kinds of horned animals, and finding that all agree in 
ruminating, we infer that, " all horned animals rumi- 
nate," we assume that " the whole of a genus or class 
are likely to agree in any point wherein many species 
of that genus agree;" or in other words, " that if 
one of two properties, &c. has often been found ac- 
companied by another, and never without it, the 
former will be universally accompanied by the latter j" 
now all these are merely different forms of the 
maxim, that " nature is uniform in her operations;" 
which, it is evident, varies in expression in almost 
every different case where it is applied, and admits of 
every degree of evidence, from absolute moral cer- 
tainty, to mere conjecture. 

The same may be said of an infinite number of 
principles and maxims appropriated to, and employed 
in each particular branch of study. Hence, all such 
Reasonings are, in comparison of Mathematics, very 
complex ; requiring so much more than that docs, 
beyond the process of merely deducing the Conclusion 
Logically, from the Premises ; so that it is no wonder 
that the longest Mathematical demonstration should be 
so much more easily constructed and understood, than 
a much shorter train of just Reasoning concerning 
real facts. The former has been aptly compared to a 
long and steep, but even and regular, flight of steps, 
which tries the breath, and the strength, and the 
perseverance, only; while the latter resembles a short, 
but rugged and uneven, ascent up a precipice, which 
requires a quick eye, agile limbs, and a firm step ; and 
in which we have to tread now on this side, now on 
that ; ever considering, as we proceed, whether this 
projection will afford room for our foot, or whether 
some loose stone may not slide from under us. 



As for those Ethical and Legal Reasonings which 
were lately mentioned, as in some respects resembling 
those of Mathematics, (viz. such as keep clear of 
all assertions respecting facts,) they have this dif- 
ference; that not only men are not so completely 
agreed respecting the maxims and principles of Ethics 
and Law, but the meaning also of each term cannot 
be absolutely, and for ever, fixed by an arbitrary de- 
finition ; on the contrary, a great part of our labour 
consists in distinguishing accurately the various senses 
in which men employ each term, ascertaining which 
is the most proper, and taking care to avoid con- 
founding them together. 

Of Inference and Proof. 

3. Since it appears, from what has been said, that 
universally a man must possess something else besides 
the Reasoning faculty, in order to apply that faculty 
properly to his own purpose, whatever that purpose 
may be ; it may be inquired whether some theory 
could not be made out, respecting those " other 
operations," and " intellectual processes distinct from 
Reasoning, which it is necessary for us sometimes to 
employ in the investigation of truth;"* and whether 
rules could not be laid down for conducting them. 

Something has, indeed, been done in this way by 
more than one writer ; and more might probably be 
accomplished by one who should fully comprehend 
and carefully bear in mind the principles of Logic, 
properly so called ; but it would hardly be possible 
to build up any thing like a regular Science, respecting 
these matters, such as Logic is, with respect to the 
theory of Reasoning. It may be useful, however, to 
observe, that these " other operations" of which we have 
been speaking, and which are preparatory to the exercise 
of Reasoning, are of two kinds, according to the nature 
of the end proposed ; for Reasoning comprehends In- 
ferring and Proving; which are not two different 
things, but the same thing regarded in two different 
points of view: (like the road from London to York, 
and the road from York to London,) he who 
infers, f proves ; and he who proves, infers ; but the 
word " infer " fixes the mind first on the Premiss, 
and then on the Conclusion ; the word " prove," on 
the contrary, leads the mind from the Conclusion to 
the Premiss. Hence, the substantives derived from 
these words respectively, are often used to express 
that which, on each occasion, is last in the mind : 
Inference being often used to signify the Conclusion, 
(i. e. Proposition inferred) and Proof, the Premiss. 
We say also " How do you prove that ?" and " What 
do you infer from that ?" which sentences would not 
be so properly expressed if we were to transpose 
those verbs. One might, therefore, define Proving, 
" the assigning of a reason or argument for the sup- 
port of a given proposition;" and " Inferring," the 
" deduction of a Conclusion from given Premises." In 
the one case our Conclusion is given, (i. e. set before us) 
and we have to seek for arguments; in the other, our 
Premises are given, and we have to seek for a Con- 
clusion ; i. e. to put together our own propositions, 
and try what will follow from them ; or, to speak 
more Logically, in the one case, we seek to refer the 

* D. Stewart. 

t We mean, of course, when the word is understood to imply 
correct Inference. 

subject of which we would predicate something, to a Essay on 
class to which that predicate will (affirmatively or l j} e 
negatively) apply; in the other we seek to find com- 
prehended. in the subject of which we have predicated 
something, some other term to which that predicate 
had not been before applied. Each of these is a 
definition of Reasoning. 

To infer, then, is the business of the Philosopher ; 
to prove, of the Advocate ; the former, from the great 
mass of known and admitted truths, wishes to elicit 
any valuable additional truth whatever, that has 
been hitherto unperceived ; and, perhaps, without 
knowing, with certainty, what will be the terms of 
his Conclusion. Thus the Mathematician, e. g. seeks 
to ascertain what is the ratio of circles to each other, 
or what is the line whose square will be equal to a 
given circle : the Advocate, on the other hand, has a 
proposition put before him, which he is to maintain 
as well as he can ; his business, therefore, is to find 
middle terms, (which is the inventio of Cicero ;) the 
Philosopher's, to combine and select known facts, or 
principles, suitably for gaining from them conclusions 
which, though implied in the Premises, were before 
unperceived ; in other words, for making " Logical 
Discoveries." Such are the respective preparatory 
processes in these two branches of study. They are 
widely different ; they arise from, and generate, very 
different habits of mind ; and require a very different 
kind of training and precept. The Lawyer, or Con- 
troversialist, or, in short, the Rhetorician in general, 
who is, in his own province, the most skilful, may be 
but ill-fitted for Philosophical investigation, even 
where there is no observation wanted ; Avhen the 
facts are all ready ascertained for him. And again, 
the ablest Philosopher may make an indifferent dis- 
putant ; especially, since the arguments which have 
led him to the conclusion, and have, with him, the 
most weight, may not, perhaps, be the most power- 
ful in controversy. The commonest fault, however, 
by far, is to forget the Philosopher or Theologian, 
and to assume the Advocate, improperly. It is there- 
fore of great use to dwell on the distinction between 
these two branches : as for the bare process of Rea- 
soning, that is the same in both cases ; but the pre- 
paratory processes which are requisite in order to 
employ Reasoning profitably, these we see branch off 
into two distinct channels. In each of these undoubt- 
edly, useful rules may be laid down ; but they should 
not be confounded together. Bacon has chosen 
the department of Philosophy, giving rules in his 
Organon, (not only for the conduct of experiments to 
ascertain new facts, but also for the selection and 
combination of known facts and principles,) with a 
view of obtaining valuable Inferences ; and it is proba- 
ble that a system of such rules is what some writers 
mean (if they have any distinct meaning) by their 
proposed " Logic." In the other department, precepts 
have been given by Aristotle and other Rhetorical 
writers, as a part of their plan. How far these pre- 
cepts are to be considered as belonging to the present 
system, whether "method" is to be regarded as a 
part of Logic, whether the matter of Logic is to be 
included in the system, whether Bacon's is properly 
to be reckoned a kind of Logic ; all these are merely 
verbal questions relating to the extension, not of the 
Science, but of the name. The uare process of Rea- 
soning, i. e. deducing a Conclusion from Premises, 


LOG! C. 

must ever remain a distinct operation from the asswnp- 
^ tion of Premises, however useful the rules may be 
that have been given, or maybe given, for conducting 
this latter process, and others connected with it ; and 
however properly such rules may be subjoined to the 
precepts of that system to which the name of Logic is 
applied in the narrowest sense. Such rules as we now 
allude to may be of eminent service ; but they must 
always be, as we have before observed, comparatively 
vague and general, and incapable of being built up into 
a regular demonstrative theory like that of the Syllo- 
gism ; to which theory they bear much the same 
relation as the principles and rules of Poetical and 
Rhetorical criticism, to those of Grammar ; or those 
of practical Mechanics, to strict Geometry. We find 
no fault with the extension of a term ; but we would 
suggest a caution against confounding together, by* 
means of a common name, things essentially different : 
and above all we deprecate the sophistry of striving to 
depreciate what is called " the school Logic," by per- 
petually contrasting it with systems with which it has 
nothing in common but the name ; and whose object 
is essentially different. 

It is not a little remarkable that writers whose 
expressions tend to confound together, by means of 
a common name, two branches of study which have 
nothing else in common, (as if they were two different 
plans for attaining one and the same object,) have them- 
selves complained of one of the effects of this confu- 
sion, viz. the introduction, early in the career of Aca- 
demical Education, of a course of Logic ; under which 
name, they observe " men now universally comprehend 
the works of Locke, Bacon, &c." which, as is justly 
remarked, are unfit for beginners. Now this would not 
have happened, if men had always kept in mind the 
meaning or meanings of each name they used. And it 
may be added, that, however justly the word Logic may 
be thus extended, we have no ground for applying to the 
Aristotelian Logic, the remarks above quoted respect- 
ing the Baconian ; which the ambiguity of the word, 
if not carefully kept in view, might lead us to do. 
Grant that Bacon's work is a part of Logic ; it no more 
follows from the unfitness of that for learners, that 
the elements of the theory of Reasoning should be 
withheld from them, than it follows that the elements 
of Euclid, and common Arithmetic, are unfit for boys, 
because Newton's Principia, which also bears the title 
of Mathematical, is above their grasp. Of two branches 
of study which bear the same name, or even of two 
parts of the same branch, the one may be suitable to 
the commencement, the other to the close, of the 
Academical career. 

At whatever period of that career it may be proper 
to introduce the study of such as are usually called 
Metaphysical writers, it may be safely asserted, that 
those who have had the most experience in the busi- 
ness of giving instruction in Logic, properly so called, 
together with other branches of knowledge, prefer 
and generally pursue the plan of letting their pupils 
enter on that study next in order, after the elements 
of Mathematics. 

Of Verbal and Real Questions. 

4. The ingenious author of the Philosophy of Rhe- 
toric having maintained, or rather assumed, that Logic 
is applicable to Verbal controversy alone, there may be 
an advantage, though it has been our aim throughout 

to shew the application of it to all Reasoning;, in Essay on 
pointing out the difference between Verbal and Real ^e Pto- 
Questions, and the probable origin of Campbell's vince f 
mistake ; for to trace any error to its source, will * 
often throw more light on the subject in hand than ^~V"" P ' 
can be obtained if we rest satisfied with merely detect- 
ing and refuting it. 

Every Question that can arise, is in fact a Question 
whether a certain Predicate is or is not applicable to 
a certain subject ; and whatever other account may 
be given by any writer of the nature of any matter of 
doubt or debate, will be found, ultimately, to resolve 
itself into this. But sometimes the Question turns on 
the meaning and extent of the terms employed j some- 
times on the things signified by them. If it be made 
to appear therefore, that the opposite sides of a certain 
Question may be held by persons not differing in their 
opinion of the matter in hand, then that Question may 
be pronounced Verbal, as depending on the different 
senses in which they respectively employ the terms. 
If on the contrary it appears that they employ the 
terms in the same sense, but still differ as to the appli- 
cation of one of them to the other, then it may be 
pronounced that the Question is Real, that they differ 
as to the opinions they hold of the things in Question. 

If, for instance, two persons contend whether 
Augustus deserved to be called a great man, then if 
it appeared that the one included under the term 
" great," disinterested patriotism, and on that ground 
excluded Augustus from the class, as wanting in that 
quality, and that the other also gave him no credit for 
that quality, but understood no more by the term 
" great," than high intellectual qualities, energy of 
character, and brilliant actions, it would follow that 
the parties did not differ in opinion except as to the 
use of a term, and that the Question -was Verbal. If 
again it appeared that the one did give Augustus credit 
for such patriotism as the other denied him, both of 
them including that idea in the term great, then the 
Question would be Real. Either kind of Question, it is 
plain, is to be argued according to Logical principles ; 
but the middle terms employed would be different ; 
and for this reason among others it is important to 
distinguish Verbal from Real controversy. In the 
former case, e. g. it might be urged with truth, that 
the common use of the expression " great and good * ' 
proves that the idea of good is not implied in the 
ordinary sense of the word great ; an argument which 
could have, of course, no place in deciding the other 

It is by no means to be supposed that all Verbal 
Questions are trifling find frivolous ; it is often of the 
highest importance to settle correctly the meaning of 
a word, either according to ordinary use or according 
to the meaning of any particular writer, or class 
of men ; but when Verbal Questions are mistaken for 
Real, much confusion of thought and unprofitable 
wrangling will be generally the result. Nor is it 
always so easy and simple a task, as might at first sight 
appear, to distinguish them from each other : for 
several objects to which one common name is applied 
will often have many points of difference, and yet that 
name may perhaps be applied to them all in the 
same sense, and may be fairly regarded as the genus 
they come under, if it appear that they all agree in. 
what is designated by that name, and that the differ- 
ences between them are in points not essential to the 



Logic, character of the genus. A cow and a horse differ in 
many respects, but agree in all that is implied by the 
term " quadruped," which is therefore applicable to 
both in the same sense. So also the houses of the 
ancients differed in many respects from ours, and 
their ships, still more ; yet no one would contend that 
the terms "house" and "ship," as applied to both, were 
ambiguous, or that O?KO& might not fairly be rendered 
house, and vavs, ship : because the essential charac- 
teristic of a house is, not its being of this or that form 
or materials, but its being a dwelling for men ; these 
therefore would be called two different kinds of houses; 
and consequently the term ''house" would be applied 
to each, without any equivocation, in the same sense : 
and so in the other instances. On the other hand, 
two or more things may bear the same name, and may 
also have a resemblance in many points, and may from 
that resemblance have come to bear the same name, 
and yet if the circumstance which is essential to each 
be wanting in the other, the term may be pronounced 
ambiguous : e. g. the word " Priest" is applied to 
the ministers of the Jewish and of the Pagan religions, 
and also to those of the Christian : and doubtless the 
term is so used in consequence of their being both 
ministers, (in some sort) of religion. Nor would every 
difference that might be found between the Priests of 
different religions constitute the term ambiguous, 
provided such differences were non-essential to the 
idea suggested by the word Priest ; as e. g. the Jewish 
Priest served the true God, and the Pagan, false Gods : 
this is a most important difference, but does not con- 
stitute the term ambiguous, because neither of these 
circumstances is implied and suggested by the term 
'le/sei'?, which accordingly was applied both to Jewish 
and Pagan Priests. But the term 'lepcvs does seem to 
have implied the office of offering sacrifice, atoning for 
the sins of the people, and acting as mediator between 
man and the object of his worship ; and accordingly 
that term is never applied to any one under the Chris- 
tian system, except to the one great Mediator. The 
Christian ministers not having that office which was 
implied as essential in the term 'lepevs, were never 
called by that name, but by that of 7rpeff/3vrepo9. It 
may be concluded therefore, that the term Priest is 
ambiguous, as corresponding to the terms 'lepevs and 
vpeffftuvepos respectively, notwithstanding that there 
are points in which these two agree. These therefore 
should be reckoned, not two different kinds of Priests, 
but Priests in two different senses ; since, (to adopt 
the phraseology of Aristotle,) the definition of them 
so far forth as they are Priests, would be different. 

It is evidently of much importance to keep in mind 
the above distinctions, in order to avoid, on the one 
hand, stigmatizing as Verbal controversies, what in 
reality are not such, merely because the Question 
turns on the applicability of a certain Predicate to a 
certain subject ; or on the other hand, falling into the 
opposite error of mistaking words for things, and judg- 
ing of men's agreement or disagreement in opinion in 
every case, merely from their agreement or disagree- 
ment in the terms employed. 

Of Realism. 

5. Nothing has a greater tendency to lead to the 
mistake just noticed, and thus to produce undetected 
Verbal Questions and fruitless Logomachy, than the 
prevalence of the notion of the Realists, that genus 

and species were some real THINGS, existing inde- 
pendently of our conceptions and expressions, and that, 
as in the case of singular terms, there is some real 
individual corresponding to each, so in common terms 
also there is something corresponding to each, which 
is the object of our thoughts when we employ any 
such term.* Few, if any indeed, in the present clay 
avow and maintain this doctrine ; but those who are 
not especially on their guard, are perpetually sliding 
into it unawares. Nothing so much conduces to this 
as the transferred and secondary use of the words 
"same," " one and the same," " identical, &c." when 
it is not clearly perceived and carefully borne in mind 
that they are employed in a secondary sense, and that 
more frequently even than in the primary. Suppose 
e. g. a thousand persons are thinking of the sun, it 
is evident it is one and the same individual object on 
which all these minds are employed; so far all is clear : 
but suppose all these persons are thinking of a tri- 
angle ; not any individual triangle, but triangle in 
general ; and considering perhaps the equality of its 
angles to two right angles ; it would seem as if in this 
case also, their minds were all employed on " one and 
the same" object : and this object of their thoughts, 
it may be said, cannot be the mere word triangle, but 
that which is meant by it ; nor again, can it be every- 
thing that the word will apply to, for they are not 
thinking of triangles, but of one thing : those who 
do not acknowledge that this " one thing" has an 
existence independent of the human mind, are in 
general content to tell us by way of explanation, that 
the object of their thoughts is the abstract " idea" of 
a triangle ; an explanation which satisfies, or at least 
silences many, though it may be doubted whether they 
very clearly understand what sort of a thing an idea is, 
which may thus exist in a thousand different minds at 
once, and yet be "one and the same." 

The fact is, that " unity" and " sameness" are in 
such cases employed, not in the primary sense, but to 
denote perfect similarity. When we say that ten thou- 
sand different persons have all " one and the same " 
idea in their minds, or are all of " one and the same " 
opinion, we mean no more than that they are all 
thinking exactly alike ; when we say that they are all 
in the " same" posture, we mean that they are all 
placed alike : and so also they are said all to have the 
-" same " disease when they are all diseased alike. 

The origin of this secondary sense of the words, 
"same," "one," " identical, "&c. (an attention to which 
would clear away an incalculable mass of confused 
Reasoning and Logomachy,) is easily to be traced to the 
use of language and of other signs, for the purpose of 
mutual communication. If any one utters the " one 
single" word "triangle," and gives "one single" 
definition of it ; each person who hears him forms a 
certain notion in his own mind, not differing in any 
respect from that of each of the rest ; they are said 
therefore to have all " one and the same" notion, 
because, resulting from, and corresponding with, that 
which is in the primary sense " one and the same" 
expression ; and there is said to be " one single" idea 
of every triangle, (considered merely as a triangle,) 
because one single name or definition is equally appli- 
cable to each. Tn like manner all the coins struck by 

* A doctrine commonly, but falsely, attributed to Aristotle, 
who expressly contradicts it. Categories, -irepl ovvias. 

Essay on 
t!ie Pro " 

240 LOGIC. 

Logic, the same single die, are said to have " one and the ambiguity thus introduced, and watchfulness against Essay on 

v -~' same" impression, merely because the one descrip- the errors thence arising. The difficulties and per- *^ e 

tion which suits one of these coins will equally suit plexities which have involved the questions respecting 

any other that is exactly like it. personal identity, among others, may be traced prin- 

It is not intended to recommend the disuse of the cipallv to the neglect of this caution. But the further 

words " same," " identical," &c. in this transferred consideration of that question would be unsuitable to 

sense j which, if it were desirable, would be utterly the subject of this article. 

impracticable ; but merely, a steady attention to the 


FROM V. C. 647. TO 711. A. C. 107. TO 43. 

Biography WE now turn to consider the political character, 
oratorical talents, and philosophical writings of one 
whose public conduct we have had frequent occasion 
to mention in our preceding pages, and part of which 
still remains to be narrated hereafter. 

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born at Arpinum, the 
native place of Marius,* in the year of Rome 647, 
(A. c. 107.) the same year which gave birth to the 
Great Pompey. His family was ancient and of Eques- 
trian rank, but had never taken part in the public 
affairs of Rome,f though both his father and grand- 
father were persons of consideration in the part of 
Italy in which they resided.]: His father, being a man 
of cultivated mind, determined to educate his two sons 
on an enlarged and liberal plan, and to fit them for the 
prospect of those public employments which his weak 
state of health incapacitated himself from undertaking. 
Birtli and Marcus, the elder of the two, soon displayed indica- 
education. tions of a superior mind, and we are told that his 
schoolfellows carried home such accounts of his 
extraordinary parts, that their parents often visited 
the school for the sake of seeing a youth who gave 
such promise of future eminence. One of his earliest 
masters was the poet Archias, whom he defended 
afterwards in his Consular year ; under his instructions 
he made such proficiency as to compose a poem, 
though yet a boy, on the fable of Glaucus, which 
had formed the subject of one of the tragedies of 
^Eschylus. Soon after he assumed the manly gown, 
he was placed under the care of Scsevola the celebrated 
lawyer, whom he introduces so beautifully into several 
of his philosophical dialogues 5 and in no long time he 
gained a thorough knowledge of the laws and political 
institutions of his country. || 

This was about the time of the Social warj and 

according to the Roman custom, which made it a 

necessary part of education to learn the military art 

by personal service, Cicero took the opportunity of 

Early serving a campaign under the Consul Pompeius Strabo, 

campaign father of Pompey the Great. Returning to pursuits 

u. c. more congenial to his natural taste, he commenced 

664. the study of Philosophy under Philo the Academic, of 

A. c. whom we shall speak more particularly hereafter. ^[ 

89. But his chief attention was reserved for Oratory, to 

which he applied himself with the assistance ofMolo, 

the first rhetorician of the day ; while Diodotus the 

Stoic exercised him in the argumentative subtilties for 

which the disciples of Zeno were so celebrated. At 

the same time he declaimed daily in Greek and Latin 

with some young noblemen who were competitors in 

the same race of honours with himself. 

* De Legg. 2, 3. f Contra Rull. 2. 1. 

J De Legg. 2. 1. 3. 16. de Oral. 2. 66. Plutarch, in Viti\. 
I! Middleton's Life, vol. i. p. 13. 4to, de clar. Orat. 89. 
1 Ibid. 
VOL. X. 

Of the two professions,* which from the existence 
of external and internal disputes are inseparable alike 
from all forms of government, while that of arms by 
its splendour and importance secures the almost un- 
divided admiration of a rising and uncivilized people, 
legal practice on the other hand becomes the path to 
honours in later and more civilized ages, from the 
oratorical accomplishments by which it is usually 
attended. The date of Cicero's birth fell precisely 
during that intermediate state of things, in which the 
exclusive glory of military exploits was undermined by 
the very opulence and luxury which they had been the 
means of procuring ; he was the first Roman who 
found his way to the highest dignities of the State Choice o 
with no other recommendation than his powers of P ro i ess i 
eloquence, and his merits as a civil magistrate.t 

The first cause of importance he undertook was his Defence 

defence of Roscius Amerinus ; in which he distin- ^ OSC1 V S 

. , , , . ... , , . . j ... Amermu 

guished himself by his spirited opposition to Sylla, n j s nrst 

whose favourite Chrysogonus was prosecutor in the cause, 
action. This obliging him, according to Plutarch, to 
leave Rome on prudential motives, he employed his 
time in travelling for two years under pretence of his Histrave 
health, which, he tells us,J was as yet unequal to the 
exertion of pleading. At Athens he met with T. Pom- 
ponius Atticus, whom he had formerly known at 
school, and there renewed with him a friendship which 
lasted through life in spite of the change of interests 
and estrangements of affection so commonly attendant 
on turbulent times. Here too he attended the lectures 
of Antiochus, who, under the name of Academic, 
taught the dogmatic doctrines of Plato and the Stoics. 
Though Cicero evinced at first considerable dislike of 
his philosophical views, || he seems afterwards to have 
adopted the sentiments of the Old Academy, which 
they much resembled j and not till late in life to have 
relapsed into the sceptical tenets of his former in- 
structor Philo. ^[ After visiting the principal philoso- 
phers and rhetoricians of Asia, in his thirtieth year he 
returned to Rome, so strengthened and improved both Returns 
in bodily and mental powers, that he soon eclipsed in Rome, 
speaking all his competitors for public favour. So u - c - 
popular a talent speedily gained him the suffrage of &I7- 
the Commons, and being sent to Sicily as Quaestor, at 
a time when the metropolis itself was visited with a 
scarcity of corn, he acquitted himself in that delicate 
situation with such address, as to supply the clamorous 
wants of the people without oppressing the Province 
from which the provisions were raised.** Returning p r0 secuti 
thence with greater honours than had ever been before of Verre 

* Pro Mvrtena, 14. de. Orat. 1. 9. 

t In Catil. 3. 6. in Pis. 3. pro Sylla, 30. pro Dom. 37. de Harusp. 
resp. 23. ad Fam. 15. 4. J De clar. Orat. 91. 

Middletoa's Life, vol. i. p. 42. 4to. || Plutarch, in Vita. 

\ Warburton, Div. Leg. lib. iii. sec. 3. and Vossius, de Nat. 
Logic, c. via. sec. 22. ** Pro Planc.'26. in Verr. 5. 14. 

3 o 279 




Biography, decreed to a Roman Governor,, he ingratiated himself 
still farther in the esteem of the Sicilians, by under- 
taking his celebrated prosecution of Verres ; who, 
though defended by the influence of the Metelli and 
the eloquence of Hortensius, was at length driven in 
despair into voluntary exile. 

Five years after his Quaestorship, Cicero was elected 
JEdile, a post of considerable expense from the exhibi- 
tion of games connected with it.* In this magistracy 
he conducted himself with singular propriety ;f for it 
being customary to court the people by a display of 
splendour in these official shows, he contrived to retain 
his popularity without submitting to the usual alter- 
native of plundering the Provinces or sacrificing his pri- 
vate fortune. The latter was at this time by no means 
ample ; but, with the good sense and taste which 
mark his character, he preserved in his domestic 
arrangements the dignity of a literary and public man, 
without any of the ostentation of magnificence which 
often distinguishes the candidate for popular applause. + 
After the customary interval of two years, he was 
returned at the head of the list as Praetor ; and now 
made his first appearance in the rostrum in support of 
the Mamilian law, which has already come before us in 
our narrative of the public history of Rome. About 
the same time he defended Cluentius. At the expiration 
of his Praetorship, he refused to accept a foreign Pro- 
vince, the usual reward of that magistracy ;|| but 
having the Consulate full in view, and relying on his 
interest with Caesar and Pompey, he allowed nothing 
to divert him from that career of glory for which he 
now believed himself to be destined. 

It may be doubted, indeed, whether any individual 
ever rose -to power by more virtuous and truly honour- 
able conduct ; the integrity of his public life was only 
equalled by the purity of his private morals j and it 
may at first sight excite our wonder, that a course so 
v liiiTcon- s pl en didly begun should afterwards so little fulfil its 
jmpo- early promise. We have already, in our memoir of 
aries and Caesar, traced thi3 course from the period of his Con- 
y poste- sulate to his Propraetorship in Cilicia, and found each 
year diminish his influence in public affairs, till it ex- 
t pired altogether with the death of Pompey. This sur- 
I prise, however, arises in no small degree from mea- 
I suring Cicero's political importance by his present 
* reputation, and confounding the authority he deservedly 
possesses as an author, with the opinions entertained 
of him by his contemporaries as a Statesman. From the 
consequence usually attached to passing events, a 
politician's celebrity is often at its zenith in his own 
generation ; while the author, who is in the highest re- 
pute with posterity, may perhaps have been little valued 
or courted in his own day. Virtue indeed so conspicuous 
as that of Cicero, studies so dignified, and oratorical 
powers so commanding, will always invest their pos- 
sessor with a large portion of reputation and authority ; 
and this is no where more apparent than in the 
enthusiastic joy displayed on his return from exile. 
But unless other qualities be added, more peculiarly 
necessary for a Statesman, they will hardly of them- 
selves carry that weight of political consequence 
which some writers have attached to Cicero's public 
life, and which his own self-love led him to appropriate. 

f Cicero 


* Pro Plane. 26. in Verr. 5. 14. 
t De Offic. 2. 17. Middleton. 
In Pis. 1. 

J Pro Dam. 58. 
(| Pro Murauut, 20. 

The advice of the Oracle,* which had directed him 
to make his own genius, not the opinion of the people, 
his guide to immortality, (which in fact pointed at the 
above-mentioned distinction between the fame of a 
Statesman and of an author,) at first made a deep im- 
pression on his mind ; and at the present day he owes 
his reputation principally to those pursuits which, as 
Plutarch tells us, exposed him to the ridicule and 
even to the contempt of his contemporaries as " a 
pedant and a trifler."f But his love of popularity 
overcame this philosophical temper, and he commenced 
a career which gained him one triumph and ten thou- 
sand mortifications. 

It is not indeed to be doubted that in his political 
engagements he was considerably influenced by a 
sense of duty. To many it may even appear that a 
public life was best adapted for the display of his par- 
ticular talents ; that, at the termination of the Mithri- 
datic war, Cicero was in fact marked out as the very 
individual to adjust the pretensions of the rival parties 
in the Common wealth, to withstand the encroachments 
of Pompey, and to baffle the arts of Caesar. And if the 
power of swaying and controlling the popular assem- 
blies by his eloquence ; if the circumstances of his 
rank, Equestrian as far as family was concerned, yet 
almost Patrician from the splendour of his personal 
honours ; if the popularity derived from his accusation 
of Verres, and defence of Cornelius, and the favour of 
the Senate acquired by the brilliant services of his 
Consulate ; if the general respect of all parties which 
his learning and virtue commanded ; if these were 
sufficient qualifications for a mediator between con- 
tending factions, Cicero was indeed called upon by the 
voice of his country to that most arduous and honour- 
able post. And in his Consulate he had seemed sen- 
sible of the call : Ita est a me Consulatus peractus, he 
declares in his speech against Piso, ut nihil sine consilio 
Senates, nihil non approbante populo Romano egerim ; ut 
semper in Rostris Curiam, in Senatu Populum defenderim ; 
ut multitudinem cum Principibus, Equestrem ordinem cum 
Senatu conjunxerim. 

Yet after that eventful period, we see .him resigning 
his high station to Cato, who, with half shis abilities, 
little foresight, and no address, J possessed that first 
requisite for a Statesman, firmness. Cicero on the 
contrary was irresolute, timid, and inconsistent. He 
talked indeed largely of preserving a middle course, || 
but he was continually vacillating from one to the other 
extreme ; always too confident or too dejected ; in- 
corrigibly vain of success, yet meanly panegyrizing 
the government of an usurper. His foresight, saga- 
city, practical good sense, and singular tact in directing 
men's measures, were lost for want of that strength 
of mind which points them steadily to one object. He 
was never decided, never, (as has sometimes been 
observed,) took an important step without afterwards 
repenting of it. Nor can we account for the firmness 
and resolution of his Consulate, unless we discriminate 
between the case of resisting a party, and that of 
balancing contending interests. Boldness in opposition 
differs widely from steadiness in mediation ; the latter 
implying a coolness of judgment, which a direct attack 

* Plutarch, in VitA. 

f- TpaiKbs Kal axoXaffTiKos. Plutarch, in VitA. 

+ AdAtticiim, 1. 18. 2. 1. 

See Montesquieu, Grandeur des Romains, ch. xii. 

U AdAtticiim, 1. 19. 


His Con- 

V. C. 


A. C. 


Want of/ 

mness * 



l ^' 


v c 

A c ' 
Q O ' 

His exile 
aad return, 

u. c. 

[A. c. 


Biography, is so far from requiring, that it even inspires minds 
naturally timid with unusual excitation. 

His Consulate was succeeded by the return of 
Pompey from the east, and the establishment of the 
]?i rs t Triumvirate ; which, disappointing his hopes of 
political greatness, induced him to resume his forensic 
and literary occupations. From these he was recalled, 
after an interval of four years, by the threatening mea- 
sures of Clodius J wll at le g th succeeded in driving 
him into exile. This event, which considering the 
circumstances connected with it, was one of the most 
glorious of his life, filled him with the utmost distress 

and despondency. He wandered about Greece be- 

. J , , , ,. . ., 

wailing his miserable fortune, refusing the consola- 

tions which his friends attempted to administer, and 
shunning the public honours with which the Greek 
cities were eager to load him.* His return, which 
took place in the course of the following year, rein- 
stated him in the high station he had filled at the 
termination of his Consulate, but the circumstances 
of the times did not allow him to retain it. We 
have already, in our previous history, described 
his vacillations between the several members of the 
Triumvirate 5 his defence of Vatinius to please Caesar ; 
and of his bitter political enemy Gabinius, to ingratiate 
himself with Pompey. His private life in the mean- 
while furnishes little worth noticing, except his elec- 
tion into the college of Augurs, a dignity which had 
Governor been a particular object of his ambition. His appoint- 
of Cilicia, ment to the government of Cilicia, which took place 
about five years after his return from exile, was in 
consequence of Pompey's law, which obliged those 
Senators of Consular or Praetorian rank, who had never 
held any foreign command, to divide the vacant Pro- 
vinces among them. This office, which we have above 
seen him decline, he now accepted with feelings of 
extreme reluctance, dreading perhaps the military 
occupations which the movements of the Parthians in 
that quarter rendered necessary. Yet if we consider 
the state and splendour with which the Proconsuls were 
surrounded, and the opportunities afforded him for 
almost legalized plunder and extortion, we must con- 
fess that this insensibility to the common objects of 
human desire, was the characteristic of no ordinary 
mind. The singular disinterestedness and integrity of 
his administration, as well as his success against the 
enemy, have already come before us in our memoir of 
Caesar. The latter he exaggerated from the desire 
universally felt of appearing to excel in those things 
for which nature has not adapted us. 

His return to Italy was followed by earnest endea- 
vours to reconcile Pompey with Caesar, and by very 
spirited behaviour when Caesar required his presence in 
the Senate. On this occasion he felt the glow of self 
approbation with which his political conduct seldom 
repaid him : credo, he writes to Atticus, credo hunc 
(Ccesarem) me non amare ; at ego me amavi: quod rnihi 

* Ad Atticum, lib. iii. ad Fain. lib. xiv. pro Sext. 22. proDotn. 
36. Plutarch, in Vita. It is curious to observe how he converts the 
alleviating circumstances of his case into exaggerations of his 
misfortune, he writes to Atticus : Nam quod me tarn seepe et tarn 
vehementer objurgas, et animo infirmo esae dicis, queeso ecquod tan- 
turn malum est quod in mea calamitate non sit ? ecquis unquam ex 
tarn auiplo statu, tain in bona causa, tantis facultatibus ingenii? 
consilii, gratice, tantis praesidiis bonorum omnium, coticidit? 3. 10. 
Other persons would have reckoned the justice of their cause, and 
the countenance of good men, alleviations of their distress ; and 
o, when others were concerned, he himself thought ; pro Sext. 1 2. 


jam pridem usu non venit.* But this independent Marcus 
temper was but transient. At no period of his public 
life did he display such miserable vacillation as at the 
opening of the civil war. We find him first accept- 
ing a commission from the Republic ;f then courting 
Caesar ; next, on Pompey's sailing for Greece, resolv- 
ing to follow him thither ; presently determining to 
stand neuter; then bent on retiring to the Pompeians 
in Sicily ; and, when after all he had joined their camp 
in Greece, discovering such timidity and discontent, 
as to draw from Pompey the bitter reproof, cupio ad 
hostes Cicero transeat, ut nos timeat.% 

On his return to Italy, after the battle of Pharsalia, 
he had the mortification of learning, that his brother General 
and nephew were making their peace with Caesar, by conduct 
throwing the blame of their opposition on himself. after l ^ e 
And here we see one of those elevated points of cha- p? tl e 
racter, which redeem the weaknesses of his political 
conduct ; for, hearing that Caesar had retorted on 
Quintus the charge which the latter had brought 
against himself, he wrote a pressing letter in his 
favour, declaring his brother's safety was not less pre- 
cious to him than his own, and representing him not 
as the leader, but as the companion of his voyage. 

Now too the state of his private affairs reduced him Private 
to great perplexity j the sum he had advanced to embarrass- 
Pompey had impoverished him, and he was forced to meuts< 
stand indebted to Atticus for present assistance. || 
These difficulties led him to take a step which it has 
been customary to regard with great severity ; the 
divorce of his wife Terentia, though he was then in Divorces 
his sixty-second year, and his marriage with his rich Terentia, 
ward Publilia, who was of an age disproportionate to and marries 
his own.^f Yet in reviewing this proceeding, we must P uljlilia - 
not adopt the modern standard of propriety, forgetful 
of the character of an age which reconciled actions 
even of moral turpitude, with a reputation for honour 
and virtue. Terentia was a woman of a most im- 
perious and violent temper, and (what is more to the 
purpose) had in no slight degree contributed to his 
present embarrassments by her extravagance in the 
management of his private affairs.** By her he had His chil- 
two children, a son, born the year before his Con- dren. 
sulate, and a daughter whose loss he was now fated 
to experience. To Tullia he was tenderly attached, Grief at the 
not only from the excellence of her disposition, but loss of 
from her love of polite literature ; and her death tore 1' ullia - 
from him, as he so pathetically laments to Sulpicius, ^' c * 
the only comforts which the course of public events 708. 
had left him. ft At first he was inconsolable ; and re- A ' * 
tiring to a little island near his estate at Antium, 


buried himself in the woods, to avoid the sight of f rom pu jj]; c 
uian.JJ His distress was increased by the unfeeling life, 
conduct of Publilia ; whom he soon divorced for tes- 
tifying joy at the death of her step-daughter. On this Divorces 
occasion he wrote his Treatise on consolation, with a Publilia. 
view to alleviate his mental sufferings ; and with the 
same object, he determined on dedicating a temple to his 
daughter as a memorial of her virtues and his affection. 
His friends were assiduous in their attentions ; and 

* Ad Atticum, 9. 18. 
f Ibid. 7. 11. 9. 6. 119. 10. 8 and 9, &c. 
J Mai'robius, Saturnalia, 2, 3. 

Ad Atticum, 11. 8, 9, 10 and 12. || Ibid. 11. 1.3. 

If Ad Fain. 4. 14. Middleton, vol. ii. p. 149. ** Ibid. 

ft Ad Fam. 4. 6. JJ Ad Atticum, 12. 15, &c. 

2 2 



Biography. Caesar, who had treated him with the utmost kindness 
on his return from Egypt, signified the respect he bore 
his character, by sending a letter of condolence from 
Spain,* where the remains of the Pornpeian party 
still engaged him. He had shortly before given a 
still stronger proof of his favour, by replying to a work 
which Cicero had drawn up in praise of Cato ;f but 
no attentions, however considerate, could soften Ci- 
cero's vexation at seeing the country he had formerly 
saved by his exertions, now subjected to the tyranny 
of one master. His speeches, indeed, for Marcellus 
and Ligarius, exhibit traces of inconsistency j but for 
the most part he retired from public business, and 
gave himself up to the composition of those works, 
which, while they mitigated his political sorrows, have 
secured his literary celebrity. 

The murder of Caesar, which took place in the fol- 
lowing year, once more brought him on the stage of 
public affairs ; but as we intend our present paper to 
be an account of his private life and literary character, 
we shall reserve the sequel of his history, including 
his unworthy treatment of Brutus, his coalition with 
Octavius, his orations against Antonius, his proscrip- 
tion and death, for our subsequent pages. On the 
whole, antiquity may be challenged to produce an in- 
His private dividual so virtuous, so perfectly amiable as Cicero, 
virtues. None interest more in their life, none excite more 
painful emotions in their death. Others, it is true, 
may be found of loftier and more heroic character, 
who awe and subdue the mind by the grandeur of 
their views, or the intensity of their exertions. But 
Cicero engages our affections by the integrity of his 
public conduct, the purity of his private life, the gene- 
rosity,]: placability and kindness of his heart, the 
playfulness of his temper, the warmth of his domestic 
attachments. In this respect his letters are invaluable. 
" Here we may see the genuine man without disguise 
or affectation, especially in his letters to Atticus ; to 
whom he talked with the same frankness as to himself, 
opened the rise and progress of each thought ; and 
never entered into any affair without his particular 

It must however be confessed, that the publication 
of this correspondence has laid open the defects of 
his political character. Want of firmness has been 
in public repeatedly mentioned as his principal foiling j and 
life. insincerity will infallibly characterise a timid and irre- 

solute mind. Openness, however, and candour are 
rare qualities in a statesman ; but, while the duplicity 
of weakness is despised, the insincerity of a powerful, 
but crafty mind, though incomparably more odious, 
is too commonly regarded with feelings of indulgence. 
Cicero was timid, not designing ; his disposition too 
was conciliatory and forgiving ; and much which has 
been referred to inconsistency, should be attributed to 
the generous temper which induced him to remember 
the services rather than the neglect of Plancius, and 
to relieve the exiled and indigent Verres.|| Much too 
/ may be traced to his professional habits as a pleader 3 
*" / which led him to introduce the licence of the Forum 
into deliberative discussions, and (however inexcu- 

* Ad Atticnm, 13. 20. f Ibid. 12. 40 and 41. 

J His want of jealousy towards his rivals was remarkable ; 
this was exemplified in his esteem for Hortensius, and still more 
so in his conduct towards Calvus. See ad Fam. 15. 21. 

Middleton, vol. ii. p. 525. 4to. 

|| Pro Plant. Middleton, vol. i. p. 108, 

for his iu- 

sably) even into his correspondence with private Marcus 
friends. Tullius 

Some writers, as Lyttleton, have considered it an Cicer - 
aggravation of Cicero's inconsistencies, that he was so 
perfectly aware of what was philosophically upright 
and correct. It might be sufficient to reply, that there 
is a wide difference between calmly deciding on an 
abstract point, and acting on that decision in the 
hurry of real life ; that Cicero in fact was apt to fancv, 
(as all will fancy when assailed by interest or passion^) 
that the circumstances of his case constituted it an 
exception to the broad principles of duty. As he 
eloquently expresses himself in his defence of Plancius. 
Neque enim inconstantis puto, sentent'mm, tanquam aliquod 
navigium, et cursum, ex Reipubliccs tempestate moderari. 
Ego vero hcec didici, hccc vidi, hcec scripta legi; heec de sapi- 
entissimiset clarissimis rim, et in hac Republicd, et in aliis 
civitatibus, monumenta nobis liters prodiderunt ; non 
semper easdem sententias ab iisdem, sed quascunque Rei- 
publicce status, inclinatio temporum, ratio concordic postu- 
laret, esse defendendas.* 

Thus he seems to consider it the duty of a mediator 
alternatelyf to praise and blame both parties more 
than truth allows, if by these means it be possible 
either to flatter or to frighten them into an adoption 
of temperate measures. 

But the argument of the objectors proceeds on an The Philo- 
entire misconception of the design and purpose with sophy of 
which the ancients prosecuted Philosophical studies. the an ~ 
The motives and principles of Morals were not so ' 

11 j -i nion 

clearly perceived as to lead to a practical application culative 
of them to the conduct of life. Even when they pro- than prac- 
posed them in the form of precept, they still regarded tical% 
the perfectly virtuous man, as the creature of their 
imagination rather than a model for imitation a cha- 
racter whom it was an amusement rather than a duty 
to contemplate ; and if an individual here or there, as 
Scipio or Cato, attempted to conform his life to his 
Philosophical conceptions of virtue, he was sure to be 
ridiculed for singularity and affectation. 

Even among the Athenians, by whom Philosophy 
was, in many cases, cultivated to the exclusion of 
every active profession, pleasure, not the discovery of 
Truth, was the principal object of their discussions. 
That we must thus account for the ensnaring questions 
and sophistical reasonings of which their disputations 
consisted, has been noticed in our article on LOGIC ; 
and it was their extension of this system to the care 
of morals, which brought upon their Sophists the 
irony of Socrates, and the sterner rebuke of Aristotle. 
But if this took place in a State in which the love of 
Philosophy pervaded all ranks, much more was it to 
be expected among the Romans, who busied as they 
were in political enterprises, and deficient perhaps in 
intellectual acuteness, had neither time nor inclination 
for abstruse investigations ; and who considered 
Philosophy simply as one of the many fashions intro- 
duced from Greece, " a sort of table furniture," as 
Warburton well expresses it, a mere refinement in the 
arts of social enjoyment.]: This character it bore 
both among friends and enemies. Hence the popu- 
larity which attended the threeAthenian philosophers, 

* C. 39. f Ad Fam. 6. 6. 7. 3. 

'I8io <rvv(ov\eutv & KtKfpdif, froAAck Kaiffapi ypdupuv, iro\\ct 
Savre Tlofj.irr)ia Seffytei'oj, irpavvtav ucdrfpov KOU jr< 
Plutarch, in vitA Cic. See also in vitA Pomp. 

J Lactantius, Inst. 3. 16. 



tion of the 
to Rome. 

Biography. wno had come to Rome on an embassy from their 
native city ; and hence the inflexible determination 
with which Cato procured their dismissal, through 
fear, as Plutarch tells us,* lest their arts of disputation 
should corrupt the Roman youth. And when at 
length by the authority of Scipio,f the literary trea- 
sures of Sylla, and the patronage of Lucullus, Philo- 
sophical studies had gradually received the countenance 
of the higher classes of their countrymen, we still find 
them, in consistency with the principle above laid 
down, determined in the adoption of this or that 
system, not so much by the harmony of its parts, or 
by the plausibility of its reasonings, as by its suitable- 
ness to the profession and political station to which 
they respectively belonged. Thus because the Stoics 
were more minute than other sects in inculcating the 
moral and social duties, we find the Jurisconsulti pro- 
fessing themselves followers of Zeno ; % the Orators, on 
the contrary, adopted the disputatious system of the 
later Academics ; while Plato and Epicurus were the 
respective masters of the imaginative recluse, or the 
careless and selfish voluptuary. Hence too, they con- 
fined the profession of Philosophical science to Greek 
teachers ; considering them the sole proprietors, as it 
were, of a foreign and expensive luxury, which the 
vanquished might have the trouble of furnishing, but 
themselves could readily afford to purchase. 

Before the works of Cicero, no attempts worth con- 
sidering had been made for using the Latin tongue in 
Philosophical subjects. The natural stubbornness of 
the language, conspired with Roman haughtiness to 
preventthisapplication.|| The Epicureans, indeed, had 
made the experiment, but their writings were even 
affectedly harsh and slovenly, 5f and we find Cicero 
himself, in spite of his inexhaustible flow of rich and 
expressive diction, making continual apologies for his 
learned occupations, and extolling Philosophy as the 
parent of every thing great, virtuous, and amiable.** 

Yet, with whatever discouragement^ his design was 
attended, he ultimately triumphed over the pride of 
an unlettered people, and the difficulties of a defective 
language. He was possessed of that first requisite for 
eminence, an enthusiastic attachment to the studies he 
was recommending. But occupied as he was with the 
duties of a Statesman, mere love of literature would 
have availed little, if separated from the energy and 
capriciousness of intellect by which he was enabled to 
pursue a variety of objects at once, with equally per- 
severing and indefatigable zeal. " He suffered no 
part of his leisure to be idle, or the least interval of 
it to be lost ; but what other people gave to the public 
shows, to pleasures, to feasts, nay even to sleep and 
the ordinary refreshments of nature, he generally gave 
to his books, and the enlargement of his knowledge. 
On days of business, when he had any thing particular 
to compose, he had no other time for meditating, but 
when he was taking a few turns in his walks, where 
he used to dictate his thoughts to his scribes who at- 

* Plutarch, in vita Caton. See also de Invent. 1. 36. 

f Paterculus, 1. 12, &c. Plutarch, in ritA Lucull. et Syll. 

J Graviti. Origin. Jitriscivil. lib. i. c. 44. 

Quiut. 12. 2. And. de dialog, de Orator. 31. 

|| I)c Xat. J)enr. 1. 4. de Off.l. 1. de fin. Acad. Queest. &C. 

([ Qtia-xt. 1.3. 2. Z.Acad. Qutest. 1.2. de 4 Vat. Dear. 1.21. 
rfc Fin. 1. 3, &c. ile clar. Drat. 35. 

** I.,ic,,lltis,1. de Fin. 1. 13. Tnsc. 2. 1 2, 3. 2 5.2. 
de Lrg-ff. 1. 2224. dc Off. 2. 2. de Oral. 41, &c. 

First appli- 
cation of 
the Latin 
language to 
phical sub- 

of Cicero's 

tended him. We find many of his letters dated before 
daylight, some from the Senate, others from his meals, 
and the crowd of his morning levee." Middleton's 
Life, vol. ii. p. 254. Thus he found time, without 
apparent inconvenience, for the business of the State, 
for the bustle of pleading, and for Philosophical studies. 
During his Consulate he delivered twelve orations in 
the Senate, Rostrum or Forum. His Treatises de Oratore 
and de Republicd, the most finished perhaps of his com- 
positions, were written at a time when, to use his own 
words, " not a day passed without his taking part in 
forensic disputes."* And in the last year of his life, he 
composed at least eight of his Philosophical works, 
besides the fourteen orations against Antony, which are 
known by the name of Philippics. Being thus ardent 
in the cause of Philosophy, he recommended it to the 
notice of his countrymen, not only for the honour 
which its introduction would reflect upon himself, 
(which itself was a motive of no inconsiderable influ- 
ence,) but also with the fondness of one who esteemed 
it "the guide of life, the parent of virtue, the guardian 
in difficulty, and the tranquillizer in misfortune."f 
Nor were his mental endowments less adapted to the 
accomplishment of his object, than the spirit with 
which he engaged in the work. Gifted with great 
versatility of talent, with acuteness, quickness of 
perception, skill in selection, art in arrangement, 
fertility of illustration, warmth of fancy, and extraor- 
dinary taste ; he at once seizes upon the most effective 
parts of his subject, places them in the most striking 
point of view, and arrays them in the liveliest and 
most inviting colours. His writings have the sin- 
gular felicity of combining brilliancy of execution, 
with never-failing good sense. It must be allowed, 
that he is deficient in depth ; that he skims over 
rather than dives into the various departments of lite- 
rature} that he had too great command of the plausible, 
to be a patient investigator or a sound reasoner. Yet 
if he has little originality of thought, if he does not 
grapple with his subject, if he is unequal to a regular 
and lengthened disquisition, if he is frequently incon- 
sistent in his opinions, we must remember that sound- 
ness, without display, has few charms for those who 
have not yet imbibed a taste even for the outward 
form of knowledge^ that system nearly precludes 
variety, and depth almost implies obscurity. It was 
this very absence of uniformity, which constituted in 
Roman eyes a principal charm of Cicero's com- 

Nor must his profession as a pleader be forgotten 
in enumerating the circumstances which concurred to 
give his writings their peculiar character. For how- 
ever his design of interesting his countrymen in Greek 
literature, however too his particular line of talent 
may have led him to explain rather than to invent; yet 
he expressly informs us it was principally with a view 
to his own improvement in Oratory that he devoted 
himself to Philosophical This induced him 

* Ad Quint, fratr. 3. 3 

f Tusc. Qtteest. 5. 2. * De Off. 1. 5. init. 

Johnson's observations on Addison's writings, may be well 
applied to those of Cicero ; who would have been eminently suc- 
cessful in short miscellaneous essays like those of the Spectators, 
had the manners of the ape allowed it. 

|| Oral. 3, 4. TH<. Quo-it. 2, 3. ife Off. 1. 1. pra-f-it. Paradox. 
Quint, ife Instil. 12. 2. Lactantius, lust. 3. 16. 




The New 



to undertake successively the cause of the Stoic, the 
Epicurean, or the Platonist, as an exercise for his 
powers of argument ; while the wavering and un- 
settled state of mind, occasioned by such habits of 
disputation, led him in his private judgment to prefer 
the sceptical tenets of the New Academy. 

Here then, before examining Cicero's Philosophical 
writings, an opportunity is presented to us of redeem- 
ing the pledge we gave in our memoir of PLATO, by 
considering the system of doctrine which the reformers 
(as they thought themselves) of the Academic school 
introduced about 3OO years before the Christian era. 

We have already traced the history of the OLD 
ACAPESIY, and spoken of the innovations on the system 
of Plato, silently introduced by the austere Polemo. 
When Zeno, however, who was his pupil, advocated 
the same rigid tenets in a more open and dogmatic 
form,* the Academy at length took the alarm, a re- 
action ensued, Arcesilas, who had succeeded Poleino 
and Crates, determined to revert to the principles of 
the elder schools ; f but mistaking the profession of 
ignorance,which Socrates had used against the Sophists 
on physical questions, for an actual scepticism on points 
connected with morals, he fell into the opposite ex- 
treme, and declared, first, that nothing could be 
known, and therefore, secondly, ^nothing should be 
advanced. J 

Whatever were his private sentiments, (for some 
authors affirm his esoteric doctrines to have been dog- 
matic^) he brought forward these sceptical tenets in 
so unguarded a form, that it required all the argu- 
mentative powers possessed by this eminent individual 
to maintain them against the obvious objections which 
were pressed upon him from all quarters. On his death, 
therefore, as might have been anticipated, his school 
was deserted for those of Zeno and Epicurus 5 and 
during the lives of Lacydes, Evander, and Hegesinus, 
who successively filled the Academic chair, being no 
longer recommended by the novelty of its doctrines, || 
or the talents of its masters, it became of little con- 
sideration amid the wranglings of more popular Phi- 
losophies. Carneades, ^f therefore, who succeeded 
Hegesinus, found it necessary to use more cautious 
and guarded language ; and by explaining what was 
paradoxical by reservations and exceptions, in short 
by all the arts which an acute and active genius could 
suggest, he contrived to establish its authority, without 
departing, as far as we have the means of judging, 
from the principle of universal scepticism which Ar- 
cesilas had so pertinaciously advocated.** 

Acad. Queest.\. 10, &c. Lucullus, 5. de Legg. 1. 20.3. 3, &c. 

f Acad. Qwest. 1. 4. 12, 13. Lucullus, 5 and 23. de Nat. 
Dear. 1.5. de Fin. 2. 1. de Oral. 3. 18. Austin, contra Acad. 2. 6. 
Sext. Emp. adv. Mathem. lib. vii. 'O A.pKfal\aos rocrSrov oire'Sei ra 
KcuvoTopias Tivti 5d|cw ayairav Kal vTrcnroitlfr8ai TWV iraXaiuiv, Sore 

tvo6ss ieoisfj.evus. Plutarch, in Colot. 26. 
J Arcesilas negabat esse quidquam, quod sciri posset, ne illud 
quidem ipsum quod Socrates sibi reliquisset. Sic omnia latere cen- 
sebant in occulto, neque esse quicquam quod cerni quod intelligi possit ; 
yttibiis de caiisis oportere neque profit eri neque affirmare quen- 
qitfim, neque assert ione approbare, ffc. Acad. Qwest. 1. 12. See also 
Lucullus, 9 and 18. They were countenanced in these conclusions 
by Plato's doctrine of ideas. Lucullus, 46. 

Sext. Empir. Pyrrh. Hypot. 1.33. Diogenes Laertius, lib. 
iv. in Arcfsil. 

H Lucullus, 6. f Austin, adv. Acad. 3. 17. 

** Lucullus, 18. 24. Austin, in Acad. 3. 39. 

The New Academy* then taught with Plato, that all 
things in their own nature were fixed and determinate j 
but that, through the constitution of the human mind, 
it was impossible for us to see them in their simple 
and eternal forms, to separate appearance from reality, 
truth from falsehood. t For the conception we form 
of any object is altogether derived from and depends 
on the sensation, the impression, it produces on our 

own minds, (Trado? eve/<ye/as, (f>avTraaia.) Reason does 

but deduce from premises ultimately supplied by 
sensation. Our only communication then with actual 
existences being through the medium of our own im- 
pressions, we have no means of ascertaining the cor- 
respondence of the things themselves with the ideas ... ._ 
we entertain of them ; and therefore can in no case be acg-ticism 
certain of the fidelity of our senses. Of their fallibility, O f the New 
however, we may easily assure ourselves ; for in cases Academy. 
in which they are detected contradicting each other, 
all cannot be correct reporters of the object with 
which they profess to acquaint us. Food, which is 
the same as far as sight and touch are concerned, tastes 
differently to different individuals ; fire, which is the 
same to the eye, communicates a sensation of pain at 
one time, of pleasure at another ; the oar appears 
crooked in the water, while the touch assures us it is 
as straight as before it was immersed, j Again, in 
dreams, in intoxication, in madness, impressions are 
made upon the mind, vivid enough to incite to reflec- 
tion and action, yet utterly at variance with those 
produced by the same objects when we are awake, or 
sober, or in possession of our reason. 

It appears then that we cannot prove that our senses 
are ever faithful j but we do know they often produce 
erroneous impressions. Here then is room for endless 
doubt j for why may they not deceive us in cases in 
which we cannot detect the deception? It is certain 
they often act irregularly ; is there any consistency at 
all in their operations, any law to which these varieties 
may be referred ? 

It is granted that an object often varies in the im- 
pression which it makes upon the mind, while on the 
other hand the same impression may arise from dif- 
ferent objects. What limit is to be assigned to this 
disorder? is there any sensation strong enough to 
assure us of the presence of the object which it seems 
to intimate, any such as to preclude the possibility of 
deception ? If when we look into a mirror our minds 
are impressed with the appearance of unreal trees, 
fields, and houses, how can we ascertain whether the 
scene we directly look upon has any more substantial 
existence than the former. || 

From these reasonings the Academics taught that 
nothing was certain, nothing was to be known, (Ka-ra- 
\ij7n6v.) For the Stoics themselves, their most deter- 

* See Sext. Empir. adv. Mathem. lib. vii. 

t Acad. QucBst. 1. 13. Lucullus, 23. 38. de Nat. Dear. 1. 5. 
Or at. 71. 

J Tie aut em te negas infracto remo neque columbce callo comtnoveri. 
Primum cur ? nam et in remo sentio non esse id quod videatur, ct in 
columb& plures videri colorts, nee esse jilus itno, Hfc. Lucullus, 25. 

Lucullus, 1618. 2628. 

|| Scriptum est ita : Academicisplacere, esse rerum ejnsmodi dis- 
similitudincs ut alia- probabiltt ridcantur, alia- contra id auteni non 
esse satis cur alia percipi posse dicas, alia non posse ; propterca 
quod multa falsa probabilia tint, nihil antcmfaki pi rceptum et cog- 
nitum possit esse. Itaque ait vehement er err are eos qui dicant ab 
Acadcmiii senitus eripi, a quibus nunquam dictum sit aut colorem aut 
sapor em aut soitum nullum esse: illud sit disputatum, non ittesse in 
his propriam, quee nusquam alibi essct, veri ct certi notam. Lucullus , 
32. See aUo 13. 24. 31. de Nat. Dear. 1. 5. 



Biography, mined opponents, defined the Ka-TaXnTniicr) (fravraala (or 
impression which led to knowledge,*) to be one that 
was capable of being produced by no object except 
that to which it really belonged. f 

Since then we cannot arrive at Knowledge, we must 
suspend our decision, pronounce absolutely on nothing, 
nay, according to Arcesilas, never even form an opi- 
nion. J In the conduct of life, however, Probability 
must determine our choice of action ; and this admits 
of different degrees. The lowest kind is that which 
suggests itself on the first view of the case, (<pavraala 
"Tridavrj ;) but in all important matters we must correct 
the evidence of our senses by considerations derived 
from the nature of the medium, the distance of the 
object, the disposition of the organ, the time, the 
manner, and other attendant circumstances. When 
the impression has been thus minutely considered, the 
tfiav-raffia becomes Trcpiwdevpevi], or approved on circum- 
spection ; and if during this examination no objection 
has arisen to weaken our belief, the highest degree 
of Probability is attained, and the impression is pro- 
nounced complete, (a7re/3Wao-TO?.|j) 

Sextus Empiricus illustrates this as follows :^[ If 
on entering a dark room we discern a coiled rope, 
our first impression may be that it is a serpent, this 
is the (pavTdffia TTiOav-f]. On a closer inspection, how- 
ever, after walking round it (Trepiodeuffa^res) we observe 
it does not move, nor has it the proper colour, shape, 
or proportions ; and now we conclude it is not a 
serpent ; here we are determined into our belief by 
the Trepiudev/nevi] 0at/Ta<r/a. For an instance of the 
third and most accurate kind, viz. that with which 
no contrary impression interferes, we may refer to the 
conduct of Admetus on the return of Alcestis from 
the infernal regions. He believes he sees his wife ; 
every thing confirms it ; but he cannot acquiesce in 
that opinion ; his mind is divided (TrepiffTrarai) from the 
impression he has of her death ; he asks dXViyi/ tOa-mov 
clffopu; ZaLiap-r' CJLITJV- (Ale. 1148.) Hercules resolves his 
difficulty, and his $arraata becomes a7re/5/<T7ra0To?. 

The suspension then of assent (eVox^) which the 
Academics then injoined was, at least from the times 
of Carneades,** nearly a speculative doctrine jtt and 
herein lay the chief difference between them and the 
Pyrrhonists j that the latter altogether denied the 
existence of the Probable, while the former admitted 
there was sufficient to allow of action provided we 
pronounced absolutely on nothing. 

Little more can be said concerning the opinions of a 
the New sect wnose fundamental maxim was that nothing could 
Academy a ^ e known, and nothing should be taught. It lay mid- 
school of ---- _ 

which made 

(fHUSTaata. ape 

* Ot ySt> SrwiVol /coroA^iv fivdt Qturi 

eefftv. Sext. Ernpir. Pyrrh. Hypot. 3. 25. 

f Verum non posse comprehendi ex ilia Staid Zentnis de/initione 
arripuisse videbanlur, qui nit id vcrum percipi posse, quod ita esset 
animo imjiressum e.v eo unde esset, ut esse non posset ex eo unde non 
esset. Quod brevius planusque sic dicitur, hit signis verum posse 
comprehendi, quee signa non potest habere quod falsmn est. Austin. 
contra Acad. 2. 5. See also Sext. Einpir. adv. Math. lib. vii. irepl 
/UTo/3o\7jj, and of Lucullus, 6 with 13. 

I Lucullus, 13. 21. 40. 

Tois <aifO;ueVois ovv irp9<rf'xojTs Kara. T^V PIO}TIK})V T-fipyffiv 
aoodffTcas j3i8,aer' 7rel fir/ 5t.-pa,ueOa aveuipyriroi iravrairacriv fiva.:. 
Sext. Empir. Pyrrh. Hypot. 1. 11. 

|| Cicero terms these three impressions, visio probnbilis ; qn<e ex 
circumspectione aliqua et accuruta considcra'.innc fiat; qua non 
impudiatur. Lucullus, 11. ^ Pyrrh. Hypot. 1. 33. 

* Numen. npud Euseb. Pra-p. Evans;. 14. 7. 

tt Lucullus, 31. 34. De Off". 2. 2. de Fin. 5. 26. Onint. 12.1. 

way between the other Philosophies ; and in the 
altercations of the various schools it was at once 
attacked by all,* yet appealed to by each of the con- 
tending parties, if not to countenance its own senti- 
ments, at least to condemn those advocated by its 
opponents, f and thus to perform the office of an um- 
pire. J From this necessity then of being prepared on 
all sides for attack, it became as much a school of 
Rhetoric as of Philosophy, || and was celebrated 
among the ancients for the eloquence of its masters.^ 
Hence also its reputation was continually varying : for 
requiring the aid of great abilities to maintain its ex- 
alted and arduous post, it alternately rose and fell in 
estimation, according to the talents of the individual 
who happened to fill the chair.** And hence the 
frequent alterations which took place in its Philoso- 
phical tenets ; which, depending rather on the arbi- 
trary determinations of its present head, than on the 
tradition of settled maxims, were accommodated to 
the views of each successive master, according as 
he hoped by sophistry or concession to overcome the 
repugnance which the mind ever will feel to the 
doctrines of universal scepticism. 

And in these continual changes it is pleasing to 
observe, that the interests of virtue and good order 
were uniformly promoted j interests to which the 
Academic doctrines were certainly hostile, if not ne- 
cessarily fatal. Thus although we find Carneades, in 
conformity to the plan adopted by Arcesilas,tt op- 
posing the dogmatic principles of the Stoics concern- 
ing moral duty, JJ and studiously concealing his private 
views even from his friends ; yet, by allowing that 
the suspense of judgment was not always a duty, that 
the wise man might sometimes believe though he 
could not know ; |||| he in some measure restored the 
authority of those great instincts of our nature which 
his predecessor appears to have discarded. Clitoma- 
chus pursued his steps by innovations in the same 
direction ;^[^[ Philo, who followed next, attempting to Philo and 
reconcile his tenets Avith those of the Platonic school,* * * Antiochus. 
has been accounted the founder of a fourth Academy 

* Lucullus, 22. et alibi. Tusc. Quarst. 2. 2. 

f- See a striking passage from Cicero's Academics, preserved 
by Austin, contra Acad. 3. 7. and Lucullus, 18. 

J De Nat. Deor. passim, de Div. 2. 72. Quorum controvcrsiam 
solebat tanquam honorarius arbiter judicarc Carneades. Tusc. Queest, 
5. 41. 

DeFin. 2. 1. de Orat. 1. 18. Lucullus, 3. Tusc. Queest.5.1l. 
Numen. apud Euseb. Preep. Evang. 14. 6, &c. Lactantius, Inst. 3. 4. 

|| De Nut. Deor. 1. 67. de Fat. 2. Dialog, de Orat. 31, 32. 

^f Lucullus, 6. 18. de Orat. 2. 38.3.18. Quint. Inst. 12.2. 
Plutarch, in vita Caton. et Cic. Lactantius, Inst. Numen. apud 

* Heec inphilosophia ratio contra omnia diaserendi nullamque rem 
rte judicandi,profecta dSocrate, repetita ab Arccsila confirmata 

disciplinas perciperc magnum est, qunitto tnajus omnes ? quod 
facere Us necesse est, quibiis propusitum eft, veri rcperiendi causil, 
et contra omnes philosophos et pro omnibus dicere. De Nat. Deor. 

tt De Nat. Deor. 1. 25. Austin, contra Acad. 3. 17. Numen. 
apud Euseb. Pra-p. Evar.g. 14. 6. 

H De Fin. 2. 13. 5. 7. Lucitllns, 42. Tusc. Qtt&st. 5.29. 

LucuHi'-i, 45. 

III! Lucullus, 21. 24. for an elevated moral precept of his see 
deFin.2 18. 

*| 'AvTJp V TcTs Tplfflv aipfiTeiTl OtCtTpfyxS iv T TJJ A/CoS7J,UaVK?J KCtl 

IHTOTTJTIK^ xal ST&HXJJ. Diosri'iies L.'iprtivij, lib. iv. sub fin. 

*** /'/'fo, 

i-ir, nafat iii I-bris di'fis .-/cfiift'inias esse ; 
yn ita putartint cuargnit. Acad. Quant. 1. 4. 




Mixed Phi- 
losophy of 

while, to his successor Antiochus, who embraced 
the doctrines of the Porch,* and maintained the 
fidelity of the senses, it has been usual to assign the 
establishment of a fifth. 

We have already observed, that Cicero in early life 
inclined to the systems of Plato and Antiochus, which 
at the time he composed the bulk of his writings he 
had abandoned for that of Carneades and Philo.f 
Yet he was never so entirely a disciple of the New 
Academy, as to neglect the claims of morality and the 
laws. He is loud in his protestations, that Truth is 
the great object of his search ; Ego enim, he says, 
si aut ostentatione aliqud adductus, aut studio certandi, 
ad hanc potissimum Philosophiam me applicavi ; non 
modo stultitiam mearn, sed etiam mores et naturam con- 
demnandam puto. . . . Itaque, nisi ineptum putarem in 
tali disputatione idfacere, quod, cum de Republicd discep- 
tatur, fieri interdum solet, jurarem per Jovem Deosque 
Penates, me et ardere studio Feri reperiendi, et ea sentire 
qua dicerem.l And however inappropriate this 
boast may appear, he at least pursues the useful and 
the magnificent in Philosophy ; and uses his Academic 
character as a pretext rather for a judicious selection 
from each system, than for an indiscriminate rejection 
of all. Thus, in the capacity of a Statesman he calls 
in the assistance of doctrines which as an Orator he 
does not scruple to deride j those of Zeno in parti- 
cular, who maintained the truth of the popular Theo- 
logy and the divine origin of Augury, and (as we 
noticed above) was more explicit than the other 
masters in his views of social duty. This difference 
of sentiment between the magistrate and the pleader, 
is strikingly illustrated in the opening of his Treatise 
de Legibus ; where, after deriving the principles of 
law from the nature of things, he is obliged to beg 
quarter of the Academics, whose reasonings he feels 
could at once destroy the foundation on which his 
argument rested. Ad Respublicasfirmandas, et ad sta- 
biliendas vires, sanandos populos, omnis nostra pergit 
oratio. Quocirca vereor committere, ut non bene provisa 
et diligenter explorata principia ponantur : nee tamen ut 
omnibus probentur, (nam id fieri nonpotesf) sedut iis, qui 
omnia recta atque honesta per se expetenda duxerunt, et 
aut nihil omnino in bonis numerandum nisi quod per se 
ipsum laudabile esset, aut certe nullum habendum magnum 
bonum, nisi quod vere laudari sud sponte posset. And 
then apparently alluding to 'the arguments of Car- 
neades against justice, which he had put into the 
mouth of Philus in the third book of his de Republicd, 
he proceeds ; Perturbatricem autem harum omnium 
rerum Academiam, hanc ab Arcesila et Carneade recentem 
exoremus, ut sileat. Nam, si invaserit in IUEC, qua 
satis scite nobis instructa et composita videntur, nimias 
edet ruinas. Quam quidem ego placare cupio, sub- 
movere non audeo.|| 

And as, in questions connected with the interests 
of society, he thus uniformly advocates the tenets of 
the Porch, so in discussions of a physical character, 
we find him adopting the sublime and kindling sen- 
timents of Pythagoras and Plato. Here, however, 

* De Fin. 5. 5. Lucullus, 22. 43. 

t Acad. Queest. 1. 4. de Nat.Deor. 1. 7. 

J Lucullus, 20. see also de Nat. Dear. 1. 7. de Fin. 1. 5. 

Nobis autem nostra Academia magnam licentiam dat, ut, 
yuodcunque maj-imi prolabile occurrat, id noslro jure liceat de- 
fendere. De Off". 3, 4. see also Tusc. Queest. 4. 4. 5. 29. de Invent. 
2,3. || DeLegg. 1. 13. 

Caving no object of expediency in view to keep him Marcus 
within the bounds of consistency, he scruples not to 
introduce whatever is most beautiful in itself, or most 
adapted to his present purpose. At one time he de- 
scribes the Deity as the all-pervading soul of the 
world, the cause of life and motion.* At another 
he is the intelligent preserver and governor of every 
separate part.t At one time the soul of man is in 
its own nature necessarily eternal, without beginning 
or end of existence;}; at another it is represented 
as reunited on death to the one infinite spirit ; 
at another it is to enter the assembly of the Gods, or to 
be driven into darkness, according to its moral con- 
duct in this life j|| at another the best and greatest 
of mankind are alone destined for immortality^ 
which is sometimes described as attended with con- 
sciousness and the continuance of earthly friend- 
ships ;** sometimes, as but an immortality of name and 
glory ; ft more frequently however he confuses these 
separate notions together in the same passage. JJ 

Though the works of Aristotle were not given His ac- 
to the world till Sylla's return from Greece, Cicero quaintance 
appears to have been a considerable proficient in his Y*5, tl 
Philosophy, and he has not overlooked the important 
aid it affords in those departments of science which 
are alike removed from abstract reasoning and fanciful 
theorizing. To Aristotle he is indebted for most of 
the principles laid down in his Rhetorical discus- 
sions, HI) while in his Treatises on morals not a few 
of his remarks may be traced to the same acute 

The doctrines of the Garden alone, though some of His abhor- 
his most intimate friends were of the Epicurean school, n . ce of 
he regarded with aversion and contempt ; feeling no pici 
sort of interest in a system which cut at the very 
root of that activity and fervour of mind for which he 
himself both in public and private was so honourably 
distinguished.* * * 

Such then was the New Academy, and such the 
variation of opinion, which in Cicero's judgment, 
was not inconsistent with the profession of an Aca- 
demic. And however his adoption of that Philosophy 
may be in part referred to his oratorical habits, or the 
natural cast of mind ; yet, considering the ambition 
which he felt to inspire his countrymen with a taste for 
literature and science,ftt we must conclude with War- 
burton,! \\ that, in acceding to the system of Philo, 
he was strongly influenced by the freedom of thought 
and reasoning which it allowed to his compositions ; 
the liberty of developing the principles and doctrines, 

* Tusc. Queest. 1. 27. de Div. 2. 72. pro Milan. 31. de Legg. 2. 7. 

f Fragm. de Rep. 3. Tusc. Queest. 1. 29. de Univ. 

J Tusc. Qtifest. 1. passim, de Senect. 21, 22. Somn. Scip. 8. 

De Div. 1. 32.49. Fragm. de Consolat. 

|| Tusc. Queest. 1. 30. Somn. Scip. 9. de Legg. 2. 11. 

<j De Amic. 4. de Off. 3. 28. pro Cluent. 61. de Legg. 2. 17. 
Tusc. Queest. 1. 11. pro Sext. 21. de Nat. Dear. 1.17. 

** Cat. 23. ft Pro Arch. 11. 12. ad Fam. 5. 21. 6. 21. 

J+ Pro Arch. 11. 12. ad Fam. 5. 21. 6. 21. 

He seems to have fallen into some misconceptions of 
Aristotle's meaning. De Invent. 1. 35. 36. 2. 14. see Quint. 
Inst. 5. 14. 

III! De Invent. 1.7.2. 51. et passim, ad Fam. 1. 9. de Oral. 2. 36. 

5ff De Off. 1. Fin. 4, 5. ad Attictim. 

** De Fin. 2. 21. 3. 1. de Legg. 1. 13. deOrat. 3. 17. ad Fam. 
13. I. pro Se.rt.lQ. 

ftt De Nat. Dear. 1. 4. Tusc. Qtitest. 1. 1. 5. 29. de Fin. 1. 3. 4. 
de Of. 1. 1. de Div. 2. 1. 2. U+ Div. Legg. lib. iii. sec. > 



His .form 
of dialogue. 

the strong and weak parts of every Grecian school. 
Bearing then in mind his design of recommending- the 
study of Philosophy, it is interesting to observe the 
artifices of style and manner which, with this end, he 
adopted in his Treatises ; and though to enter minutely 
into this subject would be foreign to our present pur- 
pose, it may be allowed us to make some general 
remarks on the character of works so eminently suc- 
cessful in accomplishing the object for which they 
were undertaken. 

The most obvious peculiarity of Cicero's Philosophi- 
cal discussions is the form of dialogue in which most 
of them are conveyed. Plato, indeed, and Xenophon 
jj a( j^ b e f ore his time, been even more strictly dramatic 
in their compositions ; but they professed to be 
recording the sentiments of an individual, and the 
Socratic mode of argument could hardly be displayed 
in any other shape. Of that interrogative and induc- 
tive conversation, however, Cicero affords but few 
specimens;* the nature of his dialogue being as dif- 
ferent from that of the two Athenians, as was his 
object in writing. His aim was to excite interest ; 
and he availed himself of this mode of composition 
for the life and variety, the ease, perspicuity, and 
vigour which it gave to his discussions. His dialogue 
is of two kinds ; according as his subject is, or is not, 
a controverted point, it assumes the shape of a con- 
tinued Treatise, or a free disputation ; in the latter case 
imparting clearness to what is obscure, in the former 
relief to what is clear. Thus his practical and sys- 
tematic Treatises on Rhetoric and Moral duty are 
either written in his own person, or merely divided 
between several speakers who are the organs of his 
own sentiments ; while in questions of a more specu- 
lative cast, on the nature of the Gods, on the human 
soul, on the greatest good, he uses his Academic li- 
berty, and brings forward the theories of contending 
Schools under the 5 character of their respective advo- 

'Advantages cates. The advantages gained in both cases are 
evident. In controverted subjects he is not obliged to 
discover his own views, he can detail opposite argu- 
ments forcibly and luminously, and he is allowed the 
use of those oratorical powers in which, after all, his 
great strength lay. In those subjects, on the other 
hand, which are uninteresting because they are familiar, 
he may pause or digress before the mind is weary and 
the attention begins to flag ; the reader is carried on by 
easy journies and short stages, and novelty in the 
speaker supplies the want of novelty in the matter. 
Nor does Cicero discover less skill in the execution 

execution. o f t h e se dialogues, than address in their design. It 
were idle to enlarge upon the beauty, richness, and 
taste of compositions which have been the admiration 
of every age and country. In the dignity of his 
speakers, their high tone of mutual courtesy, the 
harmony of his groups, and the delicate relief of his 
contrasts, he is inimitable. The majesty and splendour 
of his introductions which generally address themselves 
to the passions or the imagination, the eloquence with 
which both sides of a question are successively dis- 
played, the clearness and terseness of his statements 
on abstract points, the warmth of his illustrations, his 
exquisite allusions to the scene or time of the sup- 
posed conversation, his digressions in praise of Phi- 
losophy or great men, his quotations from Grecian 

-of it. 

Beautv of 

VOL. X. 

* See Tusc. Qutest. and de Repitll. 

and Roman poetry, lastly, the melody and fulness of 
his style, unite to throw a charm round his writings 
peculiar to themselves. To the Roman reader they 
especially recommended themselves by their continual 
and most artful references to the heroes of the old Re- 
public, who now appeared but exemplars, and (as it 
were) patrons of that eternal Philosophy, which he 
had before, perhaps, considered as the short-lived re- 
veries of ingenious, but inactive men. Nor is there 
any confusion, harshness, or appearance of effort in 
the introduction of the various beauties we have been 
enumerating, which are blended together with so 
much skill and propriety, that it is sometimes difficult 
to point out the particular causes of the delight left 
upon the mind. 

In proceeding to enumerate Cicero's Philosophical 
writings,* it may be necessary to premise that our 
intention is rather to sketch oiit the plan on which 
they are conducted, than to explain the doctrines which 
they recommend ; for an account of which the reader 
is referred to our articles on the Schools by which they 
were respectively entertained. 

The series of his Rhetorical works has been pre- 
served nearly complete, and consists of the De Inven- 
tione,De Oratore, Uriitus sive de claris Oratoribus, Orator 
sive de optimo genere Dicendi, De partitione Oratorid, 
Topica de optimo genere Oratorum. The last-men- 
tioned, which is a fragment, is understood to have 
been the proem to his translation (now lost) of the 
speeches of Demosthenes and ^Eschines, De Corond. 
These he translated with the view of defending, by 
the example of the Greek Orators, his own style of 
eloquence, Avhich, as we shall afterwards find, the 
critics of the day censured as too Asiatic in its charac- 
ter ; and hence the preface, which still survives, is on. 
the subject of the Attic style of Oratory. This com- 
position and his abstracts of his own orations,t are 
his only Rhetorical works not extant, and probably our 
loss is not very great. The Treatise on Rhetoric, ad- 
dressed to Herennius, though edited with his works, 
and ascribed to him by several of the ancients, is now 
generally attributed to Cornificius, or some other 
writer of the same period. 

These works consider the art of Rhetoric in different 
points of view, and thus receive from each other mu- 
tual support and illustration, while they prevent the 
tediousness which might else arise from sameness in 
the subject of discussion. Three are in the form of 
dialogue; the rest are written in his own person. In 
all, except perhaps the Orator, he professes to have di- 
gested the principles of the Aristotelic and Isocratean 
Schools into one finished system, selecting what was 
best in each, and, as occasion might offer, adding re- 
marks and precepts of his own.J The subject is 
considered in three distinct lights ; with reference to 
the case, the speaker, and the speech. The case, as re- 
spects its nature, is definite or indefinite ; with reference 
to the hearer, it is judicial, deliberative, or descriptive j 
as regards the opponent, the dirision is fourfold ; 
according as the fact, its nature, its quality, or its 
propriety is called in question. The art of the speaker 
is directed to five points ; the discovery of persuasives, 

* See Fabricius, Billiothec. Latin. ; Olivet, in Cic. op. omn. ; 
Middleton's Life. 
f Quint. Jnst. 10. 7. 
J De Invent. 2. 2 et 3. ad Fam. 1. 9. 
Confer de part. Oral, with tie Ltvent. 




De Inven- 

Biography, (whether ethical, pathetical, or argumentative,) 
"' arrangement, diction, memory, delivery. And the 
speech, itself, consists of six parts ; introduction, state- 
ment of the case, division of the subject, proof, refu- 
tation, and conclusion. 

His Treatises, De Inventione and Topica, the first 
and nearly the last of his compositions, are both on 
the invention of arguments, which he regards, with 
Aristotle, as the very foundation of the art ; though 
he elsewhere confines the term eloquence, according to 
its derivation, to denote excellence of diction and de- 
livery, to the exclusion of argumentative skill.* The 
former of these works was written at the age of 
twenty, and seems originally to have consisted of four 
. books, of which but two remain. f In the first of 
these he considers Rhetorical invention generally, sup- 
plies common places for the six parts of an oration 
promiscuously, and gives a full analysis of the two 
forms of argument, syllogism, and induction. In the 
second book he applies these rules particularly to the 
three subject-matters of Rhetoric, the deliberative, the 
judicial, and the descriptive, dwelling principally on the 
judicial, as affording the most ample field for discus- 
sion. This Treatise seems nearly entirely compiled 
from the writings of Aristotle, Isocrates, and Herma- 
goras ; \ and as such he alludes to it in the opening 
of his De Oratore as deficient in the experience and 
judgment which nothing but time and practice can 
impart. Still it is an entertaining, nay useful, work ; 
remarkable, even among Cicero's writings, for its 
uniform good sense, and less familiar to the scholar, 
only because the greater part has been superseded by 
Topica. the compositions of his riper years. His Topica, or 
Treatise on common places, has less extent and variety 
of plan, being little else than a compendium of 
Aristotle's work oh the same subject. It was, as he 
informs us in its proem, drawn up from memory on 
his voyage from Italy to Greece, soon after Cfesar's 
murder, and in compliance with the wishes of Treba- 
tius, who had sometime before urged him to undertake 
the translation. 

De Oratore. Cicero seems to have intended his De Oratore, 
Brutus, and Orator, to form one complete system. || 
Of these three noble works, the first lays down the 
principles and rules of the Rhetorical art ; the second 
exemplifies them in the most eminent speakers of 
Greece and Rome ; and the third shadows out the 
features of that perfect Orator, whose superhuman 
excellences should be the aim of our ambition. The 
De Oratore was written when the author was fifty- 
two, two years afte.r his return from exile ; and is a 
dialogue between some of the most illustrious Romans 
of the preceding age on the subject of Oratory. The 
principal speakers are the Orators Crassus and Anto- 
nius, who are represented unfolding the principles of 
their art to Sulpicius and Cotta, young men just rising 
at the Bar. In the first book, the conversation turns 
on the subject-matter of Rhetoric, and the qualifica- 
tions requisite for the perfect Orator. Here Crassus 
maintains the necessity of his being acquainted with 
the whole circle of the arts, while Antonius confines 
eloquence to the province of speaking well. The dis- 


pute, for the most part, seems verbal ; for Cicero 
himself, though he here sides with Crassus, yet, else- 
where, as we have above noticed, pronounces elo- 
quence, strictly speaking, to consist in beauty of 
diction. Scaevola, the celebrated lawyer, takes part 
in this preliminary discussion; but in the ensuing 
meetings makes way for Catulus and Caesar, the sub- 
ject leading to such technical disquisitions as were 
hardly suitable to the dignity of the aged Augur. * 
The next morning Antonius enters upon the subject 
of invention, which Csesar completes by subjoining 
some remarks on the use of humour in Oratory; and 
Antonius, relieving him, finishes the morning dis- 
cussion with the principles of arrangement and memory. 
In the afternoon the rules for propriety and elegance of 
diction are explained by Crassus, who was celebrated 
in this department of the art ; and the work concludes 
with his treating the subject of delivery and action. 
Such is the plan of the De Oratore, the most finished 
perhaps of Cicero's compositions. An air of grandeur 
and magnificence reigns throughout. The charac- 
ters of the aged Senators are finely conceived, and 
the whole company is invested with an almost religi- 
ous majesty, from the allusions interspersed to the 
miserable destinies for which its members were re- 

His Treatise De Claris Oratoribus, was written after De darts 
an interval of nine years, about the time of Cato's 
death, and is conveyed in a dialogue between Brutus, 
Atticus, and himself. He begins with Solon, and after 
briefly mentioning the Orators of Greece, proceeds to 
those of his own country, so as to take in the whole 
period from the time of Junius Brutus down to him- 
self. About the same time he wrote his Orator 
in which he directs his attention principally to diction 
and delivery, as in his De Inventione and Topica he 
considers the matter of an Oration. t This Treatise is 
of a less practical nature than the rest.]: It adopts 
.the principles of Plato, and delineates the perfect 
Orator according to the abstract conceptions of the 
intellect, rather than the deductions of observation 
and experience. Hence he sets out with a definition 
of the perfectly eloquent man, whose characteristic it 
is to express himself with propriety on all subjects, 
whether humble, grand, or of an intermediate cha- 
racter^ and here he has an opportunity of paying 
some indirect compliments to himself. With this 
work he was so well satisfied, that he does not scruple 
to declare, in a letter to a friend, that he was ready 
to risk his reputation for judgment in Oratory on its 
merits. || 

The treatise De partitione Oratorid, or on the three De parti- 
parts of Rhetoric, is a kind of catechism between Cicero ttone Ora " 
and his son, drawn up for the use of the latter at the 
same time with the two preceding. It is the most 
systematic and perspicuous of his Rhetorical works, 
but seems to be but the rough draught of what he 
originally intended.^ 

The connection which we have been able to pre- 
serve between the Rhetorical writings of Cicero, will be 
quite unattainable in his Moral and Physical Treatises; 
partly from the extent of the subject, partly from the 



Moral and 

* Or at. 19. 

f Vossius, de Nat. Rhst. c. 13. Fabricius, Bibliothec. Latin. 

J De Invent. 1. 5. 6. de clar. Or at. 76. 

AdFam. 7. 19. U De Div. 2. 1. 

* Ad Atdcum, 4. 16. f Orat. 16. 

J Orat. 14. 31. Ibid. 21. 29. 

|| Ad Fam. 6. 18. 
\ See Middleton, vol. ii. p. 147. 4to. 



De Repub~ 

covery of 
of his 

Biography, losses occasioned by time, partly from the inconsistency 
which we have warned the reader to expect in his 
sentiments. In our enumeration, therefore, we shall 
observe no other order than that which the date of 
their composition furnishes. 

The earliest now extant, is part of his Treatise De 
Legibus, in three books ; being a sequel to his work 
on Politics. Both were written in imitation of Plato's 
Treatises on the same subjects.* The latter of these 
(De Republicd) was composed a year after the De 
Oratore,\ and seems to have vied with it in the ma- 
jesty and interest of the dialogue. It consisted of a 
series of discussions in six books on the origin and 
principles of Government, Scipio being the principal 
speaker ; but Lselius, Philus, Manilius, and other per- 
sonages of like gravity taking part in the conversation. 
*- Till lately, but a fragment of the fifth book was under- 
stood to be in existence, in which Scipio, under the 
fiction of a dream, inculcates the doctrine of the im- 
mortality of the soul. But within the last two years, 
Signor Mai, librarian of the Vatican, has published 
considerable portions of the first and second books, 
from a palimpsest manuscript of St. Austin's Com- 
mentary on the Psalms. In the part now recovered, 
Scipio discourses on the different kinds of Constitutions 
and their respective advantages ; with a particular re- 
ference to that of Rome. In the third, the subject of 
Justice was discussed by Lselius and Philus ; in the 
fourth, Scipio treated of Morals and Education ; while 
in the fifth and sixth, the duties of a Magistrate were 
explained, and the best means of preventing changes 
and revolutions in the Constitution itself. In the 
latter part of the Treatise, allusion was made to the 
actual posture of affairs in Rome, when the conversa- 
tion was supposed to have occurred, and the commo- 
tions excited by the Gracchi. 

In his treatise De Legibus, which was written two 
years later than the former, and shortly after the 
murder of Clodius, he represents himself as explaining 
to his brother Quintus, and Atticus, in their walks 
through the woods of Arpinum, the nature and origin 
of the laws, and their actual state, both in other coun- 
tries and in Rome. The first part only of the subject 
is contained in the books now extant ; the introduction 
to which we have had occasion to notice, when speak- 
ing of his Stoical sentiments on questions connected 
with State policy. Law he pronounces to be the per- 
fection of Reason, the eternal mind, the divine energy, 
which, while it pervades and unites in one the whole 
universe, associates Gods and men by the more intimate 
resemblance of Reason and Virtue, and still more 
closely men with men, by the participation of common 
faculties, affections, and situations. He then proves, 
at length, that Justice is not merely created by Civil 
institutions, from the power of conscience, the imper- 
fections of human law, the moral sense, and the 
disinterestedness of virtue. He next proceeds to un- 
fold the principles, first, of religious law, under the 
heads of divine worship ; the observance of festivals 
and games ; the office of Priests, Augurs, and Heralds ; 
the punishment of sacrilege and perjury ; the conse- 
cration of land, and the rights of sepulchres ; and, se- 
condly, of Civil law, which gives him an opportunity 
of noticing the respective duties of Magistrate and 


De Legi- 

* De Legg. 1. 5. 
f Ang. Mai, prof, in 

Middleton, i. p. 486. 

citizens. In these discussions, though professedly 
speaking of the abstract question, he does not hesitate 
to anticipate the subject of the lost books, by frequent 
allusions to the history and customs of his own coun- 
try. It may be added, that in no part of his writings 
do more offensive specimens of his vanity occur than in 
this treatise, where they are rendered doubly odious 
by the affectation of putting them into the mouth of 
his brother and Atticus.* 

Here a period of eight years intervenes, during 
which he composed little of importance besides his 
orations. He then published the Brutus and Orator ; 
and the year after, his Academical Qutfstiones, in the re- 
tirement from public business, to which he was driven 
by the Dictatorship of Caesar. This work had origi- 
nally consisted of two dialogues, which he entitled 
Catulus and Lucullus, from the names of the respective 
speakers in each. These he now remodelled and 
enlarged into four books, dedicating them to Varro, 
whom he introduced advocating, in the presence of 
Atticus, the tenets of Antiochus, while he himself de- 
fended those of Philo. Of this most valuable compo- 
sition, only the second book (Lucullus) of the first 
edition, and part of the first of the second are now 
extant. In the former of the two, Lucullus argues 
against, and Cicero for, the Academic Sect, in the 
presence of Catulus and Hortensius ; in the latter, 
Varro pursues the history of philosophy from Socrates 
to Arcesilas, and Cicero continues it down to the time 
of Carneades. In the second edition, the style was 
corrected, the matter condensed, and the whole 
polished with extraordinary care and diligence. f 

The same year he published his treatise De Finibus, De Finilus. 
or the chief good, in five books, in which are ex- 
plained the sentiments of the Epicureans, Stoics, and 
Peripatetics on the subject. This is the earliest of 
his works, in which the dialogue is of the disputatious 
kind. It is opened with a defence of the Epicurean 
tenets, concerning pleasure, by Torquatus ; to which 
Cicero replies at length. The scene then shifts from 
the Cuman villa, to the library of young Lucullus, 
(his father being dead,) where the Stoic Cato expa- 
tiates on the sublimity of the system which maintains 
the existence of one only good, and is answered by 
Cicero in the character of a Peripatetic. Lastly, 
Piso, in a conversation held at Athens, enters into an 
explanation of the doctrine of Aristotle, that hap- 
piness is the greatest good. The general style of his 
Treatise is elegant and perspicuous ; and the last 
book in particular has great variety and splendour 
of diction. 

We have already, in our memoir of Caesar, observed 
that Cicero was about this time particularly courted 
by the heads of the Dictator's party, of whom Hirtius 
and Dolabella went so far as to declaim daily at his 
house for the benefit of his instructions.]: A visit 
of this nature to his Tusculan villa, soon after the 
publication of the De Finibus, gave rise to his work, 
entitled, Tusculana Qucestiones, which professes to be 
the substance of five Philosophical disputes between Q ueestlone * 
himself and friends, digested into as many books. 
He argues throughout on Academic principles, even 
with an affectation of inconsistency; sometimes making 
use of the Socratic dialogue, sometimes launching out 

* Quint. lust. 11. 1. f Ad Atticum, 13. 13. 16. 19. 

t Ad Fam. 9. 16. 18. 




A. C. 



De NaturSt 

Biography, into the diffuse expositions which characterise his other 
Treatises.* He first disputes against the fear of death ; 
and in so doing he adopts the opinion of the Platonic 
School, as regards the nature of God and the soul. The 
succeeding discussions, on enduring pain, on alleviating 
grief, on the other emotions of the mind, and on Virtue, 
are conducted, for the most part, on Stoical principles, t 
This is a highly ornamental composition, and contains 
more quotations from the Poets than any other of 
Cicero's Treatises. 

We have already had occasion to remark upon the 
singular activity of his mind, which becomes more and 
more conspicuous as we approach the period of his 
death. During the ensuing year, which is the last of his 
life, in the midst of the confusion and anxieties conse- 
quent on Caesar's death, he found time to write the 
De Naturd Deorum, De Divinatione, De Fato, De Se- 
nectute, De Amicitid, De Officiis, and Paradoxa, besides 
the treatise on Rhetorical Common Places above con- 

Of these the first three were intended as a full ex- 
position of the opposite opinions entertained on their 
respective subjects ; the De Fato, however, was not 
finished according to this plan.J His Treatise De 
Naturd Deorum, in three books, may be reckoned 
the most magnificent of all his works, and shows that 
neither age nor disappointment had done injury to the 
richness and vigour of his mind. In the first book, 
Velleius, the Epicurean, sets forth the physical tenets 
of his sect, and is answered by Cotta, who is of the 
Academic School. In the second, Balbus, the dis- 
ciple of the Porch, gives an account of his own 
system, and is, in turn, refuted by Cotta in the third. 
The eloquent extravagance of the Epicurean, the 
solemn enthusiasm of the Stoic, and the brilliant 
raillery of the Academic, are contrasted with incon- 
ceivable vivacity and humour. While the sublimity 
of the subject itself imparts to the whole composition 
a grander and more elevated character, and discovers 
in the author imaginative powers, which, celebrated 
as he justly is for playfulness of fancy, might yet ap- 
pear more the talent of the Poet than the Orator. 

His treatise De Divinatione is conveyed in a discus- 
sion between his brother Quintus and himself, in two 
books. In the former, Quintus, after dividing Divi- 
nation into the heads of natural and artificial, afgues 
with the Stoics for its sacred nature, from the evidence 
of facts, the agreement of all nations, and the existence 
of Gods. In the latter Cicero questions its authority, 
with Carneades, from the uncertain nature of its rules, 
the absurdity and uselessness of the art, and the pos- 
sibility of accounting from natural causes for the 
phenomena on which it was founded. This is a curi- 
ous work, from the numerous cases adduced from the 
histories of Greece and Rome, to illustrate the subject 
in dispute. 

De Fato. His treatise De Fato is quite a fragment ; it purports 
to be the substance of a dissertation in which he ex- 
plained to Hirtius (soon after Consul,) the sentiments 
of Chrysippus, Diodorus, Epicurus, Carneades, and 
others, upon that abstruse subject. It is supposed to 
have consisted at least of two books, of which we 
have but the proem of the first, and a small portion 
of the second. 

* TUSC. Qua-st. 5. 4. 11. t Ibid. 3. 10. 5. 27. 

* De Nat. Dear. 1. 6. de Div. 1. 4. de Fat. 1. 

De Divi- 

In his beautiful pieces De Senectute, and De Amicitid, Mnrcus 
Cato the Censor, and Laelius, are respectively intro- 
duced delivering their sentiments on those subjects. 
The conclusion of the former, in which Cato discourses 
on the immortality of the soul, has been always cele- 
brated j and the opening of the latter, in which 
Fannius and Scsevola come to console Lrelius on the 
death of Scipio, is as exquisite an instance of delicacy 
and taste, as can be found in his works. In the latter 
he has borrowed largely from the eighth and ninth 
books of Aristotle's Ethics. 

His Treatise De Officiis, was finished about the 
time he wrote his second Philippic, a circumstance 
which illustrates the great capaciousness and versatility 
of his mental powers. Of a work so extensively ce- tutcetde 
lebrated, it is enough to have mentioned the name. 4miciti&. 
Here he lays aside the less authoritative form of dia- De officii}. 
logue, and, with the dignity of the Roman Consul, 
unfolds, in his own person, the principles of Morals, 
according to the views of the older Schools, particu- 
larly of the Stoics. It is written, in three books, with 
great perspicuity and elegance of style ; the first book 
treats of the honestum, the second of the utile, and the 
third adjusts the claims of the two, when they happen 
to interfere with each other. 

His Paradoxa Stoicor urn might have been, more suit- Paradoxa 
ably perhaps, included in his Rhetorical works, being Stoicorum. 
six short declamations in support of the positions of 
Zenoj in which that Philosopher's subtilities are 
adapted to the comprehension of the vulgar, and the 
events of the times. The second, fourth, and sixth, 
are respectively directed against Antony, Clodius, and 
Crassus. They seem to have suffered from time.* 
The sixth is the most eloquent, but the argument of 
the third is strikingly maintained. 

Besides the works now enumerated, we have a con- 
siderable fragment of his translation of Plato's Tim&us, 
which he seems to have finished about this time. 
His remaining Philosophical works, viz. the Hortensius, 
which was a defence of Philosophy ; De Glorid, De 
Consolatione, written upon Platonic principles on his 
daughter's death ; De Jure Civili, De Virtutibus, De 
Auguriis, Chorographia, translations of Plato's Pro- 
tagoras, and Xenophon's CEconomics, works on Natural 
History, Panegyric on Cato, and some Miscellaneous 
Writings, are, except a few fragments, entirely lost. 

His Epistles, about one thousand in all, are com- Epistles* 
prised in thirty-six books, sixteen of which are 
addressed to Atticus, three to his brother Quintus, one 
to Brutus, and sixteen to his different friends ; and 
they form a history of his life from his fortieth year. 
Among those addressed to his friends, some occur from 
Brutus, Metellus, Plancius, Ceelius and others. For 
the preservation of this most valuable department of 
Cicero's writings, we are indebted to Tyro, the au- 
thor's freedman, though we possess, at the present 
day, but a part of those originally published. As his 
correspondence with his friends belongs to his cha- 
racter as a man and politician, rather than to his 
powers as an author, we have already noticed it in 
the first part of this memoir. 

His Poetical and Historical works have suffered a Poetical 
heavier fate. The latter class, consisting of his Com- a . ni1 Histo- 
mentary on his Consulship, and his History of his own ncai works - 

* Sciopp. in Olivet. 



Biography Times, is altogether lost. Of the former, which con- 
sisted of the heroic poems Alcyones, Cimon, Marius, 
and his Consulate ; the elegy of Tamelastes, transla- 
tions of Homer and Aratus, Epigrams, &c. nothing 
remains, except some fragments of the Ph&nomena 
and Diosemeia of Aratus. It may, however, be ques- 
tioned whether literature has suffered much by these 
losses. We are far, indeed, from speaking con- 
temptuously of the poetical powers of one who pos- 
sessed so much fancy, so much taste, and so fine an 
ear.* But his poems were principally composed in 
his youth; and afterwards, when his powers were 
more mature, his occupations did not allow even his 
active mind the time necessary for polishing a language 
still more rugged in metre than it was in prose. His 
contemporary history on the other hand, can hardly 
have conveyed more explicit, and certainly would have 
contained less faithful, information than his private 
correspondence ; while, with all the penetration he 
assuredly possessed, it may be doubted if his diffuse 
and graceful style of thought and composition was 
adapted for the depth of reflection and condensation of 
meaning, which are the chief excellences of historical 

Orations. The Orations he is known to have composed 
amount in all to about eighty, of which fifty-nine either 
entire or in part are preserved. Of these some are 
deliberative, others judicial, others descriptive, some 
delivered from the Rostrum, or in the Senate ; others 
in the Forum, or before Caesar ; and, as might be 
anticipated from the character already given of his 
talents, he is much more successful in pleading or in 
panegyric than in debate or invective. In deliberative 
Oratory, indeed, great part of the effect depends on 
the confidence placed in the speaker ; and, though 
Cicero takes considerable pains to interest the audi- 
ence in his favour, yet his style is not simple and grave 
enough, he is too ingenious, too declamatory, dis- 
covers too much personal feeling to attain the highest 
degree of excellence in this department of the art. 
His invectives, again, however grand and imposing, 
yet, compared with his calmer and more familiar 
productions, have a forced and unnatural air. Splendid 
as is the eloquence of his Catilinarians and Philippics, 
it is often the language of abuse rather than of indigna- 
tion ; and even his attack on Piso, the most brilliant 
and imaginative of its kind, becomes wearisome from 
want of ease and relief. His laudatory orations, on 
the other hand, are among his happiest efforts. No- 
thing can exceed the taste and beauty of those for 
the Manilian law, for Marcellus, for Ligurius, for 
Archias, and the ninth Philippic, which is principally 
in praise of Servius Sulpicius. But it is, in judicial 
eloquence, particularly on subjects of a lively cast, 
as in his speeches for Cselius and Muraena, and against 
Caecilius, that his talents are displayed to the best ad- 
vantage. To both kinds his amiable and pleasant turn 
of mind imparts inexpressible grace and delicacy ; 
Historical allusions, Philosophical sentiments, de- 
scriptions full of life and nature, and polite raillery, 
succeed each other in the most agreeable manner, 
without appearance of artifice or effort. Of this na- 
ture are his pictures of the confusion of the Cati- 
linarian conspirators on detection jt of the death of 

See Plutarch, in Vita. 

f In Catil. 3. 3. 

Metellus 3 * of Sulpicius undertaking the embassy to 
Antonius ; t the character he draws of Catiline ; + and 
his fine sketch of old Appius, frowning on his dege- 
nerate descendant Clodia. 

These, however, are but incidental and occasional 
artifices to divert and refresh the mind, as his Orations 
are generally laid out according to the plan proposed 
in Rhetorical works ; the introduction, containing 
the ethical proof ; the body of the speech, the argu- 
ment and the peroration addressing itself to the 
passions of the Judge. In opening his case, he com- 
monly makes a profession of timidity and diffidence, 
with a view to conciliate the favour of his audience ; 
the eloquence, for instance, of Hortensius, is so 
powerful, || or so much prejudice has been excited 
against his client, ^[ or it is his first appearance in the 
Rostrum,** or he is unused to speak in an armed 
assembly,tf or to plead in a private apartment. J{ 
He proceeds to entreat the patience of his Judges ; 
drops out some generous or popular sentiment, or 
contrives to excite prejudice against his opponent. 
He then states the circumstances of his case, and 
the intended plan of his oration ; and here he is 
particularly clear. But it is when he comes actually 
to prove his point, that his Oratorical powers begin 
to have their full play. He accounts for every thing 
so naturally, makes trivial circumstances tell so 
happily, so adroitly converts apparent objections into 
confirmations of his argument, connects independent 
particulars with such ease and plausibility, that it 
becomes impossible to entertain a question on the 
truth of his statement. This is particularly ob- 
servable in his defence of Cluentius, where prejudices, 
suspicions, and difficulties are encountered with the 
most triumphant ingenuity ; in the antecedent pro- 
babilities of his Pro Milone; in his apology for 
Muroena's public, |||| and Caelius's private life, ^[*j[ and 
his disparagement of Verres's military services in 
Sicily j*** it is observable in the address with which 
the Agrarian law of Rullus,ttt and the accusation 
of Rabirius,JJ| both popular measures, are repre- 
sented to be hostile to public liberty ; with which 
Milo's impolitic unconcern is made an affecting con- 
sideration ; and Cato's attack upon the crowd of 
clients which accompanied the candidate for office, 
a tyrannical disregard for the feelings of the poor.||||j| 
So great indeed is his talent, that (as we have before 
hinted,) he even hurts a good cause by an excess of 

But it is not enough to have barely proved his 
point ; he proceeds, either immediately, or towards 
the conclusion of his speech, to heighten the effect 
by exaggeration.^ ^[^[ Here he goes (as it were) round 
and round his object ; surveys it in every light ; exa- 
mines it in all its parts, retires, and then advances ; 
turns and returns it j compares and contrasts it j 

* Pro Ceel. 10. f Philipp. 9. 3. 

+ Pro Ceel. 3. Ibid. 6. 

|| Pro Quinct. and pro Verr. 5. 

if Pro C/Kf. ** Pro Leg. Manil. 

ft Pro Milan. JJ Pro Deiotar. 

Pro A/i7o. 8 10. HI) Pro Murcen. 4. 

\\ Pro Ceel. 6. *** / Terr. 5. 2. &c. 

ttt Contra Hull. 1. 9 JJt Pro /ZaWr. 3. 

Pro Milan, init. et alibi. 

HUH Pro Mitra-n. 14. 

ifflif Z>e Orat.partit.c. 8. 16, 17. 




Biography, illustrates, confirms, enforces his view of the question, 
' till at last the hearer feels ashamed of doubting a 
position which seems built on a foundation so strictly 
argumentative. Of this nature is his justification of 
Rabirius in taking up arms against Saturninus ;* his 
account of the imprisonment of the Roman citizens 
by Verres, and of the crucifixion of Gavius j f his com- 
parison of Antonius with Tarquin ; J and his contrast- 
ing Verres with Fabius, Scipio, and Marius. 

And now, having established his case, he opens 
upon his opponent a discharge of raillery, so delicate 
and good natured, that it is impossible for the latter 
to maintain his ground against it. Or where the sub- 
ject is too grave to admit this, he colours his exag- 
geration with all the bitterness of irony or vehemence 
of passion. Such are his frequent delineations of 
Gabinius, Piso, Clodius, and Antonius ;\\ particularly 
his vivid and almost humorous contrast of the two 
Consuls, who sanctioned his banishment, in his Oration 
for Sextius.<[[ Such the celebrated account (already 
alluded to) of the crucifixion of Gavins, which it is 
difficult to read, even at the present day, without 
having our feelings roused against the merciless 
Praetor. But the appeal to the softer emotions of the 
soul is reserved (perhaps with somewhat of sameness) 
for the close of his oration; as in his defence of 
Cluentius, Muraena, Caelius, Milo, Sylla, Flaccus, and 
Rabirius Postumus ; the most striking instances of 
which are the poetical burst of feeling with which 
he addresses his client Plancius,** and his picture of 
the desolate condition of the Vestal Fonteia, should 
her brother be At other times, his 
peroration contains more heroic and elevated senti- 
ments j as in his invocation of the Alban groves and 
t altars in the peroration of the Pro Milone, the pane- 

gyric on Patriotism, and the love of Glory in his 
defence of Sextius, and that on Libertyat the close of 
the third and tenth Philippics. But we cannot describe 
his Oratorical merits more accurately than by extract- 
ing his own delineation of a perfect Orator: Sic 
igitur dicet ille, quern expetimus, ut verset scepe multis 
modis eandem et unam rem; et hcsreat in eadem, com- 
moreturque sententia : scepe etiam ut extenuet aliquid, 
scepe ut irrideat -. ut declinet a proposito deflectatque sen- 
tentiam: utproponat quid dicturus sit: ut, cum transegerit 
jam aliquid, deftniat: ut se ipse revocet : ut, quod dixit, 
iteret : ut argumentum rations concludat :. . . .ut dividatin 

paries .- ut aliquid relinquat ac negligat : ut ante prcemuniat : 
ut in eo ipso, in quo reprehendatur, culpam in adversarium 
conferat ...... ut hominum sermones moresque describat : 

ut muta qucedam loquentia inducat: ut ab eo, quod agitur, 
averlat animos ; ut scepe in hilaritatem risumve convertat: 
ut ante occupet quod videat opponi : ut comparet simili- 

tudines . ut utatur exemplis : . ut liberius quod audeat ; 

ut irascatur etiam : ut objurget aliquando : ut deprecetur, 
ut supplicet; utmedeatur; uta proposito declinet aliquan- 
tulum : ut optet, ut execretur > ut fiat iis, apud quos 
dicet, familiaris. Orat. 40.J + 

Character But by the invention of a style, which adapts itself 
of his style with singular felicity to every class of subjects, 

* Pro Rabir. 5. 

t In Verr. 5. 56, &c. and 64, &c. 

I Philipp. 3, 4. In Verr. 5. 10. 

|| Pro Redit. in Scnat. pro Dom. pro Sext. Philipp. 

f Pro Sext. 810. ** Pro Plane. 

ft Pro Fonteio. ++ De clar. Orat. 93. 

whether lofty or familiar, Philosophical or Forensic, 
Cicero answers even more exactly to his own defini- 
tion of a perfect Orator,* than by his plausibility, 
pathos, and vivacity. It is not however here intended 
to enter upon the consideration of a subject so ample 
and so familiar to all scholars as Cicero's Oratorical 
diction, much less to take an extended view of it 
through the range of his Philosophical writings, and 
familiar correspondence. Among many excellences, 
the greatest is its suitableness to the genius of the 
Latin language ; though the diffuseness thence neces- 
sarily resulting has exposed it, both in his own days 
and since his time, to the criticisms of those who have 
affected to condemn its Asiatic character, in compa- 
rison with the simplicity of Attic writers, and the 
strength of Demosthenes.f Greek, however, is ce- 
lebrated for copiousness in its vocabulary and perspi- 
cuity in its phrases ; and the consequent facility of 
expressing the most novel or abstruse ideas with pre- 
cision and elegance. Hence the Attic style of elo- 
quence was plain and simple, because simplicity and 
plainness were not incompatible with clearness, 
energy, and harmony. But it was a singular want of 
judgment, an ignorance of the very principles of 
composition, which induced Brutus, Calvus, Sallust, 
and others to imitate this terse and severe beauty in 
their own defective language, and even to pronounce 
the opposite kind of diction deficient in taste and 
purity. In Greek, indeed, the words fall, as it were, 
naturally, into a distinct and harmonious order ; and 
from the exuberant richness of the materials, less is 
left to the ingenuity of the artist. But the Latin 
language is comparatively weak, scanty, and unmu- 
sical ; and requires considerable skill and management 
to render it expressive and graceful. Simplicity in 
Latin is scarcely separable from baldness ; and justly 
as Terence is celebrated for chaste and unadorned 
diction, yet, even he, compared with Attic writers, is 
flat and heavy. J Again, the perfection of strength is 
clearness united to brevity ; but to this combination 
Latin is utterly unequal. From the vagueness and 
uncertainty of meaning which characterises its sepa- 
rate words, to be perspicuous it must be full. What 
Livy, and much more Tacitus have gained in energy, 
they have lost in perspicuity and elegance j the cor- 
respondence of Brutus with Cicero, is forcible indeed, 
but harsh and abrupt. Latin, in short, is not a Philo- 
sophical language, not a language in which a deep 
thinker is likely to express himself with purity or 
neatness. Qui h Latinis exiget illam gratiam sermonis 
Attiti, says Quintilian, det rnihi in eloquendo eandem 
jucunditatem et parem copiam. Quod si negatum est, 
sententias aptabirnus iis vocibus quas habemus, nee rerum 
nimiam tenuitatem, ut non dicam pinguioribus, fortioribus 
ccrte verbis miscebimus, ne virtus utraque pereat ipsd 
confusione. Nam quo minus adjuvat sermo, rerum 
inventione pugnandum est. Sensus sublimes variique 
eruantur. Permovendi omnes ajfectus erunt, oratio 
translationum nitore illuminanda. Non possumus esse 
tarn graciles ? simus fortiores. Subtilitate vincimur ? 
valeamus pondere. Proprietor penes illos est certior ? 
copid vincamus. This is the very plan on which Cicero 
has proceeded. He had to deal with a language 

* Orat. 29. 

f 7Wc. Qveest. 1. 1. de clar. Orat. 82, &c. de opt. gen. Die, 

I Quint. 10. 1. 


A. C. 



the Greek 








barren and dissonant ; his good sense enabled him to 
perceive what could be done, and what it was in vain 
to attempt ; and happily his talents answered precisely 
to the purpose required. Terence and Lucretius had 
cultivated simplicity ; Cotta, Brutus, and Calvus had 
attempted strength ; but Cicero rather made a lan- 
guage than a style ; yet not so much by the invention 
as by the combination of words. Some terms, indeed, 
his Philosophical subjects obliged him to coin ;* but 
his great art lies in the application of existing mate- 
rials, in converting the very disadvantages of the 
language into beauties, t in enriching it with circum- 
locutions and metaphors, in pruning it of harsh and 
uncouth expressions, in systematizing the structure 
of a sentence. | This is that copia dicendi which 
gained Cicero the high testimony of Caesar to his 
inventive powers, and which, we may add, constitutes 
him the greatest master of composition the world 
has ever seen. If the comparison be not thought 
fanciful, he may be assimilated to a skilful landscape- 
gardener, who gives depth and richness to narrow and 
confined premises, by taste and variety in the dispo- 
sition of his trees and walks. 

Such, then, are the principal characteristics of 
Cicero's Oratory ; on a review of which we may, with 
some reason, conclude that Roman Eloquence stands 
scarcely less indebted to his compositions than Roman 
Philosophy. For though in his De claris Oratoribus 
he begins his review from the age of Junius Brutus, 
yet, soberly speaking, (and as he seems to allow in 
the opening of the De Oratore,) we cannot assign an 
earliei^date to the rise of Eloquence among his 
countrymen, than that of the same Athenian embassy 
which introduced the study of Philosophy. To aim 
indeed at persuasion, by appeals to the reason or 
passions, is so natural, that no country, whether re- 
fined or barbarous, is without its orators. If however 
Eloquence be the mere power of persuading, it is but 
a relative term, limited to time and place, connected 
with a particular audience, and leaving to posterity 
no test of its merits, but the report of those whom 
it has been successful in influencing. Vulgus interdum, 
says Cicero, non probandum oratorem probat, sed probat 
sine comparatione, cum & rnediocri out etiam a malo 
delectatur ; eo est contentus : esse melius sentit : illudquod 
est, qualecunque est, probat. (De clar. Orat. 52.) 

The eloquence of Carneades and his associates made 
(to use a familiar term,) a great sensation among the 
Roman Orators, who soon split into two parties ; the 
one adhering to the rough unpolished manners of 
their forefathers, the other favouring the artificial 
graces which distinguished the Grecian style. In the 
former class were Cato and Laelius,|| both men of 
cultivated minds, particularly Cato, whose opposition 
to Greek literature was founded solely on political 


considerations. But, as might be expected, the 
Athenian cause prevailed ; and Carbo and the two 
Gracchi, who are the principal Orators of the next 
generation, are related to have been learned, majestic, 
and harmonious in the character of their speeches.* 
These were succeeded by Antonius, Crassus, Cotta, 
Sulpicius, and Hortensius ; who, adopting greater 
liveliness and variety of manner, form a middle age in 
the history of Roman eloquence. But it was in that 
which immediately followed, that the art was adorned 
by an assemblage of orators, which even Greece will 
find it difficult to match. Of these Caesar, Cicero, 
Curio, Brutus, Caslius, Calvus, and Callidius, are the 
most celebrated. The splendid talents, indeed, of Ciceronian 
Caesar, were not more conspicuous in arms than in age. 
his Oratory, which was noted for force and purity. f 
Caelius, who has come before us in the history of the 
times, excelled in natural quickness, loftiness of sen- 
timent, and politeness in attack ; % Brutus in Philo- 
sophical gravity, though he sometimes indulged 
himself in a warmer and bolder style. Callidius was 
delicate and harmonious ; Curio bold and flowing ; 
Calvus, from studied opposition to Cicero's pecu- 
liarities, cold, cautious, and accurate. || Brutus and 
Calvus have been before noticed as the advocates of 
the dry sententious mode of speaking, which they 
dignified by the name of Attic ; a kind of eloquence 
which seems to have been popular from the compara- 
tive facility with which it was attained. 

In the Ciceronian age the general character of 
the Oratory was dignified and graceful. The popular 
nature of the Government gave opportunities for ef- 
fective appeals to the passions ; and, Greek literature 
being as yet a novelty, philosophical sentiments were 
introduced with corresponding success. The Re- 
publican Orators were long in their introductions, 
diffuse in their statements, ample in their divisions, 
frequent in their digressions, gradual and sedate in 
their perorations.^ Under the Emperors, however, Decline of 
the people were less consulted in State affairs ; and Roman 
the Judges, instead of possessing an almost inde- Oratory 

,. t . j i f J.T- T< under the 

pendent authority, being but delegates or the Execu- i mper i a i 

tive, from interested politicians became men of Govern- 
business ; literature, too, was now familiar to all ment. 
classes ; and taste began sensibly to decline. The 
national appetite felt a craving for stronger and more 
stimulating compositions. Impatience was manifested 
at the tedious majesty and formal graces, the parade 
of arguments, grave sayings, and shreds of Philo- 
sophy,** which characterised their fathers ; and a 
smarter and more sparkling kind of Oratory suc- 
ceeded,"^ just as in our own country, the minuet of 
the last century has been supplanted by the quadrille, 
and the stately movements of Giardini have given 
way to the brisker and more artificial melodies of 

* De Fin. 3. 1 and 4. Lucull. 6. Plutarch, in VitA. 

f- This, which is analogous to his address in pleading, is no- 
where more observable than in his rendering the recurrence of 
the same word, to which he is forced by the barrenness or vague- 
ness of the language, an elegance. 

J It is remarkable that some authors attempted to account for 
the invention of the Asiatic style, on the same principle we have 
here adduced to account for Cicero's adoption of in Latin ; viz. 
that the Asiatics had a defective knowledge of Greek, and de- 
vised phrases, &c. to make up for the imperfections of their 
scanty vocabulary. See Quint. 12. 10. 

De clar. Orat. 72. || Ibid. Quint. 12. 10. 

* De clar. Orat. pro Harusp. resp. 19. 

f Quint. 10. 1 and 2. de clar. Orat. 75. 

I Ibid. Ibid. adAtticum, 14. 1. 

|| Ibid. 

\ Dialog, de Orat. 20 and 22. Quint. 10. 2. 

** " It is not uncommon for those who have grown wise by 
the labour of others, to add a little of their own and overlook, 
their master." JOHNSON. We have before compared Cicero 
to Addison as regards the purpose of inspiring their respective 
countrymen with literary taste. They resembled each other in 
the return they experienced. 

ft Dialog. 18. 


Biography. Rossini. Corvinus, even before the time of Augustus, as inflated, languid, tame, and even deficient in orna- Marcus 

had shown himself more elaborate and fastidious in ment ;* Mecsenas and Gallic followed in the career of 

his choice of expressions.* Cassius Severus, the first degeneracy ; till flippancy of attack, prettiness of ex- 

who openly deviated from the eld style of Oratory, pression, and glitter of decoration prevailed over the 

introduced an acrimonious and virulent mode of bold and manly eloquence of free Rome, 

pleading. f It now became the fashion to decry Cicero 

* Dialog. 18 and 22. Quint. 12. 10. 
Dialog. 18. f I^id- IS. 



Biography, which his wife is said to have participated. Nearly 
' all the officers of the Imperial establishment were privy 
to the intended murder; and finding themselves secure, 
o\ving to the number of their confederates, they post- 
poned the execution of their design until they gained 
the concurrence of Nerva, who had been exiled toTaren- 
tum, and whom they wished to place on the throne when 
it should be vacant. On the eighteenth of September, 
in the year of Rome 847, Domitianus was despatched by 
the dagger of Stephanus, one of the ministers of the 
palace, who obtained admittance into his bed-closet 
under pretext of urgent business. The Emperor's body 
was saved from the indignities with which it was 
menaced, by the affection of his nurse ; who contrived 

to have it privately removed and buried in the country, Titus 
at a family villa near the Latin way. Afterwards, she Flavius 
conveyed his ashes to the Flavian Temple, where she Domitianus - 
mixed them with those of Julia, the daughter of Titus, 
to whose infancy she had likewise discharged the 
duties of a mother. But the statues and pictures which 
fear or courtly adulation had erected to him, were 
immediately pulled down and trampled underfoot; and 
to this posthumous revenge the Senators added an ex- 
pression of their indignation and resentment, which 
they were aware could only be partially realized. They 
issued a decree that the name of Domitianus should be 
immediately struck out of the Roman annals, and obli- 
terated from every public monument. 


FROM U. C. 750. A. C. 4. TO A. D. 96. 

U. C. 


A. C. 


A. D. 


His life 


Biography. APOLLONIUS, the Pythagorean Philosopher, was 
N^v^*"' born at Tyana, in Cappadocia, in the year of Rome 
From 750, four years before the common Christian era.* 
His reputation has been raised far above his per- 
sonal merits, by the attempt made in the early ages 
of the Church, and since revived,t to bring him 
forward as a rival to the Author of our Religion. 
His life was written with this object, about a cen- 
tury after his death, by Philostratus of Lemnos, 
when Ammonius was systematizing the Eclectic 
tenets to meet the increasing influence of the Chris- 
Fhiiostratus ti.n doctrines. Philostratus engaged in this work 
at the instance of his patroness Julia Domna, wife 
of the Emperor Severus, a Princess celebrated for 
her zeal in the cause of Heathen Philosophy ; who 
p\it into his hands a journal of the travels of Apol- 
lonius rudely written by one Damis, an Assyrian, 
his companion. | This manuscript, an account of 
his residence at jEgae, prior to his acquaintance 
with Damis, by Maximus of that city, a collec- 
tion of his letters, some private memoranda rela- 
tive to his opinions and conduct, and lastly the 
public records of the cities he frequented, were 
the principal documents from which Philostratus 
compiled his elaborate narrative, which is still ex- 
tant^ It is written with considerable elegance, 
hut with more ornament and attention to the com- 
position than is consistent with correct taste. Though 
it is not a professed imitation of the Scripture 
history of Christ, it contains quite enough to show 
that it was written with a view of rivalling it ; 
Hud accordingly, in the following age, it was made 
use of in a direct attack upon Christianity by 

* Clear, ad Philostr. i. 12. 

f By Lord Herbert and Mr. Blount. 

J Philostr. i. 3. 

VOL. X. 

Ibid.i. 2, 3. 

Hierocles* Praefect of Bithynia, a disciple of the Apollonius 
Eclectic School, to whom a reply was written by Euse- 
bius of Caesarea. The selection of a Pythagorean Phi- 
losopher for the purpose of a comparison with Christ 
was judicious. The attachment of the Pythagorean 
Sect to the discipline of the established religion, which 
most other Philosophies neglected ; its austerity, its 
pretended intercourse with Heaven, its profession of 
extraordinary power over nature, and the authoritative 
tone of teaching which this profession countenanced,! 
were all in favour of the proposed object. But with 
the plans of the Eclectics in their attack upon Chris- 
tianity we have no immediate concern. 

Philostratus begins his work with an account of the Birth and 
prodigies attending the Philosopher's birth, which with education, 
all circumstances of a like nature we shall for the pre- 
sent pass over, intending to make some observations 
on them in the sequel. At the age of fourteen he was 
placed by his father under the care of Euthydemus, 
a distinguished rhetorician of Tarsus ; but being dis- 
pleased with the dissipation of that city, he removed 
with his master to /Egae a neighbouring town, fre- 
quented as a retreat for students in Philosophy. J Here 
he made himself master of the Platonic, Stoic, Epi- 
curean, and Peripatetic systems ; giving, however, an 
exclusive preference to the Pythagorean, which he stu- 
died with Euxenus of Heraclea, a man whose life ill 
accorded with the ascetic principles of his Sect. At He adopts 
the early age of sixteen years, according to his Biogra- thePytha- 
pher, he resolved on strictly conforming himself to the orea " p "* 
precepts of Pythagoras, and, if possible, rivalling the 
fame of his master. He renounced animal food and 
wine ; restricted himself to the use of linen garments, 

* His work was called Aoyn */XaX>^!/; -r^; Xgifrixtivi' on this 
subject see Mosheim, tnrbatn per rccentiores Platonicot 
Ec'cli-sia, S"C. 25. 

t Philostr. i. 17, vi. 11. } Ibid. i,7. 

4 L 




u. c. 

A. C. 


A. D. 


and sandals made of the bark of trees; suffered his hair 
to grow ; and betook himself to the Temple of J2sciila- 
pius, who is said to have regarded him with peculiar 

On the news of his father's death, which took place 
not long afterwards, he left JEgas for his native place, 
where he gave up half his inheritance to his elder bro- 
ther, whom he is said to have reclaimed from a disso- 
lute course of life, and the greater part of the remainder 
to his poorer relatives.f 

Prior to composing any Philosophical work, he 
though it necessary to observe the silence of five years, 
which was the appointed initiation into the esoteric 
doctrines of his Sect. During this time he exercised his 
mind in storing up materials for future reflection. We 
are told, that on several occasions he hindered insurrec- 
tions in the cities in which he resided, by the mute elo- 
quence of his look and gestures ;+ a fact, however, 
which we are able to trace to the invention of his Bio- 
grapher, who, in his zeal to compare him to his master, 
forgot that the disciples of the Pythagorean school de- 
nied themselves during their silence the intercourse of 
mixed society. 

The period of silence being expired, Apollonius 
passed through the principal cities of Asia Minor, dis- 
puting in the Temples in imitation of Pythagoras, 
unfolding the mysteries of his Sect to such as were 
observing their probationary silence, discoursing with 
the Greek Priests about divine rites, and reforming the 
worship of Barbarian cities. || This must have been 
his employment for many years ; the next incident 
in his life being his eastern journey, which was not 
undertaken till he was between forty and fifty years of 

His object in this expedition was to consult the 
Magi and Brachmans on Philosophical subjects ; in 
which he but followed the example of Pythagoras, 
who is said to have travelled as far as India for the 
same purpose. At Nineveh, where he arrived with 
two companions, he was joined by Damis, already 
mentioned as his journalist.** Proceeding thence to 
Babylon, he had some interviews with the Magi, who 
rather disappointed his expectations ; and was well 
received by Bardanes the Parthian King, who after 
detaining him at his Court for the greater part of two 
years, dismissed him with marks of peculiar honour, ft 
From Babylon he proceeded to Taxila, the seat of 
Phraotes, King of the Indians, who is represented as an 
adept in the Pythagorean Philosophy ;Jj and passing 
on, at length accomplished the object of his expedition 
by visiting larchas, Chief of the Brachmans, from whom 

* Philostr. i. 8. Apollon. Epist. 50, 

f Ibid. i. 13. t Ibid. i. 14. 15. 

Brucker, vol. ii. p. 104. || Philostr. i. 16. 

f[ See Olear. preefat. ad vitam. As he died u. c. 849, he is 
usually considered to have lived to a hundred. Since, however, here 
is an interval of almost twenty years in which nothing important hap- 
pens, in a part of his life too unconnected with any public events to 
fix its chronology, it is highly probable that the date of his birth is 
put too early. Philostratus says, that accounts varied, making him live 
eighty, ninety, or one hundred years ; see viii. 29. See also ii. 12, 
where, by some inaccuracy, he makes him to have been in India 
twenty years before he was at Babylon. Olear. ad locum et prafat. 
ad vit. The common date of his birth is fixed by his biographer's 
merely accidental mention of the revolt of Archelaus against the 
Romans, as taking place before Apollonius was twenty years old , 
see i. 12. 

** Philostr. i. 19. ft Ibid. i. 26, ad fin. 

JJ Ibid. ii. 1 40. Brucker, vol. ii. p. 110 

he is said to have learned many valuable theurgic 

On his return to Asia Minor, after an absence of 
about five years, he stationed himself for a time in 
Ionia ; where the fame of his travels and his austere 
mode of life procured considerable attention to his 
Philosophical harangues. The cities sent embassies to 
him, decreeing him public honours ; while the Oracles 
pronounced him more than mortal, and referred the 
sick to him for relief, f 

From Ionia he passed over to Greece, and made his 
first tour through its principal cities ;| visiting the 
Temples and Oracles, reforming the divine rites, and 
sometimes exercising his theurgic skill. Except at 
Sparta, however, he seems to have attracted little atten- 
tion. At Eleusis his application for admittance to the 
Mysteries was unsuccessful ; as was, at a later period of 
his life a similar attempt at the Cave of Trophonius. 
In both places his reputation for Magic was the cause 
of his exclusion. 

Hitherto our memoir has given the unvaried life of 
a mere Pythagorean, which may be comprehended in 
three words, mysticism, travel, and disputation. From 
the date of his journey to Rome, which succeeded his 
Grecian tour, it is in some degree connected with the 
history of the times ; and though much may be owing 
to the invention of Philostratus, there is neither reason 
nor necessity for supposing the narrative to be in 
substance untrue. 

Nero had at this time prohibited the study of Philo- 
sophy, alleging that it was made the pretence for 
Magical practices ;|| and the report of his excesses so 
alarmed the followers of Apollonius as they approached 
Rome, that out of thirty-four who had accompanied 
him thus far, eight only could be prevailed on to pro- 
ceed. On his arrival the strangeness of his proceedings 
caused him to be brought successively before the Con- 
sul Telesinusand Tigellinus the Minister of Nero ;1f both 
of whom however dismissed him after examination ; 
the former from a secret leaning towards Philosophy, 
the latter from fear (as we are told) of his extraordinary 
powers. He was in consequence allowed to go about 
at his pleasure from Temple to Temple, haranguing the 
people, and prosecuting his reforms in the worship 
paid to the Gods. But here, as before, we discover 
marks of incorrectness in the Biographer. Had the 
edict against Philosophers been as severe as he repre- 
sents, neither Apollonius, nor Demetrius the Cynic, 
who joined him after his arrival, would have been per- 
mitted to remain ; certainly not Apollonius, after his 
acknowledgment of his own Magical powers in the 
presence of Tigellinus.** 

Denied by Philostratus all insight into the circum- 

* Philostr. iii. 51. 

t Ibid. iv. 1. It is observable that this is the first distinct mention 
which his Biographer furnishes of his pretendingto extraordinary power. 
The history of Lucian's Alexander leads us to suspect a secret under- 
standing between him and the Priests, who might not be unwilling to 
avail themselves of his alliance in opposition to the exertions and mira- 
cles of St. Paul about that time in the same parts. That the Apostles 
were opposed by counter pretensions to miraculous power, we learn 
from Acts, ch. xiii. v. 8 ; see also Acts. ch. viii. and xix. 

J Philostr. iv. 11, et seq. 

$ When denied at the latter place, he forced his way in. Joid. 

"' || Ibid, iv.35. Brucker (vol. ii. p. 118) with reason thinks this 
prohibition extended only to the profession of magic. 

f Ibid. iv. 40, &c. 

** Brucker, vol. ii. p. 120. 

i . , i * 
U. C. 


A. C. 



A. D. 


In Greece. 


Brought be- 
fore Nero. 




VisitsSpain : 


And Alex- 

to Vespasia- 

stances which influenced the movements of Apollonius, 
we must attend whither he thinks fit to conduct him. 
We find him next in Spain, taking- part in the con- 
spiracy forming ag-ainst Nero by Vindex and others.* 
The political partisans of that day seem to have made 
use of" professed jugglers and Magicians to gain over 
the body of the people to their interests. To this may 
be attributed Nero's banishing such characters from 
Rome ;f and Apollonius had probably been already 
serviceable in this way at the Capital, as he was now 
in Spain, and immediately after to Vespasianus ; and at 
a Ij.ter period to Nerva. 

His next expeditions were to Africa, to Sicily, and 
so to Greece,| but as they do not supply any thing of 
importance to the elucidation of his character, it may 
be sufficient thus to have noticed them. At Athens 
he obtained the initiation in the Mysteries, for which he 
had on his former visit unsuccessfully applied. 

The following Spring, the seventy-third of his life 
according to the common calculation, he proceeded to 
Alexandria : where he attracted the notice of Vespa- 
sianus, who had just assumed the purple, and seemed 
desirous of countenancing his proceedings by the sanc- 
tion of Religion. Apollonius might be recommended 
to him for this purpose by the fame of his travels, his 
reputation for theurgic knowledge, and his late acts in 
Spain against Nero. It is satisfactory to be able to 
bring two individuals into contact, each of whom has 
in his turn been made to rival Christ and his Apostles 
in pretensions to miraculous power. Thus, claims 
which appeared to be advanced on distinct grounds 
are found to coalesce, and by the union of their separate 
inconsistencies contribute to expose each other. The 
celebrated cures by Vespasianus are connected with the 
ordinary juggles of the Pythagorean School ; and Apol- 
lonius is found here, as in many other instances, to be 
the mere tool of political factions. But on the charac- 
ter of the latter we shall have more to say presently. 

His Biographer's account of his first meeting with 
the Emperor, which is perhaps substantially correct, 
is amusing from the regard which both parties paid to 
effect in their behaviour. | The latter, on entering 
Alexandria was met by the great body of the Magistrates, 
Praefects, and Philosophers of the city ; but not dis- 
covering Apollonius in the number, he hastily asked, 
" whether the Tyanaean was in Alexandria," and when 
told he was philosophizing in the Serapeum, proceeding 
thither he suppliantly entreated him to make him 
Emperor ; and, on the Philosopher's answering he had 
already done so in praying for a just and venerable 
Sovereign,^ he avowed his determination of putting 

Philostr. v. 10. 

f Astrologers were concerned in Libo's conspiracy against Tiberius, 
and punished. Vespasianus, as we shall have occasion to notice pre- 
sently, made use of them in furthering his political plans. Tacit. 
Hist. ii. 78. We read of their predicting Nero's accession, the deaths 
of Vitellius and Domitianus, &c. They were sent into banishment by 
Tiberius, Claudius, Vitellius, and Domitianus. Philostratus describes 
Nifro as issuing his edict on leaving the Capital for Greece, iv. 47. 
These circumstances seem to imply that astrology, magic, &c. were 
at that time of considerable service In political intrigues. 

J Philostr. v. 11, &c. $ Ibid. v. 20, &c. 

I! Ibid. v. 27. 

5T Tacitus relates, that wher< Vespasianus was going to the Serapeum^ 
til super rebus imperil cunsuleret, Basilides an Egyptian, who was 
at the time eighty miles distant, suddenly appeared to him ; from his 
name the Emperor drew an omen that the God sanctioned his assump- 
tion of the Imperial power. Hist. iv. 82. This sufficiently agrees in 
substance with tne narrative of Philostratus to give the latter some 

himself entirely into his hands, and of declining the 
supreme power unless he could obtain his countenance 
in assuming it.* A formal consultation was in conse- 
quence held, at which, besides Apollonius, Dio and 
Euphrates, Stoics in the Emperor's train, were allowed 
to deliver their sentiments ; when the latter Philosopher 
entered an honest protest against the sanction Apollo- 
nius was giving to the ambition of Vespasianus, and ad- 
vocated the rest oration of the Roman State to its ancient 
republican form.f This difference of opinion laid the 
foundation of a lasting qviarrel between the rival advi- 
sers, to which Philostratus makes frequent allusion in 
the course of his history. Euphrates is mentioned by 
the ancients in terms of high commendation ; by Pliny 
especially, who knew him well.J He seems to have 
seen through his opponent's character, as we gather 
even from Philostratus ; and when so plain a reason 
exists for the dislike which Apollonius, in his Letters, 
and Philostratus, manifest towards him, their censure 
must not be allowed to weigh against the testimony of 
unbiassed writers. 

Afterparting from Vespasianus, Apollonius undertook 
an expedition into ./Ethiopia, where he held discussions 
with the Gymnosophists, and visited the cataracts of 
the Nile.)' On his return he received the news of the 
destruction of Jerusalem ; and being pleased with the 
modesty of the conqueror, wrote to him in commenda- 
tion of it. Titus is said to have invited him to Argos 
in Cilicia, for the sake of his advice on various subjects, 
and obtained from him a promise that at some future 
time he would visit him at Rome.lT 

On the succession of Domitianus, he became once 
more engaged in the political commotions of the day, 
exerting himself to excite the countries of Asia Minor 
against the Emperor.** These proceedings at length 
occasioned an order from the Government to bring him 
to Rome; which, however, according to his Biographer's 
account, he anticipated by voluntarily surrendering 
himself, under the idea that by his prompt appearance 
he might remove the Emperor's jealousy, and save 
Nerva and others whose political interests he had 
been promoting. On arriving at Rome he was brought 
before Domitianus; and when, very inconsistently with 
his wish to shield his friends from suspicion, he 
launched out into praise of Nerva, he was forced away 
into prison to the company of the worst criminals, his 
hair and beard were cut short, and his limbs loaded 
with chains. After some days he was brought to trial ; 
the charges against him being the singularity of his 
dress and appearance, his being called a God, his 
foretelling a pestilence at Ephesus, and his sacrificing 
a child with Nerva for the purpose of augury. tt Phi- 
probability. It was on this occasion that the famous cures are said 
to have been wrought. 

* As Egypt supplied Rome with corn, Vespasianus by taking 
possession of that country almost secured to himself the Empire. 
Tacit ii. 82, iii. 8. Philostratus however insinuates that he 
was already in possession of supreme power, and came to Egypt for 
the sanction of Apollonius. Tw plv agxw KeKTrj/JLcvos, S/aMw""* 
l\ T* uvty. v. 27. 
J Brucker, vol. ii. p. 566, &c. 

Ibid. v. 37, he makes Euphrates say to Vespasianus, */?.<!*/*, u 
/iaffi^sij, T-/iv {tin QvffH iiraivu KUI aurvra.^- rw "Si GfOK\V7eilf 
<f>dffxy<ra.v KKOKITIS xura^>tv$efA=voi <ya^ TU fan r/i^.Xa a.i avo*;r, -''tfix; 
uruioairi. See Brucker ; and Apollon. Epist. 8. 

|| S l,&c. f, &c. 

** Ibid. vii. 1, &c. see Brucker, vol. ii. p 128. 
tt Ibid. viii. 5, 6, &c. On account of his foretelling the pestilence 



by Domitia- 

His trial. 



U. C. 


A. C. 



A. D 


His pre- 
:ended mira^ 
:ulous dis- 

. lostratus supplies us with an ample defence, which he 
was to have delivered,* had he not in the course of the 
proceedings suddenly vanished from the Court, and 
transported himself to Puteoli, whither he had before 
sent on Damis. 

This is the only miraculous occurrence which forces 
itself into the history as a component part of the narra- 
tive ; the rest being of easy omission without any detri- 
ment to its entireness.t And strictly speaking, even here 
it is not the miracle of transportation which interferes 
, with its continuity, but his mere liberation from con- 
finement ; which, though we should admit the arbitrary 
assertions of Philostratus, seems very clearly to have 
taken place in the regular course of business. He 
allows that just before the Philosopher's pretended 
disappearance, Domitianus had publicly acquitted him, 
and that after the miracle he proceeded to hear the 
cause next in order, as if nothing had happened ;J and 
tells us, moreover, that Apollonius on his return from 
Greece gave out that he had pleaded his own cause 
and so escaped, no allusion being made to a miraculous 

After spending two years in the latter country in his 
usual Philosophical disputations, he passed into Ionia. 
According to his Biographer's chronology, he was now 
approaching the completion of his hundredth year. We 
may easily understand, therefore, that when invited to 
Rome by Nerva, who had just succeeded to the Empire, 
he declined the proposed honour with an intimation 
that their meeting must be deferred to another state 
of being.|| His death took place shortly after ; and 
Ephesus, Rhodes, and Crete are variously mentioned 
as the spot at which it occurred.^ A Temple was 
dedicated to him at Tyana,** which was in consequence 
accounted one of the sacred cities, and permitted the 
privilege of electing its own Magistrates.ff 

He is said to have writtenJJ a treatise upon Judicial 
Astrology, a work on Sacrifices, another on Oracles, a 
Life of Pythagoras, and an account of the answers he 
received from Trophonius, besides the memoranda 
noticed in the opening of our memoir. A collection of 
Letters ascribed to him is still extant. 

It may be regretted that so copious a history, as that 
which we have abridged, should not contain more 
authentic and valuable matter. Both the secular trans- 
he was honoured as a God by the Ephesians, vii. 21. Hence this 
prediction appeared in the indictment. 

* EJVa xxi Kaytv etvot.o'yias a (iiaTttfoc fteiXa yi fwrecrTti tfi$/>ovrif~ 

UiiVUyt CfyVOUlV QTl OTtTX. t$ LLKTW KUTU tr i /r&ff&0'$710'tTKl 91 yptlt&Tl. llUSCO. 

inHier. 41. 

j- Perhaps his causing the writing of the indictment to vanish 
from the paper, when he was brought before Tigellinus, may be an ex- 
ception, as being the alleged cause of his acquittal. In general, how- 
ever, no consequence follows from his marvellous actions : e. g. when 
imprisoned by Domitianus, in order to show Damis his power, he is 
described as drawing his leg out of the fetters, and then as putting 
it back again. Evac^Vavra dv TO <rxi\o; t TO, TV ^tbtf&iw vr/iizTmt, vii. 
38. A great exertion of power with apparently a small object 

J Philostr. viii. 8, 9. "Ea-tJ S aTJjX^i TV ^ixaa-rn^ia,'ovrt. xeei 8 
fbm UTrii* T^o-jfai, vx "i-raAii e Tv^aiies, el weXXa/ uovro nxgaaro 
(tlv yaa irigKs tr' ixityy 2/xjj. 

Ibid. viii. 15. |1 Ibid. viii. 27. 

K Ibid. viii. 30. ** Ibid. i. 5, viii. 29. 

ft A coin of Hadrian's reign is extant with the inscription, Ti/'ava 
<ij, dtruXif, xvwofus. Olear. ad Philostr. viii. 31. 

JJ See Bayle, art. slpnUoniitt ; and Brucker. 

Bishop Lloyd considers them spurious, but Oleaiius and Brucker 
show that there is good reason from internal evidence to suppose them 
genuine. See Olear. Addend, ad priefat. Epittol. ; and Brucker, 
vol. ii. p. 147. 

actions of the times and the history of Christianity Apollonius 
might have been illustrated by the life of one, who, Tyanaeus. 
while an instrument of the partisans of Vindex, Vespa- 
sianus, and Nerva, was a contemporary, and in some 
respects a rival of the Apostles ; and who, probably, was 
with St. Paul at Ephesus and Rome.* As far as his 
personal character is concerned, there is nothing to be 
lamented in these omissions. Both his Biographer's 
panegyric and his own Letters convict him of pedantry, 
self-conceit, and affectation incompatible with the feel- 
ings of an enlarged, cultivated, or amiable mind. His 
virtues, as we have already seen, were temperance and 
a disregard of wealth ; and without them it would have amined. 
been hardly possible for him to have gained the popu- 
larity which he enjoyed. The great object of his ambi 
tion was to emulate the fame of his master ; and his 
efforts seem to have been fully rewarded by the general 
admiration he attracted, the honours paid him by the 
Oracles, and the attentions shown him by men in power. 

We might have been inclined, indeed, to suspect that 
his reputation existed principally in his Biographer's 
panegyric, were it not mentioned by other writers. 
The celebrity which he has enjoyed since the writings 
of the Eclectics, by itself affords but a faint presumption 
of his notoriety before they appeared. Yet after all 
allowances, there remains enough to show that, how- 
ever fabulous the details of his history may be, there 
was something extraordinary in his life and character. 
Some foundation there must have been for state- 
ments which his eulogists were able to maintain in the 
face of those who would have spoken out had they been 
altogether novel. Pretensions never before advanced Admissions 
must have excited the surprise and contempt of the <>f tlle 
advocates of Christianity.! Yet Eusebius styles him a Fat " ers - 
wise man, and seems to admit the correctness of Phi- 
lostratus, except in the miraculous parts of the narra- 
tive.J Lactantius does not deny that a statue was 
erected to him at Ephesus ; and Sidonius Apollinaris, 
who even wrote his life, speaks of him as the admira- 
tion of the countries he traversed, and the favourite of 
Monarchs.|| One of his works was deposited in the 
palace at Antium by the Emperor Hadrian, who also 
formed a collection of his letters ;^[ statues were erected 
to him in the temples, divine honours paid him by 
Caracalla, Alexander Severus, and Aurelianus, and ma- 
gical virtue attributed to his name.** 

It has in consequence been made a subject of dis- Miraculous 
pute, how far his reputation was built upon that sup- pretensions. 
posed claim to extraordinary power which, as was 
noticed in the opening of our memoir, has led to his 
comparison with sacred names. If it could be shown 
that he did advance such pretensions, and upon the 
strength of them was admitted as an object of divine 
honour, a case would be made out, not indeed so strong 
as that on which Christianity is founded, yet remarkable 
enough to demand our serious examination. Assuming, 

* Apollonius continued at Ephesus, Smyrna, &c. from A. D. 50 to 
about 59, and was at Rome from A. D. 63 to 66. St. Paul passed 
through Ionia into Greece A. D. 53, and was at Ephesus A. D. 54, 
and again from A. D. 56 to 58 ; he was at Rome in A. D. 65 and 66, 
when he was martyred. 

f Lucian and Apuleius speak of him as if his name were familiar 
to them. Olear. prof, ad Vit. 

\ In Hierocl. 5. last, v. 3. 

|| See Bayle, art. Apollonius; and Cudworth, Intell. 14. 

f Philostr. viii. 19, 20. 

** See Eusebius, Y r opiscus, Lampridius, &c. as quoted by Bayle. 




then, or overlooking this necessary condition, sceptical 
writers have been forward to urge the history and cha- 
racter of Apollonius as creating- a difficulty in the argu- 
ment for Christianity derived from Miracles ; while 
their opponents have sometimes attempted to account 
for a phenomenon of which they had not yet ascertained 
the existence, and most gratuitously have ascribed his 
supposed power to the influence of the Evil principle.* 
On examination, we shall find not a shadow of a reason 
for supposing that Apollonius worked Miracles, in any 
proper sense of the word ; or that he professed to work 
them ; or that he rested his authority on extraordinary 
works of any kind; and it is strange indeed that Chris- 
tians, with victory in their hands, should have so mis- 
managed their cause as to establish an objection where 
none existed, and in their haste to extricate themselves 
from an imaginary difficulty, to overturn one of the 
main arguments for revealed Religion. 

To state these pretended prodigies is in most cases 
a refutation of their claim upon our notice,t and even 
those which are not in themselves exceptionable, be- 
come so from the circumstances or manner in which 
they took place. Apollonius is said to have been an 
incarnation of the God Proteus; his birth was announced 
by the falling of a thunderbolt and a chorus of swans ; 
his death signalized by a wonderful voice calling him 
up to Heaven ; and after death he appeared to a youth 
to convince him of the immortality of the soul.J He is 
reported to have known the language of birds ; to have 
evoked the Spirit of Achilles ; to have dislodged a 
demon from a boy ; to have detected an Empusa who 
was seducing a youth into marriage ; when brought 
before Tigellinus, to have caused the writing of the 
indictment to vanish from the paper ; when imprisoned 
by Domitianus, to have miraculously released himself 
from his fetters ; to have discovered the soul of Amasis 
in the body of a lion ; to have cured a youth attacked by 
hydrophobia, whom he pronounced to be Telephus the 
Mysian. In declaring men's thoughts and distant 
events he indulged most liberally ; adopting a brevity, 
which seemed becoming the dignity of his character, 
while it secured his prediction from the possibility of an 
entire failure. For instance : he gave previous inti- 
mation of Nero's narrow escape from lightning; fore- 
told the short reigns of his successors; informed Ves- 
pasianus at Alexandria of the burning of the Capitol ; 
predicted the violent death of Titus by a relative; dis- 
covered a knowledge of the private history of his Egyp- 
tian guide ; foresaw the wreck of a ship he had embarked 
in, and the execution of a Cilician PropraetorJ] We 
must not omit his first predicting and then removing a 
pestilence at Ephesus ; the best authenticated of his 

* See Brucker on this point, vol. ii. p. 141, who refers to various 
authors. Eusebius takes a more sober view of the question, allowing 
the substance of the history, but disputing the extraordinary parts. 
See in Hierocl. 5 and 12. 

t Most of them are imitations of the miracles attributed to Pytha- 

J See Philostr. i. 4, 5, viii.30, 31. He insinuates (cf. viii. 29 with 
31) that Apollonius was taken up alive. See Euseb. 8. 

Ibid. iv. 3, 16, 20, 25, 44, v.42, vi.43, vii. 38. 

II Ibid. i. 12, iv. 24, 43, v. 1113, 18, 30, vi. 3, 32. His 
prediction of the ruin 01" the Proprsetor is conveyed in the mere 
exclamntion, u >> 37y vfi'^a, meaning the day of his execution ; of 
the short reigr.s of Nero's successors, in his saying, that many Tktbant 
would succeed him ; J xgivw xo,/Sjj /^a^t-v, adds Philostratus, v%fafav 
tf TO. ruv '~E\>.r,-iuv -Tr^a.yfj.a.rK. A like ambiguity attends, more or 
less, all his predictions. 

professed Miracles, being attested by the erecting of a Apolloniuj 
statue to him in consequence. He is said to have put Tyanaeus. 
an end to the malady by commanding an aged man to 
be stoned, whom he pointed out as its author, and who 
when the stones were removed was found changed into 
the shape of a dog.* 

On the insipidity and inconclusiveness of most of 
these leg-ends, considered as evidences o fextraordinary 
power, it is unnecessary to enlarge ; yet these are the pro- 
digies which some writers have put in competition with 
the Christian Miracles, and which others have thought 
necessary to ascribe to Satanic influence. Two indeed insipidity. 
there are which must be mentioned by themselves, as 
being more worthy our attention than the rest : his 
raising a young maid at Rome, who was being carried 
to burial, and his proclaiming at Ephesus the assassina 
tion of Domitianus at the very time in which it took 
place. t But, not to speak at present of the want of 
all satisfactory evidence for either fact, the account of 
the former, we may observe, bears in its language and 
detail evident marks of being written in imitation of 
Scripture Miracles,} and the latter has all the appear- 
ance of a political artifice employed to excite the people 
against the tyrant, and exaggerated by the Biographer. 

But the trifling character of most of these prodigies 
is easily accounted for, when we consider the means by 
which the author professed to work them, and the 
cause to which he referred them. Of Miracles, indeed, 
which are asserted to proceed from the Author of nature, 
sobriety, dignity and conclusiveness may fairly be re- 

* Philostr. iv. 10. 

f Ibid. iv. 45, and viii. 26. 

J This is manifest from the passage : Koj n <v usa. ya.^ r<Jvx.v.i 

t$o%-i } xcti o yupQios tixo^yhi <ry x.X/v>i, fiiuv afoira i* art).i7 ya,[*.ta. 
SuvaXtxpveiro $1 xdi r> 'Ptapti, xai yaio irvy%a.v!.v eixixi x.'o^-/\ riXyffns 
t; u^tiras. Tlaptnv^taf Sv i 'AwoXXawaj ria '0.611, KaTaOeaOe, i$ti 
TTJV K\.lvqv. 'Eyu ya.^ vpas TUI ivri rr, x.'oon1u.x.pj>uv ffa.veu. K.KI &[*.<& 

o/ uivro \iiytn ayooivuv u-jrcv, oloi 
^ru; ty-i ^avrfg- 'O , K&v aXX' ij 
aQavvs fruvai, afpvTrviae rn* 
v TG ij Trats tKprJKev, eTrav- 
oiKiav rS Tra-rpo? & f v t f, AX*S<TT;? uvo *S 
Cf. Mark, ch. v. v. 39, &c. Luke, ch. vii. v. 11. 

See also John, ch. xi. v. 41 43. Acts, ch iii. v. 4 6. In the sequel, the 
parents offer him money, which he gives as a portion to the damsel. 
See 2 Kings, ch. v. v. 15 and 16, and other similar passages ofScripture. 
$ As Apollonius was before this busily engaged in promoting 
Nerva's interests among the lonians, it seems probable that the words 
in question were uttered with a similar view. Dion (lib. 67) men- 
tionsa person in Germany who predicted the death of Domitianus ; and 
says that the astrologers, (among whom Tzetzes numbers Apollonius) 
had foretold Nerva's advancement. There is little doubt all these 
predictions were intended to compass their own accomplishment. 
Dion confirms Philostratus's account of the occurrence in question ; 
but merely says, that Apollonius vaaj tv'i rma X/Vav i/^Jio v v v 
Etpiria t; xcu irigiiifa, xat ffyyjcaXeffa? TO -r\Yi6a;, cried out x.a.\u; 
2Tpav, &c. lib. 67. lie then adds, TT /u.}? Srus tyivtro, *v 
pugiaxi; 'TIS tfffi/rTr,<rti an assurance truly satisfactory in testimony 
given 130 years after the event. Allowing, however, for some ex- 
aggeration, his account is perfectly consistent with the supposition 
that the exclamation of Apollonius was intended to subserve a poli- 
tical purpose. Let us now see how Philostratus has embellished the 
story. Aicthtyoftivof iripi T rZv %vrrut aXa'w, ftiffn^^iav^ <r 
Si xa.1 fa. v roii $tt,iri\itoi; tytywn, tr^urav [iiv vtyrixi rn; ifaiytji, eiov 
Ss/Vaj- =TT' iX.X.iirirTigat/ ti xccra. T>jv laurS $vva/Aiv, h(>/A ~ 

f&fretZv Xoyuv oieguTi ri iT-gov- EV ifiuwnT'.v, ayrrta 
ixf'ff'm-rt;' fiXi^as n Ss/y^v 5 TJ yyiv, xa.} -x^a.; rg/a 
/3|taTaii>, Kail TOV Tu^eevvev, jrais, ifc'oa.- 

jjj-Ta o fi aidfjLO. aury ii'n ; ol ^r, 
TUV Xeyuv ol tviicyitiei <ri xa.t TO,: 
Trpoau\ffa.p.f.vo<3 aiiT/js, xal T 
xogw T lixouvrof ( KB; ( 
i]\6e TC ev 



iXxuv. XX' KI/TO. oguv xoci |t/XX,aav/v 

(here he differs from Dion in an essential point) lvi/r%av, 'o'ron 
S/ajfcvTj UTT' av ykvmeti TI <ruv KfttyiSskay TsXof , faoftTTi, fTfiv, u Kidgi 
o y.o -rvaavvif tcfiffax-rai Tvp'oit, &c. viii. 26. 



Biography, quired ; but when an individual ascribes his extraordi- 
nary power to his knowledge of some merely human 
secret, impropriety does but evidence his own want of 
taste, and ambiguity his want of skill. We have no 
longer a right to expect a great end, worthy means, or 
a frugal and judicious application of the Miraculous 
gift. Now, Apollonius claimed nothing beyond a fuller 
insight into nature than others had ; a knowledge of 
the fated and immutable laws to which it is conformed, 
nature f tne hidden springs on which it moves.* He brought 
of his pre- a secret from the East and used it ; and though he pro- 
tensions, fessed to be favoured, and in a manner taught by good 
Spirits,f yet he certainly referred no part of his power 
to a Supreme intelligence. Theurgic virtues, or those 
which consisted in communion with the Powers and Prin- 
ciples of nature, were high in the scale of Pythagorean 
excellence, and to them it was that he ascribed his ex- 
traordinary gift. By temperate living, it was said, the 
mind was endued with ampler and more exalted faculties 
than it otherwise possessed ; partook more folly of the 
nature of the One universal Soul, was gifted with Pro- 
phetic inspiration, and a kind of intuitive perception 
of secret things. J This power, derived from the favour 
of the celestial Deities, who were led to distinguish 
the virtuous and high-minded, was quite distinct from 
Magic, an infamous, uncertain, and deceitful art, con- 
sisting in a compulsory power over infernal Spirits, 
operating by means of Astrology, Auguries and Sacri- 
fices, and directed to the personal emolument of those 
who cultivated it. To our present question, however, 
this distinction is unimportant. To whichever principle 
the Miracles of Apollonius be referred, Theurgy or Ma- 
gic, in either case they are independent of the First 
Cause, and not granted with a view to the particular 
purpose to which they are to be applied.)] 

We have also incidentally shown that they did not 
profess to be Miracles in the proper meaning of the 
word, that is, evident exceptions to the laws of nature. 
At the utmost they do but exemplify the aphorism 
" knowledge is power."^[ Such as are within the range 
of human knowledge are no Miracles. Those of them, 
on the contrary, which are beyond it, will be found 011 
inspection to be unintelligible, and to convey no evi- 
dence. The prediction of an earthquake (for instance) 
is not necessarily superhuman, an interpretation of the 

* Philostr. v. 12 ; in i. 2, he associates Democritus, a natural 
philosopher, with Pythagoras and Empedocles See viii. 7, sec. 8, 
and Brucker, vol. i. p. 1108, &c. and p. 1184. 

f In his apology before Domitianus, he expressly attributes his 
removal of the Ephesian pestilence to Hercules, and makes this 
ascription the test of a divine Philosopher as distinguished from a 
Magician, viii. 7, sec. 9, ubi md. Olear. 

J A x g* KV ro STU 3iofroi?6a,i J-twroTnra f&oo* ifiyu^tra,! ray aitrPraribiy, 
tl ir%i>v tft fee ftiyiffa TI xai (aupaffiuTa'ra. . . . TVT'O ftoi, u f->a.ff iXiv , 
<ra( aiff&nffiis ama TIVI ewragptira ifuXurrii, xtlx la PiX'aov wigt auras 
Sjv iivxi, S(aj<ri, uffKif> tv xaroirr^V auyn, sravra, yiyvof&itci rt xai 
strcfiita., viii. 7, sec. 9. See also ii. 37, vi. 11, viii. 5. 

Philostr. i. 2, and Olear. ad loc. note 3. iv. 44, v. 12, vii. 39, 
viii. 7 ; Apollon. Epist. 8 and 52 ; Philostr. Proaem. vit. Sophist. ; 
Euseb. in Hier. 2 ; Mosheim, de SimoneMago, sec. 13. Yet it must 
be confessed that the views both of the Pythagoreans and Eclectics 
were very inconsistent on this subject. Eusebius notices several 
instances of ytnrtla. iu Apollonius's miracles; in Hierocl. 10, 28, 29 
and 31. See Brucker, vol. ii. p. 447. At Eleusis and the Cave of 
Trophonius, Apollonius was, as we have seen, accounted a Magician, 
and so also by Euphrates, Ma;ragenes, Apuleius, &c. See Olear. 
Prcef. ad vit. p. xxxiii. ; and Brucker, vol. ii. p. 136, note k, 

\\ See Mo?heim, Dissertat. de turbatd Ecclesid, 8fc. sec. 27. 

IT See Queest. ad Orthodox, xxiv. as quoted by Olearius, in his 
Preface, p. xxxiv. 

U. C. 

A. C. 


A. D. 


discourse of birds can never be verified. In under- Apollonius 
standing languages, knowing future events, discovering Tyanaeus 
the purposes of others, recognising human souls when ^ 
enclosed in new bodies, Apollonius merely professes 
extreme penetration and extraordinary acquaintance 
with nature. The spell by which he evokes Spirits and 
exorcises Demons, implies the mere possession of a 
secret;* and so perfectly is his Biographer aware of 
this, as almost to doubt the resuscitation of the Roman 
damsel, the only decisive Miracle of them all, on the 
ground of its being supernatural, insinuating, that per- 
haps she was dead only in appearance. t Hence, more- 
over, may be understood the meaning of the charge 
of Magic, as brought against the early Christians by 
their Heathen adversaries; the Miracles of the Gospels 
being strictly interruptions of physical order, and in- 
compatible with Theurgic knowledge.} 

When Christ and his Apostles declare themselves to 
be sent from God, this claim to a divine mission illus- 
trates and gives dignity to their profession of extraordi- 
nary power. Whereas the divinity, no less than the 
gift of Miracles to which Apollonius laid claim, must 
be understood in its Pythagorean sense, as referring 
not to any intimate connection with a Supreme agent, 
but to his partaking, through his Theurgic skill, more 
largely than others in the perfections of the animating 
principle of nature. 

Yet, whatever is understood by his Miraculous gift 
and his divine nature, certainly his works were not 
adduced as vouchers for his divinity, nor were they, in 
fact, the principal cause of his reputation.- We meet 
with no claim to extraordinary power in his Letters ; 
nor when returning thanks to a city for public honours 
bestowed on him, nor when complaining to his brother 
of the neglect of his townsmen, nor when writing to 
his opponent Euphrates. || To the Milesians, indeed, 
he speaks of earthquakes which he had predicted ; 
but without appealing to the prediction in proof of his 
authority.^ As, then, he is so far from insisting on 
his pretended extraordinary powers, and himself connects 
the acquisition of them with his Eastern expedition,** 
we may conclude that credit for possessing a Magical 
secret was a part of the reputation which that expedi- 
tion conferred. A foreign appearance, singularity of 
manners, a life of travel, and pretences to superior 

* Eusebius calls it h7ii ns xai Kgpvros ffotyia in Hierocl. 2. In iii. 
41, Philostratus speaks of the xKturus a7s fiat %u.lVffi, the spells for 
evoking them, which Apollonius brought from India; cf. iv. 16 j 
and in iv. 20 of the rixftfyio* used for casting out an Evil Spirit. 

} E/ TI ffirii^n^a, TWS $tv%rjt tvgw fvcw*rv, as tXl'Mhi TV; itgairtunvrKs , 
(i,iyiTtti yiig us J'txa^ai ftiv a Ztu;, ; /\ Si arfti^at if a <ri irpofftu-xii) I/T' 

CLftffQflXVlOLY T71V t (Luy'91V CV^CX^1' T XOU &yfX&oV, CCftOtJTQS 1 XKTS6- 

I Douglas (Criterion, p. 387, note) observes that some heretics 
affirmed that our Lord rose from the dead <fa,vratr!a^u;, only in ap- 
pearance, from an idea of the impostibility of a resurrection. 

Apollon. Epist. 17. 

|| See Ep'at. 1, 2, &c. 11, 44, the last-mentioned addressed to his 
brother begins T! 6a.vp.u.trlv, i! /m run aXXwv avfyuvrcjv urohai fiynfttvuv, 
iftvuy o\ xa,} ^0y, ucvyj u,iypi vyy yj tratTPts ayvoti^ 01' jjv t%&tptT&ts ifffvoctfffc'X'^o; MO.I ; TOUT} yag 55* vfiiv TOIS a3sX<p/V, u; aya, y'yovt pavigov, uf 
i'wro).\av ufai'vut \oyovs ^t Kal ijdo'i ; that is, he complains that 
whereas he so excels in life and moral teaching, yet he is not consi- 
dered by them as divine. 

f Epist. 68. Claudius, in a message to the Tyansans, Epitt. 53, 
praises him merely as a benefactor to youth. 

** Philostr. vi. 11. See Euseb. in Hierocl. 26, 27, xaii "K\r. u ( 

ayityur, it a.%a&'o\u* f.inevOcv a.lf'nynft.a.rut xttrd^trtti. 



His story an 

Biography, knowledge, excite the imagination of beholders ;* and, 
as in the case of a wandering people among 1 ourselves, 
appear to invite the individuals thus distinguished to 
fraudulent practices. Apollonius is represented as 
making converts as soon as see7i.~f It was not, then, his 
display of wonders, but his Pythagorean dress and 
mysterious deportment which arrested attention, and 
made him thought superior to other men, because he 
was different from them. Like Lucian's Alexander,^ 
(who was all but his disciple,) he was skilled in Me- 
dicine, professed to be favoured by /Esculapius, pre- 
tended to foreknowledge, and was supported by the 
Oracles ; and being more strict in conduct than the 
Paphlagonian, he established a more lasting celebrity. 
His usefulness to political aspirants contributed to his 
success ; perhaps also the real and contemporary 
Miracles of the Christian teachers would dispose many 
minds easily to acquiesce in my claims of a similar 

In the foregoing remarks we have admitted the 
imitation of general fidelity of the history, because ancient authors 
Scripture, allow it, and there "was no necessity to dispute it. 
Tried however on its own merits, it is quite unworthy 
of serious attention. Not only in the Miraculous ac- 
counts, (as we have already seen,) but in the relation of 
a multitude of ordinary facts, an effort to rival our 
Saviour's history is distinctly visible. The favour in 
which Apollonius from a child was held by Gods and 
men ; his conversations when a youth in the Temple of 
yEsculapius; his determination in spite of danger to go 
up to Rome ;!| the cowardice of his disciples in desert- 
ing him ; the charge brought against him of disaffection 
to Caesar ; the Minister's acknowledging', on his private 
examination, that he was more than man ; the ignomi- 
nious treatment of him by Domitianus on his second ap- 
pearance at Rome ; his imprisonment with criminals ; 
his vanishing from Court and sudden reappearance to 
his mourning disciples at Puteoli ;<ft these, with other 
particulars of a similar cast, evidence a history modelled 
after the narrative of the Evangelists. Expressions, 
moreover, and descriptions occur, clearly imitated from 
the sacred volume. To this we must add** the Rheto- 

* Hence the first of the charges brought against him by Domitianus 
was the strangeness of his dress. Philostr. viii. 5. By way of con- 
trast, cf. 1 Cor. ch. ii. v. 3, 4 ; 2 Cor. ch. x. v. 10. 

t Philostr. iv. 1, Ew:/S SE eTSov TOV vS* sv lav/a, vrttgi).4ov<ra i; <nj 
~E!$lffi>v, auSi ti f>Kia.uffin l-n f^as TOU; leturuv rigvxis ijfav ' aXX' jjxoXoJ- 
fouv, I ffaifixg, o %l illevs, o ^t $ieci'rtij } o ? <r*W[&a<rds, 01 & wavrav 
Ipou Qa.vfj.a.ffrai Svn;. See also i. 19, 21, iv. 17, 20, 39, vii. 31, &c. 
andi. 10, 12, &c. 

J Brucker, vol. ii. p. 144. 

Brucker supposes that, as in the case of Alexander, gain was his 
object ; but we seem to have no proof of this, nor is it necessary thus 
to account for his conduct. We discover, indeed, in his character, no 
marks of that high enthusiasm which would support him in his whim- 
sical career without any definite worldly object; yet the veneration he 
inspired, and the notice taken of him by great men, might be quite a 
sufficient recompence to a conceited and narrow mind. 

|| Cf. also Acts, ch. xx. v. 22, 23, ch. xxi. v. 4, 1114. 

^[ Philostr. i. 8, 11, iv. 36, 38, 44, vii. 34, viii. 5, 11. 

** See the description of his raising the Roman maid as above 
given. Take again the following account of his appearance to Damis 

rical colouring of the whole composition, so contrary Apollonius 
to the sobriety of truth;* the fabulous accounts of Tyanaeus. 
things and places interspersed through the history ;t 
lastly we must bear in mind the principle, reco"-- 
nised by the Pythag-orean and Eclectic schools, of 
permitting exaggeration and deceit in the cause of 
Philosophy, f 

After all, it must be remembered, that were the pre- 
tended Miracles as unexceptionable as we have shown 
them to be absurd and useless, were they plain inter- 
ruptions of established laws, were they grave and dig- i nac ^q ua te 
nified in their nature, and important in their object, testimony of 
and were there nothing to excite suspicion in the design, Philostratus 
manner, or character, of the narrator, still the testi- 
mony on which they rest is the bare word of an author 
writing one hundred years after the death of the person 
panegyrized, and far distant from the places in which 
most of the Miracles were wrought ; and who can give 
no better account of his information than that he gained 
it from an unpublished work, professedly indeed com- 
posed by a witness of the extraordinary transactions, but 
passing into his hands through two intermediate pos- 
sessors. These are circumstances which almost, without 
positive objections, are sufficient by their own negative 
force to justify a summary rejection of the whole ac- 

Apollonius says, Ta S' bvt? ryj;; wzua-ifh p\v, ou JAW ttrxiifa.' Ss/Xn 
<ri ya. ixavca; '/i5j, xai fttfdi^iv U^K a KITTV ' r,a/ov; S' ei xaf oSsv Xoyw 

!!%/// /3S/sVTS ' "lUftlV 6UV S;XXoyT? , VfT\ UV IgUTKri ...... 

a V euvu "ffTi tlttfM, S;s/j<uv KTO TV; ffooapriirtu; , &c. here is much incau- 
tious agreement with Luke, ch. xxiv. v. 14 17, 27, 29, 32, 36 40. 
Also more or less in the following : vii. 30, init. and 34,/. with Luke, 
ch.xii. v. 11, 12: iii. 38, with Matt. ch. xvii. v. 14, &c. where observe 
the contrast of the two narratives: viii. 30, fin. with Acts, ch. xii. 
v. 7 10 : iv. 44, with John, ch. xviii. v. 33, &c. ; vii. 34, init. with 
Mark, ch. xiv. v. 65: iv. 34, init. with Acts, ch. xvi. v. 810: i. 19, 
fin. with Mark, ch. vii. v. 27, 28. Brucker and Douglas notice the 
following in the detection of the Einpusa : Aa*juW/ nuu ro /pda-pa, 

. liri fol xXaovTEj' vrgoviiva; evv o Aa-oXXwwaj rrjv ;*, \a<ov pOV 
xtxv ftit Ituftyn ft, eiw\dv lift.! ff(l , IK n^fi^Kfrtig %xov. . . . < Ji 
, <rt7h */ Aay*" 1 gifv ri pi xtti py u.vro%\'*x.\.i*t <ro 
rili nfav, XX' avasWvres, &C ..... And presently 

euu.K. Ovxiff tTei 

iv. 25, cf. Mark, ch. v. v. 7 9. Olearius compares an expression in 
vii. 30, with 1 Cor. ch. ix. v. 9. 

* E.g. his ambitious descriptions of countries, &c. In iv. 30, 
32, v. 22, vi. 24, he ascribes to Apollonius regular Socratic dis- 
putations, and in vi. 11, a long and flowery speech in the presence of 
theGymnosophists, modes of Philosophical instruction totally at vari- 
ance with the genius of the Pythagorean school, the Philosopher's 
Letters still extant, and the writer's own description of his manner of 
teaching,]. 17. Some of his exaggerations and misstaten ents have 
been noticed in the course of the narrative. As a specimen of (he 
Rhetorical style in which the work is written, we notice a form of ex- 
pression in his account of the recovery of the Romun damsel, 'O "Si. ovev 
aXA. TJ vrgoffKij'Kftfvo; Kv-rris utpuvrvift, contrast this with the simplicity 
of the Scripture narrative. See also the last sentence ofv. 17, and 
indeed passim. 

f E. g. his accounts of Indian and ^Ethiopian monsters ; of serpents 
whose eyes were jewels of magical virtue ; of pygmies ; of golden 
water ; of the speaking tree ; of a woman half white and half black, 
&c. : he incorporates in his narrative the fables of Ctesias, Aga- 
tharchidas, and other writers. His blunders in geography and 
natural philosophy may be added, as far as they arise from the desire 
of describing wonders, &c. See also his pompous description of the 
wonders of Babylou, which were not then in existence. Prideaux, 
Connection, part i. book viii. For his inconsistencies, see Eusebius 
and Brucker. It must be remembered, that in the age of Philostra- 
tus the composition of romantic histories was in fashion. 

\ See Brucker, vol. i. p. 992, vol. ii. p. 378. Apollonius was only 
one out of several who were set up by the Eclectics as rivals to 
Christ. Brucker, vol. ii. p. 372. Mosheim, de turbatd Ecclesia, Sec. 
sec. 25, 26. 

Philostr. i. 2, 3. He professes that his account contains much 
news. As to the sources, besides the Journal of Damis, from which 
he pretends to derive his information, he neither tells us how he met 
with them, nor what they contained ; nor does he refer to them in 
the course of his history. On the other hand much (as we have abova 
noticed) of the detail of Apollonius's journey is derived from the 
writings of Ctesias, &c. &c. 




fa Miracle 

L Miracle 
. relative 

A Miracle 
ed 1'rom a 
merely ex- 

count. Unless indeed the history had been perverted 
to a mischievous purpose, we should esteem it imper- 
tinent to direct argument against a mere romance, 
and to subject a work of imagination to a grave dis- 

We are naturally led to pursue the subject which 
the life of Apollonius has thus introduced, by drawing an 
extended comparison between the Miracles of Scripture 
and those elsewhere related, as regards their respective 
object, nature, and evidence. We shall divide our 
observations under the following heads : 

I. On the Nature and general Uses of Miracles. 

II. On the antecedent Credibility of a Miracle, 
considered as a Divine Interposition. 

III. On the Criterion of a Miracle, considered as a 
Divine Interposition. 

IV. On the direct Evidence for the Christian Mi- 

I. On the Nature and general Uses of Miracles. 

A Miracle may be considered as an event inconsis- 
tent with the constitution of nature, i. e. the established 
course of things in which it is found. Or, again, an 
event in a given system which cannot be referred to any 
law, or accounted for by the operation of any principle 
in that system. It does not necessarily imply a 
violation of nature, as some have supposed, merely the 
interposition of an external cause, which, as we shall 
hereafter show, can be no other than the agency of the 
Deity. And the effect produced is that of unusual or 
increased action in the parts of the system. 

It is then a relative term, not only as it presupposes 
an assemblage of laws from which it is a deviation, but 
also as it has reference to some one particular system ; 
for the same event which is anomalous. in one, may be 
quite regular when observed in connection with another. 
The Miracles of Scripture, for instance, are irregularities 
in the economy of nature, but with a moral end ; and 
forming one instance out of many, of the providence of 
God, i. e. an instance of occurrences in the natural 
world with a final cause. Thus, while they are excep- 
tions to the laws of one system, they may coincide with 
those of another. They profess to be the evidence of a 
Revelation, the criterion of a divine message. To con- 
sider them as mere exceptions tc physical order, is to 
take a very incomplete view of them. It is to degrade 
them from the station which they hold in the plans and 
provisions of the divine mind, and to strip them of their 
real use and dignity ; for as naked and isolated facts 
they do but deform an harmonious system. 

From this account of a Miracle, it is evident that it may 
often be difficult exactly to draw the line between un- 
common and strictly Miraculous events. The production 
of ice, e. g. might have seemed at first sight Miraculous 
to the Siamese ; for it was a phenomenon referable to 
none of those laws of nature which are in ordinary 
action in tropical climates. Such, again, might mag- 
netic attraction appear, in ages familiar only with the 
attraction of gravity.* On the other hand, the extraor- 

* Campbell, on Miracles, part i. sec. 2. 

dinary works of Moses or Paul appear such, even Apollonias 
when referred to those simple and elementary principles 
of nature which the widest experience has confirmed. 
As far as this affects the discrimination of supernatural 
facts, it will be considered in its proper place ; mean- 
while let it suffice to state, that those events only are 
connected with our present subject which, have no 
assignable second cause or antecedent, and which, on 
that account, are from the nature of the case referred to 
the immediate agency of the Deity. 

A Revelation, i. e. a direct message from God to man, Revelation 
itself bears in some degree a Miraculous character ; and all its 
inasmuch as it supposes the Deity actually to present evidences 
himself before his creatures, and to interpose in the ^iiraculo^I 
affairs of life in a way above the reach of those settled 
arrangements of nature to the existence of which uni- 
versal experience bears witness. And as a Revelation 
itself, so again the evidences of a Revelation may all 
more or less be considered Miraculous. Prophecy is an 
evidence only so far as foreseeing future events is above 
the known powers of the human rnind, or Miraculous. 
In like manner, if the rapid extension of Christianity be 
urged in favour of its divine origin, it is because such 
extension, under such circumstances, is supposed to be 
inconsistent with the known principles and capacity 
of human nature. And the pure morality of the Gospel, 
as taught by illiterate fishermen of Galilee, is an 
evidence, in proportion as the phenomenon disagrees 
with the conclusions of general experience, which leads 
us to believe that a high state of mental cultivation is 
ordinarily requisite for the production of such moral 
teachers. It might even be said that, strictly speaking, 
no evidence of a Revelation is conceivable which does 
not partake of the character of a Miracle; since nothing 
but a display of power over the existing system of 
things can attest the immediate presence of Him by 
whom it was originally established ; or, again, because 
no event which results entirely from the ordinary 
operation of nature can be the criterion of one that is 

In the present argument we confine ourselves to the Miracles 
consideration of Miracles commonly so called; such commonly 
events, i. e. for the most part as are inconsistent with so ca ' 
the constitution of the physical world. 

Miracles, thus defined, hold a very prominent place Contrasted 
in the evidence of the Jewish and Christian Revelations. Wlth tlie 
They are the most striking and conclusive evidence ; tranches' of 
because the laws of matter being better understood evidence 
than those to which mind is conformed, the trans- for Revela- 
gression of them is more easily recognised. They tion - 
are the most simple and obvious ; because, whereas the 
freedom of the human will resists the imposition of 
undeviating laws, the material creation, on the contrary, 
being strictly subjected to the regulation of its Maker, 
looks to him alone for a change in its constitution. 
Yet Miracles are but a branch of the evidences, and 
other branches have their respective advantages. Pro- 
phecy, as has been often observed, is a growing evidence, 
and appeals more forcibly to those who are acquainted 
with the Miracles only through testimony. A Philoso- 

* Hence it is that in the Scripture accounts of Revelations to the 
Prophets, &c. a sensible Miracle is so often asked and given ; as if the 
vision itself, which was the medium of- the Revelation, was not a suik 
ficient evidence of it, as being perhaps resolvable into the orilinary. 
powers of an excited imagination, e. jj. Judg. ch. vi. v. 3640, &. 



Cogency of 

W ofifof ^ 

Biography, phical mind will perhaps be most strongly affected by 
'^ / * the fact of the very existence of the Jewish polity, or of 
the revolution effected by Christianity. While the 
beautiful moral teaching- and evident honesty of the 
New Testament writers is the most persuasive argument 
to the unlearned but single-hearted inquirer. Nor must 
it be forgotten that the evidences for Revelation are 
cumulative, that they gain strength from each other ; 
and that, in consequence, the argument from Miracles is 
immensely stronger when viewed in conjunction with 
the rest, than when considered separately as in an 
inquiry of the present nature. 

As the relative force of the separate evidences is dif- 
ferent under different circumstances, so again has one 
c " ass ^ M' ra d e more or less weight than another, 
supernatural according to the accidental change of times, places, and 
agency, persons addressed. As our knowledge of the system of 
varies. nature, and of the circumstances of the particular case 
varies, so of course varies our conviction. Walking on 
the sea, for instance, or giving sight to one born blind, 
would to us perhaps be a Miracle even more astonish- 
ing than it was to the Jews; the laws of nature being 
at the present day better understood than formerly, 
and the fables concerning Magical power being no 
longer credited. On the other hand, stilling the. wind 
and waves with a word may by all but eye-witnesses be 
set down to accident or exaggeration without the pos- 
sibility of a full confutation ; yet to eye-witnesses it 
would carry with it an overpowering evidence of super- 
natural agency by the voice and manner that accom- 
panied the command, the violence of the wind at the 
moment, the instantaneous effect produced, and other 
circumstances, the force of which a narration cannot 
fully convey. The same remark applies to the Miracle 
of changing water into wine, to the cure of demonia- 
cal possessions, and of diseases generally. From a 
variety of causes, then, it happens that Miracles which 
produced a rational conviction at the time when they 
took place, have ever since proved rather an objection 
to Revelation than an evidence for it, and have depended 
on the rest for support ; while others, which once were 
of a dubious and perplexing character, have in succeed- 
ing Ages come forward in its defence. It is by a process 
similar to this that the anomalous nature of the Mosaic 
polity, which might once be an obstacle to its reception, 
is now justly alleged in proof of the very Miracles by 
which it was then supported.* It is important to 
keep this remark in view, as it is no uncommon prac- 
tice with those who are ill-affected to the cause of Re- 
vealed Religion, to dwell upon such Miracles as at the 
present day rather require than contribute evidence, as 
if they formed a part of the present proof on which it 
rests its pretensions, t 

Miracles do In the foregoing remarks, the being of an intelligent 
not of them- Maker has been throughout assumed; and, indeed, if 
selves prove t ^e peculiar object of a Miracle be to evidence a message 

^Creator f rom God ' li is P lain that il im P lies the admission of 
the fundamental truth, and demands assent to another 

* See Sumner's Records of Creation, vol. i. 

f- See Hume, on Miracle* : " let us examine those Miracles related 
in Scripture, and, not to l>.se ouiselves in too wide afield, let us con- 
fine ourselves to such as we find in the Pentateuch, &c. It gives an 
account of the state of the woild and of human nature entirely differ- 
ent from the present ; of our fall from that state ; of the age of man 
extended to near a thousand years," &c. See Berkeley's Minute 
Philosopher, dial. vi. sec. 30. 

VOL. X. 

beyond it. His particular interference it directly -Apollonius 
proves, while it only reminds of his existence. It ^y ana;us - 
professes to be the signature of God to a message de- Miracles. 
livered by human instruments ; and therefore supposes v _- a!-* 
that signature in some degree already known, from his 
ordinary works. It appeals to that moral sense and 
that experience of human affairs which already bear 
witness to his ordinary presence. Considered by itself, 
it is at most but the token of a superhuman being. 
Hence, though an additional instance, it is not a dis- 
tinct species of evidence for a Creator from that con- 
tained in the general marks of order and design in the 
Universe. A proof drawn from an interruption in the 
course of nature is in the same line of argument as one 
deduced from the existence of that course, and in point 
of cogency is inferior to it. Were a being who had 
experience only of a chaotic world suddenly introduced 
into this orderly system of things, he would have an 
infinitely more powerful argument for the existence of a 
designing Mind than a mere interruption of that system 
can afford. A Miracle is no argument to one who is 
deliberately, and on principle, an atheist. 

Yet, though not abstractedly the more convincing, it Yet lead to 
is often so in effect, as being of a more striking and belief iu 
imposing character. The mind, habituated to the regu- ) 
larity of nature, is blunted to the overwhelming evidence 
it conveys ; whereas by a Miracle it may be roused to 
reflection, till mere conviction of a superhuman being 
becomes the first step towards the acknowledgment of 
a Supreme power. While, moreover, it surveys nature 
as a whole, it is not capacious enough to embrace its 
bearings, and to comprehend what it implies. In Mira- 
culous displays of power the field of view is narrowed ; 
a detached portion of the divine operations is taken as 
an instance, and the Final Cause is distinctly pointed 
out. A Miracle, besides, is more striking, inasmuch as 
it displays the Deity in action ; evidence of which is 
not supplied in the system of nature. It may then 
accidentally bring conviction of an intelligent Creator ; 
for it voluntarily proffers a testimony which we have 
ourselves to extort from the ordinary course of things, 
and forces upon the attention a truth which otherwise is 
not discovered, except upon examination. 

And as it affords a more striking evidence of a They may 
Creator than that conveyed in the order and established P rove tlie 
laws of the Universe, still more so does it of a Moral Go- m 
vernor. For, while nature attests the being of God 
more distinctly than it does his moral government, a 
Miraculous event, on the contrary, bears more directly 
on the fact of his moral government, of which it is an 
immediate instance, while it only implies his existence. 
Hence, besides banishing ideas of Fate and Necessity, 
Miracles have a tendency to rouse conscience, to awaken 
to a sense of reponsibility, to remind of duty, and to 
direct the attention to those marks of divine govern- 
ment already contained in the ordinary course of 

Hitherto, however, we have spoken of solitary Mira- 
cles ; a system of Miraculous interpositions, conducted 
with reference to a Final Cause, supplies a still more 
beautiful and convincing argument for ti.e moral 
government of God. 

* Farmer, on Miracles, ch. i. sec. 2. 

4 M 



II. On the antecedent Credibility of a Miracle, 
v~~^ -m-' considered as a Divine Interposition. 
Miracles, J n proof of Miraculous occurrences, we must have 
bemjj facts, recourse j o the same kind of evidence as that by which 
proved only we determine the truth of Historical accounts in gene- 
by means of ral. For though Miracles, iu consequence of their 
Testimony, extraordinary nature, challenge a fuller and more accu- 
rate investigation, still they do not admit an investi- 
gation conducted on different principles, Testimony 
being the only assignable medium of proof for past 
events of any kind. And this being indisputable, 
it is almost equally so that the Christian Miracles 
are attested by evidence even stronger than can be 
produced for any of those Historical facts which we 
most firmly believe. This has been felt by unbelievers ; 
who have been, in consequence, led to deny the ad- 
missibility of even the strongest Testimony, if offered 
in behalf of Miraculous events, and thus to get rid of 
the only means by which they can be proved to have 
taken place. It has accordingly been asserted, that all 
events inconsistent with the course of nature bear in 
their very front such strong and decisive marks of false- 
hood and absurdity, that it is needless to examine the 
evidence adduced for them.* " Where men are heated 
by zeal and enthusiasm," says Hume, with a distant 
but evident allusion to the Christian Miracles, " there 
is no degree of human Testimony o strong as may not 
be procured for the greatest absurdity ; and those who 
will be so silly as to examine the affair by that medium, 
and seek particular flaws in the Testimony, are almost 
Objections sure to be confounded. "f Of these antecedent objec- 
igainst the tj onSj w hich are supposed to decide the question, the 
litvofTesti- m 8t popular is founded on the frequent occurrence 
Deny. * wonderful tales in every Age and country, generally 
too connected with Religion ; and since the more we 
are in a situation to examine these accounts, the more 
fabulous they are proved to be, there would certainly 
be hence a fair presumption against the Scripture narra- 
tive, did it resemble them in its circumstances and pro- 
posed object. A more refined argument is that advanced 
by Hume, in the first part of his Essay on Miracles, in 
which it is maintained against the credibility of a Mira- 
cle, that it is more improbable that the Miracle should 
be true than that the Testimony should be false. 
Divine This latter objection has been so ably met by various 

igency the writers, that, though prior in the order of the argu- 

aii"racles ment to the otner ' Jt need not be considered here. It 
derives its force from the assumption, that a Miracle 
is strictly a causeless phenomenon, a self -originating 
violation of nature ; and is solved by referring the event 
to divine agency, a principle which (it cannot be denied) 
has originated works indicative of power at least as great 
as any Miracle requires. An adequate cause being 
thus found for the production of a Miracle, the objection 
vanishes, as far as the mere question of power is con- 
cerned ; and it remains to be considered whether the 
anomalous fact be of such a character as to admit of 
being referred to the Supreme Being. For if it cannot 
with propriety be referred to him, it remains as improba- 
ble as if no such agent were known to exist. At this point, 
then, we propose taking up the argument ; and by ex- 
amining what Miracles are in their nature and circum- 

* /. e. it is pretended to try past events on the principles used in 
conjecturing future , viz. on antecedent probability and examples. 
(Treatise on Rhetoric, ch. i. sec. 3.) See Lelaud's Supplement to 
View ofDeisticnl Writers, let. 3. 

f Essays, vol. ii. note L. 

stances referable to divine agency, we shall be providing Apollonius 
a reply to the former of the objections just noticed, in 
which the alleged similarity of alt Miraculous narratives 
one to another, was made a reason for a common 
rejection of all. And it is to an inquiry of this nature, 
that a memoir of Apollonius properly gives rise. 

In examining what Miracles may properly be ascribed A11 M ' r 
to the Deity, Hume supplies us with an observation so I 1 ?! ret " a " 
just, when taken in its full extent, that we shall make vine 
it the groundwork of the inquiry on which we are agency. 
entering. As the Deity, he says, discovers himself to 
us by his works, we have no rational grounds for ascrib- 
ing to him attributes or actions dissimilar from those 
which his works convey. It follows then, that in discri- 
minating between those Miracles which can and those 
which cannot be ascribed to God, we must be guided 
by the information with which experience furnishes us 
concerning his wisdom, goodness, and other attributes. 
Since a Miracle is an act out of the known track of 
divine agency, as regards the physical system, it is 
almost indispensable to show its consistency with the 
divine agency, at least, in some other point of view ; if 
(i. e.) it is to be recognised as the work of the same 
power. Now, we contend that this reasonable demand 
is satisfied in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, in 
which we find a narrative of Miracles altogether answer- 
ing in their character and circumstances to those general 
ideas which the ordinary course of divine providence 
enables us to form concerning the attributes and actions 
of God. 

While writers expatiate so largely on the laws of The Scrip- 
nature, they altogether forget the existence of a Moral tlire 
system ; a system, which though but partially under- ^^\ 
stood, and but general in its appointments as acting upon result of the 
free agents, is as intelligible in its laws and provisions Moral sys- 
as the material world. Connected with this Moral tem: 
government, we find certain instincts of mind ; such as 
conscience, a sense of responsibility, and an approba- 
tion of virtue ; an innate desire of knowledge, and an 
almost universal feeling of the necessity of Religious 
observances : while, in fact, Virtue is on the whole re- 
warded and Vice punished. And though we meet with 
many and striking anomalies, yet it is evident they are 
but anomalies, and possibly but in appearance so, and 
with reference to our partial information. * 

These two systems, the Physical and the Moral, Interfering 
sometimes act in unison, and sometimes in opposi- p' 1 ' 1 . the . 
tion to each other; and as the order of nature cer- 
tainly does in many cases interfere with the operation 
of Moral laws, (as e. g, when good men die prema- 
turely, or the gifts of nature are continued to the bad,) 
there is nothing to shock probability in the idea that a 
great Moral object should be effected by an interruption 
of Physical order. But, further than this, however Phy- 
sical laws may embarrass the operation of the Moral 
system, still on the whole they are subservient to it; 
contributing, as is evident, to the welfare and conve- 
nience of Man, providing for his mental gratification as 
well as animal enjoyment, sometimes even supplying 
correctives to his Moral disorders. If then the eco- 
nomy of nature has so constant a reference to an ulte- 
rior plan, a Miracle is a deviation from the subordinate 
for the sake of the superior system, and is very far in- 
deed from improbable, when a great Moral end cannot 
be effected except at the expense of Physical regularity. 

* See Butler's Analogy, part i. ch. iii. 



Biography. Nor can it be fairly said to argue an imperfection in 
v.^-,^ ' the divine plans, that this interference should be neces- 
sary. For we must view the system of Providence as a 
whole; which is not more imperfect because of the 
mutual action of its parts, than a machine the separate 
wheels of which affect each other's movements. 
That is to Now the Miracles of the Jewish and Christian Reli- 
be the cri- gions must be considered as immediate effects of divine 
terion and p OWer beyond the action of nature, for an important 
aReveU- Moral end ; and are in consequence accounted for by 
tion. producing not a physical but & final cause. * We are 

not left to contemplate the bare anomalies, and from 
the mere necessity of the case to refer them to the sup- 
posed agency of the Deity. The power of displaying 
them is, according to the Scripture narrative, intrusted 
to certain individuals, who stand forward as their in- 
terpreters, giving them a voice and language, and a 
dignity demanding our regard; who set them forth as 
evidences of the greatest of Moral ends, a Revelation 
from God, as instruments in his hand of effecting a 
direct intercourse between himself and his creatures, 
which ot/ierwise could not have been effected, as vouch- 
ers for the truth of a message which they deliver, f 
This is plain and intelligible; there is an easy connec- 
tion between the Miraculous nature of their works and 
the truth of their words ; the fact of their superhuman 
power is a reasonable ground for belief in their super- 
human knowledge. Considering, then, our instinctive 
sense of duty and moral obligation, yet the weak sanc- 
tion which reason gives to the practice of Virtue, and 
withal the uncertainty of the mind when advancing be- 
yond the first elements of right and wrong ; consider- 
ing, moreover, the feeling which wise men have enter- 
tained of the need of some heavenly guide to instruct 
and confirm them in goodness, and that unextinguish- 
able desire for a divine message which has led men in 
all ages to acquiesce even in pretended Revelations 
rather than forego the consolation thus afforded them ; 
and. again, the possibility ('to say the least) of our being 
destined for a future state of being, the nature and circum- 
stances of which it may concern us much to know, though 
from nature we know nothing ; considering, lastly, our 
experience of a watchful and merciful Providence, and 
the impracticability already noticed of a Revelation 
without a Miracle it is hardly too much to affirm, that 
the Moral system points to an interference with the 
course of nature, and that Miracles wrought in evidence 
of a divine communication, instead of being ante- 
cedently improbable, are, when directly attested, en- 
titled to a respectful and impartial consideration. 

When the various antecedent objections which inge- 
nious men have urged against Miracles are brought 

Divine Legation, book ix. ch. v. Vince, on Miracles, serm. 1. 

iii. v. 21, 
. v. 16 
2 Kings, 

. v. 35, 

f As, for instance, Exoil. ch. iv. v. 1 9, 29 31 ; ch. v 
Numb. ch. xvi. v. 3, 28, 29. Deut. ch. iv. v. 3640 ; ch. x 
22. iii. v. 7 13. 1 Sam. ch. x. v. 1 7; ch. x 
19. 1 Kings, ch. xiii. v. 3 ; ch. xv ii. v. 24 ; ch. xviii. r. 36 39 
ch. i. v. 6, 10; ch. v. v. 15; ch. xx. v. 8 11. 
17. Ezek. ch. xxxiii. v. 33. Matt. ch. x. v. 1 20; ch. x . y. u U) 
2024. Mark, ch. xvi. v. 1520. Luke, ch. i. v. 1820; ch. ii. 
v. 11,12; ch. v. v 24; ch. vii. v. 15, 16; ch. ix. v. 2; ch. x. r. 9. 
John, ch. ii. v. 22 ; ch. iii. v. 2 ; ch. v. v. 36, 37 ; ch. ix. v. 33 ; 
ch. x. v. 2438; ch. xi. v. 15, 41, 42; ch. xiii. v. 19; ch. xiv. 
v. 10, 11, 29; ch. xvi. v. 4; ch. xx. v. 30, 31. Atts, ch. i. v. 8; 
ch. ii. v. 22, 33 ; ch. iii. v. 15, 16 ; ch. iv. v. 33 ; ch. v. v. 32 ; ch. v iii. 
v. 6; ch. x. v, 38; ch. xiii. v. 8 12; ch.xiv. v. 3. Rom. ch. xv. 
v. 18, 19. 1 Cor. ch. ii. v. 4, 5. 2 Cor. ch. xii. v. 12. Hr.b. ch. ii. 
v. 3, 4. Rev. ch. xix. v. 10. 

together, they will be found nearly all to arise from for- -Apollomus 
getfulness of the existence of Moral laws. * In their ly anaeus - 
zeal to perfect the laws of matter they most unphiloso- Miracles. 
phically overlook a more sublime system, which con- - j^-m^ 
tains disclosures not only of the Being but of the Will of Objections 
God. Thus Hume, in a passage above alluded to, to th Scrip- 
observes, " Though the Being to whom the Miracle tu!e Mira " 
is ascribed be Almighty, it does not, upon that account, ^ ?' j 
become a whit more probable ; since it is impossible O n a forget- 
for us to know the attributes or actions of such a fulness of 
Being, otherwise than from the experience which we lhe Moral 
have of his productions in the usual course of nature. s y stem 
This still reduces us to past observation, and obliges us 
to compare the instances of the violation of truth in the 
testimony of men with those of the violation of the laws of 
nature by Miracles, in order to judge which of them is 
most likely and probr.ble." Here the Moral government 
of God, with the course of which the Miracle entirely 
accorda, is altogether kept out of sight. With a like 
heedlessness of the Moral character of a Miracle, ano- 
ther writer, notorious for his irreligion, t objects that 
it argues mutability in the Deity, and implies that the 
Physical system was not create;! good, as needing im- 
provement. And a recent author adopts a similarly 
partial and inconclusive mode of reasoning, when he 
confuses the Christian Miracles with fables of appari- 
tions and witches, and would examine them on the 
strict principle of those legal forms which from their 
secular object go far to exclude all Religious discussion 
of the question. % Such reasoners seem to suppose, 
that when the agency of the Deity is introduced to 
account for Miracles, it is the illogical introduction of 
an unknown cause, a reference to a mere name, the 
offspring perhaps of popular superstition ; or, if more 
than a name, to a cause that can be known only by 
means of the Physical creation ; and hence ihey con- 
sider Religion as founded in the mere weakness or 
eccentricity of the intellect, not in actual intimations of 
a divine government as contained in the moral world. 
From an apparent impatience of investigating a sys- 
tem which is but partially revealed, they esteem the 
laws of the material system alone worthy the notice of 
a scientific mind; and rid themselves of the annoy- 
ance which the importunity of a claim to Miraculous 
power occasions them, by discarding all the circum- 
stances which fix its antecedent probability, all in 
which one Miracle differs from another, the professed 
author, object, design, character, and human instruments. 

When this partial procedure is resisted, the a priori Enumera- 
objections of sceptical writers at once lose their force. tion of cir- 
Facts are only so far improbable as they fall under no cumstanc t es 
general rule ; whereas it is as parts of an existing- suture * 
system that the Miracles of Scripture demand our atten- Miracles 
tion, as resulting from known attributes of God, and fa " in wit h 

. v. 9, 17. corresponding to the ordinary arrangements of his the . know ' 

providence. Even as detached events they might excite p tr c 
a rational awe towards the mysterious Author of nature. 
But they are presented to us. not as unconnected and 
unmeaning occurrences, but as holding a place in an 
extensive plan of divine government, completing- 
the Moral system, connecting Man with his Maker, and 
introducing him to the means of securing his happiness 
in another and eternal state of being. That such is 
the professed object of the body of Christian Miracles, 

* Vince, on Miracles, serm. 1. 

f Voltaire. J Bentham, Pretives Judiciairet, liv. viii 

4 M 2 

attributes of 



Biography, can hardly be denied. In the earlier Religion it was 
substantially the same, though from the preparatory 
nature of the dispensation, a less enlarged view was 
given, of the divine counsels. The express purpose of 
the Jewish Miracles is to confirm the natural evidence 
of one God, the Creator of all things, to display his 
attributes and will with distinctness and authority, and 
to enforce the obligation of Religious observances, and 
show the sin of idolatrous worship.* Whether we turn 
to the earlier or latter Ages of Judaism, in the plagues 
of Egypt ; in the parting of Jordan, and the arresting of 
the Sun's course by Joshua; in the harvest thunder at 
the prayer of Samuel ; in the rending of the altar at 
Bethel ; in Elijah's sacrifice on Mount Carmel ; and in 
the cure of Naaman by Elisha; we recognise this one 
grand object throughout. Not even in the earliest 
ages of the Scripture history are Miracles wrought at 
random, or causelessly, or to amuse the fancy, or for 
the sake of mere display : nor prodigally, for the mere 
conviction of individuals, but for the most part on a 
grand scale, in the face of the world, to supply whole 
nations with evidence concerning the Deity. Nor are 
they strewn confusedly over the face of the history, 
being with few exceptions reducible to three eras ; the 
formation of the Hebrew Church and Polity, the refor- 
mation in the times of the idolatrous Kings of Israel, 
and the promulgation of the Gospel. Let it be ob- 
served, moreover, that the power of working them, 
instead of being assumed by any classes of men indis- 
criminately, is described as a prerogative of the oc- 
casional Prophets to the exclusion of the Priests and 
Kings ; a circumstance which, not to mention its re- 
markable contrast to the natural course of an impos- 
ture, is deserving attention from its consistency with 
the leading design of Miracles already specified. For 
the respective claims of the Kings and Priests were 
already ascertained, when once the sacred office was 
limited to the family of Aaron, and the regal power to 
David and his descendants ; whereas extraordinary 
messengers, as Moses, Samuel, and Elijah, needed 
some supernatural display of power to authenticate 
their pretensions. In corroboration of this remark we 
may observe the unembarrassed manner of the Prophets 
in the exercise of their professed gift ; their disdain of 
argument or persuasion, and the confidence with which 
they appeal to those before whom they are said to have 
worked their Miracles. 

These and similar observations do more than invest 
the separate Miracles with a dignity worthy of the 
Supreme Being; they show the coincidence of them all 
in one common and consistent object. As parts of a 
system, the Miracles recommend and attest each other, 
evidencing not only general wisdom, but a digested 
and extended plan. And while this appearance of 
design connects them with the acknowledged works of 
a Creator, who is in the natural world chiefly known to 
us by the presence of final causes, so, again, a plan con- 
ducted as this was, through a series of ages, evinces 
not the varying will of successive individuals, but the 
steady and sustained purpose of one Sovereign Mind. 
And this remark especially applies to the coincidence 

* Erod. ch. iii. xi. xx. v. 22, 23; ch. xxxiv. v. 6 17. Dent. 
ch. iv. v. 32 40. Josh. ch. ii. v. 10, 11 ; ch. iv. v. '23, 24. 1 Sara, 
ch. v. v. 3, 4 ; ch. xii. v. 18. 2 Sam. ch. vii. v. 23. 1 Kings, ch. viii. 
v. 59, 60 ; ch. xviii. v. 36, 37 ; ch. xx. v. 28. 2 Kings, ch. xix. v. 15 
19, 35. 2 CAron. ch. xx. v. 29. Is. ch. vi. v. 15; ch. xix. v. 1 ; 
ch. xliii. v. 1012. 

of views observable between the Old and New Testa- 
ment ; the latter of which, though written after a long lyanaeus. 
interval of silence, the breaking up of the forme'r . 
system, a revolution in Religious discipline, and the in- v ^ ra ^"^ 
troduction of Oriental tenets into the popular Theoloo-y, * v- * 
still unhesitatingly takes up and maintains the ancient 
principles of Miraculous interposition. 

An additional recommendation of the Scripture 
Miracles is their appositeness to the times and places 
in which they were wrought ; as, e. g. in the case 
of the plagues of Egypt, which, it has been shown,* 
were directed against the prevalent superstitions of that 
country. Their originality, beauty, and immediate 
utility, are further properties falling in with our con- 
ceptions of divine agency. In their general character 
we discover nothing indecorous, light, or ridiculous ; 
they are grave, simple, unambiguous, majestic. Many 
of them, especially those of the later dispensation, are 
remarkable for their benevolent and merciful charaqter ; 
others are useful for a variety of subordinate purposes, 
as a pledge of the certainty of particular promises, or as 
comforting good men, or as edifying the Church. Nor 
must we overlook the Moral instruction conveyed in 
many, particularly in those ascribed to Christ, the Spiri- 
tual interpretation which they will often bear, and the 
exemplification which they afford of particular doctrines. t 

Accepting then what may be called Hume's canon, 
that no work can be reasonably ascribed to the agency 
of God, which is altogether different from those ordinary 
works from which our knowledge of him is originally 
obtained, we have shown that the Miracles of Scripture, 
far from being exceptionable on that account, are 
strongly- recommended by their coincidence with what 
we know from nature of his Providence and Moral 
attributes. That there are some few among them in 
which this coincidence cannot be traced, it is not 
necessary to deny. As a whole they bear a determinate 
and consistent character, being great and extraordinary 
means for attaining a great, momentous, and extraor- 
dinary object. 

Tests, deriv- 
ed from our 
of the divine 
by which all 
but Scrip- 
ture Mira- 
cles are ex- 

We shall not however dismiss this criterion of the 
antecedent probability of a Miracle with which Hume 
has furnished us, without showing that it is more or 
less detrimental to the pretensions of all professed 
Miracles but those of the Jewish and Christian Revela- 
tions : in other words, that none else are likely to have 
occurred, because none else can with any probability be 
referred to the agency of the Deity, the only known 
cause of miraculous interposition. We exclude then 

1. Those which are not even referred by the workers 
of them to divine agency. 

Such are the extraordinary works attributed by some Miracles not 
to Zoroaster ; and, again, to Pythagoras, Empedocles, from God. 
Apollonius, and others of their School ; which only 
claim to be the result of their superior wisdom, and 
were quite independent of a Supreme Being.J Such 
are the supposed effects of witchcraft or of magical 
charms, which profess to originate with Spirits and 
Demons ; for, as these agents, supposing them to exist, 

* See Bryant. 

} Jones, on the Figurative Language of Scripture, lect. 10. 
Farmer, 0:1 Miracles, ch. iii. sec. 6, 2. 

J See, in contrast, Gen. ch. xl. v. 8; ch. xli. v. 16. Dan. ch. ii. 
27 30,47. Acts, ch. iii. v. 12 16; ch. xiv. v. 11 18; a contrast 
sustained, as these passages show, for 1500 years. 



Biography, did not make the world, there is every reason for think- 

v "v*"""'' ing they cannot of themselves alter its arrangements.* 

And those, as in some accounts of apparitions, which 

are silent respecting their origin, and are referred to 

God from the mere necessity of the case. 

2. Those which are unworthy of an All-wise Author. 

Miracles As > for example, the Miracles of Simon Magus, who 

unworthy of pretended he could assume the appearance of a serpent, 
God. exhibit himself with two faces, and transform himself 

into whatever shape he pleased, t Such are most of 
the Miracles recorded in the apocryphal accounts of 
Christ :J e. g. the sudden ceasing of all kinds of motion 
at his birth, birds stopping in the midst of their ilight, 
men at table with their hands to their mouths yet unable 
to eat, &c. ; his changing, when a child, his play- 
mates into kids, and animating clay figures of beasts 
and birds ; the practice attributed to him of appearing 
to his disciples sometimes as a youth, sometimes as an 
old man, sometimes as a child, sometimes large, some- 
times less, sometimes so tall as to reach the Heavens ; 
and the obeisance paid him by the military standards 
when he was brought before Pilate. Of the same cast 
is the story of his picture presented by Nicodemus to 
Gamaliel, which when pierced by the Jews gave forth 
blood and water. Under this head of exception fall 
many of the Miracles related by the fathers ; e. g. 
that of the consecrated bread changing into a live coal 
in the hands of a woman, who came to the Lord's sup- 
per after offering incense to an idol; of the dove issu- 
ing from the body of Polycarp at his martyrdom ; of 
the petrifaction of a fowl dressed by a person under a 
vow of abstinence ; of the exorcism of the demoniac 
camel ; of the stones shedding tears at the barbarity of 
the persecutions ; of inundations rising up to the roofs 
of churches without entering the open doors ; and of 
pieces of gold, as fresh as from the mint, dropt from 
heaven into the laps of the Italian Monks. Of the 
same character are the Miracles of the Romish Breviary ; 
as the prostration of wild beasts before the martyrs they 
were about to devour ; the Miraculous uniting of two 
chains with which St. Peter had been at different times 
bound ; and the burial of Paul the Hermit by lions. 
Such again are the Rabbinical Miracles, as that of the 
flies killed by lightning for settling on a Rabbi's paper. 
And the Miracles ascribed by some to Mohammed, as 
that the trees went out to meet him, the stones saluted 
him, and a camel complained to him.|| The exorcism 
in the Book of Tobit must here be mentioned, in which 
the Evil Spirit who is in love with Sara is driven away 
by the smell of certain perfumes.^[ Hence the Scrip- 
ture accounts of Eve's temptation by the serpent ; of the 
speaking of Balaam's ass ; of Jonah and the whale ; 

* Sometimes charms are represented as having an inherent virtue, 
independent of invisible agents, as in the account given by Josephus 
of Eleazar's drawing out a Devil through the nostrils of a patient by 
means of a ring, which contained in it a drug prescribed by Solomon. 
Joseph, sintiq. viii. 2, sec. 5. See sfcts, ch. viii. v. 19. 

j- Lavington, Enthusiasm ofMeth. and Papists comp. part iii. sec. 43. 

J Jones, on the Canon, part iii. 

Middleton, Free inquiry. 

|| The offensiveness of these, and many others above instanced, 
consists in attributing moral feelings to inanimate or irrational 

^f It seems to have been a common notion that possessed persons 
were beloved by the Spirit that distressed them. See Philostr. iv. 
25- Gospel of the Infancy, xiv. xvi. xxxiii. Justin Martyr, sipol. 
p. 113, el 1'hirlb. We find nothing of this kind in the account of the 
Scripture demoniacs 

and of the Devils sent into the herd of swine, are by Apollonius 
themselves more or less improbable, being unequal in Tyanaus. 
dignity to the rest. They are then supported by the . ~, 
system in which they are found, as being a few out of a ^^ -^' 
multitude, and therefore but exceptions (and, as we 
suppose, but apparent exceptions) to the general rule. 
In some of them, too, a further purpose is discernible, 
which of itself reconciles us to the strangeness of their 
first appearance, and suggests the possibility of similar 
reasons, though unknown, being assigned in explana- 
tion of the rest. As the Miracle of the swine, the object 
of which may have been to prove to us the reality of 
demoniacal possessions.* 

Miracles of mere power, even when connected with 
some ultimate object, are often improbable for the same 
general reason, viz. as unworthy of an All-wise Author. 
Such as that ascribed to Zoroaster,f of suffering 
melted brass to be poured upon his breast without in- 
jury to himself. Unless indeed their immediate design 
be to exemplify the greatness of God, as in the descent 
of fire from heaven upon Elijah's sacrifice, and in 
Christ's walking on the sea,J which evidently possess 
a dignity fitting them to be works of the Supreme 
Being. The propriety indeed of the Christian Miracles, 
contrasted with the want of decorum observable in 
those elsewhere related, forms a most striking evidence 
of their divinity. 

Here, too, ambiguous Miracles find a place, it being- 
antecedently improbable that the Almighty should rest 
the credit of his Revelation upon events which but ob- 
scurely implied his immediate presence. 

And, for the same reason, those are in some measure 
improbable which are professed by different Religions ; 
because from a divine agent may be expected distinct 
and peculiar specimens of divine agency. Hence the 
claims to supernatural power in the primitive Church are 
in general questionable, as resting upon the exorcism of 
Evil Spirits, and the cure of diseases ; works, not only less 
satisfactory than others, as evidence of a Miraculous inter- 
position, but suspicious from the circumstance, that they 
were exhibited also by Jews and Gentiles of the same 
Age. In the plagues of Egypt and Elijah's sacrifice, 
which seem to be of this class, there is a direct contest 
between two parties ; and the object of the divine mes- 
senger is to show his own superiority in the very point 
in which his adversaries try their powers. Our Saviour's 
use of the clay in restoring sight has been accounted 
for on a similar principle, such external means being in 
repute among the Heathen in their pretended cures. 

3. Those which have no professed object. 
Hence a suspicion is thrown on all Miracles ascribed Miracles 
by the Apocryphal Gospels to Christ in his infancy ; 

* Divine Legation, book ix. ch. v. 

f Bruuker, vol. i. p. 147. 

{ Power over the elements conveyed the most striking proof of 
Christ's mission from the God of nature, who in the Old Testament is 
frequently characterised as ruling the sea, winds, &c. Pi. Ixv. v. 7 
Ixxvii. v. 19. Job, ch. xxxviii. v 11, &c. It is said, that a drawing 
of feet upon the water was the hieroglyphic for impossibility. Chris: 
moreover designed, it appears, to make trial of his disciples' faith by 
this Miracle. See Matt, ch xiv. v. 2831. Mark, ch. vi. v.52. We 
read of the power to " move mountains," but evidently as a proverbial 
expression. The transfiguration, if it need be mentioned, has a doc- 
trinal sense, and seems besides to have been intended to lead the minds 
of the Apostles to the consideration of the Spiritual Kingdom. One of 
Satan's temptations was to induce our Lord to work a Miracle of mere 
power. Matt, ch iv. v. 6, 7. See /tcts, ch. x. v. 38, for the general 
character of the Miracles. 

Middleton. Stilliugfleet, Grig. Sacr. ii. 9, sec. 1. 



Biography, for, being prior to his preaching 1 , they seem to attest 
v ~v"^" no doctrine, and are but distantly connected with any 
object. Those again on which an object seems to be 
forced. Hence many harmonizing in one plan arrest 
the attention more powerfully than a detached and 
solitary Miracle, as converging to one point, and pressing 
upon our notice the end for which they are wrought. 
This remark, as far as it goes, is prejudicial to the 
Miracle wrought (as it is said) in Hunneric's persecu- 
tion, long after the real age of Miracles was past ; when 
the Athanasian confessors are reported to have retained 
the power of speech after the loss of their tongues. 

Those, too, must be viewed with suspicion which are 
disjoined from human instruments, and are made the 
vehicle of no message ;* since, according to our fore- 
going view, Miracles are only then divested of their a, 
priori improbability when furthering some great Moral 
end, such as authenticating a divine communication. 
It is an objection then to those ascribed to relics gene- 
rally, and in particular to those attributed to the tomb of 
the Abbe Paris, that they are left to tell their own story, 
and are but distantly connected with any object what- 
ever. As it is, again, to many tales of apparitions, that 
they do not admit of a meaning, and consequently de- 
mand at most only an otiose assent, as Paley terms it. 
Hence there is a difficulty in the narrative contained in 
the first verses of John, v. ; because we cannot reduce 
the account of the descent of the angel into the water 
to give it a healing power under any known arrangement 
of the divine economy. We receive it, then, on the 
general credit of the Revtlation of which it forms part.t 

For the same reason, viz. the want of a declared 
object, a prejudice is excited when the professed worker 
is silent, or diffident as to his own power ; since our 
general experience of Providence leads us to suppose 
that Miraculous powers will not be committed to an 
individual who is not also prepared for his office by 
secret inspiration. This speaks strongly against the 
cures ascribed by Tacitus to Vespasianus, and would be 
an objection to our crediting the prediction uttered by 
Caiaphas, if separated from its context, or prominently 
brought forward to rest an argument upon. It is in 
general a characteristic of the Scripture system, that 
Miracles and inspiration go together.! With a view to 
specify the object distinctly, some have required that 
the Miracle should be wrought after the delivery of the 
message. A message delivered an indefinite time 
after the Miracle, while it cannot but excite attention 
from the general reputation of the messenger for an 
extraordinary gift, is not so expressly stamped with 
divine authority, as when it is ushered in by his claim- 
ing, and followed by his displaying, supernatural powers. 
For if a Miracle, once wrought, ever after sanctions the 
doctrines taught by the person exhibiting it, it must be 
attended by the gifl of infallibility ; a sustained Miracle 
is inconsistent with that frugality in the application of 
power which is observable in the general course of 
Providence.|| On the other hand, when an unambi- 
guous Miracle, having been first distinctly announced, 

* Farmer, on Miracles, ch. v. 

j- The verse containing the account of the Angel is wanting in 
many MSS. of authority, and is marked as suspicious by Griesbach. 
The mineral spring of Bethesda is mentioned by Eusebius as cele- 
brated even in nis day. 

J Douglas's Criterion. Warburton, Serm. on Resurrection. 

Fleecwood, Farmer, and others. 

|| The idea is accordingly discountenanced, Matt. ch. viL v. 22, 23. 
Heb. ch. vi. v. 46. Gal. ch.ii. v. 1114. 


is wrought with the professed object of sanctioning a Apoilonius 
message from God, it conveys an irresistible evidence T J anasus - 
of its divine origin. Accident is thus excluded, and the 
final cause indissolubly connected with the supernatural 
event. We may remark that the Miracles of Scripture 
were generally wrought on this plan.* In conformity 
to which, we find moreover that the Apostles, &c. 
could not work Miracles when they pleased ;t a circum- 
stance more consistent with our ideas of the divine 
government, and connecting the extraordinary acts 
more clearly with specific objects than if the superna- 
tural gift were unlimited and irrevocable. 

Lastly, under this head we may notice Miraculous 
accounts, which, as those concerning Apollonius, may 
be separated from a narrative without detriment to it. 
The prodigies of Livy, e. g. form no part in the action 
of the history, which is equally intelligible without 
them.J The Miraculous events of the Pentateuch, on 
the contrary, or of the Gospels and Acts, though of 
course they may be rejected together with the rest of 
the narrative, can be rejected in no other way ; since 
they form its substance and groundwork, and, like the 
figure of Phidias on Minerva's shield, cannot be erased 
without spoiling the entire composition. 

4. Those which are exceptionable as regards their object. 

If the professed object be trifling and unimportant; M'racles 

as in many related by the Fathers, e.g. Tertullian's withinsuffi- 
f.~ . . J c A , , ., cient object, 

account of the vision of an Angel to prescribe to a 

female the exact length and measure of her veil, or 
the divine admonition which Cyprian professes to have 
received to mix water with wine in the Eucharist, in 
order to render it efficacious.|| Among these would be 
reckoned the directions given to Moses relative to the 
furnishing of the Tabernacle, and other regulations of 
the ceremonial law, were not further and important 
objects thereby affected ; such as, separating the 
Israelites from the surrounding nations, impressing 
upon them the doctrine of a particular Providence, 
prefiguring future events, &c. 

Miracles wrought for the gratification of mere curio- 

* St. Mark ends his Gospel by saying, that the Apostles " went 
forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and 
confirming the word by signs FOLLOWING." ch. xvi. v. 20. See also 
Exod. ch. iv. v. 29, 30. 1 Kings, ch. xiii. v. 2, 3. 2 Kings, ch. xx. v. 8 
1 1. Acts, ch. xiv. v. 3, &c. 

f E. g. Acts, ch.xx. v. 22, 23. Phil, ch.ii. v. 27. 2 Tim. ch.iv. 
v. 20. In the Book of Acts we have not a few instances of the Apostles 
acting under the immediate direction of the Holy Spirit. The gift of 
tongues is an exception to the general remark, as we know it was 
abused ; but this from its nature was, when once given, possessed as 
an ordinary talent, and needed no fresh divine influence for subsequent 
exercise of it. It may besides be viewed as a medium of conveying the 
message, as well as being the seal of its divinity, and as such needed 
not in every instance to be marked out as a supernatural gift. Mira- 
cles in Scripture are not done by wholesale, i. e. indiscriminately and 
at once, without the particular will and act of the gifted individual ; 
the contrary was the case with the cures at the tomb of the Abbfe 
Paris. Acts, ch. xix. v. 11, 12 perhaps forms an exception ; but the 
Miracles there mentioned are expressly said to be special, and were 
intended to put particular honour on the Apostle. Cf. Luke, ch. vL 
v. 19 ; ch. viii. v. 46, which seem to illustrate John, ch. iii. v. 34. 

+ E. g. be says " ADJICIUNT miracula huic pugnte" 11. 7. 

& Whereas other extraordinary accounts are like the statue of the 
Goddess herself, which could readily be taken to pieces, and resolved 
into its constituent parts, the precious metal and the stone. For the 
Jewish Miracles, see Graves, on the Pentateuch, part i. It has been 
observed, that the discourses of Christ so constantly grow out of nis 
Miracles, that we can hardly admit the former without admitting the 
latter also. But his discourses form his character, which is by no 
means an obvious or easy one to imagine, had it never existed. 
|| Middletou, Free Inquiry. 



Biography, sity are referable to this head of objection. Hence the 

^"v*^ ' triumphant invitations which some of the Fathers make 

to their heathen opponents to attend their exorcisms 

excite an unpleasant feeling in the mind, as degrading 

a solemn spectacle into a mere popular exhibition. 

Those, again, which have a political or party object ; 
as the cures ascribed to Vespasianus, or as those attri- 
buted to the tomb of the Abbe Paris, and the Eclectic 
prodigies all which, viewed in their best light, tend to 
the mere aggrandizement of a particular Sect, and have 
little or no reference to the good of Mankind at large. 
It tells in favour of the Christian Miracles, that the 
Apostles, generally speaking, were not enabled to work 
them for their own personal convenience, to avoid dan- 
ger, escape suffering, or save life. St. Paul's preser- 
vation from the effects of the viper's bite on the Isle of 
Melita is a solitary exception to this remark, no men- 
tion being made of his availing himself of this Miracle 
to proselyte the natives to the Christian faith.* 

For a similar reason, those bear a less appearance of 
probability which are wrought for the conviction of in- 
dividuals. We have already noticed the contrary cha- 
racter of the Scripture Miracles in this respect : e. g. 
St. Paul's Miraculous conversion did not end with it- 
self, but was followed by momentous and inestimable 
consequences.t Again, Miracles attended the conver- 
sions of the ^Ethiopian Eunuch, Cornelius, and Sergius 
Paulus ; but these were heads and first fruits of different 
classes of men who were in time to be brought into the 
Church. } 

Miracles with a bad or vicious object are laden with 
an extreme antecedent improbability ; for they cannot 
at all be referred to the only known cause of super- 
natural power, the agency of God. Such are most of 
the fables concerning the heathen Deities ; not a few of 
the professed Miracles of the primitive Church, which 
are wrought to sanction doctrines opposed not only to 
Scriptural truth but to the light of nature ; and some 
related in the Apocryphal Gospels, especially Christ's 
inflicting death upon a schoolmaster who threatened to 
strike him, and on a boy who happened to run vio- 
lently against him.|| Here must be noticed several pas- 
sages in Scripture, in which a Miraculous gift seems at 
first sight to be exercised to gratify revengeful feelings, 
and which are, therefore, received on the credit of the 

Unnecessary Miracles are improbable; as, those 
wrought for an object attainable without an exertion, or 
with less exertion, of extraordinary power.** Of this 
kind, we contend, would be the writing of the Gospel 
on the skies, which some unbelievers have proposed as 
but an adequate attestation to a Revelation ; for, sup- 
posing the recorded fact of their once occurring be suf- 
ficient for a rational conviction, a perpetual Miracle 

* Rev. J. Blanco White, against Catholicism, let, 6. The Bre- 
viary Miracles form a striking contrast to the Christian in this point. 

f s/cts, ch. xxvi. v. 16. 

J Ibid. ch. viii. v. 26, 39 ; ch. x v. 3, &c. ; ch. xiii. v. 12. These 
three classes are mentioned together in prophecy. Is. ch. Ivi. v. 4 8. 

E.g. to establish Monachism, &c. 

|| Jones, on the Cation, part iii. 

([ Gen. ch. ix. v. 2427. Judg. ch. xvi. v.28 30. 2 Kines, 
ch. ii. v. 24. 2 Chron. ch. xxiv. v. 22. 

* It does not follow, because all Miracles are equally easy to an 
Almighty author that all are equally probable; for, as has been often 
remarked, a frugality in the application of power is observable 
throughout his works. 

becomes superfluous.* Such, again, would be the pre- 
servation of the text of Scripture in its verbal correct- 
ness, which many have supposed necessary for its in- 
fallibility as a standard of Truth. The same antecedent > 
objection presses on Miracles wrought in attestation of 
truths already known. We do not, e.g. require a Mira- 
cle to convince us that the Sun shines, or that Vice is 
blameable. The Socinian scheme is in a great measure 
chargeable with bringing the Miracles of the Gospel 
under this censure ; for it prunes away the Christian 
system till little is left for the Miracles to attest. On 
this ground an objection has been taken to the Miracle 
wrought in favour of the Athanasians in Hunneric's per- 
secution, as above mentioned ; inasmuch as it merely 
professes to authorize a comment on the sacred text, 
i. e. to sanction a truth which is not new, unless Scrip- 
ture be obscure.-\ Here, too, may be noticed Miracles 
wrought in evidence of doctrines already established; 
such as those of the Papists, who seem desirous of 
answering the unbeliever's demand for a perpetual 
Miracle. Popish Miracles, as has often been observed, 
occur in Popish countries, where they are least wanted ; 
whereas, if real, they would be invaluable among Pro- 
testants. Hence the primitive Miracles become sus- 
picious, in proportion as we find Christianity esta- 
blished, not only from the increasing facility of fraud, 
but moreover from the apparent needlessness of the 
extraordinary display. And hence, admitting the 
Miracles of Christ and his followers, future Miracles 
with the same end are somewhat improbable. For 
enough have been wrought to attest the doctrine ; and 
attention, when once excited by supernatural means, 
may be kept alive by a standing Ministry, just as inspi- 
ration is supplied by human learning. 

We proceed to notice inconsistency in the objects pro- 
posed, as creating a just prejudice against the validity 
of Miraculous pretensions. This applies to the claims 
of the Romish Church, in which Miracles are wrought 
by hostile Sects in support of discordant tenets. | It 
constitutes some objection to the bulk of the Miracles 
of the primitive Church, when viewed as a continuation 
of the original gift, that they differ so much in manner, 
design, and attendant circumstances, from those re- 
corded in Scripture. " We see," says Middleton, (in 
the ages subsequent to the Christian era) " a dispensa- 
tion of things ascribed to God, quite different from that 
which we meet with in the New Testament. For in 
those days, the power of working Miracles was com- 
mitted to none but the Apostles, and to a few of the 
most eminent of the other disciples, who were parti- 
cularly commissioned to propagate the Gospel and pre- 
side in the Church of Christ. But upon the pretended 
revival of the same powers in the following Ages, we find 
the administration of them committed, not to those who 
were intrusted with the government of the Church, not 
to the successors of the Apostles, to the Bishops, the 
Martyrs, nor to the principal champions of the Christian 

* Dr. Graves observes, of the Miraculous agency in the Age of 
Moses and Joshua, that " God continued it only so long- as was in- 
dispensably necessary to introduce and settle the Jewish nation in 
the land of their inheritance, and establish this dispensation so as to 
answer the purposes of the divine economy. After this, he gradually 
withdrew his supernatural assistance ; he left the nation collectively 
and individually to act according to their own choice," &c. Lecture* 
on the Pentateuch, part iii. lect. 2. 

f See Maclaine's note on the subject, Mosheim, Eccl. Hitt. 
cent. v. part ii. ch. v. 

J Douglas, Criterion, p. 105, note, (8vo edit 1807.) 





Biography, cause ; but to boys, to ivomen, and, above all, to private 
**~~~\~*~' and obscure laymen, not only of an inferior but some- 
times also of a bad character."* Hence, to avoid the 
charge of inconsistency in the respective objects of the 
Jewish and Christian Miracles, it is incumbent upon 
believers in them to show that the difference between 
the two systems is a difference in appearance only, and 
that Christ came not to destroy but to fulfil the Law. 
Here, as far as its antecedent appearance is concerned, 
the Miracle said to have occurred on Julian's attempt 
to rebuild the Jewish Temple is seen to great advan- 
tage. The object was great, the time critical, its con- 
sequences harmonize very happily with the economy of 
the Mosaic dispensation and the general spirit of the 
Prophetical writings, and the fact itself has some cor- 
respondence with the prodigies which preceded the final 
destruction of Jerusalem. f 

Again, Miracles which do not tend to the accomplish- 
ment of their proposed end are open to objection ; and 
those which have not effected what they had in view. 
Hence some kind of argument might be derived 
against the Christian Miracles, were they not accom- 
panied by a prediction of their temporary failure in 
effecting their object ; or, to speak more correctly, 
were it not their proposed object gradually to spread 
the doctrines which they authenticate.} There is 
nothing, however, to break the force of this objection 
when directed against the Miracles ascribed to the 
Abbe Paris ; since the Jansenist interest, instead of 
being advanced in consequence of them, soon after 
lost ground, and was ultimately ruined. 

These Miracles are also suspicious, as having been 
stopped by human authority ; it being improbable that 
a divine agent should pemit any such interference 
with his plan. The same objection applies to the pro- 
fessed gift of exorcising demoniacs in the primitive 
Church ; which was gradually lost after the decree of 
the Council of Laodicea confined the exercise of it to 
such as were licensed by the Bishop. || And lastly, to 
the supernatural character of Prince Hohenlohe's cures, 
which were stopped at Bamberg by an order from au- 
thority, that none should be wrought except in the pre- 
sence of Magistrates and Medical practitioners.^ 

The fore- These are the most obvious objections which may be 
going tests fairly made to the antecedent probability of miraculous 
neither dis- narra tives. It will be observed, however, that none of 
prove, . 

* Scripture sometimes attributes Miraculous gifts to men of bad 
character ; but we have no reason for supposing such could work 
Miracles at pleasure, (see Numb. ch. xxii. v. 18 ; ch. xxiii. v 3, 8, 12, 
20; ch.xxiv. v. 10 13,) or attest any doctrine but that which Christ 
and his Apostles taught ; nor is our faith grounded upon their preaching. 
Moreover, their power may have been given them for some further 
purpose ; for though to attest a divine message be the primary object 
of Miracles, it need not be the only object. " It would be highly 
ridiculous," says Mr. Penrose in his recent work on Miracles, " to 
erect a steam engine for the mere purpose of opening and shutting a 
valve ; but the engine being erected is very wisely employed both for 
this and for many other purposes, which, comparatively speaking, are 
of very little significance." 
f See VVarburton's Julian. 

I See Parables in Matt, ch.xiii.v. 3, 24, 31, 33,47 ; ch.xxiv. v. 12. 
Acts, ch. xx. v. 29, 30. 2 Thct. ch. ii. v. 3. 2 Tim. ch. iii. v. 1 5, &c. 
Paley, Evidences, part \. prop. 2. 

|| It had hitherto been in the hands of the meaner sort of the 
Christian laity. After that time, " few or none of the clergy, no- 
indeed of the laity, were any longer able to cast out devils ; so that the 
old Christian exorcism or prayer for the energnmens in the church 
began soon after to be omitted as useless." Whiston, in Middleton, 
^[ Bentham, Preuvet Judiciaire*, liv. viii. ch. x. 


them go so far as to deprive testimony for them of the Apollonius 
privilege of being heard. Even where the nature of the Tyanaeus. 
facts related forbids us to refer the Miracle to divine 
agency, as when it is wrought to establish some im- 
moral principle, still it is not more than extremely im- 
probable and to be viewed with strong suspicion. 
Christians at least must acknowledge that the d priori 
view which Reason takes would in some cases lead to 
an erroneous conclusion. A Miracle, e. g. ascribed to 
an Evil Spirit is, prior to the information of Scripture, 
improbable ; and if it stood on its own merits would 
require very strong testimony to establish it, as being 
referred to an unknown cause. Yet, on the authority 
of Scripture, we admit the occasional interference of 
agents short of divine with the course of nature. This, 
however, only shows that these d, priori tests are not 
decisive. Yet if we cannot always ascertain what 
Miracles are improbable, at least we can determine 
what are not so ; moreover, it will still be true that the 
more objections lie against any professed Miracle, the 
greater suspicion justly attaches to it, and the less im- 
portant is the fact even if proved. 

On the other hand, even when the external appearance Nor prove, 
is altogether in favour of the Miracle, it must be recol- any pro- 
lected, nothing is thereby proved concerning the fact o f fessed Mira- 
its occurrence. We have done no more than recom- occurre j. 
mend to notice the evidence, whatever it maybe, which 
is offered in its behalf. Even, then, could Miracles be 
found with as strong an antecedent case as those of Scrip- 
ture, still direct testimony must be produced to sub- 
stantiate their claims on our belief. At the same time, 
since there art none such, a fair prepossession is indi- 
rectly created in favour of the latter, over and above their 
intrinsic claims on our attention. 

Some few indeed of the Scripture Miracles are open They are 
to exception ; and have accordingly been noticed in the injurious to 
course of our remarks as by themselves improbable. l? m l f( 
These, however, are seldom such in more than owetureMira- 
respect ; whereas the other Miracles which came before cles. 
us were open to several or all of the specified objections 
at the same time. And, further, as they are but a few 
in the midst of an overpowering majority pointing con- 
sistently to one grand object, they must not be torn from 
their Moral context, but, on the credit of the rest, they 
must be considered but apparent exceptions to the rule. 
It is obvious that a large system must consist of various 
parts of unequal utility and excellence ; and to expect 
each particular occurrence to be complete in itself, is 
as unreasonable as to require the parts of some com- 
plicated machine, separately taken, to be all equally 
finished and fit for display.* 

Let these remarks suffice on the question of the ante- Conclusion 
cedent probability or improbability of a Miraculous of tne ante - 
narrative. Enough, it may be hoped, has been said, ce 
to separate the Miracles of Scripture from those else-**" 

* In thus refusing to admit the existence of real exceptions to the 
general rule, in spite of nppeara7ices, we are not exposing ourselves 
to that charge of excessive systematizing which may justly be brought 
against those who, with Hume, reject the very notion of a Miracle, as 
implying an interruption of physical regularity. For the flevc latiun 
which we admit, on the authority of the general system of Miracles, 
imparts such accurate and extended information concerning the 
attributes of God, over and above the partial and imperfect view of 
them which the world affords, as precludes the supposition of any 
work of his being evil or useless. Whereas there is no voice in the 
mere analogy of nature which expressly denies the possibility of real 
exceptions to its general course. 



Biography, where related, and to invest them with an importance 
^"v""*"'' exciting in an unprejudiced mind a just interest in their 
behalf, and a candid attention to the historical testi- 
mony on which they rest ; inasmuch as they are ascri- 
bed to an adequate cause, recommended by an intrinsic 
dignity, and connected with an important object, while 
all others are more or less unaccountable, unmeaning, 
extravagant, and useless. And thus, viz. on the ground 
of this utter dissimilarity between the Miracles of Scrip 
ture and other prodigies, we are enabled to account for 
the incredulity with which believers in Revelation listen 
to any extraordinary account at the present day ; and 
which sometimes is urged against them as inconsistent 
with their assent to the former. It is because they 
admit the Scripture Miracles. Belief in these has pre- 
occupied their minds, and created a fair presumption 
against those of a different class ; the prospect of a 
recurrence of supernatural agency being in some mea- 
sure discountenanced by the Revelation already given ; 
and, again, the weakness and insipidity, the want of 
system and connection, the deficiency in the evidence, 
and the transient repute of marvellous stories ever since, 
creating a strong and just prejudice against those similar 
accounts which from time to time are noised abroad. 

III. On the Criterioji of a Miracle, considered as a 
Divine Interposition. 

It has sometimes been asked, whether Miracles are a 
sufficient evidence of the interposition of the Deity ? 
under the idea that other causes, besides divine agency, 
might be assigned for their production. This is obvi- 
ously the converse objection to that we have as yet con- 
sidered, which was founded on the assumption that 
they could be referred to no known cause whatever. 
After showing, then, that the Scripture Miracles may 
be ascribed to the Supreme Being, we proceed to show 
that they cannot reasonably be ascribed to those other 
causes which have been sometimes assigned, e. g. to 
unknown laws of nature, or to the secret agency of 

Miracles 1. Now it is evidently unphilosophical to attribute 

cannot rea- them to the power of invisible Beings, short of God ; 
refenred to because > independently of Scripture, (the truth of which, 
the power of course, must not be assumed in this question,) we have 
of Spirits, no evidence of the existence of such Beings. Nature 
attests, indeed, the being of a God, but not of a race of 
intelligent creatures between Him and Man. In assign- 
ing a Miracle, therefore, to the influence of Spirits, an 
hypothetical cause is introduced merely to remove a 
difficulty. And even did analogy lead us to admit their 
possible existence, yet it would tend rather to disprove 
than to prove their power over the visible Creation. 
They may be confined to their own province, and 
though superior to Man, still may be unable to do many 
things which he can effect ; just as Man in turn is 
superior to Birds and Fishes, without having, in con- 
sequence, the power of flying or of inhabiting the 

Even though Still it may be necessary to show, that on our own 
Scripture principles we are not open to any charge of incon- 
of their sistency. For it has been questioned, whether, in 
power. admitting the existence and power of Spirits on the 
authority of Revelation, \ve are not in danger of invali- 
dating the evidence upon which that authority rests. 
For the cogency of the argument from Miracles depends 

* Campbell, on Miracles, part ii. sec. 3. 1'armer, ch. ii. sec. 1. 
VOL. X. 

on the assumption, that interruptions in the course of 
nature must ultimately proceed from God ; which is 
not true, if they may be effected by other Beings without 
his sanction. And it must be conceded, that explicit 
as Scripture is in considering Miracles as signs of divine 
agency, it still does seem to give created Spirits some 
power of working them ; and even, in its most literal 
sense, intimates the possibility of their working them 
in opposition to the true doctrine.* With a view cf 
meeting this difficulty, some writers have attempted to 
make a distinction between great and small, many and 
few Miracles ; and have thus inadvertently destroyed 
the intelligibility of any, as the criterion of a divine 
interposition.! Others, by referring to the nature 
of the doctrine attested, for determining the author 
of the Miracle, have exposed themselves to the plau- 
sible charge of adducing, first, the Miracle to attest 
the divinity of the doctrine, and then, the doctrine to 
prove the divinity of the Miracle.}; Others, on the 
contrary, have thought themselves obliged to deny the 
power of Spirits altogether, and to explain away the 
Scripture accounts of Demoniacal possessions, and the 
narrative of our Lord's Temptation. Without, however, 
having recourse to any of these dangerous modes of 
answering the objection, it may be sufficient to reply, 
that, since, agreeably to the antecedent sentiment of 
reason, God has adopted Miracles as the seal of a divine 
message, we believe he will never suffer them to be so 
counterfeited as to deceive the humble inquirer. Thus 
the information given by Scripture in nowise undoes 
the original conclusions of Reason ; for it anticipates 
the objection which itself furnishes, and by revealing 
the express intention of God in Miraculous displays, 
guarantees to us that he will allow no interference of 
created power to embarrass the proof thence resulting, 
of his special interposition.!) It is unnecessary to say 

* Deut. ch. xiii. v. 1 3. Matt, eh xxiv. v. 24. 2 T/iess. ch. ii. 
.v. 9 11. 

f More or less, Sherlock, Clarke, Locke, and others. 

J Prideaux, Clarke, Chandler, &c. seem hardly to have guarded 
sufficiently against the charge here noticed. There is an appearance 
of doing honour to the Christian doctrines in representing them as 
intrinsically credible, which leads many into supporting- opinions 
which, carried to their full extent, (as they were by Middleton,) su- 
persede the need of Miracles altogether. It must be recollected, too, 
that they who are allowed to praise have the privilege of finding 
fault, and may reject, according to their a priori notions, as well as 
receive. Doubtless the divinity of a clearly immoral doctrine could 
not be evidenced by Miracles ; for our belief in the Moral attributes 
of God is much stronger than our conviction of the negative proposi- 
tion, that none but He can interfere with the system of nature. But 
there is always the danger of extending this admission beyond its 
proper limits, of supposing ourselves adequate judges of the tendency 
of doctrines, and, because unassisted Reason informs us what is Moral 
and immoral, ra our own case, of attempting to decide on the abstract 
Morality of actions : e. g. many have rejected the Miraculous narra- 
tive of the Pentateuch, from an unfounded and unwarrantable opinion, 
that the means employed in settling the Jews in Canaan were in 
themselves immoral. These remarks are in nowise inconsistent with 
using (as was done in a former section) our actual knowledge of God's 
attributes, obtained from a survey of nature and human affairs, in 
determining the probability of certain professed Miracles having pro- 
ceeded from Him. It is one thing to infer from the experience of life, 
another to imagine the character of God from the gratuitous concep- 
tions of our own minds, from experience we gain but general and 
imperfect ideas of wisdom, goodness, &c. enough (that is) to bear 
witness to a Revelation when given, not enough to supersede it. On 
the contrary, our speculations concerning the divine attributes and 
designs, professing as they do to decide on the truth of Revealed doc- 
trines, in fact go to supersede the necessity of a Revelation altogether. 

Especially Farmer. 

|| Fleetwood, on Miracles, disc. 2. p. 201. Van Mildert's Boyle 
Lectures, serin. 21. 

4 N 


Biography, more on this subject; and questions concerning the 
- v -^' existence, nature, and limits of Spiritual agency will 
find their place when Christians are engaged in settling 
among themselves the doctrines of Scripture. We take 
it, therefore, for granted, as an obvious and almost un- 
deniable principle, that real Miracles, i. e. interruptions 
in the course of nature, cannot reasonably be referred 
to any power but divine : because it is natural to refer 
an alteration in the system to its original author, and 
because Reason does not inform us of any other Being 
but God exterior to nature ; and lastly, because in the 
particular case of the Scripture Miracles, the workers 
of them confirm our previous judgment by expressly 
attributing them to Him. 

for to un- 2. A more subtle question remains, respecting the 
Down laws possible existence of causes in nature, to us unknown, 
nature. J^ ^ e SU pp Ose( j operation of which the apparent ano- 
malies may be reconciled to the ordinary laws of the 
system. It has already been admitted, that some diffi- 
culty will at times attend the discrimination of Miraculous 
from merely uncommon events ; and it must be borne 
in mind, that in this, as in all questions from which 
demonstration is excluded, it is impossible, from the 
nature of the case, absolutely to disprove any, even the 
wildest, hypothesis which may be framed. It may freely 
be granted, moreover, that some of the Scripture Mira- 
cles, if they stood alone, might reasonably be referred 
to natural principles of which we were ignorant, or 
resolved into some happy combination of accidental 
circumstances. For our purpose, it is quite sufficient 
if there be a considerable number which no sober judg- 
ment would attempt to deprive of their supernatural 
character, by any supposition of our ignorance of natural 
laws, or of exaggeration in the narrative. Raising the 
dead and giving sight to the blind by a word, feeding a 
multitude with the casual provisions which an Individual 
among them had with him, healing persons at a dis- 
tance, and walking on the water, are facts, even sepa- 
rately taken, far beyond the conceivable effects of 
artifice or accident ; and much more so, when they 
meet together in one and the same history. And here 
Hume's argument from general experience is in point, 
which at least proves that the ordinary powers of nature 
are unequal to the production of works of tliis kind. It 
becomes, then, a balance of opposite probabilities, whe- 
ther gratuitously to suppose a multitude of perfectly un- 
known causes, and these, moreover, meeting in one and 
the same history, or to have recourse to one, and that a 
known power, then Miraculously exerted for an extraor- 
dinary and worthy object. We may safely say no sound 
reasoner will hesitate on which alternative to decide. 
While, then, a fair proportion of the Scripture Miracles 
are indisputably deserving of their name, but a weak 
objection can be derived from the case of the few which, 
owing to accidental circumstances, bear, at the present 
day, less decisive marks of supernatural agency. For, 
be it remembered, (and it is a strong confirmatory proof 
that the Jewish and Christian Miracles are really what 
they profess to be,) that though the Miraculous charac- 
ter of some of them is more doubtful in one Age than 
in another, yet the progress of Science has made no ap- 
proximation to a general explication of them on natural 
principles. While discoveries in Optics and Chemistry 
liave accounted for a host of apparent Miracles, they 
hardly touch upon those of the Jewish and Christian 
systems. Here is no phantasmagoria to be detected, 
no analysis or synthesis of substances, ignitions, explo- 


T yanaeus. 


Tests be- 
tween rea ' 

c les de- 

the defini- 
tion of the 

sions, and other customary resources of the juggler's 
art.* But, as before, we shall best be able to estimate 
their character in this respect, by contrasting them with 
other occurrences which have sometimes been consi- 
dered Miraculous. Thus, too, a second line of difference 
will be drawn between them and the mass of rival 
prodigies, whether Religious or otherwise, to which they 
are often compared. 

A Miracle then, as far as it is an evidence of divine 
interposition, being an ascertained anomaly in an esta- 
blished system, or an event without assignable Physical 
cause, those facts of course have no title to the name 

1. Which may be referred to misstatement in the 

Such are many of the prodigies of the Heathen My- 
thology and History, which have been satisfactorily events mis- 
traced to an exaggeration of natural events : e. g. stated. 
the fables of the Cyclops, Centaurs, of the annual 
transformation of a Scythian nation into wolves, as 
related by Herodotus, &c. Or natural facts allegorized^ 
as in the fable of Scylla and Charybdis. Or where 
the fact may be explained by supplying a probable 
omission ; as we should account for a story of a man 
sailing in the air, by supposing a balloon described. f 
Or where the Miracle is but verbal, as the poetical 
prodigy of thunder without clouds ; which is little 
better than a play upon words, for, supposing it to 
occur, it would not be called thunder. Or as when 
Herodotus speaks of wool growing on trees ; for, even 
were it in substance the same as wool, it could not be 
called so without a contradiction in terms. Or where 
the Miracle is one simply of degree, for then exaggera- 
tion is more easily conceivable ; thus many supposed 
visions may have been but natural dreams. Or where 
it depends on the combination of a multitude of distinct 
circumstances, each of which is necessary for the proof 
of its supernatural character, and where, as in fine 
experiments, a small mistake is of vast consequence. 
As those which depend on a coincidence of time, which 
it is difficult for any persons to have ascertained; 
e. g. the exclamation which Apollonius is said to have 
uttered concerning the assassination of Domitianus at 
the time of its taking place ; and, again, the alleged fact 
of his appearing at Puteoli on the same morning in which 
he was tried at Rome. Such, too, in some degree is 
the professed revelation made to St. Basil, who is said 
to have been Miraculously informed of the death of the 
Emperor Julian at the very moment that it took place. J 
Here we may instance many stories of apparitions ; 
as the popular one concerning the appearance of an 
individual to the club he used to frequent at the moment 
after his death, who was afterwards discovered to have 
escaped from his nurses in a fit of delirium shortly before 
it took place, and actually to have joined his friends. 
We may add the case related to M. Bonnet, of a 
woman who pretended to know what was passing at a 
given time at any part of the globe ; and who was 
detected by the simple expedient of accurately marking 
the time, and comparing her account with the fact. 
In the same class must be reckoned not a few of the 
answers of the Heathen Oracles, if it be worth while to 

* See Farmer, ch.i. sec. 3. 

t Bentham, Preuveg Judiciaires, liv. viii. ch. x. 

J Middleton, Free Inquiry. 

Bentham, Prewt* Jutticiairei, liv. viii. ch. x. 



Biography, allude to them ; as that which informed Croesus of his 
'**~~v~~~s occupation at a certain time agreed upon. In the 
Gospel, the nobleman's son begins to amend at the very 
time that Christ speaks the word ; but this circumstance 
does not constitute, it merely increases the Miracle. The 
argument from Prophecy is in this point of view some- 
what deficient in simplicity and clearness ; as implying 
the decision of many previous questions, e. g. as to the 
existence of the professed prediction before the event, 
the interval between the Prophecy and its accomplish- 
ment, the completeness of its accomplishment, &c. 
Hence Prophecy affords a more learned and less popular 
proof of divine interposition than Physical Miracles, 
and, except in cases where it contributes a very strong 
evidence, is commonly of inferior cogency. 

2. Those which from suspicious circumstances attend- 
ing them may not unfairly be referred to an unknown 
Physical cause. 

Events AS those which take place in departments of nature 

jfemble i| ttle un( j er stood, e. g. Miracles of Electricity. Again, 
unknown an assemblage of Miracles confined to one line of 
cause. extraordinary exertion in some measure suggests the 
idea of a cause short of divine. For while their num- 
ber evinces a wish to display, their similarity argues a 
defect in, power. This remark is prejudicial to the 
Miracles of the primitive Church, which consisted almost 
entirely of exorcisms and cures ; to the Pythagorean, 
which were principally Miracles of sagacity; and again, 
to the wonders of the tomb of the Abbe" Paris, which were 
limited to cures, and cures too of particular diseases. 
While the Miracles of Scripture are frugally dispensed 
as regards their object and seasons, they are endlessly 
varied in their nature ; like the work of one who is not 
wasteful of his riches, yet can be munificent when 
occasion calls for it. 

Here we may notice tentative Miracles, as Paley 
terms them, i. e. where out of many trials only some 
succeed ; for inequality of success seems to imply 
accident, in other words, the combination of unknown 
Physical causes. Such are the cures of scrofula by 
the King's touch, and those effected in the Heathen 
Temples ;* and again, those of the tomb of the Abbe 
Paris, there being but eight or nine well authenticated 
cures out of the multitude of trials that were made.t 
One of the peculiarities of the cures ascribed to Christ 
is his invariable success. J 

Here, for a second reason, diffidence in the agent 
casts suspicion on the reality of professed Miracles ; for 
at least we have the sanction of his own opinion for 
supposing them to be the effect of accident or unknown 

Temporary Miracles also, as many of the Jansenist 
and other extraordinary cures, may be similarly 
accounted for ; for if ordinary causes can undo, it is not 
improbable they may be able originally to effect. The 
restoration of Lazarus and the rest were restorations 
to their former condition, which was mortal ; their subse- 
quent dissolution, then, in the course of nature, does not 
interfere with the completeness of the previous Miracle. 

The Jansenist cures are also unsatisfactory, as being 

* Stillingfleet, Orig. Sacr. book ii. ch. x. sec. 9. 

t Douglas, Criterion, p. 133. 

t Ibid. p. 260, cites the following texts : Matt. ch. iv. v. 23, 24 ; 
ch. viit. v. 16 ; ch. ix. v. 35 ; ch. xii. v. 15 ; ch. xiv. v. 12 ; Luke, ch. iv. 
v. 40; ch. vi. v 19. 

$ Douglas, Criterion, p. 190. Middleton, Free Inquiry, iv. sec. 3. 

gradual, and, for the same reason, the professed lique- Apollonfos 
faction of St. Januarius's blood ; a progressive effect Ty anaeus - 
being a characteristic, as it seems, of the operations of Mi ~i 
nature. Hence, those Miracles are most perspicuous 
which are wrought at the word of command; as those "'"V"" 1 " 
of Christ and his Apostles. For this as well as other 
reasons, incomplete Miracles, as imperfect cures, are no 
evidence of supernatural agency ; and here, again, we 
have to instance the cures effected at the tomb of the 
Abbe Paris. 

Again, the use of means is suspicious; for a Miracle 
may almost be defined to be an event without means. 
Hence, however miraculous the production of ice 
might appear to the Siamese considered abstractedly, 
they would hardly so account it in an actual experi- 
ment, when they saw the preparation of nitre, &c. 
which in that climate must have been used for the 
purpose. In the case of the Steam-vessel or the Bal- 
loon, which, it has been sometimes said, would appear 
Miraculous to persons unacquainted with Science, the 
Chemical and Mechanical apparatus employed could 
not fail to rouse suspicion in intelligent minds. Hence 
professed Miracles are open to suspicion, if confined to 
one spot ; as were the Jansenist cures. For they then 
become connected with a necessary condition, which is 
all we understand by a means : e. g. such may often 
be imputed to a confederacy, which (as is evident) can 
from its nature seldom shift the scene of action. 
" The Cock-lane ghost could only knock and scratch in 
one place ;"* the Apostles, on the contrary, are repre- 
sented as dispersed about, and working Miracles in 
various parts of the world. f These remarks are of course 
inapplicable in a case where the apparent means are 
known to be inadequate, and are not constantly used ; 
as our Lord's occasional application of clay to the eyes, 
which, while it proves that he did not need its instru- 
mentality, convey also an intimation, that all the effi- 
cacy of means is derived from his appointment. 

3. Those which may be referred to the supposed 
operation of a cause known to exist. 

Professed Miracles of knowledge or mental ability Events 
are often unsatisfactory for this reason ; being in many referable 
cases referrible to the ordinary powers of the intellect. to the 
Of this kind is the boasted elegance of the style of the ^^00 
Koran, alleged by Mohammed in evidence of his divine O f a known 
mission. Hence most of the Miracles of Apollonius, cause. 
consisting, as they do, in knowing the thoughts of 
others, and predicting the common events of life, are 
no criterion of a supernatural gift ; it being only under 
certain circumstances that such power can clearly be 
discriminated from the natural exercise of acuteness 
and sagacity. Accordingly, though a knowledge of 
the hearts of men is claimed by Christ, it seems to be 
claimed rather with a view to prove to Christians the 
doctrine of his divine nature, than to attest to the world 
his authority as a messenger from God. Again, St. 
Paul's prediction of shipwreck on his voyage to Rome 
was intended to prevent it ; and so was the prediction 
of Agabus concerning the same Apostle's approaching 
perils at Jerusalem. J For a second reason, then, the 
argument from Prophecy is a less simple and striking 
proof of divine agency than a display of Miracles ; It 

* Key's Lectures, book i. ch. xvi. sec. 10. 

t Douglas, Criterion, p. 337. 

1 AcU, ch. xxi. v. 1014 ; ch. xxvii. v. 10, 21. 



Jiography. being impossible in all caws to show that the things 
* ^y^^s foretold were certainly beyond the ordinary faculties of 
the mind to have discovered. Yet when this is shown, 
Prophecy is one of the most powerful of conceivable 
evidences ; strict fore-knowledge being 1 a faculty not 
only above the powers but even above the comprehen- 
sion of the human mind. 

And much more fairly may apparent Miracles be 
attributed to the supposed operation of an existing 1 
Phvsical cause, when they are parallel to its known 
effects; as Chemical, Meteorological, &c. phenomena. 
For though the cause may not perhaps appear in the 
particular case, yet it is known to have acted in others 
similar to it. For this reason, no stress can be laid 
on accounts of luminous crosses in the air, human 
shadows in the clouds, appearances of men and horses 
on hills, and spectres when they are speechless, as is 
commonly the case, ordinary causes being 1 assignable 
in all of these ; or, again, on the pretended liquefaction 
of the blood of St. Januarius, or on the exorcism of 
demoniacs, which is the most frequent Miracle in the 
primitive Church. The remark applies moreover to 
cases of healing, so far as they are not instantaneous, 
complete, &c. ; conditions which exclude the supposi- 
tion of natural means being employed, and which are 
strictly fulfilled in the Gospel narrative. Again, some 
cures are known as possible effects of an excited ima- 
gination ; particularly when the disease arises from ob- 
struction and other disorders of the blood and spirits, as 
the cures which took place at the tomb of the Abbe Paris.* 
We should be required to add those cases of healing 
in Scripture, where the faith of the petitioners was a 
necessary condition of the cure, were not these com- 
paratively few, and some of them such as no imagina- 
tion could have effected, (e. g. the restoration of sight,) 
and some wrought on persons absent ; and were not 
faith often required, not of the patient, but of the rela- 
tive or friend who brought him to be healed. t The 
force of imagination may also be alleged to account 
for the supposed visions and voices which some enthu- 
siasts have believed they saw and heard: e. g. the 
trances of Montanus and his followers, the visions 
related by some of the Fathers, and those of the 
Romish Saints; lastly, Mahomet's pretended night- 
iourney to Heaven : all which, granting the sincerity of 
the reporters, may not unreasonably be referred to the 
effects of disease or of an excited imagination. Such, 
it is obvious, might be some of the Scripture Miracles, 
e. g. the various appearances of Angels to individuals, 
the vision of St. Paul when he was transported to the 
third Heaven, &c. which accordingly were wrought, as 
Scripture professes, for purposes distinct from that of 
evidencing the doctrine, viz. in order to become the 
medium of a Revelation, or to confirm faith, &c. In 
other cases, however, the supposition of imagination is 
excluded by the vision having been witnessed by more 
than one person, as the Transfiguration ; or by its cor- 
respondence with distinct visions seen by others, as in 
the circumstances which attended the conversion of 
Cornelius ; or by its connection with a permanent 
Miracle, as the appearance of Christ to St. Paul on his 

* Douglas, Criterion, p. 172. 

t Mark, ch. x. v. 51, 52. Matt. ch. viii. v. 513. See Douglas, 
Criterion, p. 258. " Where persons petitioned themselves for a cure, 
a declaration of their faith was often required, that none might be 
encouraged to try experiments out of curiosity, in a manner which 
would have been very indecent, and have tended to many bad 
consequences." Doddridge, on Acts, ch. ix. v. 34. 

conversion, with the blindness in consequence, which Apollomus 
remained three days.* Tyanasus. 

Much more inconclusive are those which are actually M . ~ 
attended by a Physical cause known or smpectcd to be \^J, '^, 
adequate to their production. Some of those who were ""~ v *"~ < 
cured at the tomb of the Abbe Paris were at the time 
making use of the usual remedies; the person whose in- 
flamed eye was relieved was, during his attendance at the 
sepulchre, under the care of an eminent oculist ; another 
was cured of a lameness in the knee by the mere effort 
to kneel at the tomb.f Arnobius challenges the 
Heathens to produce one of the pretended Miracles of 
their Gods performed without the application of some 
prescription. J Again, Hilarion's cures of wounds, as 
mentioned by Jerome, were accompanied by the appli- 
cation of consecrated oil. The Apostles indeed made 
use of oil in some of their cures, but they more fre- 
quently healed without a medium of any kind.|| A 
similar objection might be urged against the narrative 
of Hezekiah's recovery from sickness, both on account 
of the application of the figs and the slowness of the 
cure, were it anywhere stated to have been Mira- 
culous. IT Again, the dividing of the Red Sea, accom- 
panied as it was by a strong east wind, would not have 
been clearly Miraculous, had it not been effected at the 
word of Moses. Much suspicion, too, is (as some 
think) cast upon the miraculous nature of the fire, &c. 
which put a stop to Julian's attempt to rebuild the 
Temple at Jerusalem, by the possibility of referring it 
to the operation of Chemical principles. Lastly, answers 
to prayer, however providential, are not Miraculous ; 
for in granting them, God acts by means of, not out of, 
his usual system, making the ordinary course of things 
subservient to a gracious purpose. Such events, then, 
instead of evidencing the divine approbation to a certain 
cause, must be proved from the goodness of the cause 
to be what they are interpreted to be. Yet by sup- 
posed answers to prayer, appeals to Heaven, pretended 
judgments, &c. enthusiasts in most ages have wished 
to sanction their claims to divine inspiration. By 
similar means the pretensions of the Romish hierarchy 
have been supported. 

Here we close our remarks on the criterion of a Observa 
Miracle ; which, it has been seen, is no one definite J. 10RS . n tne 
peculiarity, applicable to all cases, but the combined 
force of a number of varying circumstances determining 
our judgment in each particular instance. It might 
even be said, that a determinate criterion is almost 
inconceivable. For when once settled, it might appear, 
as was above remarked, to be merely the Physical ante- 
cedent of the extraordinary fact ; while, on the other 
hand, from the direction thus given to the ingenuity of 
impostors, it would soon itself need a criterion to dis- 
tinguish it from its imitations. Certain it is, that the 
great variety of circumstances under which the Chris- 
tian Miracles were wrought, furnishes an evidence for 
their divine origin, in addition to that derived from their 
publicity, clearness, number, instantaneous production, 
and completeness. The exorcism of demoniacs, how- 
ever, has already been noticed as being, perhaps, in every 
case deficient in the proof of its Miraculous nature. 

* Paley's Evidences, part i. prop. 2. 

* Douglas, Criterion, p. 143, 184, note. 
J Stillingfleet, book ii. ch. x. sec. 9. 

Middleton, Free Inquiry, iv. sec. 2. 

|"| Mark, ch. vi. v. 13. 

2 Kins*, ch. xx. v. 47. 



Biography. Accordingly, this class of Miracles seems not to have 
** -v^-*-* been intended as a primary evidence of a divine mission, 
but to be addressed to those who already admitted the 
existence of Evil Spirits, in proof of the power of Christ 
and his followers over them.* To us, then, it is rather 
a doctrine than an evidence, manifesting 1 our Lord's 
power, as other doctrines instance his mercy.- -With 
regard to the argument from Prophecy, which some 
have been disposed to abandon on account of the 
number of conditions necessary for the proof of its 
supernatural character, it should be remembered, that 
inability to fix the exact boundary of natural sagacity is 
no objection to such Prophecies as are undeniably 
beyond it ; and that the mere inconclusiveness of some 
in Scripture, as proofs of divine prescience, has no posi- 
tive force against others contained in it, which furnish 
a full, lasting-, and in many cases, growing 1 evidence of 
its divinity.f 

IV. On the direct Evidence for the Christian 

Important as are the inquiries which we have hitherto 
prosecuted, it is obvious that they do not lead to any 
positive conclusion, whether certain Miraculous accounts 
are true or not. However necessary a direct anomaly in 
the course of nature may be to rouse attention, and an 
important final cause to excite interest and reverence, still 
the quality of the testimony on which the accounts rest 
can alone determine our beliefin. them. The preliminary 
points, however, have been principally dwelt upon, 
because objections founded on them form the strong 
ground of unbelievers, who seem in some degree to 
allow the strength of the direct evidence for the Scrip- 
ture Miracles. Again, an examination of the direct 
evidence is less necessary here, because, though ante- 
cedent questions have not been neglected by Christian 
writers,^ yet the evidence itself, as might be expected, 
has chiefly engaged their attention. Without entering, 
then, into a minute consideration of the facts and argu- 
ments on which the credibility of the Sacred History 
rests, we proceed to contrast the evidence generally 
with that produced for other Miraculous narratives ; 
and thus to complete a comparison which has been 
already instituted, as regards the antecedent probability 
and the criterion of Miracles. 
The Scrip- For the present, then, we forego the advantage which 

ture Mira- ^ e Scripture Miracles have gained in the preceding 

cles have f 

* See Div. Leg. book ix. ch. v. Hence the exercise of this gift 
seems almost to have been confined to Palestine. At Philippi 
St. Paul casts out a spirit of divination in self-defence. Acts, ch. xvi. 
v. 16 18. In the transaction related Acts, ch. xix. v. 11 17, Jews 
are principally concerned. 

j- Some unbelievers have urged the irrelevancy of St. Matthew's 
citations from the Old Testament Prophecies in illustration of the 
events of Christ's life, e.g. ch. ii. v. 15. It must be recollected, how- 
ever, that what is evidence in one age is often not so in another. That 
certain of the texts adduced by the Evangelist furnish at the present 
day no proof of divine prescience, is very true; but, unless some 
kind of argument could have been drawn from them at the time the 
Gospel was written, from traditional interpretations of their sense, 
we can scarcely account for St. Matthew's introducing them. The 
question is, has there been a loss of what was evidence formerly, 
(as is often the case,) or did St. Matthew bring forward as a Prophe- 
tical evidence what was manifestly not so, as if to hurt the effect of 
those other passages, as ch. xxvii. v. 35, which have every appear- 
ance of being real predictions? It has been observed, that Pro- 
phecy in general must be obscure, in order that the events spoken of 
may not be understood before their accomplishment. 

J Especially by Vince, in his valuable Treatise OH the Christian 
Miracles ; and Hey, in his Lectures. 

As Paley, Lyttleton, Leslie, &c. 

sections over all professed facts of a similar nature. Apollonius 
In reality, indeed, the very same evidence which would lvana?us - 
suffice to prove the former, might be inadequate when Miracles, 
offered in behalf of those of the Eclectic School or the C^^_J. 
Romish Church. For the Miracles of Scripture, and far stronger 
no other, are unexceptionable and worthy of a divine evidence in 
agent ; and Bishop Butler has clearly shown, that, in their favour 
a practical question, as the divinity of a professed p^feglg^ 
Revelation must be considered, even the weakest rea- Miracles 
sons are decisive when not counteracted by any opposite though they 
arguments.* Whatever evidence, then, is offered for do . not re " 
them is entirely available to the proof of their actual T 
occurrence ; whereas evidence for the truth of other e q ua n v 
similar accounts, supposing it to exist, would be first strong. 
employed in overcoming the objections which attach 
to them all from their very character, circumstances, 
or object. If, however, we show that the Miracles of 
Scripture as far surpass all others in their direct 
evidence, as they excel them in their a priori proba- 
bility, a much stronger case will be made out in their 
favour, and an additional line of distinction drawn 
between them and others. 

The credibility of Testimony arises from the belief What kind 
we entertain of the character and competency of the pftestimony 

witnesses ; and this is true, not only in the case of 1S * j t re ~ 
i i f r- i i quired for a 

Miracles, but when tacts ot any kind are examined into. Miracle 

It is obvious, that we should be induced to distrust the 
most natural and plausible statement when made by 
an individual whom we suspected of a wish to deceive, 
or of relating facts which he had no sufficient means of 
knowing. Or if we credited his narrative, we should 
do so, not from dependence on the reporter, but from 
its intrinsic likelihood, or from circumstantial evidence. 
In the case of ordinary facts, therefore, we think it 
needless, as indeed it would be endless, to inquire 
rigidly into the credibility of the Testimony by which 
they are conveyed to us, because they in a manner 
speak for themselves. When, however, the information 
is unexpected, or extraordinary, or improbable, our only 
means of determining its truth is by considering the 
credit due to the witnesses ; and then, of course, we 
exercise that right of scrutiny which we before indeed 
possessed, but did not think it worth while to claim. 
A Miracle, then, calls for no distinct species of Testimony 
from that offered for other events, but for a Testimony 
strong in proportion to the improbability of the particular 
fact attested ; and it is as impossible to draw any line, 
or to determine how much is required, as to define the 
quantity and quality of evidence necessary to prove the 
occurrence of an earthquake, or the appearance of any 
meteoric phenomenon. Everything depends on those 
attendant circumstances, of which we have already 
spoken, the object of the Miracle, the occasion, manner, 
and human agent employed. If, e. g. a Miracle were 
said to be wrought for an immoral object, then of course 
the fact would rest on the credibility of the Testimony 
alone, and would challenge the most rigid examination. 
Again, if the object be highly interesting to us, as that 

* The only fair objection that can be made to this statement is, 
that it is antecedently improbable that the Almighty should work 
Miracles with a view to general conviction, without furnishing strong 
evidence that they really occurred. This was noticed above, when 
the antecedent probability of Miracles was discussed. Tliat it is 
unsatisfactory to decide on scanty evidence is no objection, as m 
other most important practical questions we are constantly obliged to 
make up our minds and determine our course of action on insufficient 



iography. professed by the Scripture Miracles, \ve shall naturally 
v^**' be careful in our inquiry, from an anxious fear of being 
deceived. But in any case the Testimony cannot turn 
out to be more than that of competent and honest men ; 
and an inquiry must not be prosecuted under the idea 
of rinding something beyond this, but to obtain proofs 
of this. And since the existence of competency and 
honesty may be established in various ways, it follows 
that the credibility of a given story may be proved by 
distinct considerations, each of which, separately taken, 
might be sufficient for the purpose. It is obvious, 
moreover, as indeed is implied by the very nature of 
Moral evidence, that the proof of its credibility may be 
weaker or stronger, and yet in both cases be a proof ; 
and, hence, that no limit can be put to the conceivable 
accumulation of evidence in its behalf. Provided, then, 
the existing evidence be sufficient to produce a rational 
conviction, it is nothing to the purpose to urge, as has 
sometimes been alleged against the Scripture Miracles, 
that the extraordinary facts might have been proved by 
different or more overpowering evidence. It has been 
said, for instance, that no Testimony can fairly be trusted 
which has not passed the ordeal of a legal examination. 
Yet, calculated as that mode of examination undoubt- 
edly is to elicit truth, surely Truth may be elicited by 
other ways also. Independent and circumstantial 
writers may confirm a fact as satisfactorily as witnesses 
in Court. They may be questioned and cross-questioned, 
and moreover brought up for reexami nation in any 
succeeding Age ; whereas, however great may be the 
talents and experience of the individuals who conducted 
the legal investigation, yet when they have once closed 
it and given in their verdict, we believe upon their credit, 
and we have no means of examining for ourselves. To 
say, however, that this kind of evidence might have 
been added to the other, in the case of the Christian 
Miracles,* is merely to assert that the proof of the cre- 
dibility of Scripture might have been stronger than it 
is; which we have already allowed it might have been, 
without assignable limit. 

The credibility, then, of a Testimony depending on the 
evidence of honesty and competency in those who give 
it, it is prejudicial to their character for honesty. 

1. If desire of gain, power, or other temporal ad- 
vantage may be imputed to them. This would detract 
materially from the authority of Philostratus, even 
supposing him to have been in a situation for ascertain- 
ing the truth of his own narrative ; as he professes to 
write his account of Apollonius at the instance of his 
patroness, the Empress Julia, who is known to have 
favoured the Eclectic cause. Again, the account of the 
Miracle performed on the door-keeper at the cathedral 
at Saragossa, on which Hume insists, rests principally 
upon the credit of the Canons, whose interest was con- 
cerned in its establishment. This remark, indeed, 
obviously applies to the Romish Miracles generally. 
The Christian Miracles, on the contrary, were attested 
by the Apostles, not only without the prospect of 
assignable worldly advantage, but with the certainty and 
after the experience of actual suffering. 

arty spirit. 2 . When there is room for suspecting party spirit 
or rivalry ; as in the Miraculous biographies of the 
Eclectic philosophers ; in those of Loyola and other Saints 

of the rival orders in the Romish Church ; and in the Apollonius 
present Mohammedan accounts of the Miracles of T y ani us. 
Mohammed, which, not to mention other objections to M 
them, are composed with an evident design of rivalling v^ ^/ 
those of Christ.* 

3. Again, a tale once told may be persisted in from Shame. 
shame of retracting, after the motives which first gave 

rise to it have ceased to act, even at the risk of suffer- 
ing. This remark cannot apply to the case of the 
Apostles, until some reason is assigned for their getting 
up their Miraculous story in the first instance. If 
necessary, however, it could be brought with force 
against any argument drawn from the perseverance of 
the witnesses for the cures professedly wrought by 
Vespasianus, "postqnam in/Hum mendacio pretium;" 
for, as they did not suffer for persisting in their story, 
had they retracted they would have gratuitously con- 
fessed their own want of principle. 

4. A previous character for falsehood is almost fatal Character 
to the credibility of a witness of an extraordinary nar- for false ' 
rative, e. g. the notorious insincerity and frauds of the hood ' 
Church of Rome in other things, are in themselves 
enough to throw a strong suspicion on its Testimony 

to its own Miracles. The primitive Church is in some 
degree open to a charge of a similar nature. t Or an 
intimacy with suspicious characters, e. g. Prince Hohen- 
lohe's connection with the Romish Church and that of 
Philostratus with the Eclectics, since both the Eclectic 
and Romish Schools have countenanced the practice of 
what are called pious frauds. 

5. Inconsistencies or prevarications in the Testimony, Marks of 
marks of unfairness, exaggeration, suppression of par- unfairness. 
ticulars, fyc. Of all these we convicted Philostratus, 

whose memoir forms a remarkable contrast to the 
artless and candid narratives of the Evangelists. The 
Books of the New Testament, containing as they do 
separate accounts of the same transactions, admit of a 
minute cross-examination, which terminates so decid- 
edly in favour of their fidelity, as to recommend them 
highly on the score of honesty, even independently of 
the known sufferings of the writers. 

6. Lastly, witnesses may be objected to who have Facilities 
the opportunity of being dishonest ; as those who * r disho- 
write at a distance from the time and place of the nest y* 
professed Miracle, or without mentioning particulars, 

&c. But on these points we shall speak immediately 
in a different connection. 

Secondly, witnesses must be, not only honest, but Tests of 
competent also, i. e. such as have ascertained the facts competency 
which they attest, or who report after examination. 
Here then we notice, 

1. Deficiency of examination implied in the circum- fromthecir- 
stances of the case. As when it is first published in an cumstauces 
age or cowitry remote from the professed time, and 
scene of action ; for in that case room is given to sus- 
pect failure of memory, imperfect information, &c. ; 
whereas to write in the presence of those who know the 
circumstances of the transactions, is an appeal which 
increases the force of the Testimony by associating them 
in it. Accounts, however, whether Miraculous or 
otherwise, possess very little intrinsic authority, when 
written so far from the time or place of the transactions 
recorded, as the Biographies of Pythagoras, Apollonius, 

* Some of our Saviour's Miracles, however, were subjected to 
judicial examination. See John, ch. v. and ix. In v. 16 the measures 
of the Pharisees are described by the technical word, \liuxoi. 

See Professor Lee's Persian Tracts, p. 446, 447. 
Hey, Lectures, book i. ch. xii. sec. 15. 




From the 
character of 
the wit- 


asm, or cre- 

Gregory Thaumaturgus, Mohammed, Loyola, or Xavier.* 
The opposite circumstances of the Christian Testimony 
have often been pointed out. Here we may particu- 
larly notice the providential dispersion of the Jews over 
the Roman Empire before the Age of Christ ; by which 
means the Apostle's Testimony was given in Heathen 
countries, as well as .in Palestine, in the face of those 
who had both the will and the power to contradict it if 

While the Testimony of contemporaries is necessary to 
guarantee the truth of ordinary History, Miracles require 
the Testimony of eye-w itncsses. For ordinary events are 
believed in part /row their being natural, but Testimony 
being the main support of a Miraculous narrative must 
in that case be the best of its kind. Again, we may re- 
quire the Testimony to be circumstantial in reference 
to dates, places, persons, &c. ; for the absence of these 
seems to imply an imperfect knowledge, and at least 
gives less opportunity of inquiry to those who wish to 
ascertain its fidelity, t 

Miracles which are not lasting do not admit of ade- 
quate examination ; as visions, extraordinary voices, 
&c. The cure of diseases, on the other hand, is a per- 
manent evidence of a divine interposition ; particu- 
larly such cures of bodily imperfections as are unde- 
niably Miraculous in their nature, as well as perma- 
nent ; to these, then, our Lord especially appeals in 
evidence of his divine mission. J Lastly, statements are 
unsatisfactory in which theMiracle is described as wrought 
before a very few ; for room is allowed for suspecting 
mistake, or an understanding between the witnesses. Or, 
on the other hand, those wrought in a confused crowd ; 
such are many standing Miracles of the Romanists, 
which are exhibited with the accompaniment of im- 
posing pageants, or on a stage, or at a distance, or in 
the midst of candles and incense. Our Saviour, on the 
contrary, bids the lepers he had cleansed show them- 
selves to the Priests, and make the customary offering 
as a memorial of their cures. And when he appeared 
to the Apostles after his Resurrection, he allowed them 
to examine his hands and feet.|| Those of the Scripture 
Miracles which were wrought before few, or in a crowd, 
were permanent ; as cures, IT and the raising of Jairus's 
daughter ; or were of so vast a nature, that a crowd 
could not prevent the witnesses from ascertaining the 
fact, as the standing still of the Sun at the word of 

2. Deficiency of examination implied in the character, 
8)C. of the witnesses: e. g. if there be any suspicion of 
their derangement, or if there be an evident defect in 
bodily or mental faculties which are necessary for ex- 
amining the Miracle, as when the intellect or senses 
are impaired. Number in the witnesses refutes charges 
of this nature ; for it is not conceivable that many 
should be deranged or mistaken at once, and in the same 

Enthusiasm, ignorance, or habitual credulity, are 
defects which no number of witnesses removes. The 
Jansenist Miracles took place in the most ignorant and 
superstitious district of Paris.** Alexander Pseudo- 

* Paley, Evidences, part i. prop. 2. 

) The vagueness of the accounts of Miraculous interpositions re- 
lated by the Fathers is pointed out by Middleton. (Free Inquiry, ii. 
p. 22.) 

t Matt. ch. xi. v. 5. Luke, ch. v. v. 14 ; ch. xvii. v. 14. 

|| Luke, ch. xxiv. v. 39, 40. 1f Mark, ch. viii. v. 22 26. 

** The Fauxbourg St. Marcel. Less. 

mantis practised his arts among the Paphlagonians, a Apollonius 
barbarous people. Popish Miracles and the juggles of Tyanaeus. 
the Heathen Priests have been most successful in times Miracles 
of ignorance. v _ _.< 

Yet while we reasonably object to gross ignorance Whether 
or besotted credulity in witnesses for a Miraculous theTesti- 
story, we must guard against the opposite extreme of monv 
requiring the Testimony of men of Science and general f n 
knowledge. Men of Philosophical minds are often too cessary. 
fond of inquiring into the causes and mutual depend- 
ence of events, of arranging, theorizing, and refining, 
to be accurate and straightforward in their account of ex- 
traordinary occurrences. Instead of giving a plain state- 
ment of facts, they are insensibly led to correct the evi- 
dence of their senses with a view to account for the phe- 
nomenon ; as Chinese painters, who, instead of drawing 
in perspective, give lights and shadows their supposed 
meaning, and depict the prospect as they think it should 
be, not as it is.* As Miracles differ from other events 
only when considered relatively to a general system, it 
is obvious that the same persons are competent to 
attest Miraculous facts who are suitable witnesses of 
corresponding natural ones. If a peasant's Testimony 
be admitted to the phenomenon of meteoric stones, he 
may evidence the fact of an unusual and unaccountable 
darkness. A Physician's certificate is not needed to 
assure us of the illness of a friend ; nor is it necessary 
to attest the simple fact that he has instantaneously 
recovered. It is important to bear this in mind, for 
some writers argue as if there were something intrinsi- 
cally defective in the Testimony given by ignorant 
persons to Miraculous occurrences.f To say, that un- 
learned persons are not judges of the fact of a Mira- 
culous event, is only so far true as all Testimony is 
fallible and liable to be distorted by prejudice. Every 
one, not only superstitious persons, is apt to interpret 
facts his own way. If the superstitious see too many 
prodigies, men of Science may see too few. The faci- 
lity with which the Japanese ascribed the ascent of a 
balloon, which they witnessed at St. Petersburgh, to the 
powers of Magic, (a circumstance which has been 
sometimes urged against the admission of unlearned 
Testimony,!) is only the conduct of theorists accounting 
for a novel phenomenon on the principles of their own 

It may be said, that ignorance prevents a witness from 
discriminating between natural and supernatural events, 
and thus weakens the authority of his judgment con- 
cerning the Miraculous nature of a fact. It is true ; 
but if the fact be recorded, we may judge for ourselves 
on that point. Yet it may be safely said, that not even 
before persons in the lowest state of ignorance could any- 
great variety of professed Miracles be displayed with- 
out their distinguishing rightly on the whole between 
the effects of nature and those of a power exterior to it ; 
though in particular instances they doubtless might be 
mistaken. Much more would this be the case with the 
lower ranks of a civilized people. Practical intelligence 
is insensibly diffused from class to class ; if the upper 
ranks are educated, numbers besides them, without any 
formal and systematic knowledge, almost instinctively 

* It is well known, that those persons are accounted the best 
transcribers of MSS. who are ignorant of the language transcribed; 
the habit of correcting being almost involuntary in men of letters. 

f- Hume, on Miracles, part ii. reason 1. 

* Bentham, Prevves Judiciaires, liv. viii. ch. ii. 



nal wit- 
nesses of 
the Chris- 
tian Mira- 

Biography, discriminate between natural and supernatural events. 

* "V"*"' Here Science has little advantage over common sense ; 
a peasant is quite as certain that a resurrection from the 
dead is Miraculous as the most able physiologist.* 

Character The original witnesses of our Saviour's Miracles were 

of the ongi- ver y f ar f rom a dull or ignorant race. The inhabitants of 

nnl ..-I* f 

a maritime and border country, as Galilee was, engaged, 
moreover, in commerce, composed of natives of various 
countries, and therefore from the nature of the case 
acquainted with more than one language, have neces- 
sarily their intellects sharpened and their minds consi- 
derably enlarged, and are of all men least disposed to 
acquiesce in marvellous tales. f Such a people must 
have examined before they suffered themselves to be 
excited in the degree the Evangelists describe. J But 
even supposing that those among them who were in 
consequence convinced of the divine mission of Christ, 
were of a more superstitious turn of mind than the 
rest, still this is not sufficient to account for their con- 
viction. For superstition, while it might facilitate the 
bare admission of Miraculous events, would at the same 
time weaken their practical influence. Miracles ceas- 
ing 1 to be accounted strange, would cease to be striking 
also. Whereas the conviction wrought in the minds of 
these men was no bare and indolent assent to facts 
which they might have thought antecedently probable 
or not improbable, but a conversion in principles and 
mode of life, and a consequent sacrifice of all that nature 
holds dear, to which none would submit except after 
the fullest examination of the authority enjoining it. If 
additional evidence be required, appeal may be made to 
the multitude of Gentiles in Greece and Asia, in whose 
principles and mode of living, belief in the Miracles 
made a change even more striking and complete than 
was effected in the case of the Jews. In a word, then, 
the conversion which Christ and his Apostles effected 
invalidates the charge of blind credulity in the wit- 
nesses ; the practical nature of the belief produced 
proving that it was founded on an examination of the 

Influence of Again, it weakens the authority of the witnesses, if 
superiors, their belief can be shown to have been promoted by the 
influence of superiors ; for then they virtually cease to 
be themselves witnesses, and report the facts on the 
authority (as it were) of their patrons. It is observable, 
that the national conversions of the middle Ages gener- 
ally began with the Princes and descended to their 
subjects ; those of the Apostolic Age obviously pro- 
ceeded in the reverse order. 

Miracles ^ ^ s a l most f ata l to the validity of the Testimony, if 

wrought in the Miracle attested coincides with a previous system, 

* It has been observed, that more suitable witnesses could not be 
selected of the fact of a Miraculous draught of fishes than the fisher- 
men of the lake wherein it took place, 
t See Less, Opuscul. 

J If, on the other hand, we would see with how unmoved an uncon- 
cern men receive accounts of Miracles, when they believe them to be 
events of everyday occurrence, we may turn to the conduct of the 
African Christians in the Age of Austin, whom that Father in vain 
endeavoured to interest in Miraculous stories of relics, &c. by formal 
accounts and certificates of the cures wrought by them. See Middle- 
ton, p. 138. The stir, then, which the Miracles of Christ made in 
Galilee implies, that they were not received with an indolent belief. 
It must be noticed, moreover, in opposition to the statement of some 
unbelievers, that great numbers of the Jews were converted. Acts, 
ch. ii. v. 41 ; ch. iv. v. 4 ; ch. v. v. 13, 14 ; ch. vi. v. 7 ; ch. ix. 
v. 35 ; ch. xv. v. 5 ; ch. xxi. v. 20. On this subject, see Jenkin, on 
the Chrittian Religion, vol. ii. ch. xxxii. 
Mosheim, Eccl. Hut. cent. vi. viii. ix. 

or supports a cause already embraced by the witnesses. Apolloniu* 
Men are always ready to believe what natters their own ^y 3 **- 
opinions, and of all prepossessions those of Religion Miracles. 
are the strongest. There is so much in the principle ^_*- -^ 
of all Religion that is true and good, so much conform- support of 
able to the best feelings of our nature, which per- an esta * 
ceives itself to be weak and guilty, and looks out for an bli ! hed Re ' 
unseen and superior being for guidance and support ; ll = lon- 
and the particular worship in which each individual is 
brought up, is so familiarized to him by habit, so en- 
deared to his affections by the associations of place and 
the recollections of past years, so connected too with 
the ordinary transactions and most interesting events 
of life, that even should that form be irrational and 
degrading, still it will in most cases preserve a strong 
influence over his mind, and dispose him to credit upon 
slight examination any arguments adduced in its 
defence. Hence an account of Miracles in confirma- 
tion of their own Religion will always be favourably 
received by men whose creed has already lead them to 
expect such interpositions of superior beings. This 
consideration invalidates at once the testimony com- 
monly offered for Pagan and Popish Miracles, and in 
no small degree that for the Miracles of the primitive 
Church. The professed cures of Vespasianus were per- 
formed in honour of Serapis in the midst of his wor- 
shippers ; and the people of Saragossa, who attested 
the miracle wrought in the case of the door-keeper of 
the Cathedral, had previous faith in the virtues of 
holy oil.* 

Here the evidence for the Scripture Miracles is No Miracles 
unique. In other cases the previous system has sup- but those 
ported the Miracles, but here the Miracles introduced g 6 ^*^ 111 
and upheld the system. The Christian Miracles in have intro- 
particular! were received on their own merits ; and duced a 
the admission of them became the turning point in the Religion. 
creed and life of the witnesses, which thenceforth took 
a new and altogether different direction. But, more- 
over, as if their own belief in them were not enough, 
the Apostles went out of their way to debar any one 
from the Christian Church who did not believe them as 
well as themselves.^ Not content that men should be 
converted on any ground, they fearlessly challenged 
refutation, by excluding from their fellowship of suffer- 
ing any who did not formally assent, as a necessary 
condition of admittance and first article of faith, to one 
of the most stupendous of all the Miracles, their Mas- 
ter's Resurrection from the dead ; a procedure this, 
which at once evinces their own unqualified conviction 
of the fact, and associates, too, all their converts with 
them as believers in a Miracle contemporary with 
themselves. Nor is this all a Religious creed neces- 
sarily prejudices the mind against admitting the Miracles 
of hostile Sects, in the very same proportion in which it 

* It has been noticed as a suspicious circumstance in the testi- 
mony to the reported Miracle wrought in the case of the Confessors 
in the persecution of the Arian Hunneric, that Victor Vitensis, one of 
the principal witnesses, though writing in Africa when it professedly 
took place, and where the individuals thus distinguished were then 
living, yet refers only to one of them, who was then living at the Atha- 
nasian Court at Constantinople, and held in particular honour by 
Zeno and the Empress. " If any one doubt the fact, let him go to 
Constantinople." See the whole evidence in Milner's Churcl. His- 
tory, cent. v. ch. xi. ; who, however, strongly defends the Miracle. 
Gibbon pretends to do the same, with a view to provide a rival to tne 
Gospel Miracles. 

} Not to mention those of Moses and Elijah. 

+ Campbell, on Miracles, partii. seo. 1. 



the doctrine 
of a future 
life, and not 
the Mira- 
cles, in- 
iluced the 
first eon - 
verts to 

Love of the 

leads it to acquiesce in such as support its own dog- 
mas.* The Christian Miracles, then, have the strongest 
of conceivable attestations, in the conversion of many 
who at first were prejudiced against them, and in the 
extorted confession of enemies, who, by the embarass- 
ment which the admission occasioned them, showed at 
least that they had not made it till after a full and 
accurate investigation of the extraordinary facts. 

It has been sometimes objected, that the minds of 
the first converts might be wrought upon by the doc- 
trine of a future state which the Apostles preached, and 
be thus persuaded to admit the Miracles without a 
rigorous examination.t But, as Paley well replies, 
evidence of the truth of the promise would still be 
necessary ; especially as men rather demand than dis- 
pense with proof when some great and unexpected 
good is reported to them. Yet it is more than doubt- 
ful, whether the promise of a future life would excite 
this interest : for the desire of immortality, though a 
natural, is no permanent or powerful feeling, and fur- 
nishes no principle of action. Most men, even in a 
Christian country, are too well satisfied with this 
world to look forward to another with any great and 
settled anxiety. Supposing immortality to be a good, 
it is one too distant to warm or influence. Much less 
are they disposed to sacrifice present comfort, and strip 
themselves of former opinions and habits, for the mere 
contingency of future happiness. The hope of another 
life, grateful as it is under affliction, will not induce a 
man to rush into affliction for the sake of it. The in- 
convenience of a severe complaint is not outbalanced 
by the pleasure of a remedy. On the other hand, 
though we know gratuitous declarations of coming 
judgments and divine wrath may for a time frighten 
weak minds, they will neither have effect upon strong 
ones, nor produce a permanent and comistent effect 
upon any. Persons who are thus wrought upon in the 
present day, believe the denunciations because they are 
in Scripture, not Christianity because it contains them. 
The authority of Revealed Religion is taken for granted 
both by the preacher and his hearers. On the whole, 
then, it seems inconceivable, that the promise or threat 
of a future life should have supplied the place of pre- 
vious belief in Christianity, or have led the witnesses 
to admit the Miracles on a slight examination. 

Lastly, love of the marvellous, of novelty, $c. may 
be mentioned as a principle influencing the mind to 
acquiesce in professed Miracles without full examina- 
tion. Yet such feelings are more adapted to exagge- 
rate and circulate a story than to invent it. We can 
trace their influence very clearly in the instances of 
Apollonius and the Abb6 Paris, both of whom had 
excited attention by their eccentricities before they 
gained reputation for extraordinary power.J Such 
principles, moreover, are not in general practical, and 

* Campbell, OH Miracles, part i. sec. 4. 

) Gibbon particularly, ch. xv. 

{ See above, the memoir of Apollonius. Of the Abbe, Mosheim 
says, "Diem vix obierat, voluntariis cruciatibus et posnis exhaustus, 
mirabilis iste homo, quitm immensa hominum multitudo ad rjus 
corpus conftuerel ; quorum alii pedes ejus osculabantur, alii partem 
capillorum abscindebant, quam sancti loco pignoris ad mala queevis 
averruncanda servarent. alii libros et lintea quae attulerant, cadaveri 
admovebanl, quod virtute quadam divina plenum esse putabant. Et 
statim vis ilia miriftca, qua omne, quod in terra hdc reliquit, prcedi- 
tum egse fcrtur, apparebat," Sfc. Inquisit. in verit. Miraculor. 
F. de Paris, sec. 1. 

VOL. X. 


View of the 
evidence for 
the Scrip- 
ture Mira- 

have little power to sustain the mind under continued Apollonius. 
opposition and suffering.* Tyanaeus. 

These are some of the obvious points which will 
come into consideration in deciding upon the authority 
of Testimony offered for Miracles ; and they enable us 
at once to discriminate the Christian story from all 
others which have been set up against it. With a view 
of simplifying the argument, the evidence for the 
Jewish Miracles has been left out of the question ;t 
because, though strong and satisfactory, it is not at the 
present day so directly conclusive as that on which the 
Christian rest. Nor is it necessary, we conceive, to 
bring evidence for more than a fair proportion of the 
Miracles ; supposing, that is, those which remain un- 
proved are shown to be similar to them, and indis- 
solubly connected with the same system. It may be 
even said, that if the single fact of the Resurrection 
be established, quite enough will have been proved for 
believing all the Miracles of Scripture. 

Of course, however, the argument becomes far 
stronger when it is shown that there is evidence for the 
great bulk of the Miracles, though not equally strong 
for some as for others ; and that the Jewish, sanctioned 
as they are by the New Testament, may also be esta- 
blished on distinct and peculiar grounds. Nor let it 
be forgotten, that the Christian story itself is supported, 
over and above the evidence that might fairly be required 
for it, by several bodies of Testimony quite independent 
of each other.}: By separate processes of reasoning it 
may be shown, that if Christianity was established 
without Miracles, it was, to say the least, an altogether 
singular and unique event in the history of mankind ; 
and the extreme improbability of so many distinct and 
striking peculiarities uniting (as it were) by chance in 
one and the same case, raises the proof of its divine origin 
to a moral certainty. In short, it is only by being made 
unnatural that the Christian narrative can be deprived of 
a supernatural character ; and we may safely affirm, that 
the strongest evidence we possess for the most certain 
facts of other history, is weak compared to that on 
which we believe that the first preachers of the Gospel 
were gifted with Miraculous powers. 

And thus a case is established so strong, that even 
were there an antecedent improbability in the facts 
attested, in most judgments it would be sufficient to 
overcome it. On the contrary, we have already shown 
their intrinsic character to be exactly such as our pre- 

* Paley, Evidences, part i. prop. 2. 

f The truth of the Mosaic narrative is proved from the genuine- 
ness of the Pentateuch, as written to contemporaries and eye-wit- 
nesses of the Miracles ; from the predictions contained in the Pen- 
tateuch ; from the very existence of the Jewish system, (Sumner's 
Records ;) and from the declarations of the New Ttstament writers. 
The Miracles of Elijah and Elisha are proved to us by the authority 
of the Books in which they are related, and by means of the New 

J The fact of the Christian Miracles may be proved, first, by the 
sufferings and consistent story of the original witnesses ; secondly, 
from the actual conversion of large bodies of men in the Age in which 
they are said to have been wrought ; thirdly, from the institution, at 
the time, of a day commemorative of the Resurrection, which has 
been observed ever since ; fourthly, by collateral considerations, 
such as the tacit assent given to the Miracles by the adversaries of 
Christianity, the Eclectic imitations of them, and the pretensions to 
Miraculous power in the primitive Church. These are distinct argu- 
ments, no one of them absolutely presupposes the genuineness of the 
Scripture narrative, though the force of the whole is much increased 
when it is proved. 

4 o 

Union of 
with ante- 
cedent pro- 



Biography, vious knowledge of the divine attributes and govern- 
N^^/^' ment would lead us to expect in works ascribed to 
him. Their grandeur, beauty, and consistency; the 
clear and unequivocal marks they bear of superhuman 
agency; the importance and desirableness of the object 
they propose to effect, are in correspondence to the 
variety and force of the evidence itself. 

Such, then, is the contrast they present to all other 
professed Miracles, from those of Apollonius down- 
wards which have all been shown, more or less, to be 
improbable from the circumstances of the case ; incon- 
clusive when considered as marks of divine interference ; 
and quite destitute of good evidence for their having 
really occurred. 

Lastly, it must be observed, that the proof derived Apollonius 
from interruptions in the course of nature, though a 
principal, is yet but one out of many proofs on which 
the cause of Revealed Religion rests ; and that even _ 
supposing (for the sake of argument) it were altogether Conclusion. 
inconclusive at the present day, still the other evi- 
dences,* as they are called, would be fully equal to 
prove to us the divine origin of Christianity. 

* Such as, the system of doctrine, marks of design, gradual dis- 
closure of unknown truths, &c. connecting together the whole 
Bible as the work of one mind : Prophecy : the character of 
Christ : the Morality of the Gospel : the wisdom of its doctrines, 
displaying at once knowledge of the human heart and skill in 
engaging its affections, &c.