The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge
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Ib. p. 330.

'Who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace'.

By this passage we must interpret the words "sin wilfully," in reference to an unpardonable sin, in the preceding sentence.

Of the moral capacity of sinful habits.

Ib. s. ii. p. 432.

Probably from the holiness of his own life, Taylor has but just fluttered about a bad habit, not fully described it. He has omitted, or rather described contradictorily, the case of those with whom the objections to sin are all strengthened, the dismal consequences more glaring and always present to them as an avenging fury, the sin loathed, detested, hated; and yet, spite of all this, nay, the more for all this, perpetrated. Both lust and intemperance would furnish too many instances of these most miserable victims.

Ib. s. xxxix. p. 456.

For every vicious habit being radicated in the will, and being a strong love, inclination and adhesion to sin, unless the natural being of this love be taken off, the enmity against God remains.

But the most important question is as to those vicious habits in which there is no love to sin, but only a dread and recoiling from intolerable pain, as in the case of the miserable drunkard! I trust that these epileptic agonies are rather the punishments than the augumenters of his guilt. The annihilation of the wicked is a fearful thought, yet it would solve many difficulties both in natural religion and in Scripture. And Taylor in his Arminian dread of Calvinism is always too shy of this "grace of God:" he never denies, yet never admits, it any separate operancy 'per se'. And this, I fancy, is the true distinction of Arminianisrn and Calvinism in their moral effects. Arminianism is cruel to individuals, for fear of damaging the race by false hopes and improper confidences; while Calvinism is horrible for the race, but full of consolation to the suffering individual.

The next section is, taken together, one of the many instances that confirm my opinion that Calvinism (Archbishop Leighton's for example), compared with Taylor's Arminianism, is as the lamb in the wolf's skin to the wolf in the lamb's skin: the one is cruel in the phrases, the other in the doctrine.

Ib. s. lvi. p. 469.

But if a single act of contrition cannot procure pardon of sins that are habitual, then a wicked man that returns not till it be too late to root out vicious habits, must despair of salvation. I answer, &c.

Would not Taylor's purposes have been sufficiently attained by pressing the contrast between attrition and contrition with faith, and the utter improbability that the latter (which alone can be efficient), shall be vouchsafed to a sinner who has continued in his sins in the flattery of a death-bed repentance; a blasphemy that seems too near that against the Holy Ghost? My objection to Taylor is, that he seems to reduce the death of Christ almost to a cypher; a contrivance rather to reconcile the attributes of God, than an act of infinite love to save sinners. But the truth is, that this is the peccant part of Arminianism, and Tillotson is yet more open than Taylor. Forbid me, common goodness, that I should think Tillotson conscious of Socinianism! but that his tenets involved it, I more than suspect. See his Discourses on Transubstantiation, and those near it in the same volume.

Ib. lxiv. p. 478.

Now there is no peradventure, but new-converted persons, heathens newly giving up their names to Christ and being baptized, if they die in an hour, and were baptized half an hour after they believe in Christ, are heirs of salvation.

This granted, I should little doubt of confuting all the foregoing, as far as I object to it. I would rather be 'durus pater infantum', like Austin, than 'durus pater aegrotantium'. Taylor considers all Christians who are so called.

Ib. s. lxvi. p. 481.

All this paragraph is as just as it is fine and lively, but far from confirming Taylor's doctrine. The case is as between one individual and a general rule. I know God's mercy and Christ's merits; but whether your heart has true faith in them, I cannot know. 'Be it unto thee according to thy faith', said Christ: so should his ministers say. All these passages, however, are utterly irreconcilable with the Roman doctrine, that the priest's absolution is operant, and not simply declarative. As to the decisions of Paulinus and Asterius, it is to be feared that they had the mortmain bequests and compensations in view more than the words of St. Paul, or the manifest purposes of redemption by faith. Yea, Taylor himself has his 'redime peccata eleemosynis'.

By the by, I know of few subjects that have been more handled and less rationally treated than this of alms-giving. Every thing a rich man purchases beyond absolute necessaries, ought to be purchased in the spirit of alms, that is, as the most truly beneficial way of disparsing that wealth, of which he is the steward, not owner.


St. Paul taught us this secret, that sins are properly made habitual upon the stock of impunity. 'Sin taking occasion by the law wrought in me all concupiscence'; [Greek: 'aphormaen labousa'], 'apprehending impunity,' [Greek: 'dia taes entolaes'], 'by occasion of the commandment,' that is, so expressed and established as it was; because in the commandment forbidding to lust or covet, there was no penalty annexed or threatened in the sanction or in the explication. Murder was death, and so was adultery and rebellion. Theft was punished severely too; and so other things in their proportion; but the desires God left under a bare restraint, and affixed no penalty in the law. Now sin, that is, men that had a mind to sin, taking occasion hence, &c.

This is a very ingenious and very plausible exposition of St. Paul's words; but surely, surely, it is not the right one. I find both the meaning and the truth of the Apostle's words in the vividness and consequently attractive and ad-(or in-)sorbent power given to an image or thought by the sense of its danger, by the consciousness of its being forbidden,—which, in an unregenerate and unassisted will, struggling with, or even exciting, the ever ready inclination of corrupted nature, produces a perplexity and confusion which again increase the person's susceptibility of the soliciting image or fancy so intensified. Guilt and despair add a stimulus and sting to lust. See Iago in Shakspeare.

Ib. s. xi. p. 500.

It was not well with thee when thou didst first enter into the suburbs of hell by single actions of sin, &c.

Aye! this is excellent indeed, and worthy of a guardian angel of the Church. When Jeremy Taylor escapes from the Mononomian Romaism, which netted him in his too eager recoil from the Antinomian boar, brought forth and foddered (as he imagined) in Calvin's stye; when from this wiry net he escapes into the devotional and the dietetic, as into a green meadow-land, with springs, and rivulets, and sheltering groves, where he leads his flock like a shepherd;—then it is that he is most himself,—then only he is all himself, the whole Jeremy Taylor; or if there be one other subject graced by the same total heautophany, it is in the pouring forth of his profound common sense on the ways and weaknesses of men and conflicting sects, as for instance, in the admirable birth, parentage, growth, and consummation of a religious controversy in his 'Dissuasive from Popery'.

Ib. s. xiii. p. 502.

Let every old man that repents of the sins of his evil life be very diligent in the search of the particulars; that by drawing them into a heap, and spreading them before his eyes, he may be mightily ashamed at their number and burthen.

I dare not condemn, but I am doubtful of this as a universal rule. If there be a true hatred of sin, the precious time and the spiritual 'nisus' will, I think, be more profitably employed in enkindling meditation on holiness, and thirstings after the mind of Christ.

Ib. ss. xxxi-xxxv. pp..517, 518.

Scarce a word in all this but for form's sake concerning the merits and sacrifice of the Incarnate God! Surely Luther would not have given this advice to a dying penitent, but have directed him rather to employ his little time in agony of prayer to Christ, or in earnest meditations on the astounding mystery of his death. In Taylor man is to do every thing.

Vol. IX. s. xi. p. 5.

For God was so exasperated with mankind, that being angry he would still continue that punishment even to the lesser sins and sinners, which he only had first threatened to Adam; and so Adam brought it upon them.

And such a phrase as this used by a man in a refutation of Original Sin, on the ground of its incompatibility with God's attributes! "Exasperated" with those whom Taylor declares to have been innocent and most unfortunate, the two things that most conciliate love and pity!

Ib. p. 6.

If the sequel of the paragraph, comparing God to David in one of his worst actions, be not blasphemy, the reason is that the good man meant it not as such. 'In facto est, sed non' in agents.

Ib. ss. xvi. xvii. pp. 8, 9.

For the further explication of which it is observable that the word 'sinner' and 'sin' in Scripture is used for any person, that hath a fault or a legal impurky, a debt, a vitiosity, defect, or imposition, &c.

These facts, instead of explaining away Original Sin, are unintelligible, nay, absurd and immoral, except as shadows, types, and symbols of it, and of the Redemption from it. Observe, too, that Taylor never dares explain what he means by "Adam was mortal of himself and we are mortal from him:" he did not dare affirm that soul and body are alike material and perishable, even as the lute and the potentiality of music in the lute. And yet if he believed the contrary, then, in his construction of the doctrine of Original Sin, what has Christ done? St. John died in the same sense as Abel died: and in the sense of the Church of England neither died, but only slept in the Lord.

This same system forced Taylor into the same error which Warburton afterwards dressed up with such trappings and trammels of erudition, in direct contempt of the plain meaning of the Church's article; and he takes it for granted, in many places, that the Jews under Moses knew only of temporal life and the death of the body. Lastly, he greatly degrades the mind of man by causelessly representing death as an evil in itself, which, if it be considered as a crisis, or phenomenal change, incident to a progressive being, ought as little to be thought so, as the casting of the caterpillar's skin to make room for the wings of the butterfly. It is the unveiling of the Psyche.

I do not affirm this as an article of Christian faith; but I say that no candid writer ought to hide himself in double meanings. Either he should have used the term 'death' ('ex Adamo') as loss of body, or as change of mode of being and of its circumstances; and again this latter as either evil for all, or as evil or good according to the moral habits of each individual.

Observe, however, once for all, that I do not pretend to account for Original Sin. I declare it to be an unaccountable fact. How can we explain a 'species', when we are wholly in the dark as to the 'genus'? Now guilt itself, as well as all other immediate facts of free will, is absolutely inexplicable; of course original guilt. If we will perversely confound the intelligible with the sensible world, misapply the logic appropriate to phaenomena and the categories, or forms, which are empty except as substantialized in facts of experience, in order to use them as the Procrustes' bed of faith respecting noumena: if in short, we will strive to understand that of which we can only know [Greek: hoti esti], we may and must make as wild work with reason, will, conscience, guilt, and virtue, as with Original Sin and Redemption. On every subject first ask, Is it among the [Greek: aisthaeta], or the [Greek: noumena]?

Ib. s. xxiii. p. 12.

It could not make us heirs of damnation. This I shall the less need to insist upon, because, of itself, it seems so horrid to impute to the goodness and justice of God to be author of so great calamity to innocents, &c.

Never was there a more hazardous way of reasoning, or rather of placing human ignorance in the judgment seat over God's wisdom. The whole might be closely parodied in support of Atheism: rather, this is but a paraphrase of the old atheistic arguments. Either God could not, or would not, prevent the moral and physical evils of the universe, including the everlasting anguish of myriads of millions: therefore he is either not all-powerful or not all-good: but a being deficient in power or goodness is not God:—Ergo, &c.

Ib. s. xxv. p. 13.

I deny not but all persons naturally are so, that they cannot arrive at heaven; but unless some other principle be put into them, or some great grace done for them, must for ever stand separate from seeing the face of God.

But this is but accidentally occasioned by the sin of Adam. Just so might I say, that without the great grace of air done for them no living beings could live. If it mean more, pray where was the grace in creating a being, who without an especial grace must pass into utter misery? If Taylor reply; but the grace was added in Christ: why so say the Calvinists. According to Taylor there is no fall of man; but only an act and punishment of a man, which punishment consisted in his living in the kitchen garden, instead of the flower garden and orchard: and Cain was as likely to have murdered Abel before, as after, the eating of the forbidden fruit. But the very name of the fruit confutes Taylor. Adam altered his nature by it. Cain did not. What Adam did, I doubt not, we all do. Time is not with things of spirit.

Ib. s. xxvii. p. 14.

Is hell so easy a pain, or are the souls of children of so cheap, so contemptible a price, that God should so easily throw them into hell?

This is an argument against the 'sine qua non' of Baptism, not against Original Sin.

Ib. s. lxvii. p. 49.

Origen said enough to be mistaken in the question. [Greek: Hhara to Adam koinae pant'on esti. Kai ta kata taes gynaikos, ouk esti kath aes ou legetai.] 'Adam's curse is common to all. And there is not a woman on earth, to whom may not be said those things which were spoken to this woman.'

Origen's words ought to have prevented all mistake, for he plainly enough overthrows the phantom of hereditary guilt; and as to guilt from a corruption of nature, it is just such guilt as the carnivorous appetites of a weaned lion, or the instinct of a brood of ducklings to run to water. What then is it? It is an evil, and therefore seated in the will; common to all men, the beginning of which no man can determine in himself or in others. How comes this? It is a mystery, as the will itself. Deeds are in time and space, therefore have a beginning. Pure action, that is, the will, is a 'noumenon', and irreferable to time. Thus Origen calls it neither hereditary nor original, but universal sin. The curse of Adam is common to all men, because what Adam did, we all do: and thus of Eve. You may substitute any woman in her place, and the same words apply. This is the true solution of this unfortunate question. The [Greek: pr'oton pseudos] is in the dividing the will from the acts of the will. The will is 'ego-agens'.

Ib. s. lxxxii. p. 52.

This paragraph, though very characteristic of the Author, is fitter for a comedy than for a grave discourse. It puts one in mind of the play—"More sacks in the mill! Heap, boys, heap!"

Ib. s. lxxxiv. p. 56.

'Praeposterum est' (said Paulus the lawyer) 'ante nos locupletes dici quam acquisiverimus'. We cannot be said to lose what we never had; and our fathers' goods were not to descend upon us, unless they were his at his death.

Take away from me the knowledge that he was my father, dear Bishop, and this will be true. But as it stands, the whole is, "says Paulus the Lawyer;" and, "Well said, Lawyer!" say I.

Ib. p. 57.

Which though it was natural, yet from Adam it began to be a curse; just as the motion of a serpent upon his belly, which was concreated with him, yet upon this story was changed into a malediction and an evil adjunct.

How? I should really like to understand this.

Ib. ch. vii. p. 73 'in initio'.

In this most eloquent treatise we may detect sundry logical lapses, sometimes in the statement, sometimes in the instances, and once or twice in the conclusions. But the main and pervading error lies in the treatment of the subject 'in genere' by the forms and rules of conceptual logic; which deriving all its material from the senses, and borrowing its forms from the sense ([Greek: aisthaesis kathara]) or intuitive faculty, is necessarily inapplicable to spiritual mysteries, the very definition or contra-distinguishing character of which is that they transcend the sense, and therefore the understanding, the faculty, as Archbishop Leighton and Immanuel Kant excellently define it, which judges according to sense. In the Aids to Reflection, [12] I have shewn that the proper function of the understanding or mediate faculty is to collect individual or sensible concretes into kinds and sorts ('genera et species') by means of their common characters ('notae communes'); and to fix and distinguish these conceptions (that is, generalized perceptions) by words. Words are the only immediate objects of the understanding. Spiritual verities, or truths of reason 'respective ad realia', and herein distinguished from the merely formal, or so called universal truths, are differenced from the conceptions of the understanding by the immediatcy of the knowledge, and from the immediate truths of sense,—that is, from both pure and mixed intuitions,—by not being sensible, that is, not representable by figure, measurement or weight; nor connected with any affection of our sensibility, such as color, taste, odors, and the like. And such knowledges we, when we speak correctly, name ideas.

Now Original Sin, that is, sin that has its origin in itself, or in the will of the sinner, but yet in a state or condition of the will not peculiar to the individual agent, but common to the human race, is an idea: and one diagnostic or contra-distinguishing mark appertaining to all ideas, is, that they are not adequately expressible by words. An idea can only be expressed (more correctly suggested) by two contradictory positions; as for example; the soul is all in every part;—nature is a sphere, the centre of which is everywhere, and its circumference no where, and the like.

Hence many of Bishop Taylor's objections, grounded on his expositions of the doctrine, prove nothing more than that the doctrine concerns an idea. But besides this, Taylor everywhere assumes the consequences of Original Sin as superinduced on a pre-existing nature, in no essential respect differing from our present nature;—for instance, on a material body, with its inherent appetites and its passivity to material agents;—in short, on an animal nature in man. But this very nature, as the antagonist of the spirit or supernatural principle in man, is in fact the Original Sin,—the product of the will indivisible from the act producing it; just as in pure geometry the mental construction is indivisible from the constructive act of the intuitive faculty. Original Sin, as the product, is a fact concerning which we know by the light of the idea itself, that it must originate in a self-determination of a will. That which we do not know is how it originates, and this we cannot explain; first, from the necessity of the subject, namely, the will; and secondly, because it is an idea, and all ideas are inconceivable. It is an idea, because it is not a conception.

Ib. s. ii. p. 74, 75.

And they are injurious to Christ, who think that from Adam we might have inherited immortality. Christ was the giver and preacher of it; 'he brought life and immortality to light through the gospel'. It is a singular benefit given by God to mankind through Jesus Christ.

And none inherit it but those who are born of Christ; 'ergo', bad men and infidels are not immortal. Immortality is one thing, a happy immortality another. St. Paul meant the latter: Taylor either the former, or his words have no meaning at all; for no man ever thought or dreamed that we inherited heaven from Adam, but that as sons of Adam, that is, as men, we have souls that do not perish with the body. I often suspect that Taylor, in 'abditis fidei' [Greek: es_oterikaes], inclined to the belief that there is no other immortality but heaven, and that hell is a 'paena damni negativa, haud privativa'. I own myself strongly inclined to it;—but so many texts against it! I am confident that the doctrine would be a far stronger motive than the present; for no man will believe eternal misery of himself, but millions would admit, that if they did not amend their lives they would be undeserving of living for ever.

Ib. s. vi. p. 77.

[Greek: hina mae plaemmura ton en haemin katapontisae logismon eis ton taes hamartias buthon.]

"Lest the tumultuous crowd throw the reason within us over bridge into the gulf of sin." What a vivid figure! It is enough to make any man set to work to read Chrysostom.


... 'peccantes mente sub una.'

Note Prudentius's use of 'mente sub una' for 'in one person.'

Ib. p. 78.

For even now we see, by a sad experience, that the afflicted and the miserable are not only apt to anger and envy, but have many more desires and more weaknesses, and consequently more aptnesses to sin in many instances than those who are less troubled. And this is that which was said by Arnobius; 'proni ad culpas, et ad libidinis varios appetitos vitio sumus infirmitatis ingenitae'.

No. Arnobius never said so good and wise a thing in his lifetime. His quoted words have no such profound meaning.

Ib. s. vii. p. 78.

That which remained was a reasonable soul, fitted for the actions of life and reason, but not of anything that was supernatural.

What Taylor calls reason I call understanding, and give the name reason to that which Taylor would have called spirit.

Ib. s. xii. p. 84.

And all that evil which is upon us, being not by any positive infliction, but by privative, or the taking away gifts, and blessings, and graces from us, which God, not having promised to give, was neither naturally, nor by covenant, obliged to give,—it is certain he could not be obliged to continue that to the sons of a sinning father, which to an innocent father he was not obliged to give.

Oh! certainly not, if hell were not attached to acts and omissions, which without these very graces it is morally impossible for men to avoid. Why will not Taylor speak out?

Ib. s. xiv. p. 85.

The doctrine of the ancient Fathers was that free will remained in us after the Fall.

Yea! as the locomotive faculty in a man in a strait waistcoat. Neither St. Augustine nor Calvin denied the remanence of the will in the fallen spirit; but they, and Luther as well as they, objected to the flattering epithet 'free' will. In the only Scriptural sense, as concerning the unregenerate, it is implied in the word will, and in this sense, therefore, it is superfluous and tautologic; and, in any other sense, it is the fruit and final end of Redemption,—the glorious liberty of the Gospel.

Ib. s. xvi. p. 92.

For my part I believe this only as certain, that nature alone cannot bring them to heaven, and that Adam left us in a state in which we could not hope for it.

This is likewise my belief, and that man must have had a Christ, even if Adam had continued in Paradise—if indeed the history of Adam be not a 'mythos'; as, but for passages in St. Paul, we should most of us believe; the serpent speaking, the names of the trees, and so on; and the whole account of the creation in the first chapter of Genesis seems to me clearly to say:—"The literal fact you could not comprehend if it were related to you; but you may conceive of it as if it had taken place thus and thus."

Ib. s. 1. p. 166.

That in some things our nature is cross to the divine commandment, is not always imputable to us, because our natures were before the commandment.

This is what I most complain of in Jeremy Taylor's ethics; namely, that he constantly refers us to the deeds or 'phenomena' in time, the effluents from the source, or like the 'species' of Epicurus; while the corrupt nature is declared guiltless and irresponsible; and this too on the pretext that it was prior in time to the commandment, and therefore not against it. But time is no more predicable of eternal reason than of will; but not of will; for if a will be at all, it must be 'ens spirituale'; and this is the first negative definition of spiritual—whatever having true being is not contemplable in the forms of time and space. Now the necessary consequence of Taylor's scheme is a conscience-worrying, casuistical, monkish work-holiness. Deeply do I feel the difficulty and danger that besets the opposite scheme; and never would I preach it, except under such provisos as would render it perfectly compatible with the positions previously established by Taylor in this chapter, s. xliv. p. 158. 'Lastly; the regenerate not only hath received the Spirit of God, but is wholly led by him,' &c.


If this Treatise of Repentance contain Bishop Taylor's habitual and final convictions, I am persuaded that in some form or other he believed in a Purgatory. In fact, dreams and apparitions may have been the pretexts, and the immense addition of power and wealth which the belief entailed on the priesthood, may have been their motives for patronizing it; but the efficient cause of its reception by the churches is to be found in the preceding Judaic legality and monk-moral of the Church, according to which the fewer only could hope for the peace of heaven as their next immediate state. The holiness that sufficed for this would evince itself (it was believed) by the power of working miracles.

Ib. s. lii. p. 208.

'It shall not be pardoned in this world nor in the world to come'; that is, neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles. For 'saeculum hoc', this world, in Scripture, is the period of the Jews' synagogue, and [Greek: mellon aion], the world to come, is taken for the Gospel, or the age of the Messias, frequently among the Jews.

This is, I think, a great and grievous mistake. The Rabbis of best name divide into two or three periods, the difference being wholly in the words; for the dividers by three meant the same as those by two.

The first was the 'dies expectationis', or 'hoc saeculum,' [Greek: en touto kairo]: the second 'dies Messiae', the time of the Messiah, that is, the 'millenium': the third the 'saeculum futurum', or future state, which last was absolutely spiritual and celestial.

But many Rabbis made the 'dies Messiae' part, that is, the consummation of this world, the conclusive Sabbath of the great week, in which they supposed the duration of the earth or world of the senses to be comprised; but all agreed that the 'dies', or thousand years, of the Messiah was a transitional state, during which the elect were gradually defecated of body, and ripened for the final or spiritual state.

During the 'millenium' the will of God will be done on earth, no less, though in a lower glory, than it will be done hereafter in heaven.

Now it is to be carefully observed that the Jewish doctors or Rabbis (all such at least as remained unconverted) had no conception or belief of a suffering Messiah, or of a period after the birth of the Messiah, previous to the kingdom, and of course included in the time of expectation.

The appearance of the Messiah and his assumption of the throne of David were to be contemporaneous. The Christian doctrine of a suffering Messiah, or of Christ as the high priest and intercessor, has of course introduced a modification of the Jewish scheme.

But though there is a seeming discrepance in different texts in the first three Gospels, yet the Lord's Prayer appears to determine the question in favour of the elder and present Rabbinical belief; that is, it does not date the 'dies Messiae,' or kingdom of the Lord, from his Incarnation, but from a second coming in power and glory, and hence we are taught to pray for it as an event yet future.

Nay, our Lord himself repeatedly speaks of the Son of Man in the third person, as yet to come. Assuredly our Lord ascended the throne and became a King on his final departure from his disciples. But it was the throne of his Father, and he an invisible King, the sovereign Providence to whom all power was committed.

And this celestial kingdom cannot be identified with that under which the divine will will be done on earth as it is in heaven; that is, when on this earth the Church militant shall be one in holiness with the triumphant Church.

The difficulties, I confess, are great; and for those who believe the first Gospel (and this in its present state) to have been composed by the Apostle Matthew, or at worst to be a literal and faithful translation from a Hebrew (Syro-Chaldaic) Gospel written by him, and who furthermore contend for its having been word by word dictated by an infallible Spirit, the necessary duty of reconciling the different passages in the first Gospel with each other, and with others in St. Luke's, is, 'me saltern judice', a most Herculean one.

The most consistent and rational scheme is, I am persuaded, that which is adopted in the Apocalypse. The new creation, commencing with our Lord's resurrection, and measured as the creation of this world ('hujus saeculi', [Greek: toutou ai_onos]) was by the doctors of the Jewish church—namely, as a week—divided into two principal epochs,—the six sevenths or working days, during which the Gospel was gradually to be preached in all the world, and the number of the elect filled up,—and the seventh, the Sabbath of the Messiah, or the kingdom of Christ on earth in a new Jerusalem.

But as the Jewish doctors made the day (or one thousand years) of Messiah, a part, because the consummation, of this world, [Greek: toutou aionos toutou kairou], so the first Christians reversely made the kingdom commence on the first (symbolical) day of the sacred week, the last or seventh day of which was to be the complete and glorious manifestation of this kingdom. If any one contends that the kingdom of the Son of Man, and the re-descent of our Lord with his angels in the clouds, are to be interpreted spiritually,

I have no objection; only you cannot pretend that this was the interpretation of the disciples. It may be the right, but it was not the Apostolic belief.

Ib. s. 1. p. 257.

For this was giving them pardon, by virtue of those words of Christ, 'Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted;' that is, if ye, who are the stewards of my family, shall admit any one to the kingdom of Christ on earth, they shall be admitted to the participation of Christ's kingdom in heaven; and what ye bind here shall be bound there; that is, if they be unworthy to partake of Christ here, they shall be accounted unworthy to partake of Christ hereafter.

Then without such a gift of reading the hearts of men, as priests do not now pretend to, this text means almost nothing. A wicked shall not, but a good man shall, be admitted to heaven; for if you have with good reason rejected any one here, I will reject him hereafter, amounts to no more than the rejection or admission of men according to their moral fitness or unfitness, the truth or unsoundness of their faith and repentance. I rather think that the promise, like the miraculous insight which it implies, was given to the Apostles and first disciples exclusively, and that it referred almost wholly to the admission of professed converts to the Church of Christ.

'In fine'.

I have written but few marginal notes to this long Treatise, for the whole is to my feeling and apprehension so Romish, so anti-Pauline, so unctionless, that it makes my very heart as dry as the desert sands, when I read it. Instead of partial animadversions, I prescribe the chapter on the Law and the Gospel, in Luther's 'Table Talk', as the general antidote. [13]


Ib. Obj. iv. p. 346.

But if Original Sin be not a sin properly, why are children baptized? And what benefit comes to them by Baptism? I answer, as much as they need, and are capable of.

The eloquent man has plucked just prickles enough out of the dogma of Original Sin to make a thick and ample crown of thorns for his opponents; and yet left enough to tear his own clothes off his back, and pierce through the leather jerkin of his closeliest wrought logic. In this answer to this objection he reminds me of the renowned squire, who first scratched out his eyes in a quickset hedge, and then leaped back and scratched them in again. So Jeremy Taylor first pulls out the very eyes of the doctrine, leaves it blind and blank, and then leaps back into it and scratches them in again, but with a most opulent squint that looks a hundred ways at once, and no one can tell which it really looks at.


By Baptism children are made partakers of the Holy Ghost and of the grace of God; which I desire to be observed in opposition to the Pelagian heresy, who did suppose nature to be so perfect, that the grace of God was not necessary, and that by nature alone, they could go to heaven; which because I affirm to be impossible, and that Baptism is therefore necessary, because nature is insufficient and Baptism is the great channel of grace, &c.

What then of the poor heathens, that is, of five-sixths of all mankind. Would more go to hell by nature alone? If so: where is God's justice in Taylor's plan more than in Calvin's?

Ib. Obj. v. p. 355.

Although I have shewn the great excess and abundance of grace by Christ over the evil that did descend by Adam; yet the proportion and comparison lies in the main emanation of death from one, and life from the other.

Does Jeremy Taylor then believe that the sentence of death on Adam and his sons extended to the soul; that death was to be absolute cessation of being! Scarcely I hope. But if bodily only, where is the difference between 'ante' and 'post Christum?'

Ib. p. 356.

Not that God could be the author of a sin to any, but that he appointed the evil which is the consequent of sin, to be upon their heads who descended from the sinner.

Rare justice! and this too in a tract written to rescue God's justice from the Supra- and Sub-lapsarians! How quickly would Taylor have detected in an adversary the absurd realization contained in this and the following passages of the abstract notion, sin, from the sinner: as if sin were any thing but a man sinning, or a man who has sinned! As well might a sin committed in Sirius or the planet Saturn justify the infliction of conflagration on the earth and hell-fire on all its rational inhabitants. Sin! the word sin! for abstracted from the sinner it is no more: and if not abstracted from him, it remains separate from all others.

Ib. p. 358.

The consequent of this discourse must needs at least be this; that it is impossible that the greatest part of mankind should be left in the eternal bonds of hell by Adam; for then quite contrary to the discourse of the Apostle, there had been abundance of sin, but a scarcity of grace.

And yet Jeremy Taylor will not be called a Pelagian. Why? Because without grace superadded by Christ no man could be saved: that is, all men must go to hell, and this not for any sin, but from a calamity, the consequences of another man's sin, of which they were even ignorant. God would not condemn them the sons of Adam for sin, but only inflicted on them an evil, the necessary effect of which was that they should all troop to the devil! And this is Jeremy Taylor's defence of God's justice! The truth is Taylor was a Pelagian, believed that without Christ thousands, Jews and heathens, lived wisely and holily, and went to heaven; but this he did not dare say out, probably not even to himself; and hence it is that he flounders backward and forward, now upping and now downing.

In truth, this eloquent Treatise may be compared to a statue of Janus, with one face fixed on certain opponents, full of life and force, a witty scorn on the lip, a brow at once bright and weighty with satisfying reason: the other looking at the something instead of that which had been confuted, maimed, noseless, and weather-bitten into a sort of visionary confusion and indistinctness. [14] It looks like this—aye and very like that—but how like it is, too, such another thing!


Ib. p. 367.

And they who are born eunuchs should be less infected by Adam's pollution, by having less of concupiscence in the great instance of desires.

The fact happens to be false: and then the vulgarity, most unworthy of our dear Jeremy Taylor, of taking the mode of the manifestation of the disobedience of the will to the reason, for the disobedience itself. St. James would have taught him that he who offendeth against one, offendeth against all; and that there is some truth in the Stoic paradox that all crimes are equal. Equal is indeed a false phrase; and therein consists the paradox, which in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred is the same as the falsehood. The truth is they are all the same in kind; but unequal in degree. They are all alike, though not equally, against the conscience.

Ib. p. 369.

So that there is no necessity of a third place; but it concludes only that in the state of separation from God's presence there is great variety of degrees and kinds of evil, and every one is not the extreme.

What is this? If hell be a state, and not a mere place, and a particular state, its meaning must in common sense be a state of the worst sort. If then there be a mere 'paena damni', that is, the not being so blest as some others may be; this is a different state 'in genere' from the 'paena sensus': 'ergo', not hell; 'ergo' rather a third state; or else heaven. For every angel must be in it, than whom another angel is happier; that is negatively damned, though positively very happy.

Ib. p. 370-1.

Just so it is in infants: hell was not made for man, but for devils; and therefore it must be something besides mere nature that can bear any man thither: mere nature goes neither to heaven or hell.

And how came the devils there? If it be hard to explain how Adam fell; how much more hard to solve how purely spiritual beings could fall? And nature! What? so much of nature, and no kind of attempt at a definition of the word? Pray what is nature?

Ib. p. 371.

I do not say that we, by that sin (original) deserved that death, neither can death be properly a punishment of us, till we superadd some evil of our own; yet Adam's sin deserved it, so that it was justly left to fall upon us, we, as a consequent and punishment of his sin, being reduced to our natural portion.

How? What is this but flying to the old Supra-lapsarian blasphemy of a right of property in God over all his creatures, and destroying that sacred distinction between person and thing which is the light and the life of all law human and divine? Mercy on us! Is not agony, is not the stone, is not blindness, is not ignorance, are not headstrong, inherent, innate, and connate, passions driving us to sin when reason is least able to withhold us,—are not all these punishments, grievous punishments, and are they not inflicted on the innocent babe? Is not this the result infused into the 'milk not mingled' of St. Peter; [15] spotting the immaculate begotten, souring and curdling the innocence 'without sin or malice'? [16] And if this be just, and compatible with God's goodness, why all this outcry against St. Austin and the Calvinists and the Lutherans, whose whole addition is a lame attempt to believe guilt, where they cannot find it, in order to justify a punishment which they do find?

Ib. p. 379.

But then for the evil of punishment, that may pass further than the action. If it passes upon the innocent, it is not a punishment to them, but an evil inflicted by right of dominion; but yet by reason of the relation of the afflicted to him that sinned, to him it is a punishment.

Here the snake peeps out, and now takes its tail into its mouth. Right of dominion! Nonsense! Things are not objects of right or wrong. Power of dominion I understand, and right of judgment I understand; but right of dominion can have no immediate, but only a relative, sense. I have a right of dominion over this estate, that is, relatively to all other persons. But if there be a 'jus dominandi' over rational and free agents, then why blame Calvin? For all attributes are then merged in blind power: and God and fate are the same:

[Greek: Zeus kai Moira kai aeerophoitis Erinnus]

Strange Trinity! God, Necessity, and the Devil. But Taylor's scheme has far worse consequences than Calvin's: for it makes the whole scheme of Redemption a theatrical scenery. Just restore our bodies and corporeal passions to a perfect 'equilibrium' and fortunate instinct, and, there being no guilt or defect in the soul, the Son of God, the Logos, and Supreme Reason, might have remained unincarnate, uncrucified. In short, Socinianism is as inevitable a deduction from Taylor's scheme as Deism or Atheism is from Socinianism.

'In fine'.

The whole of Taylor's confusion originated in this;—first, that he and his adversaries confound original with hereditary sin; but chiefly that neither he nor his adversaries had considered that guilt must be a 'noumenon'; but that our images, remembrances, and consciousnesses of our actions are 'phaenomena'. Now the 'phaenomenon' is in time, and an effect: but the 'noumenon' is not in time any more than it is in space. The guilt has been before we are even conscious of the action; therefore an original sin (that is, a sin universal and essential to man as man, and yet guilt, and yet choice, and yet amenable to punishment), may be at once true and yet in direct contradiction to all our reasonings derived from 'phaenomena', that is, facts of time and space. But we ought not to apply the categories of appearance to the [Greek: ontos onta] of the intelligible or causative world. This (I should say of Original Sin) is mystery! We do not so properly believe it, as we know it. What is actual must be possible. But if we will confound actuals with reals, and apply the rules of the latter to cases of the former, we must blame ourselves for the clouds and darkness and storms of opposing winds, which the error will not fail to raise. By the same process an Atheist may demonstrate the contradictory nature of eternity, of a being at once infinite and of resistless causality, and yet intelligent. Jeremy Taylor additionally puzzled himself with Adam, instead of looking into the fact in himself.

How came it that Taylor did not apply the same process to the congeneric question of the freedom of the will? In half a dozen syllogisms he must have gyved and hand-cuffed himself into blank necessity and mechanic motions. All hangs together. Deny Original Sin, and you will soon deny free will;—then virtue and vice;—and God becomes 'Abracadabra'; a sound, nothing else.


Ib. p. 390-1.

To this it is answered as you see, there is a double guilt; a guilt of person, and of nature. That is taken away, this is not: for sacraments are given to persons, not to natures.

I need no other passage but this to convince me that Jeremy Taylor, the angle in which the two 'apices' of logic and rhetoric meet, consummate in both, was yet no metaphysician. Learning, fancy, discursive intellect, 'tria juncta in uno', and of each enough to have alone immortalized a man, he had; but yet [Greek: ouden meta physin]. Images, conceptions, notions, such as leave him but one rival, Shakspeare, there were; but no ideas. Taylor was a Gassendist. O! that he had but meditated in the silence of his spirit on the mystery of an 'I AM'! He would have seen that a person, 'quoad' person, can have nothing common or generic; and that where this finds place, the person is corrupted by introsusception of a nature, which becomes evil thereby, and on this relation only is an evil nature. The nature itself, like all other works of God, is good, and so is the person in a yet higher sense of the word, good, like all offsprings of the Most High. But the combination is evil, and this not the work of God; and one of the main ends and results of the doctrine of Original Sin is to silence and confute the blasphemy that makes God the author of sin, without avoiding it by fleeing to the almost equal blasphemy against the conscience, that sin in the sense of guilt does not exist.


Perhaps the most wonderful of all Taylor's works. He seems, if I may so say, to have transubstantiated his vast imagination and fancy into subtlety not to be evaded, acuteness to which nothing remains unpierceable, and indefatigable agility of argumentation. Add to these an exhaustive erudition, and that all these are employed in the service of reason and common sense; whereas in some of his Tracts he seems to wield all sorts of wisdom and wit in defence of all sorts of folly and stupidity. But these were 'ad popellum', and by virtue of the 'falsitas dispensativa', which he allowed himself.

Epist. dedicatory.

The question of transubstantiation.

I have no doubt that if the Pythagorean bond had successfully established itself, and become a powerful secular hierarchy, there would have been no lack of furious partizans to assert, yea, and to damn and burn such as dared deny, that one was the same as two; two being two in the same sense as one is one; that consequently 2+2=2 and 1+1=4. But I should most vehemently doubt that this was the intention of Pythagoras, or the sense in which the mysterious dogma was understood by the thinking part of his disciples, who nevertheless were its professed believers. I should be prepared to find that the true import and purport of the article was no more than this;—that the one in order to its manifestation must appear in and as two; that the act of re-union was simultaneous with that of the self-production, (in the geometrical use of the word 'produce,' as when a point produces, or evolves, itself on each side into a bipolar line), and that the Triad is therefore the necessary form of the Monad.

Even so is the dispute concerning Transubstantiation. I can easily believe that a thousand monks and friars would pretend, as Taylor says, to 'disbelieve their eyes and ears, and defy their own reason,' and to receive the dogma in the sense, or rather in the nonsense, here ascribed to it by him, namely, that the phenomenal bread and wine were the phenomenal flesh and blood. But I likewise know that the respectable Roman Catholic theologians state the article free from a contradiction in terms at least; namely, that in the consecrated elements the 'noumena' of the phenomenal bread and wine are the same with that which was the 'noumenon' of the phenomenal flesh and blood of Christ when on earth.

Let M represent a slab or plane of mahogany, and m its ordinary supporter or under-prop; and let S represent a slab or plane of silver, and s its supporter.

Now to affirm that M = S is a contradiction, or that m = s;

but it is no contradiction to say, that on certain occasions (S having been removed) s is substituted for m, and that what was M/m, is by the command of the common master changed into M/s.

It may be false in fact, but it is not a self-contradiction in the terms.

The mode in which s subsists in M/s may be inconceivable, but not more so than the mode in which m subsists in M/m, or that in which s subsisted in S/s.

I honestly confess that I should confine my grounds of opposition to the article thus stated to its unnecessariness, to the want of sufficient proofs from Scripture that I am bound to believe or trouble my head with it. I am sure that Bishop Bull, who really did believe the Trinity, without either Tritheism or Sabellianism, could not consistently have used the argument of Taylor or of Tillotson in proof of the absurdity of Transubstantiation.

Ib. p. ccccxvi.

But for our dear afflicted mother, she is under the portion of a child in the state of discipline, her government indeed hindered, but her worshippings the same, the articles as true, and those of the church of Rome as false as ever.

O how much there is in these few words,—the sweet and comely sophistry, not of Taylor, but of human nature. Mother! child! state of discipline! government hindered! that is to say, in how many instances, scourgings hindered, dungeoning in dens foul as those of hell, mutilation of ears and noses, and flattering the King mad with assertions of his divine right to govern without a Parliament, hindered. The best apology for Laud, Sheldon, and their fellows will ever be that those whom they persecuted were as great persecutors as themselves, and much less excusable.

Ib. s. ii. p. 422.

'In Synaxi Transubstantiationem sero definivit Ecclesia; diu satis erat credere, sive sub pane consecrate, sive quocunque modo adesse verum corpus Christi;' so said the great Erasmus.

'Verum corpus,' that is, 'res ipsissima,' or the thing in its actual self, opposed [Greek: to phainomen'o].

Ib. s. vi. p. 425.

Now that the spiritual is also a real presence, and that they are hugely consistent, is easily credible to them that believe the gifts of the Holy Ghost are real graces, and a spirit is a proper substance.

But how the body of Christ, as opposed to his Spirit and to his Godhead, can be taken spiritually, 'hic labor, hoc opus est.' Plotinus says, [Greek: kai hae hylae as'omatos]; so we must say here [Greek: kai to s'oma as'omaton].

Ib. s. vii. p. 426.

So we may say of the blessed Sacrament; Christ is more truly and really present in spiritual presence than in corporal; in the heavenly effect than in the natural being.

But the presence of Christ is not in question, but the presence of Christ's body and blood. Now that Christ effected much for us by coming in the body, which could not or would not have been effected had he not assumed the body, we all, Socinians excepted, believe; but that his body effected it, other than as Christ in the body, where shall we find? how can we understand?

Ib. p. 427.

So when it is said, 'Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God,' that is, corruption shall not inherit; and in the resurrection, our bodies are said to be spiritual, that is, not in substance, but in effect and operation.

This is, in the first place, a wilful interpretation, and secondly, it is absurd; for what sort of flesh and blood would incorruptible flesh and blood be? As well might we speak of marble flesh and blood. But in Taylor's mind, as seen throughout, the logician was predominant over the philosopher, and the fancy outbustled the pure intuitive imagination. In the sense of St. Paul, as of Plato and all other dynamic philosophers, flesh and blood is 'ipso facto' corruption, that is, the spirit of life in the mid or balancing state between fixation and reviviscence. 'Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' is a Hebraism for 'this death which the body is.' For matter itself is but 'spiritus in coagulo,' and organized matter the coagulum in the act of being restored; it is then repotentiating. Stop its self-destruction as matter, and you stop its self-reproduction as a vital organ. In short, Taylor seems to fall into the very fault he reproves in Bellarmine, and with this additional evil, that his reasoning looks more like tricking or explaining away a mystery. For wherein does the Sacrament of the Eucharist differ from that of Baptism, nay, even of grace before meat, when performed fervently and in faith? Here too Christ is present in the hearts of the faithful by blessing and grace. I see at present no other way of interpreting the text so as not to make the Sacrament a mere arbitrary 'memento,' but by an implied negative. In propriety, the word is confined to no portion of corporality in particular. "This (the bread and wine) are as truly my flesh and blood as the 'phaenomena' which you now behold and name as such."

Ib. s. ix. p. 429.

From this paragraph I conclude, though not without some perplexity, that by 'the body and blood verily and indeed taken,' we are not to understand body and blood in their limited sense, as contradistinguished from the soul or Godhead of Christ, but as a 'periphrasis' for Christ himself, or at least Christ's humanity. Taylor, however, has misconstrued Phavorinus' meaning though not his words. 'Spiritualia eterna quoad spiritum.' But this is the very depth of the purified Platonic philosophy.

Ib. s. x. p. 430.

But because the words do perfectly declare our sense, and are owned publicly in our doctrine and manner of speaking, it will be in vain to object against us those words of the Fathers, which use the same expressions: for if by virtue of those words 'really,' 'substantially,' 'corporally,' 'verily and indeed,' and 'Christ's body and blood,' the Fathers shall be supposed to speak for Transubstantiation, they may as well suppose it to be our doctrine too; for we use the same words, and therefore those authorities must signify nothing against us, unless these words can he proved in them to signify more than our sense of them does import; and by this truth, many, very many of their pretences are evacuated.

A sophism, dearest Jeremy. We use the words because these early Fathers used them, and have forced our own definitions on them. But should we have chosen these words to express our opinion by, if there had been no controversy on the subject? But the Fathers chose and selected these words as the most obvious and natural.

Ib. s. xi. p. 431.

It is much insisted upou that it be inquired whether, when we say we believe Christ's body to be really in the Sacrament, we mean 'that body, that flesh, that was born of the Virgin Mary, that was crucified, dead, and buried?' I answer, that I know none else that he had or hath: there is but one body of Christ natural and glorified.

This may be true, or at least intelligible, of Christ's humanity or personal identity as [Greek: noaeton ti], but applied to the phenomenal flesh and blood, it is nonsense. For if every atom of the human frame be changed by succession in eleven or twelve years, the body born of the Virgin could not be the body crucified, much less the body crucified be the body glorified, spiritual and incorruptible. I construe the words of Clement of Alexandria, quoted by Taylor below, [17] literally, and they perfectly express my opinion; namely, that Christ, both in the institution of the Eucharist and in the sixth chapter of John, spoke of his humanity as a 'noumenon,' not of the specific flesh and blood which were its 'phaenomena' at the last supper and on the cross. But Jeremy Taylor was a semi-materialist, and though no man better managed the logic of substance and accidents, he seems to have formed no clear metaphysical notion of their actual meaning. Taken notionally, they are mere interchangeable relations, as in concentric circles the outmost circumference is the substance, the other circles its accidents; but if I begin with the second and exclude the first from my thoughts, then this is substance and the interior ones accidents, and so on; but taken really, we mean the complex action of co-agents on our senses, and accident as only an agent acting on us. Thus we say, the beer has turned sour: sour is the accident of the substance beer. But, in fact, a new agent, oxygen, has united itself with other agents in the joint composition, the essence of which new comer is to be sour: at all events, Taylor's construction is a mere assertion, meaning no more than 'in this sense only can I subscribe to the words of Bertram, Jerome, and Clement.'

If a re-union of the Lutheran and English Churches with the Roman were desirable and practicable, the best way, [Greek: h_os emoige dokei,] would be, that any remarkable number should offer union on a given profession of faith chiefly negative, as we protest against the authority of the Church in temporals; that the words agreed to by Beza and Espencoeus, on the part of the Reformers and Romanists respectively, at Poissy, used with implicit faith, shall suffice. 'Credimus in usu coentae Dominicae vere, reipsa, substantialiter, seu in substantia, verum corpus et sanguinem Christi spirituali et ineffabili modo esse, exhiberi, sumi a fidelibus communicantibus.'

Ib. s. in. p. 434.

The other Schoolman I am to reckon in this account, is Gabriel Biel.

Taylor should have informed the reader that Gabriel Biel is but the echo of Occam, and that both were ante-Lutheran Protestants in heart, and as far as they dared, in word likewise.

Ib. s. vi. p. 436.

So that if, according to the Casuists, especially of the Jesuits' order, it be lawful to follow the opinion of any one probable doctor, here we have five good men and true, besides Occam, Bassolis, and Mechior Camus, to acquit us from our search after this question in Scripture.

Taylor might have added Erasmus, who, in one of his letters, speaking of Oecolampadius's writings on the Eucharist, says '"ut seduci posse videantur etiam electi,"' and adds, that he should have embraced his interpretations, '"nisi obstaret consensus Ecclesiae;"' that is, Oecolampadius has convinced me, and I should avow my conviction, but for motives of personal prudence and regard for the public peace.


Ib. p. 436.

I cannot but think that the same mysterious truth, whatever it be, is referred to in the Eucharist and in this chapter of St. John; and I wonder that Taylor, who makes the Eucharist a spiritual sumption of Christ, should object to it. A = C and B = C, therefore A = B. [18]

Ib. s. iv. p. 440.

The error on both sides, Roman and Protestant, originates in the confusion of sign or figure with symbol, which latter is always an essential part of that, of the whole of which it is the representative. Not seeing this, and therefore seeing no 'medium' between the whole thing and the mere metaphor of the thing, the Romanists took the former or positive pole of the error, the Protestants the latter or negative pole. The Eucharist is a symbolic, or solemnizing and 'totum in parte' acting of an act, which in a true member of Christ's body is supposed to be perpetual. Thus the husband and wife exercise the duties of their marriage contract of love, protection, obedience, and the like, all the year long, and yet solemnize it by a more deliberate and reflecting act of the same love on the anniversary of their marriage.

Ib. s. ix p. 447-8.

That which neither can feel or be felt, see or be seen, move or be moved, change or be changed, neither do or suffer corporally, cannot certainly be eaten corporally; but so they affirm concerning the body of our blessed Lord; it cannot do or suffer corporally in the Sacrament, therefore it cannot be eaten corporally, any more than a man can chew a spirit, or eat a meditation, or swallow a syllogism into his belly.

Absurd as the doctrine of Transubstantiation may thus be made, yet Taylor here evidently confounds a spirit, 'ens realissimum,' with a mere notion or 'ens logicum.' On this ground of the spirituality of all powers [Greek: donameis], it would not be difficult to evade many of Taylor's most plausible arguments. Enough, however, and more than enough would be left in their full force.

Ib. p. 448.

Besides this, I say this corporal union of our bodies to the body of God incarnate, which these great and witty dreamers dream of, would make man to be God.

But yet not God, nor absolutely. 'I am in my Father, even so ye are in me.'

Ib. s. xxii. p. 456.

By this time I hope I may conclude, that Transubstantiation is not taught by our blessed Lord in the sixth chapter of St. John: 'Johannes de tertia et Eucharistica caena nihil quidem scribit, eo quod caeteri tres Evangelistae ante ilium eam plene descripsissent.' They are the words of Stapleton and are good evidence against them.

I cannot satisfy my mind with this reason, though the one commonly assigned both before and since Stapleton: and yet ignorant, when, why, and for whom John wrote his Gospel, I cannot substitute a better or more probable one. That John believed the command of the Eucharist to have ceased with the destruction of the Jewish state, and the obligation of the cup of blessing among the Jews,—or that he wrote it for the Greeks, unacquainted with the Jewish custom,—would be not improbable, did we not know that the Eastern Church, that of Ephesus included, not only continued this Sacrament, but rivalled the Western Church in the superstition thereof.

Ib. s. i. p. 503.

Now I argue thus: if we eat Christ's natural body, we eat it either naturally or spiritually: if it be eaten only spiritually, then it is spiritually digested, &c.

What an absurdity in the word 'it' in this passage and throughout!

Vol. X. s. iii. p. 3.

The accidents, proper to a substance, are for the manifestation, a notice of the substance, not of themselves; for as the man feels, but the means by which he feels is the sensitive faculty, so that which is felt, is the substance, and the means by which it is felt is the accident.

This is the language of common sense, rightly so called, that is, truth without regard or reference to error; thus only differing from the language of genuine philosophy, which is truth intentionally guarded against error. But then in order to have supported it against an acute antagonist, Taylor must, I suspect, have renounced his Gassendis and other Christian 'Epicuri.' His antagonist would tell him; when a man strikes me with a stick, I feel the stick, and infer the man; but 'pari ratione,' I feel the blow, and infer the stick; and this is tantamount to,—I feel, and by a mechanism of my thinking organ attribute causation to precedent or co-existent images; and this no less in states in which you call the images unreal, that is, in dreams, than when they are asserted by you to have an outward reality.

Ib. p. 4.

But when a man, by the ministry of the senses, is led into the apprehension of a wrong object, or the belief of a false proposition, then he is made to believe a lie, &c.

There are no means by which a man without chemical knowledge could distinguish two similarly shaped lumps, one of sugar and another of sugar of lead. Well! a lump of sugar of lead lies among other artefacts on the shelf of a collector; and with it a label, "Take care! this is not sugar, though it looks so, but crystallized oxide of lead, and it is a deadly poison." A man reads this label, and yet takes and swallows the lump. Would Taylor assert that the man was made to swallow a poison? Now this (would the Romanist say) is precisely the case of the consecrated elements, only putting food and antidote for poison; that is, as far as this argument of Jeremy Taylor is concerned.

Ib. p. 5.

Just upon this account it is, that St. John's argument had been just nothing in behalf of the whole religion: for that God was incarnate, that Jesus Christ did such miracles, that he was crucified, that he arose again, and ascended into heaven, that he preached these sermons, that he gave such commandments, he was made to believe by sounds, by shapes, by figures, by motions, by likenesses, and appearances, of all the proper accidents.

A Socinian might turn this argument with equal force at least, but I think with far greater, against the Incarnation. But it is a sophism, that actually did lead, to Socinianism: for surely bread and wine are less disparate from flesh and blood, than a human body from the Omnipresent Spirit. The disciples would, according to Taylor, Tillotson, and the other Latitudinarian common sense divines, have been justified in answering: "All our senses tell us you are only a man: how should, we believe you when you say the contrary? If we are not to believe all our senses, much less can we believe that we actually hear you."

And Taylor in my humble judgment gives a force and extension to the words of St. John, quoted before,—'That which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have beheld, and our hands have handled of the word of life' (1 Ep.1.),—far greater than they either can, or were meant to, bear. It is beyond all doubt, that the words refer to, and were intended to confute, the heresy which was soon after a prominent doctrine of the Gnostics; namely, that the body of Christ was a phantom. To this St. John replies: I have myself had every proof to the contrary: first, the proof of the senses; secondly, Christ's own assurance. Now this was unanswerable by the Gnostics, without one or the other of two pretences; either that St. John and the other known and appointed Apostles and delegates of the Word were liars; or that the Epistle was spurious. The first was too intolerable: therefore they adopted the second. Observe, the heretics, whom St. John confutes, did not deny the actual presence of the Word with the appearance of a human body, much less the truth of the wonders performed by the Word in this super-human and unearthly 'vice-corpus,' or 'quasi corpus:' least of all, would they assert either that the assurances of the Word were false in themselves, or that the sense of hearing might have been permitted to deceive the beloved Apostle, (which would have been virtual falsehood and a subornation of falsehood), however liable to deception the senses might be generally, and as sole and primary proofs unsupported by antecedent grounds, 'praecognitis vel preconcessis.' And that St. John never thought of advancing the senses to any such dignity and self-sufficiency as proofs, it would be easy to shew from twenty passages of his Gospel. I say, again and again, that I myself greatly prefer the general doctrine of our own Church respecting the Eucharist,—'rem credimus, modum nescimus,'—to either Tran- (or Con-) substantiation, on the one hand, or to the mere 'signum memoriae causa' of the Sacramentaries. But nevertheless, I think that the Protestant divines laid too much stress on the abjuration of the metaphysical part of the Roman article; as if, even with the admission of Transubstantiation, the adoration was not forbidden and made idolatrous by the second commandment.

Ib. s. vi. p. 9.

And yet no sense can be deceived in that which it always perceives alike: 'The touch can never he deceived.'

Every common juggler falsifies this assertion when he makes the pressure from a shilling seem the shilling itself. "Are you sure you feel it?" "Yes." "Then open your hand. Presto! 'Tis gone." From this I gather that neither Taylor nor Aristotle ever had the nightmare.

Ib. p.10.

The purpose of which discourse is this: that no notices are more evident and more certain than the notices of sense; but if we conclude contrary to the true dictate of senses, the fault is in the understanding, collecting false conclusions from right premises. It follows, therefore, that in the matter of the Eucharist we ought to judge that which our senses tell us.

Very unusually lax reasoning for Jeremy Taylor, whose logic is commonly legitimate even where his metaphysic is unsatisfactory. What Romanist ever asserted that a communicant's palate deceived him, when it reported the taste of bread or of wine in the elements?

Ib. s. i. p. 16.

When we discourse of mysteries of faith and articles of religion, it is certain that the greatest reason in the world, to which all other reasons must yield, is this—'God hath said it, therefore it is true.'

Doubtless: it is a syllogism demonstrative. All that God says is truth, is necessarily true. But God hath said this; 'ergo,' &c. But how is the 'minor' to be proved, that God hath said this? By reason? But it is against reason. By the senses? But it is against the senses.

Ib. s. xii. p. 27.

First; for Christ's body, his natural body, is changed into a spiritual body, and it is not now a natural body, but a spiritual, and therefore cannot be now in the Sacrament after a natural manner, because it is so no where, and therefore not there: 'It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.'

But mercy on me! was this said of the resurgent body of Jesus? a spiritual body, of which Jesus said it was not a spirit. If tangible by Thomas's fingers, why not by his teeth, that is, manducable?

Ib. s. xxviii. p. 44.

So that if there were a plain revelation of Transubstantiation, then this argument were good ... when there are so many seeming impossibilities brought against the Holy Trinity ... And therefore we have found difficulties, and shall for ever, till, in this article, the Church returns to her ancient simplicity of expression.

Taylor should have said, it would have very greatly increased the difficulty of proving that it was really revealed, but supposing that certain, then doubtless it must be believed as far as nonsense can be believed, that is, negatively. From the Apostles' Creed it may be possible to deduce the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity; but assuredly it is not fully expressed therein: and what can Taylor mean by the Church returning to her first simplicity in this article? What less could she say if she taught the doctrine at all, than that the Word and the Spirit are spoken of every where in Scripture as individuals, each distinct from the other, and both from the Father: that of both all the divine attributes are predicated, except self-origination; that the Spirit is God, and the Word is God, and that they with the Father are the one God? And what more does she say now? But Taylor, like Swift, had a strong tendency to Sabellianism.

It is most dangerous, and, in its distant consequences, subversive of all Christianity to admit, as Taylor does, that the doctrine of the Trinity is at all against, or even above, human reason in any other sense, than as eternity and Deity itself are above it. In the former, as well as the latter, we can prove that so it must be, and form clear notions by negatives and oppositions.

Ib. s. xxix. p. 45.

Now concerning this, it is certain it implies a contradiction, that two bodies should be in one place, or possess the place of another, till that be cast forth.

So far from it that I believe the contrary; and it would puzzle Taylor to explain a thousand 'phaenomena' in chemistry on his certainty. But Taylor assumed matter to be wholly quantitative, which granted, his opinion would become certain.

Ib. s. xxxii. p. 49.

The door might be made to yield to his Creator as easily as water, which is fluid, be made firm under his feet; for consistence or lability are not essential to wood and water.

Here the common basis of water, ice, vapour, steam, 'aqua crystallina', and (possibly) water-gas is called water, and confounded with the species water, that is, the common base 'plus' a given proportion of caloric. To the species water continuity and lability are essential.

Ib. p. 50.

The words in the text are [Greek: kekleismen_on t_on thyr_on] in the past tense, the gates or doors having been shut; but that they were shut in the instant of Christ's entry, it says not: they might of course, if Christ had so pleased, have been insensibly opened, and shut in like manner again; and, if the words be observed, it will appear that St. John mentioned the shutting the doors in relation to the Apostles' fear, not to Christ's entering: he intended not (so far as appears) to declare a miracle.

Thank God! Here comes common sense.

Ib. ss. xvi-xvii. pp. 71-73.

All most excellent; but O! that Taylor's stupendous wit, subtlety, acuteness, learning and inexhaustible copiousness of argumentation would but tell us what he himself, Dr. Jeremy Taylor, means by eating Christ's body by faith: his body, not his soul or Godhead. Eat a body by faith!


Part I.

Ib. s. ii. p. 137.

The sentence of the Fathers in the third general Council, that at Ephesus;—'that it should not be lawful for any man to publish or compose another faith or creed than that which was defined by the Nicene Council.'

Upon what ground then does the Church of England reconcile with this decree its reception of the so called Athanasian creed?

Ib. s. iv. p. 145.

We consider that the doctrines upon which it (Purgatory) is pretended reasonable, are all dubious, and disputable at the very best. Such are ... that the taking away the guilt of sins does not suppose the taking away the obligation to punishment; that is, that when a man's sin is pardoned, he may be punished without the guilt of that sin as justly as with it.

The taking away the guilt does not, however, imply of necessity the natural removal of the consequences of sin. And in this sense, I suppose, the subtler Romanists would defend this accursed doctrine. A man may have bitterly repented and thoroughly reformed the sin of drunkenness, and by this genuine 'metanoia' and faith in Christ crucified have obtained forgiveness of the guilt, and yet continue to suffer a heavy punishment in a schirrous liver or incurable dyspepsy. But who authorized the Popes to extend this to the soul?

Ib. p. 153.

St. Ambrose saith that 'death is a haven of rest.'

Consider the strange and oftentimes awful dreams accompanying the presence of irritating matter in the lower abdomen, and the seeming appropriation of particular sorts of dream images and incidents to affections of particular organs and 'viscera.' Do the material causes act positively, so that with the removal of the body by death the total cause is removed, and of course the effects? Or only negatively and indirectly, by lessening and suspending that continuous texture of organic sensation, which, by drawing outward the attention of the soul, sheaths her from her own state and its corresponding activities?—A fearful question, which I too often agitate, and which agitates me even in my dreams, when most commonly I am in one of Swedenborg's hells, doubtful whether I am once more to be awaked, and thinking our dreams to be the true state of the soul disembodied when not united with Christ. On awaking from such dreams, I never fail to find some local pain, 'circa-' or 'infra-'umbilical, with kidney affections, and at the base of the bladder.


P. 227.

But yet because I will humour J.S. for this once; even here also 'The Dissuasive' relies upon a first and self-evident principle as any is in Christianity, and that is, 'Quod primum verum.'

I am surprised to meet such an assertion in so acute a logician and so prudent an advocate as Jeremy Taylor. If the 'quod primum verum' mean the first preaching or first institution of Christianity by its divine Founder, it is doubtless an evident inference from the assumed truth of Christianity, or, if you please, evidently implied therein; but surely the truth of the Christian system, composed of historical narrations, doctrines, precepts, and arguments, is no self-evident position, still less, if there be any tenable distinction between the words, a primary truth. How then can an inference from a particular, a variously proveable and proof-requiring, position be itself a universal and self-evident one?

But if 'quod primum verum' means 'quod prius verius,' this again is far from being of universal application, much less self-evident. Astrology was prior to astronomy; the Ptolemaic to the Newtonian scheme. It must therefore be confined to history: yet even thus, it is not for any practicable purpose necessarily or always true. Increase in other knowledge, physical, anthropological, and psychological, may enable an historian of A.D. 1800 to give a much truer account of certain events and characters than the contemporary chroniclers had given, who lived in an age of ignorance and superstition.

But confine the position within yet narrower bounds, namely, to Christian antiquity. In addition to all other objections, it has this great defect; that it takes for granted the very point in dispute, whether Christianity was an 'opus simul et in toto perfectum,' or whether the great foundations only were laid by Christ while on earth, and by the Apostles, and the superstructure or progression of the work entrusted to the successors of the Apostles; and whether for that purpose Christ had not promised that his Spirit should be always with the Church.

Now this growth of truth, not only in each individual Christian who is indeed a Christian, but likewise in the Church of Christ, from age to age, has been affirmed and defended by sundry Latitudinarian, Grotian and Sociman divines even among Protestants: the contrary, therefore, and an inference from the supposition of the contrary, can never be pronounced self-evident or primary.

Jeremy Taylor had nothing to do with these mock axioms, but to ridicule them, as in other instances he has so effectually done. It was sufficient and easy to shew, that, true or false, the position was utterly inapplicable to the facts of the Roman Church; that, instead of passing, like the science of the material heaven, from dim to clear, from guess to demonstration, from mischievous fancies to guiding, profitable and powerful truths, it had overbuilt the divinest truths by the silliest and not seldom wicked forgeries, usurpations and superstitions. J.S.'s very notion of proving a mass of histories by simple logic, he would have found exposed to his hand with exquisite truth and humour by Lucian.


In the preceding note I think I took Taylor's words in too literal a sense; the remarks, however, on the common maxim, 'In rebus fidei, quod prius verius,' seem to me just and valuable. 2. March, 1824.

Ib. p. 297.

When he talks of being infallible, if the notion be applied to his Church, then he means an infallibility antecedent, absolute, unconditionate, such as will not permit the Church ever to err.

Taylor himself was infected with the spirit of casuistry, by which saving faith is placed in the understanding, and the moral act in the outward deed. How infinitely safer the true Lutheran doctrine: God cannot be mocked; neither will truth, as a mere conviction of the understanding, save, nor error condemn;—to love truth sincerely is spiritually to have truth; and an error becomes a personal error, not by its aberration from logic or history, but so far as the causes of such error are in the heart, or may be traced back to some antecedent un-Christian wish or habit;—to watch over the secret movements of the heart, remembering ever how deceitful a thing it is, and that God cannot be mocked, though we may easily dupe ourselves: these, as the ground-work with prayer, study of the Scriptures, and tenderness to all around us, as the consequents, are the Christian's rule, and supersede all books of casuistry, which latter serve only to harden our feelings and pollute the imagination. To judge from the Roman casuists, nay, I ought to say, from Taylor's own 'Ductor Dubitantium,' one would suppose that a man's points of belief and smallest determinations of outward conduct,—however pure and charitable his intentions, and however holy or blameless the inward source of those intentions or convictions in his past and present state of moral being,—were like the performance of an electrical experiment, and would blow a man's salvation into atoms from a mere unconscious mistake in the arrangement and management of the apparatus.

See Livy's account of Tullus Hostilius's unfortunate experiment with one of Numa's sacrificial ceremonies. The trick not being performed 'secundum artem,' Jupiter enraged shot him dead.[A] Before God our deeds, which for him can have no value, gain acceptance in proportion as they are evolutions of our spiritual life. He beholds our deeds in our principles. For men our deeds have value as efficient causes, worth as symptoms. They infer our principles from our deeds. Now, as religion or the love of God cannot subsist apart from charity or the love of our neighbour, our conduct must be conformable to both.

Ib. p. 305.

Only for their comfort this they might have also observed in that book,—that there is not half so much excuse for the Papists as there is for the Anabaptists; and yet it was but an excuse at the best, as appears in those full answers I have given to all their arguments, in the last edition of that book, among the polemical discourses in folio.

Nay, dear Bishop! but such an excuse, as compared with your after attempt to evacuate it, resembles a coat of mail of your own forging, which you boil, in order to melt it away into invisibility. You only hide it by foam and bubbles, by wavelets and steam-clouds, of ebullient rhetoric: I speak of the Anabaptists as Anti-paedobaptists.

Ib. s. i. p. 337.

'Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doth; but I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from the Father I have made known to you.'

I never thought of this text before, but it seems to me a stronger passage in favour of Psilanthropism, or modern Socinianism,—a doctrine which of all heresies I deem the most fundamental and the worst (the impurities of madmen out of the question),—than I have ever seen, and far stronger than that concerning the day of judgment, which in its apparent sense is clearly high Arianism, or teaching the super-angelical, yet infra-divine, nature of Christ. We must interpret it [Greek: kat' analogian piste_os], not as 'all things' absolutely, but as 'all things' concerning your interests, 'all things' that it behoves you to know. Else it would contradict Christ's words, 'None knoweth the Father but the Son,' that is, truly and totally. For Christ does not promise in this life to give us the same degree of knowledge as he himself possessed, but only a 'quantum sufficit' of the kind. This is clear by St. John's 'all things,' which assuredly did not include either the discoveries of Newton or of Davy.

14 August, 1811.

Ib. s. iii. p. 348.

The Churches have troubled themselves with infinite variety of questions, and divided their precious unity, and destroyed charity, and instead of contending against the devil and all his crafty methods, they have contended against one another, and excommunicated one another, and anathematized and damned one another; and no man is the better after all, but most men are very much the worse; and the Churches are in the world still divided about questions that commenced twelve or thirteen ages since, and they are like to be so for ever, till Elias come, &c.

I remember no passages of the Fathers nearer to inspired Scripture than this and similar ones of Jeremy Taylor, in which, quitting the acute logician, he combines his heart with his head, and utters general, and inclusive, and reconciling truths of charity and of common sense. All amounts but to this:—what is binding on all must be possible to all. But conformity of intellectual conclusions is not possible. Faith therefore cannot reside totally in the understanding. But to do what we believe we ought to do is possible to all, therefore binding on all; therefore the 'unum necessarium' of Christian faith. Talk not of bad conscience; it is like bad sense, that is, no sense; and we all know that we may wilfully lie till we involuntarily believe the lie as truth; but 'causa causae est causa vera causati.'

Ib. p. 347.

But if you mean the Catholic Church, then, if you mean her, an abstracted separate being from all particulars, you pursue a cloud, and fall in love with an idea and a child of fancy.

Here Taylor uses 'idea' as opposed to image or distinct phantasm; and this is with few exceptions his general sense, and even the exceptions are only metaphors from the general sense, that is, images so faint, indefinite and fluctuating as to be almost no images, that is, ideas; as we say of a very thin body, it is a ghost or spirit, the lowest degree of one kind being expressed by the opposite kind.

Ib. p. 380.

'Miracles' were, in the beginning of Christianity, a note of true believers: Christ told us so. And he also taught us that Anti-Christ should be revealed in lying signs and wonders, and commanded us, by that token, to take heed of them.

An excellent distinction between a note or mark by which a thing already proved may be known, and the proofs of the thing. Thus the poisonous qualities of the nightshade are established by the proper proofs, and the marks by which a plant may be known to be the nightshade, are the number, position, colour, and so on, of its filaments, petals, and the rest.


The 'spirit of prophecy' is also a pretty sure note of the true Church, and yet...I deny not but there have been some prophets in the Church of Rome: Johannes de Rupe Scissa, Anselmus, Marsicanus, Robert Grosthead, Bishop of Lincoln, St. Hildegardis, Abbot Joachim, whose prophecies and pictures prophetical were published by Theophrastus Paracelsus, and John Adrasder, and by Paschalinus Regiselmus, at Venice, 1589; but (as Ahab said concerning Micaiah) these do not prophesy good concerning Rome, but evil, &c.

This paragraph is an exquisite specimen of grave and dignified irony, 'telum quod cedere simulat retorquentis'. In contrast with this stands the paragraph on note 15, (p. 381.) which is a coarse though not unmerited sneer, or, as a German would have expressed himself, 'an of-Jeremy-Taylor-unworthy,though a-not-of-the-Roman-Catholic-Papicolar- polemics-unmerited, sneer.'

Ib. p. 381.

... excepting only some Popes have been remarked by their own histories for funest and direful deaths.

In the adoption of this word 'funest' into the English language by 'apocope' of the final 'us', Taylor is supported by 'honest' and 'modest;' but then the necessity of pronouncing funest should have excluded it, the superlative final being an objection to all of them, though outweighed in the others. A common reader would pronounce it 'funest,' and perhaps mistake it for 'funniest.'

Ib. p. 382.

... sacraments, 'which to be seven', is with them an article of faith.

The fastidious exclusion of this and similar idioms in modern writing occasions unnecessary embarrassment for the writer, both in narration and argumenting, and contributes to the monotony of our style.


The Fathers and Schoolmen differ greatly in the definition of a Sacrament.

Had it been in other respects advisable, it would, I think, have been theologically convenient, if our Reformers had contra-distinguished Baptism and the Lord's Supper by the term Mysteries, and allowed the name of Sacrament to Ordination, Confirmation, and Marriage.

Ib. s. iii. p. 388.

And he did so to the Jews ... tradition was not relied upon; it was not trusted with any law of faith or manners.

This all the later Jews deny, affirming an oral communication from Moses to the Seventy, on as lame pretences as the Roman Catholics, and for the same vile purposes as reproved by Christ, who, if he had believed the story, would not have condemned traditions of men generally without exception, and would not have proved the immortality of the Patriarchs by a text which seems to have had no such primary intention, though it may contain the deduction 'potentialiter'.

But Taylor's 1st and 7th arguments following are, the former weak and incorrect, the latter 'dictum et vulgatum, sed non probatum, ne dicam improbatum'. Who doubts that all that is indispensable to the salvation of each and every one is contained in the New Testament?

But is it not contained in the first chapter of St. John's Gospel? Is it not contained in the eleventh of the Acts, and in a score other separable portions? Necessary, indispensable, and the like, are multivocal terms. Dogs have survived (and without any noticeable injury) the excision of the spleen.

Dare we conclude from this fact that the spleen is not necessary to the continuance of the canine race? What is not indispensable for even the majority of individual believers may be necessary for the Church.

Instead, therefore, of these terms, put 'true,' 'important,' and 'constitutive,' that is, appertaining to the chain ('ad catenam auream') of truths interdependent and rendered mutually intelligible, which constitute the system of the Christian religion, including not alone the faith and morals of individuals, but the 'organismus' likewise of the Church, as a body spiritual, yet outward and historical; and this again not as an aggregate or sum total, like a corn-sheaf, but a unity.

Let the question, I say, be thus restated, and then let the cause come to trial between the Romish and the Protestant divines.

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