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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Rich'd Hooker, George Herbert, &C, Volume 2.
learned languages, at least of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and a sufficient knowledge of arts and sciences presupposed; I there were two things in human literature, a comprehension of which would be of very great use, to enable a man to be a rational and able casuist, which otherwise was very difficult, if not impossible:  I. A convenient knowledge of moral philosophy; especially that part of it which treats of the nature of human actions:  To know, ’quid sit actus humanus (spontaneus, invitus, mixtus), unde habet bonitatem et malitiam moralem? an ex genere et objecto, vel ex circumstantiis?’ How the variety of circumstances varies the goodness or evil of human actions?  How far knowledge and ignorance may aggravate or excuse, increase or diminish the goodness or evil of our actions?  For every case of conscience being only this—­’Is this action good or bad?  May I do it, or may I not?’—­He who, in these, knows not how and whence human actions become morally good and evil, never can (in hypothesi) rationally and certainly determine, whether this or that particular action be so.—­2.  The second thing, which,” he said, “would be a great help and advantage to a casuist, was a convenient knowledge of the nature and obligation of laws in general:  to know what a law is; what a natural and a positive law; what’s required to the ’latio, dispensato, derogatio, vel abrogalio legis;’ what promulgation is antecedently required to the obligation of any positive law; what ignorance takes off the obligation of a law, or does excuse, diminish, or aggravate the transgression:  For every case of conscience being only this—­’Is this lawful for me, or is it not?’ and the law the only rule and measure by which I must judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of any action; it evidently follows, that he who, in these, knows not the nature and obligation of laws, never can be a good casuist, or rationally assure himself or others, of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of actions in particular.”

[Sidenote:  Conclusion]

This was the judgment and good counsel of that learned and pious Prelate:  And having, by long experience, found the truth and benefit of it, I conceive, I could not without ingratitude to him, and want of charity to others, conceal it.—­Pray pardon this rude, and, I fear impertinent scribble, which, if nothing else, may signify thus much, that I am willing to obey your desires, and am indeed,

Your affectionate friend,


London, May 10, 1678.

[Footnote 1:  Robert Boyle, Esq.]


[Sidenote:  Sanderson’s Works]

I.  “LOGICAE ARTIS COMPENDIUM. Oxon. 1615.” 8vo.

II.  “PHYSICAE SCIENTIAE COMPENDIUM, a ROBERTO SANDERSON, Coll.  Lincoln, in alma Oxoniensi olim socio, &c. Oxoniae, 1671.”

III.  SERMONS.  “Dr. Sanderson’s XII.  Sermons, 1632.” 4to.—­“Dr.
Sanderson’s Sermons (including the twelve before printed), 1664.” 
Folio.—­“Ditto, with his Life by Isaac Walton, 1689.”  Folio.

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