Samuel Clarke

 

From LETTERS ON ENGLAND, 1733 (Letter 7) by Voltaire

'There is a small sect here composed of priests and a few very clever laymen who do not adopt the name of Arians nor of Socinians, but are not at all of the opinion of St Athanasius in the matter of the Trinity, but tell you straight out that the Father is greater than the Son.

Do you remember a certain orthodox bishop who, to convince an Emperor about consubstantiation, took it into his head to chuck the Emperor's son under the chin and tweak his nose in the presence of His Sacred Majesty ? The Emperor was on the point of being very angry with the bishop when the old boy utters these fine, convincing words : 'My Lord, if your Majesty is angry because I am showing lack of respect for your son, how do you think God will treat those who refuse Jesus Christ the titles that are His due ?' The people I am telling you about say that the holy bishop was very unwise, that his argument was anything but conclusive, and that the Emperor should have answered : 'Note that there are two ways of lacking respect for me, the first by not paying enough honour to my son, and the second by paying as much to him as to me.'

However that may be, the Arian faction is beginning to revive in England as well as in Holland and Poland. The great Mr Newton honoured this opinion by favouring it : this philosopher thought that the Unitarians reasoned more mathematically than we do. But the strongest upholder of the Arian doctrine is the illustrious Dr. Clarke. This is a man of unswerving virtue and a gentle disposition, more interested in his opinions than excited about making converts, solely concerned with calculations and demonstrations — a real reasoning machine.

His is the author of a little understood but much admired book on the existence of God, and of another, better understood but rather looked down upon, about the truth of the Christian faith.

He has taken no part in fine scholastic controversies which our friend . . . calls hoary old nonsense, but has confined himself to publishing a book containing all the arguments in early ;times for and against the Unitarians, leaving to the reader the responsibility of counting the votes and deciding. This book of the Doctor's has gained him many supporters, but prevented him from becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. I think the Doctor has has miscalculated and that it would have been better to be Primate of England than an Arian parish priest.   (etc)

Penguin 1980, pp. 42-43.

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Selected Bibliographic ( University of California http://melvyl.cdlib.org )

Author Clarke, Samuel, 1675-1729. Title A discourse concerning the unchangeable obligations of natural religion and the truth and certainty of the Christian revelation; being eight sermons preach'd in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in the year 1705 at the lecture founded by Robert Boyle. Edition 2d.ed. Publisher London, J. Knapton, 1708. Description 405 p. ; 19 cm. Series Boyle lectures ;1705. Language English

Author Clarke, Samuel, 1675-1729. Title A discourse concerning the being and attributes of God; the obligations of natural religion, and the truth and certainty of the Christian revelation. In answer to Mr. Hobbs, Spinoza, the author of The oracles of reason, and other dieniers of natural and revealed religion. Being sixteen sermons, preach'd in the Cathedral-Church of St. Paul, in the years 1704, and 1705, at the lecture founded by the Honourable Robert Boyle, by Samuel Clarke. Edition 10th ed., corr. Publisher London, Printed for J. and P. Knapton, 1749. Description [24], 504 p. 21 cm. Note Each series of sermons has special t.p. Several letters to the Reverend Dr. Clarke, from a gentleman in Gloucestershire, relating to the first volume of the foregoing sermons; with the Dr.'s answers thereunto. 7th ed. (p.[457]-504) has special t.p. Language English

Author Clarke, Samuel, 1675-1729 Title A collection of papers, which passed between the late learned Mr. Leibnitz and Dr. Clarke in the years 1715 and 1716 [microform] : relating to the principles of natural philosophy and religion : with an appendix : to which are added, letters to Dr. Clarke concerning liberty and necessity, from a gentleman of the University of Cambridge, with the doctor's answers to them : also, remarks upon a book, entituled, A philosophical enquiry concerning human liberty / by Samuel Clarke Publisher London : Printed for James Knapton, 1717 Description xiii, [3], 416, 46 p. ; 19 cm Note Text in French and English on opposite pages "Letters" by R. Bulkeley have added t.p.; the "Remarks" have added t.p. and separate pagination Note Includes bibliographical references Language English

Author Clarke, Samuel, 1675-1729 Title A demonstration of the being and attributes of God. 1705. A discourse concerning the unchangeable obligations of natural religion. 1706. Faksimile-Neudruck der Londoner Ausgaben Publisher Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, F. Frommann, 1964 Description 264, 405 p. 18 cm Note Each section has special t.p "Faksimile-Neudruck der Londoner Ausgaben" Language English

Author Clarke, Samuel, 1675-1729 Title Der Briefwechsel mit G.W. Leibniz von 1715/1716 = A collection of papers which passed between the late learned Mr. Leibniz and Dr. Clarke in the years 1715/1716 relating to the principles of natural philosophy and religion / Samuel Clarke ; übersetzt und mit einer Einführung, Erläuterungen und einem Anhang herausgegeben von Ed Dellian Publisher Hamburg : F. Meiner, c1990 Description cxxvii, 183 p. ; 20 cm Series Philosophische Bibliothek ;Bd. 423 Note Clarke's letters originally written in English; letters by Leibniz originally in French Note Includes bibliographical references (p. [cxxiii]-cxxvii) and indexes ISBN 3787309470 Language German

 

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