Help writing an argumentative essay

And its writer must have woke up with something of a sense of both surprise and injustice, to the indiscri- minate censure which has attached to him the common notoriety of the volume. It is written in a dissatisfied tone of isolation- It knocks down without building up. It drops here and there harsh- sounding dicta, unexplained and undeveloped, which will be read by the light of more pronounced passages in the other Essays, and which therefore in the result, in spite of honest disclaimers of " conspiracy," affix a help writing an argumentative essay subsequent responsibility to the writer for all parallel passages in the volume — a responsibility which it would surely be both reasonable and desirable to disclaim. But these things apart — and I have no intention to make light of them— the Essay is not open, either in tone or in matter, to the imputations justly made against one or other of its companions. It does not offend good taste, nor violate the common principles of honesty, nor indulge in wanton profanity. It does not formally propound or indirectly imply any of the now current forms of unbelief, which dis- figure the pages of some of the remaining Essays : — the ideology, for instance, which dissolves Scripture into a subjective reflection of the Oriental mind, and exhibits it as the merely human product of a peculiar national literature, — or the metaphysical scepticism, which denies the possibility of revelation or of any dispensation of God to man as inconsistent with the perfection of the Divine attributes, — or that perver- sion, again, of the Baconian spirit, which is striving to confound both the animate with the inanimate, and the moral with the physical, and having frozen the whole into a like mechanical slavery to law, to crown the absurdity by substituting an abstraction of the human mind for a personal God. Neither does it tamper with texts of Scripture, or affirm the honesty of subscribing theological propositions which the writer does not believe, or assert any special point of false doctrine. The whole field, again, of Biblical criticism is out of its way.

One text of Scripture alone claims a mention of its various interpretations, but is not interpreted by the Essay itself. And had its writer only refrained from some cursory remarks at the be- ginning of his paper, which seem to imbed his special subject in a naturalistic theory of Church history in " general, and from a neat and compact formula of suc- cessive " theories of belief" current from time to time in the Church, which seems to land us in the position that the Church has not yet found a trustworthy " theory of belief" at all, little would have been said theologically of his Essay. It would have given offence to the holders of some popular opinions. It would have left an uncomfortable impression respecting the extent to which ambiguous phrases were intended to reach.

It would not have done, — what the writer might have well done, — aided the good cause by his shrewd insight and great analytical powers. But neither would it have drawn down the severe censure which has now swept over it.

The one or two sentences a , singled out to a Two passages are cited in the Eeport of the Committee of the Lower House of Convocation from Mr. One, we a a 354 OUGHT NOT TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED justify its inclusion in that censure, would have been interpreted in the better instead of in the worse must take leave to affirm, is capable of a better interpretation, while the other is incapable of the bad one affixed to it. It is they, not himself, who would be "forced back" upon the orthodox doctrine of the Pall by the conditions of , their own hypothesis : whereas, according to Mr. Pattison, they had implicitly renounced that doctrine by their assumption of the supremacy of reason. It is impossible, he says in effect, at one and the same time to rest the claims of religion upon the paramount authority of reason, and to impute to all who deny those claims, an incapacity in point of reason to apprehend them.

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Pattison help writing an argumentative essay seems to have exaggerated his case, in point of fact, in both parts of this argument. Divines of those days were neither rationalists, nor deniers of the feebleness produced in the reason by means of the Pall, to the extent to which he alleges they were. Neither is the tone of the allusion to such a subject such as one is disposed to defend. But help writing an argumentative essay assuredly the paragraph implies nothing whatever of Mr. But surely the very turn of the language excludes the alleged reference. The common sceptical objection to the Creeds lies, not against the obsoleteness, but against the pre- IN THE SAME CENSURE WITH THE OTHER ESSAYS. And nothing would have involved the writer then, — as indeed there is little now, generosity cision, of their meaning. Neither was it the Creeds, but the overgrowth of theological systems, which did the mischief in the fifteenth century. It is at least far more probable, that the writer was thinking of those relics of the phraseology of mediaeval or of still later controversies which have been embalmed, not only in our formularies, but also in the established orthodoxy of predo- minant schools, or of what is commonly acknowledged as standard divinity : to some of which he elsewhere alludes, and upon which a good deal of the Atonement controversy undeniably turns. Are all parties alike, or is the prevailing party really imposing upon us, by the help of bigoted public opinion, unau- thorized terms of communion, which after all will not bear sifting by the light of reason and sound knowledge? There are party formulae which very many would enforce, in spite of the reclamations of a sounder divinity, by the silent martyrdom of social persecution. Yet one would be sorry to say of even the fautors of these, that they were " godless. Pattison probably means only that there are many narrow views to which religious people generally cling as to essential truth, although advanced knowledge has shewn them to be untenable. But under the circumstances it is not unreasonable to ask a direct disclaimer of including under them more than the mere relics of Evidential, or Puritanical, or other older schools, and not what other Essayists appear to intend, the current unquestioning belief in Scripture and the Creeds, which is undoubtedly cherished with a jealous care by a not godless orthodoxy.

Pattison means this, I see nothing in his words to shew. I wish there was more in those words to render it impossible. Surely, too, it is the hastiest of historical paradoxes to parallel the present time with that horrible Pharisaism of self-complacent orthodoxy (so called) com- bined with outward pomp and inward corruption which ushered in the Reformation. For if rationalism is imputed in the Essay to any, that rationalism, be it remembered, is condemned. If a particular theological school is accused of failure, it is because that school assumed the supremacy of — not the reason only, but — the common reason of man over divine truth. If the transcendental reason, in the judgment of the Essayist, cannot solve clearly, and the common reason cannot solve at all, the popu- lar objections against Scripture morality, it is the rationalist hypothesis which is in fault, for assuming exaggeration of the passage historically considered, or against the unsoundness of the principle involved in it, or against the impu- tation it contains upon the Church of the present day : another to condemn a writer of fundamental denial of Christianity, because he demurs to the retention and (alleged) unintelligent and bigoted use of past controversial language.

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