BOOK VI. CONTAINING ABOUT THREE WEEKS.
1. Chapter i. Of love.
In our last book we have been obliged to deal pretty much with the
passion of love; and in our succeeding book shall be forced to handle
this subject still more largely. It may not therefore in this place be
improper to apply ourselves to the examination of that modern
doctrine, by which certain philosophers, among many other wonderful
discoveries, pretend to have found out, that there is no such passion
in the human breast.
Whether these philosophers be the same with that surprising sect, who
are honourably mentioned by the late Dr Swift, as having, by the mere
force of genius alone, without the least assistance of any kind of
learning, or even reading, discovered that profound and invaluable
secret that there is no God; or whether they are not rather the same
with those who some years since very much alarmed the world, by
showing that there were no such things as virtue or goodness really
existing in human nature, and who deduced our best actions from pride,
I will not here presume to determine. In reality, I am inclined to
suspect, that all these several finders of truth, are the very
identical men who are by others called the finders of gold. The method
used in both these searches after truth and after gold, being indeed
one and the same, viz., the searching, rummaging, and examining into a
nasty place; indeed, in the former instances, into the nastiest of all
places, A BAD MIND.
But though in this particular, and perhaps in their success, the
truth-finder and the gold-finder may very properly be compared
together; yet in modesty, surely, there can be no comparison between
the two; for who ever heard of a gold-finder that had the impudence or
folly to assert, from the ill success of his search, that there was no
such thing as gold in the world? whereas the truth-finder, having
raked out that jakes, his own mind, and being there capable of tracing
no ray of divinity, nor anything virtuous or good, or lovely, or
loving, very fairly, honestly, and logically concludes that no such
things exist in the whole creation.
To avoid, however, all contention, if possible, with these
philosophers, if they will be called so; and to show our own
disposition to accommodate matters peaceably between us, we shall here
make them some concessions, which may possibly put an end to the