An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature by Nathaniel Culverwell

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By Nathaniel Culverwell

A chic and realized Discourse of the sunshine of Nature is a concerted attempt at highbrow mediation within the deep spiritual dispute ofthe English civil battle within the 17th century. On one facet was once the antinomian statement of maximum Calvinists that the go with have been redeemed by means of God’s unfastened grace and thereby unfastened from usual ethical duties. contrary to that was once the Arminian rejection of predestination and statement that Christ died for all, not only for the opt for. confronted with the violence of those disputes, Nathaniel Culverwell tried a reasonable protection of cause and average legislation, arguing, within the phrases of Robert Greene, that “reason and religion are distinctive lighting fixtures, but they don't seem to be adversarial; they're complementary and harmonious. cause is a dead ringer for God in guy, and to disclaim correct cause is to disclaim our relation to God.” Culverwell provided this figuring out of the function of cause through expounding upon Proverbs 20:27, “The realizing of a guy is the Candle of the Lord.”This used to be a favourite textual content one of the Cambridge Platonists (Whichcote, Cudworth, Smith, and More), to whom Culverwell used to be shut. He had evidently absorbed a lot additionally from Bacon, Grotius, and Selden. in spite of the fact that, the main profound impact on him was once that of the Spanish Jesuit Francisco Su?rez’s De Legibus, ac Deo Legislatore (1612), that is additionally a part of this series.An dependent and realized Discourse was once introduced as a chain of sermon-like lectures at Emmanuel collage, Cambridge, in 1645/46 andpublished posthumously in 1652.Nathaniel Culverwell (1619–1651) used to be a fellow of Emmanuel collage, Cambridge.Robert A. Greene is Professor of English on the college of Massachusetts at Boston.Hugh MacCallum was once Professor Emeritus of English on the college of Toronto.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of highbrow historical past and Director of the Centre for highbrow historical past on the college of Sussex, England.

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Thus he tells us of No´ moc jana´ tou, & No´ moc aÿmarti´ac2 [the law of death and the law of sin], though sin be properly a◊nomi´a [lawless]: Thus he mentions Legem membrorum 3 [the law of members], the same which the Schoolmen call Legem fomitis 4 [the law of passion]. And yet this is sure, that a rational creature is only capable of a Law, which is a moral restraint, and so cannot reach to those things that are necessitated to act ad extremum virium 5 [to the limit of their powers]. And therefore Suarez does give us a more refined description, when he [28] 27 28 chapter 4 tells us that Lex est mensura quaedam actuum moralium, ita ut per conformitatem ad illam, Rectitudinem moralem habeant, & si ab illa discordent, obliqui sint 6 [law is a certain measure of moral acts, such that by conformity to it, they are judged morally right, by disagreement with it, morally wrong].

35 Of the Eternal Law Ά · Nature Chapter 6. Of the Law of Nature in General, Its Subject Chapter 7. The Extent of the Law of Nature 40 58 Chapter 8. How the Law of Nature Is Discovered? Not by Tradition 65 Chapter 9. The Light of Reason 71 Chapter 10. Of the Consent of Nations 79 Chapter 11. The Light of Reason Is a Derivative Light 88 Chapter 12. The Light of Reason Is a Diminutive Light 118 Chapter 13. The Light of Reason Discovers Present, Not Future Things 126 Chapter 14. The Light of Reason Is a Certain Light 136 Chapter 15.

Now these words were spoke by him that had a large portion of intellectuals, one that was e⁄qoxoc a◊njrw ´ pwn kefalv÷1 [an intellectual superior among men], they were spoken by Solomon in whom the Candle of the Lord did shine very clearly; one that had ask’d this as the choisest favour that he could expect from the bounty of heaven; to have a glorious lamp of knowledge shine in his soul for the enlightning of it. And though the envious Jews would fain perswade the world that he lighted his candle at hell it self, for they esteemed him no better then a Magician; as they esteemed him also that was greater then Solomon; yet we know very well, that Solomons was a purer Candle then to be lighted at a Lake of fire and brimstone; ’twas not of Lucifers setting up, but it came from the Father of lights,2 ’twas lighted with Sun-beams from heaven.

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