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that our Blessed Lord was using non-pure mental restriction.' S. Augustine, in a sermon on the passage, rejects by anticipation the Liguorian interpretation with indignation and horror. He would sooner believe that Christ was deceived Himself than that He was deceiving others; falli enim pertinet ad infirmitatem, mentiri ad iniquitatem.' But the plain words of Scripture, he continues, show that He was neither deceived nor deceiving. And this he says with the reading 'non ascendo' before him, and unconscious that the true reading was probably nondum, which would of course have strengthened his argument." Even if it had been necessary to understand 'not openly but secretly,' what need could there have been of supposing that our Lord was taking in His brethren? Even in that case, it would have been more natural to conceive that they understood His meaning, and thus, again, there would be no case of non-pure mental restriction. At any rate, if it had been mental restriction at all, it would not have been non-pure but pure mental restriction; for the difference between the two we have seen to consist in this,

1 This case is thus put in the Treatise of Equivocation:-The words are to be expounded thus; "I will not go upp yet," or, "to this feast," or, "I will not go with you," or, "manifestly as the Messiah, but in secrett;" which is an evident defence of our cause, for the use of such propositions which have somewhat reserved or understoode in the mynde for theire verification...

'First we must examine whether in the speech of our Saviour, "Ego autem non ascendo ad diem festum hunc," the word ascendo have the force of the present tense or the future; for albeit in some texts it be ascendam, yet the best Vulgate edition and all the Greeke have the present tense. Yet, notwithstanding, I say that it hath the force of a future; as if our Saviour had sayed, "Non ascendam," I will not go upp. . . This is a thinge well knowen to the grammarians, who have a certaine figure which they call Enallage, one kynd wherof is Enallage temporum, when one tense is putt for another, whereof we may read in Lynacre and Emanuell's grammar, and such as have written on figures at large...

'Secondly, we must determine whether our Saviour sayd, "Non ascendo," or "nondum ascendo;" for if he sayed, "I go not upp yet to this feast, there is then not so great strength in this argument by the force of the words themselves as would otherwise be. Although it be very probable that our Saviour spoke in sort that his brethren understoode that he would not go at all at that feast, insomuch that we may very well take those words, "Nondum ascendo ad diem festum hunc," that he would not go at all at this tyme. And so the argument may still be of force, for he sayed he would not go, and yet afterward he went. . . So that we probably defend that our Saviour used such words (although he sayed nondum) as made them understand that he would not come to that feast, and yet went after, which, if it be so, it skylleth not whether we read non or nondum. But letting this passe, I saye that albeit in all the Greeke copyes now extant it be our”, nondum, and so did S. Chrysostome and Eutimius reade, yet did S. Cirill, a Greeke authour, read enegatively non. Also all the Latyn ffathers reade non, and therfore the very Heretickes themselves oughte to admitte this readinge, at the least so far forth as to seeke out some sufficient and trewe exposition therof; and all Catholickes are bounde to admitte non, because so it is in the Vulgate edition. Then doth it remaine that our Saviour Christe, sayinge that he would not go and going after, did reserve some secret words to make a perfect explycation of his trew meaninge.'-Pp. 37-41.

2 S. Aug. Serm. 133, vol. v. p. 739.

that the last takes place solely in the mind, and can by no means be discovered from outward circumstances; which would have been the case in the present instance: while the first can become known from the circumstances connected with it; which would not have been the case in the present instance. Either, then, our Lord's words have nothing to do with mental restriction, which we have shown to be undoubtedly the case, or if they have, they go to justify not non-pure, but pure mental restriction, which, however, Liguori declares to be never allowable, and Pope Innocent XI. has condemned.

The other quotations may be, for the present, at least, more summarily dismissed. S. Augustine writes, Although every one who tells a lie may wish to conceal what is true, yet not every one who wishes to conceal what is true tells a lie.' Most assuredly; for they either speak the truth against their wishes, or they are silent; they do not employ non-pure mental restriction, whereby they would tell a lie and pass off a juggle on themselves to boot, vainly persuading themselves that in some way or other the self-juggle made amends for the lie. When such a sentence as the above is brought forward for the purpose of inferring from S. Augustine's authority that non-pure mental reservation is justifiable, we cannot be surprised that the following statement of Thomas Aquinas is tortured into being 'favourable to the same conclusion: To be silent about the truth, and to express falsehood, are different things.' The doctrine of non-pure mental restriction may be fathered on Augustine and Aquinas in virtue of these quotations with as much truth as they might be attributed to any other writer who has happened to make use of the words truth and falsehood in the same sentence. But our author is not remarkable for the pertinency or accuracy of his quotations. In his 'Glories of Mary' he has made innumerable extracts from early writers, not only,' as he says, 'for use, but also that they may show the high idea that the saints had of the power and mercy of Mary, and the great confidence they had in her patronage.' A critic is obliged to warn his simpler co-religionists that they must not use the book in controversy, for, to name but one, and that not the chief cause of this unfitness, it is only necessary to mention that S. Alphonsus ⚫ did not scruple to make most important additions to the passages which he quoted from the Fathers; and this, though perfectly 'allowable in a book of meditations' (Populus vult decipi et deci piatur), of course destroys its value as a work of authority in matters of controversy'-because, we presume, a moderately informed opponent might be inconvenient.

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What lies at the foundation of the theory of Amphibology is clearly a confusion between moral and material falsehood. The

enunciation of a material truth is an assertion concerning a fact, which assertion is objectively true. For example, if I affirm that the sun stands still, I affirm a material truth; if I assert that it moves, I affirm a material falsehood. These affirmations have, of themselves, and as such, no moral character. If I had no intention to deceive in stating that the sun moved, as in common conversation I frequently do-much more if it was my conviction that it did move, as would have been the case before the discoveries of philosophers--I should not have been guilty of any moral obliquity, or be justly charged with moral falsehood. Moral truthfulness, on the other hand, consists in speaking out the honest convictions of the heart. I am guilty of moral falschood when I say anything with intent to deceive my neighbour. Thus if I assert either that the sun moves or that the sun stands still, with some ulterior object of my own, and with a purpose of deceiving the person to whom I am speaking, I am equally culpable in a moral point of view. It appears, then, that the material truth or falsehood of the thing asserted has no effect whatever upon the moral truthfulness or want of truthfulness of the person who makes the assertion. The moral character of the act, as of all other acts, depends upon the deliberate purpose of the agent. Wherever there is an attempt to deceive, whether by a material truth or by a material falsehood, there is moral falsehood.

But the theory of Amphibology confounds this vital distinction. Its essence consists in being a moral falsehood conveyed by means of a material truth. Romish theologians would try to persuade us that the latter compensates for the former, whereas we have seen that it does not annihilate or remove one grain of its native deformity. That this is what lies at the bottom of systematized equivocation or amphibology will appear at once from the following instances, which we choose at random from Liguori. In his Homo Apostolicus he puts the case of a man who has spoken ill of his neighbour, which ill is true, but yet which the speaker ought not to have divulged. What is he to do? I am accustomed,' says Liguori, ' to recommend people to equivocate, and say," I said it out of my own head," for all words do come out of the mind, for which the head is taken.'' It is a material truth that all words do come out of the mouth, or mind, or head, and therefore Liguori thought that the moral untruth which he puts into the speaker's mouth was annulled. It is difficult for anything to be more grotesque than this, and yet perhaps the other suggestion given in the same case goes beyond it. It is this: S. John, in a place not specified, says

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that all sin is deceitfulness and a lie: the speaker has done wrong in saying what he has said: therefore he has committed a sin: therefore he has told a lie: therefore he should say, I made a mistake-I have told a lie. Thus he is taught to say that the truth which he had spoken was a lie, thereby, of course, telling a lie, while at the same time he lays the flattering unction to his soul that he has been guiltless of any kind of falsehood. Again, the nature of the principle of equivocation is illustrated by the case of a servant saying Not at home. Cardenas says that he must put his foot upon a stone, and say that his master is not here, i.e. on the stone. Liguori, however, prefers his saying He is not here,' meaning at the door, or in the window, or in sight. Everybody knows that conventional sayings, such as that under discussion, bear conventional meanings, and are known to bear conventional meanings, and therefore involve no deceit and no moral falsehood. Liguori thinks that because the phrase Not at home is materially false, the person who uses it is guilty of a moral falsehood. To escape this evil he suggests an equivocation, which makes the expression materially true, but implies an attempt at deceiving, and involves moral falsehood. So pitiably confused is this modelinstructor of confessors and directors on this vital point.

The principle of non-pure mental restriction is the same. In illustration of this we will give an instance, not indeed found in Liguori, but accepted by Roman controversialists as a faithful exponent of their views, and justified as such. As S. Francis of Assisi was one day walking, he was passed by a person whom he recognised. Hardly was this person out of sight, when there came by others in search of him, and asked S. Francis if he had passed by. The saint did not wish to say Yes. His conscience forbade him to say No. What was he to do? He threw his arms into the air, brought his hands together, and in so doing pointed with his finger down his sleeve. Then he answered with a safe conscience, He has not passed this way.' It was quite true: he had not passed down the saint's sleeve. But was S. Francis therefore guiltless of a moral falsehood because he had contrived to convey that moral falsehood by means of a material truth? Yes, say Rome's casuists, because he used non-pure mental reservation. Had he not pointed down his sleeve, it would have been a case of pure mental reservation: but the adroit movement of the finger altogether withdrew the act from this class of sins, and placed it among S. Francis' soul would, according to justifiable and right acts. their system, have become 'spiritually dead,' had it not been for

Theol. Moral. 4. 2. 165.

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the finger: he would have been 'deprived of God's grace,' had it not been for the finger: he would have earned eternal punishment,' had it not been for the finger. But the finger was a talisman. It is a matter of doubt, however, whether it was his sleeve or his ear into which he pointed. So it is recorded ' of S. Frauncis,' says the Treatise of Equivocation, that beyng asked of one who was sought for to death, whether he came 'not that way, he aunswered, putting his hand into his sleeve, or, as some say, into his eare," He came not this waye."'1

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We believe we have now sufficiently illustrated the principles of Equivocation and Mental Restriction, and shall proceed to their application, under the guidance of S. Alfonso. We have already said that they would subvert all confidence and security in dealing between man and man, and cause utter distrust of all pledges. We will now ask a few questions, to which Liguori shall give the answers, or at least the proofs of the answers. What confidence can we put in assertions? in oaths? in vows? in evidence? Can promises be trusted? Can secrets be secure? In short, can we be justified in believing that acts and words will be in accordance with each other?

We will begin with the question relating to assertions.

'A man who has come from a place falsely thought infected, may say that he has not come from it, namely, (aside) as being pestilential, because that is the meaning of those who guard. Nay, Toletus, Lessius, and a great number of others, quoted by Sporer, allow that he may say that he has not come from it, even though he has passed through an infected place, provided that he is sure that he has contracted no pestilence, because it may be understood (aside) that he has not come in such a way as that danger is to be feared from him. But in this last statement I do not altogether acquiesce.-4. 2. 159.

The doctrine of probability has shown that Toletus, Lessius, or Sporer are quite sufficient authorities for a person to act with safety upon their opinion. In the Treatise of Equivocation a similar example is given, and there the assertion is represented as confirmed by oath :


A man cometh unto Coventry in tyme of a suspition of plague. At the gates the officers meete hym, and on his oath examine hym whether he come from London or no, where they thincke, certainly, the plague to be. This man, knowing for certain the plague not to be in London, or, at least, knowing for certain that the air is not there infectious, and that he only ridd through some secure place of London, not staying there, may safely swear that he came not from London, answering to their final intention in their demaund, that is, whether he came so from London that he may endanger their cittye of the plague, although their immediate intention was

Treatise of Equivocation, p. 50. A marginal reference is given to Simeon Metaphrastes apud Surium, tom. iii. Parsons refers to the same story in his Treatise tending towards Mitigation.

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