"Circumstances, which vary cases, are infinite; therefore, when all is done, much must be left to the equity and chancery of our own breasts."

— Tillotson, John (1630–1694)


Date
September, 1661
Metaphor
"Circumstances, which vary cases, are infinite; therefore, when all is done, much must be left to the equity and chancery of our own breasts."
Metaphor in Context
Thus I have laid down the rule and explained it, and have given as particular directions, as I could safely adventure to do. I must now leave it to every man to apply it more particularly to himself, and to deal faithfully with his own conscience in the use of it. Circumstances, which vary cases, are infinite; therefore, when all is done, much must be left to the equity and chancery of our own breasts. I have not told you how much in the pound you may gain, and no more; nor can I. A man may make a greater gain at one time than another of the same thing; he may take those advantages, which the change of things and the providence of God gives him, using them moderately. A man may take more of some persons than of others; provided a man use all men righteously, he may use some favourably. But I have on purpose forborne to descend to too many particularities: among other reasons, for the sake of Sir Thomas More's observation concerning the casuists of his time, who, he saith, by their too particular resolutions of cases, did not teach men non peccare, "not to sin," but did shew them, quam prope ad peccatum liceat accedere sine peccato; "how near men might come to sin, and yet not sin."
(pp. 188-9)
Provenance
Reading Keith Thomas' "Cases of Conscience in Seventeenth-Century England." In Public Duty and Private Conscience, edited by P. Slack J. Morill, and D. Woolf, 29-56. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. p. 51.
Citation
Tillotson, John. Sermon CCLIV: "Of the Rule of Equity to be Observed Among Men" Preached at the Morning Exercise at Cripplegate, in September, 1661. Works Vol. X. London: Richard Priestley, 1820. <Link to CCEL>
Theme
Court of Conscience
Date of Entry
01/21/2010

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.