What distinguished More’s philosophical theology, and bound it closely to the theology of the early Quakers, and to that of van Helmont and Anne Conway’s last years, was his spiritual_perfectionism and illuminism This is the most subtle and intimate aspect of More’s devotional orientation, and as I have tried to show, inspired his theological necessitarianism and the conceptual dualism of his accompanying psychology. And this informed and underpinned the development of his metaphysics and his approach to natural philosophy, including his qualified borrowings from Descartes. It also led to his defence of the doctrine of the preexistence of the soul, which like the notion of an afterlife itself, made the operations of an absolutely beneficent and just divine providence, seem rationally intelligible.


Conceptual Dualism Philosophical Theology Absolute Good Short Letter Deterministic Materialism 
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  1. 1.
    IS: II,xii, 8.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    DD(1713): Dialogue II, section xv.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    DD (1713): Dialogue II section xvii, and IS: III,xii,8–9Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    EE: I,ii,2 ffGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    EE: II,v,6–7, and II,ix,14–5.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Elys, Letters(1694): 16–7, and Appendix below.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    DD (1713): Dialogue II, sections xviii and xxi.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ward: 149–168. Appendix, below, Letters. These three letters have an interesting history. The second two, longer letters (Ward letter 4 and 5) were republished separately as Two Letters concerning Self-Love (1708) possibly with Ward’s involvement, and then much later after Ward’s death as An Essay on Disinterested Love; in a Letter to Bishop Stillingfleet (1756) I have been unable to match More’s references to any of Stillingfleet’s works, and it seems the publisher of this reissue seems to have mistaken the correspondent of the first shorter letter in Ward (letter 3) as being the same as the correspondent in Ward: letters 4 and 5. The first, shorter letter, containing five queries, which Ward describes as being addressed to “the Reverend Dr J.S.”, has no clear connection with the subsequent letters, apart from a general concern with the role of `self-love’. The following two longer letters Ward describes as being addressed to “a late learned Author” (presumably not the previous letter’s `Dr J.S.’) and are concerned with that author’s tendency to “resolve all Love into Self-love, that to God not accepted” (Ward: 152). More’s general line of argument in these longer letters suggests that he is addressing an eminent younger Latitudinarian, hence presumably the attribution to Stillingfleet.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ward: 155. Similar, but more sophistiticated arguments can be found discussed and developed in More’s exchange with John Norris, later published in the latter’s Theory and Regulation of Love (1688) the year after More’s death.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ward: 161.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ward: 161.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ward: 163.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    See the first and final pages of Ward.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Parker, Divine Dominion (1666), p.63: “And the life of man in this world is nothing but an Olympick exercise, God having placed us here not to admire the native Beauty and Perfection of our Beings, but to exercise ourselves in the conflicts and difficulties of Vertue.”Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    See above, and PP (1647): 362–3.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    See my introduction to Ward (2000), and also see Douglas Hedley, Coleridge and.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    See below, Appendix.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    See above, Chapter 6, and “A kind tho vain attempt” (Amsterdam, Bibliotheca Hermetica, MS). The date on it is January 14, 1687 (ie 1688 new style), and the place on the title sheet is the seat of Sir Robert Southwell, who seems to have had a hand in its intended publication.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Glavill, “Bensalem” Ms: 59, cited in Cope, “The Cupri-Cosmits” (1954). This appears in the “Kind tho Vaine Attempt”Ms: 2–3. See my discussion of this in my Introduction to Ward (2000): xxiv-xxvi.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Glanvill, `Bensalem’ Ms: 61; “A Kind tho’ Vaine Attempt” Ms: 12 (I have used the version in the latter, where the original `Meor’ has been changed to `Harry More’; and also in Cope, “CupriCosmits”: 283.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Crocker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AustraliaAustralia

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