Page:Montesquieu - The spirit of laws.djvu/9
TO THE READER.
replies to particular reproaches; and in the third, he gives some reflections on the manner in which his work has been criticized.
The author first complains of his being charged both with espousing the doctrines of Spinosa, and with being a Deist, two opinions directly contradictory to each other. To the former of these he answers, by placing in one view the several passages in the Spirit of Laws directly levelled against the doctrines of Spinosa; and then he replies to the objections that have been made to those passages, upon which this injurious charge is founded.
The critic asserts that our author stumbles at his first setting out, and is offended at his saying, that Laws in their most extensive signification, are the necessary relations derived from the nature of things. To this he replies, that the critic had heard it said that Spinosa had maintained that the world was governed by a blind and necessary principle; and from hence on seeing the word necessary, he concludes that this must be Spinosism; though what is most suprizing, this article is directly levelled at the dangerous principles maintained by Spinosa: That he had Hobbes's system in