Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/470

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BELIN


410


BELL


than a strictly so-called belief in it. Probable opin- ions, conjectures, obscured or partially recalled memories, or any truths or facts of which we have not a consciously evidential grasp, are the main objects of a belief resultant upon partial evidence. In this its distinction from knowledge lies. We are said to know intuitional truths as well as all those that are indirectly evident in their principles. We know all facts and truths of our own personal ex- perience, whether of consciousness or of objective nature. Similarly, we know the truth of the reports of memory that" come clearly and distinctly into consciousness. Nor is it necessarj'. with Hamilton, to have recourse to an initial belief or trust as im- plied in all knowledge. We cannot properly be said to trust our faculties. We do not believe evident truth. (3) With the two immediate causes of belief already noted, the action of the will must also be alluded to. Under this head emotion, feeling, and desire may conveniently be grouped, since they play an important, though indirect, part in motiving assents through the election of the will and so causing belief. The action of the will referred to is observed especially in a selection of the data to be examined and approved by the intellect. '\Miere there are sev- eral sets of evidences or partial arguments, for and against, the will is said to cause belief in the sense of directing the intellect to examine the particular set of evidences or arguments in favour of the resultant assent and to neglect all that might be urged against it. In this case, however, the belief can easily be referred to the partial evidence of reason, in that as a rational, rather than a volitional act, it is due to the actual considerations before the mind. Whether these are voluntarily restricted or incomplete from the verj- nature of the case, does not alter the fact that the assent is given because of the partial evidence they furnish. In faith the meritorious nature of the act of belief is referred to this elective action of the will.

The effects of belief may be summed up generally under the head of action or movement, though all beliefs are not of their nature operative. Indeed, it would seem to depend more on the nature of the content of the belief than upon the act of believing. As with certain truths of knowledge, there are beliefs that leave us unmoved and even tend to restrict and prevent rather than instigate to action. The dis- tinction drawn between the assents of knowledge and belief cannot be said to be observed at all closely in practice, where they are frequently confused. It is none the less undoubtedly felt to exist, and, upon analysis of the antecedents, the one can readily be distinguished from the other. It is found that most of the practical affairs of ordinary life depend entirely upon beliefs. In the vast majority of cases in which action is called for it is impossible to have strictly so-called knowledge upon which to act. In such cases belief readily supplies its place, growing stronger as it is justified by the event. Without it, as a prac- tical incentive to action and a justification of it, social intercourse would be an impossibility. Such things as our estimates of the character of oiu- friends, of the probity of those with whom we trans- act business, are examples of the beliefs that play so large and so necessary a part in our lives. In their own subject-matter they are on a par with the reason- able beliefs of science and philosophy — founded, as are hypotheses and theories, upon practically suffi- cient, yet indemonstrative and incomplete data.

Maher, Psychology in Stonyhurst Series (London. 1890): Newm.\,n', An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (London, 1870); Bain, Mental and Moral Science (London, 1868-72); Mill. Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (London, 1829); J. S. Mill. Notes to new edition of The Analysis (Lon- don. 1869); Idem, Dissertations and Discussions (London. 1859- 75*; Sully. Sensation and Intuition: Studies in Psychology and Esthetics (London. 1874); James. The Principles of Psychology <New York, 1890); Balfour, A Defence of PhUosophic Doubt


(London, 1879); Ward, The Wish to Believe (London, 1885); Ulrici, Glauben und Wissen, Spekuiation und exacte IFisseri- schnft (Leipzig. 1858); Fechxer, Die drei Motive und Grunde desGlaubens (Leipzig, 1863); Baldwin, Diet, of Philosophy, s. v.

Fr.\ncis Avelixg.

Belin, Albert (Jean) French prelate and writer, b. in Besan(;on early in the seventeenth century; d. 29 April, 1677. He made his profession in the Benedictine monastery of Faverney, 29 December, 1629, and spent some time at the monasteries of Charit^-sur-Loire, Nevers, and Paris as prior and subsequently as abbot. He was consecrated Bishop of Belley, 14 February, 1666. His works, whicn were written in French, are: "Pierre philosophale " (Paris, 1653); "Talismans justifies" (ibid.. 1653) "Poudre de sympathie mysterieuse" (ibid., 1653) "Poudre de projection demontrde " (ibid., 1653) "Le voyage inconnu" (ibid., 1653); "Principes de la foi demontr^s par la raison" (ibid., 1667); " Preu- ves convainquantes des veritfe du christianisme " (ibid., 1666); "Emblemes eucharistiques, ou octave du tres S. Sacrement" (1647, 1660); " Les sohdes pens^es de I'ame, pour la porter a son devoir" (Paris, 1668). He is probably identical with Alphonsus Behn, O.S.B., Prior of Charite-sur-Loire in the latter half of the seventeenth century, and author of "La verity de la religion catholique et la fausset^ de la religion pr^tendue reform^e" (Nevers, 1683).

HuRTER, Nomenclator (Innsbruck, 1893); Ziegelbauer^ Historia Rei Literaria O. S. B. (Augsburg. 1754), III; Calmet, Bibliotheque Lorraine (1751).

Alexius Hoffmann.

Bell, Arthur (alias Fr-^ncis), Venerable, Friar Minor and English martjT, b. at Temple-Broughton near Worcester, 13 January, 1590; d. at London, 1 1 De- cember, 1643. When Arthur was eight his father died and liis mother gave him in charge of her brother Fran- cis Daniel, a man of wealth, learning, and piety, who sent him at the age of twenty-four to the English college at St.-Omer; thence he went to Spain to continue and complete his stud- ies. Having been ordained priest, he received the habit of the Franciscan Order at Segovia, 9 August, 1618, and shortly after the completion of his novitiate was called from Spain to la- bour in the restor- ation of the English

province. He was one of the first members of the Franciscan community at Douai. where he subse- quently fulfilled the offices of guardian and professor of Hebrew. In 1632 Bell was sent to Scotland as first provincial of the Franciscan province there; but his efforts to restore the order in Scotland were unsuccessful and in 1637 he returned to England, where he laboured until November, 1643, when he was apprehended as a spy by the parliamentary troops at Stevenage in Hertfordshire and committed to Newgate prison.

The circumstances of his trial show Bell's singtilar devotedness to the cause of religion and his desire to suffer for the Faith. When condemned to be drawn and quartered it is said that he broke forth into a, solemn Te Deum and thanked his judges profusely for the favour they were thus conferring upon him in allowing him to die for Christ. The cause of his beatification was introduced at Rome in 1900. He


.\RTHua Bell