Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

107 Judgment


Is that act of the mind whereby one thing is affirmed or denied of another; or that power of the soul which passes sentence on things proposed to its examination, and determines what is right or wrong: and thus it approves or disapproves of an action, or an object considered as true or false, fit or unfit, good or evil. Dr. Watts gives us the following directions to assist us in judging right. 1. We should examine all our old opinions afresh, and enquire what was the ground of them, and whether our assent were built on just evidence; and then we should cast off all those judgments which were formed heretofore without due examination.–2. All our ideas of objects, concerning which we pass judgment, should be clear, distinct, complete, comprehensive, extensive, and orderly.–3. When we have obtained as clear ideas as we can, both of the subject and predicate of a proposition, then we must compare those ideas of the subject and predicate together with the utmost attention, and observe how far they agree, and wherein they differ.–4. We must search for evidence of truth, with diligence and honesty, and be heartily ready to receive evidence, whether for the agreement or disagreement of ideas.–5. We must suspend our judgment, and neither affirm nor deny until this evidence appear.–6. We must judge of every proposition by those proper and peculiar means or mediums, whereby the evidence of it is to be obtained, whether it be sense, consciousness, intelligence, reason, or testimony.–7. It is very useful to have some general principles of truth settled in the mind, whose evidence is great and obvious, that they may be always ready at hand to assist us in judging of the great variety of things which occur.–8. Let the degrees of our assent to every proposition bear an exact proportion to the different degrees of evidence.– 9. We should keep our minds always open to receive truth, and never set limits to our own improvements.

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary