Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

ز

Nature; not in its specific Nature, for solid or fluid Bodies, as such, are not necessarily, and therefore cou'd not be eternally existent. Not in its generical Nature; for, ift, This deify'd Matter being in one Part not conscious of the Thoughts that are in another, as we experience in our selves, wou'd not therefore be conscious of its own Thoughts, that is, wou'd not think at all; and then Man is not only without, but above, God in the World. 2dly, An eternal and necessarily. existent Substance, is no more subject to Alteration in its Properties, than it is in its Nature and Efence; the God of the Deist, as well as the Christian, must be the same to day, yesterday and for ever; which does infer not only Thought, but a Parity of Thought and Reason in all Beings, contrary to undoubted Experience ; and on the other hand to suppose the Divine Nature thinking, but weakly in a Man, incoherently in an Ideot, and not at all in a Stone, is to suppose his vital and moral Perfections determin'd ab extra, which is to suppose in him an absolute Imperfection.

The Second Principle is, that Motion was communicated to Matter; otherwise it either mov'd from Eternity, or first began to move of its self. The first Supposition is demonstrably false from the successive and periodical Nature of all corporeal Motion ; for

all

all the parts of whatever is successive, were once present; that is, there was a first, or there could have been none succeeding; and therefore that first is limitted on both sides; but Eternity is an unlimitted Duration.

The second Supposition, that Matter began to move it felf, is contrary to that known Law of Matter (which every one that bas well consider'd the Nature of it must assent to) that it is indifferent to either state of Motion and Rest; and therefore being once in either, mult persevere in it, till interrupted, or disturbd by an external Cause; so that if Matter was ever once altogether quiescent, it never cou'd have mov'd it felf.

And, from these two Absurdities Chewn, it immediately follows that the Origin of Motion springs, of necessity, from some thing immaterial.

Having prov'd that there must be one immaterial Substance, eternal, and the first Cause of Motion, it is not incumbent upon me to prove, as a farther Confirmation of my Principle, that there are likewise finite created immaterial Substances; it is abundantly sufficient that there is no contradiction in the thing and that immaterial, as well as material Substance may be conceiv'd the Object and Effect of Divine Power; which it certainly may be, since it does not imply in its Idea any thing of abfolute Perfection.

SE CT.

[ocr errors]

SECT. IV.

of Extension and Cogitation, as the

Attributes of Body and Mind, and bow far their different Ideas argues different Substances.

Aving found that we come by the

Knowledge of Substance by its Attributes, &c. we must follow the famie Guide in our Enquiry after that Sabstance which We call immaterial; and here the two first Properties that offer themselves to our Conia fideration of human Nature, are Extension and Cogitation ; that is, that our Nature is made up of a Body, and fomething endu'd with the Power and Faculty of Thought.

We need not therefore enter into the Difpute about these Terms, whether Extension alone, without the specific Difference of impenetrable, constitutes the Nature of Boa dy; or whether Cogitation, as an Operation, can be the Effence of any Substance ; for all that I intend is to use them as general Terms, to comprehend the several Modes and Properties of Body and Mind ; which usually, how improperly foever, are reduc'd to them. For this Dispute belongs to them who enquite after the Nature, and not, as

i

I do, barely the Existence of Spirit and
Body.

Supposing now, that our Knowledge of Extension proves the Existence of corporeal Substance, we are to enquire whether our Knowledge of Cogitation proves the same of incorporeal; and if it does, we must conclude these two Substances, because we find these two Attributes, to be united in human Nature.

Let us then examin our Ideas of Extenfion and Cogitation ; and in the first place it is self-evident that there is no Connexion betwixt them; that is, neither Thought in general, nor any particular Thought, implies, in its Conception, any corporeal Mode, or Quality whatsoever ; and so vice versa.

This is granted on all hands, even by Spinoza himself, who lays it down as an Axiom, Nullas res fingulares,

Eth.p.2.ax. 5. præter corpora & cogitandi n10dos, sentimus, nec percipimus : Where he's plainly compell’d to make two fingular, and therefore different things in our Conceptions of Body and Cogitation.

The point in question is, whether a difference in the Attributes proves a like difference of the Substances, to which they belong; which Spinoza, and since him many others deny that it does : And it must be granted that all kind of difference in Pro

perties, perties, does not argue different Substancës : For instance, our Ideas of Solidity and Cos lour, are very different, and we find no immediate Connexion between them; and yet we find them co-existent in the same mates rial Substance; nay, we find contradictory Qualities, v.g. Hardness and Fluidity to exist, alternately, in the same Substance; and this leads us to consider where their Connexion lies, if they have any; and we presently find their Agreement in a third thing; we find Extension susceptible of Solidity and Colour at once, of Hardness and Fluidity at different times; and being thus united in one Attribute, they resolve into one Nature and Essence.

But when we find any two Properties which, after a thorough Examination, are neither immediately connected themselves, nor mediately by any third thing; we must conclude, by the same Rule, (and 'tis the only Rule we liave in such cases) that they do appertain unto two different Natures and Effences.

Of this latter kind is the difference be: tween our Idea of Cogitation and that of Extension. If we consider Thought, in its utmost Latitude, from the first to the last Degree of it, we have not any one Mode of Extension offer'd to our Minds in the whole Contemplation ; again, if we anatomize

Extension,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »