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Extension, as far as our Thoughts can possibly carry us, we meet with nothing of Thought but find our felves as far from it, as when we first enter'd upon the Consideration of Matter, in one gross extended Bulk; Nor, lastly, does there result, from all the Comparison we can make of these two together, any third Thing [ Substance or Attribute] in which they are united, and into which, their different Natures are clearly resolvable.
If to this it is objected, That in fact we find 'them united in one common Substance of Human Nature; I answer, besides that this is to beg the Question of him, that that wou'd prove Human Nature to be made up of Two Substances; if we consider Man only as an Organical Body, constituted of Particles differing in Bulk, Figure, Situation, &c. and then consider again, Whether this organiz'd Piece of Matter is more capable of connecting, as a third Thing, Extension and Thought, than any other Part of Matter in the Universe; we shall find it is not, that we can conceive; which is all I aim at here, because (as has been hinted) we are never the nearer Thought, for our refining upon Matter : By which we are led to one of these. Conclusions ; either that Human Nature, as endu'd with the Faculty of Thought , is to us an un
accountable, unsolvable Instance in the Creation; or else another Principle must þe fetch'd in for the Solution of it.
Now let us inquire, What has put the best Reasoners and Philosophers upon the Necessity of multiplying Substances in the Universe, for, Sine necessitate Entia non sunt multiplicanda, and we shall find this, and only this; That they met with Properties different in themselves, and not connected by any Third Thing, that offer'd it self to their Thoughts.
And therefore Spinoza's Distribution of Things into Corpora , & Cogitandi Modos, was illogical and unphilosophical. If he cou'd not, as he was conscious, he cou'd not, reduce Cogitation to Extension, but was forc’d to place them in distinct and çoordinate Classes , why did lie mention the Substance of the one, and but the Accident of the other? He shou'd have said, Extensionis & Cogitationis Modos, or SubStantiam extenfam & cogitanten. In one Object we perceive nothing but Extension, and what follows that; in the other nothing but Cogitation, and what belongs to that; and therefore these equally conclude, if either conclude, for the Existence of their Substances.
Spinoza wou'd object here, That we know nothing of Immaterial Substance, con
sider'd in it self; and I wou'd answer, No more do we of Material; and as to their Properties, it is granted, That we do perceive Cogitandi Modos.
If he shou'd farther urge, That we know not so much of them, as of 'those belonging to Body, and so make what is Sensible, the highest Degree of Certainty ; I need not dispute that; because, as I said, any the least Degree of the Knowledge of an Object, is a full Warrant to conclude for its Existence.
But Spinoza has plainly betray'd his own Cause; for he has unwarily laid down, and proved this Proposition, que
Echic. p. la res nihil commune inter se habent, earum una alterius caufa effe non potest : From whence I argue, If there is nothing common between Extension and Cogitation, or, in his Words, between Body and the Modes of Thinking, then the one cannot be the Cause of the other; and consequently they cannot proceed from one and the same SubStance,
But a more modern Author has offerd another Objection against the Certainty of this Conclufion; We have , says he, the Ideas of Matter and Thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know, whether any meer material Being thinks, or no; it being im
pessible for us, by the Contemplation of our own Ideas, without Revelation, to discover,
whether Omnipotence bas not Lock's Effay, given to some Systems of MatBook 4. Ch. 3.
ter fitly disposed a power to per
ceive and think. I shall have occasion to examin thi' Obje&tion thoroughly in the sequel, but shall only consider it now, as it opposes what I aim at in this section. It seems then there is a fit Disposition requir'd on Matter's side, as well as an omnipotent Power from without, to make it think. If I shou'd ask this great Thinker, in what Part of Matter, or under what Circumstances he ever found this Disposition, I cou'd not reasonably expect a prompt Answer. I am sure, that in his Ideas of Matter and Thinking there is no such thing to bę found: And therefore, if he is Master of the Secret, his Knowledge is far larger than his
Ideas; whereas it is true, and the Subject of this very Se
çtion, That our Knowledge is narrower than our Ideas. But to let the Intimation of Matter fitly
disposed pass; I am surpriz'd to bid.
find a Philosopher of no In
terest or Party, that neverfailing Argument against all that are not of his Opinion, and who pleads fo hard
for rational and intelligible Solutions, him• self to recur to that of, I know not but it may be, nay, with a farther Fetch, I know not bát Omnipotence may have made it so; and this is a Case that most other Philosophers have thought capable of being
Suppose he had been talking of the Atmosphere, and, after several Experiments and Observations, to prove it no where 40 Miles high; shou'd come to shew how Rain proceeds from the Condensation of Vapours in that Atmosphere;. but stop here, says he; We have the Ideas of Rain and Atmosphere, but can never be certain; but that the Drops of Rain, as well as the Rays of Light, may stream from the Sun; for that Omnipotence may have so fitly disposed them, that they cannot Gravitate till within fuch a Distance from the Earth. Wou'd not this @cós Szo ungarns tend mightily to the Advancement of Science? The Case I think is very parallel, and I submit it to Judgment, Whether so great a Master of Reason wou'd not be thought, in the former Part of it, to speak like, what he so much detests, A Man of a Party.
I think however, the Author has here deserted his own cleár Ideas ; the chief Use of which is to distinguish Things, as Confusion, in our fimple Apprehension, is the