This is a web version of the Clarke-Collins correspondence, currently curated and originally prepared by Cole Mitchell. The text and the pagination are based almost entirely on the 6th edition of A Letter to Mr. Dodwell, published by Knapton in 1731, and available on Google Books here.

This project took a great deal of work, so please let me know if you would like to cooperate on doing something with it (e.g., getting a modern edition published by an academic press). Any feedback would be much appreciated:

Table of Contents
  1. Clarke’s Letter
  2. Collins’s Letter
  3. Clarke’s 1st Defence
  4. Collins’s Reply
  5. Clarke’s 2nd Defence
  6. Collins’s Reflections
  7. Clarke’s 3rd Defence
  8. Collins’s Answer
  9. Clarke’s 4th Defence
A

LETTER

TO

Mr. DODWELL;

WHEREIN

All the Arguments in his Epistolary Discourse against the Immortality of the SOUL are particularly answered,

AND

The Judgment of the Fathers concern­ing that Matter truly represented.


By SAMUEL CLARKE, D. D. late Rector of St. James’s Westminster.


LONDON:
Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.
 
 

A

LETTER

TO

Mr. Dodwell, &c.
 
SIR,
 
IT is a Thing of very ill Consequence, when Men of great Reputation in the World for Learning, in their Discourses upon the most important Doctrines of Religion, rashly and upon very little Grounds, allow themselves to advance new and crude Notions, and extravagant Hypotheses; which the Profane will not, and the Weak are not able to separate, from the principal and fundamental and most necessary Doctrines themselves.
For, as in Natural Philosophy and in the search after Physical Truth, the Systems and Hypotheses which ingenious Men invent for explaining the appearances of Nature, and which for some time are received with Applause, but afterwards are confuted by Reason and Experience; are apt to make Men think the Natural Causes of things absolutely impossible to be discovered at all; and have really such an effect upon very Many, as to make them reject for their sake, or at least to call in question, even the certainest Truths which have been discovered by plain Experiments, or clear Mathematical Demonstration it self: So in Matters of Religion likewise, the inconsiderate and groundless Notions, which Men of great Learning and much Reading, have with too little Judgement sometimes joined and intermixed with their Explications of some of the greatest and most important Doctrines of Religion; when upon due Examination, the absurdity and inconsistency of such Schemes plainly appears; have been apt to raise Doubts in many Mens Minds concerning the Truth even of the certainest Doctrines themselves, which are either the most plainly discovered by right Reason, or are most clearly delivered in Scripture.
You teach that the Soul of Man is naturally mortal, and will of it self perish and come to nothing, if not upheld by the extraordinary Power of God, in a præternatural way. Many, who see the imprudent Title of your Discourse, and will not take the pains to read the Book it self, will conclude that you suppose the Soul to perish at the dissolution of the Body; And all Libertines, when they have read and considered all that you offer, will still conclude, that if (as you grant to them) the Soul must of it self naturally perish sometime or other, there is no time so probable when it should perish, as at the dissolution of the Body; and they will easily persuade themselves to rely upon this, that God will not work a perpetual Miracle to preserve them præternaturally by his omnipotent Power, on purpose to inflict upon them an eternal Punishment, which by Nature they were not capable of undergoing.
These Mens Conclusion indeed is by no means right; But it is such a one, as is very natural for Men of loose Principles and vicious Lives to draw from your Doctrine; and therefore you ought to have been very careful not to give them such an Occasion of deceiving themselves, unless you had first been very sure that your Notion was either very plainly contained in Scripture, or very clearly demonstrable by right Reason: Which that it is not, I presume will appear from the following Observations.
 
You begin with a Distinction (Præmon. Sect. 3.) that the Souls of some Men are made immortal by the Spirit of God, to Happiness; and the Souls of some others, by the Will of God, to Punishment. Now what can be more precarious and groundless than this Distinction? For what real Difference is there in the thing it self, between being immortalized by the Spirit, and by the Will of God? Eternal Life and Happiness is indeed constantly attributed to the Spirit of God, that is, those only who have the Spirit of God, and are guided by it, who obey the Will of God, and live in conformity to his holy Laws, shall be partakers of Eternal Happiness: And thus the Spirit of God is indeed necessary to qualify Men for, and to make them capable of, the Happiness of Heaven. But if, to make good Men capable of an Eternal Duration in order to that Happiness, it be necessary that the Spirit of God give them a new Principle of Subsistence, or superadd a new Substance to their Souls; (as your obscure Expressions concerning the Accession of an adscititious Spirit, &c. frequently seem to signify, and without which, there is no other difference than only in Words, between being immortalized by the Spirit and by the Will of God;) then nothing can be more contrary to reason, than to suppose any Men made immortal without the addition of that new Principle; nor can any representation of God’s Proceedings, be more harsh and incredible, than to suppose him by his Omnipotent Will and Power, eternally and miraculously preserving such Creatures unto endless Punishment, who never had in them, either originally or additionally, any Principle of Immortality at all. How plainly and how very much more agreeable to Reason and to our natural Notions of God is it, to say that all Creatures who shall ever undergo eternal Punishment, are such as having been created naturally immortal, and by wilful continuance in Sin, having so far depraved themselves as to become uncapable of eternal Happiness, must consequently by the just Judgement of God fall into such Misery, as their immortal Nature so corrupted necessarily makes them liable to. When we speak of the Soul as created naturally immortal, we mean that it is by the Divine Pleasure created such a Substance, as not having in it self any Composition, or any Principles of Corruption, will naturally, or of it self continue for ever; that is, will not by any natural decay, or by any Power of Nature, be dissolved or destroyed; But yet nevertheless depends continually upon God, who has power to destroy or annihilate it, if he should so think fit. When therefore you say that the Original of the Immortality of such Souls as shall be eternally punished, may be more agreeably derived from the Divine Pleasure, than from the Nature of the Soul; if thereby you mean that the Soul was made immortal by the mere pleasure of God, in opposition to its being immortal by the necessity of its own Nature, in the sense that God is immortal; then indeed not Plato only, but all others also that ever held the Immortality of the Soul, have been and are of the same Opinion: But if by those Words you mean, as through the whole of your Discourse you expressly declare, that the Soul was created mortal, but by the Divine Omnipotence is upheld eternally; then it is, on the contrary, evidently far more agreeable to right Reason and to our Notions of God, to derive the Immortality of the Soul, and especially of a miserable one, from its own Nature, than from the Divine Pleasure; that is, to suppose the Soul to have been at first created such a Substance, as by the ordinary concourse of Divine Providence would continue for ever; than that it was created of a mortal and perishable Nature, but by the extraordinary and miraculous Power of God, is continually supported, only to endure Torment and Punishment, beyond the capacity of its own Nature, to all Eternity.
 
There cannot easily be made a worse representation of God’s dealings with Mankind, than what you affirm (Præmon. Sect. 4.) that if the Devils had not fallen, there had been no Hell at all; and that Mankind is no otherwise concerned in it, than as, by joining themselves to the Devil’s Party, they intitle themselves also to his Punishment. It is true, the Fire of Hell was first and originally prepared for the Devils, because they were the first and original Offenders. But to say that without their Fall, there never would have been any Hell at all; and that the same or equal Punishment should not then have been inflicted upon Wicked Men for the same Crimes, as there now shall; is representing God like an Arbitrary Tyrant, who without caring to make an exact, equal, and particular distribution of Justice, deals with all Offenders of all ranks and degrees alike, because they have all interpretatively joined in opposing his Authority.
 
You affirm expressly (ibid.) that the Soul does not depend on our gross Organical Body, nor perishes upon its dissolution from those Bodies. I beseech you, if the Soul be such a Substance as is, incapable of being hurt by so great a change and dissolution, as is caused in us by a violent Death, suppose by Fire; upon what Principle can it be imagined to be naturally mortal; or what Revolutions in Nature will it not be able to resist and supervive? You explain this further, by saying, that Mens Souls do not so depend on any other created Being, but that they may still continue in their duration, whatsoever other created Influences be withdrawn from them, if God be pleased still to continue that ordinary Providence, which is essentially necessary for their continuance. And is not this the very definition of Immortality? or did ever any Man mean more than this, when he affirmed the Soul to be naturally Immortal? You distinguish it indeed from the Natural Immortality of Angels; but by such a distinction, as includes not in it any the least difference. For what difference is there between affirming concerning Angels, that it is in the Power and Pleasure of God to annihilate them when he thinks fit; and concerning Humane Souls, that they do not so depend on any other created Beings, but that they may still continue in their Duration, whatsoever other created Influences be withdrawn from them, if God be pleased still to continue that ordinary Providence, which is essentially necessary for their Preservation? And yet in the very next Words, you very inconsistently imagine the Soul, as being a mere Flatus, to have a more immediate Dependence on God than other Creatures, than even the meanest Particles of lifeless Matter have; which must make it cease to be, whenever he is pleased to cease to breath it; as being unable to continue its Duration, by the Powers given it at its first Production, and the continuance of those general Influences which are requisite for the support of Created Beings in general. According to these last Words, the Soul not being so much as a Substance of any kind at all, is likely to be more effectually destroyed by Death, than even the Body it self. Whereas according to the Words just preceeding, your Scheme ought to have been on the contrary, that the Soul is by Nature Immortal, and must be mortalized by the Omnipotence of God, if ever it perish; and not, that it is by Nature Mortal, and must be immortalized by a new Act of Omnipotence, to enable it to subsist for ever. So that here, you seem to have framed no consistent Notion even of your own Scheme.
What you advance (Præmon. Sect. 5.) concerning its not having been culpable to hold communication and join with the Devil, before the Publication of the Gospel; and that the Devil was not to be looked upon as a publick Enemy, before his being declared so by the Gospel; is so extravagant, that it needs no Confutation. Was not the Devil an Enemy when he tempted our first Parent? And was he not publickly declared to be so, in the Curse pronounced to him thereupon? Is not the Devil described as a publick Enemy to God and good Men, in the History of Job? And as an Enemy to Israel, 1 Chron xxi. 1? Or was he known to be an Enemy in Temporal Affairs only, (Præmon. pag. 41,) and could not be known to be so in things relating to the Life to come? Or had the Patriarchs, no expectation at all of a better City to come, after the present Tabernacle was dissolved? Is not Idolatry in the Old Testament constantly branded with as severe a character of Rebellion against God, as in the New? And in the Heathen World, before the Gospel was begun to be preached, (though the times of that Ignorance God did indeed wink at, that is, would not be so severe in punishing them, as those who should afterwards sin against greater Light;) yet was it no Crime, to worship the Creature more than the Creator? was it no Fault that the World did κεῖσθαι ἐν τῷ πονηρῷ, lie under entire subjection to the Evil One, 1 Joh. v. 19? and in the Power of Satan, Acts xxvi. 18? Were not the abominable Rites of the Heathen, plainly a sacrificing to Devils? And do not all the Ancient Fathers, for whose Judgement you express so great an esteem, suppose in all their Writings against the Pagans, that before the proposing of the Gospel to them, they ought to have known from the Light of Nature and Right Reason, that those impure Spirits whose Worship was attended with all manner of bestiality and wickedness, were professed Enemies to God and Goodness? Nay, does not St. Paul himself expressly affirm, that That which may be known of God, was manifest enough to them, to have preserved them from Idolatry? and that, because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, but changed the Truth of God into a Lie, for that Reason God gave them up unto vile affections, &c.
Nor is it less absurd, to found (as you do in the same place) the Heinousness of Sin, and the Reasonableness of the Severity of its Punishment, principally upon its being interpreted as a joining with the Devil. Idolatry indeed, and Witchcraft, and Profane Scoffing at God and all Religion, may justly enough come directly under this Charge; and all other Sins also may in effect and in event, not improperly be looked upon as promoting the Interest of the Devil, and an opposing the establishment of the Kingdom of God. But to make the formal Reason, the heinousness and demerit, not only of Idolatry, Witchcraft, and Profane open Opposition of Religion, but also of all other Sins whatsoever, to consist not so much in the original depravity of the Actions themselves, in their contrariety to Right Reason, and to the Light of Nature and Conscience, in their opposition to the Nature, and Will, and Law, and Authority of God, as in their being interpretatively a joining and communication with the Devil; To suppose God inflicting upon Men such a Punishment, not as their Sins deserve in their own Nature, and such as the Nature of their own Souls makes them capable of falling into by wilful and obstinate corruption and depravation of themselves, but such as is disproportionable to their Nature, and exceeding the natural Powers of their degree of Being; and to account for this only by saying, that Christ will so interpret their not joyning with Him, as if they had joyned themselves to the Devil; Is not all this, to make God, in the hardest Sense, act arbitrarily?
Your Interpretation of Rom. ii. 12. and of Joh. iii, 19. (Præmon. Sect. 6,) is so loose and Groundless, that any Text may in the same manner be brought to prove any thing, or rather no Text can really prove any thing at all. For if when St. Paul says, Rom. ii. 12. that as many as have sinned without Law, shall also perish without Law; and as many as have sinned in the Law, shall be judged by the Law; the Word perish be not evidently Synonymous to being judged or condemned, and signifies that every Sinner’s Condemnation or Punishment shall be proportionable to the heinousness of his Sin with respect to the Light he sinned against; but on the contrary from the Word [ἀπολοῦνται] shall perish, it can be concluded that the Persons spoken of shall only barely cease to be, in opposition to the Word [κριθήσονται] shall be judged or condemned; It will follow equally from the use of the same Word in other places of Scripture, that neither Rejecters of the Gospel, nor wicked Christians, nor even the Devils themselves, shall be condemned to any other Punishment, than bare ceasing to be: For of all these it is said in several Places of Scripture, that [ἀπολοῦνται] they shall perish, or be destroyed: And thus you unwarily overthrow all the Threatnings of the Gospel. Again, if when our Saviour says, John iii. 19. that This is the condemnation, that Light is come into the World, and Men love Darkness rather than Light; his plain Meaning be not this, That the clear Revelation of the Will of God made to Mankind in the Gospel, and the express denunciation of his Wrath against Sin, is the great Aggravation of impenitence, and that which makes Men obstinately continuing in their Sins utterly inexcusable, and their condemnation evidently most just, because they cannot now pretend ignorance of their Duty; but the Words [Ἅυτη ἡ κρίσις] This is the Condemnation, must signify a particular kind of Punishment to be inflicted upon Men for Associating with the Devil as being the Prince of Darkness; I cannot see but by the same Liberty, any Asserter of any new Opinion may interpret any part of Scripture so as to countenance any the most groundless Fancy or Imagination whatsoever.
Is it not a very weak Hypothesis, to imagine that the Souls of Men must needs be naturally Mortal, because otherwise God would not know how to dispose of the Souls of the Heathen; since there cannot be any third Eternal State, suitable to the Nature of a Rational Soul; neither happy, nor miserable; as there must be, if those Souls be naturally Immortal? (Præmon. p. 43.) Is not the Universe large enough, for God to dispose of all his Creatures into States suitable to their Natures? Are there not in God’s House many Mansions? Or will Heaven and Hell be two such Places, in which there will be no Differences of States, no Space for Order and Variety of degrees? Does not our Saviour himself expressly tell us, that they who knew not their Master’s will, and yet did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes? And does not St. Paul, in the whole 2d Chapter to the Romans, plainly declare that Gentiles as well as Jews shall be judged according to their Works?
The rest of your Præmonition, being upon a different Subject, I forbear to consider at this time.

IN the Discourse it self (Sect. 2.) you propose a most dark and unintelligible Notion, concerning [ψυχή and πνεῦμα] Soul and Spirit; not only distinguishing the rational Soul from the sensitive; which was the Philosophy of many of the Antients; but moreover making the Spirit different from both, and wholly præternatural to Man. The whole natural Soul (ψυχή) including both the sensitive and Rational part, (which you elsewhere call the two Souls, pag. 220,) you suppose to be of itself mortal, but to be made immortal in good Christians by the addition of the Spirit, (by the Accession of an Adscititious Spirit, as you sometimes express it) and in the Rejecters of the Gospel to be made immortal without it. If by the Spirit you mean only an Operation of the Spirit of God upon our Souls, then (as I observed before) there is no real difference between being immortalized by the Spirit and by the Will of God. But if by the Spirit you mean the addition of a new Substance or Principle of Subsistence to the Souls of good Christians in order to immortalize them, which yet in them that reject the Gospel are immortalized without that addition; is not this just such another supposition, as if you should suppose the Understanding to be one Substance in a Man, and the Will another, and the Habit of Virtue a third; notwithstanding that at the same time it be confessed that all these things may be Faculties or Powers of one and the same Substance? And your perverting the Words of St. Paul to serve your obscure Hypothesis is very gross. Does St Paul when he distinguishes the natural Body [ψυχικόν σῶμα] from the Spiritual Body [πνευματικόν σῶμα] and calls the one corruptible, the other incorruptible; mean that the natural Body [ψυχικόν σῶμα] is therefore corruptible or mortal, because the Soul [ψυχή] or Principle of Life which is in it, is itself a mortal Principle? or that the Spiritual Body [πνευματικόν σῶμα] is made incorruptible by the superaddition of a Spirit to the Soul that animates it? The plain meaning of St Paul is only this, that the Body which in this present state is dissolvable and corruptible, shall after the Resurrection, by the Power of God, be made incorruptible; without having any respect at all to the Soul, or the Nature of it, in his whole Discourse. Again, when St Paul derives our Title to the Resurrection of the Body, wholly from Christ; does he thereby mean to affirm, that, without the Resurrection of Christ, the Souls of Men must also have ceased to exist? On the contrary, for that very reason, because the Souls of Men would not have ceased to exist; therefore Christ thought them of value to redeem them from Misery, by the Purchase of his Blood, by his Death and Resurrection. And it is the worst representation of Christianity, that can be; something that might indeed be thought hard dealing; to suppose (as you do) that the Gospel of Christ, which is every where in Scripture represented as the greatest Instance of God’s tender Mercy and Compassion towards Men, should upon the whole so very disproportionably increase the Misery of sinful Men, as that whoever disbelieved or neglected that new Offer of Grace and Favour, should from thenceforth be condemned to everlasting Torments; notwithstanding that otherwise Sin, in its own Nature, against the Light of Reason and Conscience, and the natural Law of God, was so little heinous, that had it not been for the Offer of this new extraordinary Grace and Favour, they that had lived in the utmost contempt of God and of his natural and eternal Law written in their Hearts, and in the most unrestrained practice of all possible wickedness, might have been safe from the fear of any other danger, than that of perishing finally by a natural Mortality.
Your Conclusion from our Saviour’s description of the last Judgment, Matt. xxv. is very extraordinary; [Sect. 3;] that because the rewardableness of the good Works of the Righteous, is there ascribed to their having been done for Christ’s sake; therefore no other Persons shall be concerned in that Judgment but those to whom the Gospel had been made known. You might exactly as well have concluded, that because Charity and Uncharitableness are the only particular Actions there mentioned, for which Men shall be adjudged to Reward or Punishment; therefore no regard shall be had to any other Virtues or Crimes in that final Judgment. It is evident by comparing other places of Scripture, that all kinds of Actions shall then be examined; and it is as evident, that all sorts of Persons shall be so too. Those who never heard of the Gospel, it is true, cannot be judged by the same Rule or Form, as those who did hear of it; But is it not very wonderful, to conclude from thence, that because such persons must be judged by another form not fully and expressly (suppose) mentioned in Scripture, therefore that form cannot at all be known, what it is; and if that form could not be known, yet that therefore it ought not to be believed that there is any such form at all? Does not the same Light of Reason, which makes Men a Law to themselves, necessarily discover also to them at the same time what Rule they shall be judged by? Neither is it true therefore, that no such Form can be proved from the Scriptures: For does not St Paul, in the whole 2d Chapter to the Romans, largely declare that there is such a Form, and also what that Form is? And does not the Scripture every where plainly suppose, that the Judgment shall be universal? The Phrase of judging the World, Acts xvii. 31, manifestly implies it; and the opposition between Death and Judgment, Heb. ix. 27, though the stress of the Apostle’s Argument does not indeed lie upon it, and the universal particle [All] is not added, yet very evidently supposes the Judgment to extend to the very same Persons as Death doth. And what difference is there, between saying that it is appointed for Men once to die, or that it is appointed for All Men once to die? It is not a just answer here, to say that Universal Assertions are frequently in Scripture to be understood in a limited Sense. That can only be so, when either the common acceptation of the words, evidently limits their signification; as in that place you mention, Joh. xii. 19; or when some other parallel places of Scripture, expressly add a Limitation. Where this is not the case, as it is not in the phrase of God’s judging the World, Acts xvii. 31; the same Expression being in all other places of Scripture likewise universal; if limitations may be added arbitrarily and at pleasure, there will then be no way left to distinguish at all, when any declaration is to be looked upon as universal, and when as only particular. You your self are forced to allow the Jews, who lived before our Saviour’s Coming, to be concerned in the Judgment; and not them only, but also others who lived before the Law, in the Times of Noah and the Patriarchs; because (pag. 11,) as they were intitled to the Spirit, in Reversion; so they might be intitled to the Consequences of the Spirit, one of which is Immortality. I suppose you will easily grant, that the Knowledge many of these Men had of Christ, was but implicit and very obscure: And if that was sufficient to intitle them to Immortality, why is it not as easy to suppose that the Promise God made to Adam might intitle all Mankind to have some benefit of the Redemption purchased by Christ, according to their different proportions and capacities, though they never heard of him explicitly?
It may here be observed also by the By, that, according to your obscure and indeed confused manner of expressing your self, you in this Section (pag. 8,) suppose the Holy Spirit to immortalize Men to Punishment; and again (pag. 31,) that Men are qualified for the higher degree of Punishment, by the Accession of the adscititious Spirit, which makes them ἰσάγγελοι: Not very consistently with your first distinction, (Præmon. Sect. 3,) that the actually immortalizing Souls to Punishment, may better be ascribed to the Pleasure of God, than to the Divine Spirit. Unless you will say, that bad Men within the Covenant, are immortalized to Punishment by one Principle; and bad Men without the Covenant, or Rejecters of it, immortalized to Punishment by another Principle. And so there is no end of vain and groundless Imaginations.
 
That there shall be, as you say, (Sect. 4,) a very great difference in the Punishment of those who resist and reject the Gospel, from what it would have been if they had never heard of the Gospel; is undoubtedly very true. But does it from thence follow, that God did not oblige Men at all to worship himself, before any revealed Religion was instituted? Because the Scripture does indeed every where suppose the Condition of those who resist the Gospel dispensation worse than that of the worst sort of Criminal who never heard of the Gospel; does it from thence follow, that they that never heard of the Gospel, had therefore no concern at all in the final judgment? Because our Saviour declares that it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the Day of Judgment, than for those who rejected the Gospel when offered them; does it from thence follow, that those wicked People shall not be cast into outer darkness at all? When our Saviour threatens that Capernaum, which was exalted to Heaven, should be brought down to Hell; is it not a very extraordinary Interpretation of the meaning of those Words, and as wonderful an Inference from them, to conclude that those People, if our Saviour had not preached to them, would have had no reason to fear the Punishment of Hell at all? An unprejudiced Person would rather conclude on the contrary, that for that very Reason, because they were in danger of it, therefore our Saviour preached to them, and exhorted them to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Lastly, if they that never heard of the Gospel, shall not indeed for their Unbelief be sentenced to that Hell, which was prepared for the Devil and his Angels; that is, to the same Degree of Punishment with those who reject or disobey the Gospel; yet does it at all from thence follow, that they shall have no concern in the general Judgment, upon account of their having obeyed or disobeyed the Law of Nature?
The Case (Sect. 6.) of that Text in St John, John v. 28 and 29; The Hour is coming, in the which all that are in the Graves shall hear his Voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the Resurrection of Life, and they that have done evil, unto the Resurrection of Damnation, is exactly the same with that before-mentioned, Acts xvii. 31. The Words are universal; and the Instances you bring of other universal Affirmations, which must be understood in a limited Sense, have not the least similitude with the Text you are considering. If the Gibeonites universal Declaration to David, that for them he should not kill any Man in Israel, must needs indeed be understood in a limited Sense, because they themselves expressly limited it by demanding seven of Saul’s Posterity to be delivered to them to be put to death: If Ahab’s sending to all Nations and Kingdoms to search for Elijah, must indeed of necessity, in the Nature of the thing it self, be understood only of those that bordered upon him: If St Paul’s universal Declaration, that he baptized none of the Corinthians, must indeed be understood with an exception; because he himself in the very next Words adds an exception expressly: Is it just to infer from these Instances, that our Saviour’s universal Affirmation in this place, concerning the Resurrection, may likewise be understood in a limited Sense, though, neither in the Nature of the thing itself, nor from the Context, there be any the least Ground for such Limitation? Nay though on the contrary, all the parallel Texts, which are very many, be likewise universal? It is a wonderful thing, to see in what manner Learned Men can argue, when Prejudices prevail over their Judgment.
 
Your 7th Section, to ordinary Understandings, seems to be mere Confusion. You suppose Man to consist of three distinct parts, Body, Soul, and Spirit: But they who made this distinction, supposed these three parts to be in all Men by Nature; which will not serve your purpose. You bring in Plato distinguishing Mind [Νοῦς] from [ψυχή] Soul, and making the one mortal, the other immortal: But this likewise, being spoken concerning the natural Formation of all Men, is nothing to your purpose; For in your Hypothesis, you make the whole Man by nature Mortal. You mention Plato here (pag. 22 and 24, and again pag. 59 and 96, and Præmon. pag. 21,) as avowing your own Notions: And yet in other places, (as pag. 33, 60, and 66,) you inconsistently speak of him as justly blamed for holding the contrary Opinion, for asserting Our Doctrine of the Souls natural Immortality, pag. 33. You affirm (pag. 23,) that there is no real difference between the Platonical Notions and those of the New Testament, only that That which the Platonists call Mind [Νοῦς] and make it Immortal, the Sacred Writers call [πνεῦμα] Spirit, as being the Divine Breathing, Gen. ii. 7: Here you openly contradict your self, making the immortal [πνεῦμα] Spirit common to all Men by their original Formation, and confounding it with what you elsewhere so often, in allusion to that very Text, distinguish by the Name [πνοή] Breath, and make it mortal. You bring in Philo distinguishing the Immortal Soul from the sensible formed Man, as you darkly express it; But even this also is directly against you: For Philo opposing the immortal Mind of Man, that is, the rational Soul, both to the Body and to the sensitive Soul, still speaks of them all as original and natural Parts of the Man; and therefore when you apply to your Hypothesis of an adscititious Spirit, what he says concerning this [πνεῦμα θεῖον] Divine Spirit or Soul infused into Man by God’s breathing, Gen. ii. 7; you again directly contradict your self, by confounding the Spirit [πνεῦμα] which you suppose immortal, with the [πνοή] Breath or Soul which you make to be mortal. You cite (pag 26.) the Words of Aratus, [Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν] as approved by St Paul, Acts xvii. 28: But if those Words prove any thing, they prove directly against you: For [γένος θεοῦ], if it signifies any thing, signifies Off-spring of God in that Sense which you oppose, (pag 66.) And though you are pleased to understand them (pag. 66,) only of those that are immortalized by receiving or rejecting the Gospel, yet St Paul on the contrary as plainly applies them to all that dwell on the Face of the Earth, as it could be expressed in Words.
In the same Section, (pag. 22,) you call it a precarious Fancy, to make every cause of Motion distinct from Matter, to be properly, what we call a Spirit, Independent on Matter, and Immortal: Here you seem to suppose the Soul of Man, to be something distinct from Matter; yet not a Spirit, nor Independent on Matter, least from thence it should follow that it was naturally immortal. In your Præmonition, p. 25, you make the Soul, as being a mere Flatus, to have a more precarious subsistence, even than mere Matter it self, saying that it is unable to continue its own Duration by the Powers given it at its first Production, and the continuance of those general Influences which are requisite for the support of Created Beings in general: Yet in the same page (as I observed before) you say that Souls do not so depend on any other Created Being, but that they may still continue in their Duration, whatsoever other created Influences be withdrawn from them, if God be pleased still to continue that ordinary Providence which is essentially necessary for their continuance: This is making them properly Immortal. In the Discourse it self, pag. 51, you suppose again that the Soul may depend on Matter, as to its Being and Preservation, though it be not a Modification of Matter, but distinct from it: Here you express your self, as if you thought it a Substantial Form, a contradictory Chimæra, which arose merely from the misconstruction of a Greek Word in Aristotle, signifying indifferently either Substantial or Essential: And again, pag. 91, you suppose in like manner, that the Soul is something distinct both from Spirit, and also from Matter and Motion; that is to say, a Material Form; an active Substantial Principle, distinct from Matter, yet depending on Matter, in esse, in fieri, in operari, and which must accordingly be dissolved on the dissolution of that Matter on which it depends. In pag. 220, you suppose, on the other hand, the Two Souls (as you call them) to be not only distinct, but also separable: And pag. 218, you seem to incline to the Notion of those Philosophers, who owned the πνοή to be material like the Steams of odoriferous Bodies; Which Consideration alone, you say, is sufficient to cut it off from any pretensions to any proper natural Immortality. It not all this, the greatest Extravagancy and Confusion that can be? Did not the World know you to be a serious Person, these things would look much more like the Raillery of an Unbeliever, than the Reasonings of one that in earnest intended to establish any consistent Notion. In reality, That the Soul cannot possibly be Material, is evident not only from the consideration of its noble Faculties, Capacities and Improvements, its large Comprehension and Memory; its Judgment, Power of Reasoning, and Moral Faculties; which Arguments have been urged with unanswerable Strength by the wisest and most considerate Men in all Ages from the times of Socrates and Plato to this very Day; but the same thing is moreover demonstrable from the single consideration, even of bare Sense or Consciousness it self. For Matter being a divisible Substance, consisting always of separable, nay of actually separate and distinct parts, ’tis plain, that unless it were essentially Conscious, in which Case every particle of Matter must consist of innumerable separate and distinct Consciousnesses, no System of it in any possible Composition or Division, can be an individual Conscious Being: For, suppose three or three hundred Particles of Matter, at a Mile or any given distance one from another; is it possible that all those separate parts should in that State be one individual Conscious Being? Suppose then all these particles brought together into one System, so as to touch one another; will they thereby, or by any Motion or Composition whatsoever, become any whit less truly distinct Beings, than they were when at the greatest distance? How then can their being disposed in any possible System, make them one individual conscious Being? If you will suppose God by his infinite Power superadding Consciousness to the united Particles, yet still those Particles, being really and necessarily as distinct Beings as ever, cannot be themselves the Subject in which that individual Consciousness inheres, but the Consciousness can only be superadded by the addition of Something, which in all the Particles must still itself be but one individual Being. The Soul therefore, whose Power of Thinking is undeniably one Individual Consciousness, cannot possibly be a Material Substance. And if it be neither Matter nor any Modification of Matter, then (though you are pleased to affirm somewhat rashly, and without offering any reason for your affirmation, that such Reasoning is far from being Self-evident, yet) it is really as notoriously Self-evident as any thing in Nature, that it cannot possibly depend upon Matter, as to its Being and Preservation. For if even one particle of Matter cannot possibly depend upon another, as to its Being and Preservation, (which I believe you will confess to be Self-evident,) because they are each of them distinct Beings; must it not be even yet less possible, for a Being which is neither Matter it self, nor a Modification of Matter, but entirely distinct from Matter, (pag. 51;) to depend on Matter as to its Being and Preservation?
It is not indeed of any great Moment in the present dispute; but it seems to show in general something of haste and inconsistency in your Notions; what you affirm concerning the Giants, (Sect. 8.) who you say, descended from the Sons of Seth and the Daughters of Cain; and yet in the very same Paragraph you call them the Offspring of the fallen Angels; and, upon their account, make two defections of Angels, one before the Fall of Adam, the other before the Flood.
 
You proceed (Sect. 9) to the Authority of the Fathers. Justin Martyr, whom you begin with, says indeed expressly, that the Soul ought not properly to be called Immortal: But this he says, not as you represent him, in opposition to our Doctrine, nor yet in opposition to Plato, but in opposition to the extravagant Notions of some pretended Platonists, who taught such an Immortality as implied necessity of existence. For the reason he gives why Souls ought not to be called Immortal, is because they had a beginning, and depend continually upon God for the Preservation of their Being. In which Sense, neither are Angels Immortal; but God only. All that he says therefore, does not in the least imply, but that the Soul may be such a substance, as is able to continue its own Duration for ever, by the Powers given it at its first Production, and the continuance of those general Influences which are requisite for the support of Created Beings in general: Which is all that we mean by natural Immortality. Nay, that he did actually think the Soul to be in this sense Immortal, may justly be gathered from those very words which you your self cite from him: Ὅτι αὐτὸς μὲν καὶ φθαρτός, &c. What Plato thought concerning the World, that it must needs indeed be in its Nature capable of being destroyed and brought to an End, because it had a Beginning; yet that God would never actually destroy it: The same may be thought concerning the Soul, and concerning all things that are or can be, excepting only God himself (οἷάτε ἐξαφανισθῆναι) that they are capable of being destroyed: Which last words seem clearly to explain what he means by the word [φθαρτόν] corruptible, which he applies not only to the Soul of Man, but also to all Created Beings whatsoever; namely, not to signify any Tendency to Corruption in the Nature of the thing it self, but only a Dependence upon the Will of God, in opposition to Self-existence. He does indeed say, that the Souls of the Damned shall continue to exist as long as God thinks fit; and implies as if he thought they should finally be destroyed, after very long Punishment: But this, not by a natural Mortality, but by the Will of God, who is as able to destroy if he thinks fit, as to create: Which Opinion, if there was any ground for it, would yet signify nothing at all to your purpose.
Tatian’s Opinion, if it was of any Authority. would prove too much for you. For he fancied that the Soul was dissolved with the Body, and rose again with it at the Resurrection. This part you pleasantly call his Humane Reasoning (Sect. 10;) as if you thought all the rest of what he says in the very same Sentence, was immediately Divine. Yet even He also is expressly against you. For as he makes all Souls to die with the Body, so he makes them all to rise again with it also; leaving none of them in their natural Mortality; but raising them all either to eternal Happiness, or [θάνατον διὰ τιμωρίας ἐν ἀθανασίᾳ λαμβάνουσα] to immortal Punishment.
 
Irenæus is so very full and express against you, and your perverting of his words so very gross, that with the same liberty any person might easily make any Author seem to countenance any Heresy or absurd Opinion whatsoever, even from the very Words themselves, wherein he with all possible clearness expresses himself against it. The Passages which you your self cite, are as clear and plain as can be desired. He in express words (as you your self cite them,) declares the Soul to be immortal in its own Nature, and affirms that it does not die. To evade this, you suppose he means only, that the Soul does not die in the same Manner that the Body does, namely by ceasing to breathe; A more surprizing Evasion could not possibly have been invented; His Words, which the Reader would expect you should have transcribed at length, are these; that it is the Body only that dies, not the Soul: For, to die, is to lose the Powers of Life; Breath, Sense and Motion; and to be separated into its first Principles of Composition; which the Soul, the Flatus vitæ, and the Spirit which is a simple and uncompounded and indissolvable substance, cannot be: is not the word [Spiramen] Breath, in this Sentence an excellent ground for your distinction; that Irenæus by denying that the Soul dies, does not mean to deny that it dies, but only to deny that it dies in the same Manner the Body does, viz. by ceasing to breathe? Again, He expressly affirms that the Soul and Spirit is not mortal: By this you say he means only, that the Soul does not actually die when the Body dies; but, being ashamed of this Interpretation, you add immediately, that he means also further, that the Soul in its own Nature, does not consist of contrary Principles, tending to a Dissolution by its own Nature, as the Body does: This is expressly giving up the whole Question; and directly contrary to what you add presently after, that Death is natural to the Soul on account of its natural Constitution. It is here further to be observed also, that these last words which you your self cite out of Irenæus, that the Soul and Spirit is not Mortal, [οὔτε ἡ ψυχὴ οὔτε τὸ πνεῦμα,] are directly contradictory to the Notion you advance, pag. 3, concerning [σῶμα ψυχικόν] the natural Body’s being therefore opposed to [πνευματικὸν] 1 Cor. xv. 44, because it has only a Mortal Principle [ψυχή] in it; and also directly contradictory to what you insinuate, pag. 41, concerning Irenæus’s understanding [πνοή ζωῆς] the Breath of Life, Gen. ii. 7, to be, what You all along distinguish it to be, a Mortal Principle: Which he is indeed so far from doing, that, on the contrary, he, in that very Chapter from whence you have taken most of your Citations, declares [ψυχή] the Soul, not to be mortal, for that very reason because it is [πνοή ζωῆς] the Breath of Life, Gen. ii. 7. Notwithstanding that he does indeed, at the same time, contradistinguish it, as St Paul does, from πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν; The πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν being plainly with him, as it is with St Paul, that divine Power which Spiritualizes and Immortalizes, not the Soul, but the Body, at the Resurrection.
Irenæus does indeed, with other Antient Writers, allow, that whatever is γεννητὸν or had a beginning, must be φθαρτὸν, that is, as Justin Martyr expresses it, Οἷὸν τε ἐξαφανισθῆναι, capable of being destroyed. But this is only meant (as the Antithesis of the Words [γεννητὸν] and [φθαρτὸν] evidently shows) of the Nature of the Soul as opposed, together with that of Angels and of all other the highest Created Beings whatsoever, to That Immortality which arises from Necessity of Existence, which must needs be peculiar to God alone; Which is nothing to your purpose.
 
I cannot see how you collect any thing at all from Athenagoras, (Sect. 12,) He does indeed distinguish Νοῦς from ψυχή according to the old Philosophy; but he does not found any thing upon that distinction, which is in the least to your purpose. He neither affirms the Soul to be mortal, nor makes any doubt but the Bodies of all Men shall rise again unto Judgment. All you pretend to gather from him, is, that the Soul is not it self sufficient to immortalize the Body: But to this you have your self given a full answer, that No Body ever thought it was.
 
The Words you cite from Theophilus Antiochenus, (Sect. 13,) relate wholly to the Question concerning the State of Adam in Paradise, whether he was created Mortal or Immortal in that State: Nothing therefore can be gathered from thence, concerning the Nature of a separate Soul. Theophilus determines, that He was neither Mortal nor Immortal originally by his Creation; that is (as you your self explain it, pag. 46.) God neither designed for him Corporal Death, nor Corporal Immortality; but he was capable of being either, according as he should behave himself: But whether Adam before his Fall was in that Sense naturally immortal, or naturally mortal; what is this to the Soul? Which, supposing Adam never so mortal, you your self acknowledge does not perish by that Mortality which denominates a Man Mortal, that is, the Dissolution of the Body.
His saying that from that Text, Gen. ii. 7, most Men [πλείονες] stiled the Soul immortal; does not imply (as you imagine) that Theophilus himself thought it Mortal; but it implies some doubt concerning the proper use of the Word [ἀθάνατός], which (as has been before noted) seemed to many of the Antients to imply as much as [ἀγέννητος] Necessarily existing, (in the Sense that St Paul says of God, 1 Tim. vi. 16, ὁ Μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν that He only hath Immortality;) or at least to signify an indefectible State of Virtue and Happiness: And therefore it is, that he says concerning Adam, Ἐι ἀθάνατον ἀυτὸν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς ἐπεποιήκει, θεὸν ἂν ἐπεποιήκει: If Adam had been made originally immortal, he had been made a God.
It is also further to be observed from this passage of Theophilus, that the Text you so frequently allude to, Gen. ii. 7, was παρὰ τοῖς πλείοσι by most of the Antients, understood in a Sense directly contrary to your Notion of the πνοή signifying in that place a Mortal Principle. And it is with very extraordinary difficulty, that you here labour to suppose, that [πλείονες] those most Men whom Theophilus affirms to have collected the Immortality of the Soul from this Text of Scripture, were not Christians, but either Jewish Pharisees, or Heathen Philosophers: which Supposition of Heathen Philosophers proving the Immortality of the Soul from a Text of Scripture; and that a Christian Writer speaking of most Mens Sense concerning a Text of Scripture, should thereby mean the Sense of Heathen Philosophers; This, I say, with all that follows in that Section, is so extremely absurd, as to need no Confutation.
 
Tertullian does indeed suppose the Soul to be Material; from whence it must also necessarily be confessed to follow that it would be naturally Mortal; and no one can (as you say, Sect. 14,) believe such a Soul as he supposes, to be independent on Matter in its own Nature, All this is very true; and yet even This seems to be nothing to your purpose. For though the natural Mortality of the Soul is indeed a necessary Consequence of Tertullian’s Doctrine; yet, since Tertullian did not see nor own that Consequence; and, if he had seen the Consequence, would have disowned the Doctrine; his Authority (which is what you would make use of) is not for you, though the Consequence of his Doctrine be; And therefore you are guilty of a very manifest Fallacy, when you say, (pag. 55,) that the Church had not declared against this Doctrine of Tertullian, which supposed the Soul’s natural Mortality: For his Doctrine did not then suppose it, though our Philosophy shows it to be indeed a Consequence. He says expressly in many places of his Book de Anima, that the Soul is immortal: He reckons this among those Opinions of the Philosophers which gave occasion to Heresies that some of them denied the Immortality of the Soul: He denied that the Soul grew or increased in substance, notwithstanding he thought it Material; least it should follow from thence, that it was capable likewise of perishing: He strongly opposes the Opinion of those who thought the Soul receives Nourishment; least from thence likewise that it was liable to perish: expressly affirms that all Mankind, without exception, shall rise again to eternal Happiness or Punishment: And many other such passages are to be found in his Works. You seem to be aware of this, when you say, that Tertullian does indeed own the actual Immortality of the Soul: But then, what you insinuate in your next Words, [Especially of all who were, upon that account, obliged to come over as Proselytes upon the Publication of the Gospel,] is extremely unfair; since Tertullian’s Words, being every where as universal as can be, are directly contrary to what you would insinuate by the Word Especially.
And here upon occasion of the Passages you cite out of Tertullian, concerning the Propagation of the Soul ex traduce, and its having a Humane Shape and Difference of Sex; I cannot forbear proposing it to your more calm and serious consideration, whether your manner of citing the Fathers, by picking out chiefly such Sentences, wherein for want of Philosophy they were evidently mistaken, and which can only be of disservice to Religion, and tend to confirm profane Men in their Mockery and Contempt; is not a very ill representation of those Writers, and a very ill manner of showing your regard to them. I believe, should any other Person do the like upon any other Philosophical Subject, you would immediately look upon him as doing it with an ill design, and deserving a very severe Censure.
 
What you say (Sect. 16,) concerning Tertullian’s deriving the Humane Soul from the Flatus Vitæ mentioned Gen. ii. 7; proves, not that he thought the Soul Mortal, because you groundlessly interpret that Text so; but that he understood that Text contrary to what you have done, because he clearly declares the Soul derived thence to be immortal: As I have before shown particularly concerning Irenæus. And what you offer in the rest of that Paragraph, concerning proper Immortality belonging only to God, is all entirely against your self, and not in the least against our Notion, is has likewise been proved before.
 
The Words you cite out of St Cyprian, (Sect. 18,) are evidently nothing to your purpose; being spoken only concerning regeneration or the new birth in the moral Sense, without any the least hint of any natural mortality of the Souls of those who are not regenerated. Arnobius, you your self acknowledge to have his Paradoxes on this Subject; that he was but a Catechumen, when he wrote his Book; and was not truly instructed in the Christian Doctrine. But, you say, he is more to be regarded, when he speaks conformably to the Sense of other Catholick Doctors of that early Age, that is, when you think he says any thing agreeable to that Notion which you not truly attribute to the Fathers. And yet even He, does not say any thing really agreeable to that Notion. For though he does indeed blame the boldness of certain Platonists for supposing the Soul to be necessarily Immortal, to have come from Heaven, and to return thither again of course at the dissolution of the Body; running out with much oratorical Liberty upon the weakness of those Mens Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul; and does himself contend that the Soul is of a middle Nature, neither mortal, nor immortal, but capable of either condition according to its behaviour; yet all this he does surely upon That Argument, that whatever had a beginning must also necessarily be capable of being destroyed and that whatever is Passible, must needs in its Nature be liable to perish; and accordingly therefore applies it to Angels and all other Created Beings whatsoever, in the very same Sense as he does to Men: which is not the Notion of Mortality You are contending for. And when he supposes the Souls of the Wicked to perish finally, (which you imagine to be for your purpose;) he understands it of all the damned, as well those that had heard the Gospel, as those that had not; and those that had received the Spirit, as those that had not; conceiving them all to be destroyed by the Power of God inflicting such Punishment upon them, and not that any die by a natural mortality.
Lactantius is throughout his whole Work as full and express against you, as any Author that ever wrote either before or since. So that your perverting his Words to favour your Notion, is really, what upon second Thoughts you your self will hardly excuse. I shall first show briefly, how clearly he asserts the natural Immortality of the Soul, and then consider in how very extraordinary a manner you misrepresent him.
He approves that Notion of Plato, which you so often condemn, concerning the natural Immortality of the Soul: He declares that the Soul does not perish nor is destroyed, but endures for ever: He is very large and particular in confuting all Lucretius’s Arguments against the natural Immortality of the Soul: He affirms, that at Death the Body returns to the Earth; but That part of ourselves, which God breathed into lives for ever; And again, that the Soul is not corruptible, but endures for ever; because it proceeded from an eternal Original: And concludes; I think, saith he, I have sufficiently proved the Soul is not dissolvable. He expresses himself in the very same manner concerning the natural duration of wicked Souls, as of good ones. The Effect of that Death, saith he, which wicked Souls are subject to, is not the extinguishing of them, but the punishing them eternally; This Punishment we call the second Death; which is itself also perpetual, as eternal Happiness is; The second Death is the suffering eternal Torment; the damnation of Souls to eternal Punishment, according to their Deserts. Again: As the Life of the Soul, saith he, is eternal, in which it enjoys divine and unspeakable Happiness; so its Death also must needs be eternal, in which it injures everlasting Punishment and endless Torments for its Sins. And again: Death, saith he; does not destroy and extinguish the Soul, but subjects it to eternal Torments. And that all this might not possibly be understood either of your immortalizing Spirit, or of the mere Will and Pleasure of God, sustaining the Soul, and causing it to endure beyond the original capacity of its own Nature; he adds expressly in the very next Words, (as if he had foreseen and designed to prevent your Hypothesis,) that the reason why the Soul is subject to such endless Punishments, is because it was created originally immortal, and therefore cannot die: For the Soul, says he, cannot utterly perish and be extinguished, because it has its Original from the Spirit of God [he means that which you call the πνοή Gen. ii. 7,] which is eternal. And again; in Answer to that Objection, how that which is immortal, can be capable of suffering; he has these remarkable Words: Mens Souls, saith he, though they are not capable of being utterly extinguished, because they are of Divine Original; yet by being immersed in Sense, and depraved by Sin, they become liable to Misery and Torment. And again: What wonder is it, saith he, if Souls, notwithstanding that they are immortal, are yet capable of having Punishment inflicted upon them by God?
Most of these Passages, which are as remarkably full and clear against you, as if the Author had written on purpose to oppose your Hypothesis, you inexcusably pass over without notice. And from these Passages any one may easily observe, how very grossly, I had almost said beyond Example, you misrepresent those Other places which you do cite from him. The Passages which you cite, pag. 70, wherein Lactantius affirms Immortality, not to be the necessary Condition of our Nature, but the Reward of our Virtue; are all plainly meant, not of Perpetuity of Duration, (which he every where affirms to belong necessarily to our Nature) but of the eternal indefectible Happiness of Heaven; which this Author always means by the word Immortality, as alone deserving that glorious Title; notwithstanding that at the same time he expressly and constantly affirms the opposite state to be of equal duration and perpetuity. Thus when, speaking of that second Death, which, he says, does not extinguish wicked Souls, but subjects them to endless Misery, he says, that That likewise is of perpetual Duration, as Immortality also is; it is evident that by Immortality he means to express, not Duration, but Happiness: And in the place which you cite to prove that he did not think Immortality natural to Men, he in express words declares that by Immortality he means the unspeakable and eternal Happiness of Heaven: And when he says there would be no difference betwixt just and Unjust, no such thing as Reward and Punishment, if all Men were born Immortal; it is very evident from the Thread of his Discourse, that he means, if Men were born originally, and without undergoing any Tryal, into such a State, as the Good Angels are now in, and the Saints shall be in after the Resurrection, namely a State of Indefectible Virtue and Happiness; then the Nature of Rewards and Punishments, would be taken away. Again; Those Passages which you cite, pag. 71, wherein you suppose that Lactantius by that immortal Spirit which God put or inspired into an Earthly Body, means, not the natural Soul of Man, but the Divine Spirit received in our Saviour’s regenerating Baptism, as a new Principle of Immortality: These Passages, I say, if to any one that pleases to compare the places, they do not appear to be all and every one clearly spoken on the contrary, concerning that natural Soul, which God is said to have breathed into Man, Gen. ii. 7; it will not be easy to conceive how any Man can possibly express his meaning in Words: And when from this Passage, [Ficto corpore, spiravit ei animam de vitali fonte Spiritus sui, qui est perennis; ut si Anima superaverit, quæ ex Deo oritur, sit Immortalis & in perpetua luce versetur] you infer that the Soul is Immortal, only conditionally, if it be victorious; your misrepresentation of the Passage, is very extraordinary: For the Words are not one entire Sentence, as anyone would imagine them to be by your manner of citing them; but two Passages, at a Page distance from each other; and not Anima (as you seem to understand it) but Homo is the Nominative Case to sit immortalis & in perpetua Luce versetur; And so far is the Author from making the Soul’s Immortality conditional, by these Words; that directly on the contrary he in this very Sentence means to say, that the Soul must of Necessity be Immortal in all circumstances; only with this difference, that if a Man lives after the Spirit, his Immortality shall be a Happy one; but if he live after the Flesh, his Immortality must be a Miserable one. When therefore you say that the way, according to Lactantius, taken by Providence, for making Man’s actual Mortality or Immortality the Reward or Punishment of his Free-will was to join his Soul to his Body immediately, which being it self Frail and Mortal, could not secure the Soul from actual Mortality; and That this he supposes would make the Complex of the Soul and Body actually Mortal; you might with the same Truth; and with as much appearance of Reason, have said, that Lactantius wrote his Book with a design to disprove the whole Christian Religion, or any other particular Article of it whatsoever. Again, when Lactantius says, that since this Temporal Life is succeeded by Temporal Death, it follows that the Soul must rise again to eternal Life, because temporal Death has an End; It is a very great and palpable misrepresentation, to infer from these words, (as you do, pag. 73,) that Lactantius was so far from owning the Immortality of the Soul, as natural to it, that he seems to own its actual Death, for the space, between the Death of the Body and the Resurrection; and therefore ascribes the Resurrection to the Soul as well as the Body: For what can be a grosser misrepresentation of any Author, than from one single Passage (even supposing that Passage not reconcileable with the rest,) to affirm that his Opinion was just contrary to what he largely and expressly almost in every Page of his Book declares it to be? But after all, this Passage is not difficult to be reconciled: For when he who says a hundred times in his Book, that the Soul has no dependance on the Body, but subsists as well and better after it is separated from it, says in one single Passage that Mens Souls’ do [resurgere] rise again to eternal Life; can any thing be more evident than that his meaning is, that the Souls shall be united again to their Bodies at the Resurrection before the Judgment? It is an easy Figure, and very usual in the best Authors, and in the Scripture itself, to signify by the Word [Soul] the same as [Person] in general: Thus Gen. xlvi. 26, All the Souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, &c. And Lev. v. 2, If a Soul touch any unclean thing, &c. In which places nothing can be more absurd than to understand Soul in the strict and proper Sense of the Word: And yet there is just as much Reason so to do, as, from the Passage now cited, to conclude that Lactantius, contrary to what he expressly declares in almost every Page of his Book, was of Opinion that the Soul died with the Body. Had not the World deservedly an Opinion of your great Learning, there would be no need to take notice of such extraordinary misconstructions: Which really, Sir, in your representation of this Author, appear to have proceeded from greater Prejudice, or greater Want of Care, than Men of your known Abilities are ordinarily guilty of. At last you come off, pag. 75, with saying that Lactantius’s Reasonings either prove or are consistent with a precarious Immortality; at least even by our modern Reasonings, do not imply any Necessity of an Immortality by Nature: And who, I beseech you, ever taught any other Immortality of the Soul, than a precarious one; that is, depending on the pleasure of God Almighty? Or who ever imagined, that any thing which was γεννητὸν and had a beginning, was not also capable of Being destroyed and having an end, if God should so please?
You begin with St Athanasius (Sect. 21,) very ominously; Acknowledging that he does indeed own the Doctrine of the Soul’s Immortality, as a Doctrine of the Church: Which he does, not only in the Words you cite from him, but also largely and fully in many other places of his Oratio contra Gentes; stiling the Soul rational and immortal; affirming that when it is separated from the Body, it will have a much clearer knowledge of its own Immortality; and proving its Immortality distinctly from several Topicks and Arguments: If the Soul, saith he, be distinct from the Body; as we have before shown; and the Body is mortal; It follows necessarily, that the Soul, being distinct from the Body, must be immortal: And again; The Soul, saith he, therefore meditates and thinks upon things immortal and eternal, because it is itself Immortal; For as the being it self Mortal, has all its Senses employed about mortal thing; so the Soul, whose Faculties are employed about immortal things, must it self of necessity be immortal and live for ever: These Arguments are plainly drawn from the Nature of the Soul it self and are directly contrary to your Notion of an Immortalizing Spirit or Will of God: And accordingly, speaking of the Heathens, he expresses himself in the very same manner concerning Their Souls in particular; If they pretend to believe, saith he, that they have a Soul, and value themselves upon their Rational Faculties, as they justly may; why, as if they, had no Soul, do they act contrary to Reason, and not think as they ought to do, but make God a Being meaner than themselves? For having themselves an immortal and invisible Soul, yet they make God like to things visible and mortal. When therefore to Athanasius’s general Assertion concerning the Immortality of the Soul, you answer, that That does not concern your Cause, because your Question is not whether the Soul be Immortal, but whether it be Immortal in its own Nature; you are guilty of a very great Fallacy: For if by the Soul’s being Immortal in its own Nature, you intend to express what we mean, that the Soul by the powers given it at its first Creation is naturally able to continue for ever; then Athanasius’s Assertion does concern your Cause; because, in all the places now cited, he expressly maintains the natural Immortality of the Soul in that Sense: But if by Immortal in its own Nature, you mean necessarily Immortal, as God is; then neither Athanasius, nor we, nor perhaps any Body else, ever meant that the Soul was Immortal in its own Nature.
From the Passages therefore now cited, wherein Athanasius so expressly and very largely asserts, the natural Immortality of the Soul, it is very reasonable to conclude, that all those Passages in His Book de Incarnatione verbi Dei, which you understand to imply a natural Mortality of the Soul, ought (that they may not be inconsistent with what he so fully and expressly asserts elsewhere) to be understood concerning that natural Mortality which is the Dissolution of the Body and Separation of the Soul, without determining what becomes of the Soul after that Separation. And those Passages may the better be understood in that Sense, because they are all spoken concerning that Mortality Adam incurred by his Sin in Paradice; the Consequence of which Mortality, with respect to the State of the Soul separated thereby from the Body, antecedent to the Promise of Christ, was not a Question necessary to be entered into. And this is still the more confirmed by This, that even those Phrases, θανάτου κρατήσαντος, φθορᾶς παραμενούσης, ἐν τῇ τοῦ θανάτου φθορᾷ μένειν, and the like; which seems at first sight to make most for your purpose; it is plain need not to be understood to express the total Extinction or utter Annihilation of Adam, if Christ had never been promised; but either his having no ground to expect any Restoration to his former state by a Resurrection of the Body; which seems to be the meaning of them in some places; or else (which is evidently their Signification in some other places,) Death’s continuing to prevail and extend it self over his Posterity: Thus, When Adam had sinned, saith he, Death entred into the World; and this Destruction prevailed more and more over the whole Race of Mankind. For Men increased and multiplied their Sins beyond measure: And therefore Death prevailing more and more, and this Destruction continuing to have Dominion over Men, the whole Race of Mankind was lost.
The same thing (namely that the Phrases before-mentioned do not signify the total Extinction of Adam both Soul and Body, if Christ had never been promised; but only That Mortality which is the Dissolution of the Body, and separation of the Soul;) may also be gathered from those other Expressions of the same Author in his Book de Incarnatione Christi, from some of which you very unreasonable endeavour (pag. 85,) to conclude the direct contrary. For when he speaks of the Soul’s being held [ἐν δεσμοῖς] in Bonds, and [ἐν δεσμοῖς θανάτου] in the Bonds of Death; it is plain this does not signify the Extinction of the Soul, but its confinement to [ᾍδης] the separate State. And therefore, speaking of Christ’s delivering Men from that Mortality which was the Consequence of Adam’s Sin, he saith; To that place where the Body of Man was corrupted, thither did the Body of Christ go; and to that Place, where the Soul of Man was detained in Death, thither did Christ go with his Humane Soul, &c. In which Passage it is evident, that by the Words [κεκράτητο ἡ ψυχὴ ἡ ἀνθρωπίνη ἐν θανάτῳ] the Soul of Man was detained in Death, is not meant the Extinction of the Soul, but its Confinement to [ᾍδης] that separate State, to which the Soul of Christ descended. And in that very Passage, where from the Souls being concerned in the Sentence [θανάτῳ ἀποθανῆ] thou shalt surely die, you would infer the Extinction of the Soul; if you had cited the Words at length, it would have appeared that just the contrary was intended: The Words are these; God, saith he, passed upon Man a double Sentence of Punishment; saying to his earthly Body, Dust thou art, and unto Dust shalt thou return; and so the Body turned into Corruption; And to his Soul, Thou shalt surely die; and so the Man was separated, and condemned to depart into two different places: From the last of which Words it is very evident, that by applying that Threatning [θανάτῳ ἀποθανῆ] thou shalt surely die, to the Soul; he did not mean its Extinction, but its Separation and Confinement to [ᾍδης] the separate State.
Your last Citation out of this Author, (pag. 86,) is very remarkable. Against certain Hereticks who taught that the Soul was corporeal, he argues from those Words of our Saviour, Fear not them that kill the Body, but cannot kill the Soul. If, saith he, the Soul be, as you Appolinarists contend, corporeal; why cannot it be killed and perish with the Body? And why doth St Peter, speaking of separate Souls, call them Spirits? Here you say, the [σαρκική ψυχή] fleshly or corporeal Soul, is plainly opposed to the [πνευματική] Spiritual Soul, and for that reason is supposed as capable of being killed by Men, as the Body it self. Is not this very extraordinary? when the plain and express Meaning of Athanasius, is to show that there can be no such thing at all as [σαρκική ψυχή] a fleshly or corporeal Soul; because, if there was, it would be capable of being killed, which our Saviour says cannot be.
All that you say, Sect. 23, seems to be utterly Unintelligible: And those words in particular, pag. 91, (which I have before had an occasion to take notice of,) where you suppose the Soul to be Something distinct both from Spirit, and also from Matter and Motion; that is to say, a Material Form; an active Substantial Principle, distinct from Matter; yet depending on Matter in esse, in fieri, in operari, and which must accordingly be dissolved on the dissolution of that Matter on which it depends: These words, I say, appear so very absurd and contradictory in themselves, that no Confutation of them can be stronger than the bare transcribing them.
 
You seem very certain, Sect. 24, that your Doctrine can have no ill Influence upon Mens present Practice; because, though you assert indeed the natural Mortality of the Soul, yet you teach at the same time, that the Souls of all those, who hear of the Gospel, whether they imbrace it or no, shall be actually immortalized; and so bad Men can take no advantage of the Doctrine concerning the Natural Mortality of the Soul, to encourage themselves in their Wickedness with the Hopes of Impunity. But can you really think, Sir, that it is a thing of no ill consequence in Practice, to raise new disputes, to fill the Minds of weak and unstable Men with endless Doubts and Scruples, and the Mouths of the Profane with new Topicks of Scepticism and Raillery, against the most important and fundamental Doctrines of all Religion? Or can you be indeed perswaded, that such Men as are pleased with some of your Notions, will as readily admit all the rest also? You are forced to make a new and distinct Hypothesis upon every particular occasion: You first suppose the Soul of Man naturally Mortal; and then, to secure to good Men the Unchangeable State of Heaven, you are forced to suppose their Souls præternaturally immortalized to Happiness by the Divine Spirit: Yet, because all who receive that Divine Spirit, do not so behave themselves as to be capable of the Happiness of Heaven, you are forced (though unwillingly) to suppose some of them immortalized by the same Divine Spirit to Punishment; And after this, least those who reject the Gospel, and never receive the Divine immortalizing Spirit at all, should take advantage of the Soul’s natural Mortality to encourage themselves with hopes of Impunity in their Wickedness, you are forced to suppose Their Souls made immortal without any immortalizing Principle at all, by the mere Omnipotence and Arbitrary Pleasure of God. Now, all these Hypotheses appearing very precarious and independent on each other; is it not very obvious to perceive that profane Men will very gladly and with great advantage make use of all your Arguments for the Natural Mortality of the Soul; and drop the following parts of your Hypothesis? And indeed I cannot see, but you must in some measure be answerable for this ill Consequence. For it is not enough to prevent the natural and obvious ill Consequences of an Hypothesis, that a learned and ingenious Man is able to invent such further Suppositions, and to find out such Shifts and Distinctions, by which he shall think he can evade the force of those Consequences. There is hardly any Opinion so extravagant or of so mischievous consequence, but an ingenious Man may maintain it in such manner, as that upon his whole Hypothesis it shall not be easy to charge him with any ill consequence, for which he will not be able to find some evasion: And yet he that maintains it, must nevertheless be answerable for such ill Consequences, as are naturally apt to follow from the Opinion it self, without the additional Hypotheses which are made use of to salve it. The Epicureans, who taught that Pleasure was the Chief Good, when they were charged with the obvious ill Consequences of that Doctrine, were provided to make such ingenious Explications of it, that they thought themselves abundantly able to evade all those ill Consequences that could be drawn from it: Yet that Doctrine was evidently a very pernicious Doctrine; and they who maintained it, could not be excused (as Cicero has largely shown) from being answerable for those Consequences, which were but too naturally drawn from it by the generality of Men, who would not attend to the Subtilties and Distinctions of those Philosophers. He that will suppose Men to have no Soul at all, but that their Life is entirely extinguished at the Dissolution of the Body; and at the same time supposes that at the Resurrection their Life shall be restored again, and continue for ever; will be sure to pretend that no ill Consequence can be drawn from his Doctrine, because he supposes Men actually and in event as much Immortal, as if they had Souls really distinct from their Bodies: And yet I believe you your self make no doubt but That Opinion is a very pernicious one. He that will affirm that there is no other Substance in the World but Matter; and at the same time supposes Matter capable of all the same Powers and Attributes, which we ascribe to Spirit; may likewise with the same Reason pretend, that no ill Consequence can be drawn from his Opinion: And yet no Body can doubt but such an Opinion leads directly to Atheism. It is not therefore so very clear, as you seem to suppose it to be, that none of those Consequences are to be charged upon you, which (if your whole Hypothesis be granted) you can find indeed a way of evading.
You attempt to prove (Sect. 25,) that the Immortalizing Principle was generally believed no Ingredient in the Nature of the Humane Soul among the Heathens themselves; by saying, that the popular Heathens believed only their first Ancestors to have been Gods; their next to have been Heroes or Demi-Gods, and the later Generations to have been pure Men; Unless the Supreme Being were pleased (even in the degenerous Ages) to confer the nobler Principle on some choice Favourites. Here you seem to forget, that the popular Heathens (as you call them) had all a Notion of Elysian Fields and of a Tartarus, that is, of a Place of future Happiness or Misery, where the Souls of those which you call pure or mere Men were to be disposed of, either to continue there for ever, or to come out upon new revolutions, but not to be extinguished. Yet presently after, (pag. 96,) you say that by the oldest Tradition, all Souls were supposed to have the Divine Principle connatural to them; And the rest of the Section is wholly spent in explaining the Notions of those whom you call (pag. 100,) the Traditional travelling Philosophers, who believed that Human Souls underwent many Purgations and different Revolutions, but that no part of the divine Seed might perish finally; and that all Humane Souls were thus far at least of a divine extraction, not as the Notion of Divine might intitle them to infinite Perfection, but as it might at least intitle them to Immortality. All which is so far from being any thing to your purpose, of proving that the Immortalizing Principle was generally believed no ingredient, in the Nature of the Humane Soul among the Heathens themselves; that on the contrary it seems to me to prove rather directly against you.
 
Sect. 26, You all along confound either necessary Immortality, or else the Notion of Præ-existence and Revolutions of Souls, with natural Immortality. That which any of the Primitive Christians blamed Plato and Origen for, was not their asserting the Immortality of the Soul but its Præ-existence and everlasting Revolutions. Their Maxim, that whatever had a Beginning, must therefore be capable likewise of having an End, does not at all prove against natural, but only against necessary Immortality, that is, necessary and independent Existence: As is evident from what you your self observe, that upon this principle they owned none Immortal but God himself; No, not the Angels; And that the Apostle affirms of God, [Ὁ μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν, 1 Tim. vi. 16,] that He only has Immortality, as being the ἀυτο ἀθανασία from whom All that will pretend to Immortality, must derive it, and not from their own Nature; that is, not from the Necessity of their own Nature, but from the Will of God: who was pleased to create them Immortal, and upon whom (notwithstanding their Immortality, that is, notwithstanding their natural Power of continuing for ever, without being liable to be destroyed by any created Force,) they nevertheless continually depend for their Preservation.
Aristotle by affirming the immortal Soul to be [θυράθεν] from without, means plainly that it is Something distinct from the Body, and not (as you interpret him, pag. 101,) that it is not ingredient in the Constitution of Mankind in general, or (as you elsewhere express your self) that it is a præternatural Principle; as if, naturally, Men had no rational Souls at all.
The other Maxim you mention, That nothing that is passible can be Immortal, proves likewise only against necessary, not against natural Immortality. For a Thing’s being capable to be acted upon, does not at all prove that it is capable of being destroyed by any natural Power. Every perfectly solid Particle of Matter it self, is incapable of being destroyed or even divided by any Power of Nature, though it is as capable of being moved and agitated and acted upon, as any compound Body. The Soul may in like manner be very capable of suffering and of being acted upon; and yet it will not at all follow, that it is capable of being destroyed by any natural Power. Those of the Antients, who proved that the Soul of the rich Man in the Parable, must have been Corruptible because it suffered Torment; you acknowledge, prove at the same time that it must likewise have been Corporeal: But the Corporality of the Soul, you know, was taught only by one or two Men. The rest were all of a different Opinion. And Lactantius is very particular and express in answering that Objection; If the Soul be immortal, how then is it passible and capable of enduring Punishment? and if it be capable of pain, how is it not capable of Dissolution? The Answer he gives, is; first, that (according to the Notion of the Stoicks) the Souls of Men, though by reason of their Divine Original they cannot indeed be extinguished, yet by being immersed in Sense and depraved by Sin, they may become liable to Misery and Punishment. Secondly, that though we indeed do not know how Immaterial Things can be acted upon, yet God has as much Power over them, as over corporeal Things: And lastly, that in order to endure Punishment, the Souls shall again be united to their Bodies. All which Passages undeniably show that Lactantius did not think the Soul naturally corruptible, and preserved præternaturally by the Power of God; but on the contrary, that the Soul was naturally Immortal, but by the Power of God made capable of enduring Punishment.
If there was any strength in the Argument you make use of Sect. 27; that because the actual Immortality of the Soul is a Revelation of the Gospel, therefore it is not capable of being proved by Reason from the Nature of the Soul it self; It would follow by the same Argument, that Moral Obligations, because they are Revelations of the Will of God in the Gospel, therefore are not capable of being proved by Reason, from the Nature of God, of Men, and of Things, Some things revealed in the Gospel, are indeed of such a Nature that they could not have been known at all without Revelation: But others (of which the Immortality of the Soul is one,) are such as were capable of being in great measure discovered by the Light of Nature and right Reason; but yet by the Revelation of the Gospel, are made known with much greater Certainty, greater Clearness, greater Authority, and in a Manner much better fitted to all Capacities. This seems to be the proper Meaning of the Word [φωτίσ αυτος 2 Tim. i. 10,] has brought to Light, has clearly discovered, has universally and evidently made known, that which before was but obscurely and difficultly, and imperfectly understood. The Allusion you suppose to be between the Words [has brought Life and Immortality to Light through the Gospel,] and those other words of the Apostle, [an Inheritance incorruptible, that fadeth not away, of the Saints in Light,] is indeed some little Similitude of Words; the word Light being used in both places; but not the least Allusion or Similitude in Sense. And indeed you seem your self to be conscious of the weakness of your Argument in this whole Matter; by your saying that the Immortality of the Soul, at least in Heaven, is plainly supposed not to be known without divine Revelation; and again, At least as to the giving us that immortal Life in Heaven; and, That the Immortality of the Soul could not have been otherwise known with that Certainty that might support the Practice which Religion expects in consequence of it; and again, That it could not have been known, at least with that Assurance which was requisite for the Practice which Religion requires pursuant to the Belief of it.
That the Sadducees, (Sect. 28,) denied the Immortality of the Soul, is very true; But then it is worth observing, that the same Men asserted also that there was no Resurrection, neither Angel nor Spirit, Acts xxiii. 6. Your Interpretation of which words, is very extraordinary. What is the meaning of Spirit here, as it is joined with Angel, you say is manifest: It is that Immortalizing Spirit which makes us Ἰσάγγελοι, that is, Immortal and entitled to Heaven, as well as the Angels are: That same Spirit indeed by which the Angels themselves are entitled to Immortality.—— This therefore obliged them [the Sadducees] to deny the actual Immortalizing of either Angels or Humane Souls, when they denied them Both that Spirit which could alone immortalize them. These Words, I think, need no Reflexion to be made upon them.
 
Your Interpretation (Sect. 31,) of that Text, 1 Cor. xv. 22, As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; seems very forced and unnatural. You understand it to signify, that as All who descended from Adam, must die; so All who are in Christ, that is, all Christians, shall be made alive. But this Interpretation, if it was true, would prove too much for you; namely, that those only who embraced, not those who rejected the Gospel, should be raised again: And the general tenour of Scripture, which every where declares that Unbelievers, who never were in Christ, shall be raised to Condemnation; shows plainly that your Interpretation of this Text is wrong. And how the false Notion certain Hereticks had of a metaphorical Resurrection, 2 Tim. ii. 18, tends to prove that St Paul’s true account of the literal Resurrection, is to be understood in a particular and limited Sense; is not easy to conceive.
Your Inference in the same place, against the Universality of the Resurrection, from what the Apostle says concerning Baptism; seems likewise wholly precarious. For the Apostle does not in this Chapter say any thing, by which he might seem to ground the Resurrection upon Baptism: But only, arguing against those who pretended to be Christians, and yet did not believe the Resurrection of the Dead, he shows how absurd it was for such Persons to be baptized, and thereby to expose themselves to such hazards as they must unavoidably do by their professing Christianity, if they had no expectation of a Resurrection from the Dead. Whatever be the Meaning of that difficult Phrase, of being baptized for the Dead; the Stress of the Argument plainly lies upon these Words: And why stand we in Jeopardy every Hour? That Baptism, whatever it was, exposed them to some hazard, and gave occasion to their being persecuted; and the Apostle’s Argument is, that it was foolish for them to expose themselves to such danger needlessly and to no purpose, if there was to be no such thing as a Resurrection from the Dead. The Apostle grounds the Reasonableness of being baptized, and of embracing Christianity, which was a persecuted Religion; purely upon the Hopes of a Resurrection from the Dead; But he does not at all ground the Resurrection upon Baptism, nor says any thing which does in the least insinuate that the Resurrection should not be universal.
 
The Conclusion you draw (Sect. 32,) from what St Paul teaches, Rom. v. is very obscure. The Sum of the Apostle’s Doctrine, there, is that That Condemnation which was brought upon Men by Adam, they are delivered from by Christ. How you can infer any thing from thence, against the universal Immortality of the Soul, I do not perceive. You suppose that those over whom Death reigned between the times of Adam and Moses, were extinguished by a total Mortality both of Soul and Body; But the Death there spoken of, is plainly the same Death to which all other Men likewise are subject: For it is not said, that Death reigned over Them only; but that Death reigned even over them also, as well as over the rest of Mankind; notwithstanding that they had not sinned against any positive Law, as Adam before, and those who lived under the Law did after; but were subject to Death, only as it was a natural Consequence of Adam’s Transgression: To infer from hence, that their Souls as well as Bodies, were subject to that Mortality, is begging the Question which was undertaken to be proved. Those who are subject to Death in consequence of Adam’s Transgression, are indeed stiled Many, ver 15 and 19; as those to whom the Benefit of Christ’s Death redounds, are also in the same place stiled Many: But those Many who die through the Offence of One, are, ver. 12 and 18, expressly called All Men; and there is no good reason to suppose, but that the Death of Christ, who was promised immediately upon the Fall of Adam, may conditionally extend its Virtue, and Benefit under different Dispensations, to all Men likewise. To say that the Dominion of Death, signifies in this place something peculiar, under which all Men are not included; because the Apostle affirms that Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s Transgression; is very singular and groundless: For the Dominion of Death is not there confined (as you suppose it) to the space between Adam and Moses; so as to signify a particular kind of Death prevailing at that Time, an Extinction of Soul as well as Dissolution of the Body; But the Apostle’s Assertion is plainly This, that in Consequence of Adam’s Transgression, Death (in the common acceptation of Mortality) reigned in that space of time also, even over them that had not transgressed any positive Law after the similitude of Adam’s Transgression, as well as over those who had in their own Persons disobeyed positive Laws. From whence how any thing can be collected to your purpose, is very difficult to imagine.
 
Whether that Text, Joh. i. 9, That was the true Light, which lighteth every Man that cometh into the World; was ever alledged by Any, to prove that an Immortalizing Spirit is given to every Particular by Christ himself; I cannot tell. But I think your Interpretation of it, (Sect. 33,) is utterly unintelligible. The πνοή, you say, is That which our Apostle here makes in all Men, [in every Man that cometh into the World,] inlightned by the visitation of the Λόγος, as an external Principle: Yet so as not to make any change in the Nature, in the Person so inlightned, without peculiar divine Favour, and dispositions in the Recipient, for such an Union with the Λόγος, as may qualify it for the divine Favour of raising it above its own Nature: Till then, they are separable again, and this external Visitation of the Λόγος, leaves the visited ψυχή as Mortal as it found it, where there is no particular design of God for Immortalizing it to Punishment. What the meaning of this, and all that follows in that Section is; and how you collect it from the fore-cited Text of St John; is not, I believe, possible to be understood.
When St Paul says, 1 Thess. iv. 16, that the dead in Christ shall rise first; These words do not indeed prove that there must afterwards be a Resurrection of them that never heard of Christ: because the dead in Christ, which are here said to rise first, are not, it is true, opposed in this place to the dead out of Christ, but to them that shall be found alive in Christ at the time of the Judgment: (Where note by the by, that you misinterpret this Text, by opposing the dead in Christ, and which are said to rise first, not, as the Apostle does, to them that shall be found alive in Christ, but to those who had been formerly in Christ and did not die in him, or to those who might have been in him if they had pleased, but never were in him actually.) But other places of Scripture, as has been before shown, do sufficiently prove the Universality of the Resurrection: And particularly that parallel Text, 1 Cor. xv. 23; where the same Apostle says, that every Man shall be raised in his own Order; Christ the First-fruits, afterwards they that are Christs at his coming; And then cometh the end, &c. Which words being immediately subjoined to that universal declaration, As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; cannot, without great force, be interpreted to any other Sense, but that the End must signify the general Resurrection of all the Dead. See Rev. xx. ver. 5, 12 and 13.
Your Interpretation (Sect. 35,) of that Text, Rom. ii. 12, As many as have sinned without Law, shall also perish without Law, and as many as have sinned in the Law, shall be judged by the Law; is not only groundless; the word [ἀπολοῦνται shall perish] which you understand to signify Annihilation, or bare ceasing to be, being evidently Synonymous to [κριθήσονται shall be judged;] But also (as I before observed upon your Præmonition, Sect. 6,) you thereby overthrow all the Threatnings of the Gospel, which frequently express the Punishment even of the worst of Sinners by that same word [ἀπολοῦνται, shall perish] which you here interpret to signify only a bare ceasing to be. You are your self sensible of this difficulty, pag. 143; where you confess, that though the word, Perish, may bear that milder Sense of only ceasing to be, yet it is also used in the Scriptures, concerning them whom all must believe liable to the severest positive Inflictions. You seem indeed sensible, I say, of this difficulty upon your Interpretation: But yet you give no answer to it: Only you say, pag. 144, that though the word will indeed bear a larger Signification, yet in this place Annihilation may perhaps be more natural. Is not this a very singular manner of arguing? To collect from the signification of the word ἀπολοῦνται, that those of whom it is here spoken, shall only cease to be; and yet at the same time to confess that in other places of Scripture That word has no such Signification; only in this place, Annihilation may, perhaps, be more natural.
Your Interpretation of those other words of the Apostle, that when the Gentiles which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves; is no less extraordinary; Namely, that the Gentiles being a Law unto themselves; does not signify their Obligation to obey the Law of nature, with respect to future Rewards and Punishments; but only there owning the Reasonableness of the things imposed as a Law by God on the Jews, but not on themselves; which would no further oblige Them to the Observation of them, than as their own Interests might prevail with them to observe them, as they would avoid the Punishments, and obtain the Rewards of Providence in This Life. Is not this very wonderful; that the Gentiles should be able to judge of the Reasonableness of God’s moral Law to the Jews, and yet not be sensible that the Reasonableness of the Thing laid a strong Obligation upon themselves also? Or that they should be sensible of an Obligation laid upon them to live virtuously (which it would sometimes happen they could not do without exposing even their Life it self,) and yet not have any ground to expect a future Judgment, nor any other Rewards and Punishments than in the present Life? Is not this, destroying the very Nature of Virtue and Vice; and contrary to some of your own Arguments, Sect. 47, and elsewhere?
Is it not a very consistent Notion, to suppose as you do, (Sect. 35, 36, and elsewhere,) that the Souls of Men, though naturally mortal, yet are neither dissolved with their Bodies, nor yet perish afterwards by any natural Decay; but survive, and continue to subsist in a separate State; and none of them ever perish actually by that Decay and Mortality which you suppose natural to Them; but that those who shall neither be immortalized to Happiness nor to Punishment, shall yet subsist till the general Judgment, and then be dissolved by that exquisite Fire which is to prevail in the last Conflagration, at least so far as to deprive them of any sensibility of Pain? Is not this Notion more properly a supposing them to be naturally Immortal, that is, capable of subsisting for ever by the Powers given them at their original Production; but that God, by the interposition of his Almighty Power, præternaturally destroys at the last day, such of them as are neither capable of eternal Happiness, nor yet deserve eternal Punishment? This certainly would have been rather the more consistent Scheme of the two, and somewhat a more defensible Explication of your Notion, (with respect to the bare Reason of the Thing,) than to affirm that all Souls are naturally mortal, and yet that none of them ever die by a natural Decay and Mortality. But your Hypothesis however varied, would not yet have been truly consistent. For why, I beseech you, must it needs be supposed, that God cannot dispose of all his rational Creatures into States suitable to their several Natures, and proportionable to their several Capacities and Deserts, without destroying and taking away their Being? And what can be more forced and disagreeable to Reason, than to suppose that the Sodomites and Ninevites, and other Heathens of all Sorts, must indeed all appear at the Day of Judgment, but yet that their appearance there will be with no Design of concerning them in the Judgment of the Day, but only in the retrospective part of the day, for vindicating the Divine Providence, in relation to what had been transacted by it formerly? You imagine indeed, that the Sodomites and Egyptians and other wicked Men to whom the Gospel was never preached, may endure the Sufferings of the future eternal State, during the time of their Duration; that is, from the time of their Death to the Day of Judgment; And that the Infelicities good Heathens may have suffered in this Life, may be sufficiently rewarded by the Happiness of the intermediate space between their Death and the Judgment, though they have no share in those Eternal Rewards which are to follow after the Day of Judgment: But, upon your Scheme, how can this be applied to those who shall live at the End of the World, when there may be as good and as bad Men among the Heathens, as ever were in any other Age, and yet these, according to your Notion, must All perish together at the Conflagration? And besides, because I presume you will not be less moved by Authority than by Reason; is not this extremely like one of those very Notions, which Tertullian, whose Authority you are otherwise so very desirous to make use of, blames the Stoicks for, and ridicules them as vainly and needlessly imagining, that the Souls of their Disciples should continue capable of Instruction and Improvement in the separate State, when at the same time they believed they were all to perish in the approaching Conflagration?
What you advance in your 41st and following Sections, concerning the State and Condition of separate Souls, is in every respect too uncertain to have any thing built upon it. Whether they who never heard of the Gospel in This Life, shall hereafter have any new Offer made to them, and undergo any new Trial; or whether all Mankind, even those who never heard of Christ at all, shall however, by virtue of the original Promise of the Messiah made to Adam, have so much Benefit of the Redemption purchased by the Blood of Christ, as that at the general Judgment they shall all in some Proportions, and according to their several Capacities, have relief from the Equity and Mercy of the Gospel-covenant; (which seems, of the two, to be much the more probable Opinion: For how shall they who are found alive at the end of the World, undergo any new Trial?) Which soever, I say, of these ways be true, it makes little difference as to the main Question. That, upon the whole, God is no Respecter of Persons; and that our Saviour could not confine his design, as a Saviour of Souls, to any particular People, (as you prove largely and well in your 47th Section,) but will certainly in some manner or other extend the Offer of his gracious Covenant, or at least the Benefit and Equity of it in some Proportions, to Men of all Ages and Nations in the World; must undoubtedly be allowed by all considering Persons: And this very consideration alone, if you had not at other times reasoned inconsistently with your self, might easily have saved you the whole trouble of inventing your wonderful Hypothesis concerning the natural Mortality of the Soul, in order to dispose of those Gentiles who never heard of Christ: But then as to the particular Manner, how the Equity and Mercy of the Gospel shall be extended to those to whom it never was preached; this, there is no Necessity of determining; And certainly your Notion, (Sect. 42,) concerning separate Souls being of Necessity to be baptized with Water, even in the literal Sense, in order to be made capable of any Favour of this kind; might very well have been spared.
 
As to what you teach in th 42d and following Sections, concerning two distinct Souls in Men; Many ancient Writers do indeed so express themselves, as if they supposed the sensitive Soul to be one Substance, and the rational Soul another: But both That Philosophy itself, and your Explication of it particularly, is very unintelligible: And your Interpretation of that Text, where the Formation of Man is described, is really ridiculous: The Words are these; And the Lord God formed Man of the Dust of the Ground, and breathed into his Nostrils the Breath of Life, and Man became a living Soul, Gen. ii. 7. Upon this Text, you say: Here is a Man supposed before the Divine Breathing; Certainly not a dead Man, which is indeed no Man, but a Man animated with that lower Soul, which is common to him and Beasts, and therefore cannot be imputed to a Divine Breathing. Can any thing be more absurd than this Interpretation? Or can any thing be more plain, than that the meaning of these Words is, that God first formed the Body of Man out of the Dust, and then inspired into it a living Soul? But which way soever the Philosophy of this Question be determined, it will still be nothing to your purpose: For suppose, if you please, that the Sensitive and Rational Soul be really two distinct Substances; yet how does this tend to prove that the Rational Soul is ever the more Naturally Mortal? Did not those antient Philosophers, who thought Man composed of three distinct parts, a Body, a sensitive Soul, and a rational Spirit; teach that the rational Spirit was naturally Immortal? As you your self confess concerning Plato and Philo; and you bring no Authority nor Reasoning, in these Sections, to the contrary.
In like manner your long Excursion, in the 55th Section, concerning the Separate State, does not at all prove, nor indeed so much as suppose, that the Soul is naturally Mortal: On the contrary, the Authorities you there cite, do all suppose it Immortal. Wherefore the particular groundless, not to say absurd Notions, which you there advance, concerning the Habitations of separate Souls, and the Extent of the Power of Evil Spirits over them, &c. not being of any importance with respect to the main Question; need not here be examined.
 
The Argument you propose, (Sect. 60,) that a naturally mortal Soul is more suitable and agreeable to be joined with a naturally mortal Body, as, a constituent of Human Nature, than a Soul that is naturally Immortal. This Argument, if it proved any thing, would prove that the Soul ought to be of the same Nature and Duration with the Body, and that it ought to die at the same time with the Body, that is, that there ought to be no Soul at all. For it is just as much disagreeable and unsuitable to the Body, to have such a Substance united to it, as is capable of subsisting at all after the Dissolution of the Body; as to have such a Substance united to it, as is capable of continuing to subsist for ever. Since therefore you your self acknowledge that the Soul is naturally able to subsist separate for many Ages after the Dissolution of the Body; this Argument, if it had any strength in it, would prove a great deal too much for you; and be of the same force against your own Notion of the Soul, as against ours; Unless you could persuade the World to believe, that not only the Immortalizing Spirit, but even the rational Soul, that Soul which you suppose to be naturally Mortal, is it self also a præternatural Principle, (as you once or twice very absurdly assert,) and not originally a constituent Part of Humane Nature.
Neither has the Argument you draw from the Doctrine of Original Sin, any greater strength in it. For there is no necessity of supposing, upon any Scheme, that such Persons as have no actual Sin of their own, shall ever be condemned to eternal Torments merely for the Sin of our first Parent. It is true we cannot peremptorily affirm in particular, how God will dispose of such Souls, as having no actual Sins of their own to answer for, yet have no express Title, by the ordinary Means, to the Rewards of the Gospel: But certainly it is a very weak and poor Argument, to conclude that numberless Souls must therefore necessarily be annihilated, merely because we do not know in particular, what State and Condition it will please God to assign them.
The same may be said of your Argument drawn from the Doctrine of Reprobation. You answer it your self, by supposing that the Doctrine of absolute Reprobation is not the Doctrine of Scripture. And as to that Præterition, which is barely the not affording all Men the same Means of Knowledge; it is answered in your own Scheme, by what you say (Sect. 45, 46, and 47,) concerning the new Trial some Persons may undergo in another State; and it is answered better by supposing that all Men may however be judged in proportion, according to the Equity of the Gospel, though they never had any explicit Knowledge of it.
 
Lastly, As to your Argument drawn from the Difficulty of reconciling eternal Punishments with the Goodness of God; That Difficulty does not arise chiefly from the difference of the Persons, who may be concerned in those Punishments proportionably in different Degrees; but the real Difficulty of the Question lies in this, how it is reconcileable with the Goodness of God, to put any Persons at all upon a necessity of making such an Option, wherein if they chuse amiss, the Misery they incur must be irrecoverable. And this Difficulty is evidently much better answered, by supposing the Souls of Men to be naturally immortal; so that they who render themselves uncapable of Happiness, must consequently fall into remediless Misery; than it can be answered in your Scheme, where none can be liable to endless Punishment, without being miraculously immortalized on purpose, by the Arbitrary Will and Power of God, beyond the original Capacity of their Nature.
 
And now, Sir, I cannot but earnestly recommend it again to your most serious consideration; whether the new and inconsiderate Notions you have advanced, and (the Arguments I will not say, because I think you have not offered any that are of any real force, but) the Pretences of Reason and Authority, which you have put into the hands of sceptical and profane Men, to confirm them in their Prejudices against the Belief of the Immortality of the Soul; are not likely to be of great disservice to Religion; And whether you ought not (as all good Men are of Opinion you ought) to think of some means of making satisfaction to the Church, to whom you have given so great Offence; and of preventing the effect of that Incouragement, which your Notions in this matter (though no Body doubts but it is contrary to your intention) have given to Immorality and contempt of Religion.
If Zeal for the Defence of a Doctrine of such importance, has in any part of this Letter caused me to drop any Expressions, which may be thought too sharp, and to carry in them too little of that Respect, which all the World acknowledges to be justly due to you upon account of your very great Learning; I know you will pardon it upon such an occasion as this; and I cannot doubt but upon second Thoughts, you will be somewhat dissatisfied with your self, for having published a Book, at which all good Men are sorry, and all profane Men rejoice.

A

LETTER

To the Learned

Mr. Henry Dodwell;

containing

Some Remarks on a (pretended) Demonstration of the Immateria­lity and Natural Immortality of the Soul,

IN

Mr. Clarke’s Answer to his late Epistolary Discourse, &c.




LONDON:

Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

A

LETTER

To the Learned

Mr. Henry Dodwell, &c.
 
SIR,
 
THERE is nothing more unreasonable than to imagine there is any dangerous Consequence in allowing Men fairly to examine the Grounds of received Opinions, or to suspect the good Intentions of those who do examine: For till Men have something besides Reason for their Direction, it is their duty to follow that Light wherever it leads them; and how they can use their Reason, when there is a Restraint laid on their Tongues and Pens, is as unconceivable to me, as how People should be Christians in Japan, or Protestants in Spain. Every Man has the Faculty of Reasoning, but without the use and exercise of that Faculty, will make little or no progress in any Science.
And what makes such Suspicions, if possible, still more unaccountable, is, That Examination is really a mark of Sincerity; since the hazard of Suffering lies more on the side of Examination, than on that of submitting to prevailing Opinions. And to be sure it is a Disposition of Mind much more favourable to Truth than the contrary one; because Reason being the same in all Men, we should more of us light upon Truth, did we rely on the Use of the same common Faculty, than we possibly can, by following the contradictory Orthodoxies of the several Countries in the World.
But since through the Artifices of designing Men, they who sincerely search after Truth meet with such discouragement, especially if there be any Blot in their Characters, or any thing done in the whole course of their Lives that is capable of having an invidious Turn given to it, I publickly return You my Thanks for your late Epistolary Discourse, wherein you have showed a noble Example of Freedom and Liberty in attacking the received Opinion of the Natural Immortality of the Soul. Your Character of Piety towards God, Charity to the Necessitous, and Patience under Afflictions, occasioned by adhering to your Principles (which were once thought Doctrines of the Church of England) is too well established in the World by the Applauses of those Men, who now endeavour to make you as little in the Judgment of others, as you were great in theirs before, not to derive some Credit on those who pursue your Steps, or at least to abate the Edge of Satyr and Invective against them: For the World has now a great Instance not only of the Consistency of Zeal for Religion with Liberty of Thinking, but that it is evidently your Zeal for Religion which has occasioned the Liberty you have taken.
Under the Protection therefore of your Authority, I shall propose some of my Thoughts to the World on the great Subject of the Natural Immortality of the Soul, with all the Brevity that Perspicuity will allow, and in some respect promote the Design of your late Discourse: For though I do not pretend to prove the Natural Mortality of the Soul by Reason, yet if I can show the Inconclusiveness of the most cogent Argument for its Natural Immortality, they who lay a stress on that Argument will be better prepared to receive those Proofs from the Scriptures and the first Fathers, urged in your Epistolary Discourse, to show, That the Soul is a Principle naturally Mortal.
The principal Argument for the Natural Immortality of the Soul is founded on the Supposition of its Immateriality; and therefore great Endeavours have been made use of to prove the Soul an Immaterial Being, and particularly by the Reverend and Learned Mr. Samuel Clarke, who in his Letter to you proposes to demonstrate, that the Soul cannot possible be Material. And what he has there said being urged with very great Acuteness and Dexterity, I shall impartially consider it.
By Soul, I suppose, Mr. Clarke means a Substance with a Power of Thinking, or, as he expresses himself, with an Individual Consciousness.
By saying the Soul cannot possibly be Material, I conceive is meant, that the Substance which hath Solidity added to it, cannot have a Power of Thinking added to it; or, that the same Substance cannot be both Solid and have the Power of Thinking.
To demonstrate the Impossibility of this, it should be declared what is to be understood by the word Substance; and then, in what the Identity of the same Substance doth consist. But these things being omitted, I shall observe, that after an Enumeration of Arguments which, he says,() have been urged by the wisest and most considerate Men in all Ages (so it is said, and so let it pass) we are told, The same thing is demonstrable from the single Consideration of bare Sense or Consciousness. For, says he, Matter being a divisible Substance, consisting always of separable, nay of actually separate and distinct Parts; it is plain, unless it were essentially conscious, in which case every Particle of Matter must consist of innumerable separate and distinct Consciousnesses, no System of it in any possible Composition or Division can be an Individual conscious Being: For suppose Three or Three Hundred Particles of Matter at a mile, or any given distance, one from another; is it possible that all those separate Parts should in that state be one individual conscious Being? Suppose then all these Particles brought together into one System, so as to touch one another; will they thereby, or by any Motion or Composition whatsoever, become any whit less truly distinct Beings than they were at the greatest distance? How then can their being disposed in any possible System, make them one individual conscious Being? If you suppose God by his infinite Power superadding Consciousness to the united Particles, yet still these Particles being really and necessarily as distinct Beings as ever, cannot be themselves the Subject in which that individual Consciousness inheres; but the Consciousness can only be superadded by the addition of something, which in all the Particles must still it self be but one individual Being. The Soul therefore, whose Power of Thinking is undeniably one individual Consciousness, cannot be possibly a Material Substance.
I have set down Mr. Clarke’s Argument at length, and in the full force of his own Expressions, that a Judgment may be made more easily of the Pertinency or Impertinency of the following Observations.
1. Since it is only required that a thing be an Individual Being, in order to its being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking, or at least that it may be possible for God to superadd to it a Power of Thinking; it is evident, by Mr. Clarke’s own account of Matter, which he makes to consist of actually separate and distinct Parts (though I wonder that at the same time he should make it divisible, when by its consisting of separate and distinct Parts it is actually divided.) That those separate and distinct Parts are capable of having a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness superadded to each of them; because the want of Individuality or Distinctness is the sole Reason urged, why a System of Matter cannot have a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness: And consequently, according to Mr. Clarke’s own Reasoning, Matter may have a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness.
2. Since an Individual Being, according to Mr. Clarke, can only be the subject of a Power of Thinking; Why may not several Particles of Matter, when united in one System, become an Individual Being, and be by the Power of God rendered incapable of any Division or Separation by Natural Causes, and consequently be a subject capable of Thinking? If several Particles of Matter can be so united as to touch, one another, or closely to adhere; wherein does the Distinctness or Individuality of the several Particles consist? The Distinctness or Individuality is as much lost to me by this supposed Union, as the Distinctness of the Parts (if I may so speak) of an Immaterial Being, upon supposition that Extension is not excluded out of the Idea of Immateriality, as it is not by Mr. Clarke, if I rightly apprehend him. For if the Union of Material Particles be compleat and intire, I can as well conceive an Immaterial Being capable of Division, as conceive those Particles so united capable of Division from one another. All the Difference perceivable by us, between such a Material Substance and an Immaterial Substance, besides Solidity in one and want of Solidity in the other, lies in this. That one perhaps continues as it was created, and the other becomes by the Power of God, what the other was by Creation. And what difference that will make as to one’s being capable of the Power of Thinking, and the other’s not being capable of that Power, does not appear to me, and never will, till Thinking and Solidity are proved to be incompatible in the same Subject.
3. But let us suppose with Mr. Clarke, that a Material Substance in any manner disposed, is not an Individual Being; yet I cannot see but that an Individual Power may reside in a Material System, which consists of actually separate and distinct Parts; and consequently, that an Individual Being is not indispensably necessary to be the subject of an Individual Power. Now if an Individual Power can be lodged by God in, or superadded to that which is not an Individual Being, or follows from the Composition or Modification of a Material System, consisting of actually separate and distinct Particles; the very Soul and Strength of Mr. Clarke’s Demonstration is gone. And Matter of Fact is so plain and obvious, that a Man cannot turn his Eye but he will meet with Material Systems, wherein there are Individual Powers, which are not in every one, nor in any one of the Particles that compose them when taken apart, and considered singly. Let us instance for example in a Rose. That consists of several Particles, which separately and singly want a Power to produce that agreeable Sensation we experience in them when united. And therefore either each of the Particles in that Union contributes to the Individual Power, which is the external Cause of our Sensation; or else God Almighty superadds the Power of producing that Sensation in us upon the Union of the Particles. And this, for ought I can see, may be the Case of Matter’s Thinking. Those Particles which compose the Brain, may under that Modification either have the Power of Thinking necessarily flowing from them, or else may have the Power of Thinking superadded to them by the Power of God, though singly and separately they may not have the Power of Thinking. The Fallacy of Mr. Clarke’s Argument, by which, as I take it, he deceives himself, lies in this, That by an Individual Power he understands a Power that can only proceed from, or reside in, an Individual Being; which is a plain Begging of the Question, or supposing the thing in dispute, that Thinking is such an Individual Power: To prove which, he has not, though all he says depends on it, offered so much as one word, and I conceive cannot till, he is perfectly acquainted with the Nature of Thinking. I readily acknowledge that we can distinguish the various Modes of Thinking from one another; but whether Thinking is such a kind of Operation as proceeds from an Individual Being, or whether it proceeds from a Being which consists of actually separate and distinct Parts, I must be content to be ignorant, till some better proof is produced to place it in an Individual Being, than by calling it an Individual Power.
4. But after all, supposing Mr. Clarke had proved that Consciousness could only reside in an Individual Being, and that That Individual Being must be an Immaterial Being, the Soul would not then be proved to be naturally Immortal; and consequently all the pains taken to prove the Soul Immaterial, signify nothing. Nothing is proved naturally Immortal by the supposition of the Soul’s Immateriality, but the Substance of the Soul. Now the Soul is supposed to be a Thinking Immaterial Being; and unless a Thinking Immaterial Being can be proved naturally Immortal, the Soul cannot be proved naturally Immortal. But how this can be done, I know not, but by showing the inseparable Connection between Immaterial Being and Thinking; and till then we have as much reason to believe, that Thinking is an Action which may commence after the existence of its Subject, and may perish or cease to exist, its Subject still remaining. And thus there is no more progress made in the proof of the Natural Immortality of the Soul by proving its Immateriality, than there would be in proving the natural Immortality of Mens Bodies, which are laid in the Grave, by showing that Matter can only perish by Annihilation: For as in the last Case no Proof is made of the necessary continuance together of the several Particles that compose our Bodies; so in the other Case we have no proof, that Thinking is an inseparable Property of Immaterial Being. Of what use then is this Argument to the Ends and Purposes of Religion? For if we have no security that we must hereafter exist in a State of Perception, as by only proving the Natural Immortality of the Substance of the Soul, we have not; it can be of no use to influence our Lives and Actions.
5. But let us suppose, that from the Power of Thinking, or Individual Consciousness, we can prove the Immateriality of the Soul, and from its Immateriality prove its natural Immortality, and then see what will be the consequence. All the numerous sensible Creatures in the Universe are put in the same condition with Man, and made capable of eternal Happiness as well as he. Now, to avoid this Consequence, there are two Things principally urged.
1. That all those Creatures (which I call Sensible) are only mere Machines: Or,
2. That their Souls shall be annihilated upon the Dissolution of their Bodies.
To the First I answer, That Experience as much convinces us, that they perceive, think, &c. as that Men do. They avoid pain, and seek pleasure, and give as good marks of Uneasiness under the one, and Satisfaction under the other, as Men do. They avoid pain, and seek pleasure, by the same Motives that Men do, viz. by reflecting on their past Actions, and the Actions of their fellows, with the Consequences of them; which is apparent from their acting more to their own advantage, the more experience they have had. But if after all, Brutes are only mere Machines, the Difficulty of proving the Soul Immaterial will be increased. For if the Operations of Brutes are not sufficient to distinguish them from Clocks and Watches, the Operations of Men will not prove them to be superiour to Machines.
To the Second Objection I answer: That if the Souls of Brutes are annihilated upon the dissolution of their Bodies, then the Proof of the Natural Immortality of Mens Souls from their Immateriality, tends not to prove that their Souls shall really be Immortal; because mere Natural Immortality is not a Security from Annihilation, as is supposed in the Objection.
I shall now only add, That under the Uncertainty in point of Reason, both of the Soul’s Immateriality and Natural Immortality, I am not the less certain of Man’s Immortality from the Gospel of Christ; and therefore for the sake of those who may be offended with me for my freedom, I shall observe, That the same Zeal which engages one Man to maintain, that a certain Argument has a great deal of force in it to prove the Immortality of the Soul, may engage another Man to maintain, that it is weak and dangerous. They both aim at the same End; they differ only in judging of the Nature of an Argument. They ought both to abstain from all suspicious Expressions; to abstain, I say, not in saying they will abstain, for that makes an ill Impression, but by a perfect Silence. I am,

SIR,

Your humble Servant.

A

DEFENCE

OF AN

ARGUMENT

Made use of in a

LETTER

TO

Mr. DODWELL,

To prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the SOUL.


By SAMUEL CLARKE, D. D. late Rector of St. James’s Westminster.

LONDON:

Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

A

DEFENCE

OF AN

Argument, &c.
 
IN a Letter to Mr. Dodwell, upon occasion of his late Discourse concerning the Nature of the Soul, the following Argument was among others particularly made use of to prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul.
“The same thing, viz. that the Soul cannot possibly be Material, is moreover demonstrable from the single consideration even of bare Sense and Consciousness it self. For, Matter being a divisible Substance, consisting always of separable, nay of actually Separate and Distinct Parts; it is plain, unless it were essentially conscious, in which case every Particle of Matter must consist of innumerable separate and distinct Consciousnesses, no System of it in any possible Composition or Division can be an Individual conscious Being. For suppose three, or three Hundred Particles of Matter, at a Mile, or any given distance, one from another; is it possible that all those separate Parts should in that State be one Individual conscious Being? Suppose then all these Particles brought together into one System, so as to touch one another; will they thereby, or by any Motion or Composition whatsoever, become any whit less truly distinct Beings, than they were at the greatest distance? How then can their being disposed in any possible System, make them one Individual Conscious Being? If you suppose God by his Infinite Power superadding Consciousness to the united Particles, yet still those Particles, being really and necessarily as distinct Beings as ever, cannot be themselves the Subject in which that Individual Consciousness inheres; but the Consciousness can only be fuperadded by the addition of Something, which in all the Particles must still it self be but one Individual Being. The Soul therefore, whose Power of Thinking is undeniably one Individual Consciousness, cannot possibly be a Material Substance”.()
 
To invalidate the force of this Argument, the following Objections have been offered to the publick.
 
“I. That an Individual Power may reside in a Material System which consists of actually separate and distinct Parts; That an Individual Power can be lodged by God in, or superadded to That which is not an Individual Being; or it may follow from the Composition or Modification of a Material System consisting of actually separate and distinct Particles; and if so, then the very Soul and Strength of the foregoing Demonstration is gone. That as to this, Matter of Fact is so plain and obvious, that a Man cannot turn his Eye, but he will meet with Material Systems, wherein there are Individual Powers, which are not in every one, nor in any one of the Particles that compose them, when taken apart and considered singly. That a Rose, for Example, consists of several Particles which separately and singly want a Power to produce that agreeable Sensation we experience in them when united; And therefore either each of the Particles in that Union contributes to the Individual Power which is the external Cause of our Sensation; or else God superadds the Power of producing that Sensation in us, upon the Union of the Particles. That this may be the Case of Matter’s Thinking. Those Particles which compose the Brain may under that Modification, either have the Power of Thinking necessarily flowing from them, or else may have the Power of Thinking superadded to them by the Power of God, though singly and separately they; may not have the Power of Thinking. And That the Fallacy of the fore-mentioned Argument lies in this, that by an Individual Power is there meant a Power that can only proceed from, or reside in an Individual Being: Which is plain begging of the Question.
II. That though a System of Matter were allowed not to be capable of Thinking, yet “it is evident, that, according to the foregoing Argument, the separate and distinct Parts of Matter are capable of having a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness superadded to each of them; because the want of Individuality Or Distinctness, is the sole Reason urged, why a System of Matter cannot have a Power of Thinking or an Individual Consciousness; and it is only required that a Thing be an Individual Being, in order to its being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking, or at least in order to its being a Subject to which it may be possible for God to superadd a Power of Thinking.
“III. That though it were allowed , that Consciousness could reside only in an Individual Being; and also that That Individual Being must be an Immaterial Being; yet even then the Soul would not be proved to be naturally Immortal; that is, the Thinking Immaterial Being would not be proved to be Immortal, but only the bare Immaterial Subject or Substance it self; Because Thinking is an Action which may commence after the Existence of its Subject, and may perish or cease to exist, its Subject still remaining.
“IV. That if an Individual Being can only be the Subject of a Power of Thinking, then, according to the foregoing Argument, either it will be proved that Material Substance is capable of thinking, or else that neither is Immaterial Substance capable of it: Because either several Particles of Matter, when united in one System, may become an Individual Being, and be by the Power of God rendred incapable of any Division or Separation by Natural Causes, and consequently be a Subject capable of Thinking, or else Immaterial Substance also may as well be conceived capable of Division, upon Supposition that Extension is not excluded out of the Idea of Immateriality.
“V. That if from the Power of Thinking, or Individual Consciousness, we can prove the Immateriality of the Soul, and from its Immateriality prove its natural Immortality; then the Consequence will be, that all the numerous sensible Creatures in the Universe are put in the same Condition with Man, and made capable of eternal Happiness as well as he; or else to avoid this Consequence, it must be supposed, either that all those Creatures are only mere Machines, or else that their Souls shall be annihilated upon the Dissolution of their Bodies; And if so, then the proof of the natural Immortality of Men’s Souls from their Immateriality, tends not to prove that their Souls shall really be Immortal”.
 
The Question being of great Importance, and the Objections very ingenious, as containing in brief all that can be said in Favour of, Matter’s being capable of Thinking; It is presumed it may be acceptable to the impartial Reader, to see a clear Answer given to each of them as they are here represented in their full Strength, though (for Methods sake) in somewhat a different Order than they were at first published.
 
I. To the First, viz. That an Individual Power may reside in a Material System; as Sweetness, in a Rose; And that Thinking may be supposed to do so, as well as any other Individual Power; It is answered, that it is so far from being true, as is alledged, that Matter of Fact is so plain and obvious, that a Man cannot turn his Eye, but he will meet with Material Systems, wherein there are Individual Powers, which are not in every one, nor in any one, of the Particles that compose them, when taken apart and considered singly; This, I say, is so far from being True, that on the contrary, it is both absolutely false in Fact, and impossible and a direct Contradiction in the Nature of the Thing itself, that any Power whatsoever should inhere or reside in, any System or Composition of Matter, different from the Powers residing in the single Parts. For the clearer and more distinct Explication and Proof of which Doctrine, it is to be observed that all Powers or Qualities may be distinguished into three sorts, 1st, Some Qualities there are, which do strictly and properly speaking, inhere in the Substance to which they are ascribed. And concerning these, it is evident at first sight, that every Power or Quality, that is or can be inherent in any System of Matter, is nothing else than the Sum or Aggregate of so many Powers or Qualities of the same kind, inherent in all its Parts. The Magnitude of any Body is nothing but the Sum of the Magnitudes of all its Parts. Its Motion, is nothing but the Sum of the Motions of all its Parts. And if Cogitation in like manner could possibly be a Quality really inherent in a System of Matter, it must likewise necessarily be the Sum and Result of the Cogitations of the several Parts: And so there would be as many distinct Consciousnesses, as there are Particles of Matter, of which the System consists; Which I suppose will be granted to be very absurd. Compositions or Divisions of Magnitude, varied in infinite manners to Eternity, can produce nothing in the whole System, no Quality or Power whatsoever, but mere Magnitude; Compositions and Variations of Motion, nothing but mere Motion. And Sound may as well be added to a Colour, or Colour to a Smell; or any Quality be made to subsist, without any Subject at all; as that any Power whatsoever should be superadded to, and really made to reside in, any Compositum or System of Matter, without being made to inhere proportionably in the Parts of that Whole, taken singly as well as together. This, I say, is evidently at first sight True, of all real Qualities, which truly and properly inhere in the Subject to which they belong; such as are Magnitude and Motion in Matter. 2dly, Other Qualities there are, which are vulgarly looked upon as Individual Powers, resulting from and residing in the whole System, without residing particularly in each or any of its single and original Parts; such as are the Sweetness of certain Bodies, their Colours, &c. But this is only a vulgar and very gross Errour. For neither do these Qualities reside in, or at all result from, the whole System, in any proper Sense: Neither in any Sense at all, in which they can be ascribed to that Body or System of Matter to which they are vulgarly supposed to belong, are they truly Individual Powers, In the first place they are not really Qualities of the System, and evidently do not at all in any proper Sense belong to it, but are only Effects occasionally produced by it in some other Substance, and truly Qualities or Modes of that other Substance in which they are produced; Thus the Sweetness of a Rose, is well known not to be a Quality really inhering in the Rose; but a Sensation, which is merely in him that smells it, and a Mode of the Thinking Substance that is in the Man. In the next place, these Qualities, in no Sense wherein they can be ascribed to the System of Matter, are Individual Powers. They are Individuals, only as they are Modes of the Thinking Substance that perceives them; but in the Bodies themselves, they are only specifically, not individually, single Powers; that is, they are only a Number of similar Motions or Figures of the Parts of the Body. Nay, they are not always so much as specifically single Powers. Thus Compound Colours, as certain Greens, for Example, which are Individual Modes in the Thinking Substance that perceives them, may in the Objects be nothing but a number of Figures or Motions even specifically different, namely such as usually represent both Blue and Yellow. And the same may be said of Heat, Light, Taste, Sound, and all those others which we call Sensible Qualities. 3dly, Other Powers, such as Magnetism, and Electrical Attractions, are not real Qualities at all, residing in any Subject, but merely abstract Names to express the Effects of some determinate Motions of certain Streams of Matter: And Gravitation it self, is not a Quality inhering in Matter, or that can possibly result from any Texture or Composition of it; but only an Effect of the continual and regular Operation of some other Being upon it; by which the Parts are all made, to tend one towards another. Under these three Heads must necessarily be contained all possible Qualities, Modes or Powers whatsoever: They must either be Qualities really inhering in the Subject to which they are usually ascribed; or Modes produced by it in some other Subject; or else mere abstract Names, signifying certain Powers or Effects that do not properly reside in any Subject at all. And now the Question is, among which of these Three sorts of Powers must Consciousness or Thinking be reckoned. I suppose it will neither be said to be a mere abstract Name, nor yet an Effect produced in or upon a Foreign Substance, (as the Sweetness or Colour of a Rose, is not any individual Power in the Rose it self, but merely a Sensation excited in him that smells or sees it;) but that it is certainly a Power or Quality truly and really inhering in the Thinking Substance it self. And therefore, if that Thinking Substance be a System of Matter, the former Reasoning holds strictly and demonstratively true, that the Consciousness, must inhere in all and every one of the Particles of that System, taken singly, as well as together. To suppose any Power or Quality of this kind, arising from, or belonging to any whole System of Matter, without belonging to the several Parts of which that Whole consists, is a direct and express Contradiction: It is supposing either an Universal to exist, without Particulars; or an Effect to be produced without a Cause, or to have more in it than was in the Cause; or that a Quality is by the Power of God made so to arise out of Nothing, as to be superadded to a Subject, and to subsist without inhering in that Subject, to which it is at the same time supposed to belong. By this I presume it sufficiently appears with what possibility of Truth it is alledged, that the Particles of Matter which compose the Brain, may under that Modification either have the Power of Thinking necessarily flowing from them, or else may have the Power of Thinking superadded to them by the Power of God, though singly and separately they may not have the Power of Thinking. And it will easily be judged, whether it be indeed a Fallacy and a plain begging of the Question, to affirm that an Individual Power, properly and strictly speaking, such as Consciousness or Thinking must needs be acknowledged to be, can only proceed from, or reside in, an Individual Being; or whether the contrary be not rather demonstrated to be a plain Contradiction.
 
II. To the Second, viz. That according to the Argument now under Consideration, if not a System of Matter, yet at least the separate and distinct Parts of Matter, are capable of having a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness superadded to each of them; seeing it is only required that a thing be an Individual Being, in order to its being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking: It is answered, First, That supposing any Particle of Matter could be truly an Individual, that is, an Indivisible or Indiscerpible Being; yet it would not therefore follow, that it could be capable of thinking. For though Divisibility or Discerpibility in any Subject, is a sufficient Proof that That Subject is not capable of such an Individual Power of Thinking; yet it does not from thence presently follow on the contrary, that whatever is Indiscerpible, is therefore capable of Thinking. Though the present Argument proves indeed only, that whatever is Discerpible, cannot Think; that is, that Individuality is a sine qua non, or a necessary Qualification without which no Subject can be capable of Thinking; yet it does by no means exclude other Considerations, or at all imply that whatever has this Property of Individuality, must therefore necessarily be capable of Thinking, and cannot by any other Property be rendred, or by any other Argument proved to be, incapable of it. Though the want of Individuality or Distinctness, is indeed the sole Reason urged in the present Argument, why a System of Matter cannot have a Power of Thinking or an Individual Consciousness; yet it ought not therefore to be said, that it is Only required that a Thing be an Individual Being, in order to its being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking. Besides; Supposing any Particle of Matter could be truly an Individual Being, and also that upon that account (which yet is by no means necessary) it could be capable of Thinking; yet still the principal part of the Question would be certain and unavoidable, that a Thinking Being must be, if not immaterial, yet however naturally Immortal: For whatever is Indiscerpible, though it were supposed Material, could not by any Power of Time, or any Force in Nature, receive any such Alteration, but that not only its Substance, but even all its Qualities also, must naturally remain for ever unchanged. But then, Secondly, it is answered further, That the Supposition it self of this Objection, is utterly impossible, viz. that any Particle of Matter can be truly an Individual or Indiscerpible Being. For it is necessarily included in the Nature of Solid Substance, how small soever it be conceived to be, to consist still of Parts not essentially connected, and not at all depending upon each other for their Existence. So that it is absolutely impossible and contradictory, to suppose any Particle of Matter so truly an Individual, but that by the Power of God (for the Powers of Nature here are nothing to the purpose) it may be divided into two or more Particles, which shall each of them separately be as Perfect and Compleat Matter, and continue to have all the very same Properties, as the whole Particle had before it was divided. Suppose then the smallest imaginable Particle of Matter, indued with Consciousness or Thought: Yet by the Power of God, this Particle may be divided into two distinct Parts; and then what will naturally and consequently become of its Power of Thinking? If That Power will continue in it unchanged; then there must either be two distinct Consciousnesses, in the two separate Parts; or else the Power continuing in the intermediate Space, as well as in the parts themselves, must there subsist without a Subject; or else, not the Material Substance, but some other Thing, is the Subject of the Consciousness. If the Power of Thinking will remain only in One of the separated Parts; then either That One Part only, had at first the Power residing in it; and then the same Question will return, upon the supposition of Its being likewise divided; or else it will follow that one and the same Individual Quality may be transferred from one Subject to another; which all Philosophers of all Sects in the World, have always confessed to be impossible. If, in the last place, it be said, that upon the Division of the Particle, the Power of Thinking, which was in it, will wholly cease; then it will follow, that That Power was never at all a real Quality inhering or residing in the Substance, (in which mere separation of Parts, makes no Alteration;) but that it was merely an external Denomination, such as is Roundness in a Globe, which perishes at its being divided: And this, I suppose, will be granted to be sufficiently absurd. There is no way to evade this Argument, but by affirming either that a Particle of Matter may be so small, as that it shall not be in the Power of God to divide it; or that if it be divided, it will consequently and necessarily be annihilated; (neither of which, I suppose, will be affirmed;) or else that the same may be argued concerning Immaterial Substance also; which is the Fourth Objection, and will be considered presently in its proper place.
 
III. To the Third, viz. That though Consciousness were allowed necessarily to infer Indivisibility, and Indivisibility to infer Immateriality: yet even then not the Soul, the Thinking immaterial Being, but only the bare Immaterial Subject or Substance itself, would be proved to be naturally Immortal; since Thinking is an Action (a Power it should rather have been called) which may commence after the Existence of its Subject, and may cease, its Subject still remaining: It is answered, that the contrary is evidently True; namely, that not only the bare Immaterial Subject, but the Subject and the Power together, the Thinking Immaterial Being it self, is hereby proved to be naturally Immortal: Because, whatever Substance is Wholly indiscerpible, is plainly, by Virtue of that Property, not only it self incapable of being destroyed by any Natural Power, (for so also is the most discerpible Substance likewise;) but all its Qualities and Modes also, are utterly incapable of being affected in any measure, or changed in any degree by any Power of Nature; For all real and inherent Qualities of any Substance, are either Modifications of the Substance it self, or else Powers superadded and connected to the Substance, by the immediate Power of God; And in either of these cases, it is manifest no Quality can be altered by any natural Power, which is not able to affect and make some Alteration (in the Disposition of the Parts at least) of the Substance it self; which in an indiscerpible Substance it is evident cannot be done. The Soul therefore, the whole Conscious Being; the Power of Thinking that resides in it, as well as the bare Immaterial Subject or Substance it self; (whatever may be said concerning the Power of God in this Question;) will clearly, notwithstanding what any Finite Power can do, of necessity be naturally Immortal. The Truth of this Reasoning is evident from what we cannot but observe even in the Material World; namely, that all the Changes which are caused therein by any Powers of Nature, are Nothing but Changes of the Order and Disposition of the Parts of compound Bodies. The original and perfectly solid Particles of Matter, which are, (not indeed absolutely in themselves, but) to any Power of Nature, indiscerpible; are utterly incapable of having not only their Substance, but even any of their Qualities or Properties altered in any measure by any Power of Nature: As is evident from the Form or Species of those we vulgarly call simple or elementary Bodies, remaining always unalterably the same, and indued continually with the same Powers and Qualities.
 
IV. To the Fourth, viz. That according to the Argument we are now considering, either a System of Matter, being by a strict Union of Parts made an Individual Being, may become capable of Thinking; or else Immaterial Substance also may as well be conceived capable of Division, and consequently incapable of Thought; supposing Extension not excluded out of the Idea of Immateriality: It is answered, that the Case is very different: Because some of the first and most obvious Properties which we certainly know of Matter, as its having partes extra partes, strictly and properly speaking, that is, its consisting of such Parts as are actually unconnected, and are truly distinct Beings, and can (as we see by Experience) exist separately, and have no dependance one upon another; do necessarily and confessedly imply Discerpibility: But in Immaterial Beings we do not know of any such Properties, as any wise imply Discerpibility. It cannot be collected from any Property we know of Them, but that they may be such Beings as can no more be divided than annihilated, that is, whose whole Essence may be necessarily One, and their Substance essentially indivisible, upon the same Ground as their Existence continues: Nay, the only Properties we certainly and indisputably know of them, namely Consciousness and its Modes, do prove (as has been before shown) that they must necessarily be such Indiscerpible Beings. As evidently as the known Properties of Matter prove it to be certainly a Discerpible Substance, whatever other unknown Properties it may be endued with; so evidently the known and confessed Properties of Immaterial Beings prove them to be Indiscerpible, whatever other unknown Properties They likewise may be endued with. How far such Indiscerpibility can be reconciled and be consistent with some kind of Expansion; that is, what unknown Properties are joined together with these known ones of Consciousness and Indiscerpibility; is another Question of considerable Difficulty, but of no Necessity to be resolved in the present Argument. Only This: As the Parts of Space or Expansion it self, can demonstrably be proved to be absolutely Indiscerpible; so it ought not to be reckoned an insuperable Difficulty, to imagine that all Immaterial Thinking Substances (upon Supposition that Expansion is not excluded out of their Idea,) may be so likewise.
 
V. To the Fifth, viz. That by the fore-mentioned Argument, all the sensible Creatures in the Universe are put in the same Condition with Man, and made capable of eternal Happiness as well as he; or else that, to avoid this Consequence, all those Creatures must either be supposed to be only mere Machines, or else that their Souls shall be annihilated upon the dissolution of their Bodies; And if so, then the Proof of the natural Immortality of Men’s Souls from their Immateriality, tends not to prove that their Souls shall really be Immortal: It is answered, that, Though all Sensible Creatures have certainly in them something that is Immaterial, yet it does not at all follow, either that they must needs be annihilated upon the Dissolution of their Bodies, or else that they must be capable of eternal Happiness as well as Man. This is just such an Argument, as if a Man should conclude, that whatsoever is not exactly like himself, can therefore have no Being at all: Or that all the Stars of Heaven, if they be not exactly like our Globe of Earth, cannot possibly be any Globes at all. Certainly the Omnipotent and infinitely Wise God may, without any very great difficulty, be supposed to have more ways of disposing of his Creatures, than we are at present let into the secret of. He may indeed, if he please, annihilate them at the Dissolution of their Bodies; (And so he might, if he thought fit, annihilate the Souls of Men; and yet it would be never the less true, that they are in their own Nature Immortal;) or he may, if he pleases, without either annihilating them or suffering them to fall into a State of entire Inactivity, dispose of them into numberless States, concerning the particular Nature of which, we are not now able to make the least conjecture. I suppose, That Man does not do any great Honour either to God, or to the Christian Religion, who will needs contend, that through a boundless Eternity there shall never exist any thing in the immense Universe, but what must needs partake either of the Happiness or Misery of Mankind.

A

REPLY

TO

Mr. Clarke’s Defence

Of his LETTER to

Mr. DODWELL:

WITH

A POSTSCRIPT relating to Mr. Milles’s Answer to Mr. Dodwell’s Epistolary Discourse.

—— Jesus Christ, who hath abolished Death, and hath brought Life and Immortality to Light through the Gospel, 2 Tim. i. 10.

M. Evolve igitur librum Platonis qui est de animo: amplius quod desideres, nihil erit.
A. Feci mehercule & quidem sæpius: sed nescio quomodo dum lego, assentior; sum posui librum, & me­cum ipse, de immortalitate animorum, cœpi cogitare, as­sensio omnis illa elabitur.
M. T. Ciceronis Tusculanarum Quæstionum lib. 1.




LONDON:

Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

A

REPLY

TO

Mr. Clarke’s Defence, &c.

 
SIR,
 
THE Importance of the Question concerning the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, and the Ability of Mr. Clarke to urge to the best Advantage, whatever can be said on that side of it which he espouses, make me presume it will not be unacceptable to the impartial Reader, to see what Answer can be given to his Defence of an Argument, made use of in a Letter to Mr. Dodwell, to prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul, by the Author of the Objections to that Argument; who still thinks it inconclusive, and proposes to show its Inconclusiveness in the following Papers, and thereby to contribute towards the Establishment of the Immortality of Man on that Evidence only that God has thought fit to afford us of it; and by a new Instance assert the Freedom and Liberty, so peculiar to the Country wherein we live, of examining the Grounds and Reasons of prevailing Opinions. But if he happens to fail in the Execution of his Design, either through the Weakness of his Cause, or his own Inability to deal with so learned an Adversary; yet he is very sure not to err in any thing but a matter of Speculation. He is not disposed to use any foreign or unmannerly Mixture in any Debate, much less when engaged with a Gentleman, who by confining himself solely to the Argument, set so unusual an Example of fair dealing in Controversy.
The Argument made use of by Mr. Clarke, to prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul, was,() That the Soul cannot possibly be material, is demonstrable from the single Consideration even of bare Sense and Consciousness it self: for Matter being a divisible Substance, consisting always of separable, nay, of actually separate and distinct Parts; it is plain, unless it were essentially conscious, in which case every Particle of Matter must consist of innumerable Consciousnesses, no System of it, in any possible Composition or Division, can be an Individual Conscious Being. For suppose three or three hundred Particles of Matter at a Mile or any given distance one from another, is it possible that all those separate Parts should in that State be one Individual Conscious Being? Suppose then all these Particles lie brought together into one System, so as to touch one another; Will they thereby, or by any Motion or Composition whatsoever, become any whit lest truly distinct Beings, than they were at the greatest distance? How then can their being disposed in any possible System, make them one Individual Conscious Being? If you suppose God by his Infinite Power superadding Consciousness to the united Particles; yet still those Particles being really and necessarily as distinct Beings as ever, cannot be themselves the Subject in which that individual Consciousness inheres; but the Consciousness can only be superadded by the addition of something, which in all the Particles must still it self be but one individual Being. The Soul therefore, whose Power of Thinking is undeniably one individual Consciousness, cannot possibly be a material Substance.
 
Against this Argument I offered several Objections, which I shall repeat and defend, in the same Order that Mr. Clarke has thought fit to consider them. The first is as follows:
“1. Let us suppose, with Mr. Clarke, that a material Substance in any manner disposed, is not an individual Being; yet I cannot see, but that an individual Power may reside in a material System, which consists of actually separate and distinct Parts; and consequently that an individual Being is not indispensably necessary to be the Subject of an individual Power. Now if an individual Power can be lodged by God in, or superadded to that which is not an individual Being, or follows from the Composition or Modification of a material System, consisting of actually separate and distinct Particles; the very Soul and Strength of Mr. Clarke’s Demonstration is gone. And Matter of Fact is so plain and obvious, that a Man cannot turn his Eye, but he will meet with material Systems, wherein there are individual Powers, which are not in every one, nor in any one of the Particles that compose them, when taken apart and considered singly. Let us instance, for example, in a Rose, that consists of several Particles, which separately and singly want a Power to produce that agreeable Sensation we experience in them when united. And therefore either each of the Particles in that Union contributes to the individual Power, which is the external Cause of our Sensation; or else God Almighty superadds the Power of producing that Sensation in us, upon the Union of the Particles: and this, for ought I can see, may be the case of Matter’s Thinking. Those Particles which compose the Brain, may under that Modification either have the Power of Thinking necessarily flowing from them, or else may have the Power of Thinking superadded to them by the Power of God, though singly and separately they may not have the Power of Thinking. The Fallacy of Mr. Clarke’s Argument, by which as I take it he deceives himself, lies in this, that by an individual Power he understands a Power which can only proceed from or reside in an individual Being; which is a plain Begging of the Question, or supposing the thing in dispute, that Thinking is such an individual Power: to prove which he has not, though all he says depend on it, offered so much as one word, and I conceive cannot, till he is perfectly acquainted with the nature of Thinking. I readily acknowledge, that we can distinguish the various Modes of Thinking from one another; but whether Thinking is such a kind of Operation as proceeds from an Individual Being, or whether it proceeds from a Being which consists of actually separate and distinct Parts, I must be content to be ignorant till some better proof is produced to place it in an Individual Being, than by calling it an Individual Power”.
To answer this Objection Mr. Clarke says,() That all Powers and Qualities may be distinguished into three sorts. 1. Some Qualities there are which do, strictly and properly speaking, inhere in the Substance to which they are ascribed. And concerning these it is evident, that every Power or Quality that is or can be inherent in any System of Matter, is nothing else than the Sum or Aggregate of so many Powers or Qualities of the same kind inherent in all the Parts. The Magnitude of any Body is nothing else but the Sum of the Magnitudes of all its Parts: Its Motion is nothing else but the Sum of the Motions of all its Parts. And if Cogitation in like manner could possibly be a Quality, really inherent in a System of Matter, it must likewise necessarily be the Sum and Result of the Cogitations of the several Parts, and so there would be as many distinct Consciousnesses as there are Particles of Matter. 2. Other Powers, which are vulgarly looked on as Individual Powers, resulting from and residing in the whole System, without residing particularly in each or any of its single and original Parts; such as the Sweetness of certain Bodies, their Colours, &c. but this is only a gross and vulgar Errour. 3. Other Powers, such as Magnetism and Electrical Attractions, are not real Qualities at all residing in any Subject, but merely abstract Names, to express the Effects of some determinate Motions of certain Streams of Matter: And Gravitation it self is not a Quality inhering in Matter, or that can possibly result from any Texture or Composition, but only an Effect of the continual and regular Operation of some other Being upon it, by which the Parts are all made to tend one towards another. Under these three Heads must necessarily be contained all possible Qualities, Modes or Powers whatsoever: And now the Question is among which of these three Sorts of Powers must Consciousness or Thinking be reckoned. I suppose it will neither be said to be a mere abstract Name, nor yet an Effect produced in or upon a foreign Substance (as the Sweetness and Colour of a Rose is not any Individual Power in the Rose it self, but merely a Sensation excited in him that smells or sees it) but that it is a Quality or Power truly and really inhering in the thinking Substance itself. And therefore if that thinking Substance be a System of Matter, the former Reasoning holds strictly and demonstratively true, that the Consciousness must inhere in all and every one of the Particles of that System taken singly as well as together. To suppose any Power or Quality of this kind arising from or belonging to the several Parts of which the Whole consists, is a direct and express Contradiction: It is supposing either an Universal to exist without Particulars, or an Effect to be produced without a Cause; or that a Quality is, by the Power of God, made so to arise out of nothing, as to be super added to a Subject, and to subsist without inhering in that Subject to which it is at the same time supposed to belong.
1. Before I make any Return to this Answer of Mr. Clarke, it will not be improper to fix and determine the precise Significations of some Words on which the Question turns. The Question being, Whether a System of Matter can have a Power of Thinking, or an individual Consciousness superadded to it, or flow from any Modification of that System; it is evident, that by a Power of Thinking is understood, not a Capacity to think, but actual Thinking, for else Consciousness could not be properly employed, by Mr. Clarke, to signify the same thing with a Power of Thinking.
2. The Term Individual, when applied to Power, must likewise signify barely One Power without any Determination; whether that Power proceed from an individual or an actually divided or divisible Being: for if an individual Power signifies a Power which proceeds from or inheres in an individual Being, and Consciousness be supposed such an individual Power, and the Question is, Whether Consciousness or any individual Power can reside in a System of Matter, or a Being that is not individual; there is no ground to dispute, whether a System of Matter can have Consciousness, or any other individual Power, on such Suppositions. It is evident, that on those Suppositions a System of Matter cannot possibly think; for a System of Matter being supposed to consist of Parts and Thinking, or Consciousness being supposed to be a Power incapable of residing in a Being that consists of Parts, the Question of Matter’s thinking will amount to this, Whether that which cannot think, can think, I do not, by what I have said, exclude Mr. Clarke from contending for Consciousness or Thinking’s being a Power that can only reside in an individual Being. He is at his liberty to make that a Question whenever he thinks fit, and I shall be very glad to see what so able a Gentleman can say to give me light into the Nature of Thinking. But all that I contend for is, that Thinking be not supposed an individual Power, in a Sense that begs the Question between us, till it be proved individual in that sense; and then I will allow, that there is no ground to dispute whether a System can think. These things being cleared, I answer to Mr. Clarke’s Argument:
1. That it is nothing else but Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. For by enumerating his three sorts of Powers or Qualities of Matter, and showing that the two last of the sorts are improperly called Powers or Qualities, he does suppose that a System of Matter has, and can have only Powers of one sort or kind, such as Magnitude and Motion, which are only the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind; which, what is it else but to argue, That because we know of no other Powers of a different kind in Matter from Magnitude and Motion, therefore it has and can have no other Powers of a different kind from Magnitude and Motion? Whereas he ought to have demonstrated, if he would have proved the Point he undertook to prove, that there can be no other Power in any System of Matter, but what is the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind; and then there might have been some ground to conclude, That if Consciousness be really inherent in a System of Matter, it must be the Sum or Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts: for till it is demonstrated, that there can be no other Power in any System of Matter, but what is the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind; it may as well be supposed, that there are Powers of different kinds in different Particles of Mater, or that God can superadd different kinds of Powers to the different Parts of a material System; and then the Action or Power exerted, resulting from them when united, will be of a different sort or species from any Power inhering in the Particles singly considered, and so far from being the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind, that the new Power will be the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of a different kind. And if so, then Mr. Clarke must prove, that Consciousness is not an Action or actual Power resulting from an Union of different kinds of Powers, or else he will not be able to prove the Impossibility of Matter’s thinking from its Divisibility, or its being actually divided in infinitum; for on supposition that there are Powers of different kinds in different parts of the same material System, and that Consciousness cannot be proved to be, properly speaking, an Individual Power, or a Power which can only reside in an Individual Being, there will be no reason to conclude, That if Consciousness be really inherent in a System of Matter, it must be the Sum or Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts: but on the contrary, That if Consciousness does inhere in a System of Matter, it must not be the Sum or Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts; and all Mr. Clarke’s Difficulties founded on Matter’s consisting of actually separate and distinct Parts, will be removed; for it will then be no Contradiction to suppose a Power arising from Matter, without belonging to the Parts of which the Whole consists, no more than it will be to conceive that a Whole is not the same with a Piece of a Clock: for the Power resulting from the different contributing Powers in the System, neither belongs to any part of the System when considered by it self, nor is it of the same sort or kind with any Power in any part of the System, nor will there be any ground to suppose an Universal to exist without Particulars, but a particular Power existing to which several particular Powers contribute, as every Man is a particular Man, though various Powers are necessary to constitute him of the Species: nor, lastly, to suppose an Effect produced without a Cause; for the different Powers in the single and separate Parts of a System of Matter, by uniting in one Operation or Power to operate, are the Cause of the Existence of that Power which did not exist in the Particles singly considered. And thus it may be conceived, that there may be a Power in all those Particles which compose the Brain, to contribute to the Act of Thinking, before they are united under that Form; though while they are disunited, they have no more of Consciousness than any Being which produces Sweetness in us (that is made up of Parts wherein different Powers inhere) when under a particular Form, has a Power to produce Sweetness in us, when its Parts are disunited and separated.
2. Though I have supposed different Parts of Matter, in the same System, to have actual Powers essentially different; yet I will allow that Matter is every where under the same Circumstances, endowed with the same Powers; and that, taking the whole Material World together, every Particle thereof is capable of contributing to all the actual Powers of Matter equally with any other Particle whatever. But then if these actual Powers exist but only under such and such Regulations, and that a Disposition of Parts by Motion be necessary to the Exertion of every Power, it will equally follow, that the Power of every System will not be the Sum of Powers of the same kind, but be the Sum of Powers of different kinds; because by the different Situation of Parts in a System, a different Power is exerted in every Particle, though each of them would exert the same Power under the same Circumstance or Position. And I much rather take this to be the Case, than to suppose really different Powers founded on different Capacities in the different Parts of Matter; for by Experience we see that every thing by change or Form becomes every thing. The same Parts of Matter become Parts of Dung, Earth, Grass, Corn, Sheep, Horses, Men, &c. and act their parts under these Mutations: and I would add, as what seems equally matter of fact to me; That the Matter of which an Egg consists, doth intirely constitute the young one, and that the Action of Sensation began under a particular Disposition of the Parts by Motion, without the Addition of an Immaterial and Immortal Soul, as the Powers of Vegetation, Gravitation, of producing the Sensation of Heat, Cold, Red, Blue, Yellow, are performed without the Addition of an Immaterial and Immortal Soul, had not the System-makers of Europe thought fit to deny it, in order to etch out their Hypotheses.
3. Mr. Clarke has not rightly enumerated the known Powers of Matter. In order to make that appear, let us consider what we mean by Power. By Power I understand, in the Question between us, An actual Ability to make or receive any Change, to act or be acted on. The Question then will be, whether there is in any System of Matter a Power to make or receive a Change, to act or be acted on, that is not the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind? Now that there are Powers in Systems of Matter, that are not the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind, is apparent from this Consideration, That not only mere Magnitude and Motion is necessary to the making or receiving some sort of Change, but the particular Texture of a Being. Now the Texture, let it be of the Eye, Ear, or any other part of Man, is essentially different from the Texture of other Beings, and the Texture of the Parts of the Being itself; and it is from its Texture, as well as from its Magnitude and Motion, that the Matter of which the Eye consists, has a Power to make or receive a Change, to act or be acted on: which Power depends so intirely on the particular Texture, that upon the least Alteration of some Parts of the Eye, it ceases to have a Power of being operated on by external Objects, or of contributing to the Act of Vision. And if the Powers of a System of Matter may intirely cease upon the least Alteration of a part of that System, it is evident that the Powers of the System inhere not in its Parts in the same sense with Magnitude and Motion: for divide and vary the Parts of Matter as much as you will, there will be Magnitude, and may be Motion; but divide or, vary the least Part of the Eye, and the Power of contributing towards the Act of Vision is intirely at an end.
4. I had said, “That the Fallacy of Mr. Clark’s Argument, by which as I took it he deceived himself, lies in this, That by an Individual Power he understands a Power which can only proceed from or reside in an Individual Being, which is a plain begging of the Question, or supposing the thing in dispute, that Thinking is such an Individual Power. To prove which he has not, though all he says depends on it, offered so much as one word, and I conceive cannot till he is perfectly acquainted with the Nature of Thinking. I readily acknowledge that we can distinguish the various Modes of Thinking from one another; but whether Thinking is such a kind of Operation as proceeds from an Individual Being, or whether it proceeds from a Being that consists of Parts, I must be content to be ignorant, till some better proof is produced to place it in an Individual Being, than by calling it an Individual Power”.
To manifest this, and show yet farther the Weakness of Mr. Clarke’s Argument, I observe that Mr. Clarke proposed to demonstrate that a Power of Thinking or Consciousness cannot inhere in a System of Matter, from the single Consideration of bare Sense or Consciousness it self. His Argument is in short as follows: Matter is a Substance consisting always of actually separate and distinct Parts; Consciousness is an Individual Power. An Individual Power cannot be added to a Substance, consisting of actually separate and distinct Parts, but by being added to all those Parts of which that Substance doth consist; whereby instead of one Consciousness, there will be as many distinct Consciousnesses as there be distinct Parts of that Substance. This, if I mistake not, comprehends the entire Strength of his Argument, with relation to which I shall lay down the following Particulars.
(1.) That our Idea, signified by the Term Matter in this Dispute, is of a solid Being, which doth consist of actually separate and distinct Parts.
(2.) Saying, That Consciousness is an Individual Power (be they ever so many that say so) is but calling Consciousness by another Name. It is not giving an account of what Consciousness is, wherein it doth consist, which is requisite to demonstrate from Consciousness, that Consciousness cannot be added to a Being that consists of actually separate and distinct Parts. If a Man should say, that Consciousness is a Quality that makes the Being to which it is added not to consist of distinct Parts, he would (allowing the Truth of his Assertion) prove that it cannot inhere in a Being that consists of Parts, because of the obvious Repugnancy there is between the Co-existence of these two Properties, Affections, Qualities (or call them as you please) in the same Being. But it is not enough to demonstrate that Consciousness cannot be superadded to a Being that consists of Parts, to call Consciousness by another name. If one should undertake to demonstrate to me, that Consciousness can only inhere in a System of Matter, and for this purpose should tell me, that Consciousness is an Organical Operation, I should desire him to tell me, wherein Thinking or Consciousness doth consist? For if he would do that, I should be able to know whether it is an Organical Operation or not: whereas his telling me that it is an Organical Operation, leaves me as ignorant what Thinking is, in what it does consist, as I was before those Sounds reached in my Ear; and does as much suppose the Thing in dispute, That Matter can only think, as Mr. Clarke’s calling Consciousness an Individual Power, in his sense of Individual Power, is supposing that Matter cannot think.
(3.) Therefore before it can be demonstrated from Consciousness, that Consciousness cannot reside in a Being that consists of actually separate and distinct Parts, it must be demonstrated, that Consciousness is an Individual Power in Mr. Clarke’s Sense of those words, or that it is a Power which can only reside in an Individual Being: But Mr. Clarke has not said any thing to this Question, but barely by calling Consciousness an Individual Power. His Argument therefore, stript of all doubtful Expressions, and resting on the Proofs by which he supports it, is this: Matter is a Substance consisting always of actually separate and distinct Parts, Consciousness cannot reside in a Being which consists of actually separate and distinct Parts; therefore Matter cannot think, or be conscious. To support which Connexion he has no intermediate Ideas, but by saying, Consciousness is an Individual Power, and an Individual Power cannot reside in a Being that consists of Parts; therefore Consciousness cannot reside in a Being which consists of Parts: which carries the Mattter not one jot further than merely supposing Consciousness to be a Power, which can only reside in an Individual Being.
(4.) Having made good my Charge against Mr. Clarke’s Argument, as it stands in his Letter to Mr. Dodwell, which only could lie before me when I made my Objections, and from whence Mr. Clarke has urged nothing in his Defence, to show that he did not beg the Question, I shall consider what I can find in his Defence, to show that Thinking is a Power which must reside in an Individual Being. He says,() That every Power or Quality that is or can be inherent in any System of Matter, is nothing else but the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind, inherent in all its Parts; and if Cogitation could be a Quality really inherent in Matter, it must be the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts, which is apparently absurd. Now though this does not suppose Thinking to be a Power which can only reside in an Individual Being, as Mr. Clarke’s Argument did, yet it supposes another Proposition, That all the Powers of any System of Matter are nothing else but the Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same kind. From whence he infers, that Consciousness cannot reside in a System of Matter, or, which is all one, that it is an Individual Power in his sense; and therefore it lies upon him to prove that there can be no Power in a System of Matter, but what is the Sum and Result of Powers of the same kind.
(5.) Having fully examined the main Argument of the first Article of Mr. Clarke’s Defence, I proceed to take notice of two or three particular Incidents in it. As,
1. Mr. Clarke charges me() with saying, Sweetness is in a Rose; whereas I say quite the contrary in these words, “That a Rose consists of Particles, which singly and separately want a Power to produce that agreeable Sensation we experience in them when united”. And therefore Mr. Clarke had no reason to show the Vulgarness and Grossness() of believing that Sweetness exists in Bodies, to me who agreed with him, as appears by my own words. I know no one more capable of instructing others than Mr. Clarke, and therefore I wish he had chosen some Topick wherein we differed; and then how well and closely soever he had argued, I should have had the Satisfaction either of seeing my self ingeniously opposed, or else have been convinced by him: Whereas now I appear ignorant where I am not so, and Mr. Clarke by no means advantagiously, when he gives himself the Trouble to dispute with a Man in Print, that he makes ignorant of the first Rudiments of Natural Philosophy.
2. Mr. Clarke says, That the Powers in a Rose are nothing else but a number of similar Motions or Figures; wherein there are two things to be proved: (1.) That the mere Figure and Motion of the Parts of a Rose do produce, or are the sole external Cause of the Sensation caused by them (2.) That those Motions and Figures are perfectly similar.
3. Mr. Clarke says,() That Gravitation is the Effect of the continued and regular Operation of some other Being on Matter: Whereas it does not appear but that Matter gravitates by virtue of Powers originally placed in it by God, and is now left to it self to act by those Original Powers. And it is as conceivable that Matter should act by virtue of those Powers, as that an Immaterial Being should originally put it into Motion, or continue it in Motion.
Sect. 2. It was objected, “Since it is only required that a thing be an Individual Being, in order to its being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking, or at least that it may be possible for God to superadd to it a Power of Thinking; it is evident by Mr. Clarke’s own account of Matter, which he makes to consist of actually separate and distinct Parts (though I wonder at the same time he should make it divisible, when by its consisting of separate and distinct Parts it is actually divided) that those separate and distinct Parts are capable of having a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness superadded to each of them; because the Want of Individuality or Distinctness is the sole Reason urged why a System of Matter cannot have a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness: and consequently, according to Mr. Clarke’s own Reasoning, Matter may have a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness”. To this Mr. Clarke answers, That supposing any Particle of Matter could be truly an Individual, that is, an indivisible or indiscerpible Being; yet it would not therefore follow that it could be capable of Thinking: for though Divisibility or Discerpibility in any Subject is a sufficient proof that that Subject is not capable of such an Individual Power as Thinking; yet it does not from thence follow on the contrary, that whatever is indiscerpible, is therefore capable of Thinking.
1st, But if Indiscerpibility be what is only required in Mr. Clarke’s Argument for a Subject of a Power of Thinking, then it must follow, not only that what is discerpible cannot think, but that whatever is indiscerpible is capable of Thinking, till Mr. Clarke thinks fit to add such Considerations to his Argument, whereby an individual material Being is excluded from a Capacity of Thinking, and an individual immaterial Being is not: For if Indiscerpibility is all that is mentioned as requisite in a Subject for a Power of Thinking, then wherever there is Indiscerpibility, there is all that is required by that Argument. And so though it does not, from Discerpibility in any Subject’s being a sufficient Proof that that Subject is not capable of Thinking, universally follow, that whatever is indiscerpible, is therefore capable of Thinking; yet it may and does follow from Mr. Clarke’s Argument, as it stands at present, and I desire him to shew me any one Principle, in the present Argument, from whence it cannot be as well inferred, that an Individual Material Being is a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking, as an Immaterial Being.
But Mr. Clarke says, Though the want of Individuality or Distinctness is the sole Reason urged in the present Argument, why a System of Matter cannot think; yet it ought not therefore to be said, that it is only required that a thing be an Individual Being, in order to its being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking. Upon which I observe, that Mr. Clarke owns the Truth of my Reasoning upon the Supposition, that Individuality is only required by him in a Subject of a Power of Thinking; but denies that I have any reason to infer that Individuality is only required from the want of Individuality’s being the sole Reason urged why a System of Matter cannot have a Power of Thinking: which I cannot help thinking to be all one, till there is a Difference assigned between only required in the present Argument, and the sole Reason urged in the present Argument.
(2.) Had I affirmed, from the Consideration of Mr. Clarke’s Argument, That whatever is indiscerpible, is therefore capable of Thinking; I cannot see how Mr. Clarke, consistently with the Principles on which his Argument proceeds, can urge any Considerations, whereby an Individual Material Being is excluded from a Capacity of Thinking: and if he cannot, then it follows universally from his Argument, that whatever is indiscerpible, is therefore capable of Thinking. This I would show, but that Mr. Clarke does() deny the Supposition on which this Objection is grounded, viz. that any Particle of Matter can be truly an Indiscerpible Being: and therefore I shall spare the Reader, by not arguing longer on a Supposition denied on both sides; though when I urged it, I took it to be Mr. Clarke’s Opinion, because he said, Matter consisted of actually separate and distinct Parts: by which words since he understands improper Parts, or Parts that seem so to us (for according to him Matter has no Parts) I own the Ground of my Objection, as founded on his Words, is intirely taken away.
Sect. 3. It was objected, “Supposing Mr. Clarke had proved, that Consciousness could only reside in an Individual Being, and that an Individual Being must be an Immaterial Being, the Soul would not then be proved naturally Immortal, and consequently all the Pains taken to prove the Soul Immaterial signify nothing. Nothing is proved naturally Immortal by the Supposition of the Soul’s Immateriality, but the Substance of the Soul. Now the Soul is supposed to be a Thinking Immaterial Being; and unless a Thinking Immaterial Being can be proved naturally Immortal, the Soul cannot be proved naturally Immortal. But how this can be done, I know not, but by showing the inseparable Connexion between Immaterial Being and Thinking; and till then we have as much reason to believe that Thinking is an Action which may commence after the Existence of its Subject, and may perish or cease to exist, its Subject still remaining. And thus there is no more progress made in the Proof of the natural Immortality of the Soul, by proving its Immateriality, than there would be in proving the natural Immortality of Men’s Bodies which are laid in the Graves, by showing that Matter can only perish by Annihilation: for, as in the last Case, no proof is made of the necessary Continuance together of the several Particles that compose our Bodies; so, in the other Case, we have no proof that Thinking is an inseparable Property of Immaterial Being. Of what use then is this Argument to the Ends and Purposes of Religion? For if we have no security that we must exist hereafter in a state of Perception, as by only proving the natural Immortality of the Soul we have not, it can be of no use to influence our Lives and Actions”.
To this Mr. Clarke answers,() That all the Qualities and Modes of an Indiscerpible Being are utterly incapable of being affected in any degree by any Power in Nature; for all real and inherent Qualities, of any Substance, are either Modifications of the Substance it self, or else Powers superadded and connected to the Substance by the immediate Power of God: And, in either of these Cases, it is manifest no Quality can be altered by any natural Power, which is not able to affect and make some Alteration in the Substance (in the Disposition of the Parts at least) it self which in an Indiscerpible Substance cannot be done.
1. Upon this Answer I observe, That it is inconsistent with Matter of Fact, or else supposes the Soul a Material Being: For we know by experience, that the Soul or Thinking Being undergoes several Changes or Alterations. It has not only different Passions, as Anger, Love, &c. at different times, which are Modifications of the Soul, that begin and have their Period, but has Qualities or Powers, such as Seeing and Hearing, which by the Defect of our Organs plainly cease for a time. Now when Mr. Clarke reconciles our having different Passions at different times, and our enjoying of Powers, and then losing of them, with his Notion, That all the Qualities and Modes of an Indiscerpible Being are utterly incapable of being affected in any measure, or changed in any degree by any Power of Nature; I promise him to account for the Possibility of Thinking’s ceasing in an Immaterial Being by the Powers of Nature. But if he cannot, what remains, but from the Actions of our Souls which must then, according to him, be inconsistent with their Existence in an Indiscerpible Being, to conclude the Soul to be material?
2. The Powers of Nature signify material and finite immaterial Beings, and their several Powers and Operation one on another. Now till Mr. Clarke has a compleat Idea of both sorts of Beings, their Powers and Operations one on another, it is impossible for him in many respects to tell how far they can affect one another’s Operations: For instance, there are Beings in the World that think, of whose Substance I have no other Idea but that it is indiscerpible by the Powers of Nature; but yet I understand not the manner how these indiscerpible Beings think, nor how they are capable of other Qualities, nor what other Qualities and Powers they have. Nor do I understand all the Powers of material or other immaterial Beings, and the manner of their Operations; how then can I possibly tell how that, of which I have no Idea, may affect an Action or Power of another Being of which I have no Idea, how it is performed, how it inheres in its Subject, or wherein the Nature of that Power consists?
3. But Mr. Clarke says,() No Quality or Mode can be altered by any natural Power, which is not able to affect and make some alteration of the Substance it self; which in an Indiscerpible Substance cannot be done. In answer to which I ask Mr. Clarke, whether God can destroy a Mode or Quality in an Immaterial Being, without making some alteration in the Substance it self? If Mr. Clarke replies, That God can destroy a Mode or Quality, without making some alteration in the Substance it self; then there is no repugnancy in the Nature of the thing, that a Mode or Quality may be destroyed, without any alteration of the Parts of that Substance which was the Subject of that Mode or Quality. If he says, That God can destroy a Mode or Quality in an immaterial Substance, without making any alteration in the Substance, but that a created Being by any Powers that it is capable of receiving from the Hand of God cannot; I desire him to give me any Argument upon his Principles to prove created Beings cannot, that will not equally conclude against God’s destroying such a Power, unless at the same time he annihilates the Subject of that Power. He cannot make it impossible for the Powers of an Immaterial Being to cease, by the Operations of created Beings on it, from its Indiscerpibility, without excluding God from putting an end merely to those Powers; for, according to Mr. Clarke, God himself can no more make any alteration in the Parts of an immaterial Substance, than a created Being can. If Mr. Clarke replies, That God cannot destroy a Mode or Quality of an immaterial Being, without making an alteration in the Parts of the Substance: I answer, That if God does make any alteration in the Parts of the Substance, upon destroying the Power or Quality that he has superadded; then an immaterial Substance is plainly as discerpible by the Power of God as a material Substance: and all Mr. Clarke’s Arguments against the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, turn upon him; for alteration of Parts in a finite Being is as much an Evidence of Discerpibility, as Solidity is. But, lastly, if Mr. Clarke replies, That no, Power or Quality can be destroyed, without the Annihilation of the Subject of that power, I desire a Reason may be given why God can superadd a Power to an immaterial Being, as Mr. Clarke acknowledges he can, and not cause it to cease, its Subject remaining as it was before the Power was superadded.
4. But to give him all the Satisfaction I can, I shall instance in a Quality of immaterial Being, that may owe its continuance to the Actions of created Beings, and may cease without making any alteration in the Substance it self. Extension not being excluded out of Mr. Clarke’s Idea of Immaterial Being, it is plain, whenever our Bodies are carried from one place to another, our Souls must likewise move along with them; though Motion is no doubt incompatible with Immaterial Being, in case Immaterial Being has no Extension. Now this supposed Motion of our Souls is intirely owing to external and material Causes, not only as to the Degree of Motion, but as to the Determination of the Motion; for both the Degree of Motion, and the particular Determination thereof will cease upon withdrawing the external material Causes: and if any particular Motion of an Immaterial Being be owing to external material Causes, then all its Motions, for all we know to the contrary, may be so too; and if so, there can be no repugnancy, in supposing it possible for an Immaterial Being to be destitute of the Quality of actual Motion. And if there is no repugnancy in supposing, that Motion may be continued in an Immaterial Being by the Powers of Nature, and may cease by withdrawing of those Powers; then Mr. Clarke’s Affirmation, That no Quality of an Immaterial Being can be altered by any natural Power, which is not able to make an Alteration (in the Disposition of the Parts at least) of the Substance it self, is very precarious.
5. Lastly, Supposing Mr. Clarke had proved in this Article, what I conceive he has not, That the whole Soul, the Thinking Immaterial Being, is indivisible by the Powers of Nature, or naturally Immortal in that sense, yet this Indivisibility, this Natural Immortality, is no more than he allows to some Particles of Matter; for he says,() That there are original, and perfectly solid Particles, which are to any Power of Nature indiscerpible: and he corrects me for calling any Particle of Matter an Individual Being,() because it cannot be divided by natural Causes, or the Powers of Nature: and therefore if a Particle of Matter, notwithstanding its Indiscerpibility by natural Causes, is not naturally immortal, or indivisible in that Sense, in which Mr. Clarke requires the Substance of the Soul to be, viz. to be indiscerpible by the Power of God, neither can the whole thinking Being be proved naturally Immortal in that sense, unless it can be showed, that the whole thinking Being is indiscerpible by the Power of God. But to that Question he has not said any thing, and therefore I may conclude, that supposing Thinking must reside in an individual Being, or a Being that is indiscerpible by the Power of God, yet it does not follow, that the thinking immaterial Being is indiscerpible by the Power of God, or naturally Immortal.
It was objected, 4. “Since an individual Being can only be the Subject of a Power of Thinking, Why may not several Particles of Matter, when united in one System, become an individual Being, and be by the Power of God rendered incapable of any Division or Separation by natural Causes, and consequently be a Subject capable of Thinking? If several Particles of Matter can be so united as to touch one another, or closely adhere; wherein does the Distinctness or Individuality of the several Particles consist? The Distinctness or Individuality is as much lost to me by this supposed Union, as the Distinctness of the Parts of an immaterial Being, upon Supposition that Extension is not excluded out of the Idea of Immateriality, as it is not by Mr. Clarke, if I rightly apprehend him: For if the Union of material Particles be compleat and intire, I can as well conceive an immaterial Being capable of Division, as conceive those Particles so united, capable of Division from one another. All the Difference perceivable by us, between such a material Substance, besides Solidity in one and want of Solidity in the other, lies in this, That one perhaps continues as it was created, and the other becomes by the Power of God what the other was by Creation. And what difference that will make as to one’s being capable of the Power of Thinking, and the other’s not being capable of that Power, does not appear to me, and never will till Thinking and Solidity are proved to be incompatible in the same Subject”.
To this Mr. Clarke answers,() That the Case is very different, between such a Material Being and an Immaterial Being, though it be supposed to be extended, because some of the first and most obvious Properties, which we certainly know of Matter, as its having partes extra partes, strictly and properly speaking, and its consisting of such Parts as can exist separately, and have no Dependance on one another, do necessarily and confessedly imply Discerpibility: But in Immaterial Beings we do not know of any such Properties as any wise imply Discerpibility.
The Case is not different between such a Material Being as I have described, and a finite extended Immaterial Being: for though all Matter does consist of Parts, that have no dependance on one another for their Existence; yet by the Supposition in the Objection, it is as indiscerpible by natural Causes as an Immaterial Being. Now this Supposition Mr. Clarke is so far from denying to be possible, that he grants it to be true in fact,() That there are Particles of Matter which are to any Powers in Nature indiscerpible. And if there are or may be Systems of Matter, which imply Indiscerpibility by natural Causes, though they are allowed discerpible by the Power of God, there can be no difference between those Systems of Matter, and any other finite extended Beings, as to their Divisibility by the Powers of Nature. Nor can there be any difference as to their Divisibility by the Power of God, for all finite extended Beings must so far consist of Parts, that the Part of one side is not the Part of the other side. They can only consist in a Continuity of the same Substance: and why such a Substance should not be as divisible as a perfectly continued solid Substance, I can see no reason. Let Mr. Clarke show that a continued solid Substance is discerpible by the Power of God, and the same Argument will equally show the Discerpibility of any other finite continued Substance. Suppose the Substance of the Soul to be four Inches square (for when once Extension is allowed to the Soul, such a Supposition becomes reasonable) I ask Mr. Clarke, If that Substance at its Creation did not depend entirely on the Will of God as to the Degree of its Extension, as much as any of those perfectly solid Particles of Matter did, which are allowed to be indlscerpible by the Powers of Nature? And whether God could not have made it two Inches square, had he pleased, as well as any of those Particles smaller? Both which, I suppose, Mr. Clarke will allow. Then I ask him, If God can make Immaterial Beings of different Dimensions, what can hinder him from making an Immaterial Being less than when he first created it, that will not hinder him from making a continued solid Being less than when he first created that? It does not appear to me, that an Inch on one side of an Immaterial Being is more dependent on an Inch on the other side, as to each other’s Existence, than two sides of a perfectly solid Particle of Matter are. So that I think we have as clear Evidence, we do as much know of a Property in Immaterial Substance, which implies Discerpibility, as we do in some Particles of Matter; continued Extension in a Being as much implying Discerpibility, as continued Solidity. But Mr. Clarke says, As the known Parts of Space can demonstrably be proved to be absolutely indiscerpible; so it ought not to be reckoned an insuperable Difficulty to imagine extended Immaterial Substance may be so likewise. Though the known Parts of Space can be demonstrated to be absolutely indiscerpible; yet it may be, and is an insuperable Difficulty to imagine an Immaterial Substance may be so likewise, because Space is infinitely extended, and because it is nothing but the mere Absence or Place of Bodies; whereas Immaterial Being is something extended and finite. Now if all finite extended Beings are divisible by the Power of God, then all Mr. Clarke says against Matter’s Thinking has equal Force (if it has any at all) against an Immaterial Being’s Thinking, as will appear by his own Words, if we put immaterial or extended Being in the Place of the Term Matter or material Being. Suppose, says he,() an Extended Being as small as you please, indued with Consciousness or Thought; yet if by the Power of God this Extended Being may be divided into two parts, what will naturally and consequently become of its Power of Thinking? If that Power continue in it unchanged; then there must be two distinct Consciousnesses in the two separate Parts; or else the Power continuing in the intermediate Distance or Space, as well as in the Parts themselves, must there subsist without a Subject; or else not the material Substance, but some other thing is the Subject of the Consciousness. If the Power of Thinking will remain only in one of the separated Parts; then either that one Part only had at first the Power residing in it, and then the same Question will return upon the Supposition of its being likewise divided; or else it will follow that one and the same Individual Quality may be transferred from one Subject to another, which all Philosophers of all Sects in the World have always confest to be impossible. If in the last Place it be said, that upon the Division of an Extended Being, the Power of Thinking which was in it will wholly cease; then it will follow, that that was never or at all a real Quality inhering and residing in the Substance (in which mere Separation of Parts makes no Alteration) but that it was a mere external Denomination, as the Roundness of a Being which perishes at its being divided: And this he supposes will be granted to be sufficiently absurd.
It was objected, in the fifth and last Place. “But let us suppose, that from the Power of Thinking or Individual Consciousness, we can prove the Immateriality of the Soul, and from its Immateriality prove its natural Immortality, and then see what will be the Consequence. All the numerous sensible Creatures in the Universe are put in the same Condition with Man, and made capable of Eternal Happiness as well as he. Now to avoid this Consequence there are two things principally urged.
 
“1. That all those Creatures (which I call sensible) are only mere Machines: Or,
“2. That their Souls shall be annihilated with their Bodies.
 
“To the first I answer, That Experience as much convinces us, that they perceive, think, &c. as that Men do: They avoid Pain and seek Pleasure, and give as good Marks of Uneasiness under the one, and Satisfaction under the other, as Men do; they avoid Pain, and seek Pleasure by the same Motives that Men do, viz. by reflecting on their past Actions, and the Actions of their Fellows, with the Consequences of them; which is evident from their acting more to their own Advantage, the more Experience they have had. But if after all Brutes are only mere Machines, the Difficulty of proving the Soul Immaterial will be increased: for if the Operations of Brutes are not sufficient to distinguish them from Clocks and Watches, the Operations of Men will not prove them to be superiour to Machines.
“To the second Objection I answer, That if the Souls of Brutes are annihilated on the Dissolution of their Bodies, then the proof of the natural Immortality of Mens Souls from their Immateriality, tends not to prove that their Souls really be Immortal, because mere natural Immortality is not a Security from Annihilation, as is supposed in the Objection”.
To which Mr. Clarke answers,() That though sensible Creatures have certainly something in them that is Immaterial, yet it does not at all follow, either that they must needs be annihilated upon the Dissolution of their Bodies, or else be capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man. This is just such an Argument as if a Man should conclude, that whatsoever is not exactly like himself can therefore have no Being at all. The Strength of this Answer lies in my supposing either a Necessity of Annihilation of the Souls of Brutes on the Dissolution of their Bodies, or else that they become capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man; which should I allow to be what I intended, yet it would not be just such an Argument as if a Man should conclude, that whatsoever is not exactly like himself can therefore have no Being at all; because it does not place an Opposition between a Capacity of the Soul’s Eternal Happiness, and not existing at all, but between a Capacity of Eternal Happiness, and no existing after the Dissolution of their Bodies. And therefore though it may follow from the Argument, that whatever Immaterial Being has not a Capacity of Eternal Happiness cannot exist after the Dissolution of the Body to which it was joined; yet it by no means follows, That no Immaterial Being or Soul can exist at all, unless it has a Capacity of Eternal Happiness as well as Man; or, in Mr. Clarke’s words, is not exactly like himself as to that Capacity. But it was very far from my Intention to argue, that there was either a Necessity of the Annihilation of the Souls of Brutes on the Dissolution of their Bodies, or else that they would be capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man; but only to argue either the Necessity of Annihilation some time or other, or else that Brutes would be capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man. For when I objected to my self, That the Souls of Brutes shall be annihilated with the Dissolution of their Bodies, I considered, that those who would suppose an Annihilation of the Souls of Brutes, would be most likely to pitch on the Dissolution of the Body as the proper Term or Period for the Existence of their Souls, as I could show from the several Answerers of Mr. Dodwell; who only from his supposing the Soul to be naturally mortal, though capable of Immortality, conclude the time of the Dissolution of the Body the proper time for the actual Mortality of the Soul. And therefore I crave leave to understand Mr. Clarke’s Argument after this manner, That though all sensible Creatures have certainly in them something that is Immaterial; yet it does not at all follow either that they must needs be annihilated, or else that they must be capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man. To which I reply, That since Mr. Clarke does allow, that all the sensible Creatures in the Universe are not mere Machines, by acknowledging that they have all something in them that is Immaterial, I desire him to tell me, consistently with the Principles of his foregoing Argument for the natural Immortality of the thinking Immaterial Being in us, what else remains reasonable, but that they be supposed sometime or other to be annihilated, or else be supposed capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man: for they having something Immaterial in them, must, according to Mr. Clarke, for ever, without Annihilation, enjoy the Power of Perception; and if they must have for ever a Power of Perception, they must have either agreeable or disagreeable Perceptions; and if they must have either agreeable or disagreeable Perceptions, they must be supposed capable of eternal agreeable Perceptions, unless Mr. Clarke will say, that they are only capable of an eternal Mixture of agreeable and disagreeable Perceptions, or only capable of eternal disagreeable Perceptions: which, since they are unreasonable Suppositions, and would destroy all proof of Man’s Capacity for a happy Immortality from the Argument now in question, I dare say he will not affirm.
My last Objection therefore cleared from all doubtfulness arising from Expression, and to which I should be glad to receive a good Answer, stands thus, That if from the Power of Thinking we can prove the Immateriality of the Soul of Man, and from its Immateriality prove its natural Immortality, and consequently its Capacity of Eternal Happiness; the Power of Thinking must prove the Immateriality of the Souls of Brutes, the Immateriality of their Souls must prove their natural Immortality, and consequently their Capacity of Eternal Happiness. If it be supposed that the Souls of Brutes may be sometime or other annihilated, then this Argument is not useful to the End for which it is intended; because natural Immortality will then be no proof of the real Immortality of the Soul of Man.
POSTSCRIPT.
SINCE the finishing this Reply to Mr. Clarke, I have met with Mr. Milles’s Answer to Mr. Dodwell’s Epistolary Discourse; in the Preface whereof he has endeavoured to defend Mr. Clarke’s Argument for the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul against my Objections, but upon Principles which intirely overthrow it, and by putting such a Sense on Mr. Clarke’s Words as is inconsistent with what Mr. Clarke understands by them in his Defence. As for instance, Mr. Milles says,() If that which thinks within us be extended, it must consist of Parts; and() that by Individual Being, in Mr. Clarke’s Reasoning, we are to understand an unextended Being: And again,() That I did not rightly apprehend Mr. Clarke, when I said Extension was not excluded by him out of his Idea of Immateriality. Whereas Mr. Clarke is so far from objecting any such mistake to me, and from supposing, That if that which thinks in us be extended, it must consist of Parts, that in the fourth Article of his Defence he argues with me as not mistaking his Meaning, by allowing Extension not to be excluded out of his Idea of Immateriality, and gives up his Argument, in case I prove that whatever is finitely extended must consist of Parts; that is, prove what Mr. Milles grants to be true, and insists on in Defence of Mr. Clarke. Therefore instead of returning any particular Answer to Mr. Milles’s Observations, I refer him for Satisfaction to Mr. Clarke’s Defence, where he may not only see that he has mistaken Mr. Clarke’s Meaning, but that Mr. Clarke’s Argument cannot be defended by him till he retracts his Preface: For if an Immaterial Being or Soul be, according to Mr. Clarke, an extended Being, and yet indiscerpible both by the Powers of Nature and the Power of God, then Mr. Milles’s Assertions, That if that which thinks in us be extended, it must consist of Parts, and that it is impossible that what has Parts should be the Subject of Thought, do overthrow Mr. Clarke’s Demonstration of the Immateriality of the Soul; for if whatever is extended must consist of Parts, and if that which consists of Parts cannot think, then Mr Clarke’s Immaterial Being cannot think, and consequently the Immateriality of the Soul, in Mr. Clarke’s Sense, is destroyed by Mr. Milles’s Defence: and therefore if Mr. Milles undertakes again Mr. Clarke’s Defence, he must first retract this Principle in his Preface, That if that which thinks in us be extended, it must consist of Parts, before he can demonstrate the Indiscerpibility of an extended Being; that is, before he can prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul, in Mr. Clarke’s Sense.
Though Mr. Milles has thus egregiously mistaken Mr. Clarke, yet it is but just to let the Reader see the Reason he assigns why Mr. Clarke must understand by Immaterial Being, Unextended Being. The Remarker, says he,() has done Mr. Clarke a great deal of wrong in saying he does not exclude Extension out of the Idea of Immateriality; since it is plain our Argument would have no force, but upon supposition that the immaterial thinking Substance within us is proved not to be extended. For which Argument I shall not return him the Civility he bestows on me, in supposing that I despise Logick,() but take the Liberty to attribute it to a more indisputable Cause, notwithstanding he has the Modesty to say,() He has taken the Liberty to imitate the great Mr. Chillingworth throughout his Treatise.
As Mr. Milles does not sufficiently agree with Mr. Clarke in Principles, in order to defend him; so Mr. Milles and I are not sufficiently agreed in common Principles to dispute with one another. In a Matter of Speculation it is not the Authority of Tully himself, could his Opinions be known (I say could they be known, because he does not always tell us on what side he is in his Philosophical Dialogues) nor all the Philosophers that ever lived, much less the Fathers of the Church, that has any weight with me. It is Reason alone, from what hand soever it comes, to which I am ready to pay my Submission, and it is by that alone that Mr. Clarke and I propose to be determined: and therefore when Mr. Milles urges no other Argument to prove the Power of Thinking inseparable from Immaterial Being, but by saying,() The Power of Thinking has been always looked upon, and is now by every one acknowledged to be a necessary Property of Immateriality; I think it fruitless to contend with a Man who knows not that the Question between Mr. Clarke and me is not a Question that depends on the Opinion of any Man, nor that Mr. Clarke proposed only by the Argument I have examined to demonstrate the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul by Reason. In short, his arguing from Fact is as foreign to the Matter, as if I should use some topical Arguments to prove the Fathers profound Philosophers, when that Question can only be determined by an Induction of particular Passages out of their Works, to which end Mr. Milles’s and Mr. Dodwell’s Writings may perhaps be allowed very useful.

A Second

DEFENCE

OF AN

ARGUMENT

Made use of in a

LETTER

TO

Mr. DODWELL,

To prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the SOUL.


In a Letter to the Author of A Reply to Mr. Clarke’s Defence, &c.


By SAMUEL CLARKE, D. D. late Rector of St. James’s Westminster.



LONDON:

Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

A Second

DEFENCE

OF AN

Argument, &c.
 
SIR,
 
IN abstract and Metaphysical Speculations, it is hardly possible that any thing should ever be so clearly expressed, or so strongly proved; but Those who are not very much versed in such Enquiries, will perpetually be apt to mis-apprehend what is said; and Men of Wit and Parts will always be able to raise new Difficulties, and perplex their Readers with intricate and endless Disputations.
Since you have not thought fit in your Reply, to offer any new Arguments, but only to urge again the same Objections which you had before advanced, against what I persuade my self I have already explained with as much Clearness as can reasonably be expected in Questions of this Nature; I think I might very well, without entering into any further Debate, have now left it wholly to the judicious and impartial Reader, to consider and determine with himself on which side the greatest Strength of Reason and Argument lies. Nevertheless, the Candour and Ingenuity with which you have written, have once more engaged me to endeavour to give you Satisfaction in this matter; by pointing out to you some of the principal Instances, wherein you seem either to have mistaken the Question it self, or to have misunderstood my Argument upon it. But hereafter, unless any new Objections shall be proposed, and not merely Repetitions and ingenious Representations of the former Difficulties, you must excuse me if I think not my self obliged to do so any more.
In repeating my Answer to your first Objection, you cite my Words thus; To suppose any Power or Quality of this kind, arising from, or belonging to the several Parts of which the Whole consists, is a direct and express Contradiction: Whereas my Words were; To suppose any Power or Quality of this kind arising from or belonging to [any whole System of Matter, without belonging to] the several Parts of which the Whole consists, is a direct and express Contradiction. I make no question but this is only a Fault of the Press in your Reply. Yet it was proper to take notice of it, because perhaps every Reader will not be at the Pains to compare the Books; and it happens, as the Passage stands in your Citation to give a very disadvantagious Representation of my Sense.
In your preliminary defining the Signification of the Terms, I cannot see any Reason, (unless it be to perplex the Reader with a new Question, Whether the Soul always Actually thinks or not, which is wholly foreign to the Matter at present in Dispute;) I cannot see any Reason, I say, why you should affirm that Consciousness cannot be properly imployed to signify the same thing with a Power of Thinking, unless by a Power of Thinking, be understood, not a Capacity to Think, but Actual Thinking. For, the thing to be proved, being This, that a Divisible Substance is not capable of a Power of Thinking; what difference can it make, whether by a Power of Thinking you understand actual Thinking, or a Capacity to think? For I presume you will not deny, but whatever is proved incapable of actual Thinking, is also proved incapable (pardon the Expression) of a Capacity of Thinking; and whatsoever is proved incapable of a Capacity of Thinking, is also proved incapable of actual Thinking. Wherefore there was no need of indeavouring at this time to perplex and multiply the Question by any such disputable Distinction; Which kind of Difficulties, foreign to the thing at present under Consideration, they who are desirous to come at Truth, and to come at it the nearest Way, ought always very carefully to avoid.
Consciousness, in the most strict and exact Sense of the Word, signifies neither a Capacity of Thinking, nor yet Actual Thinking, but the Reflex Act by which I know that I think, and that my Thoughts and Actions are my own and not Another’s. But in the present Question, the Reader needs not trouble himself with this Nicety of Distinction; but may understand it indifferently in all or any of these Significations; because the Argument proves universally, that Matter is neither capable of this Reflex Act, nor of the first Direct Act, nor of the Capacity of Thinking at all.
By an Individual Power I mean (in the Sense that Logicians commonly use the Word Individual when they oppose it to Specifick,) such a Power as is really and truly in the Nature of the Thing it self One Power, in opposition to its being such merely in our abstract Complex Notion. For Instance: When I speak of my own Consciousness, and call it an Individual Power; I mean thereby to express that it is really and truly one undivided Consciousness, and not a Multitude of distinct Consciousnesses added together: But when I speak of the Blueness, (suppose) or Redness, or Sweetness of a Body, as of a single Power belonging to that Body; it is evident I can mean only, that it is such merely in the abstract Complex Notion or Idea I frame in my Mind; that is, in the same Sense as we say an Army or a City is One; But that really and indeed it is a vast Multitude of Bluenesses, Rednesses, or Sweetnesses; or rather (to speak strictly and properly) a vast Multitude of such Parts as excite in us the Sensations of Blueness, Redness, or Sweetness. Now the thing to be proved, was that such an Individual Power as Consciousness, cannot possibly inhere in or result from a divisible Substance. And this I did prove; not by defining or supposing an Individual Power to be a Power that cannot possibly inhere in, or result from a divisible Substance; (which would indeed have been a Begging of the Question;) but by demonstrating, that it would necessarily imply a plain and direct Contradiction, for any Power which is really One and not Many, (such as your self acknowledged Consciousness to be, by confessing it does not reside in the single and separate Parts of the Brain,) to inhere in or result from a divisible Substance. Wherefore it is altogether without Reason, that you endeavour to perplex your Reader by telling him that a System of Matter being supposed to consist of Parts, and Thinking being supposed to be a Power incapable of residing in a Being that consists of Parts, the Question of Matter’s Thinking will amount to this, Whether that which cannot think, can think; When you well know that I made use of no such Supposition, but endeavoured to prove, (and, I hope, have proved with some Strength and Clearness) what you seem to insinuate as if I only supposed.
 
I. You reply to my Answer to your first Objection; that it is nothing else but Argumentum ad Ignorantiam: that in enumerating the sorts of Powers or Qualities of Matter, I suppose that a System of Matter has and can have only Powers of one sort or kind, such as Magnitude and Motion, which are only the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind; Which, what is it else but to argue, That because we know of no other Powers of a different kind in Matter from Magnitude and Motion, therefore it Has and Can have no other Powers? Now I cannot think, Sir, but a Man of your Understanding, if you please to consider the Matter a second time, will find it is by no means Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. For if a Disjunction be complete, (as that in which I enumerate the several sorts of Powers of which Matter is capable, either is; or else you ought to have proved that another Member could be added to it, to show that it was not;) it contains in it all the possible Particulars, as well the unknown, as those that are ever so well known. For how many Particulars soever be supposed to be unknown, and how impossible soever it be supposed to come at the Knowledge of those Particulars; yet if the Heads or Kinds be rightly distributed, they must of Necessity contain under them all the unknown Particulars as certainly as those that are the most known. All the possible Qualities, I said, or Powers of Matter, (whether known or unknown,) must of Necessity be either Qualities really inhering in the Subject it self to which they are ascribed; or Modes produced by it in some other Subject; or else mere abstract Names signifying certain Powers or Effects that do not properly reside in any Subject at all. Now if this Disjunction be true; and Thinking be at all a Quality or Power of Matter; and be confessed not to belong to either of the two latter sorts; it must of necessity (how unknown soever the Nature of it be otherwise supposed to be,) be included in the former. And then the Argument holds unanswerably good; that Thinking, (or, if you please to imagine any other even yet more abstruse Qualities or Powers of Matter, even these also) as well as Magnitude and Motion, which I instanced in; and whatever else may be reducible to this Kind; by truly and really inhering in the Subject itself; must of necessity inhere in all and every one of the Particles of the System, taken singly as well as together. Because, as I said before, to suppose any Power or Quality of this kind, arising from, or belonging to any whole System of Matter, without belonging to the several Parts, of which that whole consists, is a direct and express Contradiction: It is supposing either an Universal to exist, without Particulars; or an Effect to be produced without a Cause, or to have more in it than was in the Cause; or that a Quality is by the Power of God made so to arise out of Nothing, as to be superadded to a Subject, and to subsist without inhering in that Subject to which it is at the same time supposed to belong.
To this you reply, that to suppose a Power arising from Matter, without belonging to the Parts of which the Whole consists; is not to suppose an Universal to exist without Particulars, but a Particular Power existing, to which several Particular Powers contribute; as every Man is a Particular Man though various Powers are necessary to constitute him of that Species. But, Sir, if the Whole or Result, which you call a Particular Power, be entirely and Specifically different from all and every one of the particular Powers contributing to it; as Thinking manifestly is, from all the Powers of Particles not indued with Thought; you will find, if you please to consider it carefully, that it is as certain and evident as any Arithmetical Demonstration, that such a Particular Power is a Whole bigger than all its Parts; a Whole, that contains something in it besides All and every one of its Parts; that is, I think, an Universal without Particulars. It is exactly as if you should assert, that a Smell and a Colour could be joined together to make up a Sound; or as if Hardness and Figure could be the Particulars contributing to constitute a Motion. A Man, if you mean the whole Man, the Thinking Person; (as the Reader may be apt to think you do;) and suppose him to be constituted of mere Matter, whose single Particles are none of them indued with Thought; is such a contradictory Whole: But if you mean, (as you seem to do,) the Body only, with its Mechanical Powers; then there is nothing in it, differing from the Powers of the single Parts; except only the bare Name, the Abstract Notion of its being a Whole; which is a complex Idea in our Mind; but in the Thing it self it is nothing at all, but its being the Sum of the Magnitudes, Figures, and Motions of all the several Parts; from which constituent Parts no Whole can (without an evident Contradiction) differ any otherwise, than as in Numbers a Thousand differs from Ten Hundred, or as in Weights a Pound differs from Sixteen Ounces, or as an Army differs from all the Men that compose it; that is, in nothing but the bare Name.
You add: Neither is it a supposing an Effect produced without a Cause: For the different Powers in the single and separate Parts of a System of Matter, by uniting in one Operation or Power to operate, are the Cause of the Existence of that Power which did not exist in the Particles singly considered. And thus in those Particles which compose the Brain, &c. Now here, Sir, I really cannot but wonder how a Gentleman so well skilled in Philosophy, as you are, can suffer himself to be imposed upon by so very gross and palpable a Fallacy. For though the different Powers in the single and separate Parts of a System of Matter, (as, for instance, their Magnitude, Situation, Figure and Motion,) may by uniting in one Operation or Power to operate, be the Cause of the Existence of another Power of the same Species, which did not exist in the Particles singly considered; that is, may constitute another Magnitude, another Figure, another Motion, than was in the single Particles; just as twenty different Numbers added together, constitute a new Number different from any of the Particulars: Yet those Powers cannot, without an evident Contradiction, be the Cause of the Existence of any other Power of a different Species; (as Thinking is confessedly of a different Species from Magnitude, Figure, Motion, or whatever other Properties may belong to Unthinking Particles of Matter;) for the same Reason as the Addition of different Numbers in Arithmetick, cannot without a manifest Contradiction, be the Cause of the Existence of a Line or a Figure; or the Mixture of Tastes, constitute a Colour; Namely, because thus the Effect would contain more in it than was in the Cause; that is, something would without any Efficient, be produced out of Nothing. In like manner; though the different Powers in the single and separate Parts of a System of Matter, (their Magnitude suppose, Situation, Figure and Motion,) may, by uniting in one Operation or Power to operate, be the Cause of the Existence of a Power to affect some foreign Substance, which Power did not exist in the Particles singly considered; that is, certain Particles united, may prick the Skin and cause Pain, which the single ones could not do; or may strike the Eye so as to excite the Sensation of Blue or Red, which the single ones could not do; Just as a Wedge may force it self a Passage, where a Body of some other shape could not: Yet those Powers cannot, without an evident Contradiction, be the Cause of the Existence of any new Quality really inhering in the Subject it self; (as Thinking confessedly is a Quality really inhering in the Thinking Being it self, and not barely an abstract Notion, or Power of affecting some foreign Substance;) for the same Reason as the sharpning of the Point of a Needle cannot possibly be the Cause that the Needle it self should feel Pain.
From hence it easily appears how defective your Similitude is, when you say it is no Contradiction to suppose a Power arising from Matter, without belonging to the Parts of which the Whole consists; no more than to conceive that a Whole is not the same with a Piece of a Clock; Wherein the Power resulting from the different contributing Powers in the System, neither belongs to any Part of the System when considered by itself, nor is it of the same sort or kind with any Power in any part of the System. For that which you call the Power of a Clock, to show the Time of the Day, is evidently nothing in the Clock it self, but the Figure and Motion of its Parts; and consequently not any thing of a different sort or kind from the Powers inherent in the Parts: Whereas Thinking, if it was the Result of the Powers of the different Parts of the Machine of the Body, or of the Brain in particular, would be something really inhering in the Machine it self, specifically different from all and every one of the Powers of the several Parts out of which it resulted: Which is an express Contradiction, a supposing the Effect to have more in it than the Cause. And therefore, though you are pleased to make use of it as a Similitude; yet in reality this Power of Thinking, which truly and properly inheres in its Subject, has not in any respect the least Appearance of likeness to the Power of a Clock to show the Time of the Day, which is merely an abstract Complex Notion in the Man that beholds it, and nothing at all really in the Clock itself.
In like manner, when you say it may be conceived that there may be a Power in all those Particles which compose the Brain, to contribute to the Act of Thinking, before they are united under that Form; though, while they are disunited, they have no more of Consciousness, than any Being which produces Sweetness in us (that is made up of Parts wherein different Powers inhere) when under a particular Form, has a Power to produce Sweetness in us, when its Parts are disunited and separated; you fall again into the same Fallacy. For the Power of a Body to excite in us the Idea of Sweetness, is nothing else but a certain Figure and Motion resulting from different Figures and Motions, of its original constituent Parts; just as the Power of a Pin to cause Pain in us, is nothing but its Motion and the sharp Figure of its Point, resulting from different Motions, Figures and Situations of its constituent Parts. And if the Effect of the Powers, by which the several Particles that compose the Brain, contribute (as your Phrase is) to the Act of Thinking, was likewise only the exciting of certain Thoughts in something which was before a Thinking Substance, your Similitude would have something of likeness in it. But that Particles which in themselves have no Thought, should ever contribute any thing towards making the Substance, which they constitute, a Thinking Being; this I am sure you can no more be able to clear from being an express Contradiction; (though I doubt not but you can argue upon it as acutely as any One;) than if you should undertake to prove, that a Solid Mass of Marble is made up of Particles, which without having any Solidity themselves, contribute by other unknown Powers to constitute a Solid Mass; or that a Foot-square of any Matter, is made up of Particles, which without having any Extension themselves, contribute by other different and unknown Powers, to constitute an extended Solid Quantity.
And here I cannot but take notice, that besides the Contradictions before-mentioned, you have, by choosing to annex Consciousness to so flux a Substance as the Brain or the Spirits in it, fallen into another very great Absurdity. For if the Brain or Spirits be the Subject of Consciousness; and the Parts of the Brain or Spirits be (as they certainly are, whatever Question may be made concerning any original Solid Stamina of the Body,) in perpetual flux and change; it will follow that That Consciousness, by which I not only Remember that certain Things were done many Years since, but also am Conscious, that they were done by Me, by the very same Individual Conscious Being who now remembers them; it will follow, I say, that That Consciousness is transferred from one Subject to another; that is to say, that it is a real Quality which subsists without inhering in any Subject at all.
But to return to the Argument before us. You suppose that the Particles which compose the Brain, though themselves void of Consciousness when taken singly, may yet by other different Powers contribute towards the making up One Conscious Whole. This I affirm to be, and I think I have proved to be, an express Contradiction; an assigning more to the Effect than was in the Cause; a making the Whole bigger than all its Parts, and Specifically different from All and every One of them. The Occasion, the common Ground and Foundation of Mens Erring in this whole Matter, I have elsewhere largely discovered; and shall here repeat what I think may be sufficient to satisfy an inquisitive and unprejudiced Person. “Whatever can arise from, or be compounded of any Things; is still only those very Things, of which it was compounded: And if infinite Compositions or Divisions be made eternally, the Things will still be but eternally the same: And all their possible Effects, can never be any thing but Repetitions of the same. For Instance: All possible Changes of Figure, are still nothing but Figure: [All possible Variations, Compositions and Divisions of Magnitude, are still nothing but Magnitude:] All possible Compositions or Effects of Motion, are still nothing but mere Motion”: All Compositions of Magnitude, Figure and Motion together, are still nothing but Magnitude, Figure and Motion: And how many other Qualities soever, known or unknown, the Particles of Matter be supposed to be indued with; those Qualities can never in any Composition or Division produce any new Power specifically different from themselves, unless a Cause could give more to the Effect than is in it self. And consequently, if the Matter of the Brain be the Subject in which Consciousness inheres, That Consciousness cannot possibly be the Result of any other known or unknown Powers of the several constituent Particles, but what must themselves have been originally of the same Species, that is to say, so many several Consciousnesses. “That which has been apt to deceive Men in this Matter, is this; that they imagine Compounds to be somewhat really [specifically] different from the Things of which they are compounded. Which is a very great Mistake. For all the Things, of which Men so judge; either, if they be really different, are not Compounds nor Effects of what Men judge them to be, but are something totally distinct; as when the Vulgar thinks Colours and Sounds to be Properties inherent in Bodies, when indeed they are purely Thoughts of the Mind: Or else, if they be really Compounds and Effects, then they are not different, but exactly the same that ever they were; As when two Triangles put together make a Square, that Square is still nothing but two Triangles; or when a Square cut in halves makes two Triangles, those two Triangles are still only the two halves of a Square; or when the Mixture of Blue and Yellow Powder makes a Green, that Green is still nothing but Blew and Yellow intermixt, as is plainly visible by the Help of Microscopes: And in short, every thing by Composition, Division or Motion; is nothing else but the very same it was before, taken either in whole or by Parts, or in different Place or Order, [so as to excite in our Minds different complex Notions, and occasion new abstract Names of Things; but by no means to produce any new real Quality in the Things themselves, such as Consciousness is agreed to be, inhering truly and properly in the Subject it is ascribed to.]
The true State of this Case, seems in brief to be This. Sometimes we consider one and the same Quality of a Thing, in different Circumstances and Respects, and with relation to other different Things; which relation may be changed by the Alteration or Removal of those other things, and a new Effect be produced, without any alteration at all of the Thing it self or any of its Qualities; and yet then we give it a new Name, and are apt to think that new Name a new Quality. Sometimes we consider several distinct Qualities of different parcels of Matter, together; and, because some new Effect is thereby occasioned in some other Being, we give the imaginary Whole a new Name, and think that new Denomination a new Quality. But with how little Reason this is done, will abundantly appear by the following Instances. The same Particle of Matter, which makes a Point in the Surface of a Globe, may, by other Parts being shaved off, become the Point of the Angle of a Cube, without undergoing any alteration it self; and produce an effect, which it could not produce before: But is this truly a new Quality or Power in the Point it self? Blue and Yellow Powder mingled together, occasion a new Effect, and are called by a new Name, Green: But is this really a new Quality or Power? Is it not plainly the same two Qualities, which they had when separate, acting still distinctly, as appears in a Microscope? That particular and determinate Degree of Velocity in a Wheel, whereby it turns once round precisely in Twelve Hours, is that which you call the Power of a Clock to show the Time of the Day: And because such a determinate Velocity of Motion is made use of by Us for the Measure of Time, and has an abstract Name given it to express that use; is it therefore really a new Quality or Power distinct from the Motion it self? And, to mention no more; When a Weight in one Scale of a Balance, does, by taking out part of the Weight that was in the other Scale, begin to preponderate, which it did not before; is this any new Quality or real Power in the Weight that is not altered, different from what it had before?
I shall observe but one Thing more upon this Head; and that is, that Whereas I affirmed every Power or Quality that is or can be inherent in any System of Matter, to be nothing else than the Sum or Aggregate of so many Powers or Qualities of the same kind inhering in all the Parts; meaning that the Powers inhering in the several Parts, must be of the same Kind, or Species of that Power, which is the Result of the Whole; you seem all along to understand it as if I had asserted, that the Powers or Qualities inhering in the several Parts, must needs be all of the same Kind or Species one with another; Thereby diverting your Reader from the true Strength of the Argument, and perplexing him with that which has no relation to the Question: For whether the Powers of the several Parts be all of the same kind one with another, or of ever so different kinds one from another; that which I affirmed, is still equally certain and necessary; that the Power of the Whole, being but the Sum or Mixture of the Powers of the Parts, cannot possibly be of a different Kind or Species from all the several Powers of the Parts, as Thinking is of necessity specifically different from all and every one of the Powers, known or unknown, of Particles which are confessed to be void of Thought. Wherefore when you say, he ought to have demonstrated, if he would have proved the Point he undertook to prove, that there can be no other Power in any System of Matter, but what is the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind; And that till it is demonstrated, that there can be no other Power in any System of Matter, but what is the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind, it may as well be supposed that there are Powers of different kinds in different Particles of Matter; And that it is so far from being the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same kind, that the new Power will be the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of a different kind; And that the Power of every System will not be the Sum of Powers of the same kind, but the Sum of Powers of different kinds: All this is entirely besides the Purpose.
Your Supposition, that the Matter of which an Egg consists, doth entirely constitute the young one; and that the Action of Sensation began under a particular Disposition of the Parts by Motion, without the Addition of an Immaterial and Immortal Soul; is in every part contrary to all the Discoveries in Anatomy, and to all true Philosophy: For so far is it from being true, that the Matter of the Egg, by any particular Disposition of its Parts by Motion, is formed into or entirely constitutes the young one, that it does not constitute it at all, not so much as the Body of it; but only serves it for nourishment and growth: It being as impossible that the Organized Body of a Chicken should by the Power of any Mechanical Motions be formed out of the unorganized Matter of an Egg; as that the Sun, Moon and Stars, should by mere Mechanism arise out of a Chaos. And that Sensation should be added to it by arising from a particular Disposition of the Parts by Motion, is still more impossible; because it is supposing something to come out of that, in which it never was: Than which, nothing in the World can be a more express Contradiction. You think it ridiculous to recur to the Addition of an Immaterial and Immortal Soul: Let it be so: I can as easily suppose, if you must needs have an Hypothesis, that the immaterial Substance was not Added afterwards, but was in it from the Beginning, from the Time that the Seminal Principle it self of the Organised Body was framed: And who shall tell us when That was? The deeper Discoveries every Age makes in Anatomy by Microscopial Observations, the further all these things are found to be removed backwards from the Search and common Notions even of the most inquisitive Men. Suppose therefore we could not frame any probable Hypothesis at all, when and how the immaterial Principle of Sensation came in; yet why ought this to incline any Man to doubt the Truth of a certain Proof which shows him that there Is such a Principle; any more than the Difficulty (which is altogether as great an one) of framing an Hypothesis how and whence the Organized Body came, make him disbelieve his Senses which discover it to him?
You tell me again, that I have not rightly enumerated the known Powers of Matter. To prove which Charge, you repeat what you hath before said, concerning Aggregate of Powers of the same kind; wherein I have already shown that you lay stress upon that which is wholly foreign to the Question. And what you add concerning the particular Texture of a Body, as being something that is different from the Magnitude and Motion of its Parts, and on which depend certain Powers, as the Power of the Eye, for instance, to be operated upon by external Objects, and to contribute to the Act of Vision: which Power, because it ceases wholly upon the least Alteration of the Texture of any part of the Eye, it is evident does not inhere in the Parts of the System, in the same Sense with Magnitude and Motion: This also is altogether foreign to the Question. For the Eye’s Power of Seeing, is not, as your Argument supposes, one of those Powers which I ranked under the first Head, that is, a Power which really inheres in the System, and consequently in all the Parts of it; But it is one of those Powers which I called the third sort, viz. which are mere abstract Names signifying certain Powers or Effects which do not at all reside in the Subject. For the Eye does not See, in the same Sense as the Thinking Substance Thinks; But Seeing in the Eye, is what Magnetism is in the Load-stone; not a real inherent Quality, but merely a Situation of Parts and Pores, so as to be the Occasion of an Effect wholly extrinsical to it self, an Effect produced in some other Substance by Rays transmitted through the Pores of the Eye, just as the Magnetick Effluvia are through a Loadstone, or Corn through a Sieve. So that you might exactly as well have compared the Power by which the Soul Thinks, to the Power by which a Sieve transmits Corn, as to the Power by which the Eye sees.
You observe, that Saying Consciousness is an individual Power, is but calling Consciousness by another Name, and not giving an account of what Consciousness is, or wherein it consists; which is requisite to demonstrate from Consciousness, that Consciousness cannot be added to a Being that consists of actually separate and distinct Parts. It is true, my affirming Consciousness to be an individual Power, is not giving an account of what Consciousness is; neither was it intended to be so. Every Man feels and knows by experience what Consciousness is, better than any Man can explain it: Which is the Case of all simple Ideas: And it is not at all necessary to define more particularly what it is; but abundantly sufficient that we know and agree what it is not, viz. that it is not a Multitude of distinct and separate Consciousnesses; in order to prove that it does not and cannot inhere in a Being, that consists of a Multitude of separate and distinct Parts. You your self acknowledge that the Parts which constitute the Brain, are not separately and distinctly conscious; that is, that the Consciousness of a Man, is not a Multitude of Consciousnesses, but One. This is all that I suppose, when I call Consciousness an Individual Power; and from hence I think it is proved strongly, that Consciousness cannot reside in a Being that consists of a Multitude of separate and distinct Parts: Because if it could, it must necessarily follow, either that it would become a Multitude of distinct Consciousnesses, contrary to the Supposition which you your self allow; or else that an Individual Quality of each single Particle, would become the Individual Quality of every one of the rest likewise, which is a Contradiction in Terms; or else, that the Consciousness would be one Power resulting from the contributing Powers of all the several separate and distinct Particles; in which case, it would be, as I have before proved in enumerating the several kinds of Powers, a mere abstract Name or complex Notion, and not a real Quality residing in any Subject at all. It is therefore wholly without reason, that you say Mr. Clarke’s calling Consciousness an Individual Power, in his Sense of an Individual Power, is supposing that Matter cannot think; and that you insinuate to your Reader, that Consciousness being an Individual Power, in Mr. Clarke’s Sense of those Words, is supposing that it is a Power which can only reside in an Individual Being; to prove which he has not said any thing, but barely by calling Consciousness an Individual Power. For an Individual Power, in my Sense of the Word, does not mean in the Definition a Power which can only reside in an Individual Being; but it signifies One Power, in opposition to a Multitude; and I have proved that such a Power can only reside in an Individual Being, (not by Supposing it, but) by reducing the contrary Supposition to an express Contradiction.
What you say again, concerning Sums and Aggregates of Powers of the same kind; is repeating the same Mistake, which I have before shown you to have fallen into, in understanding Powers of the same kind with one another, instead of Powers of the same kind [or Species] with the Whole that results from them.
You are pleased to entertain your self and your Reader, upon my accusing you with supposing Sweetness to be in a Rose. But I hope this will appear very pardonable, since it seemed necessary to me to understand you as I did, because I could not otherwise apprehend what you said concerning it, to be pertinent to your purpose. For you compared the Power which results from the several Particles of a Rose, without being in the Particles themselves separately and singly; to the Power which results from the several Particles of the Brain, without being in the Particles themselves separately and singly: Now the Power which you say results from the Disposition of the several Particles of the Brain, is Consciousness residing in the Brain it self: Either therefore by the Power resulting from the Disposition of the several Particles of the Rose, you must mean Something residing likewise in the Rose it self; or else your Similitude is not at all parallel. Now that Power which resides in the Rose it self, as Consciousness does in the Brain, and yet belongs not to the several constituent Particles of the Rose, can neither be Magnitude, nor Figure, nor Motion, (for these belong to the several Parts singly;) nor Texture, (for That, so far as it differs from the former, is nothing but a mere abstract Notion, and nothing really in the thing it self) but must be either Sweetness it self, or something else equally unintelligible and inexplicable. If you will say you mean a Power not residing in the Rose at all, but resulting from it, then, (besides that, as I said before, it is not pertinent to your purpose,) what is this, but supposing a Power subsisting without any Subject at all? a mere Name?
In my Assertion, that the Powers in a Rose are nothing else but a Number of similar Motions or Figures, you tell me there are two things to be proved. 1st, That the mere Figure and Motion of the Parts of a Rose, do produce, or are the sole external Cause of the Sensation caused by them. 2dly, That those Motions and Figures are perfectly similar. By Similar, I meant that they were so far similar, as the Smell or Colour of the Rose was similar or homogeneous: But whether they be similar, or no, is of no concern at all in the present Question, unless you still continue in your former Mistake about Powers of the same kind with one another, instead of with the Whole. And as to the other thing which you say wants proof; I think I may appeal to your self, whether you can find or conceive any thing else in the Rose, which can be the Cause of our Sensation, besides the mere Magnitude, Figure, Situation, and perhaps Motion of its Parts.
You find fault with me for asserting, that Gravitation is the Effect of the continued and regular Operation of some other Being on Matter; whereas, you think, it does not appear but that Matter gravitates by virtue of Powers originally placed in it by God, and is now left to it self to act by those Original Powers. This Opinion of yours, I cannot but think, Sir, to be a great Mistake in your Philosophy. For when a Stone that was at Rest, does of it self, upon its Support being removed, begin to fall downward; what is it that causes the Stone to begin to move? Is it possible to be an Effect produced without a Cause? Is it impelled without any Impeller? Or can a Law or Power, that is to say, a mere abstract Name or complex Notion, and not any real Being, impel a Stone and cause it to begin to move? In any other Case you would not doubt but this implied an absolute Contradiction.
 
II. When in my Answer to your second Objection, I said that though the Want of Individuality is indeed the sole Reason urged in the present Argument, why a System of Matter cannot think; yet that it ought not therefore to be said that Inviduality is the only thing required, to render a Being a proper Subject of a Power of Thinking; (Because I would not exclude any other Argument, by which other inquisitive Persons might prove other Conditions also, as well as Individuality, to be necessary Requisites in order to a Subject’s being capable of Thinking:) You hereupon make the following Remark; Upon this I observe that Mr. Clarke owns the Truth of my Reasoning, upon the Supposition, that Individuality is only required by him in a Subject of a Power of Thinking; (you should have added; and upon Supposition also, that a Particle of Matter, could be truly an Individual;) but denies that I have any reason to infer that Individuality is only required, from the Want of Individuality’s being the sole Reason urged why a System of Matter cannot have a Power of Thinking; Which I cannot help thinking to be all one, ’till there is a Difference assigned between only required in the present Argument, and the sole Reason urged in the present Argument. Now This is a very unfair Observation: Because the Difference to be assigned, and which I did assign expressly, was between the sole Reason urged in the present Argument, and what was only required (not in the present but) in any new Argument which Others might make use of.
 
III. The Question concerning the Alterations of the Modes or Qualities of Immaterial Beings, seem indeed to have some Difficulties in it, but not such as any way affect our present Argument. The Thing you objected was, that though the Substance of the Soul were proved to be both Immaterial and Immortal, yet it would not follow that it must be an Immortal Thinking Substance, because its Thinking might perish, though its Substance did not. To this I replied; that the Power of Thinking could no more be destroyed by any Natural Power, than the Substance it self; because the Qualities or Modes of any Substance not being alterable otherwise, than by some alteration in the Substance it self; it is manifest that an Indiscerpible Substance not being it self alterable by any natural Power, it must follow that neither can any of its Qualities be altered by any natural Power. When therefore I said, that all its Qualities and Modes are utterly incapable of being affected in any measure, or changed in any degree, by any Power of Nature; you had no reason to understand this, as if I had asserted, that an Indiscerpible Substance could not be acted upon at all by any Power of Nature; But my Meaning was, that it could not be so acted upon, as to destroy, change or alter any of its inherent Qualities or Powers; which was all that the Thing in Question required me to prove. And that this was my Meaning, you might have understood from the Comparison I used, of the original and perfectly solid Particles of Matter. For as those Particles, being, (not absolutely in themselves, but) to any Power of Nature, indiscerpible; are evidently incapable of having any of their Qualities or Properties altered in any measure by any Power of Nature; that is, their Figure, their Magnitude, their Hardness, and all the respective Effects or Powers depending upon these, can by no natural means be changed; and yet you could not imagine me to mean, but these Particles might be acted upon, might be struck by each other, might be removed this way or that way, upwards or downwards; all which makes no real alteration in them: So an indiscerpible immaterial thinking Substance, though it may be transferred from one part of the Universe to another, though it may be acted upon by a Multitude of things, though it may have different Idea’s represented to it, though the Organs of the Senses may at times transmit different Species, or hinder them from being transmitted to it; yet all this makes no real Alteration either in the Substance or its inherent Powers; nor can its Power of Thinking (which was the Thing in Question) be destroyed or altered by these or any other natural Powers; any more than the Mobility or Hardness of the original perfectly solid Particles of Matter can be destroyed by any of their Actings one upon another.
There is still less weight in what you add; Now till Mr. Clarke has a compleat Idea of both sorts of Beings, [Material or Immaterial,] and of their Powers and Operations one on another; it is impossible for him, in Many Respects, to tell how far they can affect one another’s Operations. This is true indeed; but what follows from it? Because, in Many Respects, I cannot tell how far they can affect one another’s Operations; does it therefore follow, that I cannot in any respect tell wherein they cannot affect one another’s Operations? All that I pretend to, is to deny the Possibility of such Effects, as plainly imply a Contradiction; and this, I presume, I may be allowed to do, though I were in most respects ignorant how far Material and Immaterial Beings can affect one another.
As to the Power of God to destroy any Mode or Quality in an immaterial indiscerpible Substance, I said nothing concerning it, neither is our Question at all concerned in it. But since you have thought fit to put the Question whether, according to my Principles, God can destroy a Mode or Quality in an Immaterial Being, without making some alteration in the Substance it self; I cannot but take notice, that all the Answers you have made for me to this Question, are such as I cannot approve, and that therefore I am not concerned in any of their Consequences. The Answer I would make for my self, is, that supposing God to destroy any Mode or Quality in an Immaterial Being, it is resonable to imagine that he must do it by making some such Alterations in that Substance, as may be analogous or equivalent to altering the Disposition of the Parts in a Material Substance. But you ought not to have jumbled these two things together, (which I carefully distinguished) by supposing me to answer, that God must do it by making an Alteration in the Parts of the Immaterial Substance (to which it is not proper to ascribe any Parts,) and thence concluding that an Immaterial Substance is as discerpible by the Power of God, as a Material Substance.
Lastly, you tell me that after all I make the Immaterial Thinking Substance to be in no other Sense Immortal, than I make the original solid Particles of Matter to be indiscerpible; that is to say, that the one is immortal and the other indiscerpible, only with respect to the Powers of Nature; but that in respect to the Power of God, neither is the one indiscerpible, nor the other immortal. Your Expressions in this whole Section lie under so much Obscurity, that I can hardly be sure whether I understand you right or not. But if this be your Sense; I confess I do indeed make it so; and I suppose no considerate Man ever made the Soul immortal in any other Sense. For though I believe it is not discerpible, even by the Power of God; yet he is undoubtedly able to destroy it, either by annihilating it, or perhaps by otherwise depriving it of all its Faculties, in ways which we can know nothing of.
 
IV. To the Difficulties arising from the Supposition of Immateriality not excluding Extension; I answer,
1. That all these Difficulties are wide of the main Question. For if the foregoing Proof, that Matter is incapable of Thinking, cannot be shown to be defective; it follows necessarily that the Soul must be an Immaterial indiscernible Substance. But the Difficulties that arise from any following Hypothesis concerning other Properties of that Immaterial Indiscerpible Substance, as whether it be Extended or Unextended, whether it ever acts wholly separate, or always in some material Vehicle, finer or grosser, and the like; the Difficulties, I say, that arise from any of these particular Hypotheses, affect only the particular Hypothesis, from which they arise, and not at all the foregoing general Proof. I take it to be demonstrated, that the Soul is an Immaterial Indiscerpible Substance: He that thinks the Difficulties arising from the Supposition of that Immaterial Indiscerpible Substance being Extended, to be unsurmountable; may try if he can find fewer Difficulties in supposing it Unextended; And he that thinks the Difficulties that arise from suposing it Unextended, are not to be got over; may try to solve the Difficulties that arise from supposing it Extended: But the main Argument remains firm either way; and no difficulty arising from following Hypotheses can be so great, as to lessen the Force of the foregoing positive Proof.
2. But conceiving Immateriality not to exclude Extension, and supposing the Difficulties arising from that Hypothesis to be such as could not be clearly answered; yet this would not weaken the foregoing Proof, unless that Argument could otherwise be shown to be in it self defective. For there are many Demonstrations even in abstract Mathematicks themselves, which no Man who understands them can in the least doubt of the Certainty of, which yet are attended with difficult Consequences that cannot perfectly be cleared. The infinite Divisibility of Quantity, is an instance of this kind. Also the Eternity of God, than which nothing is more self-evident; and yet the Difficulties consequent upon it, are such as have reduced most of the Schoolmen to entertain that unintelligible Notion of a Nunc Stans. And his Immensity, attended with much the like Difficulties.
3. But neither is this the true State of the Case. For the Difficulties arising from the Supposition of Immaterial indiscerpible Extension, are by no means like those before-mentioned. Space, (which you unphilosophically call the mere Absence of Bodies, and yet confess it to be positively infinite,) is without difficulty confessed by you to be an Instance of such an Extension; An Extension whose Parts (improperly so called) depend on each other for their Existence, not only because of its Infinity, but because of the Contradiction which a Separation of them manifestly would imply. And the only Thing required in the present Case, is, to conceive that God can create a finite Substance, which shall not, like the solid, rigid, determined Extension of Matter, consist of Parts which are actually so many distinct Beings independent on each other for their Existence; but be a Substance perfectly and essentially One, so that to suppose any Division of it, shall necessarily infer a Destruction of the Essence of that Substance. This must indeed be confessed to be a considerable Difficulty: But if the Difficulties arising upon any other Hypothesis, be (as they certainly are) at least as great; nothing can thence be inferred to the weakening of the foregoing Proof.
Your applying the Argument, by which I proved that Matter could not Think, in the same Words, to prove that neither could Immaterial Substance be capable of Thinking; is fallacious in the first Sentence. For the Supposition of the Substance being by the Power of God divided into two Parts, which concerning Matter is confessed to be always possible, may concerning Immaterial Substance (even though Extension be not excluded) be denied to be possible, as being a Supposition which destroys the very Essence of the Substance it self.
 
V. As to your last Difficulty concerning Brutes, I answer, that your Disjunction is still imperfect, when you say they must either necessarily be annihilated sometime or other, or else be capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man. For though they should never be annihilated, yet why must they needs be capable of Eternal Happiness as well as Man; any more than their present Subsisting, implies that they must needs be capable of the Expectations and Conditions of Eternal Happiness, as well as Man? But what is all this, to our purpose? Cannot God, if he pleases, cause them to perish at the Dissolution of their Bodies? Or cannot he, if he pleases, annihilate them at any other time, when he shall so think fit? Or cannot he, if he pleases without ever annihilating them at all, dispose of them into States suitable to their particular Natures; which yet may in no Propriety of Speech be stiled a Capacity of Eternal Happiness, as that of Man is?
Having thus at large endeavoured, to give you particular Satisfaction, in every one of the Difficulties you proposed; I shall conclude with briefly repeating the Strength of the Argument, in a few plain and easy Propositions; and so leave it to the Judgment of the inquisitive and impartial Reader.

NOTE; by Consciousness in the following Propositions, the Reader may understand indifferently either the Reflex Act, by which a Man knows his Thoughts to be his own Thoughts; (which it the strict and properest Sense of the Word;) or the Direct Act of Thinking; or the Power or Capacity of Thinking; or (which is as the same Import,) simple Sensation; or the Power of Self-Motion, or of beginning Motion by the Will: The Argument holding equally in all or any of these Senses; as has been before said.
I.
Every System of Matter consists of a Multitude of distinct Parts.
This, I think, is granted by all.
II.
Every real Quality inheres in some Subject.
This also, I think, is granted by All. For whatever is. called a Quality, and yet inheres not in any Subject, must either subsist of it self; and then it is a Substance, not a Quality, or else it is nothing but a mere Name.
III.
No Individual or single Quality of one Particle of Matter, can be the Individual or single Quality of another Particle.
The Heat of one Particle, is not the Heat of another. The Gravity, the Colour, the Figure, of one Particle, is not the same individual Gravity, Colour, or Figure of another Particle. The Consciousness or Sensation of one Particle, (supposing it to be a Quality of Matter,) is not the Consciousness or Sensation of another. If it was; it would follow, that the same Thing could be Two, in the same Sense, and at the same Time, that it is but One.
Note, From hence may be drawn an evident Confutation of that absurd Notion which Mr. Hobbes suggests in his Physicks, (Chap. 25. Sect. 5.) that All Matter is essentially endued with an obscure actual Sense and Perception, but that there is required a Number and apt Composition of Parts to make up a clear and distinct Sensation or Consciousness. For from this Notion it would follow, that the resulting Sensation or Consciousness at last, being but One distinct Sensation or Consciousness (as is that of a Man;) the Sensation or Consciousness of every One of the constituent Particles, would be the individual Sensation or Consciousness of All and Each of the rest.
IV.
Every real Simple Quality, that resides in any whole material System, resides in All the Parts of that System.
The Magnitude of every Body, is the Sum of the Magnitudes of its several Parts. The Motion of every Body, is the Sum of the Motions of its several Parts. The Weight of every Body, is the Sum of the Weights of its several Parts. The Heat of every Body, is the Heat of its several Parts. The Colour of every Body is the Colour of its several Parts. And the same is universally true of every Simple Quality residing in any System. For residing in the Whole, and not residing in the Parts, is residing in a Thing, and not residing in it, at the same time.
V.
Every real compound Quality, that resides in any whole material System, is a Number of simple Qualities residing in all the Parts of that System; some in one part, some in another.
Thus in the Instance of mixt Colours; When the Simples, Blue, suppose, and Yellow, make the Whole appear Green; In this Case, That Portion of the System, in which any one of the particular Simple Qualities resides, is a Whole System with respect to that Quality, and the Quality residing in it, resides in the several Particles of which That Portion of the System is constituted: And so of the rest.
VI.
Every real Quality, Simple or Compound, that results from any whole material System, but does not reside in it, that is, neither in All its distinct Parts, nor in All the Parts of some Portion of it, according to the Explication of the two foregoing Propositions; is the Mode or Quality of some Other Substance, and not of That.
All sensible secondary Qualities, Heat, Colour, Smell, Taste, Sound, and the like, are of this kind; being in reality not Qualities of the Bodies they are ascribed to, but Modes of the Mind that perceives them.
VII.
Every Power, Simple or Compound, that results from any whole material System, but does not reside in it, that is, in all its Parts, in the manner before explained; nor yet resides in any Other Substance, as its Subject; is no real Quality at all; but must either be it self a real Substance, (which seems unintelligible;) or else it is nothing but merely an abstract Name or Notion, as all Universals are.
Thus the Power resulting from the Texture of a Rose, to excite in us the Sensation of Sweetness, is nothing but an abstract Name, signifying a particular Motion and Figure of certain Parts emitted. The Power of a Clock to show the Hour of the Day, is nothing but one new Complex Name, to express at once the several Motions of the Parts, and particularly the determinate Velocity of the last Wheel to turn round once in twelve Hours: Upon the stopping which Motion by the Touch of a Finger or any other Impediment, without making any alteration at all in the Number, Figure, or Disposition of the Parts of the Clock, the Power wholly ceases: and upon removing the Impediment, by which nothing is restored but mere Motion, the Power returns again, which is therefore no new real Quality of the Whole, but only the mere Motion of the Parts. The Power of a Pin to prick, is nothing distinct from its mere Figure permitting it to enter the Skin. The Power of a Weight in one Scale of a Balance, to ascend or descend, upon increasing or diminishing the Counterpoise in the other Scale; is not a new real Quality, distinct from its absolute Gravity, though it occasions a new Effect; there being no Alteration at all made in the Weight it self. The Power of the Eye to see, is not a real Quality of the Whole Eye, but merely an abstract Name signifying a Transmitting and Refracting of the Rays of Light in a certain manner through its several Parts; Which Effect, by the Interposition or Removal of an Opake Body, is destroyed or renewed, without any Alteration at all in the Eye it self. A Key, by having many new Locks made fit to it, acquires a new Power of producing Effects, which it could not before; and yet no new real Quality is produced, nor any alteration at all made, in the Key it self. And so universally of all Powers of this kind. If these Powers were any thing else, but mere abstract Names; they would signify Qualities subsisting without any Subject at all; that is, such as must themselves be distinct Substances. Which is unintelligible.
VIII.
Consciousness is neither a mere abstract Name, (such as are the Powers mentioned in Prop. VII; nor a Power of exciting or occasioning different Modes in a foreign Substance, (such as are all the sensible Qualities of Bodies, Prop. VI;) but a real Quality, truly and properly inherent in the Subject it self, the Thinking Substance.
If it was a mere abstract Name; it would be nothing at all in the Person that Thinks, or in the Thinking Substance it self; but only a Notion framed by the Imagination of some Other Being. For all those Powers which are only abstract Names, are not at all in the Things whose Powers they are called: but are only Notions framed in Imagination, by the Mind that observes, compares and reasons about different Objects without itself.
If it was a Power of exciting or occasioning different Modes in a foreign Substance; Then the Power of Thinking must be before in that foreign Substance; and that foreign Substance alone would in reality be Conscious, and not This which excites the different Modes in That foreign Substance. For the Power that is in one Substance, of exciting different Modes in another Substance; presupposes necessarily in that other Substance the Foundation of those Modes. Thus in the Case of all the sensible Qualities of Bodies; the Power of Thinking is beforehand in that Being, wherein those Qualities excite or occasion different Modes of Thinking.
It remains therefore that it must of necessity be a real Quality, truly and properly inhering in the Subject itself, the Thinking Substance; there being no other Species of Powers or Qualities left, to which it can possibly be referred. And this indeed is of it self as evident by every Man’s Experience, as it can be rendred by any Explication or Proof whatsoever.
IX.
No real Quality can result from the Composition of different Qualities, so as to be a new Quality in the same Subject, of a different Kind or Species from all and every one of the Component Qualities.
If it could, it would be a Creation of Something out of Nothing: From compound Motions, can arise nothing but Motion: From Magnitudes, nothing but Magnitude: From Figures, nothing but Figure: From Compositions of Magnitude, Figure, and Motion together; nothing but Magnitude, Figure, and Motion: From Mechanical Powers, nothing but Mechanical Powers: From a Composition of Colours, nothing but Colour, which it self (as appears by Microscopes) is still the simple Colours of which it was compounded. From Mixtures of Chymical Liquors, nothing but Ferments; which are only mere Motions of the Particles in mixing, such Motions as arise from the placing of Iron and a Load-Stone near each other. Gravity, is not a Quality of Matter, arising from its Texture or any other Powers in it; but merely an Endeavour to Motion, excited by some foreign Force or Power. Magnetism and Electricity, are not new Qualities, resulting from different and unknown Powers; but merely Emissions of certain Streams of Matter, which produce certain determinate Motions. Compositions of Colours, can never contribute to produce a Sound; nor Compositions of Magnitude and Figure, to produce a Motion; nor necessary and determined Motions, to produce a free and indetermined Power of Self Motion; nor any Mechanical Powers whatsoever, to produce a Power not Mechanical. And the same must of necessity hold universally true, of all Qualities and Powers whatsoever, whether known or unknown: because otherwise, as hath been before said, there would in the Compound be something created out of Nothing.
X.
Consciousness therefore being a real Quality, (Prop. VIII.) and of a Kind specifically different from all other Qualities whether known or unknown, which are themselves acknowledged to be void of Consciousness; can never possibly result from any Composition of such Qualities.
This is as evident from the foregoing Propositions, as that a Sound cannot be the Result of a Mixture of Colours and Smells; nor Extension the Result of a Composition of Parts unextended, nor Solidity the Result of Parts not solid; whatever other different Qualities, known or unknown, those constituent Parts may be supposed to be endued with.
XI.
No Individual Quality can be transferred from one Subject to another.
This is granted by All.
XII.
The Spirits and Particles of the Brain, being loose and in perpetual Flux, cannot therefore be the Seat of that Consciousness, by which a Man not only remembers things done many Years since; but also is Conscious that He himself, the same Individual Conscious Being, was the Doer of them.
This follows evidently from the foregoing.
XIII.
The Consciousness that a Man has at one and the same time, is One Consciousness; and not a Multitude of Consciousnesses; as the Solidity, Motion, or Colour of any piece of Matter is a Multitude of distinct Solidities, Motions, or Colours.
This is granted by All, who deny that the Particles of the Brain, which they suppose to constitute a Conscious Substance, are themselves each of them Conscious.
XIV.
Consciousness therefore cannot at all reside in the Substance of the Brain, or Spirits, or in any other material System as its Subject; but must be a Quality of some Immaterial Substance.
This follows necessarily from the foregoing Propositions compared together. For since every possible Power of Matter, whether known or unknown, must needs be either, 1st, a real Quality of the Matter to which it is ascribed; and then it must inhere in the several distinct Parts; Or, 2dly, a Power of exciting or occasioning certain Modes in some other Subject; and then it is truly the Quality, not of the Matter, but of that other Subject: Or, 3dly, a mere abstract Name or Notion of what is, properly speaking, no real Quality at all, and inheres in no real Subject at all: And Consciousness is acknowledged to be none of these: It follows unavoidably, that it must of necessity be a Quality of some Immaterial Substance.
XV.
Difficulties that arise afterwards, concerning Other Qualities of that Immaterial Substance, as whether it be Extended or Unextended, do not at all affect the present Argument.
For thus even abstract Mathematical Demonstrations; as those concerning the Infinite Divisibility of Quantity, the Eternity of God, and his Immensity; have almost insuperable Difficulties on the other Side: And yet no Man, who understands those Matters, thinks that those Difficulties do at all weaken the Force, or diminish the Certainty of the Demonstrations.

REFLECTIONS

ON

Mr. Clarke’s Second Defence

OF HIS

LETTER

TO

Mr. DODWELL.


——Vimq; omnem eam, quâ vel agamus quid, vel sentiamus, in omnibus Corporibus vivis æqualiter esse fusam, nec separabilem esse a Corpore, quippe quæ nulla sit, nec quicquam, nisi corpus unum & simplex, ita figuratum ut temperatione naturæ vigeat & sentiat: affirmat Dicæarchus apud Cicer. Tusc. Quæst.
Nos autem animam corporalem & hic profitemur, & in suo volumine probamus, habentum proprium genus substantiæ, soliditatis, per quam quid & sentire & pati possit. Tertullian. de Resurrectione Carnis.


LONDON:
Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

REFLECTIONS

ON

Mr. Clarke’s Second Defence, &c.

 
SIR,
 
IF the Reader is not already tired with the Continuance of this Dispute, concerning the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, I will presume so far on his Understanding and Candour, as (without endeavouring to lead him into my Side of the Question by making a previous Judgment of Mr. Clarke’s Second Defence of his Argument, made use of in a Letter to Mr. Dodwell, to prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul) to proceed directly to the Question it self, after I have performed a Piece of Justice to Mr. Clarke and the Reader, by acknowledging, that in my Reply to Mr. Clarke’s former Defence, I did omit a Line in citing his Answer to my first Objection; which, whether it was owing to a Fault in the Press, or to my Negligence in transcribing, I cannot say: but I can assure the Reader, it was out of no Design to give a disadvantagious Representation of his Sense, and I hope he will be induced to believe so, when he considers that I made no manner of use of that Representation to the Disadvantage of his Argument, and to excuse me in the same ingenuous Manner that Mr. Clarke has done.()
The Question is, Whether a System of Matter can have a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness superadded to it, or flow from any Modification of that System.
By the Term Individual, when applied to Consciousness,() both Mr. Clarke and I understand one Consciousness, in opposition to a Multitude of distinct Consciousnesses.
By a Power of Thinking, I did understand on this Occasion Actual Thinking, and not a Capacity of Thinking; “for else, as I said,() Consciousness could not be properly employed by Mr. Clarke to signify the same thing with a Power of Thinking”. But to this State of the Question Mr. Clarke excepts by saying,() That he can see no reason for such a Nicety of Distinction: For, says he, the thing to be proved being this, that a divisible Substance is not capable of a Power of Thinking; What difference can it make, whether by a Power of Thinking I understand actual Thinking, or a Capacity of Thinking? For he presumes, I will not deny, but whatever is proved, incapable of actual Thinking, is also, proved incapable of a Capacity of Thinking; and whatever is proved incapable of a Capacity of Thinking, is also proved incapable of actual Thinking. And further to shew the Needlessness of distinguishing between actual Thinking, and a Capacity of Thinking; he says,() The Reader may understand the Term Consciousness indifferently for either a Capacity of Thinking, or actual Thinking, or the reflex Act of Thinking; because his Argument proves universally, that Matter is neither capable of the reflex Act, nor of the direct Act, nor of the Capacity of Thinking.
1. Now allowing this to be as Mr. Clarke represents it, what occasion was there for contending with me about the Sense I fixed to the Terms, Power of Thinking and Consciousness? All that could be hoped for by him in this Dispute, is, by his own Account of the Matter, as well attained by my understanding a Power of Thinking or Consciousness, in that Sense wherein I understood those Terms, as if either of them stood for three Significations at once. For if() his Argument proves universally, that Matter can neither have the direct Act, nor the reflex Act, nor the Capacity of Thinking; And that() whatever is proved incapable of actual Thinking, is proved incapable of a Capacity of Thinking: And I may add likewise, and that whatever is proved incapable of actual Thinking, is proved incapable of the reflex Act of Thinking: Have I not then understood him, in a Sense that answered all the Ends and Purposes of his Argument?
2. But there is still the less Reason, if possible, to dispute with me about this Matter; because he expressly says, The Reader may understand the Term Consciousness indifferently in all or any of the before-mentioned Significations. So that I have taken but the same Liberty he allows to every other Reader; and till I am shown a Difference between an Answerer and a Reader in this respect, I shall think my self justified by what Mr. Clarke allows to his Reader. But that the Reader may see the Ground of his Complaint against me, and that I may do Mr. Clarke Justice, I will cite the whole Sentence that he uses on this occasion, because it seems to me to contain one of the nicest Distinctions that ever I met with. Says he,() The Reader need not trouble himself with the Nicety of Distinction, between a Capacity of Thinking, actual Thinking, and the reflex Act of Thinking, but may understand Consciousness indifferently in all or any of these Significations. Which is as much as to say, that the Reader need not understand Consciousness indifferently in any of the before-mentioned Significations, and yet may understand it indifferently in any of these Signification: for I cannot see, but that whoever understands Consciousness in any one of those Significations, must use that Nicety of Distinction he complains of whether he will or no: For by restraining Consciousness to any one of those Significations, he necessarily distinguishes that one from the other two. And therefore I must own, I cannot see the least Reason Mr. Clarke had to blame me for a needless Nicety of Distinction, when he allows me to understand Consciousness indifferently in three Significations; one of which I did assign as my Meaning or Idea of that Word.
3. Since then it is evident that I have understood him in a Sense that answered all the Ends and Purposes of his Argument, and in a Sense wherein he allows his Reader to understand him; he ought not to have supposed such a Reason as he is pleased to assign for me, why I distinguish between actual Thinking, and a Capacity of Thinking, as he does, when he says,() That he cannot see any Reason (unless it were to perplex the Reader with a new Question, Whether the Soul always actually thinks or not; which is wholly foreign to the Matter at present in Dispute) why I should affirm, “That Consciousness could not be properly employed by Mr. Clarke to signify the same Thing with a Power of Thinking, unless by a Power of Thinking be understood not Capacity to think, but actual Thinking”. I say, he ought not to have assigned such a Reason for me; for if I have understood him in one of those Senses that he allows his Reader to understand him in, and by consequence acknowledges that I do not perplex the Reader with a new Question, by understanding a Power of Thinking to stand for actual Thinking, but that I keep my self to the old Question by understanding him in that manner; What ground could he have to imagine, that I had any design to perplex the Reader with a new Question, but by either making the same Question to be both new and old, or two different Questions, one and the same Question? I shall not presume to enter so far into his Thoughts, as to say, That though he acknowledge his Argument to be directed against the Sense in which I understand Power of Thinking and Consciousness, and that all that he requires from his Argument, equally follows from Matter’s being proved incapable of actual Thinking, as if I understood him in any other Sense that he can contend for; I say, I shall not presume to enter so far into his Thoughts as to tell the Reader, that I can see no reason for his imagining that I had any design to perplex him with a Question foreign to the Matter, (unless it be to perplex this Dispute in that part where it is most necessary to be clear) but chuse rather to demand a Reason of his Conduct, when I cannot assign a good one for him. And that is what I think I had reason to expect from him, if he means any thing by attributing() Candour and Ingenuity to what I have written besides mere Compliment, whether I could have given a good Reason or no for understanding Consciousness to signify in this Dispute actual Thinking, and consequently for distinguishing between actual Thinking and & Capacity of Thinking.
4. But to give Mr. Clarke and the Reader full Satisfaction on this Head, I will show that the whole Dispute turns upon that Distinction, That my Objections were entirely founded on that Distinction, and that Mr. Clarke’s not attending to it has rendered all his Answers foreign to the Matter of my Objections, Mr. Clarke had said,() It is plain, unless Matter were essentially Conscious — no System of it in any possible Composition or Division can be an individual Conscious Being. Now upon my Principles, and I suppose the Principles of all those who say a divisible Being may have a Power of Thinking, it is impossible to give any Answer at all to this Proposition, but by restraining the Sense of the Term Consciousness: because on Supposition, that Consciousness stands at one and the same time for the direct Act, for the reflex Act, and for the Capacity of Thinking, what is meant by those Words cited out of Mr. Clarke’s Letter to Mr. Dodwell, will be allowed by me to be partly true and partly false. I grant the Reasoning to be good thus far, That if Matter be not made by God capable of Thinking, or essentially conscious in that Sense, That no System of it in any possible Composition or Division can be an individual conscious Being; that is, No Motion whatever can give Matter a Capacity of Thinking: and only deny them to be true, understood after this manner, That unless all Matter did actually think, or was essentially conscious in that Sense, no System of it in any possible Composition or Division can actually think. So that what I maintain is in short this, That either Matter was made originally capable of Thinking, or may be made by God capable of Thinking after its beginning to exist; and notwithstanding that no Part of it may really or actually think, yet by virtue of that Capacity some Systems may by Composition and Division become Subjects of Thinkings. All that I suppose arises new from Composition and Division is nothing else but a new Operation or actual Thinking; and therefore my Principles led me to understand by a Power of Thinking, actual Thinking, and consequently to distinguish between actual Thinking, and a Capacity of Thinking. And had any end of Truth been to be served by further distinguishing, I had taken the same Liberty to have spoken of() Consciousness in the most strict and exact Sense of the Word, as it stands for the reflex Act of Thinking, by which I know that I think as I have now done in using it for actual Thinking.
5. As I could not make any Objections to Mr. Clarke’s Argument but by distinguishing between actual Thinking and a Capacity of Thinking, so in fact my first Objection is grounded on that Distinction. I speak directly of Thinking as an Operation: And when I say,() “That Matter of Fact is so plain that a Man cannot turn his Eye but he will meet with material Systems, wherein there are Individual Powers which are not in every one, nor in any one of the Particles that compose them when taken apart and considered singly, and instance in a Rose that produces in us the Sensation of Sweetness; I plainly supposed the Matter of which those material Systems consisted, essentially capable of those Individual Powers which are observable upon the different Disposition of their Parts, and likewise the Matter of which a Rose consisted essentially capable of producing that Sensation in us; and that it was from the Composition of that Matter, of which it did consist, into the Form of a Rose, whence the particular Operation that causes our Sensation arises”.
 
Sect. 1. In order to prove that Consciousness could not inhere in, or result from a divisible Substance, Mr. Clarke enumerated all the possible Powers of Matter under three Heads.()
1. Powers really inhering in the Subject to which they are usually ascribed, such as Magnitude and Motion, which are Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same Kind.
2. Modes produced in some other Subject, as for instance, the Sweetness and Colour of a Rose, which are vulgarly looked upon as Individual Powers. But this, says he, is only a vulgar and gross Errour.
3. Certain Effects or Powers that do not properly reside in any Subject at all, such as Magnetism, and Electrical Attractions.
From whence it follows, that according to Mr. Clarke no Powers can inhere in Matter, but such Powers as Magnitude and Motion, which are only Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same kind: And therefore() if Consciousness can inhere in a System of Matter, it must necessarily be the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts, aud so there would be as many Consciousnesses as there are Particles of Matter of which the System consists, which he supposes will be granted to be very absurd. Now in answer to this Argument I said,() “That it was nothing else but Argumentum ad Ignorantiam; for by enumerating his three sorts of Powers or Qualities of Matter, and showing that the two last are improperly called Powers or Qualities, he does suppose that a System of Matter has and can have only Powers of one sort or kind, such as Magnitude and Motion, which are only the Sums and Aggregates of Powers of the same kind: which what is it else but to argue, That because we know of no other Powers in Matter of a different Kind from Magnitude and Motion, therefore it has and can have no other Powers of a different Kind”?
But Mr. Clarke says,() If a Disjunction be complete (as that in which he enumerates the several sorts of Powers of which Matter is capable, either is; or else I ought to have proved that another Member could be added to it, to show that it was not) it contains in it all the possible Particulars, as well the unknown as those that are ever so well known.
1. It is very true, If a Disjunction be complete, it must contain in it all possible Particulars both known and unknown; but this amounts to no more than to say, that if a Disjunction be complete it is complete, and does by no means reach the Question, which is, how he can know that his Disjunction is complete (if ranking all the true and proper Powers of Matter under one Head, can be called a Disjunction) when he produces no Proof that his Heads are rightly distributed, and do contain under them all the possible Powers of Matter both known and unknown; and till he can prove that, he can never clear his Argument from being Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. He therefore mistakes the Objection of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, when he says, That his Disjunction either is complete, or else I ought to have proved that another Member could be added to it to show that it was not: For the Nature of that Objection does not oblige me to add another Member to his Disjunction, but obliges him to prove that another Member cannot be added to his Disjunction; for unless Mr. Clarke can prove it impossible for another Member to be added to his Disjunction, he can never know that another Member cannot be added to it, and consequently an Argument drawn from a Disjunction which is not demonstrated to be complete, is purely an Argumentum ad Ignorantiam; and to put me upon adding another Member to it, is to put me upon more than my Objection obliged me to, nay is inconsistent with the Nature of such an Objection, and mixing things that are foreign together.
2. But I did not only tell him that his Argument was an Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, which was sufficient to overthrow a precarious Disjunction, but did instance in several Powers of Matter that did not fall in with his Disjunction. I instanced particularly() in the Power of the Eye to contribute to the Act of Seeing, (for though I certainly think the Eye to be the Organ of Seeing, as I do the Nose of Smelling, or the Lungs of Breathing, and I may add the Brain of Thinking, yet I attribute in my Argument in this place no more to that System of Matter called the Eye, that I might not beg the Question between us, than such undoubted Matter of Fact as I think no one will deny, viz. that by the Disposition of its Parts it is operated on in a peculiar Manner by external Objects, and that it does contribute by its own Operation towards the Act of seeing) as an Operation of a System of Matter, that did not inhere in its Parts in the same Sense with Magnitude and Motion in Body: “For divide and vary the Parts of Matter as much as you will, there will be Magnitude and may be Motion; but divide or vary the least Part of the Eye, and the Power of contributing towards the Act of Vision is entirely at an end”.
But that I may explain my self more fully on this Head, I shall observe, that not only the Power of the Eye to contribute towards the Act of Seeing, is a Proof that there are Powers in Systems of Matter that inhere not in the Parts of those Systems singly considered, but almost every thing we see, feel, hear, taste or smell, may convince us of the Existence of such Powers. Does not a musical Instrument, by being operated on in a peculiar Manner, operate on us again, and produce in us several agreeable Sensations? And is not that Power or Ability to be acted on by us, and to act on us, peculiar to the Modification of that Body, and not the Result of Powers of the same kind, since there are parts of that System of Matter absolutely necessary to the Continuance of that Power in them which produces our Sensations? For as the Strings of a Violin are not sufficient of themselves, so neither are the remaining Parts of that Instrument to produce in us those harmonious Sounds that are caused by the whole System of that Matter, being modified into that peculiar Form.
What are particular Figures in Bodies, such as Roundness or Squareness, but Qualities or Powers in Bodies that are not the Sum of Powers of the same kind? For divide a round Body into what Number of Parts you please, and it will never be found to consist only of round Parts, no more than a square or cubical Body will be found to consist only of square or cubical Parts; since a round Body may by the Motion or Alteration of its Parts become cubical, and a cubical Body by the Motion or Alteration of its Parts become round.
But Mr. Clarke says,() That Seeing in the Eye is not a real inherent Quality, but merely Situation of Parts and Pores, so as to be the Occasion of an Effect wholly extrinsical to it self, an Effect produced in some other Substance by Rays transmitted through the Pores of the Eye; and is one of those Powers, &c. ranked under his third Head of Powers, viz. an Effect that does not reside in any Subject at all.
In this Paragraph Mr. Clarke seems to confound his second and third Heads together, by making the Power of the Eye to see to be both an Effect produced in some other Subject, and an Effect residing in no Subject at all at the same time. But I will show Mr. Clarke, that it is neither the one nor the other; for what is the Transmission of Rays in a peculiar Manner, but an Operation particular to the Parts of the Eye under such a Modification? And is there not then a peculiar Motion of the Eye whereby the Soul is made capable of seeing Objects transmitted, which Operation or Mode of Motion entirely ceases upon the least Alteration of the Parts? Is not the whole Being affected, and does it not act in a different Manner from each of its Parts singly considered, and from the whole System under another Modification? Now it is that manner of acting peculiar to the Structure of the Eye, that I call the Power of the Eye (which does not inhere in the Parts of the Eye in the same Sense that it inheres in that whole Eye) in the Idea whereof is not only contained an Effect wrought in another Subject, viz. Actual Seeing in the Soul, but an Operation on the Subject of Seeing: As I suppose Thinking not to be merely an effect wrought on another Subject, viz. Ideas and the Images of things, but is likewise the Action of the Brain, or Spirits of the Brain on those Ideas and Images of things. And therefore if the Power of the Eye to contribute towards seeing be a Mode of Motion peculiar to that System of Matter, and Motion be allowed truly and properly to inhere in the Subject that moves; then the Power of the Eye to contribute towards seeing, is neither a Mode produced in another Subject, nor an Effect residing in no Subject at all. But to this Instance, and all other Instances that I have mentioned before, it may be answered, That the Power to contribute towards seeing, and the Power of a musical Instrument to produce an harmonious Sound, being really nothing else but an Impression of a particular Kind or Mode of Motion which those Systems are capable of receiving from the particular Dispositions of their Parts, and the Actions of other Beings on them; and Roundness or Squareness being nothing else but Modes of Figures, the Power of the Eye, of a musical Instrument, and the Qualities of Roundness and Squareness are only the Sums of the Motions and Figures of the Parts, or Sums of Powers of the same Kind, and consequently fall in with the Powers of Matter that Mr. Clarke ranked under the first Head of Distribution of the Powers of Matter, and are defective Similitudes to prove the real Existence of such Powers as inhere in a System of Matter, without inhering in the Parts of the System singly considered.
This, if I mistake not, comprehends the intire Strength of all that can be said against my Instances; and an Answer to it will set this Dispute in a clearer Light than possibly it has hitherto been, and perhaps give Mr. Clarke particular Satisfaction with relation to the Inconclusiveness of his Argument, by detecting what I conceive has particularly imposed upon him. In answer therefore to this Objection, I own, since I undertook to give a Proof drawn from Matter of Fact, that there are Individual Powers peculiar to Systems of Matter, without belonging to each of their Parts singly considered, I am obliged either to clear those Instances I have given, or assign other Instances, or else own that there are no known Powers in Matter, but what are the Sums of Powers of the same kind, And therefore to show that my Instances are pertinent, I distinguish between Numerical Powers and Generical Powers. By Numerical Powers I understand such Powers as Motions and Figures of the same Species. The Power of the Eye to contribute towards seeing, is a Species of Motion, and the Roundness of a Body is a Species of Figure. By Generical Powers I understand all the several Species of Numerical Powers; as Motion signifies all the various Species of Motion, and Figure all the various Species of Figure. Now if the Reader will be pleased to apply the foregoing Distinction, he may see that the whole of the Objection is founded on an Equivoque of the Terms, Powers of the same kind: for if Powers of the same kind be understood generically, then I do agree that the known Powers of Matter are nothing else but the Sums or Powers of the same kind; that is, the Figure and Motion of a Body consist of the Figures and Motions of the Parts. But if the Terms Powers of the same kind be taken numerically, (that is, as Powers really exist) then there are Powers inhering in Systems of Matter that are not the Sums of Powers of the same kind: As the Roundness of a Body is not the Sum of the Roundnesses of the Parts; nor the Power of a musical Instrument to cause an harmonious Sound, the Sum of Powers of the same kind in the Parts singly considered. I shall now apply what I have said to Consciousness, or a Power of Thinking; and to make my self the more intelligible, will suppose Consciousness (of whose Nature I may be supposed ignorant) to be a Mode of Motion, and not a Mode of some unknown Power; and the rather, because I have to do with a Gentleman that understands the Rules of arguing too well, to impute that to me as my Opinion, which I only take the Liberty to suppose. If Consciousness then be considered as a Mode of Motion, as Roundness is a Mode of Figure, it will be so far from being true, that if Consciousness inheres in a System of Matter, it must be the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts, that it will be a Contradiction to make it the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts, as it is a Contradiction to make Roundness to consist in the Roundnesses of the Parts: though I would readily grant, that was Consciousness a generical Power like Figure and Motion, it would be likewise the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts; and so there would be as many distinct Consciousnesses, as there are Particles of Matter, of which the System consists; which I do allow to be very absurd. What I have now said I think sufficient to show, that my Instances to prove that there are Powers in Matter that are not the Sums of Powers of the same kind, were rightly chosen, and consequently to show that Consciousness, of whose Nature we are ignorant, may inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts. Wherefore I take the Liberty to conclude, that besides such generical Powers, as Motion, Figure, &c. that Mr. Clarke only considers under his first Head (which according to him contains all the true and proper Powers of Matter) there are Numerical (or if Mr. Clarke pleases, Individual) Powers, such as particular Modes of Motion, and particular Modes of Figure in certain Systems of Matter, which he has omitted the Consideration of: for had he considered Consciousness as a Mode of some Power in Matter, he could never have said,() If Consciousness could possibly be a Quality inherent in a System of Matter, it must likewise necessarily be the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts; but the contrary, If human Consciousness be a Mode of some generical Power in Matter, it must not be the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts.
To make this Matter still clearer, and answer all that I think can be alledged, I take the Liberty to examine a Passage relating to the Argument that I am now upon, in the Historical and Critical Dictionary of that learned and acute Philosopher Mr. Bayle, a zealous Asserter of the Immateriality of the Soul, who denied Thinking could be a Mode of Matter: Because, says he, all Modes of which we have any knowledge, are of such a Nature that they never perish, but to make room for another Mode of the same kind, there is no Figure that is destroyed but by another Figure, and no Colour but what makes room for another Colour. Therefore if we would reason from what we observe in Matter; we ought to say, that no Thought ceases in Matter, but to make room for some other Thought by which it is succeeded, divide and confound this Matter how you will. I am very far from denying what is self-evident, that no Mode ever ceases but to give place to another Mode: and though it should be always to a Mode of the same generical Kind, as one Colour or Figure is constantly succeeded by another, since all Matter must necessarily exist under some Figure, and appear under some Colour to the Eyes of Animals; yet it is no good Consequence, that every Mode must unavoidably be succeeded by a Mode of the same numerical Species, as that Round or Blue must still be succeeded by Round or Blue; which would entirely destroy all Change or Succession of Modes whatever, and so deprive the Universe of all Motion or Diversity. Now if Thought be supposed a Species of Motion, then it never ceases indeed, but to make room for some other Motion (the Particles of all Bodies being in perpetual Action, as well as under some Figure or Colour) but it follows not that the succeeding Motion must always be a Thought for the Reasons and Examples already alledged, no more than that the Motion of a going Clock existed in the several Parts of it before, or continues after they are separated. Now that human Consciousness or Thinking is a Mode of some generical Power in Matter, will, in my Opinion, seem evident to every Man that consults his own Experience, and suffers it not to be contradicted or confounded by unintelligible Distinctions or Sophistry. Thinking or Human Consciousness begins, continues and ends, or has Generation, Succession and Corruption, like all other Modes of Matter; as like them it is divided and determined, simple or compounded, and so on. But if the Soul or Principle of Thinking be undivided, how can it think successively, divide, abstract, combine or ampliate, retain or revive Impressions in the Memory? And how can it be capable, partly or wholly, to forget any thing? All which Phænomena are naturally conceived, and may be commodiously explained by the Springs and Movements, and Receptacles; by the Vigour, Perfection, Disorder or Decay of a bodily Organ, but not by any thing indivisible.
Does not Experience further convince us, that our ordinary Habits, no less than all our Actions, are corporeal; those of contemplating and meditating, as well as those of singing and dancing? Are we not frequently as much tired by the one, as by the other? Which could never be, if Contemplation and Meditation were Immaterial. The Reaction of our Thoughts and Words on one another does manifestly prove the Corporeity of both; the Word being no sooner spoken than the Idea is excited, and the revived Idea bringing its Name immediately into our Remembrance: If we forget the one or the other, it betokens some Defect in the Organ, as it is visible in Children and old People; the Fibres of whose Nerves, and the Consistence of whose Brains are ordinarily too moist and remiss in the one, as they are too dry and rigid in the other. Nor does Want of Memory, or Slowness of Conception appear in Persons of a middle Age, but from some assignable Cause that discomposes the Organ. Human Thinking being therefore a Mode of Matter, all Parts of Matter may be supposed capable of producing it, not necessarily indeed, and at all times, no more than any other Modes, but only under a convenient Structure and Disposition.
Upon the Principles I have now more fully explained, I think I might leave it to the intelligent Reader, or to Mr. Clarke himself, to solve the remaining Difficulties that he urges: but to show my Willingness to give Satisfaction to those who are of opinion I should not otherwise pay respect enough to a Man of his Ability, I proceed to consider whatever I conceive affects the Bottom of the Cause between us.
I had said,() “That to suppose a Power arising from Matter, without belonging to the Parts of which the whole consists, is not to suppose an Universal to exist, but a particular Power existing, to which several particular Powers contribute; as every Man is a particular Man, though various Powers are necessary to constitute hum of that Species”.
To this Mr. Clarke answers,() That if that Whole or Result, which I call a particular Power, be entirely and specifically different from all and every one of the particular Powers contributing to it, as Thinking is from all the Particles not endued with Thought; I shall find if I consider it carefully, that it is as certain as any Arithmetical Demonstration, that such a particular Power is a whole bigger than all its Parts. To show the Want of Force in this Answer, let us apply it to Roundness; for if it concludes against Thinking’s arising out of Particles not singly endued with Thinking, it will equally conclude against the Possibility of the Existence of Roundness in Body, which no more consists of several Roundnesses, (since in a round Body of an Inch diameter, it is as impossible that any one Particle of the Surface should be round, as it is needless that any other should be so; and therefore probable in many cases, that not one Particle of a round Body is round in particular) no more, I say, than Thinking or Consciousness does of several Consciousnesses, and is as specifically different from other Figures, as Consciousness is from a circular Motion. If the Whole or Result, which I call a particular Power, be specifically different from all and every one of the particular Powers contributing to it, as Roundness is from all the Particles not endued with Roundness, I shall find if I consider it carefully, that it is as certain as any Arithmetical Demonstration that such a particular Power is a whole bigger than all its Parts. But in behalf of Roundness as well as Thinking, I answer, That it is so far from being as certain as an Arithmetical Demonstration, that such a particular Power is a Whole bigger than all its Parts, that it is an Arithmetical Demonstration that such a particular Power as Roundness is, is but just equal to all the Parts of which that Roundness consists: For what more goes the Composition of Roundness, than the Conjunction of several Particles not singly endued with Roundness? and agreeably to the Supposition I lately made, what more goes to the Power of Thinking, than the Conjunction of several Particles, not each endued with that Species of Motion called Thinking?
2. But to proceed a Step further, supposing we could not account for the Beginning of Consciousness or Roundness from the various Composition of Matter, yet I cannot see what Reason there is to exclude even created Beings from superadding Powers to Matter, that are not always existing in Matter. If Matter is not essentially active, as I presume Mr. Clarke contends it is not, I would ask, upon the Supposition of some Parts of it being at absolute rest, whether finite material Beings in Motion were not sufficient of themselves to put them into Motion, though they had no Motion before? Was not Matter’s Capacity of Motion sufficient to make it move, as soon as it was impelled by another Being? In like manner, a Capacity to think may be sufficient to cause us to think, though we are sometime without thinking; as a Capacity to think of a Triangle is ground enough to make us think upon it whenever that Figure is placed before our Eyes, though we never have as yet thought upon it at all. And this I take to be the Case of Operations of all kinds in finite Beings, viz. That it is so far from being a Repugnancy, to suppose them to have a Beginning of their Existence, that if we don’t suppose a Beginning of Operations, we must destroy all Change or Succession whatever, and so entirely deprive the Universe of all Diversity.
It is urged by Mr. Clarke,() That to annex Consciousness to so flux a Substance as the Brain, or the Spirits in it, is a very great Absurdity: For if the Parts of the Brain or Spirits be (as they certainly are) in perpetual flux and change; it will follows, that Consciousness, by which I not only remember that certain things were done many Years since, but also am conscious that they were done by the very same individual conscious Being who now remembers them; it will follow, he says, that Consciousness is transferred from one Subject to another; that is to say, that it is a real Quality which subsists without inhering in any Subject at all. In the Examination of this Argument I think something will appear quite contrary to what Mr. Clarke imagines, That it is so far from being absurd to annex human Consciousness to so flux a Substance as the Brain, that it will rather be absurd to annex it to any other Substance but so flux a one as the Brain: For if we utterly forget, or cease to be conscious of having done many things in the former Parts of our Lives which we certainly did, as much as any of those things which we are conscious that we have done; and if in fact we do by degrees forget every thing which we do not revive by frequent Recollection, and by again and again imprinting our decaying Ideas; and if there be in a determinate Time a partial or total flux of Particles in our Brains: What can better account for our total Forgetfulness of some things, our partial Forgetfulness of others, than to suppose the Substance of the Brain in a constant Flux? And what can better show that Consciousness is not transferred from one Subject to another, than our forgetting totally or partially, according to the Brain’s being more or less in a Flux? But I will suppose that I am conscious to have done some things, without having one Particle of the Brain the same that I had when I did those things; how then can I be conscious that I did them, without allowing Consciousness to be transferred from one Subject to another? This I think contains the Strength of Mr. Clarke’s Objection. In answer to which, I will suppose my self conscious at Forty of having been carried to a Market or Fair at five Years old, without any Particle of Matter about me, the same which I had at that Age: Now in order to retain the Consciousness of that Action, it is necessary to revive the Idea of it before any considerable flux of Particles, (otherwise I must totally lose the Memory of it, as I do of several things done in my Childhood) and by reviving the idea of that Action, I imprint afresh the Consciousness of having done that Action, by which the Brain has as lively an Impression of Consciousness (though it be not entirely composed of the same Particles) as it had the Day after it did the Action, or as it has of a Triangle, or any other new Idea not before imprinted on it. Consciousness of having done that Action is an Idea imprinted on the Brain, by recollecting or bringing into view our Ideas before they are quite worn out; which Ideas continues in me, not only the Memory of the Action it self, but that I did it. And if there is every now and then a Recollection of a past Action, Mr. Clarke may, by what I have said, conceive a Man may be conscious of things done by him, though he has not one Particle of Matter the same that he had at the doing of those things, without Consciousness’s being transferred from one Subject to another in any absurd Sense of those Words.
I did incidentally, in my Reply to Mr. Clarke’s first Defence, whither I refer the Reader for the Occasion, make this Supposition,() “As what seemed Matter of Fact to me: That the Matter of which an Egg consists, doth entirely constitute the young one; and that the Action of Sensation began under a particular Disposition of the Parts by Motion, without the Addition of an immaterial and immortal Soul”: Which Mr. Clarke says() is in every part contrary to all the Discoveries in Anatomy, and to all true Philosophy; for so far is it from being true, that the Matter of the Egg, by any particular Disposition of its Parts by Motion, is formed into or constitutes the young One, that it does not constitute it at all, not so much as the Body of it, but only serves it for Nourishment and Growth: It being as impossible that the unorganized Body of a Chicken should, by the Power of any mechanical Motions, be formed out of the unorganized Matter of an Egg; as that the Sun, Moon and Stars should, by mere Mechanism, rise out of a Chaos.
In answer to which I aver, that my Supposition is so far from being contrary to all the Discoveries in Anatomy, and to all true Philosophy, that if Mr. Clarke has given a just Account of all those Discoveries in Anatomy and Philosophy in this Paragraph, it is agreeable to them all, except his saying, That the organized Body of the Animal is no part of the Matter of the Egg. And as for that Discovery made in Anatomy by Microscopical Observations, I take it to be not only removed backwards from the Search and common Notions even of the most inquisitive Men, but contrary to such undoubted Matter of Fact, that I will venture to insist on it in opposition to all the Discoveries in Anatomy Mr. Clarke is acquainted with; for if by our Eyes we can perceive the organized Body of the Animal to be part of the Matter of the Egg, no microscopical Observation can destroy such Matter of Fact. Microscopical Observations may help us to discover the Existence of some things, the Beauty and Contrivance of others, which by our mere Organs we are unable to do; but can never make us see nothing where we do see something.
I no where deny the organized Body of the Animal to have been formed long before it is comprehended in the Shell: All that I affirm is, that when the organized Body is comprehended in the Shell, it then becomes part of the Matter of the Egg; and I continue to suppose that Sensation doth not begin in the Animal till some of the other Parts of the Egg become Parts of the Animal by Motion, or by serving it for Nourishment and Growth; though I must at the same time confess, that I see no Absurdity in supposing the organized Body of the Animal to be formed by Mechanical Motions out of such Matter, as the unorganized Parts of an Egg, if they may be called unorganized: Those Parts are not indeed Legs, Wings, Eyes, &c. and so are not organized in that sense; but yet they are so disposed or organized as to contribute by their Motion towards something orderly and regular, and to become Parts of the Leg or the Eye of an Animal. I conceive, no Matter, in the present State of the Universe, can be compared to a Chaos; from whence I grant no regular Work can be produced by mere Mechanism, but all is disposed by the Power of God in a State of Regularity: and as there was no Contradiction for the organized Body of the Animal to be full: formed by Matter regularly moved, nor no Contradiction for other Parts of Matter to be joined to that Body by a regular Motion; so it is no more a Contradiction to suppose such an Union of Parts to begin in an Egg, whereby the Body of an Animal may be formed, than it was for such an Union of Parts to begin a Thousand Years before, or than it is that those Parts should grow in the Manner they do by the Addition of other Particles to them. Mr. Clake adds, And that Sensation should begin under a particular Disposition of the Parts, is still more impossible; because it is supposing something to come out of that in which it never was. Sensation is by me supposed to be in the Parts of the Animal, as Roundness is in the Parts which compose a round Body; each Part has as much of Sensation, singly considered, as each Part of a round Body has of Roundness: and when the Parts are duly disposed, whole Thinking is performed, as whole Roundness exists by the Conjunction of Parts.
2. But supposing Sensation did not exist in the Parts antecedent to their Union, as Motion does not in those Parts of Matter that are at absolute rest; why may not the one have actual Sensation by virtue of an antecedent Capacity to have Sensation, without having always actual Sensation, as well as Matter at absolute rest may have actual Motion by virtue of an antecedent Capacity to have Motion, without being always in actual Motion?
I did indeed think it absurd() to recur to the Addition of an Immaterial and Immortal Soul, to solve the Phenomenon of Sensation in Animals; because I cannot conceive it possible for all the numerous sensible Creatures which Microscopical Observations do discover to us to exist in all Parts of the Universe, even in our own Bodies, and the Liquors that we drink, to be proper Subjects of eternal Rewards and Punishments. Mr. Clarke goes on:() Let it be so, (that is, let it be absurd to have recourse to the Addition of an Immaterial and Immortal Soul to account for Sensation in Animals) he can as ensily suppose, if I must needs have an Hypothesis, that the Immaterial and Immortal Soul was not added afterwards, but was in it from the Time that the seminal Principle it self of the organized Body was framed. I am against all mere Hypotheses, and was, particularly in that Place Mr. Clarke refers to, contending against an Opinion that I take to be a mere Hypothesis: and though I did not expressly mention that Hypothesis which Mr. Clarke is pleased to suppose for me, yet I conceive that that Hypothesis is as much excluded by my supposing that an Animal consists only of mere Matter, as if I had directly mentioned it, and therefore I wonder that Mr. Clarke could imagine that one of those Hypotheses should content me any more than the other, or that I have any fondness at all for any Hypotheses. I satisfy my self with observing Matter of Fact, and believe what I see, till subsequent Matter of Fact convinces me of the first false Appearances of Things, and then I correct my first Opinion from the second Appearance. Micrography and Astronomy do help us to settle several important Facts, which without their Assistance we should be apt to mistake; but as for any Suppositions, to account for any Matters of Fact or Effects that we observe, I deny them all, unless it involves a Contradiction not to make such Suppositions; and I will allow Mr. Clarke to assign One or Twenty unknown Beings in every Animal, when it is a Contradiction not to suppose One or Twenty: But till that time I think it not proper to go beyond my Eye-sight, nor, as I see nothing but Matter in Animals, to believe there is any thing but Matter in them.
One thing more under this Head I think my self obliged, to take notice of: Mr. Clarke had said,() That Gravitation is the Effect of the continued and regular Operation of some other Being on Matter. Upon which I said,() “That it does not appear but that Matter gravitates by virtue of Powers originally placed in it by God, and is now left to it self to act by those original Powers. And it is as conceivable that Matter should act by virtue of those Powers, as that an Immaterial Being should put it into Motion, or continue it in Motion”. This Opinion of mine Mr. Clarke() thinks is a great Mistake in my Philosophy; for when a Stone that was at rest, does of it self, upon its Support being removed, begin to fall downwards, what is it that causes the Stone to begin to move? Is it possible to be an Effect without a Cause? Is it impelled without an Impeller? Or can a Law or a Power, that is to say, a mere abstract Name, or a complex Notion, and not any real Being, impel a Stone, and cause it to begin to move?
1. The Question is not, whether any real Being moves a Stone that was at rest, when it begins to fall downwards, upon its Support being removed; but whether another Being, or a Being distinct from Matter, does continually impel it, either immediately or mediately, (for I deny not the Necessity of a Being impelling another, in order to cause that Mode of Motion called Gravitation) and therefore Mr. Clarke changes the Question, when he introduces some real Being as necessary to impel a Stone, or cause it to begin to move upon its Support being removed, instead of what he first affirmed,() That Gravitation is the Effect of the continued and regular Operation of some other Being on Matter: and consequently his Questions, What is it causes the Stone to move? Is it possible to be an Effect without a Cause? Is it impelled without an Impeller? Or can a Law or Power, that is to say, an abstract Name, or complex Notion, and not any real Being, impel a Stone, or cause it to move? reach not the Question of the Necessity of the regular and continued Operation of an immaterial Being on Matter, in order to cause that Mode of Motion called Gravitation.
2. As I did not exclude the Impulse of other Bodies contiguous to the Body gravitating, but only the continued and regular Operation of an immaterial Being on it, from being a constant Cause of Gravitation; so I do not think the mere Impulse of the surrounding Bodies to be the sole Cause of that Motion: And to speak my own Opinion, it seems Matter of Fact to me, that the external Figure and internal Configuration of the Parts of Matter, are those Powers in Matter by which it receives that peculiar Mode of Motion called Gravitation, from the circumambient impelling Bodies. For drop a Pound of Lead, in the Form of a Bullet, from the Top of a Tower, and it descends in a very quick Space to the Ground: Vary the external Figure of the Bullet, by beating it out broad with a Hammer, and its Tendency downwards decreases; vary the Configuration of its Parts by Fire, and it will ascend instead of descending; the same Action of the circumambient Bodies producing these three different Effects by this three-fold Disposition of the self-same Quantity of Lead: So that Matter’s Determination seems purely owing to the Causes and Powers I have assigned. And I have often admired that Gravitation should be esteemed a Matter of such Difficulty among Philosophers; for when once Motion is supposed, and that all Matter is in constant Motion, and perpetually striking one part against another, as I think no body doubts, one part of Matter must be determined one way, and another part another way; and Gravitation being one Mode of Motion, viz. a Tendency towards a Centre, (whether it be of the whole Vortex, or only of our Earth, or the particular Center of that peculiar Motion which depends upon the Sphere of its Activity) some Parts of Matter must as necessarily gravitate, as others have different Motions. Nay, properly speaking, there is no Motion whatever but is Gravitation respectively; for whatever ascends with respect to us, descends with respect to other Bodies; and whatever descends with respect to us, ascends with respect to others: so that if there is any Motion in the Universe, there must be Gravitation.
3. When therefore I said,() “It does not appear but that Matter gravitates by virtue of Powers originally placed in it by God, and that it is as conceivable that Matter should act by virtue of those Powers, as that an immaterial Being should put Matter into Motion, or continue it in Motion”; I did not lay it down as my Opinion, that Matter did act without a direct Impulse from Matter, but supposed it as intelligible, that Matter might act without Impulse by Powers placed in it by God, as that an immaterial Being should move Matter without being able to impel it by Contact. And whenever Mr. Clarke gives me an Idea how an immaterial Being can move Matter, or in what place God can be conceived beginning a Motion of Gravity or Levity in the Universe, when in the Universe there is no up or down in reality, (for to say that God acts respectively, shows but the Pertinency of my Question the more, since he must then be necessarily placed with respect to an assignable Center) then I promise to give him an Idea how Matter should move by Powers placed in it by God, without the Impulse of other Bodies, or even by what Mr. Clarke calls an abstract Name, or a complex Notion.
4. But was it my Opinion that Matter did act by virtue of Powers placed in it by God, without the Impulse of Matter, I think I have Mr. Clarke of my Opinion, when he says,() All Matter consists of actually separate and distinct Parts: For if it is actually divided in infinitum, it can never act by Impulse, but must act by other Powers; unless Mr. Clarke will say, that it is an immaterial Being, that constantly and immediately moves every Particle of Matter. But whether I take Mr. Clarke right or no, the Incomparable Sir Isaac Newton is of Opinion, That several Phenomena of Nature may defend on certain Forms, whereby from Causes (or Powers) yet undiscovered, the particles of Bodies are mutually impelled against each other, and cohere according to regular Figures, or whereby they recede or are driven from one another; which Forces or Powers being yet unknown, the Philosophers hitherto have attempted Nature in vain.
 
Sect. 2. Beside answering directly to Mr. Clarke’s pretended Demonstration, I did endeavour to show, that if it proved the Impossibility of Matter’s Thinking, it would equally prove the Impossibility of an immaterial Being’s Thinking, since Mr. Clarke did not exclude Extension out of his Idea of immaterial Being. For his Argument being founded on the Proof of this Proposition, that Divisibility and Thinking cannot cohere or exist together in the same Subject; and Mr. Clarke allowing,() That if there are Particles of Matter which are to any Powers in Nature indiscerpible; I observed,() “That if there may be Matter which implies Indivisibility by natural Causes, no Argument can be brought to prove the Indivisibility of such Particles of Matter, but what will equally prove the Divisibility of any finite extended Being”: and consequently, either all Matter is not divisible, and so, by Mr. Clarke’s Principles, is not excluded from a Possibility of Thinking; or else an immaterial Being is no more capable of Thinking than a material one.
But Mr. Clarke answers,() That such a Difficulty is wide of the main Question; for if the foregoing Proof, That Matter is incapable of Thinking cannot be shown to be defective, it necessarily follows, that the Soul must be an indiscerpible Substance, though extended, 1. Though Mr. Clarke’s Argument could not be shown to be defective, it does not follow that an extended Being must be indiscerpible; for if I have as clear Evidence of the Divisibility of an immaterial Being by the Power of God, as of a material one, (as I contend We have, and have shown in my Reply,() whither I refer the Reader) and if I have likewise clear Evidence that a divisible Being cannot think, as I am likewise supposed to have, what remains for us but Darkness, and Confusion, and Scepticism, under such a Ballance of Evidence; A View of Mr. Clarke’s Way of arguing against the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, urged against the Possibility of an immaterial Being’s Thinking, will make it evident to the Reader, that there is no more ground from that Argument to conclude against Matter’s Thinking, than against an immaterial Being’s Thinking. And therefore as Mr. Clarke endeavours to show that Matter cannot think, because by the Power of God it is divisible; so I who see no manner of Difference between any other finite extended Being and Matter in that respect, urge Mr. Clarke’s Argument, to prove that an immaterial Being cannot think, thus: Whatever is divisible by the Power of God, cannot, according to him, have a Power of Thinking: An immaterial Being is extended, and consequently must be divisible by the Power of God, (if it be true that all Matter is divisible, because no Argument can be brought to prove all Matter divisible that will not prove all finite extended Beings divisible) therefore an immaterial Being cannot think. And if it be proved that an immaterial Being cannot think, then it follows, that the Being which thinks in us must be material. If it is further objected, to weaken the Force of the foregoing Proof, That all material Substance is likewise divisible, Mr. Clarke’s Answer in behalf of immaterial Substance will serve the Case of material Substance; and it may be said, That this Difficulty is wide of the main Question; for if the foregoing Proof that immaterial Being is incapable of Thinking, cannot be shown to be defective, it follows necessarily, that the Soul must be an indiscerpible material Substance.
2. But Mr. Clarke says,() There are many Demonstrations, even in abstract Mathematicks themselves, which no Man who understands them can in the least Doubt of the Certainty of, which yet are attended with difficult Consequences, that cannot be perfectly cleared. The infinite Divisibility of Matter is an Instance of this kind; also the Eternity of God and his Immensity are attended with the like Difficulties. In answer to this, I say, That if there are any such Demonstrations, from whence any Contradictions or Absurdities follow in our way of conceiving things, those Absurdities and Contradictions should affect a Demonstration so far that I ought to suspend my Assent. In our Assent or Dissent to Propositions, we have no other ground of either, than the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of the Ideas, for which the Terms in Propositions stand. And if things make such an appearance to our Understandings, that we do a priori perceive, or imagine we perceive demonstrative Proof of the Truth of a Proposition, and perceive or imagine that we perceive Absurdities and Contradictions follow from that Proposition which we imagined we perceived to be demonstrative; what have we but two repugnant Demonstrations, which ought to leave the Mind in ballance or suspence? For on which side can I suspect that my Understanding fails me? There is no more reason to suspect that my Understanding fails me, when I think that I perceive an Absurdity, Contradiction, or Disagreement of Ideas, than when I think I perceive the Agreement of Ideas.
3. But I deny that there are any Instances of this kind in Nature, and particularly that the Infinite Divisibility of Matter, the Eternity and Immensity of God, are such Instances. And I desire Mr. Clarke to define those foregoing Terms, and tell me, what they stand for in his Mind: and if his Meaning of those Terms agree to the Reality of Things, instead of making real Beings of abstract Notions, I require him to prove that any Absurdity or Contradiction follows either from the infinite Divisibility of Matter, the Eternity or Immensity of God, in our way of conceiving; and if he cannot, he has no ground from those Instances to put human Nature in such a State of Scepticism and Absurdity.
4. As to his urging again his Instance of Space,() which I readily own to be indiscerpible, to show the Possibility of immaterial Substance’s being indiscerpible, though extended, I tell him again, that Space (which Mr. Clarke says is only an abstract Idea of Immensity) will by no means reach his purpose: for Space is infinite, and not only infinite, but being incapable of being considered, either as acting or being acted on, is no Being of Substance at all, and therefore its Indivisibility cannot prove the Possibility of a finite extended Substance’s being indivisible, but the contrary: for Space is only indivisible by having those two before-mentioned Qualities that make it differ from the immaterial Being in question.
5. To shew the Difference between an immaterial and material Substance as to their Divisibility, Mr. Clarke says,() The Supposition of an immaterial Substance’s being by the Power of God divided into Parts, (which concerning Matter is allowed to be possible) may be denied to be possible, as being a supposition which destroys the Essence of the Substance it self.
What signifies the Confession of some or all Men, that all Matter is divisible, or Mr. Clark’s Denial that immaterial Substance is divisible, to show a Difference between an immaterial and material Substance as to Divisibility? Material Substance is not upon that account proved divisible, nor immaterial Substance indivisible. The Divisibility or Indivisibility of either Substance depends not upon such Confession or Denial; if it did, I might retort his Argument upon him thus: That immaterial Substance is by me confessed to be divisible, but may concerning material Thinking Substance be denied to be possible, as being a Supposition which destroys the Substance it self; for I have just as much reason to make that Supposition concerning a material Being, that cannot by natural Causes be made smaller, as he has concerning an immaterial Being; that is, both Suppositions are equally precarious.
But he had no Reason at all to say, That all Matter was confessed to be divisible; because I was so far from making any such general Confession, that I did in my Reply deny all Matter could be proved divisible by any Argument that would not equally conclude for the Divisibility of an immaterial Being; and consequently, if those Arguments were not sufficient to prove the Divisibility of immaterial Substance, neither would they, according to me, prove the Divisibility of all material Substance. And therefore I shall be so far from allowing all Matter to be divisible, that whenever Mr. Clarke proves to me the necessary Indivisibility of any finite extended Substance, I will then deny that all Matter can be proved to be divisible.
 
Sect. 3. I offered two Arguments to show that the Supposition of the Immateriality of the Soul, was of no use to the Ends and Purposes of Religion, were it capable of Demonstration: For I said,() “Unless a Thinking immaterial Substance can be proved naturally Immortal, the Soul cannot be proved naturally Immortal; and I asked, Of what use then is this Argument to the Ends and Purposes of Religion? For if we have no Security that we must exist hereafter in a State of Perception, as by only proving the natural Immortality of the Substance of the Soul, we have not; it can be of no use to influence our Lives and Actions”. From which Passages it is plain, that the Question of this Article was, whether an immaterial Being, or the Substance of the Soul could be proved to be in a perpetual State of Thinking; or else supposing that though it could not by this Argument be proved to be always in a State of Perception, whether it was still of use to the Ends and Purposes of Religion.
To prove the Possibility of Thinking as an Action’s ceasing in an immaterial Being, I did in my Reply observe,() “That the Soul has not only different Passions at different times, such as Anger, Love, &c. which are Modifications that begin and have their Period, but has Qualities and Powers, such as seeing and hearing, (which by the Defect of our Organs plainly cease for a time.) I likewise instanced() in the Motion of the Soul from one place to another, which might be entirely owing to external and material Causes”.
And what Answer has Mr. Clarke given to show the Usefulness of his Argument to the Ends and Purposes of Religion, but by changing the Terms of the Question, and not only the Terms themselves, but the Meaning of those Terms? For instead of considering Thinking as an Action, he uses the Terms Power of Thinking,() (by which I now find that he meant Capacity of Thinking;) and in his Second Defence changes the Term Motion into Mobility,() and the Powers of seeing and hearing urged on him to prove the Possibility of Thinking’s ceasing in an immaterial Being, into a Capacity of hearing and seeing; whereby my Argument is turned to quite another purpose than it was intended by me, and the Reader is diverted from the true State of the Question; and Mr. Clarke himself, inconsistently with his Censure of me for nice Distinguishing, does distinguish between actual Thinking and a Capacity of Thinking, actual Motion and a Capacity of Motion, &c. But yet I should not have censured him for this, had he not really perplexed the Reader with a new Question, as I aver this Question, Whether the Soul must for ever be capable of Thinking, to be, and to have no relation to the Question in dispute: For allowing the Soul can never exist without a Capacity to think; of what use is a Proof that the Soul must always have that Capacity, in order to influence Mens Actions, when notwithstanding that, the Soul may no more exist in a State of Perception, or Rewards and Punishments, than a Man born blind sees Colours, or a deaf Man hears Sounds?
What follows being founded on this Change of the Question, needs no other answer than what I have already given.
 
Sect. 4. My last Objection was,() “That if from the power of Thinking we can prove the Immortality of the Soul of Man, and from its Immateriality prove its natural Immortality, and consequently its Capacity of eternal Happiness, the Power of Thinking must prove the Immateriality of the Souls, of Brutes, the Immateriality of their Souls must prove their natural Immortality, and consequently their Capacity of eternal Happiness”.
To which Mr. Clarke answers,() Cannot God, if he pleases, cause them to perish at the Dissolution of their Bodies, or else annihilate them at any other time? Now by all the Rules of answering, Mr. Clarke ought to have taken notice of the Reply I made in the Close of the Objection it self to the Answer he here gives me, and ought either to have confessed its Force, or else showed the Inconclusiveness thereof; but since he has thought fit to do otherwise, I take the Liberty to repeat that part of my Objection again, that I esteem perfectly satisfactory to his Answer, and which is as follows: “That if it be supposed that the Souls of Brutes may be sometime or other annihilated, then Mr. Clarke’s Argument is not useful to the End for which it was intended, because mere natural Immortality will then be no Proof of the real Immortality of the Soul of Man”. But Mr. Clarke has a second Answer: Cannot God, says he, dispose of them into States suitable to their particular Natures, which yet may in no Propriety be stiled a Capacity of eternal Happiness, as that of Man is? Mr. Clarke lays the Stress in a wrong Place. I meant no more by supposing Brutes capable of eternal Happiness as well as Man, but only a State wherein they might enjoy constant agreeable Perceptions, as Mr. Clarke may see if he considers the 144th Page of my Reply; and had no design to compare the several Degrees of Happiness among created Beings in the next World. But since Mr. Clarke acknowledges all the numerous sensible Creatures to be Subjects of eternal Rewards, I ask him whether Mites, Fleas, Lice, Oysters, Rats and Mice, may be punished eternally, as well as enjoy eternal Rewards? If he answers, that they must only enjoy eternal Rewards, then he elevates Brutes above Men, and places them in a much more eligible Condition. If he answers, that they are Subjects both of eternal Rewards and Punishments; I ask, for what it is that eternal Rewards are bestowed on some Animals, and eternal Punishments bestowed on others? If they are to have eternal Rewards or Punishments, they must have them either according as they act agreeably or disagreeably to some Rules of Action; and then they must be allowed to be moral Agents, and consequently to have all the Powers in them which Men have that are necessary to make their Actions esteemed Moral; or else they must be punished or rewarded, that those who have received Injuries in this Life may be compensated in the next, and those who have been prosperous in the Rapine and Slaughter of their fellow Animals may be punished, whereby there may be a perfect Equality in God’s Dealing with them; agreeably to what Mr. Arnaud relates in Reflexions sur le Systeme du P. Mallebranche: Quand on leur demandoit() (that is, some Jews that maintained Brutes were proper Subjects of eternal Rewards and Punishments) quelle justice il y avoit dans la mort des bêtes, quelle peché elles avoient commis, & pourquoi Dieu vouloit, puis que fa providence s’etendoit à tout, qu’un Rat Innocent fût dechiré par un Chat, I’ls repondoient, Que Dieu I’avoit ainsi ordonné, mais qu’il recompenseroit ce Rat dans le siecle a venir.
From these and some other Consequences flowing from the foregoing Argument, we have so strange a View of the State of Man, that I conceive there can be no greater Service to Religion, than to show the Uselessness of that Argument to the Ends and Purposes of Religion; especially since there are such solid Arguments for a future State from Topicks that can neither be answered by Infidels, nor loaded with any absurd Consequences.
Mr. Clarke, in the Conclusion of his Defence, has summed up his Argument in Fifteen Propositions, which I now propose to consider, that my Answer to him may be compleat, though all that he advances in them is overthrown in the foregoing Reflections.
 
His Propositions are:
1. Every System of Matter consists of a Multitude of distinct Parts.
This Proposition, which he thinks is granted by all, is, I am sure, denied by a great many. However, I shall not at present enter into any Debate with him concerning it, but continue to suppose it as I have hitherto done.
 
2. Every real Quality inheres in some Subject.
 
3. No individual or single Quality of one Particle of Matter can be the individual or single Quality of another Particle of Matter.
These two I grant.
 
4. Every real simple Quality that resides in any -whole material System, resides in all the Parts of that System.
 
5. Every real compound Quality that resides in any whole material System, is a Number of simple Qualities residing in all the Parts of that System, some in one part, some in another.
These two Propositions I shall not contend with him about, though he seems to me to confound simple and compound Qualities together; for in his Explication subjoined to his Fourth Proposition, as an Example of what he means by a simple Quality, he instances in the Motion of a Body; which, says he, consists in the Sum of the Motions of its several Parts. And in his Explication subjoined to his Fifth Proposition, as an Example of what he means by compound Qualities, he says, The Simples Blue and Yellow make the compound Colour called Green. Now the Motion of a Clock is to me as much a compound Quality as the Colour Green is a compound Quality; for the various Motions of a Clock, its circular, perpendicular, and other Motions, are as specifically different from one another, as Blue and Yellow are from one another: and therefore I confess that I have no clear Ideas from Mr. Clarke’s Explications to the Terms Simple and Compound.
 
6. Every real Quality, simple or compound, that results from any whole material System, but does not reside in it, that is, neither in all its distinct Parts, nor in all the Parts of some Portion of it, according to the Explication of the two foregoing Propositions, is the Mode of some other Substance, and not of that.
This Proposition I grant, on Condition that instead of other Substance be substituted the Words other Subject: for I grant Sweetness does not reside in a Sugar-Loaf; that is, neither in all the distinct Parts, nor in all the Parts of some Portion of a Sugar-Loaf, but is produced in another Subject (and not in another Substance) as all other Sensations or Modes of Thinking are; which Subject I contend is material.
 
7. Every Power, simple or compound, that results from any whole material System, but does not reside in it, that is in all its Parts, in the Manner before explained, nor yet resides in any ether Substance as its Subject, is no real Quality at all; but must be either it self a real Substance (which seems unintelligible) or else it is nothing else but merely an abstract Name, as all Universals are.
 
8. Consciousness is neither a mere abstract Name, (such as the Powers mentioned in Prop. 7.) nor a Power of exciting or occasioning different Modes in a foreign Substance, (such as are the sensible Qualities of Bodies, Prop. 6.) but a real Quality, truly and properly inhering in the Subject it self, the Thinking Substance.
 
Before I answer to this Proposition, it is necessary to be very precise in unraveling what seems to be very much perplexed in it. Mr. Clarke confounds two things that ought to be separated, viz. The Power of exciting Modes in a foreign Subject, and the Modes that are excited, when he says, sensible Qualities in Bodies are Powers of exciting Modes in another Subject; whereas Sweetness, Sounds, &e. which are Vulgarly termed sensible Qualities in Bodies, are only Ideas, Sensations, or Modes of Thinking in us, and exist not at all in those Bodies of which they are said to be sensible Qualities; and therefore the Powers in Bodies must be something very different from those Qualities, as different as a Cause is from an Effect; and (that I may proceed with the greater Clearness) I will suppose those Powers to excite Modes in another Subject to be peculiar Modes of Motion in certain Systems of Matter.
Having thus distinguished, I shall answer this Proposition in each of the foregoing Senses.
1. I do agree that Consciousness is neither a mere abstract Name (such as are the Powers mentioned in Prop. 7.) nor does it exist in the Brain, as Sweetness is vulgarly supposed to do in a Rose, and as all sensible Qualities in Bodies are supposed to do; but is a real Quality, truly and properly inhering in the Subject it self, the Brain, as Modes of Motion do in some Bodies, and Roundness does in others.
2. I do agree again that Consciousness is not a mere abstract Name, but is a Power of the Brain answering to the Powers in Matter that produce Sensations in us. For as those Powers or Modes of Motion are peculiar to certain Systems of Matter, and are not the Sums of Powers of the same numerical Kind; so neither is Consciousness the Sum of Powers of the same numerical Kind: And as those Systems of Matter do by peculiar Modes of Motion produce Ideas in us; so we by the Power of Thinking can enlarge or abstract Ideas, that is, modify them, or cause Changes in them, as well as external sensible things can cause Modes or Changes in us. And therefore Consciousness answers, or may be likened to those Powers in some Systems of Matter that are Occasions of Modes in another Subject; and is at the same time a Quality as much inhering in Matter as the Motion of a Clock does in the Parts of a Clock, or as Roundness, or any other particular or individual Figure in a Body.
 
9. No real Quality can result from the Composition of different Qualities, so as to be a new Quality in the same Subject, of a different Kind or Species from all and every one of the component Qualities.
According to Mr. Clarke’s Explication of this Proposition, I allow this likewise to be true; for from Motion nothing but Motion can arise, and from Figure nothing but Figure: But this reaches not the Case of Numerical Powers, and particularly reaches not the Case of Consciousness. A real Numerical Power, as I suppose Consciousness to be, and such as Roundness is, may result from the Composition of different Qualities, as Roundness does from different Species of Figures; and is consequently a new Quality in the same Subject, of a different Kind or Species from all the component Qualities considered together: but Motion being a generical Power, does, I agree, consist of the Motions of the Parts, as Figure does of the Figures of the Parts; and did Consciousness answer to Figure and Motion, that would likewise consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts.
 
10. Consciousness therefore being a real Quality (Prop. 8.) and of a Kind specifically different from all other Qualities, whether known or unknown, which are themselves acknowledged to be void of Consciousness, can never possibly result from any Composition of such Qualities.
Though Consciousness be a real Quality, and different from all other Qualities, whether known or unknown, which are themselves acknowledged to be void of Consciousness, it can or may result from such Qualities as singly considered are void of Consciousness. Roundness is a real Quality specifically different from other Qualities void of Roundness, and yet maybe the Result or Composition of such Qualities. But in Mr. Clarke’s Sense of real Qualities, I allow this Proposition to be true: but then it reaches not the Case of Consciousness, which I deny to be a generical Power, but affirm to be only a Mode of a generical Power.
 
11. No individual Quality can be transferred from one Subject to another.
This Proposition I allow to be true: The Quality of a Subject can only be the Quality of that Subject wherein it exists, and not of another Subject. The Motion of a System of Matter can only be the Motion of that System. The Consciousness of any Being can only be the Consciousness of that particular Being. And I further observe, that the Motion of a System of Matter one Day can never be the Motion of the same numerical System the next Day, nor the Consciousness of Yesterday be the same numerical Consciousness that I have to Day, let the Being that is conscious in me be divisible or indivisible. The same individual Quality can no more be transferred to the same individual Subject that was formerly the Subject of it, than it can be transferred to another Subject.
 
12. The Spirits and Particles of the Brain, being loose and in a perpetual flux, cannot therefore be the Seat of that Consciousness; by which a Man not only remembers things done many Years since, hut also is conscious that he himself, the same individual Being, was the Doer of them.
Though the Spirits or Particles of the Brain cannot by being in a perpetual Flux be the Seat of that Consciousness, by which I know my self to Day to be the same individual conscious Being that I was a Year ago (for I deny that we have any Consciousness at all that we continue the same individual Being at different times) yet if it be not absurd for Matter to think, Matter must at the same time know that it thinks, or be conscious of its thinking: and if it can know at this instant that it thinks, I can see no reason why it may not remember To-morrow what it thinks of To-day, though some Particles will be then wanting which it has at present. And if it can remember at all, then the Memory of Things may be continued even after we have lost all the Particles of Matter that we had at the Time of the doing them, by continual intermediate repeating, or imprinting afresh our Ideas before they are quite lost or worn out. And it is thus as intelligible to me that the Memory of Things should be preserved by a Being in a Flux, as by a Being that is not so. For the individual Consciousness To-day, can neither in an individual or divisible Being be the individual Consciousness To-morrow: that Consciousness is a perfectly, distinct Action in both Beings from the preceeding Consciousness the Day before. And whenever Mr. Clarke accounts for an indivisible Being’s remembrance of an Action or Thought, I promise to account for Memory in a divisible Being.
 
13. The Consciousness that a Man has at one and the same time is one Consciousness, and not a Multitude of distinct Consciousnesses; as Solidity, Motion, or Colour of any Piece of Matter, is a Multitude of distinct Solidities, Motions, or Colours.
 
14. Consciousness therefore cannot at all reside in the Substance of the Brain or Spirits, or in any, other material System as its Subject, but must be a Quality of some immaterial Substance.
Taking Consciousness for a numerical Power, either as answering to Roundness in a Body, or to a Motion peculiar to a System of Matter, and this Proposition by no means follows from those foregoing: For if Consciousness be a numerical Power, then it answers to never a one of the Heads under which he ranks the Powers of Matter; for it neither answers to an Effect residing in no Subject at all, (if there is any such Thing in Nature, which I utterly deny there is) nor does it answer to Sweetness, or any other sensible Qualities existing in Bodies external to us (for they are only Modes of Thinking or Perceptions in us, and exist not at all in those external Bodies.) Nor, lastly, is it a Power which answers to Figure and Motion, which I agree consist only in the Figures and Motions of the Parts, but agrees or answers to Modes of Figure and Motion. From all which it is plain, that all Mr. Clarke’s Propositions are founded on his considering Consciousness to be something else than what I contend it is; and so though he may demonstrate the Impossibility of Matter’s being conscious in his Sense of the Term Consciousness, yet I deny that he has said one word to prove the Impossibility of Matter’s Thinking in the Sense for which the Term Consciousness stands with me, and I suppose with all those that contend for the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking or being conscious. So that his Demonstration may be granted by me, without affecting the Question between us, since it relates to a Chimera or Idea of his own framing; and thus endless Demonstrations may be made, without understanding Things as they really exist, or any Truth besides the Relations of chimerical Ideas: For I grant his Demonstration to be good, if Consciousness be considered either as a generical Power like Motion and Figure, or as answering to the Sweetness of a Rose, (which is a Sensation or Mode of thinking in us) or as an Effect residing in no Substance at all; then Consciousness cannot inhere in a System of Matter, and his Demonstration reaches no farther. But Consciousness answering to never a one of these Powers, in demonstrating that Consciousness in his Sense cannot inhere in a System of Matter, he has no more reached the Question, than if he had talked of any thing else in the World: for his Usage of the Term Consciousness does not make him one jot nearer the Question, than if he had used a different Term, or a Term that no one would suspect stood for the thing really signified by the Term Consciousness.
 
15. Difficulties that arise afterwards concerning other Qualities of that immaterial Substance, as whether it be extended or unextended, do not at all affect the present Argument.
How far the Difficulty of making immaterial Being extended, affects Mr. Clarke’s Argument, I refer the Reader to Page 220, &c. of my Reflections. And as for the Difficulty of making it unextended, I will speak to that whenever Mr. Clarke defines the Terms Unextended and Being, that I may see what they stand for when joined together; and then I will show how far considering immaterial Being to be an unextended Being affects his Argument, as I have shown how far considering immaterial Being to be an extended Being affects it.
 
Thus I have gone through Mr. Clarke’s Propositions, and shown wherein they fail to clear the Point that he ought to have aimed at: And I conclude with this further Observation, that he has not drawn up one Proposition to show that his Argument is of any use to the Ends and Purposes of Religion, allowing it to be ever so true and just; and therefore for Proof that it is of no use to that end, I refer the Reader to the 225th and the subsequent Pages of the foregoing Reflections.

A Third

DEFENCE

OF AN

ARGUMENT

Made use of in a

Letter to Mr. DODWEL,
To prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the SOUL.

In a Letter to the Author of the Reflexions on Mr. Clarke’s Second Defence, &c.

By SAMUEL CLARKE, D. D. late Rector of St. James’s Westminster.

Arguments seldom work on Men of Wit and Learning, when they have once engaged themselves in a contrary Opinion.
Mr. Hobbes.
We have as much Reason to be satisfied with our Notion of Immaterial Spirit, as with our Notion of Body; and the Existence of the One, as well as the Other. For it being no more a Contradiction that Thinking should exist separate and independent from Solidity, than it is a Contradiction that Solidity should exist separate and independent from Thinking; they being Both but Simple Ideas, independent one from another; And having as clear and distinct Ideas in us, of Thinking, as of Solidity; I know not why we may not as well allow a Thinking Thing without Solidity, that is, Immaterial, to exist; as a Solid Thing without thinking, that, is, Matter, to exist.
Mr. Lock’s Essay, Book II. Ch. 23. §. 32

LONDON:
Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

A Third

DEFENCE

OF AN

Argument, &c.
 
SIR,
 
IN my Last Reply I persuaded my self I had set the Question between us in so clear a Light, that there would have been no need of any new Debate, or of giving our Readers any further trouble in this Matter. But seeing you have found out a seemingly new Distinction, by which you still endeavour to evade the Force of the Argument; And, though your Evasion seems to Me indeed extreamly slight, yet seeing you have thought fit to insist upon it in such a Manner, as if you your self really believed there was some Strength and Weight in it; I shall endeavour to gratify the sincere Desire you profess to have of discovering the Truth, by showing briefly the Weakness and Inconclusiveness of what you have advanced in your Reflections.
In order to prove that Thinking cannot possibly be a Quality or Power of Matter; I said that all the Qualities or Powers, which either Are in Matter, whether they be known or unknown; or are vulgarly Ascribed to it; must of necessity be either,
1st, Real Qualities, truly and properly inhering in the Subject to which they are ascribed: Such as are Magnitude and Motion in Matter. These are always the Sums, or Aggregates of Powers or Qualities of the same Kind, inhering distinctly in the several Parts of the Material Subject. Which not being true of Thinking, it is manifest that Thinking cannot be a Power or Quality of this Sort, inhering in a System of Matter.
Or 2dly, Qualities, not really inhering in the Subject to which they are usually ascribed, but being indeed Modes excited and residing in some other Subject: Such as are Colours, Sounds, and all those which are commonly called the Sensible Qualities of Matter. These do not exist at all in That Subject to which they are usually ascribed; but in some Other Subject. And this also not being applicable to Thinking, it is manifest therefore that Thinking cannot be a Power or Quality of this Kind, in a Material Subject.
Or 3dly, Qualities, not really inhering in any Subject at all, but being mere Abstract Names, or external Denominations, to express certain complex Ideas framed in our Imaginations; or certain general extrinsick, and relative Effects, produced upon particular Systems of Matter by foreign Agents; or certain Dispositions of the particular Systems of Matter, requisite towards the producing of those Effects. Such as are Magnetism, Electricity, Attraction, Reflexibility, Refrangibility, and the like. These have no real Existence by way of proper inhering in any Subject. Which likewise since it cannot be said of Thinking, it is manifest that Thinking cannot be a Power or Quality in a Material System, of this Kind neither.
 
You grant that Thinking, for the Reasons I urged, cannot be a Power or Quality of any of These Kinds: But you Distinguish upon the First Sort; and alledge,
That there are some Real Qualities, truly and properly inhering in the Subject to which they are ascribed; which yet are not, like Magnitude and Motion, Sums or Aggregates of Powers or Qualities of the same Kind, inhering distinctly in the several Parts of the Subject: And that therefore Thinking, though it be not an Aggregate of Powers of the same Kind, may yet nevertheless be a real Quality inhering in Matter.
That Numerical Powers, or particular and Individual Modes, are such real inherent Qualities, residing in a System of Matter, without inhering distinctly in its several Parts: in contradistinction to generical Powers, such as Magnitude and Motion, which you acknowledge to be the Sums of the Magnitudes and Motions of the several Parts.
That, for Instance, the Power of the Eye,() to contribute to the Act of Seeing; the Power of a Clock,() to show the Hour of the Day; the Power of a Musical Instrument,() to produce in us harmonious Sounds; the particular Figures() in Bodies, such as Roundness or Squareness; and particular or individual Modes of Motion,() are such Numerical Powers, not at all resulting from any Powers of the same Kind inhering in the Parts of the System: And that Thinking therefore in like manner, not being an Aggregate of Powers of the same Kind, may yet inhere in a System of Matter, as one of these Numerical or Individual Modes of some Generical Power.()
That, upon this Supposition, of Thinking being a Numerical Mode of some Generical Power of Matter; it may be conceived, that() as the Roundness of a Body, is not the Sum of the Roundnesses of the Parts; nor the Squareness of a Body, the Sum of the Squarenesses of the Parts; nor() the Power of a Musical Instrument to cause an harmonious Sound, the Sum of Powers of the same Kind in the Parts singly considered; nor any particular Mode of Motion, the Sum of the same Modes of Motion in all the several Parts; So the Consciousness() that inheres in a System of Matter, may yet not be the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts.
That the Argument() therefore drawn from Consciousness not being made up of several Consciousnesses, concludes no more against the Possibility of its residing in a System of Matter; than the like Argument() would conclude against the Possibility of the Existence of Roundness, or any other Numerical Mode, in a Body.
For Roundness no more consists of several Roundnesses, than Thinking or Consciousness does of several Consciousnesses.()
And Roundness is as specifically different from other Figures of which it may be composed, as Consciousness is from a Circular Motion.()
So that Sensation may be conceived() to be in the Parts of an Animal’s Body, just as Roundness is in the Parts that compose a Round Body: Each Part has as much of Sensation, singly considered; as each Part of a Round Body, has of Roundness: And when the Parts are duly disposed, whole Thinking is performed, as whole Roundness exists by the Conjunction of Parts.
For Consciousness, being supposed to be a real Numerical Power, such as Roundness is; may result from the Composition of different Qualities, as Roundness does from different Species of Figure: And is consequently a new Quality in the same Subject, of a different Kind or Species from all the component Qualities considered together.
Wherefore, though Consciousness be a real Quality, and different from all other Qualities, whether known or unknown, which are themselves acknowledged to be void of Consciousness; yet it may result from such Qualities as singly considered are void of Consciousness; In like manner as Roundness is a real Quality specifically different from other Qualities void of Roundness, and yet may be the Result or Composition of such Qualities.
That Consciousness may be considered particularly, as an individual Mode or Species of Motion.()
For, as() nothing more goes to the Composition of Roundness, than the Conjunction of several Particles not singly endued with Roundness; so upon This Supposition, nothing more needs go to the Power of Thinking, than the Conjunction of several Particles not each endued with That Species of Motion called Thinking.
This, if I understand you aright, is the Sum and full Strength of what you have urged in your Reflections.
And to This, I answer as follows.
 
It is absolutely impossible and an evident Contradiction, that any Real Quality should truly and properly inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum or Aggregate of a Number of Powers or Qualities, residing distinctly in the several Parts of the System, and being always of the same Kind with the Whole that results from them. For, as the Substance it self of a System of Matter, is nothing but the Sum of its Parts, existing distinctly and independently from each other; and the Whole cannot but be of the same Kind with the Parts that constitute it: So no Power or Quality of the Substance can be any thing else, but the Sum or Aggregate of the Powers of the several Parts; and That Sum or Aggregate, without a Creation of something out of Nothing, cannot but be of the same Kind with the Powers that constitute it. If the Parts of the Substance be similar, then the System it self is an uniform or homogeneous Substance: If the Parts be dissimilar, then the Substance is difform or Heterogeneous: But still always of the same Kind or Kinds with the Parts that compose it. In like manner, if the Powers of the several Parts of the System be similar, the Power of the Whole will be a simple and uniform Power: If the Powers of the several Parts be dissimilar, the Power of the whole will be a compound difform Power: But still always necessarily of the same Kind or Kinds with the Powers of which it is compounded. Since therefore you acknowledge Thinking to be a Power not composed of a Multitude of Thinkings; and it is evident (as shall in the Sequel be made fully appear) that no Powers void of Thinking, can be of the same Kind with the Power of Thinking, so as to be Parts of it, and that from a Composition of Them the Power of Thinking may arise; it follows that Thinking is not a Power made up at all of Parts, and consequently that it cannot reside in a Substance that consists of distinct and independent Parts, such as all Matter is confessed to be.
From the clear Explication of which whole Argument, and to vindicate the Notion from all the Objections and pretended Instances you have brought to the contrary; it is to be observed, that the Terms, Kind, and Species, and of the same Kind or Species, are very ambiguous Terms, and used in great Variety of Significations: Though among Men who seek Truth, and endeavour to express themselves with the greatest Clearness they can, and are willing to understand each others meaning; they do not often cause any considerable Mistakes.
For Example: It is an evident Truth, that All Circles of four Foot Diameter, are of one and the same Kind or Species; and this is what the Logicians call Species specialissima. It is true in another Sense, that All Circles whatever, are of the same Species: In another Sense, that All curvilinear Figures, are of the same Species: In another, that All plain Figures both streight-lined and curvilinear, as opposed to Solids, are of the same Species: And in another, that All Figures whatsoever, whether plain or solid, are of the same Kind or Species; as contradistinguished from Motion or Thinking, or from any Thing else of a totally different Kind. This is what they call the Genus generalius. And beyond This, it is neither True nor good Sense, nor can it in any manner be said, that Figure and Motion, or Figure and Colour, or Figure and Thought, are of the same Kind; Because there is nothing Common in their Idea’s, by which they can be ranked or compared together; save only as they are all comprehended perhaps under the mere Abstract Name of Quality in general.
In like manner; All Squares of two Foot Diameter are specifically different from All Squares of one Foot Diameter; but not in the same Sense, nor so much, as Both are from Parallelograms: And All Parallelograms differ specifically from All Squares; but not so, as Both do from Triangles: And All Triangles differ specifically from All quadrilateral Figures; but not so, as Both do from Spheres or Cylinders: And Spheres or Cylinders differ specifically from all Streight-lined Figures; but not so, as They and All Other Figures differ from Motion, or from a Taste or a Sound; or as Figure or Motion does from a Thought. Which makes it appear by the Bye, with what Truth and Sense you affirm,() that Roundness is as specifically different from all other Figures, as Consciousness is from a Circular Motion; That is, that a Circle differs from an Ellipsis (suppose) or from a Parabola, not only as much as it differs from a Cube, but even as much as it differs from the Reason of a Man: Or, as Logicians would express it, that the Species specialior differs as much from the Species next and immediately superiour to it, as it does from the Genus generalissimum; and not only so, but as it does also from any thing that is not so much as included even in That Genus.
Again: All light Blue Colours differ specifically from All dark Blues; but not so as Both do from Yellow or Scarlet: And Scarlet differs specifically from Blue; but not so, as Both do from the Sound of a Trumpet.
Now to apply This to our present Question. When I affirm that every real Power or Quality inhering in a System of Matter, must of necessity be the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same Kind residing distinctly in the several Parts of that System; it is manifest that by this Term, of the same Kind, is not to be understood the Species specialissima, but some of the Species generaliores. For Example: When I say the Magnitude of a Cubic Foot of Gold, is the Sum or Aggregate of the Magnitudes of its Parts; I do not mean to say, that it is an Aggregate of Cubic Feet, but of other Magnitudes which constitute a Cubic Foot, and which are of the same Kind with it, in the Sense that All Magnitudes are of the same Kind, and may be Parts one of another: But Magnitude and Motion, or Magnitude and Figure, are not in any Sense of the same Kind, and cannot be Parts one of another; Neither can Eigure or Motion be a Piece of a Thought.
In like manner: When I say the Number Twenty is made up of Parts of the same Kind with the Whole; it is evident I do not mean that it is made up of Twenties, but of Other Numbers, which are of the same Kind with it, in the Sense that All Numbers, are of the same Kind, and may be Parts one of another: But Number and Sound, or Number and Colour, are not in any Sense of the same Kind, and cannot be Parts one of another; Neither can Number or Figure, Motion or Magnitude, be a Piece of a Thought.
Again; When I say Roundness or Globosity or any other Figure of a Body, must needs be the Sum of Qualities of the same Kind inhering, in the several Parts; it is plain I do not mean to affirm, that Globosity is made up of Globosities, any more than the Number Twenty is made up of Twenties, or the Motion of a Cubic Foot of Matter made up of the Motions of Cubic Feet; but that a whole Round Figure must necessarily be made up of Pieces of Roundness, which are all of the same Kind with it; just as the Numbers, which are Parts of Twenty, are of the same Kind with the Whole, and the Motions of the Particles of a Cubic Foot of Matter, which are Parts of the Motion of the Whole, are of the same Kind with the Whole Motion. But Figure, and whatever is not Figure, are not in any Sense of the same Kind; Neither can any thing that is void of Figure be part of any Figure whatsoever; nor any thing that is void of Curvity in particular, be part of a round Circumference; nor any thing that is void of that particular Degree of Curvity which makes a Circle of a certain determinate Diameter, be part of the Circumference of That Circle; nor any thing that is void of Thinking; be a Part or Constituent of a Thought.
From hence it clearly appears, that your Distinction of Generical and Numerical Powers, is of no Service to your Cause. For those Powers which you call Numerical, must as necessarily be Aggregates of Powers of the same Kind, as those which you call Generical. It is as evident, that the Round Figure of a Globe, [its superficial Figure,] is the Sum of the Convex Surfaces of its outward Parts: and its Solid Figure, the Sum of all its Solid Parts taken together, considered like so many concentrick Shells or any other Figures which can be constituent Parts of the solid Content of a Globe; as it is that the Motion of a Globe, is the Sum of the Motions of its Parts. And the Convex Outsides of its outward Parts, and the Concentrick Roundnesses of its inwards Parts, are as much of the same Kind with the Whole Roundness or the Whole Globosity, of which they are pieces; as the several distinct Motions or Magnitudes of its Parts, are of the same Kind with the Whole Motion or Magnitude which they constitute. For why is not a Semicircle or the Arch of a Quadrant, of the same Kind with the Circumference of a Circle; and concentrick round Figures, or any other Figures which can be constituent Parts of the solid Content of a Globe, of the same Kind with the Figure of the Globe; as much as the Motion or Magnitude of half a Foot Cube of Matter, is of the same Kind with the Motion or Magnitude of the Whole Foot Cube?
In reality, no other Powers but Numerical Powers, can properly in the present Question come under Consideration at all. For Generical Powers, considered as such, are nothing but Universals, having no being but in the Imagination considering and comparing several Particulars. In the Individuals themselves, wherein alone Powers really exist, they are not General; They are only made General by the considering and comparing together of Particulars; Which Comparison has no Existence but in the Idea; And consequently General or Generical Powers, having no real Existence in things without us, have really neither Parts nor Whole, nor can properly come at all under Consideration in the present Question. It is not Motion or Figure in general, that is made up of Motions and Figures; but it is the Individual Numerical Motion or Figure of a Body, that is made up of the Motions or Figures of its Parts. The Numerical Mode of Motion of the Whole; is always the Sum of the Numerical Modes of Motion of the Parts: The Numerical Mode of Superficial Figure of the Whole, is the Sum of the Numerical Modes of Figure of the Outsides of its Superficial Parts: And the Numerical Modes of Solid Figure of the Whole; is the Sum of the Numerical Modes of Solid Figure of all the Parts taken together. In like manner, if Thinking could inhere in a System of Matter, it would not be Thinking in general, but always some particular Numerical Thought, that would be the Result of the Thinkings of the several Parts.
If you will reply, that by Generical Powers you do not mean General Powers, or Universals, which have no real Existence; (though when you reckon Figure among your Generical Powers, in Opposition to any particular Figure, as Roundness; your words cannot easily bear any other than this absurd Sense;) If, I say, you will reply, that by Generical Powers you do not mean General Powers, but only such Sorts of particular Powers, as Are Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same Kind, in Opposition to such other particular Powers or Qualities, as Are not Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same Kind: I answer, that there is no such Distinction in Nature; But all Powers or Qualities whatever that inhere in Systems of Matter, whether they be such as you instance in for Generical, or such as you instance in for Numerical Powers; are equally and alike Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same Kind. For if by this Term, of the same Kind or Species, you understand the Species specialissima; in that Sense neither the One Sort of Qualities, nor the Other, nor any Wholes in the World, are Aggregates of Parts of the same Kind. It being no more true, that the Magnitude or Motion (which you call the Generical Qualities) of a Foot Cube of Matter, are made up of Cubic Feet Magnitudes, or Cubic Feet Motions; than it is true that the Roundness (which you call the Numerical Quality) of a Globe, is made up of the Like Roundnesses. But if by the Term, of the same Kind, be understood (as common Sense requires, and as I before explained,) the Species generalior; then both the One Sort of Qualities and the Other, and All Wholes in the World, are Aggregates of Parts of the same Kind: It being equally true and evident, that the Round Figure of a Globe, (the Numerical Quality,) is, as to its Surface, made up of Pieces of Surfaces spherically and concentrically Convex; and, as to its Solid Content, made up of concentrick round Figures, or of Shells spherically and concentrically Convex; which, being Pieces of the whole Spherical Surface, or of the whole Spherical solid Content, are respectively of the same Kind with it: as that the Magnitude of a Foot Cube of Matter, (the Generical Quality,) is made up of Inches Cube, or of any other Magnitudes, which, being Pieces of a Foot Cube, are of the same Kind with it.
When therefore you say;() If Powers of the same Kind be understood Generically, then you Do agree that the known Powers of Matter are nothing else but the Sums of Powers of the same Kind; that is, the Figure and Motion of a Body, [the Magnitude and Motion you should more properly have instanced in,] consist of the Figures and Motions [the Magnitudes and Motions] of the Parts: But if the Terms, Powers of the same Kind, be taken Numerically, (that is, as Powers really exist,) then there are Powers inhering in Systems of Matter that are not the Sums of Powers of the same Kind; As, the Roundness of a Body, is not the Sum of the Roundnesses of the Parts: Your Distinction is evidently very groundless. Because in the same Sense that the Roundness of a Body is not the Sum of the Like Roundnesses of the Parts, (for of Other Roundnesses, as of innumerable concentrick Roundnesses, and of the convex Outsides of its minute external Particles, it may be and always is the Sum:) In the same Sense (I say,) that the Roundness of a Body is not the Sum of the [Like] Roundness of the Parts; in that same Sense it is true also, that neither does the Magnitude nor Motion of a Body consist of the [Like] Magnitudes nor Motions of the Parts. And on the contrary: In the same Sense that it is true, that the Magnitude and Motion of a Body does consist of [not the same, but the Different] Magnitudes and Motions of the Parts; in that same Sense it is true likewise, that the Numerical Round Figure of a Body, that is, the Round Figure of its Surface, is the Sum of the Roundnesses, that is, of the round or convex Outsides, of its superficial Parts; and its Solid Figure, is the Sum of all its solid Parts taken together, which (as I before said) may be considered as so many concentrick Shells or any other Figures that can be constituent Parts of the solid Content of a Globe.
And when you say;() It is a Contradiction to Make Consciousness the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts, as it is a Contradiction to make Roundness to consist in the Roundnesses of the Parts; Though you would readily grant, that was Consciousness a generical Power like Figure and Motion, it would be likewise the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts; and so there would be as many distinct Consciousnesses, as there are Particles of Matter, of which the System consists; which you do allow to be very absurd: And again;() If humane Consciousness be a Mode of some generical Power in Matter, it must not be the Sum of the Consciousnesses of the Parts: And;() Did Consciousness answer to Figure and Motion, [the generical Powers;] That would likewise consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts: And again;() Consciousness may result from such Qualities, as singly considered are void of Consciousness; In like manner as Roundness is a real Quality specifically different from other Qualities void of Roundness, and yet may be the Result or Composition of such Qualities: And;() Nor is Consciousness a Power which answers to Figure and Motion [the generical Powers,] which you agree consist only in the Figures and Motions of the Parts; but it agrees or answers to [Numerical] Modes of Figure and Motion: All this, is only amusing your Reader with insignificant Words. For 1st Consciousness, (as I shall hereafter have occasion more particularly to observe) is truly a more generical Power, than either Figure or Motion. For Figure contains under it, nothing but the Modes of Figure; and Motion, nothing but the Modes of Motion: But Consciousness comprehending under it all the Modes of Thinking, contains in it self the Ideas of all the Modes of Figure, and the Ideas of all the Modes of Motion, and infinite Other Ideas besides. Consciousness therefore being a generical Power, not like, but infinitely more so, than Figure and Motion; must, be (according to your own Confession()) the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts; and, so there would be as many, distinct Consciousnesses as there are Particles of Matter, of which the System consists; which you do allow to be very absurd. But 2dly, Let us endeavour to imagine Consciousness, to be, not a Generical, but a Numerical Power or Quality, such as Roundness is; and see what will follow from thence. It cannot be conceived that Consciousness in general is a Numerical Power, any more than Figure in general or Roundness in general. But, as the individual Roundness of a Globe, is a Numerical Quality of that individual Globe; so you can only say that the individual Consciousness, which I find in my self at any particular Moment of Time, is a Numerical Mode of some Power inhering in that System of Matter which constitutes my Brain. Now as the individual Roundness of a Globe is not indeed made up of a Number of the Like whole Roundnesses; (even as the Number a Hundred, is not made up of Hundreds, nor the Magnitude of a Foot Cube, made up of Feet Cube; nor any Whole whatever, made up, of a Number of the like Wholes;) but yet must needs be made up, of such Figures, as are Parts of Roundness, nay Parts endued with that particular numerical Degree of Curvity or Roundness; and cannot be made up of straight Lines, nor of any Figures which are not Pieces of Roundness, or not Pieces endued with that particular determinate Degree of Curvity or Roundness: So the individual Consciousness that I find in my self at any particular Moment of Time, (supposing it to be a Quality inhering in a System of Matter,) must be made up, though not indeed of a Number of the very same Consciousnesses, yet of such Powers as are as much of the same Kind with that Numerical Consciousness, as Arches of Circles are of the same Kind with the whole circular Circumference; or Pieces of Surfaces spherically and concentrically Convex, are of the same Kind with the whole Spherical Surface composed of them all: That is, it must be made up of Different Consciousnesses indeed, but still Consciousnesses only, and not Motions or Figures, or any thing else; any more than the Roundness of a Circle can be made up of straight Lines, or of Colours, or Sounds, or any thing else besides Pieces of circular Roundness; or than the Surface of a Sphere, can be made up of any thing else than little Surfaces having every one of them the very same spherical and concentrick Convexity; or than an Extended or Solid Substance, can be made up of any other Ingredients, than such as are Themselves Pieces of Extended or Solid Substance. It is by no means true, which you affirm,() that Roundness is a new Quality, of a different Kind or Species from all the component Qualities considered together; or that() it may be the Result or Composition of Qualities void of Roundness; Since it cannot be affirmed of any part of the Arch of a Circle, that it is wholly void of Circularity; as a straight Line is: And in like manner, it is by no means possible, that() Consciousness may result from such Qualities, as singly considered are void of [all kind of] Consciousness; as Motion or Figure is. Nay further: Every Part of the Circumference of a Circle, is not only not wholly void of Roundness, but has really as much Roundness or Curvity (as much in Degree, though not so much of it in Quantity,) as the whole Circle it self has; For the same Reason as one Circle has as much Roundness, as Twenty; or one Inch Cube of boiling Water, as much Heat [in Degree] as Twenty; or one Foot Square of a white Surface, as much Whiteness as Twenty: And therefore Consciousness in like manner, if it was a Quality answering to, or that could be compared with, the Roundness of a Circle; must consist of Parts, every one of which would have as much Consciousness [in Degree] as the Whole.
From the same Principles may easily be shown the Absurdity of all the rest that you have advanced, upon your favourite Instance of ROUNDNESS.
You say that the Argument drawn from Consciousness’s not being made up of several Consciousnesses, concludes no more against the Possibility of Its residing in a System of Matter; than the like Argument would() conclude against the Possibility of the Existence of Roundness in Body; which no more consists of several Roundnesses, than Thinking or Consciousness does of several Consciousnesses; and is as specifically different from other Figures, as Consciousness is from a circular Motion. But I think I have shown, that the Instances are not alike; and that Roundness does not consist of Qualities so different from Roundness, as you suppose Consciousness to be made up of Qualities different from Consciousness; that is, that the Roundness of the whole Circumference of a Circle, is not so specifically different from the Convexity of the little Arches, of which it consists; or the Roundness of a whole Globe, from the little spherically and concentrically Convex Pieces of Surfaces, of which it is composed; as Consciousness is from a circular Motion, or from Motion in a Square, or any Motion at all, or any other thing whatever that is wholly void of Consciousness. For Roundness can consist of nothing but Pieces of Roundness, that differ from it specifically only in the very lowest Sense of the Word specifically; or rather they do not differ from it at all specifically, but in Magnitude only, as the Part from the Whole; it being hardly good Sense, to say that the Number Twenty differs specifically from the Number Ten; or that 360 Degrees, or 60 Degrees, differ specifically from 20 Degrees, or from 20 Seconds, or from any other Part of One and the same Arch; Every part of which, has necessarily (as I before said) just as much Roundness or Curvity [in Degree,] as the whole Arch or whole Circle it self has: But Thinking, if it be made up of Qualities utterly void of Thought, as Motions, Figures, and the like; must consist of Qualities generically different from it self, in the highest Sense of the Word generically they being under no common genus, and having no similitude, nothing common one with another in their Ideas; and consequently cannot with any Sense be compared at all one with another, or be compounded one of another; any more than Circles and straight Lines, or Colours and Sounds, Numbers and Tastes, Figures and Motions, or any things whose Ideas have nothing common or alike betwixt them.
Again: You alledge() in behalf of Roundness as well as Thinking, that it is so far from being as certain as an Arithmetical Demonstration, that such a particular Power is a Whole bigger than all its Parts; that it is an Arithmetical Demonstration, that such a particular Power as Roundness is, is but just equal to all she Parts of which that Roundness consists. For what more goes to the Composition of Roundness, than the Conjunction as several Particles not singly endued with Roundness? And —— what more goes to the Power of Thinking, than the Conjunction of several Particles not each endued with —— Thinking? But here also your Comparison is nothing to the Purpose. For, when you ask, what more goes to the Composition of Roundness, than the Conjunction of several Particles not singly endued with Roundness? If by not singly endued with Roundness, you mean not singly endued with [the same whole] Roundness; then your Assertion is no more than this, that the Parts of Roundness are not a Number of the same Wholes; or that the several Pieces of the Circumference of a Circle, are not so many Whole [Same] Circumferences: And then I answer, neither would the Parts of Thinking (if it inhered in a System of Matters be so many Whole [the Same] Thoughts. But if you mean, that a Round Figure is a Composition of Particles not singly endued with [any Part of] Roundness, any [Curvity] at all; then your Assertion is directly false: And such a Roundness, would be a Whole bigger than all its Parts; just as I said Consciousness would be, if it was made up of Motions or any other Qualities void of Consciousness. If you imagined Thinking to be made up of innumerable different Consciousnesses, as the Roundness of the Circumference of a Circle is made up of innumerable convex Arches, which are Pieces of Roundness; then indeed, and then only, your Comparison would be good: But to suppose Thinking made up of Powers utterly void of Consciousness, is like supposing the Circumference of a Circle to be made up of straight Lines utterly void of Convexity; (or rather like supposing it to be made up of Sounds or Colours, or whatever else can be imagined even still more remote from the Idea of Roundness:) And This is evidently making a Whole bigger than All its Parts, that is, containing something different from, something over and above, something more than All its Parts taken together; nay, such a Whole, the Sum of whose Parts neither make up the Whole it self, nor any Part of it: Which is a plain Contradiction. It is evident, that no Whole can possibly differ from All its Parts in any thing else, but only in the Abstract Name, the mere external Denomination of its being a Whole; which is nothing at all in the Thing Itself, but merely a manner of Conception, a Conjunction of Ideas In the Imagination of the Person that beholds of thinks upon it. Thinking, if it was the Quality of a System of Matter, that is, the Sum or Whole of the Powers of its Parts; must differ from the distinct Powers of those Parts, no otherwise than as the Idea of the Roundness of a Circle differs from the Idea of the Roundness of two Semicircles (or of four Quadrants) joined together; or as the Idea of Twice Six, differs from the Idea of the Number Twelve. If therefore Thinking was, as you suppose, a Composition or Result of several Powers; and those Powers such, as were Themselves utterly void of Consciousness; Thinking would be either a mere outward Denomination, and nothing at all really in the Thinking Substance it self; just as a Dozen is only a mere Name, and nothing at all differing really in the thing it self from Twelve Units; Which is what you will not affirm: Or else it must unavoidably be a Whole bigger than All its Parts; that is, containing All its Parts, and Thinking besides: Just as the Curve Circumference of a Circle would contain more of Curvity in it than All its Parts taken together, if it could be composed of Lines that had none of them singly any Curvity at all; or a Cube would be bigger than All its Parts, if it were made up of Parts that had none of them singly any Magnitude at all.
[If upon this you will forsake your first Instance, and, seeking still for new Similitudes, alledge that a Square Figure (suppose) may consist of Parts, that are none of them singly endued with any thing like Squareness: I answer, that the Squareness of the Figure of a Body, is a mere external Denomination, a mere relative comparing together in the Imagination the Bounds of a Surface, the Situation of four straight Lines with respect one to another; and has not properly any real Existence in Things themselves, so as Consciousness is acknowledged to have in the Thinking Substance. The like may be said concerning all other Qualities, whose Essence consists merely in the relative comparing the Situation or other Respects of the Parts of a Body one towards another: Such kind of Qualities having really no proper Numerical Existence, save only in the Idea. And Roundness it self, being considered in the same manner, might this way likewise afford a just Answer to your Argument drawn from thence.]
Lastly, You affirm() that Sensation is in the Parts of an Animal, as Roundness is in the Parts, which compose a round Body: Each Part has as much of Sensation, singly considered, as each Part of a round Body has of Roundness; And when the Parts are duly disposed, whole Thinking is performed, as whole Roundness exists, by the Conjunction of Parts. But from what has been already said, I presume it is evident enough, that Senseless Figure or Motion cannot be so a Part of Sensation or a Piece of a Thought, as a Semicircle or Quadrant is a Piece of a Circle. To affirm that it can; viz. that Figure or Motion wholly void of Sense, can be so a Part of Sensation; is plainly (as I have before shown) the very same Thing, as if you should affirm that a Line wholly void of Curvity, could be so a Piece of the Circumference of a Circle, as the Arch of a Quadrant is; or that something that has no Solidity and no Extension, might yet be a Constituent Part of an Extended and of a Solid Substance.
I have shown that no part of the Circumference of a Circle, is wholly void of Roundness. If therefore Sensation is (according to your Assertion) in the Parts of an Animal, as Roundness is in the Parts that compose a round Body; and each part has as much of Sensation, singly considered, as each part of a round Body has of Roundness; It will follow, not (as you intended) that Sensation can arise from a Conjunction of Particles utterly void of Sense; (for the Circumference of a Circle cannot be made by a Conjunction of Lines, or the Superficies of a Sphere by a Conjunction of Surfaces, utterly void of Curvity:) but, on the contrary, it will follow that some Degree of Sensation is really in every part of the Animal, singly considered; as some Degree of Curvity is necessarily in every part of the Circumference of a Circle, or of the Surface of a Sphere. And so you run unavoidably into that confessedly absurd Notion, that() there are as many distinct Consciousnesses as there are Particles of Matter, of which the Thinking System consists.
 
I am afraid our Readers are sufficiently tired with ROUNDNESS. The other Instances you alledge, to prove that a Quality or Power inhering in a System of Matter, needs not be the Result of Powers or Qualities of the same Kind, residing in the Parts of the System; are still less to your purpose. For it is very evident concerning Those and all other possible Instances, that they never are nor can be any thing else, but the Sums of Powers or Qualities of the same particular uniform Kind with the Whole, when that Whole is Simple and Homogeneous; or of the same General Kind with it, when it is Complex and Heterogeneous. Which since you acknowledge cannot be the Case of Thinking, it will follow that Thinking cannot be a Power or Quality residing in a System of Matter.
The Power of a Clock to show the Hour of the Day, is not indeed a Result from the like individual Powers residing in the several Parts; any more than the Number a Thousand, is the Result of a Composition of Thousands; or Any Whole, a Composition of a Multitude of the same Wholes: But, as the Number a Thousand is the Sum of a great many Numbers, but cannot with any Sense be imagined to be a Composition of Sounds or Colours; so the Numerical Power of a Clock, being it self nothing but Motion and Figure, cannot be the Result of any other Powers in the Parts, but such as are themselves singly of the same Kind, in the manner before explained; namely, Motions and Figures. And in like manner my present Numerical Consciousness, if it were at all a Quality inhering in a System of Matter; though it need not indeed be the Sum of a Multitude of the like individual Thoughts, inhering in the several distinct Parts of the System; yet it must be the Sum of Such Powers in the Parts, as would themselves singly be of the same Kind, namely Consciousnesses or Thoughts: It being equally, and for the very same Reason, impossible that my Consciousness should be the Result of such Powers in the Parts of my Brain, as are toto genere different from Thinking, and have nothing in their Ideas common with it or alike to it; (such as are Figure and Motion, and all other Powers which are void of Consciousness;) as that the fore-mentioned Number a Thousand, should be a Composition of Sounds or Colours, or of any thing else but Numbers.
The Power of a Musical Instrument to produce Harmonious Sounds,() is not indeed a Result from the like individual Powers residing in the several Parts of the Instrument; any more than the Circumference of a Circle is made up of a Number of the like whole Circumferences: But, as the Circumference of a Circle is the Sum of a Multitude of convex Arches of like Curvity, but cannot be an Aggregate of Straight Lines, or of Cubic Bodies, or of Arches of unlike Curvity; So the Harmony produced by a Musical Instrument, being it self, in the Mind that perceives it, nothing but Sound; and, in the Instrument, and in the Air, and in the Organs of Sensation, nothing but a Motion of Parts; cannot be the Result or Composition of any other Powers, but what are themselves singly of the same Kind in the several Subjects respectively; namely, in the Mind that perceives them, Sounds likewise; and, in the Instrument it self, and in the Air, and in the Organs of Sensation, Motion of the Parts. And in like manner Consciousness, if it were a Power inhering in a System of Matter, could not be the Result of any other Powers in the Parts, but some sorts of Consciousness; for the very same Reason as the Circumference of a Circle cannot (as was before said) be an Aggregate of straight Lines, or of Cubic Bodies; nor an Harmonious Sound a Composition of Colours, or of any thing else beside Sounds.
The Power of the Eye to see,() is nothing else but such a Power, as is in the Object Glasses of Telescopes, of Transmitting and Refracting Rays of Light, so as to paint the Image of the Object in the Bottom of the Eye. And This is evidently nothing but the Sum of Powers of the same Kind, namely, Powers of Transmitting and Refracting of Rays, residing distinctly in the several Parts of the Eye or of the Glass. Every Part of the Eye, Transmits and Refracts Rays; and those Rays paint several Parts of the Image: And the Whole Image, differs no otherwise from all its Parts, nor That which you call the Numerical Power of the Whole Eye, from the single Powers of all its Parts; than the Idea of a Dozen differs from the Idea of Twelve Units: Which, if it be as great a Difference, as is between the Idea of Consciousness and the Idea of a Circular or any other Motion,() I will confess I have lost my Understanding.
But there is still a further peculiar Unhappiness in your choosing to instance in the Power of the Eye to contribute to the Act of seeing, as a Numerical Power of a System of Matter, that does not inhere in the Parts of that System, and in your affirming, that() upon dividing or varying the least Part of the Eye, the Power of contributing towards the Act of Vision is entirely at an End. For so far is this from being true, (excepting only accidentally upon account of the Softness and Fluidity of the Matter of the Eye,) that on the contrary, not only every Part of the Eye (as I now said) Transmits and Refracts Rays, in order to paint at the Bottom the several Parts of the Image of the Object; (and the Power of the Whole Eye, is nothing more than the Sum of those Transmissions and Refractions:) but moreover even every Part of the Eye has the same Power as the Whole, (differing only in Degree,) of painting at the Bottom the Whole Image of the Object. For, as each Half of a broken Object Glass of a Telescope, or any Piece of it that retains the Polish on both Surfaces, will represent distinctly the Whole Object, only with less Brightness and Luminousness than the whole Glass would do; so each part of the Eye, paints every part of the whole Object: And, if half of the Eye, or almost the Whole Eye be covered, so that you look only through a Pinhole placed on the right side, or on the left side, or upon the middle of the Pupil; still the whole Object is seen distinctly, even by that very small Part of the Eye; And consequently the Power of the Eye is the same both in the Whole, and in every Part.
And the same that has been said concerning these several Instances you chose to insist upon, may with very little Variation be said likewise concerning all other Powers whatsoever that do or can reside in any System of Matter; The right Explication of the Nature of which Powers, shows even your own Instances to be so many unanswerable Arguments against the Assertion you brought them to support.
 
This, I presume, may be sufficient to prove against you in the general, that Every Power or Quality residing in any System of Matter, must of Necessity be the Sum or Aggregate of Powers of the same Kind, residing distinctly in the several Parts of the System: And consequently, that Whatever Power is not an Aggregate of such Powers; as you confess Consciousness or Thinking is not; cannot be at all a Power or Quality of Matter.
 
Not without some Unwillingness you seem at last to determine in particular what Sort of Generical Power in Matter, you imagine() Thinking to be a Numerical Mode of. You suppose Consciousness to be a Mode of Motion: You speak of() Thought as a Species of Motion: And you conceive it a proper Expression, to mention a certain Species of Motion, called Thinking.()
You desire indeed() it may not be imputed to you as your Opinion, since you only take the Liberty to Suppose it. But This will not serve you for an Evasion, when the Absurdity of the Notion is proved upon you. For you declare it as your positive Opinion,() that Human Consciousness or Thinking is a Mode of Some Generical Power in Matter. What that Generical Power is, you will not positively determine; But you Suppose it to be Motion. Now I presume you Suppose That which you judge the most probable, and which you think will best serve your purpose in explaining the Nature of Thinking. I shall prove presently, that Nothing can be more absurd, than to Suppose Thinking to be a Mode of Motion. The same Arguments will prove no less strongly, that it is not possible for Thinking to be a Mode of Figure, or of any other known Property of Matter. And also that it is not possible for it to be a Mode of any unknown Power of Matter, which in the general is void of Thinking; Because every unknown Power which is void of Thinking, is as different from Thinking, as Motion it self is, or Figure, or any other known Power; for the same Reason that a Smell or a Taste, or any other known or unknown Quality which is not a Colour, must of Necessity be as different from Blue or Scarlet, as the Sound of a Trumpet is. When therefore I have shown the Absurdity of your Supposition,() that Thinking is a Mode of Motion; I shall likewise have shown the Absurdity of your declared Opinion,() that Human Consciousness or Thinking is a Mode of Some Generical Power in Matter.
Now to prove the Absurdity of Supposing Consciousness to be a Mode of Motion, I offer the following Arguments.
1. Every Mode of any Power or Quality, is nothing else but That Power or Quality of which it is a Mode, understood with some particular Limitation; that is to say, it is nothing but a particular Instance of that general Power or Quality; nothing but the general Power or Quality, considered under this or that particular Modification. Blue and Red, and all other Modes of Colour, are nothing but several particular Colours; and can contain nothing in their Idea, beyond the Genus of Colour. Acute and Grave, and all other Modes of Sound, are nothing but several particular Sounds; and can contain nothing in their Idea, beyond the Genus of Sound. Circular and Triangular, and all other Modes of Figure, are nothing but several particular Figures; and can contain nothing in their Idea, beyond the Genus of Figure. In like manner All Modes of Motion, are nothing else but merely particular Motions; and cannot contain any thing in their Idea, beyond the Genus of Motion. Now if Simple Ideas be the Foundation of all our Knowledge; and clear and distinct Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of those Ideas, be the best and greatest Criterion of Truth, that our Faculties inable us to attain to; then it is as evident as any Truth in the World, that Consciousness cannot possibly be a Mode of Motion. For I have as clear and distinct a Perception, that the Idea of Consciousness contains something in it besides and beyond the Genus of Motion, as I have that it contains something in it beyond the Genus of Figure. The Idea of Consciousness is as totally and generically different from the Idea of a Circular Motion, or an Elliptical Motion, or any other Mode of Motion whatsoever, as it is from the Idea of a Circle or a Cube, or any other Mode of Figure whatsoever. I have therefore exactly the same intuitive Certainty, that Consciousness cannot be a Mode of Motion, as I have that a Circle or a Cube is not a Thought, or that an Acute Sound is not a Purple Colour, or that any one thing in the World is not another, whose Idea is the remotest and most different from it, that can be imagined. To suppose Consciousness to be a Mode of Motion, is really a greater Absurdity, (if possible) than it would be to suppose Roundness to be a Property of a Square; Because the Idea of Local Motion and the Idea of Thinking, having no common Genus, nothing wherein they agree or can be compared together; are evidently more different one from another, than the Ideas of any two plain Figures can be, which have a common Genus. And your Question,() What more goes to the Power of Thinking, than the Conjunction of several Particles not each endued with That Species of Motion called Thinking? Is truly more ridiculous, than if a Man should ask, What more goes to the making up of a Scarlet Colour, than the Conjunction of several Particles not each endued with That Species of Sound, called Scarlet? Because no two sensible Qualities are in their Ideas so different one from another, as the Idea of Consciousness, is from the Idea of Local Motion.
Local Motion can have no other effect upon any System of Matter, than only producing in it a different juxta position of Parts. To which to ascribe Thinking, Mr. Lock himself, who had no Prejudice against the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, acknowledges it is very Absurd. To suppose, saith he,() the Eternal thinking Being [or any finite thinking Being] to be nothing else but a Composition of Particles of Matter, each whereof is incogitative; is to ascribe all the Wisdom and Knowledge of that Eternal Being [or the Wisdom and Knowledge, and all the Powers of the Finite thinking Being] only to the juxta position of Parts. Than which nothing can be more absurd. For unthinking Particles of Matter, however put together, can have nothing thereby added to them, but a new Relation of Position, which it is impossible should give Thought and Knowledge to them.
2. If Thinking was any Mode or Species of Motion, it would follow that All Motion would be some degree or kind of Thinking. For Motion, in the Thing Moved, excepting only the Difference of Degrees of its Swiftness or Slowness, is a Similar Quality, and has no Variety in it: All its different Determinations, or those which you call its Modes and Species, being nothing really in the Body it self that is moved; but mere Abstract Notions or external Denominations, conceived only in our Imagination. For, moving with one Determination, or with another; from North to South, or from South to North; is merely relative, and not really a different thing in the Body moved; that one of those Motions should be Consciousness, the other not. In like manner Circular Motion, or Motion in any other Figure, is not any thing really and truly inhering in the Body it self, different from Motion in a straight Line. For the Determination of any Body that moves in a Circle, is nothing else, at any given Point of Time, but a Determination to move in a certain streight Line; and, at another given Point of Time, to move in another streight Line; and so on: so that there is no such thing as a circular Motion of any Particle of Matter, coexistent at once; but all Motion is, strictly and properly speaking, a similar and uniform Quality, viz. a Body’s Going on according to its Determination; Which Determination is always in a straight Line; and causes the Body to go on actually in a straight Line, where it meets with no Resistance; and where it meets with Resistance by Intervals, there to go on into new straight Lines successively, into which it is diverted by such Resistance; and, where it meets with continual Resistance, there to go on in a Curve Line, into which it is continually diverted: And every such curvilinear Motion, whether circular or of any other Species whatsoever, is but the Idea of a Number of Successive Motions of a Body, never existent together; a pure Ens Rationis, or Operation of the Mind; which considering Past Motion and Future, and recollecting the Whole by the Memory and Fancy, calls That Whole sometimes by one Denomination and sometimes by another. How then can any of those Modes of Motion be the Efficient of Thought, or (according to your Supposition ) be themselves Thought; when they are evidently nothing but the Effect and Product of it, viz. Ideas framed merely by the Imagination and Memory?
And the same that has been said concerning the Modes of Motion of a single Body, may easily be applied to the Modes of Motion of any Number of Bodies, in any System or Composition whatsoever. It being very evident, that if the Progression of One Particle of Matter directly in a straight Line, be not Consciousness or Thought; the like Progression of Twenty Particles at the same time in straight Lines, cannot be Consciousness neither: The Position of those Lines with respect one to another, which determines the particular Mode of Motion of the whole System, being merely imaginary, relative, and comparative; a figment only in the Mind or Imagination, and not any thing really existing in the Bodies themselves, at any one and the same Moment of Time.
In like manner the Impulse also, or Beating of one Particle of Matter against another, is a thing similar, and in all Cases alike; differing in nothing but in the Degrees or Quantity of the Force: And therefore must always and in all Cases, if ever in Any Case at all, be some Degree of Thought. From whence it would follow, that there must be as many several incoherent Consciousnesses, as there are Particles of the Brain or Spirits, or of any other Matter in any System, that ever dash one against another: Which is what you are not willing to affirm.
3. If Consciousness were a Mode or Species of Motion; then Motion would be the more generical Power; containing Thinking under it, as (in the Language of Logicians) the Genus does the Species. But on the contrary it is evident (as I before observed) that Thinking (though simple and not compounded of Parts,) is, in the Sense we are now speaking of, a Power infinitely more generical than either Motion or Figure, or any other Power of Matter; and consequently cannot be a Mode or Species of any of them. There are as many Ideas of Figure, as there are Figures; and as many Ideas of Motion, as there are Modes of Motion; and as many Ideas of other things, as there are other things in the World, that can be thought upon: And all these Ideas, are Modes and Sorts, or Kinds of Thinking. Now if Thinking is a Power more various, more extensive, more generical, than Motion; it is manifest it cannot be a Mode or Species of Motion, as Roundness is a Mode or Species of Figure. If Thinking is a Power more generical, than Figure, or Motion, or any other Power of Matter; if it is a Power as universal, as all things taken together, that can be thought upon; it is certainly a generical Power in the highest Degree; And consequently, (if it be at all a Power of Matter,) it will oblige you to run into the Absurdity you declare you would avoid. For, by your own Confession,() you would grant readily, that, was Consciousness a generical Power like Figure and Motion (like Figure and Motion it is not, but infinitely more generical than either of them,) it would be likewise the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts; and so there would be as many distinct Consciousnesses, as there are Particles of Matter, of which the System consists; Which you do allow to be very Absurd.
As Figure is the Genus of all the Species of Figure, so the Idea of Figure is the Genus of all the Ideas of all the Species of Figures: And so the Idea of Motion, is the Genus of all the Ideas of all the Species of Motions; and the Idea of Colour, is the Genus of the Ideas of all the Species of Colours; and the Idea of Sound, is the Genus of the Ideas of all the Species of Sounds; and the Idea of an Animal, is the Genus of the Ideas of all the Species of Animals. The General Ideas of Figure, Motion, Colour, Sound, Animal, &c. are generical Powers of the Mind; And Thinking is the Genus generalius of all those Powers. With what Sense then can it be said to be one of the lower Species, or a Numerical Mode of One of those Powers?
4. If it was the Motion of the Parts of a Corporeal System, on which its Thinking depends; all the Thoughts There, must be unavoidably accidental and limited; because each one of the Particles, that by Motion cause Thought, being in it self without any Thought, cannot regulate its own Motions; much less be regulated by the Thought of the Whole; since that Thought of the Whole, is not the Cause of Motion, (for then it must be antecedent to it, and so without it,) but the Consequence of it: Whereby Freedom, Power, Choice, and all rational and wise thinking or acting, will be quite taken away: So that such a thinking Being, would be no better nor wiser, than pure blind Matter; since to resolve all into the accidental unguided Motions of blind Matter, or into Thought depending on unguided Motions of blind Matter, is the same thing: Not to mention the Narrowness of such Thoughts and Knowledge, that must depend on the Motion of such Parts. But there needs no Enumeration of any more Absurdities and Impossibilities in this Hypothesis, (however full of them it be,) than That before-mentioned; since, let this thinking System be All or a Part of the Matter of the Universe, it is impossible that any one Particle should either know its own, or the Motion of any other Particle; or the Whole know the Motion of every particular; and so regulate its own Thoughts or Motions, or indeed have any Thought resulting from such Motion. This Argument, is Mr. Lock’s own Words, (Book IV. ch. 10. Sect. 17.) to which I cannot but suppose you will give some Deference.
5. If Thinking was a Mode or Species of Motion; then in like manner as it is a proper Expression to say, that Circularity is one Species of Figure, and Squareness a second, and Cubicalness a third, and Ellipticalness a fourth; so it would be proper also to say, that Circular Motion is one Species of Motion, and Motion in a Square a second, and Motion in an Ellipsis a third, and Thinking or Consciousness a fourth; and, I appeal to the common Sense of all Mankind, whether I may not add with exactly the same Reason, that a Tree is a fifth, and a Syllogism a sixth, and Personality a seventh, &c.
[If to this you will reply, that you do not mean as you say, that any particular Motion is it self Thought, but that Thought may be the Result of some particular Motion; I answer in the Words of Mr. Hobbes, that no Result of Motion can ever be any thing else but mere Motion still: (With a different Juxta-position of Parts perhaps; of which before, pag. 273.) And consequently all the foregoing Arguments hold equally good, against one Notion as against the other.]
 
Some of these Absurdities are so very gross, and yet such obvious Consequences of your Notion, that it can hardly be imagined you should have over-looked them. And indeed you do at last endeavour to obviate them in a very effectual manner; In such a manner, by which you may, whenever you please, answer all the Arguments upon any Question in the World; and remove out of your way, not only any Demonstration, but even Intuitive Knowledge it self. You tell me,() that I imagine Consciousness to be Something else than what you contend it is; That() the Term of Consciousness stands with You, in another Sense than with Me: That with You,() it signifies a Numerical Power, answering to Roundness in a Body, or to a Motion peculiar to a System of Matter; but that with Me,() it relates to a Chimera or Idea of my own framing.
Now to This I reply in the Words of Mr. Lock; (Book IV. ch. I. Sect. 4.) A Man infallibly knows, assoon as ever he has them in his Mind, that the Ideas he calls White and Round, are the very Ideas they are; and that they are not other Ideas, which he calls Red or Square.
I think I know infallibly, assoon as ever I have it in my Mind, that the Idea I call Consciousness, Perception or Thinking, is the very Idea it is; and that it is not another Idea, which I call circular Motion, or Elliptical Motion, or Motion in a Square, or the Motion of a Watch or of any other Machine. And I appeal to what every Man finds in his own Mind; whether my Account of Consciousness, or yours which makes it to be merely a Mode of Motion, be the more Chimerical Idea.
Simple Ideas cannot be defined nor described. When any Dispute is carrried so far, as to terminate in questioning the Idea it self; there is nothing then left but to appeal to the Idea which every Man has in his own Mind. If I affirm that this Paper is White, and you will contend that it is Red; we cannot confute one another by Arguments, but must appeal to the Judgment of the World. If a Man will tell me, that by Scarlet-Colour he does not mean That Chimerical Idea which I frame in my own Mind and call by that Name; but that He means thereby, only a certain Numerical Mode of Sound, I know not how he can be confuted, but by appealing to every Man’s own Ideas. The Idea of Consciousness which I have in my Mind, appears to Me an Idea, which I think I clearly and distinctly perceive to be altogether as different from the Idea of any possible Numerical Mode of Figure or Motion, as my Idea of Scarlet-Colour is different from my Idea of the Sound of a Trumpet. If any other Person thinks his Idea of Consciousness, to be the same with his Idea of a circular Motion or of any other numerical Mode of Motion; I conceive there is nothing more to be done, but to permit him to have the Pleasure of continuing to think so, as long as he pleases.
The Sum is This; I affirm that Thinking, cannot possibly be a mere Mode of Motion; because the Idea of Thinking and the Idea of Motion or any of its Modes, have not the least Likeness or Affinity between them. This, you say, proves nothing; because My Idea of Thinking, is a mere Chimera; but Your Idea, of it, is the same as your Idea of some Numerical Mode of Motion. I reply; If this proves nothing, then neither can any Argument in the World ever prove any thing. For, Suppose the Thing in dispute be, whether a Square is a Circle, or whether Blueness is a Taste: I contend this cannot possibly be, because my Idea of a Square includes in it nothing of that Roundness which is my Idea of a Circle; and my Idea of Blueness includes in it nothing like That Sensation, which is my Idea of a Taste. May not another Person answer, that This proves nothing? Because my Idea of a Square, or of Blueness, is a mere Chimera; but His Idea of a Square, is the same as his Idea of a round Figure; and his Idea of Blueness, the same as his Idea of some certain Taste.
To conclude. In reviewing this whole Matter, I can hardly persuade my self, but that you have mistaken your own Argument. Some ingenious Persons in the present Age have indeed undertaken to maintain, that God, by the immediate Exercise of his Omnipotence, may make Matter Think; notwithstanding it be impossible that Thinking should result naturally, from any Composition or Division of the original Properties of Matter. I suppose they meant, that to Matter disposed in a certain Manner, and put into some particular Modes of Motion, Omnipotence could Superadd the Power of Thinking. I think the Argument drawn from the Divisibility of Matter, proves that Matter is not a Subject capable of such a Superaddition: And if it be not; then recurring to the Divine Omnipotence for the making out an Impossibility, is not magnifying but destroying the Power of God; as indeed all contradictory Apprehensions concerning any of his Perfections, are really and in event destructive of our whole Notion of God; and have no other Effect, than to give profane Men an occasion of scoffing at Religion. However, that Assertion had the Appearance (though a very false one) of being founded in a certain modest Apprehension concerning the Inconceivable Extent of the Divine Power. But that any Mode of Motion should be (not a previous Disposition or Qualification, towards capacitating Matter for the Addition of such a Power; but that it should be) Thinking it self; when all the Matter supposed to be in that Motion, is acknowledged otherwise to be void of Thought: This is such an extravagant Absurdity, as may justly cause Wonder how it should ever enter into the Heart of any rational Man; especially in an Age, wherein Philosophical Knowledge has received so considerable Improvements.
 
Having thus particularly answered the Argument wherein you placed your main Strength; It remains that I take notice of some Incidents in your Reflections, wherein I think you have either greatly misrepresented Me, or give very disadvantagious Representations of your own Philosophy.
 
In the Question, Whether a System of Matter can have a Power of Thinking, or an Individual Consciousness superadded to it, or flowing from any Modification of that System; you said, you understood by a Power of Thinking, only Actual Thinking, and not a Capacity of Thinking.
I replied, there was no need of making any such Distinction; because my Argument was of equal force, in whatever Sense the Term Consciousness was understood; whether to signify the Capacity of Thinking, or Actual Thinking, or the Reflex Act of being Conscious that I Think.
Upon this, you make a long Expostulation,() what occasion I had for contending with you about the Sense you fixed to the Terms. I did not contend much about it: But the Occasion of saying what I did, was, because in all Questions, the greater Latitude of Signification the Terms may be allowed to be understood in, without making any Alteration in the Strength of the Proof, the clearer and stronger such Proof always is; and the less Perplexity, or room for quibbling, remains in the Question it self.
You ask;() Have you not understood me in a Sense that answered all the Ends and Purposes of my Argument? My Argument was indeed conclusive in the Sense you understood me in: But I had no reason to approve of your confining me to that Sense only, when the Argument was equally conclusive in any other Sense the Reader might happen to understand the Terms in.
You say,() you have taken but the same Liberty I allow to every other Reader. But, if I mistake not, there is some Difference between allowing the Reader to take the Term Consciousness in which of the Three fore-mentioned Senses he pleases; and allowing You to confine it to One of those Senses, exclusive of the others.
I affirmed that the Reader needs not trouble himself with the Nicety of Distinction between a Capacity of Thinking, actual Thinking, and the Reflex Act of Thinking; but may understand Consciousness indifferently in all or any of these Significations.
This Sentence, you think,() contains one of the nicest Distinctions that ever you met with; being as much as to say, that the Reader need not understand Consciousness indifferently in any of the before-mentioned Significations, and yet may understand it indifferently in any of these Significations. But Where is the Niceness (the Ridiculousness I suppose you mean) of saying that the Reader may take a Word in a Sense, which yet he is not under a Necessity of taking it in, but may likewise take it in some Other Sense if he pleases?
You add:() For you cannot See, but that whoever understands Consciousness in any one of those Significations, must use that Nicety of Distinction I complain of, whether he will or no; For by Restraining Consciousness to any One of those Significations, he necessarily distinguishes That One from the other Two: And that therefore you must needs own, you cannot See the least Reason I had to blame you for a needless Distinction, when I allow you to understand Consciousness indifferently in three Significations, one of which you did assign as your Meaning or Idea of that Word. But, if you please to look once again, I suppose you will be able to See, that there is no absolute Necessity for him that understands Consciousness in any One of those fore-mentioned Significations, to Restrain it to That One Signification; as you desired to do.
Lastly, You alledge() that the whole Dispute turns upon the present Distinction of the Significations of the Word Consciousness; And to prove that it does so, you cite a Sentence out of my Letter to Mr. Dodwell, wherein the Word Conscious cannot be understood in any other Sense, than to signify actual Thinking. It is true; in that Sentence the Word was so used; And in the very same Sentence it was also used Otherwise. Now, because in that Passage which you made the Occasion of our present Debate, I once used the Word in such a Manner, as that the Nature of the Thing accidentally confined it to that Signification; though in the more emphatical Part of the very same Sentence, it was used in a larger Sense; Does this prove that the whole Dispute now turns upon any Distinction of the Signification of that Word? You might as well have said, it proves the remotest Thing in the World from our present Question. The Sentence it self was This: It is plain, unless Matter were essentially Conscious, —— no System of it in any possible Composition or Division can be an Individual Conscious Being. My Meaning was, that unless Matter were essentially Conscious, that is, unless it were essentially indued with actual Thinking; it might be proved from its Divisibility, that no System of it in any possible Composition or Division, could ever be an individual Conscious Being, that is, could ever either actually Think or attain a Capacity of Thinking. How does it follow now from hence, that because in the former Part of this Sentence, the Word Conscious happens to signify only actual Thinking; therefore in the Question, [Whether Consciousness can inhere in a System of Matter,] the Word Consciousness may not be understood at large, to signify either actual Thinking, or a Capacity of Thinking? Between which, after all, there is no great Difference at the Bottom.
Upon the whole; why you should be displeased with me for allowing the Terms of the Question to be understood in the greatest Latitude, and for endeavouring to prove more than you expected, viz. that no System of Matter could either have actual Thinking, or so much as any Capacity of Thinking; I could not imagine. And why you made such a Stir about a Distinction, which did and still does appear to me to be very needless; I could conceive no other Cause, but only that you might perplex the Question.
Thus I have given you the Reason, you Demanded, of my Conduct in this Matter:() I do not Demand of You, but leave it to your Discretion, to choose whether you will give any Reason of yours, or no: For, (if you will give me leave to use your own Expression) I cannot assign a good one for you.()
You ask;() If the Soul or Principle of Thinking be Undivided, how can it think successively, divide, abstract, combine or ampliate, retain or revive Impressions in the Memory? And how can it be capable, partly or wholly to forget any thing? And the Corporeity of the Soul, you think, is further proved experimentally, from our being tired with contemplating, as much as with singing and dancing; from the Reaction of our Thoughts or of our Ideas and Words, mutually exciting each other; and from the Forgetfulness of Children and Old People, upon any cause that discomposes the Organ.
To this I answer. The Reason why the Soul or Principle of Thinking, though, it self Undivided, yet thinks successively, divides, abstracts, combines or ampliates, retains or revives Impressions in the Memory, or partly or wholly forgets Things; is because The Whole Soul thinks successively, divides, abstracts, combines or ampliates, retains or revives Impressions in the Memory, or partly or wholly forgets things: And none of these Phænomena can be explained by the various Acts of the various Parts of a Bodily Organ alone.
Our being tired with Contemplation; the mutual Reaction of our Ideas and Words; our Forgetfulness that follows upon certain Defects or Discomposures of the Brain; &c; do not prove that the Soul it self is a Bodily Organ; but only that it Acts upon, and is Acted upon by Bodily Organs; and is assisted by them, as Instruments in its Operations. Experience shows us, that the Sight is bettered by good Telescopes, and the Hearing by Instruments of conveying Sounds; but not that those Instruments therefore Hear or See: That all Sensation is bettered by good Organs of Sense; but not that the Organs themselves are Sensible: That Imagination and Memory depend on the Brain; But not that the Brain imagines or remembers. The Organs of the Senses are entirely distinct from one another; But the Thing which perceives by those different Organs, is One and the Same Thing; one Thinking Being, which every Man calls Himself. And this One Thinking Being, has not some Powers in some Parts, and other Powers in other Parts; some Actions in some Parts, and other Actions in other Parts; But all its Powers, are the Powers of the Whole; and All its Actions, are the Actions of the Whole. The Whole Thinking Substance, Sees both the Whole Object, and every Part of it; The same Whole Substance Hears every Sound, Smells every Odour, Tastes every Sapour, and Feels every thing that Touches any Part of the Body. Every Imagination, every Volition, and every Thought is the Imagination, Will, and Thought, of that Whole Thinking Substance, which I call I my self. And if this One Substance (which we usually stile the Soul or Mind) has no Parts, that can Act separately; it may as well be conceived to have none, that can Exist separately; and so, to be absolutely Indivisible.
I alledged that it is Absurd to annex Consciousness to so flux a Substance as the Brain or Spirits; because if such a Substance could be the Seat of that Consciousness, by which a Man not only remembers things done many Years since, but also is Conscious that He himself, the same individual Being; was the Doer of them; it would follow that Consciousness could be transferred from one Subject to another; that is, that a Quality could subsist without inhering in any Subject at all; which all rational Men allow to be impossible. To this you reply;() that in order to retain the Consciousness of an Action, it is necessary to revive the Idea of it, before any considerable Flux of Particles; and by reviving the Idea of that Action, I imprint afresh the Consciousness of having done that Action, by which the Brain has as lively an Impression of Consciousness, (though it be not entirely composed of the same Particles,) as it had the Day after it did the Action, or as if has of a triangle or any other new Idea not before imprinted on it. Consciousness of having done that Action, is an Idea imprinted on the Brain, by recollecting of bringing into View our Ideas, before they are quite worn out; which Idea, continues in me not only the Memory of the Action itself, but that I did it. And if there is every now and then, a Recollection of a past Action; it may hereby be conceived, that a Man may be conscious of things done by him, though he has not one Particle of Matter the same that he had at the doing of those things; Without Consciousness being transferred from one Subject to another, in any absurd Sense of those Words. And again: If Matter can know at this Instant, that it Thinks; you() can see no reason why it may not remember to Morrow what it thinks of to Day, though some Particles will be then wanting which it has at present: And if it can remember at all; then the Memory of things may be continued even after we have lost all the Particles of Matter that we had at the doing them, by continual intermediate repeating or imprinting afresh our Ideas before they are quite lost or worn aut. But the Fallacy of this Reply, is very evident. For to affirm that new Matter perpetually added to a fleeting System, may by repeated Impressions add Recollections of Ideas, participate and have communicated to it a Memory of what was formerly done by the Whole System; is not explaining or proving, but begging the Question, by assuming an impossible Hypothesis. But supposing it were possible, that the Memory in general of such or such an Action’s having been done, might be preserved in the Manner you suppose; yet it is a manifest Contradiction, that the Consciousness of its being done by Me, by my own Individual Self in particular, should continue in me after my whole Substance is changed; unless Consciousness could be transferred from one Subject to another, in the absurdest Sense of those Words. For to suppose that One Substance should be Conscious of an Action’s having been done by it self, which really was not done by It, but by another Substance; is as plainly supposing an Individual Quality to be transferred from One Subject to another, in the most absurd Sense; as it is plain that Consciousness is a real individual Quality, and different from bare general Memory.
If therefore you will answer, (which is the only possible seeming Evasion in this Case,) that That which we call Consciousness, is not a fixt individual numerical Quality, like the numerical Figure or Motion of a solid Body; but a fleeting transferrible Mode or Power, like the Roundness or the Mode of Motion of Circles upon the Face of a running Stream; And that the Person may still be the same, by a continual Superaddition of the like Consciousness; notwithstanding the Whole Substance be changed: Then I say, you make Individual Personality to be a mere external imaginary Denomination, and nothing at all in reality: Just as a Ship is called the same Ship; after the Whole Substance is changed by frequent Repairs; or a River is called the same River, though the Water of it be every Day new. The Name of the Ship, is the same; but the Ship it self is not at all the same; And the continued Name of the River signifies Water running in the same Channel, but not at all the same Water. So if a Man at forty Years of Age, has nothing of the same Substance in him, neither material nor immaterial, that he had at Twenty; he may be called the same Person, by a mere external imaginary Denomination; in such a Sense as a Statue may be called the same Statue, after its whole Substance has been changed by piecemeal: But he cannot be really and truly the same Person, unless the same individual numerical Consciousness can be transferred from one Subject to another. For, the continued Addition or Exciting of a like Consciousness in the new acquired Parts, after the Manner you suppose; is nothing but a Deception and Delusion, under the Form of Memory; a making the Man to seem to himself to be Conscious of having done That, which really was not done by Him, but by Another. And such a Consciousness in a Man, whose Substance is wholly changed, can no more make it Just and Equitable for such a Man to be punished for an Action done by another Substance; than the Addition of the like Consciousness (by the Power of God) to two or more new Created Men; or to any Number of Men now living, by giving a like Modification to the Motion of the Spirits in the Brain of each of them respectively; could make them All to be One and the same individual Person, at the same time that they remain several and distinct Persons; or make it just and reasonable for all and every one of them to be punished for one and the same individual Action, done by One only, or perhaps by None of them at all.
Mr. Lock himself, in the very Place where he contends that Consciousness makes the same individual Person, notwithstanding that the Whole Substance be supposed to be changed; acknowledges expressly, (Book II. ch. 27. Sect. 13.) that such a Continuation of the same Consciousness in a fleeting Substance, would be a representing That to the Mind to have been, which really never was; a representing to One intellectual Substance as done by itself what it never did, and was perhaps done by some other Agent; a Representation without Reality of Matter of Fact, as several Representations in Dreams are; a Transferring by a fatal Errour from One to Another, That Consciousness which draws Reward or Punishment with it; a making Two [or Two Hundred] Thinking Substances, to be but One [Individual] Person; And leaves it to be considered, how far this may be an Argument against those who would place Thinking in a System of fleeting Animal Spirits.
To say here, that God’s Justice and Goodness will not permit him to put any such inevitable Deceit upon Men; is nothing to the Purpose. For if it be but naturally possible for him to do That, which, upon Supposition of the Truth of your Notion, will be a plain Contradiction; this is a certain Demonstration that your Notion is False. And I think it is a Contradiction plain enough, to say that God’s impressing permanently upon a Thousand Mens Minds, after the Manner of the Representation of a Dream, the like Consciousness with that which I find in my own Mind; would make every One of them, to be, not Persons like me, but the same Individual Person with my self. According to such Reasoning as this, Accidents need not have any necessary Dependence on their Substance: And the same individual Substance may as well be conceived to exist in a Thousand Places at once, under like Accidents; as the same Individuating Accidents or Qualities can inhere in a Thousand different Substances at once. By which same Subtilty, (as Believing too much and too little, have commonly the Luck to meet together, like things moving two contrary ways in the same Circle,) all the Absurdities in the Doctrine of Transubstantiation may easily be reconciled.
You() deny that we have any Consciousness at all, that we continue the same Individual Being at different times. If so; it can be to no great purpose for us to dispute about any Thing: For, before you receive my Reply, you may happen possibly to be entirely changed into another Substance; and, the next time you write, may deny that you have any Consciousness at all, that you continue the same Individual Being who wrote this Remarkable Sentence. But to the Assertion, I answer: Either Consciousness proves a Man to be the same Individual Being at different times; Or else it is a mere Deceit and Delusion; and by being added in like manner to other Substances, might (as I said) make an Hundred other Men with equal Justice liable to the same Punishment with himself for any One Individual Action done by Him. But of this more, when I come to speak of the Usefulness and Importance of the present Argument to the Ends and Purposes of Religion.
 
You affirmed,() that The Matter, of which an Egg consists, doth entirely constitute the young One; and that the Action of Sensation began under a particular Disposition of the Parts by Motion: To this I answered; that so far is it from being true, that the Matter of the Egg, by any particular Disposition of its Parts by Motion, is formed into or entirely constitutes the young One; that (according to the best Discoveries by Microscopes and in Anatomy) it does not constitute it at all, not so much as the Body of it; but only serves it for Nourishment and Growth. You reply:() If by our Eyes we can perceive the organized Body of the Animal to be Part of the Matter of the Egg; no Microscopical Observation can destroy such Matter of Fact, and —— make us See Nothing, where we do See Something. Now I am very sorry, Sir, to find you in a serious and important Question descend to so extremely mean and trifling a Quibble. For, This is exactly the same Thing, as if you should say, that by your Eyes you can perceive an inclosed Worm to be Part of the Matter of the Nut it feeds on; or that by your Eyes you can perceive a Man to be Part of the Matter of the House he dwells in.
 
I called Gravitation the Effect of the continued and regular Operation of some Other Being on Matter. You replied;() that it does not appear, but that Matter gravitates by virtue of Powers originally placed in it by God, and is now left to it self to act by those original Powers. To this I answered: That a Law or Power, that is to say, a mere abstract Name, or complex Notion, which is no real Being; cannot impel a Stone, and cause it to begin to Move. You reply again;() that you deny not the Necessity of a Bing impelling another, in order to cause that Mode of Motion called Gravitation: That you suppose it to be caused by the Impulse of Other Bodies: And,() to speak your own Opinion, it seems Matter of Fact to You, that the external Figure and internal Configuration of the Parts of Matter, are those Powers in Matter, by which it receives that peculiar Mode of Motion called Gravitation, from the circumambient impelling Bodies. I did imagine, Sir, when I expressed my self with such brevity in my first Answer, you had been so well acquainted with Natural Philosophy, as not to be ignorant that it has been demonstrated even Mathematically,() that Gravitation cannot arise from the Configuration and Texture of the Parts of Matter, and from the circumambient impelling Bodies; because, if it did, it would not be proportionable to the Quantity of Matter, or the Solid Content of all Bodies, without any regard to their Superficial Proportion; as we find by Experience it is; seeing all Bodies, of all Textures, and all Configurations of Parts, and all Varieties of superficial Proportion; [a Bullet, or a Feather, or a Piece of Leaf-Gold, or a Sheet of Paper;] descend in Vacuo with equal Swiftness. And if Material Impulse, be not the Cause of Gravity; then some Being that is not Material, (for Laws or Powers are nothing but mere empty Words,) must of necessity be allowed to be the Cause of it. But it seems you are, notwithstanding the Force even of Demonstration it self, still of Opinion that Gravitation is purely owing() to the outward Figure and inward Configuration of the Parts of Matter, and the Impulse of circumambient Bodies. For,() drop a Pound of Lead, in the Form of a Bullet, from the Top of a Tower; find it descends in a very quick Space to the Ground: Vary the external Figure of the Bullet, by beating it broad with a Hammer; and its Tendency downward decreases: Vary the Configuration of its Parts by Fire, and it will ascend, instead of descending. Certainly the Reader cannot but be greatly surprized, to meet with such Philosophy as This, in our present Age. For, what has All This to do with Gravitation? Or with the Cause of Bodies Tending downwards? Has a Pound of Lead in the Form of a Bullet, a greater Tendency downward, than under any other Form; because the Air making less Resistance to it when in that Form, suffers it to fall more swiftly? Or when it is beaten out into a thin Plate, which is still of a Pound Weight; does its Tendency downward decrease, because the Air making greater Resistance to it when under that new Form its Superficies is enlarged, suffers it now to fall but slowly? You might by the same Philosophy, and exactly with the same Truth, affirm that a Hundred-pound-weight, so long as you support it with your Hands, has lost its Tendency downward, because it does not descend; But, I presume, Experience will easily convince you of the contrary. In like manner; when Lead being evaporated by Fire, ascends in the Air instead of descending, because it is carried upward by the Motion of the Air, which ascends being rarefied with Heat; is therefore its Tendency downwards decreased? You might exactly with the same Reason have affirmed that a Pound of Lead in one Scale of a Balance, loses its Tendency downwards, whenever a greater Weight in the opposite Scale, forces it to ascend instead of descending. The Truth is plainly This: As a Pound of Wood, during the time of its ascending from the Bottom of a Pail of Water towards the Top, is as much a Pound-weight added to the Weight of the Whole Water, as a Pound of Lead is, that lies still at the Bottom and consequently the Tendency of the Wood downwards, is always the very same, whether it be ascending in Water, or descending in the Air; So your Bullet, whether it falls swiftly in the Form of a Bullet, or slowly in the Form of a thin Plate, or falls not at all while it is supported in your Hand, or on the contrary ascends in the Form of Fume, (in which case, It is in the Air, exactly what Wood is in the Water;) still its Tendency downward, that is, its Gravitation, continues always the same, without any the least Decrease or Increase: Which is the direct Contradictory to your Assertion. As in Vacuo all Bodies, of all Figures, and all Textures whatsoever, actually descend with equal Swiftness; so in the open Air, and every where else, their Tendency downwards, that is, their Gravitation, whether they ascend or descend, whether they fall swiftly or slowly, or not at all, continues always invariably the same; and cannot be increased or decreased by any change whatsoever, of their external Figure, or of the internal Configuration of their Parts, or of the circumambient impelling Bodies. Gravitation therefore cannot possibly arise from the external Figure, nor internal Configuration of the Parts of Matter, nor from the circumambient impelling Bodies; since by no alteration of Any or All of these things, can the Gravitation of any Body be in the least increased or diminished; And consequently Gravitation is quite another thing, than you seem to have at all thought of, when you spoke your Opinion() about what seemed Matter of Fact to you, and talked of the Decrease of a Bullet’s Tendency downward, upon the Variation of its Figure.
[Whoever will explain Gravity, which by Experience is always proportionable to the Solid Content of Bodies; must assign such a Cause, as can act upon Bodies in proportion to their Solid Content, without any regard to their Superficial Proportion; that is to say, such a Cause, as can reach and penetrate to the very Center of every solid Particle of Matter: Which I suppose you will hardly affirm your circumambient Bodies, how subtle soever, are capable of doing.]
And not content to have erred so very grossly in the first Foundation of all Natural Philosophy; you could not forbear professing further,() that you have often Admired that Gravitation should be esteemed a Matter of such Difficulty among Philosophers; and that you think it to be so evident and necessary an Effect of Matter in constant Motion perpetually striking one part against another, that you wonder every Body should not see it. I suppose the rest of the World will no less Admire at You, for imagining that by so slight an Admiration you could at once set aside all the Propositions in that most excellent Book before-mentioned;() wherein it is made appear by strictly Mathematical Demonstrations, drawn from the Laws of Motion now agreed on by Mathematicians and established by Experiments, and from the Phænomena of the Heavenly Bodies; that the present Operations of Nature, depending upon Gravitation, cannot possibly be Mechanical Effects of Matter in constant Motion perpetually striking one part against another.
Not much unlike to This, was Mr. Hobbes’s fancying that he had confuted all the Propositions in Euclid, by Admiring at Euclid’s Definitions of Lines and Surfaces: And all Men ever since, that understand the first Elements of Geometry, have Admired at Him for fancying so.
But that which follows, is still the most wonderful of all. You say:() Whether you take Mr. Clarke right or no, the incomparable Sir Isaac Newton (in the Preface to his Principia,) is of Opinion, “That several Phænomena of Nature may depend on certain Forces or Powers, whereby from Causes yet Undiscovered, the Particles of Bodies are mutually impelled against each other, —— or receed and are driven from one another: Which Forces or Powers being yet unknown, the Philosophers hitherto have attempted Nature in vain”. Now to insinuate to your Reader by such a Citation, that This Great Man is of your Opinion in the present Question; when on the contrary, the very Sentence you cite, was spoken by him (as appears from the Words immediately preceeding those you have cited,) not concerning Gravitation, but concerning Other more particular Phænomena of Nature, in express Contradistinction to those of Gravitation; and when in that whole Book, from one End to the other, he is professedly confuting and showing the absolute Impossibility of your Notion of Gravitation; and when he has elsewhere in express words declared, that by the Terms, Forces and Powers, he does not mean (as You did by Powers originally placed in Matter by God) to signify the Efficient Cause of certain determinate Motions of Matter, but only to express the Action it self by which the Effect is regularly produced, without determining the immediate Agent or Cause of that Action: After all this, I say, to insinuate to your Reader by the Citation of a Piece of a single Sentence, that That Great Man is of your Opinion; is (to use your own Expressions once more,) such a Conduct, as the World may justly demand a Reason of from your self; for I cannot assign a good one for you.()
Lastly: As you declare it to be your Opinion, that Gravitation is caused by Material Impulse; so you think it impossible, that it should be owing to any Immaterial Cause: And you believe it to be as intelligible, that Matter might act without Impulse, by Powers placed in it by God; as that an Immaterial Being should move Matter without being able to impell it by Contact.
This Belief of yours is founded wholly upon the Supposition, that there is nothing in the World but Tangible Substance; Which Opinion you give no Reason for; and therefore it is a mere Prejudice. But further: I presume you will hardly deny, but God himself is an Immaterial Being; and that He can move Matter, though he does not impel it by Contact. Other Immaterial Beings therefore, though they do not impel Matter by Contact, yet it does not from thence follow that they cannot move it at all; Because from God’s moving it, it is manifest that there are other ways of moving it, besides that of impelling by Contact. But Powers or Laws, are not real Beings; They are nothing but mere Words or Notions; and can neither act in any Sense, nor move Matter either with Contact or without it. I conceive an ordinary Reader may be able to discern the Difference, between affirming that an Immaterial Substance, a real Being, though not hard and solid, may move Matter; and affirming that a Law or Power, a mere Word or Term of Art, which is really No Thing, and has not truly any Being or Existence, save only in the Imagination, can cause Matter to move.
Upon the Whole; All that you have advanced in these Sections about Gravitation, is such marvellous Reasoning, to be made use of in the present Age, after so many great Discoveries, founded upon Experience, and even Mathematical Demonstration; that though I have no cause at all to be displeased with you for arguing in such a Manner; yet I believe your Readers cannot but think you might very well have forborn going out of your Way; to give so very disadvantagious a Representation of your own Philosophy.
I have been the longer upon this Head, because the true Theory of Gravitation, as it has been made out by that excellent Person whom you just now so unfortunately cited, does in its obvious and necessary Consequences, more entirely subvert the very Foundations of all possible Hypotheses, wherewith Materialists would undertake to explain the Phænomena of Nature Mechanically by the mere Powers of Matter and Motion; than any Discovery in natural and experimental Philosophy, that has ever yet been made in Any Age: Showing the Matter of the Universe to take up almost an infinitely small and inconsiderable Part of that Space, which you suppose to be filled with it; bearing in truth far less Proportion to it, than a Tennis Ball does to the Body of the Earth: And consequently, that the great Phænomena of Nature cannot possibly depend upon any Mechanical Powers of Matter and Motion, but must be produced by the Force and Action of some higher Principle: And so leading us even with Mathematical Certainty, to Immaterial Powers; and finally to the Author of all Power, the Great Creator and Governour of the World.()
 
I affirmed, that there are many Demonstrations, even in abstract Mathematicks themselves, which no Man who understands them, can in the least doubt of the Certainty of; which yet are attended with difficult Consequences, that cannot be perfectly cleared: As, for instance,() those concerning the infinite Divisibility of Quantity, and the Eternity and Immensity of God. In answer to this, you say that if there are any such Demonstrations, from whence any Contradictions or Absurdities follow in our way of conceiving things, &c. And again:() Absurdities and Contradictions, &c. And again:() Absurdity, Contradiction, or Disagreement of Ideas, &c. And again:() You require me to prove that any Absurdity or Contradiction follows either from the infinite Divisibility of Matter, or from the Eternity or Immensity of God, in our way of conceiving; and if I cannot, I have no ground, you say, from those Instances, to put Human Nature in such a State of Scepticism and Absurdity. Now, by all the Rules of Answering, (to use your own Expression;()) you ought not to have changed my Words, Difficult Consequences that cannot be perfectly cleared; into Absurdities, Contradictions, and Disagreements of Ideas: Because Absurdities, Contradictions, and Disagreements of Ideas, are things just as different from Difficult Consequences of Demonstrated Truths, which cannot be perfectly cleared; as Light is from Darkness. Absurdities, Contradictions, and Disagreements of Ideas, are things already perfectly cleared; that is, things proved with perfect Clearness, to be False and Impossible: But Difficulties that cannot be perfectly cleared, may attend things either possibly or certainly True. Absurdities, Contradictions, and Disagreements of Ideas, do with as perfect Clearness prove a thing to be False; as a positive Demonstration proves a thing to be True; And therefore it is absolutely impossible, that they can Both be applied to the same thing; even just as impossible, as that the same thing should at the same time be both true and false. But Difficult Consequences that cannot perfectly be cleared, may be, and very often are, found to attend Things which are Demonstrated to be True. The Reason is; because Difficulties that cannot perfectly be cleared, do not (like Absurdities and Contradictions) arise from a Perception of the Disagreement of Ideas, but barely from the Defect or Imperfectness of the Ideas themselves. Our Reason is able to apprehend clearly the Demonstration of the Certainty of the Existence of some Things, where the Imagination is not able to comprehend the Ideas of the Things themselves. This is plainly the Case of the infinite Divisibility of Quantity, of Infinity and Eternity in general, of the Actions of Immaterial Substances upon Matter, and of many other Things. Here therefore I have just Cause (if I may use your own Expression once again()) to demand a Reason of your Conduct; and to complain that you have greatly departed from that Fairness, for which your former Papers were justly commended.
And you can still the more hardly be excused in this Matter; because you knew I had before expressed my self very particularly and fully concerning the same Thing, in a Book which you your self cite upon another occasion in the very next Page to That wherein you accuse me so wrongfully. My Words were These: (Demonstrat. of the Being and Attributes of God, p. 11.) “Since in all Questions concerning the Nature and Perfections of God, or concerning any Thing to which the Idea of Eternity or Infinity is joined; though we can indeed demonstrate certain Propositions to be true; yet it is impossible for us to comprehend or frame any adæquate or complete Ideas of the Manner How the things so demonstrated, can Be: Therefore when once any Proposition is clearly demonstrated to be True; it ought not to disturb us, that there be perhaps perplexing Objections on the other side, which for Want of adæquate Ideas of the Manner of the Existence of the Things demonstrated, are not easy to be answered. Indeed, were it possible there should be any Proposition, which could equally be Demonstrated on both sides of the Question, or which could on both sides be reduced to imply a Contradiction, [as Some have too inconsiderately asserted;] This it must be confessed, would alter the Case; Upon this absurd Supposition, all Difference of True and False, all Thinking and Reasoning, and the Use of all our Faculties, would be entirely at an End. But when to Demonstration on the one side, there are opposed on the other, only Objections raised from our Want of having adæquate Ideas of the Things themselves; this ought not to be esteemed a Real Difficulty. It is positively and clearly Demonstrable, that Something has been from Eternity: All the Objections therefore raised against the Eternity of any thing, grounded merely on our Want of having an adæquate Idea of Eternity; ought to be lookt upon as of no real Solidity. Thus in other the like Instances: It is Demonstrable, for Example, that Something must be actually Infinite: All the Metaphysical Difficulties therefore, which arise usually from applying the Measures and Relations of Things Finite to what is Infinite; and from supposing Finites to be [Aliquot] Parts of Infinite, when indeed they are not properly so, but only as Mathematical Points to Quantity, which have no Proportion at all; [and from imagining all Infinites to be Equal, when in things disparate they manifestly are not so; an infinite Line, being not only not equal to, but infinitely less than an infinite Surface; and an infinite Surface, than Space infinite in all Dimensions;] ought to be esteemed vain and of no Force. Again; It is in like manner Demonstrable, that Quantity, is infinitely Divisible: All the Objections therefore raised [by supposing the Sums Total of all Infinites to be equal, when in disparate Parts they manifestly are not so; and] by comparing the imaginary Equality or Inequality of the Number of the Parts of Unequal Quantities, whose Parts have really no Number at all, they all having Parts without Number; ought to be looked upon as weak and altogether Inconclusive, &c”.
 
Concerning the Questions, Whether Immaterial Substances be extended or not; and Whether, upon Supposition of their being extended, they may not nevertheless be of such a Nature, as not to consist of Parts which (like the Parts of Matter) are themselves every one of them complete distinct Beings, separable, and wholly independent of each other: Also, Whether from the Immateriality of the Souls of Brutes, it follows that they must of necessity be put into an eternal State of Rewards and Punishments: Concerning these Questions, I say, I have nothing further to add; but only that I think All you have advanced upon these Heads in your Reflections, hath been already clearly obviated in my former Papers; To which therefore I refer the Reader, who, I fear, is already too much tired with Repetitions.
 
In the last Place, you challenge me to show that my Argument is of any Use to the Ends and Purposes of Religion.() That it is of the Greatest Use, will I suppose easily be granted; if it be evident that the Notion I am arguing against, is utterly destructive of Religion. And in what respects it is so, I shall give you an Instance or two to consider of; and so conclude.
1st then; If the Mind of Man, were nothing but a certain System of Matter; and Thinking, nothing but a certain Mode of Motion in that System: It would follow, that, since every Determination of Motion depends necessarily upon the Impulse that causes it, therefore every Thought in a Man’s Mind must likewise be necessary, and depending wholly upon external Causes; And there could be no such thing in Us, as Liberty, or a Power of Self-determination. Now what Ends and Purposes of Religion mere Clocks and Watches are capable of serving, needs no long and nice Consideration.
2dly, If Thinking, in a Man, be nothing but a Mode of Motion, or of any other Quality of Matter; it will be but too natural a Consequence, to conceive that it may be only the same thing in all Other Rational Beings likewise; and even in God himself. And what a Notion of God This would give us, is not difficult to imagine. A Friend of yours has given us a very broad Hint, whither This tends; when he tells us that the greatest Freedom or Liberty we can conceive to belong to ANY BEING, is such as he there largely explains to be No Liberty at all, but absolute Necessity, such as the Motion of a Watch or Clock is determined by.
3dly, If the Soul, be nothing but a System of Matter; and Thinking, nothing but a Mode of Motion, or of some other Power of Matter; the Doctrine of the Resurrection, (as I before observed, pag. 291, &c.) will be inconceivable and incredible; and the Justice of future Rewards and Punishments, impossible to be made out. The Notion of the Soul’s Immateriality, evidently facilitates the Belief of a Resurrection and of a future Retribution, by securing a Principle of Personal Individuality, upon which the Justice of all Reward or Punishment is entirely grounded: But if Thinking be in reality nothing but a Power or Mode, which inhering in a loose and fleeting System of Matter, perishes utterly at the Dissolution of the Body; then the restoring the Power of Thinking to the same Body at the Resurrection, will not be a Raising again of the same Individual Person; but it will be as truly a Creation of a new Person, as the Addition of the like Power of Thinking to a new Body Now, would be the Creation of a new Man. For, as God’s superadding Now to a new Parcel of Matter, the like Consciousness with what I at this time find in my self, would not make that new Parcel of Matter to be the same individual Person with me, but only another Person Like me; so his superadding That Consciousness at the Resurrection, to the same Particles of Dust, of which my Body was formerly composed; will not be a Restoration of the same Person, but a Creation of a new one like me. For, the Sameness of the senseless Particles of Dust, it is evident from the flux Nature of the Substance of our Bodies, is not that which Now makes me to be the same Person; and therefore cannot be that, which will Then make me to be so. If my present Consciousness, be nothing but a Mode of Motion in the fleeting Particles of my Brain or Spirits; this Consciousness will be as utterly destroyed at the Dissolution of my Body, as if the very Substance of my Body was annihilated: And it would be just as possible for the same Individual Person to be created again, after an absolute Annihilation; as to be restored again, after such a Dissolution. But now, if the same Person, after Annihilation, could, by restoring of the same Consciousness, be created again; he might as possibly be created again, by addition of the same Consciousness to new Matter, even before Annihilation, of the first: From whence it would follow, that Two, or Two Hundred, several Persons, might All, by a Superaddition of the like Consciousness, be one and the same individual Person, at the same time that they remain several and distinct Persons: It being as easy for God to add my Consciousness to the new formed Matter of One or of one Hundred Bodies at this present time, as to the Dust of my present Body at the Time of the Resurrection. And no Reason can be given, why it would not be as just at any time, to punish for my Faults a new created Man, to whom my Consciousness is by the Power of God superadded; as to punish That Person, who at the Resurrection shall by the same Power be new made out of the Dust of my Body, with the same Consciousness superadded: It being allowed that Then, as well as Now, it is not the Sameness of the Particles of Dust, that makes the same Person. But if it was; yet That would make no difference in this Matter: For, the Particles of Dust, which in the Course of Twenty Years have successively been part of the Substance of my Body, are enough in Quantity to form several Bodies: And if the Addition of a like Consciousness with what I now find in my self, to One of those Bodies at the Resurrection, will make It to be the same Individual Person with Me; the Addition of the like Consciousness to Twenty of them, would consequently make every one of them to be (not Persons like Me, but) the same Individual Person with Me, and with each other likewise. Which is the greatest Absurdity in the World: An Absurdity equal (as I before said) to that of Transubstantiation. This inexplicable Confusion, wherewith your Doctrine perplexes the Notion of Personal Identity, upon which Identity the Justice of all Reward or Punishment manifestly depends; makes the Resurrection, in Your way of arguing, to be inconceivable and impossible: And consequently your Doctrine, (which supposes the Body to be the Whole Man,) is destructive of Religion; leaving no room for Reward or Punishment, but in the present Life only; and consequently giving Men liberty to do every thing for their present Pleasure or Advantage, that can be done with a good Colour, and without being obnoxious to human Laws: Which is the greatest Mischief that can possibly befal Mankind. But if the Soul be, as We believe, a permanent indivisible Immaterial Substance, then all these Difficulties vanish of Themselves.
It is here to be observed, that all the Absurd Consequences which I have now (in considering of what Use my Argument is to Religion) shown to follow from your Doctrine, with respect to the Resurrection; do equally follow from it (as has been before proved) even without respect to the Resurrection. For as it is Absurd to suppose, (which you must do in your Scheme,) that at the Resurrection the same individual Person can be restored; merely by the Addition of a like Consciousness with that which utterly perished at the Dissolution of the Body, to the Dust of the same Body when recollected again: As this, I say, is plainly Absurd, because in the same manner Twenty other Men formed out of the same Dust, (of which there is quantity enough belonging to every Person that has lived any Number of Years,) may also by an Addition of the like Consciousness become every one of them That One Same Individual Person, at the same Time that they remain so many several and distinct Persons: So, without regard to any future Resurrection, there is the very same Absurdity in supposing (as you do,) that a Man at this present Time, though he has none of the same Substance belonging to him, may yet, merely by a like Modification of the Motion of his Spirits, continue to be the same Individual Person he was Twenty Years since; There is, I say, the very same Absurdity in this Supposition, as in the former; because there is no difference between supposing that any Number of new Bodies at the Resurrection co-existently, or any Number of different Men now living contemporarily, or any Number of different Bodies succeeding one another in one continued Form by a perpetual uninterrupted Flux of Particles, (which is the thing you contend for;) can be One and the same Individual Person, merely by a like Modification of the Figures and Motions of their Parts respectively, without having anything at all the same in them.
 
To the Propositions I laid down at the Conclusion of my former Reply, you have objected nothing, but what (I think) is already clearly answered in the foregoing Pages.

AN

ANSWER

TO

Mr. Clarke’s Third Defence

OF HIS

LETTER

TO

Mr. DODWELL.


--Neque decipitur ratio neque decipit unquam.
Manilius.


LONDON:
Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

AN

ANSWER

TO

Mr. Clarke’s 3d Defence, &c.

 
SIR,
 
WHEN I consider that the Question between Mr. Clarke and me is concerning the Force of an Argument made use of in his Letter to Mr. Dodwell, to prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the Soul; and that out of Four Objections insisted on in my Reflections against that Argument, he has dropt the Consideration of Three; and in answer to the Fourth, is so far from showing, That if Consciousness did inhere in a System of Matter, it must consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts, (which was the Absurdity, that by his Argument he laboured to fix on those who judged it possible for Consciousness to inhere in a System of Matter) that on the contrary, he has only endeavoured to prove, against my parallel Instance of Roundness, That it must consist of several Pieces of Roundness, or Tendencies towards Roundness; and consequently can only infer, That if Consciousness did, in like manner with Roundness, inhere in a System of Matter, it must consist of several Tendencies towards Consciousness: I freely acknowledge, that I cannot tell how to justify my self to any Reader (except Mr. Clarke himself) in not appealing to him, or in presuming, that he had any need of my Assistance to find out Mr. Clarke’s apparent Desertion of his Argument. But some incidental Points to that in hand, of great Importance to be cleared, having crept into our Dispute; I hope the further Continuance of this Debate will not be unacceptable to Lovers of Truth; and that upon that account they will pardon a Review of the Controversy between us.
There are few Disputes of any Consequence, but the Rule by which they ought to be determined, is both appealed to and called in question. When Reason is on our side, we chearfully submit to its Dictates, and expect that others should do so too; but when we are not able to answer Difficulties alledged against our Schemes, then we contend that Reason is weak, and from its supposed Weakness infer, That our Inability to clear up Difficulties and answer Objections, ought not to hinder our Assent to them.
Mr. Clarke has thought fit to pursue this Method of proceeding with me; and therefore I cannot but esteem it a necessary Preliminary to this Debate, to examine what he says on this Head, and thereby endeavour to fix a Standard or Measure, by which all that we say must be tryed. For to what purpose is disputing and reasoning about the Truth and Falsehood of Propositions, when by any Doubt or Scruple concerning the Measure whereby we judge of Truth and Falsehood, Truth and Falsehood either become Names without any Signification at all, or else signify different things in different Mens Minds?
It is demonstrable, according to Mr. Clarke, That Matter is incapable of Thinking, because it is divisible by the Power of God. From whence he concludes,() That Thinking must reside in an immaterial Being; in the Idea whereof Extension is contained: which is in effect to say, That Thinking can and cannot reside in a divisible Being. For what other Argument can be made use of to prove all Matter divisible by the Power of God, but what is drawn from the Consideration of its Extension? And if Matter as an extended Being is divisible, all extended Beings must be divisible, and consequently must be incapable of Thinking: unless Mr. Clarke will say, That a divisible Being is both capable and incapable of Thinking.
To clear his Argument from this manifest Contradiction, he has recourse to the following Distinction, (by which a Man may be enabled to believe every thing, and reason about nothing) That it is absurd to suppose Matter indivisible by the Power of God; but to suppose an extended unsolid Substance indivisible by the Power of God, is only() a difficult Consequence that cannot be perfectly cleared: and to make this Distinction intelligible, he urges,() That difficult Consequences that cannot be perfectly cleared, do not (like Absurdities and Contradictions) arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of Ideas, but barely from the Defect and Imperfectness of the Ideas themselves. Which is as much as to say, That Difficulties which cannot be perfectly cleared, do not arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of Ideas, but from the Perception of the Disagreement of Ideas. For what is a Difficulty which cannot be cleared (or perfectly cleared, for I know no Difference) by reason of defective Ideas; but a Difficulty which arises from the Perception of the Disagreement of those Ideas? If he means that there is a Difference between a Difficulty which arises from the Perception of the Disagreement of perfect or adequate Ideas; and a Difficulty that arises from the Perception of the Disagreement of imperfect or inadequate Ideas: I answer, That there is no manner of ground for such a Distinction; or if there was any ground for that Distinction, it is not to his purpose, as will evidently appear, if we do but consider what we mean by adequate and inadequate Ideas.
By an adequate or perfect Idea, I understand,() An idea which perfectly represents the Archetype the Mind supposes is taken from; as for Instance, all complex Ideas of Modes, such as Fear, Courage, &c. which being voluntary Collections of simple Ideas, that the Mind puts together, without reference to any real Archetypes existing any where, are adequate Ideas; because they not being intended for Copies of things really existing, but for Archetypes made by the Mind, cannot but represent themselves.
By an inadequate Idea, I understand an Idea which does not perfectly represent that Archetype the Mind supposes it taken from: as for Instance, If I put into my Idea of Gold only its Colour and Weight, it is evident they represent not the Archetype my Idea is taken from, but only imperfectly or inadequately. And thus, for ought we know to the contrary, all the Ideas we have that we refer to real Existences, may be inadequate; for we can never be certain that we contain in our Idea all the whole Plenitude of Essence, Properties and Affections, that reside in any Being whatever.
What I have said, if I mistake not, comprehends the entire Sense of the Distinction of adequate and inadequate Ideas. I know Mr. Locke accounts simple Ideas adequate; but I cannot see on what ground, but what destroys the Distinction of adequate and inadequate Ideas, and does in reality make all Ideas adequate. For if, as he says, simple Ideas are adequate, because being nothing but the Effects of certain Powers in things ordained by God to produce such Sensation in us, they cannot but be correspondent and adequate to those Powers; then every Idea whatever may be adequate in that sense, that is formed with Care: for we ought not to use a Word to signify any Idea whatever, but so far as the Idea goes it ought to correspond to the Archetype it is referred to. As for Instance, If I should put into my Idea of Man, solid Substance, Life, Sense, spontaneous Motion, and a Faculty of Reasoning; it is plain, all this agrees to Man, how inadequate soever a Representation it is of him, and is as much correspondent and adequate to the Subject it is taken from, as any simple Idea is to the Power that occasions it. For simple Ideas, by means of Organs of different Perfection, cannot be precisely alike in different Men; and consequently must in any Men, if not in all, be imperfect and inadequate, if considered with relation to the whole Power that occasions them, though they are adequate and correspondent to a Power in Nature, so far as they go and were designed to be. Now, if all Ideas, as referred to things existing, are really imperfect and inadequate; and if with relation to things existing, there is no other Test of Truth but the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas; then, if Mr. Clarke denies not all Knowledge, that relates to things existing, he cannot distinguish between Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of inadequate Ideas, and Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of adequate Ideas. And if he allows that Difficulties which arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of inadequate Ideas are Absurdities and Contradictions, he gives up his Distinction. So that he must either destroy all Knowledge or Science relating to things existing, or else own that there is no difference between Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of adequate Ideas, and Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of inadequate Ideas.
2. But to vindicate human Knowledge, and show further the Groundlessness of Mr. Clarke’s Distinction; I observe, That though we can never be sure that we have adequate Ideas of any thing that exists, yet we have as much reason to think that our inadequate Ideas agree to the Reality of things, as adequate Ideas do to the Archetypes they are referred to; and consequently have no reason but to conclude, that inadequate Ideas can be as well compared together, and as right Judgments formed from their Comparison, as from the Comparison of adequate Ideas. For suppose I see something in a Mist, near the Size and Shape of an ordinary Man; which though I see not distinctly enough to know, whether it be a Statue or a Man; yet I may certainly know it not to be a Steeple, by perceiving the Disagreement between the Idea of a Steeple, and the Figure I see, as I can know a moral or abstract Mathematical Proposition to be false, by perceiving the Disagreement of the Ideas of which it is made up. Wherefore, since we can as well know or be certain, by the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of inadequate Ideas as of adequate Ideas; the Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of both adequate and inadequate Ideas, must be equally Contradictions, and consequently there is no ground for Mr. Clarke’s Distinction.
3. Was not a Difficulty that arises from the Perception of the Disagreement of inadequate Ideas, as much an Absurdity as a Difficulty that arises from the Perception of the Disagreement of adequate Ideas; we could not discourse at all with Certainty of the principal Objects of Religion, God and his Attributes. The Ideas we fix to the Terms, God and his Attributes, are no doubt inadequate Ideas, if any of our Ideas are inadequate; and yet in religious Discourses we argue from the Justice, Veracity, Goodness, Holiness and Wisdom of God; and say, that such and such things must be, because they follow from the Supposition of those Attributes; and that such and such things cannot be, because they are inconsistent with them; that is, such and such things agree or disagree to our Ideas of the Justice, Veracity, Holiness, Goodness and Wisdom of God. As for instance, we say, It is inconsistent with his Justice, to punish eternally a Man who obeys his Laws, and to reward a Man who disobeys them: and on the other side, that it is agreeable to his Justice, to reward a Man that obeys his Laws, and to punish a Man that disobeys them. Mr. Clarke himself argues,() That moral and immoral Actions must be attended with Rewards and Punishments: because the same Reasons that prove God himself to be necessarily just and good; and the Rules of Justice, Equity and Goodness, to be his unalterable Will, Law and Command to all created Beings; prove also, that he cannot but be pleased with and approve such Creatures as imitate and obey him, by observing those Rules; and be displeased with such as act contrary thereto; and consequently cannot but some way or other make a suitable Difference in his Dealings with them. But() since the Condition of Men in this present State is such, that the natural Order of things in this World is in event manifestly perverted, and Virtue and Goodness are visibly prevented, in great measure, from obtaining their proper and due Effects, in establishing Mens Happiness proportionable to their Behaviour and Practice —— Therefore, It is certain that there must be a future State of Existence for Men, as that by an exact Distribution of Rewards and Punishments therein, all the present Disorders and Inequalities will be set right, and the whole Scheme of Providence, which, to us who judge of it by only one small Portion of it, seems now so inexplicable and confused.
Now on what is this Argument founded, but on Mr. Clarke’s inadequate Idea of the Justice of God? And wherein does its Strength lie (if it has any) but in his Perception of the Disagreement of the visible Disorders and Inequalities in this World, with his inadequate Idea of the Justice of God, without the necessary Supposition of a future State, to set right those Disorders and Inequalities? Wherefore since Mr. Clarke thinks he argues with Certainty for a future State, and since he argues only from a defective or inadequate Idea; and since there can be no arguing in the Case, but from the Agreement or Disagreement of such Ideas as we have; it follows, That Mr. Clarke must allow that Certainty can be attained as well where our Ideas are inadequate or imperfect, as where they are adequate or perfect: that is, the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of such Ideas as we have, whether perfect or imperfect, adequate or inadequate, is the true and only Criterion of Truth; unless Mr. Clarke will deny the Force of his own Argument for a future State, or say, that we have an adequate Idea of the Attributes of God.
4. But supposing there was a just Ground to distinguish between our Knowledge that relates to things existing, and our Knowledge that relates to Ideas of the Mind which have no Archetypes beyond their own Existence; so that in one Case there is not the same Degree of Certainty as in the other; yet Mr. Clarke has no reason here to oppose them to one another, because his Argument for the Immateriality of the Soul is and can be only founded on the sole Comparison of the inadequate Ideas of Matter, Spirit, and Thinking. And therefore an Objection or Difficulty founded on the Disagreement of those imperfect or inadequate Ideas, is as much a Demonstration of the Falsehood of a Proposition that involves such a Difficulty, as the Agreement of inadequate Ideas is a Demonstration of the Truth of a Proposition made up of such Ideas. And consequently, whether there is or is not any just Ground for Mr. Clarke’s Distinction, it serves not his purpose in the least.
5. But perhaps the Reader may, from the Writings of the Papists for Transubstantiation, and from the Writings of some Protestants against the Socinian Heresy, ask, Whether there are not in some Questions Demonstrations on both Sides, and consequently that the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas is not the Criterion or Test of Truth. In answer to which I freely declare it to be my Opinion, That whatever can be demonstrated, can be perfectly cleared from all Objections and Difficulties; and that any Person that understands a Demonstration and the Objections made against it, is capable of solving them; and that all the Difficulties that may be urged against the Immensity and Eternity of God, &c. which Mr. Clarke says,() cannot be clearly answered, are to be clearly answered. And in order to answer them clearly, I would only require these equitable Conditions of him, that he would define the Terms Immensity, Eternity, Immaterial Being, &c. and show that his Definitions agree to the things existing, that they refer to.
He proceeds:() Our Reason, says he, is able to apprehend clearly the Demonstration of the Certainty of some things, where the Imagination is not able to comprehend the Ideas of the things themselves. That is, if I understand him right, we can apprehend clearly, suppose, that an immaterial Being exists, or that something exists correspondent to the Idea we fix to the Terms Immaterial Being, without being able to comprehend entirely all that exists in the Being our Idea refers to. And what then? How does it follow from hence that there is any Difference between Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of adequate Ideas, and Difficulties that arise from the Perception of the Disagreement of inadequate Ideas? Cannot I, though I know but in part the Archetype to which my Idea of Immaterial Being refers, have a just Idea of Immaterial Being as far as my Idea goes? And if it be so, why should I not be able to answer all Objections against the Existence of that which I clearly apprehend does exist? Nay, What other Method can there be taken in the Use of such Words as Immaterial Being, Infinity, Immensity, &c. but to make them stand for intelligible and consistent Ideas, which have a Conformity to things that really exist? And why intelligible and consistent Ideas should not be capable of being cleared from all Difficulty, I shall then be able to conceive, when I can see no Difference between intelligible and unintelligible, consistent and inconsistent.
By what has been said, the intelligent Reader may be satisfied, that when I understood() Difficulties that cannot be perfectly cleared, to signify Contradictions and Absurdities, I() did not depart from that Fairness for which, Mr. Clarke says, my former Papers were justly commended. And I am not without some hopes that Mr. Clarke may contradict himself once more in my favour, since in his Third Defence he is pleased to contradict what he said in his Second Defence,() for he there accused me of Unfairness, and now, acquits me of it.
I proceed now to the Question concerning the Possibility of Matter’s being conscious: and as I have showed() that finite Extension in an immaterial Being implies Divisibility as well as in a material Being, and which consequently, according to Mr. Clarke, must be a Subject equally incapable of Thinking with material Being; so I shall endeavour to reconcile Mr. Clarke to himself, by showing, that his Argument drawn from the Divisibility (or, which is all one, the Extension) of Matter, is inconclusive. His Argument is as follows;() That all the Qualities or Powers which either are in Matter, whether they be known or unknown, or are vulgarly ascribed to it, must of necessity be either,
 
1. Real Qualities truly and properly inhering in the Subject to which they are ascribed; such as Magnitude and Motion in Matter. These, says he,() are always the Sums or Aggregates of Powers of the same Kind, inhering distinctly in the several Parts of the material Subject. And could Consciousness in like manner be a Quality really inherent in a System of Matter; it must likewise be the Sum and Result of the Consciousnesses of the several Parts: and so there would be as many distinct Consciousnesses as there are Particles of Matter of which the System consists.
Or,() 2. Qualities not really inhering in the Subject to which they are usually ascribed, but being indeed Modes excited and residing in some other Subject: such as are Colours, Sounds, and all those which are commonly sensible Qualities of Matter. These do not exist at all in that Subject to which they are usually ascribed, but in some other Subject. And this also not being applicable to Thinking, it is manifest therefore, that Thinking cannot be a Power or Quality of this kind in a material Subject.
Or, 3. Such Qualities as Magnetism, Electricity, Attraction, Reflexibility, Refrangibility, and the like. These have no real Existence by way of proper inhering in any Subject; which likewise since it cannot be said of Consciousness, it is manifest, that Consciousness cannot be a Power or Quality in a material System of this kind neither.
 
In answer to which Argument, the Substance of one Objection that I urged was, That his Enumeration was imperfect, because he omitted the Consideration of the Modes of those Kinds of Powers mentioned in the first Branch of his Division; and that Consciousness being, according to me, a Mode of one of those kinds of Powers, it is impossible his Argument should conclude against Consciousness’s inhering in a System of Matter, when that Quality that agrees with Consciousness is not named in his Enumeration. As for instance, Consciousness being with me a Power or Quality in Matter answering to a Mode of Motion or Figure, such as the peculiar Motion of a Clock, or Roundness; the Consideratiou of Consciousness, as such a Quality or Power, shows, that his Argument is perfectly foreign to the Question. For if Consciousness be considered like Roundness or any other Mode of Figure, or like a Mode of Motion in an Animal or Clock, it is manifest, 1st, That it has a real and proper Inherence, and is not an Effect residing in no Substance at all, and consequently answers not to Magnetism, Electricity, &c. 2dly, That it has a real Inherence in the Subject of which it is said to be a Quality, and consequently answers not to Colour and Sound, which exist not in the Substance to which they are ascribed. And, 3dly, That as it inheres truly and properly in Matter, so it is not of the same Extent, nor does it answer to Figure, Magnitude, and Motion. For Roundness inheres in a System of Matter, without being the Sum of the Roundnesses of the Parts. And the like may be said of the peculiar and individual Modes of Motion in a Clock, or an Animal, that they inhere not distinctly in each of the distinct Parts. I did not take upon me to determine of what kind of Power Thinking or Consciousness was a Mode; but for greater Clearness in arguing, I did take the Liberty to speak of it as a Mode of Motion. Now, if it be considered as a Mode of Motion, that is, if it consists of Ten Thousand distinct Motions, it is as impossible that whole Consciousness should exist in each of the distinct Parts of a System of Matter, as that whole Roundness should exist in each Part of a Circle, or that the individual Motion of an Animal or Clock should exist in each of their distinct Parts. Wherefore it is evident, that the Strength of his Argument lies in considering Consciousness as standing for an Idea inconsistent with its being a Power of Matter, that follows from the Division or Composition of Matter, as he proposed to consider it in his Letter to Mr. Dodwell:() and therefore his Demonstration was granted by me, as not affecting the Question he proposed to prove, since it related solely to a Chimera or Idea, that he was pleased to suppose, without any ground, I was obliged to rank Consciousness under.
Mr. Clarke, to show that his Argument is conclusive against the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, lays down this Proposition, as what he proposes to explain and vindicate;() That it is absolutely impossible, and an evident Contradiction, that any real Quality should truly and properly inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum or Aggregate of a Number of Powers and Qualities residing distinctly in the several Parts of the System, and being always of the same Kind with the Whole that results from them.
In answer to this, I humbly conceive that Mr. Clarke ought to have laid down a Conclusion clearly contradictory to me, and not have expressed himself in such a Manner, that I can agree to what he says, consistently with maintaining the Force of my Objection. As for instance, I do allow, that no Quality can reside in a System of Matter, but what must be always in a certain Sense of the same Kind with the Whole that results from the Parts. For when Roundness or any other individual Figure inheres in a System of Matter, the Parts must be so far of the same Kind, as to have a Tendency to that individual Figure of which they are a part. And in that Sense I have always allowed() Consciousness to consist of Powers of the same Kind; for if Consciousness inheres in a System of Matter, it must necessarily be allowed, that the distinct Beings in that System contribute towards Thinking, as the Pieces of a Circle do towards a Circle, or as all the Parts of a System of Matter contribute towards the System: unless a Man will say, that Consciousness inheres in a divisible Substance, and does not inhere in it at the same time. Wherefore his Proposition to be vindicated is obscure; and I desire the Reader to observe, that no Proposition can be truly contradictory to what I affirm, unless it affirms that every Quality that inheres in a System of Matter, must inhere wholly in each part of if, that is, that in a round Figure every Particle must be round: for unless he affirms and proves that which is so manifestly against Experience, he will never contradict me, or be able to show, that Consciousness must necessarily, (if it inheres in a System of Matter) consist of several distinct Consciousnesses.
To vindicate his Conclusion, Mr. Clarke premises() a Discourse of the various Use of the Terms Powers of the same Kind; to which, that I may not disoblige him by taking no notice of it, I answer, That when Terms are defined, and Instances agreeing to those Definitions given, whereby all Doubtfulness about one another’s Meaning is in the most effectual Manner excluded, I cannot see of what use it is to enumerate the various Senses that Logicians give to the same Terms, especially since I have the Authority of the Schools (as Mr. Clarke represents them()) for my use of those Terms: Though had I understood them in a Sense not to be justified from their Authority, my mistake had only been in the Meaning of two or three English Words, which was a Matter of no great Consequence when the Words were defined. Wherefore I proceed to the Defence of his Argument.
He says,() When he affirms, that Roundness or Globosity must needs be the Sum of Qualities of the same Kind; he does not mean that Globosity is made up of Globosities, but that a whole round Figure must necessarily be made up of Pieces of Roundness, which are all of the same Kind with Roundness. For nothing that is void of Figure can be part of any Figure whatsoever; nor any thing that is void of Curvity in particular, be part of a round Circumference; nor any thing that is void of that particular Degree of Curvity which makes a Circle of a certain determinate Diameter, be part of the Circumference of that Circle. And to prove that Roundness consists of Pieces of Roundness, or Powers of the same Kind, in that Sense with Roundness, he spends near Twenty Pages. All which, for ought I know, may be a Vindication of the Conclusion he laid down, and that I cited, but concerns not his Argument in the least. For what Mr. Clarke endeavoured to prove against those who judged it possible for Matter to think, was, that no Power could inhere in a System of Matter without being the Sum of Powers of the same Kind; and consequently that if Thinking or Consciousness did inhere in a System of Matter, there must be as many distinct Consciousnesses as there are Parts in that System. And to show how inconclusive that was, I produced Roundness (and I might have produced almost all the Modes of Motion and Figure that can exist) as an instance that a Power might inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum of Powers of the same Kind; that is, that Roundness might inhere in a System of Matter, without making as many distinct Roundnesses as there are Parts in that System; and consequently, that Consciousness, if it inhered in a System of Matter in like manner with Roundness, could not consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts. Now, how does it follow, That if Consciousness inheres in a System of Matter, it must consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts, or in that Sense of Powers of the same Kind; because in another Sense, Roundness, which I made parallel to Consciousness, consists of Powers of the same Kind, viz. of Figures and Curvities? For it is readily allowed by me, that Roundness consists of Pieces of Roundness, which by being all Figures are of the same Kind with Roundness, considered as a Figure; and by being little Curves or Arches, are likewise of the same Kind with Roundness, considered as a Curve; and in that Sense I allow Consciousness to consist of Powers of the same Kind; for that, according to me, consists of Parts which have a Tendency to Thinking or Consciousness, as Roundness does of Parts that have a Tendency to Roundness. And yet for all that, neither Roundness nor Consciousness consist of Powers of the same Kind in the Sense of Mr. Clarke’s Argument: For unless in a round Figure each part must be wholly round, and in a conscious System of Matter, each part must be wholly conscious, and in that sense consist of Powers of the same Kind; not one Step can be taken in Defence of Mr. Clarke’s Argument: Nay, what he has advanced is so far from defending it, that it evidently demonstrates the Falsehood of it. For if Roundness does consist of Parts, none of which can possibly be round, (as Mr. Clarke evidently shows it must, by proving that Roundness must consist only of Pieces of Roundness) and that are only Powers of the same Kind with Roundness, by being all Figures, and by consisting of Parts that have a nearer Affinity to Roundness than straight Lines; it is a Demonstration that there may be Powers in Matter which are not the Sums of Powers of the same Kind, in that sense which shows the Inconclusiveness of his Argument. For when it is proved, that Roundness consists of Parts, none of which can possibly be round, there is a full and perfect Instance to show, that Consciousness may inhere in a System of Matter, without each of the Parts being distinctly conscious. So that as far as I can see, the Force of Mr. Clarke’s Defence lies in understanding the Terms Powers of the same Kind, in a different Sense from what he did at first, and in a Sense that evidently shows his Argument has no force. However, he is capable of making the same Conclusion in words that he did at first, viz. That no Power can inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum of Powers of the same Kind; and that, I will allow him, is artful enough to impose on Readers that are willing to be satisfied on his side of the Question.
But let us see how he applies all that he says, for Twenty Pages together, to prove Roundness must consist of Powers of the same Kind (in the Sense he now contends for, and that I allow to be true) to the Question, That if Consciousness does inhere in a System of Matter, it must consist of the distinct Consciousnesses of the Parts.
I can find nothing to that Question, but in these words;() That the individual Roundness of a Globe is not made up of a Number of the like whole Roundnesses, (and I add, nor is it made up of any Number of Roundnesses or any round Parts at all) but yet must needs be made up of such Figures as are Parts of Roundness, nay Parts indued with that particular numerical Degree of Roundness; and cannot be made up of straight Lines, nor of any Figures which are not Pieces endued with that particular Degree of Roundness. So that an individual Consciousness (supposing it to inhere in a System of Matter) must be made up, though not of the very same Consciousnesses, yet of such Powers as are of the very same Kind with that numerical Consciousness, as the Arches of a Circle are of the same Kind with the whole Circumference —— That is, It must be made up of different Consciousnesses indeed, but still Consciousnesses only. All which, I humbly conceive, amounts to thus much, That though Roundness consists of Parts or Pieces of Roundness (none of which can possibly be round) yet, if Consciousness inheres in a System of Matter, in like manner with Roundness (that is, consists of Parts, none of which can possibly be conscious) there must be as many distinct Consciousnesses as there are Parts; which is in effect to say, If Consciousness inheres in like manner in a System of Matter with Roundness, it inheres in a different Manner from Roundness: Or in other words; if Consciousness by inhering in a System of Matter does not consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts, it does consist of the Consciousnesses of the Parts.
This is the Stress of his Demonstration, which I think I may submit to the intelligent Reader, without any Reply: 1st, Because it visibly confutes itself; and, 2dly, Because on this occasion, I have a mind to show my Complaisance to Mr. Clarke, in letting him have the Satisfaction to see his Demonstration stand in its full force, without any attack from me: for when I consider, that it can deceive no Reader but himself, and that by a Citation from Mr. Hobbes in his Title-Page, he is of Opinion, That Arguments seldom work on Men of Wit and Learning, when they have once engaged themselves in a contrary Opinion; I think it would be a Piece of ill Nature to disturb his particular Satisfaction in the Force of his Argument.
But there is one thing more of which I think it necessary to inform the Reader, with relation to my Instance of Roundness, and that is, That I made use of it to no other purpose, than to give the Reader an Idea, how Consciousness might inhere in a System of Matter, without consisting of the Consciousnesses of the Parts; and that purpose I think it fully answers. But whether in other respects Consciousness answers to Roundness, concerns not me. Nay, I profess that I think it differs from Roundness, and all other Modes of Figure, in many respects; and therefore I am not answerable for any Disagreement between Roundness and Consciousness, provided they agree in consisting of Parts, none of which are distinctly round or distinctly conscious.
I did urge several other Instances of Modes to my purpose, (for indeed almost every Mode in Matter is to my purpose) but I chuse rather to remit their Defence to the Consideration of the Reader, who may, from the Principles already advanced, easily solve Mr. Clarke’s Objections, than spend more words to show the Inconclusiveness of his Argument, when I think enough has been said already.
Wherefore I proceed to the Consideration of the remaining Parts of Mr. Clarke’s Defence.
That I might let the Reader more clearly into the Force of my Objection to Mr. Clarke’s Argument, and make my self more intelligible, I did suppose() Consciousness (of whose Nature I was ignorant) to be a Mode of Motion, and not a Mode of some unknown Power; and the rather because, I thought, I had to do with a Gentleman that understood the Rules of arguing, too well, to impute that to me as my Opinion, which I only took the Liberty to suppose. But Mr. Clarke not taking to himself my Character of an ingenuous Adversary,() will make me accountable for the Absurdity of the Notion of Thinking’s being really a Mode of Motion; though he might as well have made me accountable for the Absurdity of the Notion of Thinking’s being really a Mode of Figure, because I likened Thinking to Roundness, as much as I did to a Mode of Motion: but without any design by either, to assert it as my Opinion, that Thinking was either a Mode of Motion, or a Mode of Figure; having no design then to enquire into the Nature of Thinking. Wherefore I am concerned to vindicate my Supposition no farther than the Nature of my Objection required, which was only to assign such an Instance of a Power in Matter, that did not consist of Powers of the same Kind, in such a Sense as destroyed the Force of Mr. Clarke’s Argument. And therefore should the Absurdity of the Notion of Thinking’s being really a Mode of Motion be proved; yet the Absurdity of my Supposition would not in the least be proved. I use the Supposition of Thinking’s being a Mode of Motion to no other End, but to express my Meaning intelligibly, how Thinking may inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum of the distinct Thinkings of the Parts; and if my Supposition serves that purpose, it is nothing to me, let the Absurdity of supposing Thinking to be really a Mode of Motion, be as great as he pleases. Therefore when Mr. Clarke proposes to prove against me, by the Arguments contained between page 270, and page 279, the Absurdity of supposing Consciousness to be a Mode of Motion() (meaning the Supposition that Consciousness is really a Mode of Motion) he changes the Question in dispute, under an Appearance in Words of confuting my Supposition; whereas my Supposition is no more touched on, in those Arguments, than the most foreign Question in the World. However, that Mr. Clarke may be kept a little more in Countenance for his Labours here, than for the Pains he has taken about Roundness, I will so far transgress the Rules of Dispute, as to consider, whether he proves a Proposition that was not in Debate between us: And I hope the Reader will be pleased to excuse me, for the Breach of the Rules of Disputation, for the Sake of my Complaisance to Mr. Clarke. The Method I shall take, shall be briefly to enquire into the Nature of Thinking, and then into the Force of Mr. Clarke’s Arguments, to prove Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion.
1. As to the Nature of Thinking, I observe, that Thinking is an Action that begins not in us, till we are operated on by external material Objects, that act on us by Motion and Contact; no more than a Windmill begins to go till the Air or some other Body strikes against the Sails. For we having no Objects or Ideas to think upon, but what are ultimately founded on and resolved into the simple Ideas of Sensation and Reflection (by the first of which we have all our Ideas of sensible Qualities in Bodies external to us, and by the latter all our Ideas of Thinking, and its Modes, viz. doubting, willing, knowing, &c.) cannot think first on the Ideas of Reflection, because we must think upon something before we can reflect or think upon Thinking and its Modes; and since that something cannot be Thinking or any of its Modes, it remains that we must first think on the simple Ideas of Sensation. And if we think on the simple Ideas of Sensation, it is matter of Fact, that we do not begin to think upon them till Bodies operate upon us. And this is an evident Agreement of Human Thinking with a Power or Affection of Matter, which ever ows its Existence to the Motion or Operation of some other Body. What is Fire but a Power or Affection of Matter, beginning in Matter perfectly free from that peculiar Mode of Motion, till by the Application of Matter in Motion it is produced? And what are other Powers or Affections of Matter, such as bitter, sweet, sour, soft, hard, cold, all Smells, Tastes, Sounds, &c. but peculiar Modes of Motion or Figure, that begin in particular Systems of Matter, upon the Action of other Matter upon them?
Did we perceive Ideas antecedent to the Operation of Matter on our Senses, there might be some Colour to suppose Human Thinking not a Power or Affection of Matter, (since Matter cannot be conceived from no Action, or Rest, to begin an Action;) but Thinking following the Motion of Matter on our Senses, we have just as much reason to conclude, that it is a Power of Affection of Matter occasioned by the Action of Matter, as we have to say, that Fire is a Power Or Affection of Matter, when it is produced by the rubbing of a Wheel and its Axle-Tree. And I see not why it is not as necessary to introduce the Hypothesis of an Immaterial Being into every material Subject, to account for its wonderful Operations, as for the Operations of Man or Beast. I doubt not, but that it is very possible to be part of the Religion of the most learned Country in Europe (if we can form any Judgment what they may believe from what they do believe) to believe, that Repetitions of Words in Eccho’s are performed by an intelligent or immaterial Being that mocks us, according to Ovid’s Description of her, as a real Being:
 
—— Quæ nec reticere loquenti, Nec prior ipsa loqui didicit, resonabilis Echo. Corpus adhuc Echo, non vox erat: & tamen usum Garrula non alium, quam nunc habet, oris habebat; Reddere de multis ut verba novissima posset. ——————————— in fine loquendi Ingeminat voces; auditaq; verba reportat.
 
And then we should see as many learned Treatises, to show the Inconsistency of such a regular Repetition of articulate Sounds in any Being but an Immaterial Being (which is supposed only to have Memory and Reflection) as Tertullian’s, and some other antient Fathers are to prove the Soul material; and as any of the Moderns are to prove the Soul immaterial.
2. Human Thinking has Succession and Parts, as all material Actions have; for all our Thoughts succeed one another, can be suspended in a Point, or continued in like manner with a Mode of Motion, and so are as much distinguishable into Parts.
3. Thinking has its Modes, such as Doubting, Willing, Knowing, Pleasure, Pain, &c. just as particular Powers of Matter have their Modes. Sound (which in the Body to which it is attributed, is nothing but a Mode of Motion) has Modes of acute, grave, &c. which with their several Degrees, are capable of being varied in infinitum. And as Sounds are swift or slow, regular or irregular, according to the different Action of Matter; so the Soul thinks swiftly or slowly, regularly or irregularly, is drunk or sober, has Pleasure or Pain, according to the different Motions produced in our Bodies.
4. It is evident to me that God must be an Immaterial Being, that is, a proper Immaterial Being, a Being without any of the Properties of Matter, without Solidity, Extension or Motion, and that exists in no Place; and not a Being that has Extension (and consequently exists in Place and has Parts) according to Mr. Clarke’s Idea of Immaterial Being. Now Thinking in God cannot be founded on any Objects acting upon him, nor is Thinking in him supposed to be successive, or to consist of Parts, or to have any Modes, because Modes of Thinking are distinct Acts of Thinking. But as his Essence is eternal and immutable, without any the least Variation or Alteration, so his Thinking is supposed to be one numerical individual Act, comprehending all things and all the Possibilities of things at one View; and is as fixt, and permanent, and unvariable, and as much without Succession and Parts, as his Essence. So that if we can form any Judgment of the Nature of Thinking in Man, from its perfect Conformity with the Powers of Matter, and its entire and total Disagreement with Thinking, in that only Immaterial Being which, we are satisfied, exists; we may reasonably conclude Human Thinking a Power or Affection of Matter.
If it be asked, Of what kind of Power in Matter, Thinking is a Mode? Is it a Mode of Motion, or a Mode of some unknown Power? To that I answer, That I pretend not to know that Secret, and therefore will only make these two Observations.
1. That Mr. Clarke allows Matter, or the Bodily Organs, to act us on the Soul.() Now Matter cannot act upon an Immaterial Being by Motion, because there can be no Contact between a material and immaterial Being: Wherefore by Mr. Clarke’s own Principles, there must be a Power in Matter unknown to us, and of which we have no Idea; and if there is a Power in Matter, of which we have no Idea, that Power in Matter may comprehend under it Thinking and its Modes, as Figure does Roundness, &c. and Motion the several Modes of Motion, and their Modes.
2. It is by many thought a Difficulty to conceive, how by a mere Preference of the Mind, we can cause our left Hand, which was in motion, to be at rest; and our right Hand, which was at rest to be in motion; and by a new Will, Choice or Preference (call it as you please) to put the left Hand in motion, and the right Hand at rest, and so on, let our Wills vary and change ever so often. But that Difficulty is entirely at an end, if Thinking in Man be nothing but a Mode of Motion, or Matter in motion: and it is then as conceivable, that Thinking should produce those Motions, as that a Spring or Weight in a Clock should make a Clock strike or point to the Hour of the Day.
But let us proceed to Mr. Clarke’s Arguments, to prove, that Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion in Matter.
His first Argument is,() That Modes of Motion are nothing else but particular Motions, and cannot contain any thing in their Idea, beyond the Genus of Motion, ——— And he has as clear and distinct a Perception, that the Idea of Consciousness contains something in it, besides and beyond the Genus of Motion; as he has, that it contains in it something beyond the Genus of Figure.———— He has therefore exactly the same intuitive Certainty that Consciousness cannot be a Mode of Motion; as he has that any one thing in the World is not another, whose Idea is the remotest and most different from it that can be imagined.
To which I answer, That though we have an abstract Idea of Motion, which as it ought, so I doubt not but it does, comprehend under it all the Modes of Motion, that ever did or can exist, yet I deny, that we have an Idea of all the really existing, much less of all the possibly existing Modes of Motion. We have Ideas of the more simple Modes of Motion; such as a circular Motion, or Motion in a straight Line. But when the Motions are very complex, such as the Mode of Motion in a Tree, by which Vegetation is performed; and the Mode of Motion in a Man or Animal, by which Life and Sensation is continued: we have not a distinct Conception of them in our Minds. The only distinct Conception that we have of such Modes is, that they have in them the Genus of Motion; and that they have Succession and Parts, and can be variously modified. Now as far as we know any thing of the Nature of Thinking, by what we find and feel in our selves; That has likewise the Genus of Motion, by arising from Motion, by being varied by Motion, and by its producing other Motions distinct from it self; and has likewise Succession and Parts, and withal innumerable Modifications. Wherefore since no particular Idea of Human Consciousness can be produced, beyond the Genus of Motion; and that we have no particular Ideas of the more complex Modes of Motion that exist: It is impossible for him to prove or know, that one is not the other. For till he has a further Idea of the Nature of Human Thinking, than what I have described; and a particular distinct Idea of that complex Mode of Motion, that exists in our Animal Spirits; he can no more know, that one is not the other, than he can know, whether two things agree or differ from one another, that he has no Idea of at all. Indeed a Man may say, That a Wheel in Motion does not think, or that a circular Motion is not Thinking; because we see not any of the Effects of Thinking follow from a circular Motion: though I doubt not, but (if the Effects of Thinking followed from a circular Motion, as much as they do whenever that complex Motion peculiar to the Body of a Man, exists) that Mr. Clarke would have recourse to the Hypothesis of Immaterial Being, and say, That Immaterial Beings were added to all Wheels on the production of every circular Motion. But it is not possible for us to say, that Thinking does not consist in the peculiar Motion of the Spirits in the Brain, till we have a particular Idea of the Motion of those Spirits, and an Idea of Thinking, as something distinct from a Mode of Motion, or as distinct from a Power or Affection of Matter; of none of which has Mr. Clarke given us any Ideas.
2. I have been the longer on this Argument than was necessary, because what I have offered, will in a great measure serve to set this Question in a true Light; otherwise there needed nothing to be said to an Argument which does only affirm the Question in debate, and which can signify nothing to any body that wants Conviction: for as he only affirms, That he has an intuitive Certainty that Consciousness cannot be a Mode of Motion; so a Man may affirm against him, that by a Survey of the Nature of Human Thinking, and the different Effects of Motion, he knows or perceives that Human Thinking is a Mode of Motion; and another may affirm with me, that he is so far ignorant of the Nature of Human Thinking, as not to know, whether it be a Mode of Motion or no. All three prove alike, and have nothing else to do, but to submit their several Affirmations to the Reader, but can never convince one another. Mr. Clarke has indeed affirmed the Question that he has brought into dispute, in stronger Words than I have produced from him, as() That it is a greater Absurdity, and more ridiculous than some evidently false and ridiculous Propositions, which he is pleased to produce as Parallels to what he would make me affirm. But I humbly conceive, there is no more proof in such Assertions, than in the most modest and civil Affirmations. However, I thought my self obliged to do him the Justice, to produce what he says, that it may have its Weight with the Reader; because I ought to suppose he intended it for Argument.
His second Argument() to prove, that Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion, is, If Thinking was a Mode or Species of Motion, it would follow, that all Motion would be a Degree of Thinking. To which, as well as to all that follows under this Head, I think it sufficient to reply: That Matter is every where the same, and all alike; but becomes Fire, or Water, or produces Smells, Tastes and Sounds, &c. according as it is diversified by Motion: and as it is supposed, that Motion can produce nothing but Motion, so these Differences in Matter are nothing but peculiar Modes of Motion. Wherefore if it be proper to say, That every Motion is a Degree of Fire, a Degree of Water, a Degree of all the Modes of Smell, a Degree of all the Modes of Sound, a Degree of Bitter, and a Degree of Sweet, a Degree of Vegetation, and a Degree of Corruption; I do in that sense allow, that every Motion is a Degree of Thought; if it be true, that Thinking is a Mode of Motion, as Mr. Clarke supposes it to be in this Argument.
His third Argument() to prove, Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion, is, That if Thinking was a Mode of Motion, then Motion would be a more generical Power than Thinking. Whereas, On the contrary, says he, it is evident, that Thinking is a Power infinitely more generical than either Figure or Motion, or any other Power of Matter. There are as many Ideas of Figure, as there are Figures; and there are as many Ideas of Motion, as there are Modes of Motion; and as many Ideas of other Things, as there are other things in the World, that can be thought upon: And all these Ideas are Modes, and Sorts, or Kinds of Thinking.
1. When Motion is said to be more generical than any particular Species or Mode of Motion; and when Figure is said to be more generical than any particular Mode of Figure: I take the Meaning of it to be, that Figure and Motion are abstract Ideas, which comprehend under them all the particular Modes of Figure and Motion that can possibly exist; so that wherever any particular Figure or Motion exists, it has a Conformity to our abstract Ideas of Figure and Motion: whereas a circular Motion and Squareness are abstract Ideas, to which only a particular Mode of Motion and Figure has a Conformity. So that Motion and Figure are called more generical than any particular Motion or Figure, because their Ideas are contained under them.
But when Mr. Clarke calls Thinking in Man a more generical Power than Motion and Figure, I am perfectly at a Loss what he means. Does he mean, that Thinking is a Power which does consist both of Motions and Figures? If he does mean so, (and I know not what other sense, according to the Meaning of the Terms more generical in this place, to understand him in) then if it be proper Language to call that an individual Power which consists of all possible Motions, and all possible Figures; what does Mr Clarke do in affirming Thinking to be more generical than Motion, but make Thinking a perfectly material Action? For unless it comprehends under it all possible Modes both of Figure and Motion, as Motion and Figure does all possible Modes of Motion and Figure, (which thereby become more generical than any particular Mode of Figure and Motion) he uses the Term generical m one sense in one place, and in another sense in another place. Wherefore it follows from this Argument, that either Thinking is, by consisting of Figures and Motions, a material Action; or else that he uses the Term generical fallaciously.
If he uses the Term generical in one and the same Sense in both places, and pretends it follows from his Argument, that thinking must, by being more generical than Figure and Motion, consist both of Figures and Motions, and so cannot consist of Motion alone; and would thereby destroy the Supposition, that Thinking is a Mode of Motion. I answer, That when Thinking is supposed to be a Mode of Motion in the Animal Spirits, the Figure and Structure of them, as well as the principal Parts of a Man, are included, as necessary to constitute an Act of Thinking; for otherwise, neither the Motion of Thinking, nor the various Motions in the Body of a Man could be performed; no more than the Mode of Motion called Vegetation could be performed in an Oak, without such an organical Disposition of Parts as is peculiar to that kind of Tree called an Oak.
If he uses the Term generical fallaciously, and not in the same Sense that it is used when Figure is said to be more generical than Roundness; but for Thinking’s containing in it Ideas, &c. that is, for being more generical than Motion and Figure, because we have Ideas of Motion and Figure: His Discourse is not to the Point, and he might as well have used any other Term in the World as the Term generical. For if he means, that the Objects of Thinking are more generical than Motion and Figure (as by affirming,() That Thinking contains in it self the Ideas of all the Modes of Figure, and the Ideas of all the Modes of Motion, and infinite other Ideas besides; and by what he says in this Article, I am apt to think he does) then what he says is not to the Question in dispute, which has no relation to the Genericalness of the Objects on which we think, but to the Genericalness of Thinking it self.
Indeed Mr. Clarke does help himself out as well as he can, by saying, That Ideas of Figure, &c. are Modes, and Sorts or Kinds of Thinking. But that, I conceive, is a clear Mistake, and a confounding together the Faculty and the Object. I allow there can be no Thinking without an Idea or Object, nor can there be an Idea or Object without Thinking: for they are as relative Ideas as Father and Son, and must therefore subsist together; but yet Thinking, when Roundness is the Object, is no more the material Idea we think on, nor that material Idea, Thinking, than the Idea of Father is the Idea of Son, or the Idea of Son the Idea of Father.
2. But let Thinking in Man be whatever Mr. Clarke pleases; let it be a Power in an extended Substance that, according to him, consists but of one Figure and one Motion, and not of the Figures and Motions of the Parts, and that is indivisible by the Power of God; though one side cannot but be distinct from the other side. Does not that extended Being of Mr. Clarke’s, with one only Figure and one Motion, by means of that supposed Power, perceive the Ideas of Figures and Motions? And if one Power can perceive or have the Idea of another Power, as by Mr. Clarke’s own Supposition he must allow, I see no more reason against making Figures, &c. the Objects of a Mode of Motion, than against making them the Objects of any other Power, that exists in a Subject which has neither Modes of Motion, nor Modes of Figure contained in it.
3. It must be allowed, that every distinct Thought is a particular Mode of Thinking; and so Thinking must in us have a great Number of Modes; but yet for all that our Thoughts are finite and limited. And notwithstanding Mr. Clarke affirms,() That Thinking in Man contains in it the Ideas of all the Modes of Figure, and the Ideas of all the Modes of Motion; yet I take it to be matter of Fact, that we comprehend only the more simple Modes of Motion and Figure. And since our Thoughts are all limited, in point of Number, I see no reason from their Variety necessarily to conclude, that human Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion. For if we consider but the prodigious Variety of Sounds which are called distinct Modes of Sound, it is as easy to conceive, that upon the Supposition of Thinking being a Mode of Motion, it should have the several Modes that we are conscious it has, as that Sound should have all the distinct innumerable Modes which that has,
His fourth Argument() to prove Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion, is a Citation from Mr. Locke’s Essay of Human Understanding, which he cannot but suppose I will give some Deference to. But why he should expect any Deference from me to any Man’s words, any further than they carry Evidence along with them, except those of the inspired Writers, is as surprizing to me, as that Mr. Locke should be made choice of as a proper Authority to submit to. However, since Mr. Clarke is so far mistaken in me as to think I would pay any more Deference to Mr. Locke than I do to him, I will on this occasion freely declare it to be my Opinion, that I look on it to be contrary to the Duty of a rational Agent to pay any manner of Deference in matters of Opinion or Speculation to any Man, or Number of Men whatsoever; and that could I so far prostitute my Conscience, as to submit to any mere human Authority, Mr. Locke’s would in all likelihood be the last for my Purpose; because it would be much more for my Ease, if not my Profit, to submit to the Decisions and Determinations of those Men that in every Country have worldly Preferments to bestow, than act the same low Part out of so poor a Prospect as I must see would follow from believing in so rational an Author as Mr. Locke.
As to the Passage it self, I refer the Reader to it,() who will see, that it is so far from having any relation to the Question that Mr. Clarke has been pleased to start, whether human thinking be a Mode of Motion, that its whole design is to prove, that Thinking in the Deity cannot depend on the Motion of the Parts of a Corporeal System, against such Theists as affirm, that God is a certain System of Matter, and that Thinking is a certain Motion of the Parts of that System. And as the Question is not the same, so some of the Consequences that Mr. Locke draws from those Principles, affect only that really absurd Supposition of Thinking’s being a Mode of Motion in God. For if it be a just Inference, that all Thoughts must be unavoidably accidental and limited that depend on Motion, as I think it is; it sufficiently proves the Absurdity of those Theists that Mr. Locke argues against, but is no manner of Objection against those imaginary People that maintain Thinking in Man to be a Mode of Motion.
His Fifth Argument;() as far as I can understand it, is, That it is not proper to distinguish Motions and Figures into Modes or Species of Motion and Figure; and that a Man may as well call a Syllogism a Mode or Species of Motion, as call any particular Motion a Mode or Species of Motion. And for this he appeals to the common Sense of Mankind. This Argument has relation only to Propriety of Language, and therefore I can only say this to it: That I have distinct Ideas of several Motions, and distinct Ideas of several Figures, whereby I distinguish those Motions and Figures from one another, as well as I can Figure from Motion: That some of these peculiar Motions and Figures have distinct Names given to them, and consequently those Motions and Figures are as much ranked into Kinds and Sorts (though they may be never called Kinds or Sorts) as any things else in the World. For what do we mean by a Kind or Sort, but several Particulars having a Conformity to an abstract Idea? So that if our abstract Idea of Roundness agrees to the Figure of any Number of Beings, we do as necessarily call them all round, and reckon their Figure a sort of Figures, as we do a Negro of the Sort or Species of Men, by his answering or having a Conformity to our abstract Idea of Man, though the Term Species or Sort may not perhaps be made use of in one case as it is in the other. But after all, I cannot see what ground Mr. Clarke has to contest this Language with me, who says so much about Figures differing specifically from one another.()
Thus I have gone through his Arguments to prove, that Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion, and will conclude what I have to say on this Head, with considering the Apology he makes for my maintaining so absurd an Opinion, though it be only an Opinion he puts upon me, as he did, that I maintained() Sweetness existed in a Rose, in direct Defiance of my Words that were before him. He says, that in reviewing the Matter, he can hardly persuade himself, but that I have mistaken my own Argument. And his reason is,() because some ingenious Persons have undertaken to maintain, that God can make Matter think; which it seems, though a false and impossible Assertion, is not so extravagant an Absurdity as mine: and therefore I presume he thinks I intended to follow, or should have followed those ingenious Persons; which is as much as to say, I am more extravagantly absurd than others, therefore I have mistaken my own Argument. I may as well say, that Mr. Clarke has mistaken his own Argument, because I think him more mistaken than Descartes, and some other ingenious Persons, in making the Soul an extended Being, and yet indivisible by the Power of God. Have not Mr. Clarke, and I, and every Man else, a Liberty to judge and argue for our selves? And though it be very possible for us all to argue in such a manner as will seem extravagantly absurd to some Men or other, yet I humbly conceive that we ought not from thence to be charged with mistaking our own Arguments. When a Papist argues for Transubstantiation, I cannot see how he can be charged with mistaking his own Argument, because some ingenious Divines of the Church of England contend only for a real Presence. If we look into the World, is there not evident Proof, that Men professing Learning are capable of believing and defending any Absurdity in Nature? Nay, are not almost all the extravagant Opinions that abound in the World, chiefly confined to those that profess Philosophy and Learning? For as no living Creature is subject to the Privilege of Absurdity, but Man only; so the common People, by their Incapacity for Speculation, can enter no farther into the particular Speculations of their Country, than like the common Soldiers of an Army, by showing their Courage and Warmth for they know not what. Indeed we have had the Happiness in England to have such rational Parliaments and Convocations that have established nothing but Truth: yet an Englishman is thereby no more priviledged from maintaining and believing any, the most extravagant Absurdity, than a Man born in Turkey, France, or Spain; and that with the same Degree of Honesty and Sincerity. Had I contradicted my self, I might be said to have mistaken my own Argument; as Mr. Clarke may justly be said to have done, in making an extended Being, as such, divisible and indivisible at the same time. But to say I have mistaken my own Argument, because I exceed another in Absurdity, is such a Mistake, and argues so little insight into the Nature of Man (so prone to Errour and Absurdity) that I know not under what Kind or Species of Mistakes to put it.
To prove the Impossibility of Matter’s Thinking, Mr. Clarke urged another Argument,() viz. That it is absurd to annex Consciousness to so flux a Substance, as the Brain or Spirits: because() if such a Substance could be the Seat of that Consciousness, by which a Man not only remembers things done many Years since; but also is conscious that he himself, the same individual Being, was the Doer of them; it would follow, that Consciousness could be transferred from one Subject to another; that is, that a Quality could subsist without inhering in any Subject at all.
To which Argument I answered,() That no Man has the same numerical Consciousness to Day that he had Yesterday: the Consciousness he has to Day, is a distinct numerical Act from all past Consciousnesses; and can be no more the same numerical individual Consciousness with any of those past Consciousnesses, than the Motion of a System of Matter to Day, can be the numerical individual Motion it had Yesterday.
That we are not conscious, that we continue a Moment the same individual numerical Being. That we utterly forget or cease to remember a great many things, done in the former Part of our lives, which yet we as certainly did, as ever we did any of those things that we are conscious we did. That we do by degrees forget things partially, which we do not revive by frequent Recollection: And that in order to retain the Memory or Consciousness of a past Action, it is necessary to revive the Idea of it, before any considerable Flux of Particles: and by reviving the Idea, we have as perfect a Memory or Consciousness of having done that Action (though the Brain or Spirits be not composed of the same numerical Particles) as we had the Day after we did the Action; or as we have of a Triangle, or any other new Idea not before imprinted on the Brain. And if there is every now and then a Recollection of a past Action, a Man may be conscious of things done by him, though he has not one Particle of Matter, the same that he had at the doing of those things, without Consciousness’s being transferred from one Subject to another, in any absurd Sense of those words. And nothing can better account for a total Forgetfulness of some things, and partial Forgetfulness of others, than the Supposition of Consciousness’s inhering in a Substance, whose Particles are in a constant Flux.
But, Mr. Clarke says,() the Fallacy of this Reply is very evident. For to affirm, that new Matter, perpetually added to a fleeting System, may, by repeated Impressions and Recollections of Ideas, participate and have communicated to it a Memory of what was formerly done by the whole System, is not explaining or proving, but begging the Question, by assuming an impossible Hypothesis.
Now as far as I understand any thing of the Nature of Arguing; it was not my business, as a Respondent, to prove, but assign an Hypothesis. For assigning an Hypothesis, provided that Hypothesis be possible, is a full Answer to an Argument, whereby the contrary is proposed to be demonstrated; because what is possible, cannot be reduced to an Absurdity. And this I have done in the Words I have cited; but whether that Hypothesis be possible or impossible, I leave to be determined by every Man’s Reason; and whether it be not the real Truth of the Matter, by every Man’s Experience. This I am sure of, that Mr. Clarke’s calling it an impossible Hypothesis, and instead of saying a word to prove it impossible, immediately arguing on the Supposition of its Possibility, is begging the Question, and supposing that which he was to prove: whereas I was not to prove, but assign a Supposition or Hypothesis. The Substance of what he adds, while he argues on the Supposition of the Possibility of my Hypothesis, relating to the Question of Personal Identity, and the Justice of future Rewards and Punishments, shall be considered under another Head.
I had urged,() That though from the Immateriality of the Soul, it did follow, that the Substance of the Soul was naturally immortal or indivisible; yet it would by no means follow, that the Soul, considered as an actually thinking Being, was naturally immortal:() and unless the Soul, as an immaterial Being, did perpetually think or perceive, or as a thinking Being, was naturally immortal, a future State of Rewards and Punishments could not be proved from Mr. Clarke’s Argument; and therefore, it was of no use to the Ends and Purposes of Religion, that is, it was of no use to prove what it was designed for, viz. a future State of Rewards and Punishments.
To this Mr. Clarke says,() That he supposes it will be granted to be of the greatest Use, if it be evident that the Notion he is arguing against, is utterly destructive of Religion.
Let the Notion he is arguing against be utterly destructive of Religion, it will not therefore follow, that a Proof of the Immateriality of the Soul, is any Proof of a future State of Rewards and Punishments: and if a future State of Rewards and Punishments does not follow from the Supposition of the Soul’s Immateriality, his Argument is not of any use to that end, for which it was intended; and no more proves a future State of Rewards and Punishments than any Opinion or Principle, whose Supposition is utterly destructive of a future State. For whatever Medium does not prove a Proposition, when the pretended Use of that Medium is to prove that Proposition; that Medium no more serves that End and Purpose, than the most absurd Proposition in the World. Wherefore it is plain, that his subsequent Arguments, should they prove my Notion destructive of Religion, do not prove the Usefulness of his own Argument; and are no more to the Question in dispute, than his Endeavours to prove Roundness consists of Powers of the same Kind, and that Thinking is not a Mode of Motion. But to pursue the Complaisance with which I have treated him, I will consider what he says to prove my Notion destructive of Religion.
His first Argument() to prove my Notion destructive of Religion, is, That if the Mind of Man were nothing but a certain System of Matter, and Thinking nothing but a certain Mode of Motion in that System; it would follow, that since every Determination of Motion depends necessarily upon the Impulse that causes it; therefore every Thought in a Man’s Mind must be necessary, and defending wholly upon external Causes; and there could be no such thing in us, as Liberty, or a Power of Self-Determination. Now what Ends and Purposes of Religion, mere Clocks and Watches are capable of serving, needs no long and nice Consideration. To which I answer:
1. I no where affirm, Thinking to be a Mode of Motion in any System of Matter; and therefore let his Argument be ever so just and conclusive, it cannot prove my Notion destructive of Religion.
2. But supposing I had affirmed, the Mind of Man to be nothing but a certain System of Matter, and that Thinking is a Mode of Motion in that System; and that therefore, there can be no such thing in us, as a Power of Self-Determination, no more than there is in Clocks or Watches: How does it follow, that my Notion is destructive of Religion?
Men and Clocks agree in being necessarily determined in all their Actions; therefore, says he, they are alike incapable of Religion. I might as well argue, that because an immaterial Substance and a Clock agree, according to Mr. Clarke, in being extended, therefore an immaterial Substance is no more capable of Religion than a Clock. For what is it makes a Man a proper Subject of Religion but his Understanding? And what excludes a Clock from being a proper Subject of Religion, but the Want of a human Understanding? Both are necessarily determined in their Actions: The one by the Appearances of Good and Evil, and the other, by a Weight or a Spring. But how does this Agreement destroy Man’s Capacity for Religion? How does it appear, that an intelligent Agent that acts necessarily is not a proper Subject of Religion, because an unintelligent Agent that acts necessarily is not? When Mr. Clarke proves, that such an intelligent Agent cannot be a proper Subject of Religion, I will allow him, that Man is no more a Subject of Religion than a Clock; nay, I will go farther and allow, that there can be no such thing as Religion. For among all the Speculations relating to the human Mind, or any other intelligent Beings, there seems to me nothing more evident than that there cannot exist in any intelligent Being, nor do we enjoy any other Liberty than a Power to do as we will, and forbear as we will: that is to say, if I have the Will to stay in my Chamber, I have a Power to stay there; and if I have the Will to go out of my Chamber, I have a Power to go out. Let my Mind determine either way, I have still the Power to act as I will, unless something happens to hinder me from acting as I will. If I am locked up fast, I have no longer my Liberty in that respect, I have not then a Power to do as I will; and if I am thrust out by Violence, I am not at Liberty in that respect, because I cannot forbear going out, though I should will not going out. Whenever therefore the doing or forbearing any Action, according to the Determination of my Will, is in my Power, I am then always free and at liberty, that is, from any Agent’s hindering me from acting as I will, but not free from Necessity. For when I will, or prefer going abroad to staying at home, that Act of Volition or Preference as much determines me to act according to that Preference, if it is in my Power to go abroad, as Locks and Bars will hinder me from acting according to that Preference. The only Difference is, that in one Case I am necessitated to act as I will, and in the other Case to act contrary to my Will.
This seems to me to contain the whole Idea of human Liberty. Now, if Mr. Clarke cannot assign another Idea of Liberty, that is intelligible and consistent with it self, and that we can know to be true, by comparing it with the Actions of our Minds; Then if he shows, that a necessary Agent cannot be a Subject of Religion, it will follow from his Principles that Man is not a Subject of Religion. And that he can have no consistent, intelligible Idea of Liberty, besides what I have assigned, I think will be evident to any Man, that carefully considers the Actions of intelligent Beings, or endeavours to frame an Idea of Liberty, that is distinct from Necessity. Upon the best Information I can get, I can put no other intelligible Meaning on the Terms Liberty or Self-Determination for Mr. Clarke’s Purpose, than a Power to will or chuse differently under the same Circumstances: that is, though I will or prefer staying in my Chamber to leaping out at the Window, yet I could under those very Circumstances, wherein I preferred staying in my Chamber, have preferred leaping out at Window; which is as much as to say, I could have preferred what I did not prefer, though all the Causes of Preference continued. Now this to me is perfectly inconsistent; for whenever I prefer one thing to another, it is always on some Motives or Causes; and I find, that I cannot but prefer what I do prefer, till different Motives or Causes produce another Preference, Choice, or Will: and particularly in the Case before us, the Consideration of the Duty I owe to God and my Country, the Satisfaction I take in living, &c. are some of those Causes that produce that Will or Preference; and therefore to say I can prefer or will differently, under the same Circumstances, is to say, I can prefer what displeases me, than which nothing can be more inconsistent. I know the Doctrine of Necessity is too generally supposed to be irreligious and atheistical; and I must confess, I cannot but wonder at it, considering that the Predestinarians are so numerous in all the Sects of Christians, and that it is established in so many Confessions of Faith. Among the Reformed I think it cannot be doubted, but there are more Calvinists than Arminians: and if the Jansenists in the Church of Rome are not equal in number to their Opposers, their Writings show them to be the most acute and ingenious Persons of that Communion. And if, in the Church of England, its Members incline to Arminianism, yet it is affirmed by many, that our Articles are Calvinistical, and acknowledged by all, that they were not designed to exclude a Calvinistical Meaning: which is a sufficient Ground to presume, that the Compilers were Calvinists, or at least, that they did not think Calvinism led to Irreligion. I could produce many Divines of our Church that in Terms teach the Doctrine of Necessity (for indeed it would be strange, if some Divines did not maintain what seems so evidently the Doctrine of the Church) but I think it sufficient to name only Dr. South, whose Penetration, to know what is Orthodox, can no more be called in question by any Man that has looked into his Writings, than his Zeal to be Orthodox can be suspected; when it is considered, that after declaring() what he takes to be the commonly received Doctrine of the Church concerning the Blessed Trinity, he humbly submits it to the Church of England. And I look upon his Authority alone to be sufficient to convince every impartial Reader, that a poor Layman may hold the Opinion of the Necessity of all Events, as innocently as so Reverend a Doctor of the Church, and take off from the Force of Mr. Clarke’s Imputation of Irreligion on that Principle, since the Doctor has never met with any Censure for asserting it. In his first Volume of Sermons, he says,() Providence never shoots at Rovers. There is an Arrow that flies by Night as well as by Day; and God is the Person that shoots it, who can take aim then as well as in the Day. Things are not left in an equilibrium, to hover under an Indifference, whether they shall come to pass or not come to pass; but the whole Train of Events is laid before-hand, and all proceed by the Rule and Limit of an antecedent Decree.() Nay, and sinful Actions too are overruled to a certain Issue: even that horrid Villany of the Crucifixion of our Saviour was not a thing left to the Disposition of Chance and Incertainty; but in Acts ii. 23; it is said of him, That he was delivered to the wicked Hands of his Murderers by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God. For surely the Son of God could not die by Chance, nor the greatest Thing that ever came to pass in Nature, to be left to an undeterminate Event.() Those that suspend the Purposes of God, and the Resolves of an eternal Mind, upon, the Actions of the Creature, and make God first wait and expect what the Creature will do (and then frame his Decrees and Counsels accordingly) forget that he is the first Cause of all things, and discourse most unphilosophically, absurdly, and unsuitably to the Nature of an infinite Being; whose Influence in every Motion must set the first Wheel agoing. He must still be the first Agent; and what he does he must will and intend to do, before he does it; and what be wills and intends once, he willed and intended from all Eternity: it being grossly contrary to the very first Notions we have of the infinite Perfection of the divine Nature, to state or suppose any new immanent Act in God. The Stoicks indeed held a Fatality, and a fixed unalterable Course of Events; but then they held also, that they fell out by a Necessity emergent from and inherent in the things themselves, which God himself could not alter: so that they subjected God to the fatal Chain of Causes, whereas they should have resolved the Necessity of all inferiour Events into the free Determination of God, who executes necessarily that which he purposed freely.
In the foregoing Words the learned Doctor, in Terms, asserts the Necessity of all inferiour Events; and though he distinguishes between the Christian and Stoical Necessity, yet that is only with relation to the Cause of that Necessity. A Necessity founded on the Will of God, must as much destroy the Power of Self-determination in Man, as if that Necessity was founded on a Chain of Causes.
But let us suppose, that the Necessity of all Actions was destructive of all Religion, by destroying the Power of Self-determination; I desire Mr. Clarke, who maintains() the Certainty of all Events, to show what different Influence that supposed Necessity of our Actions can have on the Power of Self-determination, that the Supposition of the Certainty of our Actions has not. If every Action, and the least Circumstance of it, be certain to exist before they do exist; can I possibly have a Power to act contrary to such an Action, or any Circumstance of it, any more than I can contrary to an Action that will necessarily exist? Now unless he can show such a Difference between the Certainty and Necessity of all Actions, whereby it may appear that the Necessity of all Actions destroys all Power of Self-determination, and the Certainty of all Actions does not; he must give up Religion on his Principles: or if he quits them, he must own with me, that Religion is consistent with maintaining the Necessity of all Events.
Besides, Mr. Clarke must suppose, that God himself can have no other Liberty, but a Liberty to do or forbear according as he wills, when he says,() That the necessary and eternal different Relations, which different things bear to one another, always and necessarily do determine the Will of God; and that() God is unalterably determined to do always what is best in the whole. For if the Will of God is always necessarily and unalterably determined, how can he have a Power of Self-determination, as before explained; that is, How can he will differently under the same Circumstances? And if his Will be necessarily determined, what other Liberty can be attributed to the Deity but a Power to do all that he wills, and to forbear what he wills the Forbearance of? The Force of Truth has produced these Expressions from Mr. Clarke, and he is desired to reconcile them with Censure() of the Author of the Essay of, &c. for asserting only the same Opinion; and not only so, but to reconcile the Power of Self-determination in Man, with his Principle of God’s Will being necessarily determined. For if he considers the matter, he will find, that as God’s Will is necessarily determined by what is really best, so the Human Will must always be determined by what seems best; and that it is impossible to conceive, but that every intelligent Being, that has a Power of Action, must be thus determined; nay that the Perfection of intelligent Beings, as distinguished from unintelligent Beings, lies in being determined by appearing Good and Evil, and a Power of acting pursuant to those Appearances. What would Man have, or can he wish for more than to have a Will, Election and Choice, and a Power to do as he wills or chuses? Would he be able to chuse or will Pain, when he wills or chuses Pleasure? Or would he, when he wills or chuses Pleasure, be capable of acting contrary to his Will? That is, would he be so miserable a Being, as to be able to will Pain under the Notion of Pain, or by acting contrary to his Will or Choice have all his Actions involuntary? Both which must follow from a supposed Power in Man, to will or chuse differently under the same Circumstances, and from a Power to act contrary to what he wills. But God be thanked we are in a much better State; we are surrounded with Objects, which so far as they seem preferable one to another, we do, and cannot help willing or preferring; and while we will or prefer them, we cannot help acting agreeable to that Will or Preference: and nothing but Violence offered to us can hinder us from acting agreeable to our Wills; which Compulsion or Violence sure no one can desire. Indeed we are a little restrained in our Liberty. If we will going into the Moon, or no further than the Atmosphere, we are not at liberty to act as we will; for had we a Liberty in all cases to act as we will, we should be omnipotent.
His next Argument() to prove my Notion destructive of Religion, is, That the Doctrine of the Resurrection will be inconceivable and, incredible, and Justice of Rewards and Punishments impossible to be made out.
What he says to make out this point, being founded on the Question of Identity, it will not be amiss to state briefly my Opinion, before I consider his Exceptions.
1. A particular Substance, I call the same Substance that it was formerly, from its perfect Agreement to that Idea which I then supposed it correspondent to. As for instance, the Identity of a material Substance, at different times, lies in consisting of exactly the same numerical Particles, to which no Addition or Substraction has been made.
2. A. particular Mode (as suppose any particular Mode of Motion) not being capable of a Continuation of Existence, like Being and Substance, but perishing the Moment it begins; its Identity cannot consist in being the same numerical Mode of Motion at different times, but only in being that Mode of Motion that it was when it existed, and not another Mode of Motion. In like manner, any particular Act of Consciousness is incapable of the Continuation of its Existence; wherefore its Identity can only consist in being that very numerical Act of Consciousness that it is.
3. The Identity of an Oak, Animal, or Man, consists in a Participation of a continued Life, under a particular Organization of Parts. An Oak that contains several Loads of Timber, is called the same Oak with an Oak that was an Inch long an Hundred Years ago, by partaking thence-forward of a continued vegetable Life, in a like continued Organization of Parts: and an Animal or Man is called the same Animal or Man at Twenty Years old, that it was at a Quarter old, by partaking of a continued Animal Life, under a like continued Organization of Parts; let this Vegetable and Animal Life in the Oak, Animal or Man, be united at different times, to ever so different Particles of Matter.
4. Besides these sorts of Identity, there is a fourth very different from these, which we signify by the Word Self, and sometimes call Personal Identity. Now to understand what it is that constitutes Self or Personal Identity, let us consider to what Ideas we apply the Term Self. If a Man charges me with a Murder done by some body last Night, of which I am not conscious; I deny that I did the Action, and cannot possibly attribute it to my Self, because I am not conscious that I did it. Again, suppose me to be seized with a short Frenzy of an Hour, and during that time to kill a Man, and then to return to my Self without the least Consciousness of what I have done; I can no more attribute that Action to my Self, than I could the former, which I supposed done by another. The mad Man and the sober Man are really two as distinct Persons as any two other Men in the World, and will be so considered in a Court of Judicature, where want of Consciousness can be proved: and it will be thought as unjust to punish the sober Man for what the mad Man did, as to punish one Man for another’s Fault, though the Man both sober and mad is the same Man.
And lastly, should there be so strong a Representation to my Understanding of a Murder done by me (which was really never done at all) so that I could not distinguish it in my Mind from something really done by me; I can no more help attributing this to my Self, than I can any other Action which I really did, and was conscious of. So that it is evident, that Self or Personal Identity consists solely in Consciousness; since when I distinguish my Self from others, and when I attribute any past Actions to my Self, it is only by extending my Consciousness to them. And further, to give the Reader an Idea of the Nature of Personal Identity, let him consider; That our Limbs or Flesh, while vitally united to Thinking conscious Self, are part of our selves; but when separated from us, are no part of Self, but that Flesh which succeeds in the room of the Flesh separated, becomes as much a part of Self as the separated Piece of Flesh was before.
The Question then between Mr. Clarke and me is, whether upon Supposition that Personal Identity consists in Consciousness, and that Consciousness is only a Mode in a fleeting System of Matter, the Doctrine of the Resurrection will be incredible, and the Justice of future Rewards and Punishments impossible to be made out.
Mr. Clarke says,() If Thinking be in reality nothing but a Mode, which inhering in a loose and fleeting System of Matter, perishes utterly at the Dissolution of the Body, then the restoring the Power of Thinking to the same Body at the Resurrection, will not be a raising again of the same individual Person; but it will be as truly a Creation of a new Person, as the Addition of the like Power of Thinking to a new Body now would be the Creation of a new Man.
To which I answer, that if Personal Identity consists in Consciousness, as before explained; and if Consciousness be a Mode in a fleeting System of Matter, Consciousness can perish no more at the Dissolution of the Body, than it does every Moment we cease to think, or be conscious. Suppose we were taken to pieces every Night after we are asleep, and our Parts put into the same Form and Order which they would have been in in the Morning had we continued sleeping; I think it is not to be doubted but we should have the same Consciousness or Memory that we should have had in our natural State. Consciousness is no more created anew in one case than in the other; there is only a Suspension of the Operation of Thinking: Therefore the restoring the Power of Thinking to the same (or if you please a different) Body at the Resurrection, with a Memory or Consciousness extending to past Actions, will be a raising the same Person, and not a Creation of a new Person, as adding the like Power of Thinking to a new Body now would be the Creation of a new Man; because the Identity of Man, consisting in a Participation of a continued Life, under a particular Organization of Parts, must be new created whenever such a Life begins; whereas, if personal Identity consists in Consciousness, or a Memory extending to past Actions, that will make any one as much the same Person that he was in this World, as any one is the same Person here two Days together. That Memory or Consciousness preserves him from being a new Person (the Essence whereof ex hypothesi, consists in having a Power of Thinking that cannot be extended backwards.)
2. But if Mr. Clarke means by the same individual Person in the Paragraph I cited, the same numerical Being with the same individual numerical Consciousness at different times, as I suppose he does, since therein consists his Notion of personal Identity, (as the Reader may see,() if he will read the places referred to in the Margin) I do allow, that such an individual Person cannot be raised at the Resurrection. Nay, I think it is demonstrable, that there can be no Resurrection at all of the same Person on that Supposition. And thus I demonstrate it.
1.Being as Being cannot be rewarded or suffer.
2.Being only as Conscious or Thinking can be rewarded or suffer.
3.Human Thinking or Consciousness consists of a Number of particular Acts of Thinking or Consciousness, which whether they reside in a fleeting or indivisible Substance, can each of them have but one Existence, and cannot possibly exist at different times as Substances do, but perish the Moment they begin.
4.Since it is not possible for those individual numerical Acts of Thinking or Consciousness that are past to exist again; the same numerical Being, with the same numerical individual Consciousness, cannot exist at two different times, and consequently cannot possibly be rewarded or punished for an Action done.
5.Therefore if personal Identity consists in the same numerical Being, with the same individual numerical Consciousness, there can be no Resurrection of the same Person; nay, there can be no such thing as the same Person at two different times.
So that upon the whole, my Notion of personal Identity is so far from contradicting the Doctrine of the Resurrection, or making it impossible or incredible, that there can only be a Resurrection of the same Person, on these Principles, That present Consciousness or Memory is nothing but a present Representation of a past Action, and that personal Identity consists only in having such a Consciousness or Memory. For on these Suppositions, a particular Consciousness or Memory of past Actions can begin at the Resurrection as well as after a Night’s sleep; whereas, if the same numerical individual Consciousness, that existed in this World, is to exist at the Resurrection, as Mr. Clarke maintains, he requires a Condition in order to a Resurrection that implies a Contradiction.
There seems to me but one Objection more to my Notion of personal Identity that requires a Solution, and that is as follows:() That if the Addition of a like Consciousness with what Mr. Clarke now finds in himself to any System of those Particles of Dust, which in the Course of Twenty Years have successively been part of the Substance of his Body, and are enough to form several Bodies at the Resurrection, will constitute the same Person with himself; the Addition of the like Consciousness to all those Systems, would consequently make every one of them to be, not Persons like him, but the same individual Person with him, and with each other likewise, which is the greatest Absurdity in the World, an Absurdity equal to Transubstantiation. It is() making them all to be one and the same individual Person at the same time that they remain several and distinct Persons.
1. To which Objection I answer, by asking him, If these thinking Beings can know themselves to be the same or different Persons any other way, but purely by Consciousness? And I ask him, whether each of them must not unavoidably think himself the same Person with Mr. Clarke? If each conscious Being cannot help thinking himself to be the same Person with Mr. Clarke, it is past doubt, that nothing can be meant by the Term Self, but purely a present Representation of past Actions, or a Consciousness extending it self to past Actions, without regard to Sameness or change of Substance. Wherefore I do allow that each of those Beings would be the same Person with Mr. Clarke, that is, each of them would have a present Representation of the past Actions of Mr. Clarke (for that is what I understand, and what I think every Man must unavoidably signify by the Term Self, or by Sameness of Person.) And if each thinking Being is in that Sense the same Person with Mr. Clarke; and if Sameness of Person or Self consists in having a present Representation of a past Action, and applying that Action to a Man’s Self, let there be ever so many thinking Beings that have a present Representation of a past Action, they can all constitute but one and the same Person, because they all agree in, or have a present Representation of the same past Action, wherein Self or personal Identity consists; as my consisting of ever so great a Bulk of Matter, or ever so many distinct Beings, does not constitute different Persons, but constitutes what we call Self, by the Sympathy and Concern I have for each part united to me, though I have a distinct Act of Sensation for each part that is at any time affected. I suppose Mr. Clarke, when he expects() any Deference should be given to an Authority he cites against me, will pay the same Deference to the same Authority that he expects I should; and therefore on this occasion I shall give him Mr. Locke’s own Words, who says,() It must be allowed, that if the same Consciousness can be transferred from one thinking Substance to another, (as in a certain Sense he evidently shows that it may) it will be possible that two thinking Substances may make but one Person.
2. It is an Article of Christian Faith, that the same numerical Particles that are laid in the Grave, shall be raised at the Resurrection. And since God Almighty has made that necessary by the Declaration of his Will; the same Person will at the Resurrection only exist in those very numerical Particles that were laid in the Grave; by virtue of which, personal Identity or Self will begin in the same manner at the Resurrection, as it does in the Morning when we awake from Sleep. Besides, if God should cause to exist Twenty present Representations of the same past sinful Actions in so many distinct Beings, the consequent Punishment would be Twenty times as much as the sinful Action deserved, and his Justice required. Wherefore if God will not punish for Punishment-sake, as to be sure he will not, there cannot be two distinct thinking Beings, with, each of them a Consciousness extending to the same past Actions, and attributing them to themselves.
3. But supposing that each of these Twenty distinct Beings is the same Person with Mr. Clarke, (which ex hypothesi is true) and supposing further, that they can be considered as distinct Persons from one another, (which yet is not the Case, as the Reader may see by what I have said before) yet I humbly conceive Mr. Clarke will not upon Recollection say, this is an Absurdity equal to Transubstantiation, but will rather chuse to call it, a Difficulty that cannot be perfectly cleared, when he considers that it is one of the Articles of our Christian Faith, to believe that two complete Persons, singly considered, viz. the second Person in the Trinity, and a human Person, do constitute, by an hypostatical Union, but one Person.
4. But as to his own Scheme, besides the Absurdity of making the same individual numerical Consciousness necessary to constitute the same Person, I think there follows another Absurdity from his making the same numerical Being necessary to constitute Self, or the same Person. For how can he account for the Resurrection on the following Case? Suppose a Man lives and believes as a good Christian ought to do for forty Years, and then has a Distemper in his Body which obliterates all the Ideas lodged in the numerical individual immaterial Substance; so that on his Recovery there remains no Memory, no Consciousness of any Idea that he perceived for forty Years past. And further, suppose this numerical, individual, immaterial Substance, to get Ideas again as a young Child does, and till its Separation from the Body, leads a dissolute and debauched Life. Here on my Principles is the same Being at different times, as much two Persons as any two Men in the World are two Persons, or as the same Man mad and sober is two Persons. Now I ask him, whether or no they are two distinct Persons? If he answers, they are two distinct Persons: I ask him, how one of them can be punished eternally, and the other eternally rewarded, on Supposition that the same numerical individual Substance is necessary to constitute the same Person? And if they are two Persons, whether personal Identity must not consist in Consciousness alone, without any regard to its existing in the same or different Substances? If he answers, that they are not two Persons, but one Person; I ask him, whether he can suppose this Being rewardable or punishable? And what kind of Consciousness it will have when it is either rewarded or punished? When he has answered these Questions to himself, and will give himself, the trouble to consider Mr. Locke’s Chapter of Identity and Diversity, he will see, that let him frame what imaginary Schemes of personal Identity he pleases, if there lie not unanswerable Objections against them all, except that of personal Identity consisting in Consciousness, yet at least that Experience perfectly contradicts his Notion of personal Identity, which consists in an individual numerical Being, with the same numerical Consciousness. And when he sees the Impossibility of the same numerical Consciousness continuing a Moment in a finite Being, but that every Moment’s Consciousness is a new Action, and nothing but bringing the Idea of a past Action into view; he may perhaps see the Needlesness of contesting whether Self or personal Identity must inhere in the same or different Beings at different times: because he may then as easily conceive that the same Consciousness may exist in different Beings at different times, as in the same numerical Being at different times; and may have as clear an Idea of personal Identity continuing under the greatest Change of Substance, as he may have an Idea of Animal or Human Identity, which consisting in a continued Life, under alike continued Organization of Parts, cannot be destroyed by the greatest Change or Flux of Particles imaginable. Though after all, was a Flux of Particles absolutely inconsistent with personal Identity, God Almighty could as easily preserve the most loose Particles from a Separation, as he can an immaterial or unextended Being from Annihilation.
As to what Mr. Clarke says about the Injustice of Punishment, on Supposition that personal Identity consists in Consciousness, and that Consciousness is a Mode of Motion in a System of Matter; it is to no purpose to enter into that Question till we are agreed on the Ends and Reasons of both Temporal and Eternal Punishment, which he has not as yet assigned. And when he assigns what I take to be the true Ends of Punishment, both in this World and the next, it will be then time enough to show, that they may all take Place on my Principles, as they can on any Principles whatsoever.
Being come to a Conclusion of what I think fit to reply to Mr. Clarke’s Third Defence on the Head of the Possibility of Matter’s Thinking, I will, out of a Desire to have this Argument put on its true Foot, observe in this place, That Mr. Clarke and I have only spoken of Matter so far forth as is knowable, viz. as Solid; and the Question between us has been in effect, whether Thinking can be an Affection of Solidity? And therefore should he have demonstrated with the greatest Clearness the Impossibility of all I have said, (as I humbly conceive it is quite the contrary) yet for all that, he cannot upon his Principles prove that there are different Kinds of Substances in the World. For since he supposes,() That we are utterly ignorant of the Substance or Essence of all Things, and, That there is no Substance in the World of which we know any thing further than only a certain Number of its Properties or Attributes; it is absolutely impossible for him to prove that there are two different Substances in the World, because having no Idea of the Substance of Matter, nor of the Substance of a Being distinct from Matter, it is impossible for him to know that the Substance of one is not the Substance of the other, or that there exists any other Substance but the Substance of Matter.
He can only know a thing to be true, either by Intuition, or by perceiving the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas by the Help of intermediate Ideas.
He cannot know that the Substance of Matter and the Substance of Spirit, or Being distinct from Matter, are not the same by Intuition, when he has no Idea of either; for that would be to say, that he perceived a Difference when he perceived no Difference at all.
Nor can he perceive or know, that there is a Difference between them by the Help of an intermediate Idea, because no intermediate Idea can discover any Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas, but by being placed between two Ideas. Now no intermediate Idea can be placed between two Ideas of things, when there is no Idea of either, no Subject of Comparison. Suppose a Brass Farthing put into one Box, and a Ring into another Box; how is it possible for a Man that has no Idea of either by any intermediate Idea, to know whether they differ from one another or no? And suppose one Man should affirm to another, who has no Ideas to the Terms Three Angles of a Triangle and two Right Angles, that Three Angles of a Triangle are equal to two right ones; how is it possible for him to know their Equality, by the Help of any intermediate Ideas, under that Ignorance? Other Angles can never show him the Agreement of he knows what with he knows not what, no more than if he was showed the Sun or the Moon.
All that I can find said against this most evident Demonstration by Mr. Clarke, to whom it has been objected, is,() That from the demonstrable Attributes of God, and from the known Properties of Matter, we have unanswerable Reasons to convince us, that their Essences are intirely different, though we know not distinctly what those Essences are. The Attributes of God, says he, are, that he is Self-existent, Eternal, Infinite, Intelligent, Free, Wise, &c. The known Properties of Matter are, adds he, that it is not Self-existent, but Dependent, Finite, Divisible, Passive, Unintelligent, &c. But by what intermediate Idea does it appear that the Substance of Matter is not Self-existent, but Dependent, Finite, Passive, Divisible, Unintelligent, &c? Nay, is it not supposed by our having no Idea of the Substance of Matter, that we cannot possibly know whether it be Self-existent, Dependent, Finite, Passive, Divisible, Unintelligent, or no? How then can Mr. Clarke on his own Principles know, that the Substance of Matter is not Self-existent, &c? There is nothing in Matter that appears to be Dependent, Passive, not Self-existent, Finite, &c. but Solidity and the Affections thereof. The Substance in which Solidity inheres we have no Idea of, and consequently cannot affirm of it, that it is Finite, Divisible, or Unintelligent, or not Self-existent. So that it is evident that Mr. Clarke and all those Gentlemen who say, we are entirely ignorant of the Substances and Essences of things, or have no Idea at all of them, cannot take a Step to prove, that there are different Substances in the World, without contradicting themselves, and supposing, that they are not utterly ignorant, but that they have an Idea of the Substances and Essences of things, when at the same time they confess, that they are utterly ignorant, or have no Idea at all of the Substances and Essences of Things.
Mr. Locke, who always speaks of a Substance as something unknown, and of which we have no Idea, whether it be applied to material or immaterial Substances, but a mere relative Idea of a Support, might very justly argue,() That from our not having any Notion of the Substance of Spirit, we can no more conclude its Non-existence, than we can for the same Reason deny the Existence of Body. It being as rational, says he, to affirm, there is no Body because we cannot know its Essence, as it is called, or have no Idea of the Substance of Matter; as to say, there is no Spirit, because we know not its Essence, or have no Idea of a Spiritual Substance. For on the Supposition of our having no Idea of Substance, and that Substance is something distinct from what are usually called Properties, it will be impossible for any Spinozist or Materialist to prove that there is no other Substance in the Universe but material Substance. But then on the other Side, it will be as impossible for such an Immaterialist to prove that there must necessarily be two kinds of Substances, because by having no Idea either of the Substance of Matter, or the Substance of Spirit, he cannot know but that the Substance of Matter is the Substance of Spirit. From what I have said it is evident, that Mr. Clarke, and those that are of his mind, cannot possibly, upon their own Principles, prove the Necessity of Thinking’s inhering in an immaterial Being. For though they should prove, that Thinking cannot inhere in Matter, because it is solid, and consequently divisible; yet that is no more than to say, That thinking cannot be an Affection of Solidity: for that is what they must mean when they say, Thinking cannot inhere in Matter, because having no Idea of the Substance of Matter, they can only say, Thinking cannot inhere in that part of Matter of which we have an Idea. Wherefore, supposing Mr. Clarke to argue right, that Thinking cannot inhere in Matter, that is, cannot be an Affection of Solidity, it would by no means follow, that it may not be made an Affection of, or be annexed to that Substance which is vested with Solidity. For of that Substance we are supposed to have no Idea, and consequently cannot exclude it from a Possibility of Thinking, any more than from a Possibility of being Solid.
Mr. Locke, to justify the Consideration of Substance as an unknown Support, in which Properties inhere, says,() A Philosopher that says, Substance (or that which supports Accidents) is something he knows not what, and a Countryman that says the Foundation of the great Church at Harlem is supported by something he knows not what, and a Child that stands in the Dark on his Mother’s Muff, and says, he stands upon something he knows not what; in this respect talk exactly alike. Now I humbly conceive, that they may not all talk exactly alike in this respect, for the Countryman and Child may have a clear abstract Idea of solid Being or Matter, a Species whereof the Countryman may imagine the Church at Harlem, and the Child himself supported by; whereas the Philosopher has no Idea at all: For let the Philosopher strip any part or piece of Matter of Solidity, and nothing conceivable remains, nothing in which Solidity can inhere; for as to that Portion of Space, in which it existed, that could not be the Substance in which it inhered, because that Portion of Space in which it existed, was really distinct from the material Substance, and accidental to it: for that Portion of Space exists immutably and perpetually in the same Place (if I may so speak) though ever so many particular material Substances are coextended to it, and then removed from it.
But as far as I can judge, all this talk of the Essences of Things being unknown, is a perfect Mistake: and nothing seems clearer to me, than that the Essence or Substance of Matter consists in Solidity, and that the Essence or Substance of a Being, distinct from Matter, must consist in want of Extension, and is truly defined an unextended Being. For nothing can be conceived to be coextended with the Parts of Space (if I may so speak) but what is solid. And therefore to make immaterial Being extended (as Mr. Clarke does) is to make immaterial Being material, which indeed is but of a Piece with his making an extended Being indivisible, though he has no other Reason to make all Matter divisible, but because it is extended.
As to what he has said() against material Impulse being the Cause of Gravitation, the whole is founded on this, That because a Bullet, a Feather, and a Piece of Leaf-Gold descend with equal Swiftness in vacuo (that is, in a Vessel out of which the Air is exhausted, according to Mr. Boyle’s Definition of the Term Vacuum,() in like case, by which he understands not a Space wherein there is no Body at all, but such as is either altogether, or almost totally devoid of Air) therefore material Impulse cannot be the Cause of Gravitation. I use the Term vacuum in the aforesaid Sense, because it is so far from being evident that all Matter is exhausted (though it should be granted, that there is no perfect Plenum there) that there are Experiments which prove, that Body remains there after the Air is exhausted, and that does receive actual Modifications by Motion from Bodies without the Vessel. And if so, a Bullet, a Feather, and a Piece of Leaf-gold may descend in vacuo, as Mr. Clarke calls it, with equal Swiftness, by virtue of the Impulse of those Parts of Matter that are contiguous to them, as that Lead under different Forms ascends or descends according to the Pressure of the circumambient Air. And as to that external Motion, which is the Cause of that Mode of Motion called Gravitation, I think the Experiment of several Pieces of Thread, tyed to the Inside Parts of a Hoop, all tending to a Center, upon a Globe’s being whirled round its Axis in the Middle of the Hoop, and this further Experiment of Bodies not descending in vacuo, as Mr. Clarke calls it, with the same Velocity at a greater Distance, as they do near the Earth, evidently show, that the Motion of the Earth is a proximate Cause of the Gravitation of Bodies in our Neighbourhood, and do discover the Cause of Gravitation throughout the material Universe. But however this be, unless Mr. Clarke proves, that there is a real vacuum in Nature, that is, that there are some Portions of Space without Body; and unless he proves withal, that there can be an entire Portion of Space in a Vessel without any the least Particle of Matter, so that he may try whether Bodies weigh or descend without the least Contact from other Bodies; he will not be able to prove, that material Impulse is not the Cause of Gravitation: and I may in the mean while say what I think, that could any Body be at first so situated as to be surrounded with nothing but pure Space, there would be no Beginning of Motion, no Weight, no Gravitation in that Body. This I humbly conceive is sufficient to obviate all he has advanced without Proof under this Article: for as to his Treatment of me I pass it all by, except one particular and extraordinary Liberty he has taken, viz. his saying() that I insinuate to my Reader, that Sir Isaac Newton is of my Opinion in the present Question; and to that will say no more than assure the Reader, that it is a pure Fiction.
He says,() That the great Phænomena of Nature (and particularly that of Gravitation) cannot possibly depend upon any mechanical Powers of Matter and Motion but must be produced (that is, constantly) by the Force and Action of some higher Principle: And so leading us even with mathematical Certainty to immaterial Powers; and finally to the Creator of the World.
But the Honourable Robert Boyle was of Opinion,() That it seems manifest enough, that whatsoever is done in the World, at least where the rational Soul intervenes not, is really effected by Corporeal Causes and Agents acting in a World so framed as ours is, according to the Laws settled by the omniscient Author of things. And,() that as it more recommends the Skill of an Engineer to contrive an elaborate Engine, so as that there need nothing to reach his ends in it, but the Contrivance of Parts devoid of Understanding; than if it were necessary that ever and anon a discreet Servant should be employed to concur notably to the Operations of this or that part, or to hinder the Engine from being out of Order: So it more sets off the Wisdom as God in the Fabrick of the Universe, that he can make so vast a Machine perform all those many things, which he designed it should, by the mere Contrivance of Brute Matter managed by certain Laws of Motion, and upheld by his ordinary and general Concourse, than if he employed from time to time an intelligent Overseer to regulate and controule the Motion of the Parts. And therefore could it be proved, that the grand Phænomena of Nature depended on the constant Force and Action of immaterial Beings, it would, according to Mr. Boyle, argue a less Degree of Wisdom, than if they depended on the mechanical Powers of Matter and Motion, and consequently overturn the Existence of an infinitely perfect Being, by not attributing to him the highest Wisdom we can possibly conceive,
2. But let this matter be as it will, I conceive this Argument of Mr. Clarke’s() for the Existence of God, or the Creator of all things, is as obscure and defective, as he thinks Descartes’s Argument from the Idea of God, is. For the true Question being, whether there has existed from all Eternity one immaterial Being of infinite Perfections, that created Matter and every thing else ex nihilo; how does it follow, that such a Being exists, from the mere Supposition of the Existence of two Beings of different kinds? For it does not necessarily follow from that Supposition, that one must have created the other ex nihilo; and therefore other Mediums are necessary to prove that Point.
To infer a Creator of one Being or Substance from the mere Existence of two kinds of Beings or Substances, is a Reasoning no where extant in the old profane Authors, who() had not so much as a word to signify the Production of things ex nihilo, and therein agreed with the Jews, who (as the same Author observes) every where apply the Hebrew Word, which we render Creation, to express other Actions and Effects than a Production of Matter ex nihilo. The Question therefore of a Creator ex nihilo is a modern Question; and consequently out of Reverence to sacred and profane Antiquity, it became Mr. Clarke not barely to suppose the mere Existence of two Beings of different kinds sufficient to demonstrate the Creation of one of them ex nihilo.
3. Since, on occasion of the Boylean Lecture, the Existence of God is often made a Question (which otherwise would be with few any Question at all) and since the Gentlemen that preach that Lecture propose to prove the Existence of God by the Rules of demonstrative Argumentation() (and thereby give Men a right to expect Demonstration) I shall, out of the Inclination I have to see the Foundation of all Religion established on Demonstration, and to gratify that Desire which even Atheists (as Mr. Clarke observes()) must of Necessity own they have to see a Truth established, that is so much for the Benefit and Happiness of Men; for, says he,() on whatever Hypothesis they proceed, Nothing is so certain, as that Man, considered without the Protection and Conduct of a superiour Being, is in a far worse Case, than upon the Supposition of the Being and Government of God, and of Mens being under his peculiar Conduct, Protection and Favour (from whence it seems to follow, That Atheists, according to Mr. Clarke, even while they continue so, have no reason to fear any thing for their Disbelief) I say, I shall couclude this Debate with an Essay, showing a way how to demonstrate the Existence of God, since Demonstration is thought so necessary in the Case, though I should think Probability enough to determine any Man. As far as I can judge of the Opinions of Strato, Xenophanes, and some other antient Atheists, from a few Sentences of theirs which yet remain, and of the Opinions of that Sect called the Literati in China, from the Accounts we have in the several Voyages thither, and more particularly from Father Gobien’s Preface before his Histoire de l’edit de l’Empereur de la Chine en faveur de la Religion Chretienne, 8vo, Par. 1698, they seem all to me to agree with Spinoza (who in his Opera Posthuma has endeavoured to reduce Atheism into a System) that there is no other Substance in the Universe but Matter, which Spinoza calls God, and Strato, Nature. And this System is thus described by Manilius, Lib. 1.
 
Omnia mortali mutantur lege creatâ. Nec se cognoscant terræ vertentibus annis Exutas. Variant faciem per sæcula gentes. At manet incolumis mundus suaq; omnia servat, Quæ nec longa dies auget, minuitq; senectus. Nec motus puncto currit, cursusq; fatigat: Idem semper erit, quoniam semper fuit Idem. Non alium vidêre Patres, aliumve Nepotes Aspicient. Deus est qui non mutatur in œvum.
 
Now to answer these Atheists demonstratively, and on Principles which will stand the Test, I am so far of Mr. Clarke’s Mind, as to think that we ought to prove the Creation of Matter ex nihilo; or which is all one, that Matter is not a self-existent Being. For if once Matter be allowed to be a self-existent Being, we Christians who believe but in one self-existing Being, are obliged by our own Reasoning to allow Matter all possible Perfections, and to exclude every thing else from being Self-existent: Because it is from the Idea of Self-existence, that we infer the Perfections of God. Besides, should we admit two Self-existing Beings, Spirit and Matter, we could not then be able to prove, but that there may be Self-existing Beings in Infinitum, and a Plurality of Gods; which is as inconsistent with the Being of God, or &. Creator, as the Self-existence of Matter. Wherefore it is evident, that to avoid the two dangerous Extreams of believing, either that nothing exists but the material Universe, or that Beings of different kinds necessarily exist, we must not only know that Beings of different kinds exist (which Mr. Clarke thinks sufficient to prove a Creator) but we must have an Idea how it is possible for Matter not always to have existed: And then it will evidently follow, that what we can conceive possible not always to have existed, cannot be a Self-existing Being, and consequently that there must be a God or a Creator of Matter.
Now the way to prove, That Matter is not Self-existent, or, which is all one, the Creation of Matter ex nihilo, is to form to our selves an Idea of the Creation of Matter ex nihilo, as we have an Idea of the several Powers of Matter beginning to exist without any preceeding Existence; for unless we have an Idea of the Creation of Matter ex nihilo, we must inevitably conclude Matter a Self-existent Being. For what is a Self-existing Being, but a Being which we cannot but conceive existing? And what is the Idea of Creation ex nihilo, but an Idea of the Possibility of the Existence of Matter, or an Idea how Matter may begin to exist? As our Idea of the Creation of the Powers of Matter, is an Idea of the Possibility of those Powers beginning to exist; of which we have as clear a Conception, as we have that any Powers of Matter do really exist. Now to get an Idea of Creation, or a Conception how Matter might begin to exist, we must (as the incomparable Mr. Locke with great Modesty expresses himself()) emancipate our selves from vulgar Notions, and raise our Thoughts as far as they can reach to a closer Contemplation of Things; and then we may be able to aim at some dim and seeming Conception, how Matter might at first be made, and begin to exist by the Power of the Eternal First Being. But as he thought that this would lead him too far from the Notions, on which the Philosophy now in the World is built, and that it would not be pardonable to deviate so far from them; so the small Compass of this Treatise, and the great Labour of shewing the Falsehood of so many received Prejudices and Opinions, as is necessary to give an Idea of Creation ex nihilo, must make it more pardonable in me (who own my self to be infinitely below him in Abilities) if I omit for the present so useful a Design, or should leave it entirely to some of those Gentlemen that are appointed annually to preach at the Lecture founded by the Honourable Robert Boyle.
Before I conclude, it may be expected that I should take some notice of the Expressions of Contempt used towards me in Mr. Clarke’s Third Defence. But to every thing of that kind, I think it sufficient to say, 1st, to Mr. Clarke, That I heartily forgive all such Usage from whomsoever I receive it, and that I think my self in a particular Manner obliged to forgive him: Because I sincerely believe he endeavoured to be civil, and that he was as civil as he could be. And, 2dly, as to my other Readers, I will take the Liberty to believe them so much Philosophers, as that upon second Thoughts they will think Civility the best Answer and Reproof: Notwithstanding that we are lately told, by a Reverend Author,() That Good Nature and Good Humour make Men Atheists and Scepticks.
But there is one thing which I am very much surprized to find in Mr. Clarke, and of which I did not think him capable, and that is an Insinuation that I believe too little.() For I did imagine that the Usage he had had of the like kind, would have given him an opportunity to consider, that such Reflections are capable of being made by any body, and so derive no Credit on their Author, and that they can please no Man of Candour and Ingenuity. However, I shall not make that Return which such an Insinuation does suggest and would justify, but instead thereof will give him on this occasion a Testimony in his favour, before I finally take my leave of him; That I verily think he neither believes too little, nor too much; but that he is perfectly and exactly Orthodox, and in all likelihood will continue so.

A Fourth

DEFENCE

OF AN

ARGUMENT

Made use of in a

Letter to Mr. DODWELL,
To prove the Immateriality and Natural Immortality of the SOUL.

In a Letter to the Author of the Answer to Mr. Clarke’s Third Defence, &c.

With a POSTSCRIPT, relating to a Book, entitled, A Vindication of Mr. Dodwell’s Epistolary Discourse, &c.

By SAMUEL CLARKE, D. D. late Rector of St. James’s Westminster.

If we look into the World, is there not evident Proof that Men professing Learning, are capable of believing and defending any Absurdity in Nature? Answer to Mr. Clarke’s 3d Def. p. 353.



LONDON:
Printed in the Year MDCCXXXI.

A Fourth

DEFENCE

OF AN

Argument, &c.
 
SIR,
 
OF repeating the same Things over and over again, there is no End. The Thing I proposed to prove, is, I think, so fully made out in my foregoing Defences; that I might safely leave the whole Matter to the intelligent and impartial Reader, without any further Enlargement. Your last Answer is little more, than a renewing of your former Assertions, sometimes in the same, and sometimes in different Words; as if you thought all that I had advanced to the contrary, was entirely wide of the Question. Whether that be really the Case or no, I am very willing the World should judge: And therefore in Reply to your perpetual Repetitions, I shall not transcribe my former Papers; but only refer to them, as occasion shall offer; and desire they may fairly be compared together: And, as I go along, shall endeavour to point out to you some of the chief Misrepresentations and Fallacies you appear to be guilty of: And where you offer at any Argument that seems new in any part of it, shall consider it in its place.
You begin with charging me,() that out of Four Objections insisted on in your Reflections, I have dropt the Consideration of Three.
Whether this be true, or no; they who please to compare the Papers, may find. I am not sensible, that I have passed over any of your Objections, or any part of any of them, unanswered: Only, where you have repeated the same Things again, (as, for Instance, in that poor Objection drawn from our Ignorance of the Manner how God will dispose of the Souls of Brutes;) instead of repeating my Answers, I have only referred to them as they stood in my former Defences; which is ultimately appealing to the Judgment of the intelligent Reader: And for this Complaint, I shall give you more frequent Occasions hereafter.
 
And in answer to your Fourth Objection, you say() I am so far from showing (as I ought to have done,) that if Consciousness did inhere in a System of Matter, it must consist of the Consciousness of the Parts; that on the contrary I have only endeavoured to prove, that, as Roundness must consist of several Pieces of Roundness, or Tendencies towards Roundness; so, if Consciousness did in like manner with Roundness, inhere in a System of Matter, It must consist of several Tendencies towards Consciousness. And this you call an apparent Desertion of my Argument.
Now to this, I reply; that, consisting of the Consciousness of the Parts, and consisting of several Tendencies towards Consciousness, is the very same thing, For, as nothing that is not Curve, can have any Tendency towards Curvity; as nothing that is not Colour, can have any Tendency towards Colour; as nothing that is not Sound, can have any Tendency towards Sound: So nothing that is not Consciousness, can have any Tendency towards Consciousness. Differences indeed and Degrees there may be, of the Distinctness of Consciousness and vigour of Thinking; as there are different Degrees of the Curvity of a Line, different Degrees of the Brightness of a Colour, and different Degrees of the Clearness of a Sound: But as it is plainly impossible that any Colour mould have any Tendency towards being any Sound, or that any Figure should have any Tendency towards being any Motion; so it is likewise ridiculous to imagine that any Motion, or any other Quality of Matter void of Consciousness, should have any Tendency towards being Consciousness.
Besides: The Curvities of the several little Arches that constitute the Circumference of a Circle are not properly Tendencies towards Roundness; (for a Part has no more Tendency to the Whole by Composition, than the Whole has a Tendency to its Part by Division;) but they are themselves, being taken together, the whole Circle or the Roundness it self: So that Roundness is not a new real Quality, resulting from the Curvities of the several Parts; but only a Name of the Whole, a mere external Denomination:() Even in the same Manner as the Twelve Units that constitute the Number a Dozen, are not properly so many Tendencies towards a Dozen (as towards any real new Thing or Quality;) but are Themselves, being taken together, the Number a Dozen; which Name is nothing but a mere Term, an external Denomination of the Whole, and nothing at all really in the Things numbered. Consciousness therefore in like manner, if it was nothing but the Sum of those Motions or Modes of Motion, which you call Tendencies towards Consciousness; would not be a distinct Quality really inhering in the Thinking Substance, (as every Man feels by Experience, and you your self grant that it is;) but it would be a mere Word or Term of Art, nothing but a Name or external Denomination, such as are those Qualities which I ranked under the Third Sort
Wherefore when you confess,() that the Parts, (of Roundness, suppose) must be so far of the same Kind, as to have a Tendency to that Individual Figure of which they are a Part: And that in that Sense you have always allowed Consciousness to consist of Powers of the same Kind; because if Consciousness inheres in a System of Matter, it must necessarily be allowed that the distinct Beings in that System contribute towards Thinking, as the Pieces of a Circle do towards a Circle, or as all the Parts of a System of Matter contribute towards the System: And again;() that What is said in the Third Defence, may, for ought you know, be a Vindication of the Conclusion before recited, (viz. that if Consciousness did inhere in a System of Matter, it must consist of several Tendencies towards Consciousness:) And again;() You do, in that Sense, allow Consciousness to consist of Powers of the same Kind; For, according to You, it consists of Parts which have a Tendency to Thinking or Consciousness, as Roundness does of Parts that have a Tendency to Roundness: In all these Passages you directly give up the Question. For, those Modes of Motion (or of any other Quality of Matter) which you call Tendencies to Consciousness, either are themselves Consciousnesses and Thoughts, or not. If they be; then, as the whole Curvity of a Circle is made up of the Curvities of the several little Parts or Arches of which it is composed, so whole Consciousness or Thinking will likewise be made up of several partial Consciousnesses or Thoughts; which is giving up the Question with one Hand: Or if they be not; then, as the Roundness of a Circle, so far as it differs from the Curvities of the little Arches of which it is composed, is nothing but a bare Name of a Whole, a mere external Denomination; so Consciousness, as far as it differs from those constituent Modes that are no Consciousnesses, will be only a Name of a Whole, a mere External Denomination, and nothing at all really in the Thinking Substance it self; Which is giving up the Question with the other Hand.
 
YOU represent me all along speaking, as if my whole Argument was founded upon the Supposition, that in the Idea of an Immaterial Being Extension is contained.() That Extended Being of Mr. Clarke’s.() You think him mistaken in making the Soul an Extended Being.() In making an Extended Being, as such, &c.() An Immaterial Substance and a Clock agree, according to Mr. Clarke, in being Extended:() And, to make Immaterial Being Extended, as Mr. Clarke does.()
This is neither doing Me nor your Readers Justice. For my Argument is not at all founded upon any Supposition either of Immaterial Substance being Extended or Unextended. That which I undertook to prove, was, that Matter, (all whose solid Parts are so many distinct, separable, independent, unconnected Beings;) could not be a Subject capable of Individual Consciousness; And that therefore Consciousness must have some other Subject to reside in. Whether That other Subject be Extended or Unextended, (whatever you may suppose my Opinion to be, upon other Grounds,) the present Argument determines not; but leaves every Reader at Liberty to judge as he shall find Reason. Only I affirmed by the Bye, for Argument’s sake, that I thought the Difficulties arising from the Supposition of Immaterial Substance being Extended, were not greater, but rather less, than those which arise from the Supposition of its being Unextended. See Second Defence, pag. 174, 175.
It is here also further to be observed incidentally; that, when you ask,() What other Argument can be made use of to prove all Matter divisible by the Power of God, but what is drawn from the Consideration of its Extension? And affirm, that if Matter, as an extended Being, is divisible; all extended Beings must be divisible: and, that() I have no other Reason to make all Matter divisible, but because it is Extended: and, when you mention the Divisibility, add by way of Explication,() or (which is all one) the Extension, of Matter: You seem to forget, that you your self expressly allowed() Space, though extended, to be absolutely Indiscerpible; And, therefore you your self make Matter divisible, not barely as an Extended Being, but as finitely Extended; And, that I gave still another Reason for stiling Matter divisible;() viz. God’s having by his own Will and good Pleasure created such a Substance, all whose solid Parts we find by Experience to be so many distinct Beings, loose, independent one from another, and unconnected; that is, having no essential Connexion one with another, nor any Dependence one upon another for their Existence; as the Parts of Space evidently have, even separate from the Consideration of its being absolutely Infinite; and as the Parts of Time have, (forasmuch as every Moment, co-existing with all the Parts of Space, is yet both indivisible in it self, and inseparable from the other Parts of Duration;) and as the Parts, improperly so called, of Immaterial Substances may have, for any thing that can ever be proved to the contrary, on Supposition of their being Extended. But all this is beside the main Argument, which (as I have said) does not necessarily imply any such Supposition.
 
IN like manner; when you() make a long and pompous Discourse about Adequate and Inadequate Ideas, and about Difficulties that cannot be perfectly cleared; (that is, which cannot be cleared wholly, but yet may in great part, and enough to satisfy any reasonable Person; though, it seems, you know no such Difference:()) When, I say, you talk about these things as of great Necessity to be premised, and as if you would have the Reader think the Whole Argument depended upon the right stating of them; whereas in reality they have no relation at all to the Argument, but were started only upon occasion of that foreign and incidental Question concerning the Extension of Immaterial Substance; In all this Matter, you have by no Means made a right Representation of things.
However, as to the Distinction it self, between Absurdities or Contradictions, and Difficulties that cannot perfectly be cleared; I desire only, that what I have said upon this Head, (3d Defence, page 302, 303.) may be compared with what you have said upon it, (Answer, pag. 318 — 325:) And whether then I had not reason, (notwithstanding the Amusement of 7 or 8 Pages() about Difficulties arising from the perception of the Disagreement of perfect or adequate Ideas, and Difficulties arising from the Perception of the Disagreement of imperfect or inadequate Ideas; when on the contrary I had expressly said, that the Difficulties I meant, did not arise from the Perception of any Disagreement of Ideas at all, but merely from our having in our Imagination either no Ideas, or such very imperfect ones as cannot well be compared together, of Things whose Existence or Certainty we can nevertheless demonstrably prove by Reason, and apprehend many of their Properties by the Understanding; Which every one, that understands the first Elements of Mathematicks, knows to be the Case of All Sorts of Infinites and of Some Finites: Whether I say, I had not good reason) for the Distinction I made, I am willing any one, who pleases to compare the Books, should judge.
 
YOU ask,() What is a Difficulty which cannot be perfectly cleared by reason of defective Ideas, but a Difficulty which arises from the Perception of the Disagreement of those Ideas? I answer; It is a Difficulty arising, not from the Perception of any Disagreement of Ideas, but from the Want or Defectiveness of Ideas in the Imagination; which therefore we cannot compare so as to Imagin distinctly how they agree, though we can by our Reason and Understanding demonstrate it is impossible they should disagree. This is plainly the Case in most Questions, concerning Eternity, Immensity, &c.
You declare your self of another Opinion; And, that you think,() whatever can be demonstrated, can be perfectly cleared from all Objections and Difficulties; And, that all the Difficulties that may be urged against the Immensity and Eternity of God, &c. which Mr. Clarke says cannot be clearly answered, are to be clearly answered; And, in order to answer them clearly, you would only require these equitable Conditions of him, that he would define the Terms, Immensity, Eternity, Immaterial Being, &c. It is a pleasant Instance of an Equitable Condition, that you desire me to give a Definition, that is, to express the Idea, of things whereof I contend we have no Ideas or very imperfect ones, (seeing we can only give Negative Descriptions of them;) though we have certain Demonstrations of their Existence. And it is no less remarkable, that notwithstanding all this stir about the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas, yet you your self, when you come to discourse more particularly concerning the Nature of Thinking, talk of() a Power in Matter unknown to us, and of which we have no Idea; of which nevertheless you venture to affirm, that it may comprehend under it Thinking and its Modes, as Figure does Roundness. But, to pass this over: Since it is your declared Opinion, that all the Sorts of Difficulties now-mentioned, may be clearly answered; I cannot but think you would very much oblige the World, in answering them clearly. And I will offer you a fair Opportunity of doing it; by reconciling, if you please, the two following Accounts together; or else by maintaining either of them, and answering clearly the Objections and Difficulties contained in the other.
It is evident to me, that God must be an Immaterial Being, that is, a proper Immaterial Being, a Being without any of the Properties of Matter; without Solidity, Extension, or Motion; and that exists in No Place; and not a Being that has Extension, and consequently exists in Place and has Parts. —— Thinking in God, cannot be founded on any Objects acting upon him; nor can Thinking in him be SUCCESSIVE or consist of Parts; nor can his Thinking have any MODES, because Modes of Thinking are DISTINCT ACTS of Thinking. But as his Essence is eternal and immutable, without any the least Variation or Alteration; so his thinking is one Numerical INDIVIDUAL Act, comprehending all Things, and all the Possibilities of Things at one View; and is as fixt and permanent and unvariable, and as much without SUCCESSION and Parts, as his Essence. Answer to Mr. Clarke’s Third Defence, page 340, 341.
The next Absurdity charged on the Attribute of Eternity, is, How God should co-exist with all the Differences of Time, and yet there be no SUCCESSION in his Being. This I own to be as absurd, as ——— ; and that there is a manifest Contradiction in this Notion or Conception. For if by Succession in God’s Being, is understood, (and I know not what other Sense to put upon it,) co-existing with all the Differences of Time; then the Difficulty is, how to conceive God to co-exist with all the Parts of Time, and yet not to co-exist with all the Differences of Time. Now I acknowledge I cannot do This. But in behalf of God’s Eternity I beg leave to plead, that if God does co-exist with the Differences of Time, then he does co-exist with the Differences of Time; and it by no means can be said, that he does not co-exist with all the Differences of Time, if it be true, that he does co-exist with all the Differences of Time.——— To say, God exists all at once, is to say that he actually exists in time past, present, and to come; that is, that Time past is not past, and that Time to come is come, and was always come. But to give some Satisfaction to those who think it an Imperfection for God to co-exist with the several Parts of Time, I desire it may be considered, that if God Operates at different Times, and takes up the Space of Six Days in the Creation of the World, redeems Mankind 4000 Years after, and will judge Men in a Time not yet come; then he Operates not all at once: And if he Operates not all at once, then he exists not all at once: For if he existed all at once, there could be no Distinction of Time in His Operations. Past, present, and to come, must be attributed to the Being that Operates, as well as to its Operations, because Operations at different Times, suppose Succession in the Nature of Things, and Existing all at once, supposes no Succession: And consequently, if there is a Succession in the Nature of things, there is no such Thing in Nature as Existing all at once. Now if there is no Imperfection in supposing that God Acts at different Times; as there is not: What Imperfection can there be in supposing that he does not exist now at the time of the general Judgment, any more than that he is not now judging the World? Essay concerning the Use of Reason, &c. pag. 53, 54.
This Difficulty you must by no means pass over unsatisfied; because the Author of the Essay here cited, is believed to be a Person, whose Reasoning you cannot slight.
 
But to proceed now (as you say()) to the Question it self, My Argument, you pretend, is inconclusive; because, in my Enumeration of the possible Qualities of Matter; individual Modes of Figure, Motion, and other Qualities;() (such as are the Roundness of a Circle, the individual Mode of Motion of a Clock, and, in your Opinion, Consciousness or Thinking;()) are omitted: not being reducible to any of the Three Heads there mentioned.
I answer: Whole Roundness (as you call it,) that is, the Name of the Sum of the Curvities of the little Arches that constitute a Circle; And, the whole Mode of Motion of a Clock, that is, the Name of the Sum of a certain Number of Motions; And, Consciousness or Thinking, that is, as you suppose,() the Name of the Sum of Ten Thousand distinct Motions, or of a Number of any other Qualities void of Consciousness; do all plainly belong to the Third sort of Qualities I mentioned; That is, they are all plainly nothing but bare Names of Wholes, mere external Denominations,() so far as their Idea is different from that of their constituent Parts; and are nothing at all really in the Things themselves. Which whether it can possibly be the true Notion of Consciousness; making it nothing at all really in the Thinking Substance it self, but a mere empty and foreign Name; I leave every Man to judge from his own Experience.
For my contending that Thinking was not such a bare external Name of a Number of Qualities, but it self a real distinct Quality in the Thinking Substance; you before called my Idea of Thinking a mere Chimera of my own framing,() (though I believe no Man can help being conscious of the like Chimera in himself;) And now you repeat it again.() In answer to which, I refer you to what has been already said, (3d Defence, pag. 307, 308.) and to what you will presently give me Occasion to add further upon this Head.
 
You allow() that no Quality can reside in a System of Matter, but what must be always in a certain Sense of the same Kind with the Whole that results from the Parts; (that is to say, of the same Kind with It self; But I suppose you mean, of the same Kind with its constituent Parts;) Namely, that the Parts must be so far of the same Kind, as to have a Tendency, &c. And that in That Sense, you have always allowed Conciousness to consist of Powers of the same Kind.()
But I have proved at large in my Third Defence,() that Motions (or any other Qualities void of Consciousness) can be in no Sense of the same Kind with Consciousness. And I have shown just now,() that they cannot possibly in any Sense have any Tendency towards it, any more than Colours or Modes of Colour, can have any Tendency to Sound or Smell.
 
The distinct Beings in a System of Matter, contribute, you say,() towards Thinking; as the Pieces of a Circle do towards a Circle.
That they cannot do so; and that there is no Analogy, no Similitude in the least, between the Things you compare together; I have shown at large in my Third Defence; and particularly page 248, &c. to which I refer you and the Reader.
You alledge,() that in order to contradict you, it must be affirmed, that every Quality that inheres in a System of Matter, must inhere Wholly in each Part of it: That() Roundness is an Instance, that a Power may inhere in a System of Matter, without being the Sum of Powers of the same Kind, that is, of Whole Roundnesses: That() it is as impossible that Whole Consciousness should exist in each of the distinct Parts of a System of Matter, as that Whole Roundness should exist in each Part of a Circle: And that,() unless in a round Figure each part must be Wholly round; and in a conscious System of Matter, each part must be Wholly conscious; and in that Sense consist of Powers of the same Kind: not one step can be taken in Defence of Mr. Clarke’s Argument.
To all this, I think I have already given a clear and distinct Answer. Third Defence, pag. 248, &c.
In representing Part of which Answer, you make it amount to this ridiculous Proposition;() that though Roundness consists of Parts, none of which can possibly be Round; yet, if Consciousness inheres in a System of Matter in like manner with Roundness; that is, if it consists of Parts, none of which can possibly be Conscious; there must be as many distinct Consciousnesses, as there are Parts: Whereas the plain Strength and Sum of the Argument, was this; that as Roundness consists of Parts, none of which can indeed be the Whole Roundness, but yet every one of them must of necessity be Pieces of Roundness; so Consciousness, if it inhered in Matter in like manner with Roundness, must likewise consist of Parts, none of which could indeed be the Whole Consciousness, but yet every one of them must of necessity bear the same Analogy to the Whole Consciousness, as the Curvity of a Semicircle bears to the Curvity of two Semicircles, or the Curvity of one Quadrant to the Curvity of four Quadrants. And whether such Parts can be wholly void of Consciousness, because they have not in them singly the Whole Consciousness; any more than the Arches of a Circle can be wholly void of Curvity or Roundness, because they have not in them singly the Whole Curvity or Roundness; I leave to your self to judge. Herein therefore you are guilty of a very great Misrepresentation; in charging me with a Contradiction, which arises only from your own ludicrous Interpretation of my Words. For if you absurdly, and in defiance of the most perspicuous Expressions, put your contrary Sense upon my Words; what wonder then is it, if they become contradictory to my own evident Meaning?
 
What you repeat (Answer to Third Defence, page 236, 237, &c.) concerning your using it as a Supposition only, and not declaring it your Opinion, that Thinking may be a Mode of Motion; I only desire the Reader would be pleased to compare, with what I offered, (Third Defence, pag. 271.) And, if in your Supposition you pitched upon the likeliest Quality of Matter you could find, to make Thinking a Mode of; and I proved the Absurdity and Impossibility of Thinking’s being a Mode of That Quality; and, at the same time, made it evident that the same Arguments proved equally the Absurdity and Impossibility of Thinking’s being a Mode of any Other Quality, or Power of Matter whatsoever;() and yet you declared it positively to be your Opinion, that Thinking was a Mode of Some Power in Matter:() I presume your denying your self to be accountable for the Absurdity I charged you with, and complaining of my Disingenuity in charging it upon you, (or, as you are pleased to express your self, in putting it upon you;) will not be looked upon as of any Weight, till you can Answer the Argument by which I proved it to be justly chargeable upon you; which Argument you have not taken the least Notice of, as I might reasonably have expected an Ingenuous Adversary would have done.()
 
You proceed to offer some Considerations, concerning the Nature of Thinking;() from whence to deduce Arguments, to prove that it is merely an Affection of Matter.
 
The Sum of your First Argument, is this.
The Mind is operated upon by Matter, and Sensations are excited in it by the Operation of Matter, and all our Senses depend on Material Organs. Matter likewise is operated upon by Matter, and Motions are excited in it by the Contact and Impulse of Matter. Therefore the Mind is Matter, and Thinking a mere Affection of Matter.
This Argument, I think, deserves no Answer. Yet the Reader may, if he pleases, consult upon this Head the Third Defence, pag. 273, 274.
I shall only observe here, by the Bye; that whereas you say,() seeing Thinking follows the Motion of Matter in our Senses, we have just as much Reason to conclude that It is a Power or Affection of Matter occasioned by the Action of Matter, as we have to say that Fire is a Power or Affection of Matter, when it is produced by the Rubbing of a Wheel and its Axle-tree: It is evident on the contrary, that we have all the Reason in the World to conclude there is no Similitude between these two Things: Because Fire, as it exists in the Matter it self, (separate from the Sensations it excites in our Minds,) is confessedly nothing but mere Motion: But Thinking cannot possibly be mere Motion; as I have abundantly proved in my Third Defence;() and will still further appear, when I come to consider in their proper Place the Exceptions you have made to the Proofs there urged.
 
Your Second Argument, is this.()
Human Thinking has Succession and Parts. Material Actions likewise have Succession and Parts. Therefore Human Thinking is a Material Action.
This Argument also, I think, deserves no Answer.
Your Third Argument, is,()
Thinking has its Modes. Qualities of Matter have likewise their Modes. Therefore thinking is a Quality of Matter.
This is just as if I should argue.
Sound has its Modes. Colour has likewise its Modes. Therefore Sound is a Colour,
Or thus:
Spirit has Existence. Matter also has Existence. Therefore Spirit is Matter.
That I have not in the least misrepresented your Sense in these Arguments, I appeal to whoever pleases to compare our Papers together.
 
Your Fourth Argument, is, this.()
Thinking, in God, who is an Immaterial Being, is without any Succession, Modes, and distinct Acts. Thinking in Man, has, on the contrary Succession, Modes, and distinct Acts; as the Powers of Matter have. Therefore Thinking, in Man, is a Power or Quality of Matter.
In this also there is no Consequence, though the Premises were true. But, that Thinking, in God, is without Succession, I know not whether you will continue to affirm,() or not; when you have considered and compared together the two different Accounts of this Matter, which I just now transcribed; and shall have resolved which of them you will adhere to, by answering clearly the Objections contained in the other.
In the mean time I cannot but take notice, that you use a very strange Expression, when you say() it is evident to you, that God must be an Immaterial Being, that is, a proper Immaterial Being, a Being without Any of the Properties of Matter, without Solidity, Extension or Motion, and that exists in No Place; that is, in other words, which exists not at all: For, if he exists at all, it is certain he exists in every Place. I should not have made this Remark, but that I am sure you are no Friend to Unintelligible Distinctions, and Words that have no Signification; and that you will be ashamed to give me the School-mens Answer, that God exists in every Ubi, but not in any Place; that is, that in Latin he exists every where, but in English no where. And yet, unless you give either this Answer or a better, (for it is a thing of too great Importance to be passed over without any Answer at all;) it cannot be helped, but your Words will signify, what it is not possible to suppose you could mean.
Nor is it a less wonderful Expression, when you affirm that() Thinking, in God, cannot be successive, nor have any Modes or distinct Acts of Thinking; but that it is one numerical individual Act, fixt, and permanent, and unvariable, and without Succession, &c. That is to say; that God cannot vary his Will, nor diversify his Works, nor act successively, nor govern the World, nor indeed have any Power to will or do any thing at all. I do not charge you with Consequences; but I affirm they are too plain Consequences of what you profess.
 
You observe() that I allow Matter to act upon the Soul; Which since it cannot do by Contact, it must, be by a Power whereof we have no Idea; and if there be in Matter any such Power whereof we have no Idea, why may it not as well be capable of Thinking?
I answer: The Power by which Matter acts upon the Soul, is not a real Quality, inhering in Matter, as Motion inheres in it, and as Thinking inheres in the thinking Substance; but it is only a Power or Occasion of exciting certain Modes or Sensations in another Substance; Which Power, is one of those Qualities I ranked under the Second Sort;() And there is no Analogy at all, between a Subject’s being it self capable of Sensation, and its being the Occasion of certain Sensations being excited in another Subject.
However, as to the thing it self, there is no more difficulty in conceiving how Matter may act upon Immaterial Substance, than in conceiving how it acts upon Material Substance. When a Globe, suppose, of a Foot Diameter, in Motion; strikes upon a Globe of a Foot Diameter, at Rest: Tell me how Matter acts upon Matter, by Contact; why the Quiescent Globe makes a certain determinate Degree of Resistance; why it does not make an infinitely great Resistance; or why it does make any Resistance at all. And when Light is reflected and refracted by Bodies, which it never touches; nay, at a distance from them evident to Sense; and, in some Circumstances, the nearer the Medium, whose Surface it reflects from, approaches to a Vacuum, the greater and stronger the Reflection is; (of which there are convictive Experiments published to the World:) Or when Matter acts, by the Cause of Gravitation, upon other Matter, in proportion, not to the Bigness of the Superficies, but to the Quantity of the solid Matter it self; that is, acts upon the very Centers of the original solid Parts of Matter; (of which, Mathematicians know there are Demonstrations extant;) Tell me how, in these Cases, Matter acts upon Matter, without Contact; and I will undertake to tell you, how Matter acts upon Immaterial Substance.
It is worthy of Remark, that, both here and elsewhere, you seem willing to allow,() that That Power in Matter, whereof you contend Thinking to be a Mode, is a Power you pretend not to know; a Power unknown to us, and of which we have no Idea, no distinct Conception in our Minds, and which you know not whether it be Motion or no. Whatever it be, I have shown() that the same Arguments hold equally against Thinking’s being a Mode of that unknown Power, as against its being a Mode of Motion. But that which I would here remark, is this. If it is absolutely impossible (as you elsewhere affirm()) to prove that there are two different Substances in the World, because we have not Ideas of them; how can we know there is any such unknown Power in Matter, without having an Idea of it? And if it can be known that there is a Quality in Matter, of which we have no Idea; why can it not as well be known that there is a Substance in the World, of which we have no Idea? If there be (as you say()) no other Test of Truth, but the Perception of the Agreement or Disagreement of Ideas; how can we affirm any thing concerning a Quality, of which we have no Idea? If() Difficulties which cannot be perfectly cleared, are (according to you) Contradictions and Absurdities; why is this important Difficulty left uncleared? Again: If it be true (as you affirm in another Place,()) that unless we have an Idea of the Creation of Matter out of Nothing, we must inevitably conclude Matter a self-existent Being; how comes it not to be as evident, that, unless we have an Idea of the Formation of a Thought out of such Qualities of Matter as we have no Idea of, we must inevitably conclude that Matter cannot think? And, that, unless we have Ideas of those Qualities which we have no Ideas of, there can be no such Qualities in Matter? But all this, is only upon your own Suppositions: For the unknown Quality you make Me() to ascribe to Matter, in order to enable it to act upon immaterial Substance; is not (as I just now shewed()) a real inherent Quality, but only a Power or Occasion of exciting Modes in another Subject.
 
You observe further,() that if the Soul be an Immaterial Substance, it is a great Difficulty to conceive how by a mere Preference of the Mind we can move our Hand, and cause it to rest again, when we will: Whereas, if Thinking be nothing but a Mode of Motion, or Matter in Motion, That Difficulty is entirely at an End; there being then nothing in it harder to be understood, than how the Hand of a Clock is moved by the Weights or Spring.
It is very true: If there be no Liberty of Will at all, then all the Difficulties concerning the Manner of it, are entirely at an End. Thus Des-Cartes put an End to all the Difficulties concerning the Knowledge and Perception of Brutes, by denying that they have any such thing as Sense, Knowledge, or Perception at all: And if you had deprived your human Machines, as he did his Brutal ones, of all Sense and Perception, all Knowledge and Understanding, as well as all Liberty of Will; some further Difficulties still, concerning the Nature of Thinking and Perception in general, would have been also entirely at an End. And thus, if I should say I could entirely put an End to all the Difficulties about Opticks, by supposing that Men have no Eyes at all, I should likewise say very true: But who would thank me for the notable Discovery, I cannot tell.
And yet there is a Difficulty even upon your own Supposition; greater than you seem to be aware of. For by what Impulse, by what Preference, by what Power, That Matter first and originally began to move, which you suppose impells both the Weights of a Clock, and the Thinking Materials in a Man; is just as difficult to conceive, as how, by a mere Preference of the Mind, without any external Impulse, we can cause our Hands to move.()
 
YOU go on in the next Place to consider my Arguments against the Possibility of Thinking’s being a Mode of Motion.
To my first, viz. that Modes of Motion are nothing but particular Motions, and cannot contain any thing in their Idea beyond the Genus of Motion; and that therefore we have the same intuitive Certainty that Consciousness cannot be a Mode of Motion, as we have that any one thing is not another, whose Idea is the most remote from it that is possible: You reply;() That we have no Idea of all the possible Modes of Motion; That though we have indeed Ideas of the more simple Modes of Motion, yet of the very complex ones we have no distinct Conception in our Minds; That therefore we can no more prove or know that Thinking is not one of these more complex Modes of Motion, than we can know whether two things agree or differ from one another, that we have no Idea of at all; That it is not possible for us to say that Thinking does not consist in the peculiar Motion of the Spirits in the Brain, till we have a particular Idea of the Motion of those Spirits, and an Idea of Thinking as something distinct from a Mode of Motion; That Thinking has the Genus of Motion, by arising from Motion, by being varied by Motion, by producing other Motions, by having Succession and Parts, and innumerable Modifications; That no Idea of human Consciousness can be produced beyond the Genus of Motion; That saying we have an intuitive Certainty that Consciousness cannot be a Mode of Motion, is only affirming the Question in debate, which can signify nothing to any Body that wants Conviction, &c.
Now in all this, you have at last plainly declared the πρῶτον ψεῦδος of your whole Hypothesis; namely, that you intend to make Thinking not a real Quality, but a mere empty Name or external Denomination, such as I at first ranked under the Third Head.() For the most complex Modes of Motion possible, whatever Name we call them by, are still nothing but Motions; and the Name we give them, is nothing but a mere external Denomination. Thinking therefore, according to you, being only a very complex Mode of Motion [or of any other Quality of Matter] is likewise nothing but a mere external Name or Denomination of that Mode.() Which Notion of yours concerning Thinking, is certainly a mere Chimera; and a very absurd one.
Every Man has within himself the Idea, (or, in your Language, the Chimera()) of Consciousness; which, though he cannot produce (as you absurdly require,()) that is, cannot define, nor describe, any more than you can describe your Idea of any Colour or Sound; yet he as certainly knows it not to be any complex Mode of Motion, as you know your Idea of Colour not to be any complex Mode of Sound: Which intuitive Certainty, if it be only a bare affirming the Question in Debate in one case, and can signify nothing to any Body that wants Conviction; it is so in the other likewise: And then there is an end of all human Knowledge, and no Man can pretend to know any one thing not to be any other.
Thinking has indeed Succession and Modes,() and many other things in common with Motion; and so has every thing, with every thing: The thing I affirmed, was not that Thinking has no Property that Motion has; but that it has something in its Idea, which Motion has not; that it has something beyond, and totally different from, the Genus of Motion: And this, I still affirm, every Man has an intuitive Certainty of:() Which Intuition you your self allow to be one Way, (Answer, pag. 377,) and, I add, it is of all others the most infallible Way, of knowing a thing to be true.
We cannot indeed frame in our Minds distinct Images of the more complex Modes of Motion,() as we can of the more simple Ones: But are we not, nevertheless, equally certain that they are all alike Imaginable, though our narrow Imaginations cannot comprehend them? And that, if we could represent them to our Imaginations, they would all appear as remote from the Idea of Thinking, as any One of them does? Because we cannot comprehend in our Imagination a distinct Conception of a vast Number in Arithmetick, as we can of a small one; do we not therefore know, but that a vast Number may possibly prove so different from a Small one, as to turn into a Plant or an Animal? Because we cannot form in our Minds an Image of a Space Ten Thousand Millions of Miles Square, as we can of Ten Foot Square; are we not therefore sure, but that the great Space may possibly be something, whose true Idea shall have no Similitude, no Relation to Extension? If I should plead in Favour of Motion’s being a Mode of Figure, (as you do for Thinking’s being a Mode of Motion,()) that, though we have indeed Idea’s of the more simple Modes of Figure, yet of the very complex ones we have no distinct Conception in our Minds; and that therefore, though we are sure indeed that a Triangle or a Square is not a Motion,() yet we can no more prove or know that Motion is not one of the more complex Modes of Figure, than we can know whether two things agree or differ from one another, that we have no Idea of at all: If I should argue thus, I say, I know well what Mathematicians would argue concerning Me: And I can guess what Answer I should deserve, if I should tell the World further, that() it is not possible for us to say that Colour does not consist in a peculiar Mixture of Ten Thousand various Sounds, till we have a particular distinct Idea of the Result of the Mixture of those Ten Thousand Sounds. I may call Scarlet-colour, if I please, a very complex Mode of Sound; and who shall confute me, by producing the particular distinct Idea of the Result of a peculiar Mixture of Ten Thousand Sounds?() And you may call Thinking, if you please, a very complex Mode of Motion: Yet neither of them will, by either of our Confidence in giving things Names, be ever the nearer becoming such in reality. This I think, clearly shows your Notion to be something more than a Difficulty that cannot be perfectly cleared; that is, (according to you,) something more than an Absurdity and Contradiction; But I will be content to look upon it, as being but barely contradictory and absurd.
 
To my second Argument, viz. that, if Thinking was a Mode or Species of Motion, it would follow that all Motion would be a Degree of Thinking: You reply,() that you do allow, that every Motion is a Degree of Thought, in that Sense wherein it is proper to say that every Motion is a Degree of Fire, &c. That is; you allow every Motion, to be as much a Degree of the Sensation it self, of Heat, for instance, or of any other Sensation or Thought arising in the Mind; as it is a Degree of that Mode of Motion in Matter, which excites in us such or such a particular Sensation: You allow every the slowest Motion of a Needle to be as much and as properly a Degree of Pain, as it is a Degree of that Motion which causes it to prick the Skin: You allow every Motion of a Particle of Air, to be as truly a Degree of the Thought and Reason of a Man; as it is a Degree of that Mode of Motion, which, striking the Ear, excites in us the Sensation of Sound: You must by the same Reason have allowed, if it had been desired of you; that a Straight Line is as much a Piece of a Motion, as it is a Piece of the Figure of a Triangle. But I accept contentedly what you do allow; and I do not desire to be allowed any more.
 
To my third Argument, viz. that if Thinking was a Mode of Motion, then Motion would be a more generical Power than Thinking; whereas on the contrary, &c. Your Reply() is so uncertain and obscure, that it is hard to know what to make of it. The Strength of the Argument, which you pretend you cannot understand, was plainly this: That no particular Mode of any Power, can contain under it so great a Variety of Modes, as the Superiour Power it self does; for the same Reason that Quadrilateral Figure, which is a Mode of Figure, cannot contain under it so great a Variety of Modes, as Figure in general does: And that therefore, if Thinking was a particular Mode of Motion, there could not possibly be so many Modes of Thinking, as there are of Motion. But now, on the contrary, it is evident there are more Modes of Thinking, than there are of Motion; because every Mode of Motion has a Mode of Thinking [an Idea] answering to it, and there are innumerable other Modes of Thinking besides: Thinking therefore cannot possibly be a Mode of Motion. [And the same Argument holds against the Possibility of its being a Mode of any other Power of Matter whatsoever.] This is in short the Sum of that Argument, which, you say, you are perfectly at a Loss to know what it means. To know what it means, I believe every Man, except your self, is very able; But to know what to answer to it, you might well be perfectly at a Loss. Instead of answering it therefore, you were resolved to be even with me for offering you an Argument you could not understand; and would needs say something in opposition to it, which you were sure neither I nor any Body else could understand; namely, that() Ideas are not Modes, but Objects of Thinking. However, this being manifestly absurd, you contradict your self again in the next Page, and say() it must be allowed that every distinct Thought, [that is, every Idea] is a particular Mode of Thinking; and so Thinking must in us have a great Number of Modes. But yet, for all that, you say, our Thoughts are finite and limited; and we comprehend only the more simple Modes of Motion and Figure; and, since our Thoughts are all limited in point of Number, you() see no reason from their Variety necessarily to conclude, that human Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion. You seem resolved indeed not to see the Reason: But the Reason is visible enough, and will force any Man to see it, that does not shut his Eyes; viz. that, there being more Variety of Modes of Thinking, than there is of Modes of Motion; and all the Modes of Motion (though we cannot actually attend to them, because their Number is infinite,) answering only to one Species of the Modes of Thinking, (which Modes of Thinking under that one Species, are likewise infinite in Number;) it is plainly, and for the very same Reason, as impossible that Thinking should be any one of the infinite Number of the Modes of Motion, as that Figure in general should be any one of the infinite Number of the Modes of Quadrilateral Figure.
You add:() If we consider but the prodigious Variety of Sounds, which are called distinct Modes of Sound; it is as easy to conceive, that upon supposition of Thinking being a Mode of Motion, it should have the several Modes that, we are conscious it has; as that Sound should have all the distinct innumerable Modes which That has. But from what has been said, it is evident, That as all the Modes of Sound, though infinite in Number, yet bear no Proportion to the infinite Variety of the Modes of infinite other things put all together; so the infinite Modes of Motion, and their correspondent Ideas, bear no proportion to the infinite Variety of infinite other Modes of Thinking: And that therefore Thinking with its infinite Variety of Modes, can no more possibly be a Mode of Motion, though the Modes of Motion be allowed to be capable of infinite Variation; than Colours, or Smells, or any other thing that has no similitude to these, can be any of the infinite Number of the Modes of Sound.
 
My fourth Argument, was drawn from the Authority, and from the Reasoning of Mr. Locke.
The Authority, you profess to despise.()
To the Reasoning, you answer;() that Mr. Locke’s whole Design in the Passage I cited, was not to prove that Human Thinking cannot be a Mode of Motion, but that Thinking in the Deity cannot depend on the Motion of the Parts of a Corporeal System; and that, as the Question is not the same, so some of the Consequences that Mr. Locke draws from those Principles, affect only that really absurd Supposition of Thinking’s being a Mode of Motion in God.
I reply: It is very true, that Mr. Locke indeed is not there proving that Thinking in Man, but that Thinking in God cannot be a Mode of Motion; and that Some of the Consequences he there draws, do indeed affect only the latter Question, and not the former. But, if the Reasoning he uses, be as strong in one Case, as in the other; and the Consequences I made use of from him, were only such as affect both Questions alike;() (for which I appeal to every Reader;) It was by no means consistent with Ingenuity and Candour, for you to endeavour to impose upon your Readers with so weak an Answer.
 
To my last Argument, (which also you seem unwilling to understand,()) viz. that, if Thinking was a Mode or Species of Motion; then, in like manner as it is a proper Expression to say, that Circularity is one Species of Figure, and Squareness a second, and Cubicalness a third, and Ellipticalness a fourth; so it would he proper also to say, that Circular Motion is one Species of Motion, and Motion in a Square a second, and Motion in an Ellipsis a third, and Thinking or Consciousness a fourth; (which Consequence, I think, is abundantly absurd:) You reply,() by quibbling upon the Word proper, that the Argument has relation only to Propriety of Language, and that you see not what Ground I have to contest this Language with you: Whereas the Question was not Whether it was proper with respect to the Language, but with respect to the Sense; that is, whether it was True according to your Hypothesis, and a just and necessary Consequence from it, to say that Thinking differs no otherwise from Circular Motion, than Circular Motion does from Elliptical Motion or from Motion in a Square: And this, it seems, (as you are indeed this time very liberal in your Concessions,) you are willing to grant; And I am well contented with the Concession.
 
UPON the Question,() whether individual Personality can be preserved by a continual transferring of Consciousness from one parcel of Matter to another, in so flux a Substance as the Brain or Spirits; you repeat what you had before advanced in your Reflections. In answer to which, I shall not repeat, but only desire the Reader to compare what I offered in my Third Defence, pag. 288 — 289, and 302 — 303. And I shall here make only some brief incidental Observations on what seems new in your Reply.
In the first Place you disown none of the absurd Consequences I charged on your Hypothesis.() You deny not, but One Substance may be Conscious of an Action’s having been done by it self which really was not done by It, but by Another Substance; you make() Individual Personality to be a mere external imaginary Denomination, and all Self-Consciousness a mere Dream and Delusion; you own() that One Man may possibly be two Persons, and Two or Two Hundred Men one Person: that is, not Persons exactly Like one another, but all really and truly one and the same individual Person, at the same time that they continue so many distinct, intelligent, rational Men. These Absurdities, I say, you have not denied to be unavoidable Consequences of your Hypothesis; nor have you done anything towards clearing them from being Absurdities; but instead thereof, have only offered some loose Objections against what I proposed under this Head.
You say() you are sure, that my calling your Hypothesis an impossible one, and instead of saying a Word to prove it impossible, immediately arguing on the supposition of its Possibility; is begging the Question, and supposing what I was to prove. The particular Hypothesis here referred to (viz. that Memory may be preserved in a fleeting Substance, by continually repeating the Idea’s, and imprinting them afresh upon new Particles of Matter perpetually succeeding in the Room of those that pass away,) was, I said, an impossible Hypothesis; And an impossible Hypothesis it will always appear to be, till you can find out some new Hypothesis, by which to make it intelligible, how it is possible that new Ideas printed, upon new Particles, should be a Memory of old Ideas printed upon old Particles. But I did not enlarge upon this; because, supposing the Possibility of it, yet it would avail nothing towards your main Purpose; the Question being, not whether the Memory in general of such or such an Action’s having been done, might possibly be preserved in the manner you suppose; but whether the Consciousness of its being done by Me, by my own Individual Self in particular, could in this manner be continued. Now how it was in me a begging of the Question, to argue, that, even on Supposition of the Possibility of the Hypothesis now mentioned, yet it would nevertheless be impossible for you from thence to make out the Conclusion you were to prove; I confess, I understand not: Neither do I understand how you can prevail upon your self to dispute in such a Manner.
A Man, you say,() who, during a short Frenzy, kills another, and then returns to himself, without the least Consciousness of what he has done; cannot attribute that Action to Himself; and therefore the mad Man and the sober Man are really two as distinct Person as any two other Men in the World, and will be so considered in a Court of Judicature. Extraordinary Reasoning indeed! Because in a figurative Sense a Man, when he is mad, is said not to be Himself; and in a forensick Sense, is looked upon as not answerable for his own Actions; therefore in the Natural and Philosophical Sense also, his Actions are not his own Actions; but another Person’s; and the same Man is really two distinct Persons!
You add:() Should there be so strong a Representation to my Understanding, of a Murder done by me, which was really never done at all; so that I could not distinguish it in my Mind from something really done by me; I can no more help attributing this to my self, &c. It is true, I could not help it indeed; But it would be (as Mr. Locke well expresses it,) a fatal Errour;() and not (as you would have it) a making me to be really the Person I am not.() So that it is evident (you go on,) that Self or Personal Identity consists solely in Consciousness, though a false one; that is, it consists in a False Representation, in a Dream, as Mr. Locke well expresses it again. And so all Mankind, it seems, are nothing but a Dream: Unless rather your Opinion it self be a Dream; as, I presume, it will be found to be, by every Man whose Reason is awake.
The restoring, you say,() the Power of Thinking to the same or to a different Body at the Resurrection, with a Memory or Consciousness extending to past Actions, will be a raising the same Person and not a Creation of a new one. If so; then the restoring the like Power of Thinking to Twenty different Bodies with a false Memory (a Dream,) or a Consciousness extending to imaginary past Actions, will be a making them all (as I said, and as you expressly allow,()) to be, not Persons like one another, but one and the same individual Person, at the same time that they continue different, intelligent, rational Men. That is to say, if twenty of your Clocks happen to go exactly alike, they are no more twenty Clocks, but one and the same individual Clock.
Your Distinction() between raising the same Person and creating a new One, is a Distinction without any the least Difference. For the Memory or Consciousness extending to past Actions, which you suppose makes the same Person in the one Case; does exactly as well make the same Person in the other Case: It being evidently as easy for God to add an imaginary Consciousness extending to past Actions that never were, to a new created Body now;() as to add an imaginary Consciousness extending to past Actions that were done by one Body, to another Body at the Resurrection. So that from your Opinion it unavoidably follows, that I may now at this present Time as possibly be created anew, and have another Self, existing at the same time with me, by God’s adding to the Understanding of a new-made Body so strong a Representation of my past Actions, that That Other My-self could not distinguish them in his Mind from things really done by him; (as you express your self in a like Case:()) This, I say, is exactly as possible, in your Hypothesis; as it is for me to be raised again at the Resurrection.
Your Argument,() by which you endeavour to retort upon me, that, according to my Notion of Individual Personality, there can be no Resurrection, nor any such thing as personal Identity at all; is founded upon a fallacious Representation, as if, by the same Individual numerical Consciousness, I understood the same individual numerical Act of Thinking: Whereas the individual numerical Consciousness, which Identifies the Person, is that Perception, by which the Person is sensible, thas his Past Acts of Thinking were his own Thoughts and not another’s; Which Perception, in the same continued Being, is a true Memory, and can be true in that one numerical Being only; But in your fleeting Being, it would be a false Memory, a mere Delusion, and might be impressed on any number of Beings at one and the same time: All which, distinct, intelligent, rational Beings, because they happened to be in the same Dream,() you would affirm to be one and the same individual Person; And, for the same Reason, if twenty Pieces of Money happen to be stampt with so like an Impression, that they could not be distinguished one from another; you must affirm them all to be one and the same Individual Shilling, notwithstanding their being different Pieces of Silver.
Having granted, that() if ever so many Thinking Beings have (not one and the Same numerical Consciousness, as by your Comparison of a vast Bulk of senseless Matter being added to a Man’s Body, you would very artfully insinuate, in contradiction to the whole Course of your Argument and most express Concessions; but) having granted, I say, and contended, that if ever so many distinct Thinking Beings have within themselves a Like Consciousness, or a Like present Representation of past Actions, they can all constitute but one and the same Person; You ask me, Whether each of these distinct Thinking Beings must not unavoidably think himself the same Person that did the Action, and the same Person that every one of the rest will likewise distinctly think himself to be? I answer, as before; They must indeed unavoidably think so;() But in so doing, they must also unavoidably be mistaken: And so, according to your Notion, we are all vnavoidably we know not who, and do but fancy and dream our selves to be the Persons we think we are, and write and read about we know not Whom nor What.
To your taking Refuge in the Justice of God, I have already answered;() that the Question is not, whether God will do an absurd thing, but whether in the Nature of Things it be possible to be done. And whereas you alledge that() if God should cause to exist twenty present Representations of the same past sinful Actions in so many distinct Beings, the consequent Punishment would be twenty times as much as the sinful Actions deserved and his Justice required; and that therefore God will not do any such thing: I reply; The Difficulty does not lie there; Because the Punishment due to the single Person’s sinful Actions, might be divided proportionably among the twenty distinct intelligent Beings, which in your way are One and the Same Individual Person; and so according to you, there would be no Injustice done, because the Punishment would not be more than the Offences deserved: And yet it is manifest, that in reality, Nineteen at least of these Twenty distinct intelligent Beings would be punished unjustly, how small a proportion soever they bear of the Punishment; because they would be punished for what they had never been guilty of at all, however by a false Consciousness they might imagine themselves to have done what they never did.
The Case you put,() of a Person living well for some Years, and afterwards forgetting that he had done so, and then living for the future in all manner of Debauchery; is so far from being an Absurdity, as you call it, upon my Notion of Personal Identity; that, on the contrary, there is no manner of Difficulty in it. The Man is not two Persons, as much as any two Men in the World are two Persons; (which you declare he must be, in Consequence of your Principles; A Consequence sufficient so have convinced almost any Man, of the Falsity of the Principles from which he sees and owns such an Absurdity to follow;) But he is, I confess, (as you add in the next Words,) as much two Persons, as the same Man Mad and Sober is two Persons; that is, he is not at all two Persons, but plainly one and the same Person; and shall justly be punished as his Iniquities deserve.
 
You urge,() that my Argument is no more useful to the Ends of Religion, than yours; because, unless the Soul, as an Immaterial Being, did perpetually Think; a Proof of the Immateriality of the Soul, would not necessarily prove a future State of Rewards and Punishments: And upon this you are pleased to make your self merry, in a very needless Manner. Now what Connexion there is between the Soul’s Immateriality, and its Perpetual Thinking; has been considered elsewhere. In this place it may be sufficient to add, that whether the Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul necessarily infers its perpetual actual Thinking, or not, yet my Argument is evidently useful to Religion, by proving at least the Possibility and great Probability of a future State of Rewards and Punishments; And yours is evidently destructive of Religion, by making a Future State of Rewards and Punishments not only Improbable, but Impossible; seeing it infers (as I have at large shown) an absolute Impossibility of a Resurrection of the same Person; And if a Resurrection were possible, yet, by introducing such an absolute and fatal Necessity of all human Actions, as Mr. Hobbes and Spinoza formerly attempted to establish by the same numerical Argument, (though from your Thinking in the same way, I would not conclude you All to be the same Individual Person;) it manifestly makes all future Reward unreasonable, and all Punishment unjust: Of which more immediately.
 
My first Argument to prove your Notion destructive of Religion, was, that by inferring the Necessity of all Human Actions, it makes Men to be Subjects no more capable of Religion, than Clocks and Watches are.
To this you reply, First, that() Thinking’s being a Mode of Motion in any System of Matter, (which is the Supposition I refer to, that destroys all Liberty of Will,) is no where affirmed by you. But this is a mere Quibble; as I have shown at large, Third Defence, pag. 270, 271. And above, pag. 407, 408.
In the next place therefore, you answer seriously; that() Men and Clocks Agreeing in being necessarily determined in all their Actions, does no more prove them to be alike incapable of Religion; than an Immaterial Substance and a Clock’s agreeing in being extended, proves them to be alike incapable of Religion. Had I not seen it, I could not have believed that either you or any reasonable Man could have given such an Answer. Necessity, if Men and Clocks agree in it, must make them both alike incapable of Religion; because Necessity is the very thing, that makes any Being incapable of Religion: But Extension, supposing Immaterial Substance and Clocks to agree in That, would not make Them both alike incapable of Religion; because Extension is not the thing, that makes any Being incapable of Religion.
Necessity, you must reply, is not the thing that makes any Being incapable of Religion; What is it then, that incapacitates for Religion? Want of Understanding, you say:() For What excludes a Clock from being a proper Subject of Religion, but the Want of a human Understanding? and What is it that makes a Man a proper Subject of Religion, but his Understanding? I answer: It is not Understanding, but Will, that makes a Man capable of Religion; and it is not Want of Understanding, but Want of Will and of a Power of acting freely, that makes a Clock incapable of Religion. For, supposing a Clock to have the Understanding of a Man; yet if, for all that Understanding, it continued to be moved by the Weights as necessarily as it is Now, it is manifest it would Then have no more Power of doing either good or evil, than it has Now; And the only Difference would be, that it would then Know and understand it self to be incapable of Religion, whereas now it is incapable of Religion without understanding or being sensible that it is so.
And to make it appear, that Necessity in an Intelligent, as well as in an Unintelligent Being, incapacitates for Religion; and that there can be no Religion without Freedom of Will; I offer only the following Argument. Religion supposes a future State of Rewards and Punishments; and a future State of Rewards and Punishments, supposes that God is pleased and displeased with the different Actions of Men; and God’s manifesting his displeasure towards certain Persons by punishing them finally, supposes that such Punishment is just and that the Persons deserved it: For God cannot err. Now, if Men, with all their Understandings, were under the same Necessity in all their Actions, as a Clock is in its Motions; then, though you would unreasonably imagin perhaps it might serve some Designs of human Government, to pull and draw, to drive and push such necessary Agents with the Screws and Springs of Rewards and Punishments, as Men govern their Clocks by the Addition and Substraction of Weights; yet neither from the Hands of God or Men could the good or evil Actions of such intelligent Machines Deserve either Reward or Punishment; nor could there possibly be any Justice in God’s final Distribution of Rewards and Punishments; nor is there any Reason why any Man should reproach himself, or be blamed by others, (even by those who would be so unreasonable as to punish the Machine,) for any Profaneness, Impiety or Wickedness whatsoever, for murdering a Man (for instance) with his Sword, when his Hand was moved necessarily to do it, by the Action of Subtle Matter upon his Brain and Spirits; any more than if he had done it by another Man’s forcibly using his Hand and Sword: Neither is it possible that God should be pleased or angry with any Man, for doing what he could not avoid doing; any more than a Man can be angry with his Clock for going wrong, even supposing the Machine indued with Understanding enough, to feel and be sensible that its Weights necessitated it to do so. The Notion therefore you maintain, of Mens Actions being all Necessary, is totally destructive of Religion.
Till you can give a clear Answer to this Argument, you stand obliged by Promise() to allow that Man is no more a Subject of Religion, than a Clock; nay, to go further, and allow that there can be no such thing as Religion. Though, I hope, you will be better than your Word; and own rather, that there is no such thing as Necessity.
Before we dismiss this Argument, you will expect I should answer the two Questions you put to me ad hominem.() Though indeed you have no reason to expect it; because you knew, (but, for Reasons best known to your Self, took not the least Notice of it,) that they were Both of them directly and clearly answered in the Places from whence you had them.
First, you desire Mr. Clarke, who maintains (you say) the Certainty of all Events, to show what different Influence the supposed Necessity of our Actions can have on the Power of Self-determination, that the Supposition of the Certainty of our Actions has not. I answer: Your supposed Necessity is directly contradictory to the Power of Self-determination, and therefore manifestly inconsistent with it; But the Certainty I speak of in the Place you cite,() has no Inconsistency at all with the Power of Self-determination, because it means (as is there largely explained) only that mere Futurity, which you your self must confess all Actions had while they were yet future, even upon Supposition of the Power of Self-determination. For you can suppose, what you will not grant, a Power of Self-determination. And, I presume, you cannot deny but every past Action had, and every future Action has a Futurity, (which is all that was meant by Certainty of Event in the Place now referred to,) notwithstanding that supposed Power of Self-determination.
Secondly; You ask, if (as Mr. Clarke affirms()) the necessary and eternal different Relations, which different things bear to one another, always and necessarily do determine the Will of God; and God is unalterably determined to do always what is best in the whole; then how can he have a Power of Self-determination? I answer; The Necessity there spoken of, is only a Moral Necessity; which, as to the Effects, may be depended upon with infallible Certainty, (viz. that a Wise Being will not act foolishly, and a Good Being will not do Evil;)() but, as to the thing it self, it is in the natural and philosophical Sense, (of which we are now treating,) no Necessity at all, but mere Self-determination: As is at large explained in the Book you refer to. Which, if you would have taken to your self the Character of an Ingenuous Adversary, certainly you ought to have taken some notice of. For when Terms are defined, and Instances agreeing to those Definitions given, whereby all Doubtfulness about one another’s Meaning is in the most effectual manner excluded; To cite an Author’s Words, notwithstanding this, and apply them to a Sense directly contrary to what the Author largely and expressly explains he intends they should be taken in, is, no fair way of managing a Controversy.
 
My second Argument to prove your Notion destructive of Religion, was drawn from the Consideration of the Nature of Personal Identity, and of the Resurrection of the same Person. To which all the Reply you have made, has been considered already.()
 
To your Argument, that,() if we have no Idea of the Substance of Matter and of the Substance of Spirit, it is impossible to prove that one is not the other; It might be sufficient to Answer, that an unprejudiced Person would be apt to think it as easy to prove, that there is a Substance in the World, of which we have no Idea, totally different from the Substance of Matter; as that there should be a Quality in Matter, of which we have no Idea, totally different from all the known Qualities of Matter.() But to pass this over: I affirm, that from our Knowledge of any Being’s having certain Properties incompatible with the Essential Properties of Matter, we may certainly infer that the Substance of that Being and the Substance of Matter are not the same, though we have no Ideas of the Substances themselves. We have no Idea of Infinite; and yet every Mathematician can demonstrate concerning Many Infinites, that one is not another; and in some, the exact Proportion between One and Another; without having an Idea of either. And to your self, you say,() it is evident that God must be an Immaterial Being, because he is without Any of the Properties of Matter: (I hope you mean the peculiar Properties of Matter; Otherwise Existence will be one of its Properties, as much as any of those you mention.) The most Essential Properties of Matter we know, are, I think, Impenetrability, Divisibility, and that which Mathematicians call its Vis Inertiæ. If you will say, that though these Properties belong indeed universally to all the Matter we have any knowledge of, yet, for ought we know, there may be other Matter which wants these Properties; and so these Properties may possibly not be Essential, but only Accidental to Matter; Then, I say, you either mean nothing at all by the Word Matter, or else you mean by it the same as you do by the Word Substance; and then your affirming God to be Immaterial,() will be as much as affirming him to have no Existence. And, as to the Thinking Substance in Man; When you shall declare, that by the Thinking System of Matter in the Brain, you mean a System of such Matter, as has no Impenetrability, no Divisibility, and no Vis Iuertiæ; we shall then dispute upon a new Foot.
In the mean time, nothing seems clearer to you at present,() than that the Essence or Substance of Matter consists in Solidity; and that, to be Solid, is to be co-extended with the Parts of Space. If so; Then the Omnipresent God cannot coexist with all the Parts of Space, without being Material: And I desire you would be pleased in your next; to Answer the Difficulties objected against your Notion of God’s Immateriality as they are expressed in the Passage I before-cited() out of the Essay concerning the Use of Humane Reason; substituting only the Words [co-exist with all the different Parts of Space] all along instead of the Words [co-exist with all the Differences of Time,] and [Immensity] instead of [Eternity.] And this I insist on the rather, and desire it the more earnestly; because (as I before observed,) it is generally believed that That Essay was written by a Person, with whose Reasoning (for we are not to give any deference to Authority) you are thoroughly acquainted.
 
As to what I said against material Impulse being the Cause of Gravitation; the Whole, you say,() is founded on this, that because a Bullet, a Feather, and a Piece of Leaf Gold descend with equal Swiftness in Vacuo, therefore material Impulse cannot be the Cause of Gravitation. Whereas, on the contrary, this was only an incidental Instance, to show by a gross and vulgar Experiment, (what Mathematicians know there are Proofs enough of in Nature,) that Gravity is exactly proportionable to the Quantity of Solid Matter contained in Bodies, and not at all to the Quantity of their Superficies. This Proportion it is, that evidently shows Gravitation not to be caused by Material Impulse. And unless you could have found an Hypothesis, whereby either the Quantity of Solid Matter in Bodies, and the Quantity of their Superficies, could be made one and the same; or, upon Mechanical Principles, Bodies could, by Superficial Contact, receive Impulses proportional to the Quantity of Solid Matter contained in them; you would much more advantagiously to your self, have acknowledged the first palpable Errour; than by a heap of things beside the Purpose, have endeavoured to amuse only such Readers, as want Skill in Mathematicks.
My saying, that you endeavoured to insinuate to your Reader, that That excellent Person, Sir Isaac Newton, was of your Opinion in the present Question; you assure the Reader, is a pure Fiction.() But I hope you will take it in good part, that I was so complaisant to you as to imagine, that you were not your self so sensible of the Needlesness of your Citation out of his Book, as you now acknowledge that you were.
 
YOU tell us;() If we have not an Idea of the Creation of Matter out of Nothing, we must inevitably conclude Matter a Self-existent Being: I answer; By the same Argument it follows on the contrary, that if we have not an Idea of the Self-existence of Matter, [that is, that every distinct Particle of Matter in the Universe, is a Necessary, Independent, Self-existent Being,] we must inevitably conclude Matter to be a Created Being: And by a better Argument it follows; if we have an Idea of the Possibility of the Non-existence of Matter, that is, if we have an Idea that Space can (without a Contradiction) exist without Matter in it; we must inevitably conclude Matter not to be a necessarily existing, but a created Being. In like manner: By the same Argument with yours, it follows, that, if we have not an Idea (as you own we have not) of the Inherence of Thinking in Matter, we must inevitably conclude it to inhere in something Immaterial: And by a better Argument it follows; if we see a Disagreement of Ideas in supposing Thinking to inhere in Matter, we must inevitably conclude it to inhere in Immaterial Substance.
What the rest of your loose and uncertain Discourse about Creation and Self-existence() tends to, I do not well understand: Only, I am sure, it is foreign to our present Question. Yet two things there are in it, which, I think, deserve to be remarked incidentally.
The first is; that from these Words of mine, [On whatever Hypothesis they (that is, Atheists) proceed, Nothing is so certain, as that Man, considered without the Protection and Conduct of a superiour Being, is in a far worse Case, than upon the Supposition of the Being and Government of God, and of Mens being under his peculiar Conduct, Protection and Favour;] you most uncandidly infer, that() Atheists, according to Mr. Clarke, even while they continue so, have, no reason to fear, any thing for their Disbelief.
The second, is this; that,() to gratify that Desire which even Atheists have to see a Truth established, so much for the Benefit of Men; you shall conclude this Debate (you say()) with an Essay, showing a way how to demonstrate the Existence of God; viz.() by proving the Creation of Matter out of Nothing: And this you do by omitting for the present so useful a Design, and leaving it entirely to some of those Gentlemen that are appointed annually to preach at the Lecture founded by the Honourable Robert Boyle.()
 
Instead of concluding therefore, as you promised, with an Essay showing a way how to demonstrate the Existence of God, you almost in the same Breath repent of so noble an Undertaking, and end your Discourse with a pretended Compliment to Me; that you will give me upon this Occasion a Testimony in my Favour; viz. that you verily think I neither believe too little nor too much; but am perfectly and exactly Orthodox, and in all likelihood will continue so. And considering we have had (you say) the Happiness in England, to have such rational Parliaments and Convocations, that have established nothing but Truth;() I should have taken this as a Testimony very much in my Favour indeed; had you not elsewhere dropt some Expressions concerning prostituting Conscience so far as to submit to any mere human Authority,() and to the Decisions and Determinations of those Men, that in every Country have worldly Preferments to bestow:() Which yet since you make no Application of, neither shall I. Only, in return for your Favour, I shall, instead of giving any Testimony concerning You, conclude with most hearty Wishes, that you would be very careful, while you are disputing about Metaphysicks, not to oppose the Interest of true Religion and Virtue, without which nothing is truly valuable or praise-worthy among Men.