skip to primary navigation skip to content
<15>

THE
IMMORTALITY
OF
THE SOUL.

CHAP. I.

1. The Usefulness of the present Speculation for the understanding of Providence, and the management of our lives for our greatest Happiness; 2. For the moderate bearing the death and disasters of our Friends; 3. For the begetting true Magnanimity in us, 4. and Peace and Tranquillity of Mind. 5. That so weighty a Theory is not to be handled perfunctorily.

1. OF all the Speculations the Soul of man can entertain her self withall, there is none of greater moment, or of closer concernment to her, then this of her own Immortality, and Independence on this Terrestriall Body. For hereby not onely the intricacies and perplexities of Providence are made more easy and smooth to her, and she becomes able, by unravelling this clue from end to end, to pass and repass safe through this Labyrinth, wherein many both anxious and careless Spirits have lost themselves; but also (which touches her own interest more particularly) being once raised into the knowledge and belief of so weighty a Conclusion, she may view from this Prospect the most certain and most compendious way to her own Happiness; which is, the bearing a very moderate affection to whatever tempts her, during the time of this her Pilgrimage, and a carefull preparing of her self for her future condition, by such Noble actions and Heroicall qualifications of Mind as shall render her most welcome to her own Countrey.

2. Which Belief and Purpose of hers will put her in an utter incapacity of either envying the life or successes of her most imbittered Enemies, or of over-lamenting the death or misfortunes of her dearest Friends; she having no Friends but such as are Friends to God and Vertue, and whose Afflictions will prove advantages for their future Felicity, and their departure hence a passage to present possession thereof.

<16>

3. Wherefore, being fully grounded and rooted in this so concerning a Perswasion, she is freed from all poor and abject thoughts and designs; and as little admires him that gets the most of this World, be it by Industry, Fortune or Policy, as a discreet and serious man does the spoils of School-boyes, it being very inconsiderable to him who got the victory at Cocks or Cob-nut, or whose bag returned home the fullest stuffed with Counters or Cherry-stones.

4. She has therefore no æmulation, unless it be of doing good, and of out-stripping, if it were possible, the noblest examples of either the present or past Ages; nor any contest, unless it be with her self, that she has made no greater proficiency towards the scope she aimes at: and aiming at nothing but what is not in the power of men to confer upon her, with courage she sets upon the main work; and being still more faithfull to her self, and to that Light that assists her, at last tasts the first fruits of her future Harvest, and does more then presage that great Happiness that is accrewing to her. And so quit from the troubles and anxieties of this present world, staies in it with Tranquillity and Content, and at last leaves it with Joy.

5. The Knowledge therefore and belief of the Immortality of the Soul being of so grand Importance, we are engaged more carefully and punctually to handle this so weighty a Theory: which will not be performed by multiplying of words, but by a more frugall use of them; letting nothing fall from our pen, but what makes closely to the matter, nor omitting any thing materiall for the evincing the truth thereof.

CHAP. II.

1. That the Soule's Immortality is demonstrable, by the Authors method, to all but meer Scepticks. 2. An Illustration of his First Axiome. 3. A confirmation and example of the Second. 4. An explication of the Third. 5. An explication and Proof of the Fourth. 6. A proof of the Fifth. 7. Of the Sixth. 8. An example of the Seventh. 9. A confirmation of the truth of the Eighth. 10. A demonstration and example of the Ninth. 11. Penetrability the immediate Property of Incorporeall Substance. 12. As also Indiscerpibility. 13. A proof and illustration of the Tenth Axiome.

1. AND to stop all Creep-holes, and leave no place for the subterfuges and evasions of confused and cavilling spirits, I shall prefix some few Axiomes, of that plainness and evidence, that no man in his wits but will be ashamed to deny them, if he will admit any thing at all to be true. But as for perfect Scepticisme, it is a disease incurable, and a thing rather to be pitied or laught at, then seriously opposed. For when a man is so fugitive and unsetled, that he will not stand to the verdict of his own Faculties, one can no more fasten any thing upon him, then he can write in the water, or tye knots of the wind. But for those <17> that are not in such a strange despondency, but that they think they know something already and may learn more, I do not doubt, but by a seasonable recourse to these few Rules, with others I shall set down in their due place, that they will be perswaded, if not forced, to reckon this Truth, of the Immortality of the Soul, amongst such as must needs appear undeniable to those that have parts and leisure enough accurately to examine, and throughly to understand what I have here written for the demonstration thereof.

AXIOME I.

What ever things are in themselves, they are nothing to us, but so far forth as they become known to our Faculties or Cognitive powers.

2. THis Axiome is plain of it self, at the very first proposal. For as nothing, for example, can concern the Visive faculty, but so far forth as it is visible; so there is nothing that can challenge any stroke to so much as a touching, much less determining, our Cognitive powers in generall, but so far forth as it is cognoscible.

AXIOME II.

Whatsoever is unknown to us, or is known but as merely possible, is not to move us or determine us any way, or make us undetermined; but we are to rest in the present light and plain determination of our owne Faculties.

3. THis is an evident Consectary from the foregoing Axiome. For the Existence of that that is merely possible is utterly unknown to us to be, and therefore is to have no weight against any Conclusion, unless we will condemn our selves to eternall Scepticisme.[1] As for example, If after a man has argued for a God and Providence, from the wise contrivance in the frame of all the Bodies of Animals upon earth, one should reply, That there may be, for all this, Animals in Saturn, Jupiter, or some other of the Planets, of very inept fabricks; Horses, suppose, and other Creatures, with onely one Eye, and one Eare, (and that both on a side, the Eye placed also where the Eare should be,) and with onely three Leggs; Bulls and Rams with horns on their backs, and the like: Such allegations as these, according to this Axiome, are to be held of no force at all for the enervating the Conclusion.

AXIOME III.

All our Faculties have not a right of suffrage for determining of Truth, but onely Common Notions, Externall Sense, and evident and undeniable Deductions of Reason.

4. BY Common Notions I understand whatever is Noëmatically true, that is to say, true at first sight to all men in their wits, upon a clear perception of the Terms, without any further discourse or rea <18> soning. (From Externall Sense I exclude not Memory, as it is a faithfull Register thereof.) And by undeniable Deduction of Reason, I mean such a collection of one Truth from another, that no man can discover any looseness or disjoyntedness in the cohesion of the Argument.

AXIOME IV.

What is not consonant to all or some of these, is mere Fancy, and is of no moment for the evincing of Truth or Falsehood, by either it's Vigour or Perplexiveness.

5. I Say mere Fancy, in Counter-distinction to such Representations as, although they be not the pure Impresses of some reall Object, yet are made by Rationall deduction from them, or from Common Notions, or from both. Those Representations that are not framed upon such grounds, I call mere Fancies; which are of no value at all in determining of Truth. For if Vigour of Fancy will argue a thing true, then all the dreams of mad-men must goe for Oracles: and if the Perplexiveness of Imagination may hinder assent,[2] we must not believe Mathematicall demonstration, and the 16th Proposition of the 3d Book of Euclide will be confidently concluded to contain a contradiction.

AXIOME V.

Whatever is clear to any one of these Three Faculties, is to be held undoubtedly true, the other having nothing to evidence to the contrary.

6. OR else a man shall not be assured of any sensible Object that he meets with, nor can give firm assent to such Truths as these, It is impossible the same thing should be, and not be, at once; Whatever is, is either finite, or infinite; and the like.

AXIOME VI.

What is rejected by one, none of the other Faculties giving evidence for it, ought to goe for a Falsehood.

7. OR else a man may let pass such Impossibilities as these for Truth, or doubt whether they be not true or no, viz. The part is greater then the whole; There is something that is neither finite nor infinite; Socrates is invisible; and the like.

AXIOME VII.

What is plainly and manifestly concluded, ought to be held undeniable, when no difficulties are alledged against it, but such as are acknowledged to be found in other Conclusions held by all men undeniably true.

8. AS for example, suppose one should conclude, That there may be Infinite Matter, or, That there is Infinite Space, by very rationall arguments; and that it were objected onely, That then the Tenth part <19> of that Matter would be Infinite; it being most certain That there is Infinite Duration of something or other in the world, and that the Tenth part of this Duration is Infinite; it is no enervating at all of the former Conclusion, it being incumbred with no greater incongruity then is acknowledged to consist with an undeniable Truth.

AXIOME VIII.

The Subject, or naked Essence or Substance of a thing, is utterly unconceivable to any of our Faculties.

9. FOR the evidencing of this Truth, there needs nothing more then a silent appeal to a mans owne Mind, if he do not find it so; and that if he take away all Aptitudes, Operations, Properties and Modifications from a Subject, that his conception thereof vanishes into nothing, but into the Idea of a mere Undiversificated Substance; so that one Substance is not then distinguishable from another, but onely from Accidents or Modes, to which properly belongs no subsistence.

AXIOME IX.

There are some Properties, Powers and Operations, immediately appertaining to a thing, of which no reasons can be given, nor ought to be demanded, nor the Way or Manner of the cohesion of the Attribute with the Subject can by any means be fancyed or imagined.

10. THE evidence of this Axiome appears from the former. For if the naked substance of a Thing be so utterly unconceiveable, there can be nothing deprehended there to be a connexion betwixt it and it's first Properties. Such is Actual Divisibility and Impenetrability in Matter. By Actual Divisibility I understand Discerpibility, gross tearing or cutting one part from another. These are Immediate Properties of Matter; but why they should be there, rather then in any other Subject, no man can pretend to give, or with any credit aske, the reason. For Immediate Attributes are indemonstrable, otherwise they would not be Immediate.

11. So the Immediate Properties of a Spirit or Immateriall Substance are Penetrability and Indiscerpibility. The necessary cohesion of which Attributes with the Subject is as little demonstrable as the former. For supposing that, which I cannot but assert, to be evidently true, That there is no Substance but it has in some sort or other the Three dimensions; This Substance, which we call Matter, might as well have been penetrable as impenetrable, and yet have been Substance: But now that it does so certainly and irresistibly keep one part of it self from penetrating another, it is so, we know not why. For there is no necessary connexion discernible betwixt Substance with three dimensions, and Impenetrability. For what some alledge, that it implies a contradiction, that Extended Sub <20> stance should run one part into another; for so part of the Extension, and consequently of the Substance, would be lost; this, I say, (if nearly looked into) is of no force. For the Substance is no more lost in this case, then when a string is doubled and redoubled, or a piece of wax reduced from a long figure to a round: The dimension of Longitude is in some part lost, but without detriment to the Substance of the wax. In like manner when one part of an Extended Substance runs into another, something both of Longitude, Latitude and Profundity may be lost, and yet all the Substance there still; as well as Longitude lost in the other case without any loss of the Substance.

And as what was lost in Longitude was gotten in Latitude or Profundity before; so what is lost here in all or any two of the dimensions, is kept safe in Essential Spissitude: For so I will call this Mode or Property of a Substance, that is able to receive one part of it self into another. Which fourth Mode is as easy and familiar to my Understanding, as that of the Three dimensions to my Sense or Phansy. For I mean nothing else by Spissitude, but the redoubling or contracting of Substance into less space then it does sometimes occupy. And Analogous to this is the lying of two Substances of several kinds in the same place at once.

To both these may be applied the termes of Reduplication and Saturation: The former, when Essence or Substance is but once redoubled into it self or into another; the latter, when so oft, that it will not easily admit any thing more. And that more Extensions then one may be commensurate, at the same time, to the same Place, is plain, in that Motion is coextended with the Subject wherein it is, and both with Space. And Motion is not nothing; wherefore two things may be commensurate to one Space at once.

12. Now then Extended Substance (and all Substances are extended) being of it self indifferent to Penetrability or Impenetrability, and we finding one kind of Substance so impenetrable, that one part will not enter at all into another, which with as much reason we might expect to find so irresistibly united one part with another that nothing in the world could dissever them: (For this Indiscerpibility has as good a connexion with Substance as Impenetrability has, they neither falling under the cognoscence of Reason or Demonstration, but being Immediate Attributes of such a Subject. For a man can no more argue from the Extension of Substance, that it is Discerpible, then that it is Penetrable; there being as good a capacity in Extension for Penetration as Discerption) I conceive, I say, from hence we may as easily admit that some Substance may be of it self Indiscerpible, as well as others Impenetrable; and that as there is one kind of Substance, which of it's own nature is Impenetrable and Discerpible, so there may be another Indiscerpible and Penetrable. Neither of which a man can give any other account of, then that they have the Immediate Properties of such a Subject.

<21>

AXIOME X.

The discovery of some Power, Property, or Operation, incompetible to one Subject, is an infallible argument of the Existence of some other, to which it must be competible.

13. AS when Pythagoras was spoken unto by the River Nessus,[3] when he passed over it, and a Tree by the command of Thespesion the chief of the Gymnosophists saluted Apollonius in a distinct and articulate voice, but small as a womans; it is evident, I say, That there was something there that was neither River nor Tree, to which these salutations must be attributed, no Tree nor River having any Faculty of Reason nor Speech.

CHAP. III.

1. The general Notions of Body and Spirit. 2. That the Notion of Spirit is altogether as intelligible as that of Body. 3. Whether there be any Substance of a mixt nature, betwixt Body and Spirit.

1. THE greatest and grossest Obstacle to the belief of the Immortality of the Soul, is that confident opinion in some, as if the very notion of a Spirit were a piece of Non-sense and perfect Incongruity in the conception thereof. Wherefore to proceed by degrees to our maine designe, and to lay our foundation low and sure, we will in the first place expose to view the genuine notion of a Spirit, in the generall acception thereof; and afterwards of severall kinds of Spirits: that it may appear to all, how unjust that cavill is against Incorporeal Substances, as if they were mere Impossibilities and contradictious Inconsistencies. I will define therefore a Spirit in generall thus, A substance penetrable and indiscerpible. The fitness of which Definition will be the better understood, if we divide Substance in generall into these first kindes, viz. Body and Spirit, and then define Body to be A Substance impenetrable and discerpible. Whence the contrary kind to this is fitly defined, A Substance penetrable and indiscerpible.

2. Now I appeal to any man that can set aside prejudice, and has the free use of his Faculties, whether every term in the Definition of a Spirit be not as intelligible and congruous to Reason, as in that of a Body. For the precise Notion of Substance is the same in both, in which, I conceive, is comprised Extension and Activity either connate or communicated. For Matter it self once moved can move other Matter. And it is as easy to understand what Penetrable is as Impenetrable, and what Indiscerpible as Discerpible; and Penetrability and Indiscerpibility being as immediate to Spirit, as Impenetrability and Discerpibility to Body, there is as much reason to be given for the Attributes of the one as of the other, by <22> Axiome 9. And Substance in its precise notion including no more of Impenetrability then Indiscerpibility, we may as well wonder how one kind of Substance can so firmly and irresistibly keep out another Substance (as Matter, for example, does the parts of Matter) as that the parts of another Substance hold so fast together, that they are by no means Discerpible, as we have already intimated. And therefore this holding out in one being as difficult a business to conceive as the holding together in the other, this can be no prejudice to the notion of a Spirit. For there may be very fast union where we cannot at all imagine the cause thereof, as in such Bodies which are exceeding hard, where no man can fancy what holds the parts together so strongly; and there being no greater difficulty here, then that a man cannot imagine what holds the parts of a Spirit together, it will follow by Axiome 7. that the Notion of a Spirit is not to be excepted against as an incongruous notion, but is to be admitted for the notion of a thing that may really exist.

3. It may be doubted, whether there may not be Essences of a middle condition betwixt these Corporeal and Incorporeal Substances we have described, and that of two sorts, The one Impenetrable and Indiscerpible, the other Penetrable and Discerpible. But concerning the first, if Impenetrability be understood in reference to Matter, it is plain there can be no such Essence in the world; and if in reference to its own parts, though it may then look like a possible Idea in it self, yet there is no footsteps of the existence thereof in Nature, the Souls of men and Dæmons implying contraction and dilatation in them.

As for the latter, it has no priviledge for any thing more then Matter it self has, or some Mode of Matter. For it being Discerpible, it is plain it's union is by Juxtaposition of parts, and the more penetrable, the less likely to conveigh Sense and Motion to any distance. Besides the ridiculous sequel of this supposition, that will fill the Universe with an infinite number of shreds and rags of Souls and Spirits, never to be reduced again to any use or order. And lastly, the proper Notion of a Substance Incorporeal fully counter-distinct to a Corporeal Substance, necessarily including in it so strong and indissoluble union of parts, that it is utterly Indiscerpible, whenas yet for all that in this general notion thereof neither Sense nor Cogitation is implied, it is most rational to conceive, that that Substance wherein they are must assuredly be Incorporeal in the strictest signification; the nature of Cogitation and communion of Sense arguing a more perfect degree of union then is in meer Indiscerpibility of parts.

But all this Scrupulosity might have been saved; for I confidently promise my self, that there are none so perversly given to tergiversations and subterfuges, but that they will acknowledge, whereever I can prove that there is a Substance distinct from Body or Matter, that it is in the most full and proper sense Incorporeal.

<23>

CHAP. IV.

1. That the Notions of the several kinds of Immaterial Beings have no Inconsistency nor Incongruity in them. 2. That the Nature of God is as intelligible as the Nature of any Being whatsoever. 3. The true Notion of his Ubiquity, and how intelligible it is. 4. Of the Union of the Divine Essence. 5. Of his Power of Creation.

1. WE have shewn that the Notion of a Spirit in general is not at all incongruous nor impossible: And it is as congruous, consistent and intelligible in the sundry kinds thereof; as for example that of God, of Angels, of the Souls of Men and Brutes, and of the λὀγοι σπεϱματικοἰ or Seminal Forms of things.

2. The Notion of God, though the knowledge thereof be much prejudiced by the confoundedness and stupidity of either superstitious or profane men, that please themselves in their large Rhetorications concerning the unconceiveableness and utter incomprehensibleness of the Deity; the one by way of a devotional exaltation of the transcendency of his Nature, the other to make the belief of his Existence ridiculous, and craftily and perversly to intimate that there is no God at all, the very conception of him being made to appear nothing else but a bundle of inconsistencies and impossibilities: Nevertheless I shall not at all stick to affirm, that his Idea or Notion is as easy as any Notion else whatsoever, and that we may know as much of him as of any thing else in the world. For the very Essence or naked Substance of nothing can possibly be known, by Axiome 8. But for His Attributes, they are as conspicuous as the Attributes of any Subject or Substance whatever: From which a man may easily define Him thus; God is a Spirit Eternal, Infinite in Essence and Goodness, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and of himself necessarily Existent.

I appeal to any man, if every term in this Definition be not sufficiently intelligible. For as for Spirit, that has been already defined and explained. By Eternal I understand nothing here but Duration without end or beginning: by Infiniteness of Essence, that his Essence or Substance has no bounds, no more then his Duration: by Infinite in Goodness, such a benign Will in God as is carried out to boundless and innumerable benefactions: by Omnisciency and Omnipotency, the ability of knowing or doing any thing that can be conceived without a plain contradiction: by Self-existency, that he has his Being from none other: and by necessary Existence, that he cannot fail to be. What terms of any Definition are more plain then these of this? or what Subject can be more accurately defined then this is? For the naked Subject or Substance of any thing is no otherwise to be known then thus. And they that gape after any other Speculative knowledge of God then what is from his Attributes and Operations, they may have their heads and mouths filled with many hot scalding fancies and words, and run mad with the boisterousness of their own Imagination, but they will never hit upon any sober Truth.

<24>

3. Thus have I delivered a very explicite and intelligible Notion of the Nature of God; which I might also more compendiously define, An Essence absolutely Perfect, in which all the terms of the former Definition are comprehended, and more then I have named, or thought needful to name, much less to insist upon; as his Power of Creation, and his Omnipresence or Ubiquity, which are necessarily included in the Idea of absolute Perfection. The latter whereof some ancient Philosophers endeavoring to set out, have defined God to be a Circle whose Centre is every where and Circumference no where. By which Description certainly nothing else can be meant, but that the Divine Essence is every where present with all those adorable Attributes of Infinite and absolutely-Perfect Goodness, Knowledge and Power, according to that sense in which I have explained them. Which Ubiquity or Omnipresence of God is every whit as intelligible as the overspreading of Matter into all places.

4. But if here any one demand, How the Parts, as I may so call them, of the Divine Amplitude hold together, that of Matter being so discerpible; it might be sufficient to re-mind him of what we have already spoken of the general Notion of a Spirit. But besides that, here may be also a peculiar rational account given thereof, it implying a contradiction, that an Essence absolutely Perfect should be either limited in presence, or change place in part or whole, they being both notorious Effects or Symptoms of Imperfection, which is inconsistent with the Nature of God. And no better nor more cogent reason can be given of any thing, then that it implies a contradiction to be otherwise.

5. That Power also of creating things of nothing, there is a very close connexion betwixt it and the Idea of God, or of a Being absolutely Perfect. For this Being would not be what it is conceived to be, if it were destitute of the Power of Creation; and therefore this Attribute has no less coherence with the Subject, then that it is a contradiction it should not be in it, as was observed of the foregoing Attribute of Indiscerpibility in God. But to alledge that a man cannot imagine how God should create something of nothing, or how the Divine Essence holds so closely and invincibly together, is to transgress against the 3, 4, and 5. Axiomes, and to appeal to a Faculty that has no right to determine the case.

CHAP. V.

1. The Definition belonging to all Finite and Created Spirits. 2. Of Indiscerpibility, a Symbolical representation thereof. 3. An Objection answered against that representation.

1. WE have done with the Notion of that Infinite and Uncreated Spirit we usually call God: we come now to those that are Created and Finite, as the Spirits of Angels, Men and Brutes; we will cast in the Seminal Forms also, or Archei, as the Chymists call them, though haply the world stands in *[4] no need of them. The Pro <25> perties of a Spirit, as it is a Notion common to all these, I have already enumerated in my Antidote,[5] Self-motion, Self-penetration, Self-contraction and dilatation, and Indivisibility, by which I mean Indiscerpibility: to which I added Penetrating, Moving and Altering the matter. We may therefore define This kind of Spirit we speak of, to be A substance Indiscerpible, that can move it self, that can penetrate, contract, and dilate it self, and can also penetrate, move, and alter the Matter. We will now examine every term of this Definition, from whence it shall appear, that it is as congruous and intelligible, as those Definitions that are made of such things as all men without any scruple acknowledge to exist.

2. Of the Indiscerpibility of a Spirit we have already given rational grounds to evince it not impossible, it being an Immediate Attribute thereof, as Impenetrability is of a Body; and as conceivable or imaginable, that one Substance of its own nature may invincibly hold its parts together, so that they cannot be disunited nor dissevered, as that another may keep out so stoutly and irresistibly another Substance from entring into the same space or place with it self. For this ἀντιτυπἰα or Impenetrability is not at all contained in the precise conception of a Substance as Substance, as I have already signified.

But besides that Reason may thus easily apprehend that it may be so, I shall a little gratifie Imagination, and it may be Reason too, in offering the manner how it is so, in this kind of Spirit we now speak of. That ancient notion of Light and Intentional species is so far from a plain impossibility, that it has been heretofore generally, and is still by very many persons, looked upon as a Truth, that is, That Light and Colour do ray in such sort as they are described in the Peripatetical Philosophie. Now it is observable in Light, that it is most vigorous towards its fountain, and fainter by degrees. But we will reduce the matter to one lucid point, which, according to the acknowledged Principles of Opticks, will fill a distance of space with its rays of light: Which rayes may indeed be reverberated back towards their Centre by interposing some opake body, and so this Orbe of light contracted; but, according to the Aristotelean Hypothesis, it was alwayes accounted impossible that they should be clipt off, or cut from this lucid point, and be kept apart by themselves. *[6] Those whom dry Reason will not satisfy, may, if they please, entertain their Phansy with such a Representation as this, which may a little ease the anxious importunity of their Mind, when it too eagerly would comprehend the manner how this Spirit we speak of may be said to be Indiscerpible. For think of any ray of this Orbe of light, it does sufficiently set out to the Imagination how Extension and Indiscerpibility may consist together.

3. But if any object, That the lucid Centre of this Orbe, or the Primary Substance, as I *[7] elsewhere call it, is either divisible or absolutely indivisible; and if it be divisible, that as concerning that Inmost of a Spirit, this Representation is not at all serviceable to set off the nature thereof, by shewing how the parts there may hold together so indiscerpibly; but if absolutely indivisible, that it seems to be nothing: To this I answer, what Scaliger somewhere has noted, That what is infinitely great or infi <26> nitely small, the Imagination of man is at a loss to conceive it. Which certainly is the ground of the perplexedness of that Probleme concerning Matter, whether it consists of points, or onely of particles divisible in infinitum.

But to come more closely to the business; I say that though we should acknowledg the Inmost Centre of life, or the very First point, as I may so call it, of the Primary Substance (for this Primary Substance is in some sort gradual) to be purely indivisible, it does not at all follow, no not according to Imagination it self, that it must be nothing. For let us imagine a perfect Plane, and on this Plane a perfect Globe, we cannot conceive but this Globe touches the Plane, and that in what we ordinarily call a point, else the one would not be a Globe, or the other not a Plane. Now it is impossible that one Body should touch another, and yet touch one another in nothing. This inmost Centre therefor of life is something, and something so full of essential vigour and virtue, that though gradually it diminish, yet can fill a certain Sphere of Space with its own presence and activity, as a spark of light illuminates the duskish aire.

Wherefore there being no greater perplexity nor subtilty in the consideration of this Centre of life or Inmost of a Spirit, then there is in the Atomes of Matter, we may by Axiome 7. rightly conclude, That Indiscerpibility has nothing in the notion thereof, but what may well consist with the possibility of the existence of the Subject whereunto it belongs.

CHAP. VI.

1. Axiomes that tend to the demonstrating how the Centre or First point of the Primary Substance of a Spirit may be Indiscerpible. 2. Several others that demonstrate how the Secondary Substance of a Spirit may be Indiscerpible. 3. An application of these Principles. 4. Of the union of the Secondary Substance considered transversly. 5. That the Notion of a Spirit has less difficulty then that of Matter. 6. An Answer to an Objection from the Rational faculty. 7. Answers to Objections suggested from Fancy. 8. A more compendious satisfaction concerning the Notion of a Spirit.

1. AND thus we have fairly well gratified the Fancy of the Curious concerning the Extension and Indiscerpibility of a Spirit; but we shall advance yet higher, and demonstrate the possibility of this Notion to the severest Reason, out of these following Principles.

AXIOME XI.

A Globe touches a Plain in something, though in the least that is conceivable to be reall.

 

AXIOME XII.

The least that is conceivable is so little, that it cannot be conceived to be discerpible into less.

<27>

AXIOME XIII.

As little as this is, the repetition of it will amount to considerable magnitudes.

AS for example, if this Globe be drawn upon a Plane, it constitutes a Line; and a Cylinder drawn upon a Plane, or this same Line described by the Globe multiplied into it self, constitutes a superficies, &c. This a man cannot deny, but the more he thinks of it, the more certainly true he will find it.

AXIOME XIV.

Magnitude cannot arise out of mere Non-Magnitudes.

FOR multiply Nothing ten thousand millions of times into nothing, the Product will be still Nothing. Besides, if that wherein the Globe touches a Plane were more then Indiscerpible, that is, purely Indivisible, it is manifest that a Line will consist of Points Mathematically so called, that is, purely Indivisible; which is the grandest absurdity that can be admitted in Philosophy, and the most contradictious thing imaginable.

AXIOME XV.

The same thing by reason of its extreme littleness may be utterly Indiscerpible, though intellectually Divisible.

THis plainly arises out of the foregoing Principles: For every Quantity is intellectually divisible; but something Indiscerpible was afore demonstrated to be Quantity, and consequently divisible, otherwise Magnitude would consist of Mathematicall points. Thus have I found a possibility for the Notion of the Center of a Spirit, which is not a Mathematicall point, but Substance, in Magnitude so little, that it is Indiscerpible; but in virtue so great, that it can send forth out of it self so large a Sphere of Secondary Substance, as I may so call it, that it is able to actuate grand Proportions of Matter, this whole Sphere of life and activity being in the mean time utterly Indiscerpible.

2. This I have said, and shall now prove it by adding a few more Principles of that evidence, as the most rigorous Reason shall not be able to deny them.

AXIOME XVI

An Emanative Cause is the Notion of a thing possible.

BY an Emanative Cause is understood such a Cause as merely by Being, no other activity or causality interposed, produces an Effect. That this is possible is manifest, it being demonstrable that there is de facto some such Cause in the world; because something must move it self. Now if there be no Spirit, Matter must of necessity move it self, where you cannot imagine any activity or causality, but the bare essence of the <28> Matter from whence this motion comes.[8] For if you would suppose some former motion that might be the cause of this, then we might with as good reason suppose some former to be the cause of that, and so in infinitum.

AXIOME XVII.

An Emanative Effect is coexistent with the very Substance of that which is said to be the Cause thereof.

THis must needs be true, because that very Substance which is said to be the Cause, is the adequate & immediate Cause, and wants nothing to be adjoyned to its bare essence for the production of the Effect; and therefore by the same reason the Effect is at any time, it must be at all times, or so long as that Substance does exist.

AXIOME XVIII.

No Emanative Effect, that exceeds not the virtues and powers of a Cause, can be said to be impossible to be produced by it.

THis is so plain, that nothing need be added for either explanation or proof.

AXIOME XIX.

There may be a Substance of that high Virtue and Excellency, that it may produce another Substance by Emanative causality, provided that Substance produced be in due graduall proportions inferiour to that which causes it.

THis is plain out of the foregoing Principle. For there is no contradiction nor impossibility of a Cause producing an Effect less noble then it self, for thereby we are the better assured that it does not exceed the capacity of its own powers: Nor is there any incongruity, that one Substance should cause something else which we may in some sense call Substance, though but Secondary or Emanatory; acknowledging the Primary Substance to be the more adequate Object of Divine Creation, but the Secondary to be referrible also to the Primary or Centrall Substance by way of causall relation. For suppose God created the Matter with an immediate power of moving it self, God indeed is the Prime Cause as well of the Motion as of the Matter, and yet nevertheless the Matter is rightly said to move it self. Finally, this Secondary or Emanatory Substance may be rightly called Substance, because it is a Subject indued with certain powers and activities, and that it does not inhere as an Accident in any other Substance or Matter, but could maintain its place, though all Matter or what other Substance soever were removed out of that space it is extended through, provided its Primary Substance be but safe.

3. From these four Principles I have here added, we may have not an imaginative but rationall apprehension of that part of a Spirit which we call the Secondary Substance thereof. Whose Extension arising by graduall Emanation from the First and Primest Essence, which we call the Centre of the Spirit (which is no impossible supposition by the 16, 18, and 19. <29> Axiomes) we are led from hence to a necessary acknowledgment of perfect Indiscerpibility of parts, though not intellectuall Indivisibility, by Axiome 17. For it implies a contradiction that an Emanative effect should be disjoyned from its originall.

4. Thus have I demonstrated how a Spirit, considering the lineaments of it (as I may so call them) from the Centre to the Circumference, is utterly indiscerpible. But now if any be so curious as to ask how the parts thereof hold together in a line drawn cross to these from the Centre, (for Imagination, it may be, will suggest they lye all loose;) I answer, that the conjecture of Imagination is here partly true and partly false, or is true or false as she shall be interpreted. For if she mean by loose, actually disunited, it is false and ridiculous: but if only so discerpible, that one part may be disunited from another, that may not only be true, but, upon supposition the essential rayes are not fully enough redoubled within, plainly necessary; otherwise a Spirit could not contract one part and extend another, which is yet an Hypothesis necessary to be admitted. Wherefore this Objection is so far from weakning the possibility of this Notion, that it gives occasion more fully to declare the exact concinnity thereof.

To be brief therefore, a Spirit from the Centre to the Circumference is utterly indiscerpible, but in lines cross to this it is closely coherent, but need not be indiscerpibly; which cohesion may consist in an immediate union of these parts, and transverse penetration and transcursion of Secondary Substance thorough this whole Sphere of life which we call a Spirit.

Nor need we wonder that so full an Orbe should swell out from so subtil and small a point as the Centre of this Spirit is supposed. Εἰ γἀϱ καἰ τῷ ὀγκα μικϱὀν εστι, δυνἀμει καἰ τιμιὀτητι πολὐ μᾶλλον ὑπεϱἐχει πἀντων, as Aristotle speaks of the Mind of man.[9] And besides, it is but what is seen in some sort to the very eye in light, how large a spheare of Aire a little spark will illuminate.

5. This is the pure Idea of a created Spirit in general, concerning which if there be yet any cavil to be made, it can be none other then what is perfectly common to it and to Matter, that is, the unimaginableness of Points and smallest Particles, and how what is discerpible or divisible can at all hang together: but this not hindering Matter from actual existence, there is no reason that it should any way pretend to the inferring of the impossibility of the existence of a Spirit, by Axiome 7.

But the most lubricous supposition that we goe upon here, is not altogether so intricate as those difficulties in Matter. For if that be but granted, in which I find no absurdity, That a Particle of Matter may be so little that it is utterly uncapable of being made less, it is plain that one and the same thing, though intellectually divisible, may yet be really indiscerpible. And indeed it is not only possible, but it seems necessary that this should be true: For though we should acknowledge that Matter were discerpible in infinitum, yet supposing a Cause of Infinite distinct perception and as Infinite power, (and God is such) this Cause can reduce this capacity of infinite discerpibleness of Matter into act, that is to <30> say, actually and at once discerp it or disjoyn it into so many particles as it is discerpible into. From whence it will follow, that one of these particles reduced to this perfect Parvitude is then utterly indiscerpible, and yet intellectually divisible, otherwise Magnitude would consist of mere points, which would imply a contradiction.

We have therefore plainly demonstrated by reason, that Matter consists of parts indiscerpible; and therefore there being no other Faculty to give suffrage against it, for neither Sense nor any Common Notion can contradict it, it remains by Axiome 5. that the Conclusion is true.

6. What some would object from Reason, that these perfect Parvitudes being acknowledged still intellectually divisible, must still have parts into which they are divisible, and therefore be still discerpible; To this it is answered, That division into parts does not imply any discerpibility, because the parts conceived in one of these Minima Corporalia (as I may so call them) are rather essential or formal parts then integral, and can no more actually be dissevered, then Sense and Reason from the Soul of a man. For it is of the very Essence of Matter to be divisible, but it is not at all included in the essence thereof to be discerpible; and therefore where discerpibility fails there is no necessity that divisibility should fail also. See the Preface, Sect. 3.

7. As for the trouble of spurious suggestions or representations from the Phansy, as if these perfect Parvitudes were Round bodies, and that therefore there would be Triangular intervalls betwixt, void of Matter; they are of no moment in this case, she alwayes representing a Discerpible magnitude in stead of an Indiscerpible one. Wherefore she bringing in a false evidence, her testimony is to be rejected; nay if she could perplex the cause far worse, she was not to be heard, by Axiome the 4.

Wherefore Phansy being unable to exhibite the Object we consider, in its due advantages, for ought we know these perfect Parvitudes may lye so close together, that they have no intervalls betwixt: nay it seems necessary to be so; For if there were any such intervalls, they were capable of particles less then these least of all; which is a contradiction in Reason, and a thing utterly impossible.

But if we should gratifie Phansy so far as to admit of these intervalls, the greatest absurdity would be, that we must admit an insensible Vacuum, which no Faculty will be able ever to confute. But it is most rationall to admit none, and more consonant to our determination concerning these Minima Corporalia, as I call them, whose largeness is to be limited to the least real touch of either a Globe on a Plane, or a Cone on a Plane, or a Globe on a Globe: if you conceive any real touch less then another, let that be the measure of these Minute Realities in Matter. From whence it will follow, they must touch a whole side at once, and therefore can never leave any empty intervalls.

Nor can we imagine any Angulosities or Round protuberancies in a quantity infinitely little, more then we can in one infinitely great, as I have already declared in my Preface. I must confess, a mans Reason in this speculation is mounted far beyond his Imagination; but there being worse intricacies in Theories acknowledged constantly to be true, it can <31> be no prejudice to the present Conclusion, by the 4, and 7. Axiomes.

8. Thus have we cleared up a full and distinct Notion of a Spirit, with so unexceptionable accuracy, that no Reason can pretend to assert it impossible nor unintelligible. But if the Theory thereof may seem more operose and tedious to impatient wits, and the punctuality of the Description the more hazardous and incredible, as if it were beyond our Faculties to make so precise a Conclusion in a subject so obscure, they may ease their Understanding, by contenting themselves with what we have set down Chap. 2. Sect. 11, 12. and remember that that Wisdome and Power that created all things, can make them of what nature He pleases; and that if God will that there shall be a Creature that is penetrable and indiscerpible, that it is as easy a thing for him to make one so of its own nature, as one impenetrable and discerpible, and indue it with what other Properties he pleases, according to his own will and purpose: which induments being immediately united with the Subject they are in, Reason can make no further demand how they are there, by the 9. Axiome.

CHAP. VII.

1. Of the Self-motion of a Spirit. 2. Of Self-penetration. 3. Of Self-contraction and dilatation. 4. The power of penetrating of Matter. 5. The power of moving, 6. And of altering the Matter.

1. WE have proved the Indiscerpibility of a Spirit as well in Centre as Circumference, as well in the Primary as Secondary Substance thereof, to be a very consistent and congruous Notion. The next Property is Self-motion, which must of necessity be an Attribute of something or other; For by Self-motion I understand nothing else but Self-activity, which must appertain to a Subject active of it self. Now what is simply active of it self, can no more cease to be active then to Be; which is a sign that Matter is not active of it self, because it is reducible to Rest: Which is an Argument not only that Self-activity belongs to a Spirit, but that there is such a thing as a Spirit in the world, from which activity is communicated to Matter. And indeed if Matter as Matter had motion, nothing would hold together; but Flints, Adamant, Brass, Iron, yea this whole Earth would suddenly melt into a thinner Substance then the subtile Aire, or rather it never had been condensated together to this consistency we finde it. But this is to anticipate my future purpose of proving That there are Spirits existing in the world: It had been sufficient here to have asserted, That Self-motion or Self-activity is as conceivable to appertain to Spirit as Body, which is plain at first sight to any man that appeals to his own Faculties. Nor is it at all to be scrupled at, that any thing should be allowed to move it self; because our Adversaries, that say there is nothing but Matter in the world, must of necessity (as I have intimated already) confess that this Matter moves it self, though it be very incongruous so to affirm.

2. The congruity and possibility of Self-penetration in a created Spirit <32> is to be conceived, partly from the limitableness of the Subject, and partly from the foregoing Attributes of Indiscerpibility and Self-motion. For Self-penetration cannot belong to God, because it is impossible any thing should belong to him that implies imperfection, and Self-penetration cannot be without the lessening of the presence of that which does penetrate it self, or the implication that some parts of that Essence are not so well as they may be; which is a contradiction in a Being which is absolutely Perfect. From the Attributes of Indiscerpibility and Self-motion (to which you may adde Penetrability from the generall notion of a Spirit) it is plain that such a Spirit as we define, having the power of Motion upon the whole extent of its essence, may also determine this Motion according to the Property of its own nature: and therefore if it determine the motion of the exteriour parts inward, they will return inward towards the Centre of essential power; which they may easily doe without resistance, the whole Subject being penetrable, and without damage, it being also indiscerpible.

3. From this Self-penetration we do not only easily, but necessarily, understand Self-contraction and dilatation to arise. For this Self-moving Substance, which we call a Spirit, cannot penetrate it self, but it must needs therewith contract it self; nor restore it self again to its former state, but it does thereby dilate it self: so that we need not at all insist upon these Termes.

4. That power which a Spirit has to penetrate Matter we may easily understand if we consider a Spirit only as a Substance, whose immediate property is Activity. For then it is not harder to imagine this Active Substance to pervade this or the other part of Matter, then it is to conceive the pervading or disspreading of motion it self therein.

5. The greatest difficulty is to fancy how this Spirit, being so Incorporeal, can be able to move the Matter, though it be in it. For it seems so subtile, that it will pass through, leaving no more footsteps of its being there, then the Lightening does in the Scabbard, though it may haply melt the Sword, because it there findes resistance. But a Spirit can find no resistance any where, the closest Matter being easily penetrable and pervious to an Incorporeal Substance. The ground of this difficulty is founded upon the unconceivableness of any Union that can be betwixt the Matter, and a Substance that can so easily pass through it. For if we could but once imagine an Union betwixt Matter and a Spirit, the activity then of the Spirit would certainly have influence upon Matter, either for begetting, or increasing, or directing the motion thereof.

But notwithstanding the Penetrability and easy passage of a Spirit through Matter, there is yet for all that a capacity of a strong union betwixt them, and every whit as conceivable as betwixt the parts of Matter themselves. For what glue or Cement holds the parts of hard matter in stones and metalls together, or, if you will, of what is absolutely hard, that has no pores or particles, but is one continued and perfectly homogeneous body, not only to Sense, but according to the exact Idea of Reason? what Cement holds together the parts of <33> such a body as this? Certainly nothing but immediate Union and Rest. Now for Union, there is no comparison betwixt that of Matter with Matter, and this of Spirit with Matter. For the first is only superficiall; in this latter the very inward parts are united point to point throughout. Nor is there any feare it will not take hold, because it has a capacity of passing through. For in this absolutely solid hard Body, which let be A, in which let us conceive some inward superficies, suppose E A C, this superficies is so smooth as nothing can be conceived smoother: why does not therefore the upper E D C slide upon the neather part E F C upon the least motion imaginable, especially E F C being supposed to be held fast whilst the other is thrust against? This facility therefore of one Body passing upon another without any sticking, seeming as necessary to our Phansy as a Spirit's passing through all Bodies without taking hold of them, it is plain by Axiome 7. That a firm union of Spirit and Matter is very possible, though we cannot conceive the manner thereof.

And as for Rest, it is competible also to this conjunction of Matter with Spirit, as well as of Matter with Matter. For suppose the whole body A moved with like swiftness in every part, the parts of A then are according to that sense of Rest, by which they would explain the adhesion of the parts of Matter one with another, truly quiescent. So say I that in the Union of Matter and Spirit, the parts of the Matter receiving from the Spirit just such a velocity of motion as the Spirit exerts, and no more, they both rest in firm Union one with another. That which comes to pass even then when there is far less immediate Union then we speak of. For if we doe but lay a Book on our Hand, provided our Hand be not moved with a swifter motion then it communicates to the Book, nor the Book be pusht on faster then the swiftness of our Hand; the Book and our Hand will most certainly retain their Union and goe together. So naturall and easy is it to conceive how a Spirit may move a Body without any more perplexity or contradiction then is found in the Union and Motion of the parts of Matter it self. See the Appendix to my Antidote.[10]

6. The last Terme I put in the Definition of a Spirit is, the power of altering the Matter; which will necessarily follow from its power of moving it or directing its motion. For Alteration is nothing else but the varying of either the Figures, or postures, or the degrees of motion in the particles; all which are nothing else but the results of Local motion. Thus have we cleared the intelligibility and possibility of all the Terms that belong to the Notion of a created Spirit in general, at least of such as may be rationally conceived to be the causes of any visible Phænomena in the world: We will now descend to the defining of the chief Species thereof.

<34>

CHAP. VIII.

1. Four main Species of Spirits. 2. How they are to be defined. 3. The definition of a Seminal Form; 4. Of the Soul of a Brute; 5. Of the Soul of a Man. 6. The difference betwixt the Soul of an Angel and an Humane Soul. 7. The definition of an Angelical Soul. 8. Of the Platonical Νὀες and Ένἀδες. 9. That Des Cartes his Demonstration of the Existence of the Humane Soul does at least conclude the possibility of a Spirit.

1. WE have enumerated Four kinds of Spirits, viz. The λόγοι σπεϱματικοἰ or Seminal Forms, the Souls of Brutes, the Humane Soul, and that Soul or Spirit which actuates or informs the vehicles of Angels: For I look upon Angels to be as truly a compound Being, consisting of Soul and Body, as that of Men & Brutes. Their Existence we shall not now goe about to prove, for that belongs to another place. My present design is onely to expound or define the notion of these things, so far forth as is needful for the evincing that they are the Ideas or Notions of things which imply no contradiction or impossibility in their conception; which will be very easy for us to perform: the chief difficulty lying in that more General notion of a Spirit, which we have so fully explained in the foregoing Chapters.

2. Now this General notion can be contracted into Kindes, by no other Differences then such as may be called peculiar Powers or Properties belonging to one Spirit and excluded from another, by the 8. Axiome. From whence it will follow, that if we describe these several kindes of Spirits by immediate and intrinsecal Properties, we have given as good Definitions of them as any one can give of any thing in the world.

3. We will begin with what is most simple, the Seminal Forms of things which, for the present, deciding nothing of their existence, according to their ἰδἐα possibilis, we define thus; A Seminal Form is a created Spirit organizing duly-prepared Matter into life and vegetation proper to this or the other kind of Plant. It is beyond my imagination what can be excepted against this Description, it containing nothing but what is very coherent and intelligible. For in that it is a Spirit, it can move Matter intrinsecally, or at least direct the motion thereof: But in that it is not an Omnipotent Spirit, but Finite and Created, its power may well be restrained to duly-prepared Matter both for vital union and motion; He that has made these Particular Spirits, varying their Faculties of Vital union according to the diversity of the preparation of Matter, and so limiting the whole comprehension of them all, that none of them may be able to be vitally joyned with any Matter whatever: And the same first Cause of all things that gives them a power of uniting with & moving of matter duly prepared; may also set such laws to this motion, that when it lights on matter fit for it, it will produce such and such a <35> Plant, that is to say, it will shape the matter into such Figure, Colour and other properties, as we discover in them by our Senses.

4. This is the First degree of Particular Life in the world, *[11] if there be any purely of this degree Particular. But now, as Aristotle has somewhere noted, the Essences of things are like Numbers, whose Species are changed by adding or taking away an Unite: adde therefore another Intrinsecall power to this of Vegetation, viz. Sensation, and it becomes the Soul of a Beast. For in truth the bare Substance it self is not to be computed in explicite knowledg, it being utterly in it self unconceivable, and therefore we will onely reckon upon the Powers. A Subject therefore from whence is both Vegetation and Sensation is the general notion of the Soule of a Brute. Which is distributed into a number of kindes, the effect of every Intrinsecal power being discernible in the constant shape and properties of every distinct kind of Brute Creatures.

5. If we adde to Vegetation and Sensation Reason properly so called, we have then a settled notion of the Soul of Man; which we may more compleatly describe thus: A created Spirit indued with Sense and Reason, and a power of organizing terrestrial Matter into humane shape by vital union therewith.

6. And herein alone, I conceive, does the Spirit or Soul of an Angel (for I take the boldness to call that Soul, whatever it is, that has a power of vitally actuating the Matter) differ from the Soul of a Man, in that the Soul of an Angel may vitally actuate an Aerial or Æthereal Body, but cannot be born into this world in a Terrestrial one.

7. To make an end therefore of our Definitions: an Angelical Soul is very intelligibly described thus; A created Spirit indued with Reason, Sensation, and a power of being vitally united with and actuating of a Body of Aire or Æther onely. Which power over an Aereal or Æthereal Body is very easily to be understood out of that general notion of a Spirit in the foregoing Chapters. For it being there made good, that union with Matter is not incompetible to a Spirit, and consequently nor moving of it, nor that kind of motion in a Spirit which we call Contraction and Dilatation; these Powers, if carefully considered, will necessarily infer the possibility of the Actuation and Union of an Angelical Soul with an Æthereal or Aiery Body.

8. The Platonists write of other Orders of Spirits or Immaterial Substances, as the Νὀες and Ένἀδες. But there being more Subtilty then either usefulness or assurance in such like Speculations, I shall pass them over at this time; having already, I think, irrefutably made good, That there is no incongruity nor incompossibility comprised in the Notion of Spirit or Incorporeal Substance.

9. But there is yet another way of inferring the same, and it is the Argument of Des-Cartes, whereby he would conclude that there is de facto a Substance in us distinct from Matter, viz. our own Mind. For every Real Affection or Property being the Mode of some Substance or other, and real Modes being unconceivable without their Subject, he inferres that, seeing we can doubt whether there be any such thing as Body in the world (by which doubting we seclude Cogitation from Body) <36> there must be some other Substance distinct from the Body, to which Cogitation belongs.

But I must confess this Argument will not reach home to Des-Cartes his purpose, who would prove in Man a Substance distinct from his Body. For being there may be Modes common to more Subjects then one, and this of Cogitation may be pretended to be such as is competible as well to Substance Corporeal as Incorporeal, it may be conceived apart from either, though not from both. And therefore his Argument does not prove That that in us which does think or perceive is a Substance distinct from our Body, but onely That there may be such a Substance which has the power of thinking or perceiving, which yet is not a Body. For it being impossible that there should be any real Mode which is in no Subject, and we clearly conceiving Cogitation independent for existence on Corporeal Substance; it is necessary, That there may be some other Substance on which it may depend; which must needs be a Substance Incorporeal.

CHAP. IX.

1. That it is of no small consequence to have proved the Possibility of the Existence of a Spirit. 2. The necessity of examining of Mr. Hobbs his Reasons to the contrary. 3. The first Excerption out of Mr. Hobbs. 4. The second Excerption. 5. The third. 6. The fourth. 7. The fifth. 8. The sixth. 9. The seventh. 10. The eighth and last Excerption.

1. I Have been, I believe, to admiration curious and sollicitous to make good, That the Existence of a Spirit or Incorporeal Substance is possible. But there is no reason any one should wonder that I have spent so much pains to make so small and inconsiderable a progresse, as to bring the thing onely to a bare possibility. For though I may seem to have gained little to my self, yet I have thereby given a very signal overthrow to the adverse party, whose strongest hold seems to be an unshaken confidence, That the very Notion of a Spirit or Substance Immaterial is a perfect Incompossibility and pure Non-sense. From whence are insinuated no better Consequences then these: That it is impossible that there should be any God, or Soul, or Angel, Good or Bad; or any Immortality or Life to come. That there is no Religion, no Piety nor Impiety, no Vertue nor Vice, Justice nor Injustice, but what it pleases him that has the longest Sword to call so. That there is no Freedome of Will, nor consequently any Rational remorse of Conscience in any Being whatsoever, but that all that is, is nothing but Matter and corporeal Motion; and that therefore every trace of mans life is as necessary as the tracts of Lightning and the fallings of Thunder; the blind impetus of the Matter breaking through or being stopt every where, with as certain and determinate necessity as the course of a Torrent after mighty storms and showers of Rain.

<37>

2. And verily considering of what exceeding great consequence it is to root out this sullen conceit that some have taken up concerning Incorporeal Substance, as if it bore a contradiction in the very termes, I think I shall be wanting to so weighty a Cause, if I shall content my self with a bare recitation of the Reasons whereby I prove it possible, and not produce their Arguments that seem most able to maintain the contrary. And truly I do not remember that I ever met with any one yet that may justly be suspected to be more able to make good this Province then our Countreyman Mr. Hobbs, whose inexuperable confidence of the truth of the Conclusion may well assure any man that duely considers the excellency of his natural Wit and Parts, that he has made choice of the most Demonstrative Arguments that humane Invention can search out for the eviction thereof.

3. And that I may not incurre the suspicion of mistaking his Assertion, or of misrepresenting the force of his Reasons, I shall here punctually set them down in the same words I find them in his own Writings, that any man may judge if I doe him any wrong. The first place I shall take notice of is in his *[12] Leviathan. The word Body in the most general acceptation signifies that which filleth or occupieth some certain room or imagined place; and dependeth not on the Imagination, but is a real part of that we call the Universe. For the Universe being the Aggregate of all Bodies, there is no real part thereof that is not also Body; nor any thing properly a Body, that is not also part of (that Aggregate of all Bodies) the Universe. The same also, because Bodyes are subject to change, that is to say, to variety of appearance to the sense of living Creatures, is called Substance, that is to say, subject to various Accidents; as sometimes to be moved, sometimes to stand still, and to seem to our Senses sometimes Hot, sometimes Cold, sometimes of one Colour, Smell, Tast, or Sound, sometimes of another. And this diversity of seeming, (produced by the diversity of the operation of Bodies on the Organs of our Sense) we attribute to alterations of the Bodies that operate, and call them Accidents of those Bodies. And according to this acception of the word, Substance and Body signifie the same thing; and therefore Substance Incorporeal are words which when they are joyned together destroy one another, as if a man should say an Incorporeal Body.

4. The second place is in his *[13] Physicks. But it is here to be observed that certain Dreams, especially such as some men have when they are betwixt sleeping and waking, and such as happen to those that have no knowledge of the nature of Dreams, and are withall superstitious, were not heretofore nor are now accounted Dreams. For the Apparitions men thought they saw, and the voices they thought they heard in sleep, were not believed to be Phantasmes, but things subsisting of themselves, and Objects without those that Dreamed. For to some men, as well sleeping as waking, but especially to guilty men, and in the night, and in hallowed places, Fear alone, helped a little with the stories of such Apparitions, hath raised in their mindes terrible Phantasmes, which have been and are still deceitfully received for things really true, under the names of Ghosts and Incorporeal Substances.

5. We will adde a third out of the same Book.[14] For seeing Ghosts, sen <38> sible species, a shadow, light, colour, sound, space, &c. appear to us no less sleeping then waking, they cannot be things without us, but onely Phantasmes of the mind that imagines them.

6. And a fourth out of his Humane Nature.[15] But Spirits supernatural commonly signifie some Substance without dimension, which two words do flatly contradict one another. And Artic. 5. Nor I think is that word Incorporeal at all in the Bible, but is said of the Spirit, that it abideth in men, sometimes that it dwelleth in them, sometimes that it cometh on them, that it descendeth, and goeth, and cometh, and that Spirits are Angels, that is to say, Messengers; all which words do imply Locality, and locality is Dimension, and whatsoever hath dimension is Body, be it never so subtile.

7. The fifth Excerption shall be again out of his Leviathan.[16] And for the Matter or Substance of the Invisible agents so fancyed, they could not by natural cogitation fall upon any other conceit, but that it was the same with that of the Soul of Man, and that the Soul of Man was of the same Substance with that which appeareth in a Dream to one that sleepeth, or in a Looking-glass to one that is awake: Which, men not knowing that such Apparitions are nothing else but creatures of the Fancy, think to be reall and external Substances, and therefore call them Ghosts, as the Latines called them Imagines and Umbræ; and thought them Spirits, that is, thin aerial bodies; and those invisible Agents, which they feared, to be like them, save that they appear and vanish when they please. But the opinion that such Spirits were Incorporeal or Immaterial could never enter into the mind of any man by nature; because, though men may put together words of contradictory signification, as Spirit and Incorporeal, yet they can never have the imagination of any thing answering to them.

We will help out this further from what he writes in his Humane Nature. [17]To know that a Spirit is, that is to say, to have natural evidence of the same, it is impossible. For all evidence is conception, and all conception is imagination, and proceedeth from Sense; and Spirits we suppose to be those Substances which work not upon the Sense, and therefore are not conceptible.

8. The sixth, out of Chap. 45. where he writes thus: [18]This nature of Sight having never been discovered by the ancient pretenders to Natural knowledge, much less by those that consider not things so remote (as that Knowledge is) from their present use; it was hard for men to conceive of those Images in the Fancy and in the Sense, otherwise then of things really without us. Which some (because they vanish away they know not whither nor how) will have to be absolutely Incorporeal, that is to say, Immaterial, or Forms without Matter, Colour and Figure, without any coloured or figured body, and that they can put on aiery bodies, (as a garment) to make them visible when they will to our bodily eyes; and others say, are Bodies and living Creatures, but made of Aire, or other more subtile and æthereal matter, which is then, when they will be seen, condensed. But both of them agree on one general appellation of them, Dæmons. As if the dead of whom they dreamed were not the Inhabitants of their own Brain, but of the Aire, or of Heaven or Hell, not Phantasmes, but Ghosts; with just as much reason as if one should say he saw his own Ghost in a Looking-glass, or the Ghosts of <39> the stars in a River, or call the ordinary Apparition of the Sun of the quantity of about a foot, the Dæmon or Ghost of that great Sun that enlightneth the whole visible world.

9. The seventh is out of the next Chapter of the same book.[19] Where he again taking to task that Jargon, as he calls it, of Abstract Essences and Substantial Formes, writes thus: The world (I mean not the Earth onely, but the Universe, that is, the whole mass of all things that are) is Corporeal, that is to say, Body, and hath the Dimensions of Magnitude, namely Length, Breadth and Depth; also every part of Body is likewise Body, and hath the like dimensions; and consequently every part of the Universe is Body, and that which is not Body is no part of the Universe: And because the Universe is all, that which is no part of it is nothing, and consequently no where.

10. The eighth and last we have a little after in the same Chapter, which runs thus; Being once fallen into this errour of Separated Essences, they are thereby necessarily involved in many other absurdities that follow it. For seeing they will have these Forms to be real, they are obliged to assign them some place. But because they hold them Incorporeal without all dimension of Quantity, and all men know that Place is Dimension, and not to be filled but by that which is corporeal, they are driven to uphold their credit with a distinction, that they are not indeed any where Circumscriptivè, but Definitivé. Which termes, being mere words, and in this occasion insignificant, pass onely in Latine, that the vanity of them might be concealed. For the Circumscription of a thing is nothing else but the determination or defining of its place, and so both the termes of distinction are the same. And in particular of the essence of man, which they say is his Soul, they affirm it to be all of it in his little finger, and all of it in every other part (how small soever) of his Body, and yet no more Soul in the whole Body then in any one of these parts. Can any man think that God is served with such Absurdities? And yet all this is necessary to believe to those that will believe the existence of an incorporeal Soul separated from the Body.

CHAP. X.

1. An Answer to the first Excerption. 2. To the second. 3. An Answer to the third. 4. To the fourth Excerption. 5. An Answer to the fifth. 6. To the sixth. 7. To the seventh. 8. An Answer to the eighth and last. 9. A brief Recapitulation of what has been said hitherto.

1. WE have set down the chiefest passages in the Writings of Mr. Hobbs, that confident Exploder of Immaterial Substances out of the world. It remains now that we examine them, and see whether the force of his Arguments bears any proportion to the firmness of his belief, or rather mis-belief, concerning these things. To strip therefore the first Excerption of that long Ambages of words, and to reduce it to a more plain and compendious forme of reasoning, <40> the force of his Argument lies thus: That seeing every thing in the Universe is Body (the Universe being nothing else but an Aggregate of Bodies) Body and Substance are but names of one and the same thing; it being called Body as it fills a place, and Substance as it is the Subject of several Alterations and Accidents. Wherefore Body and Substance being all one, Incorporeal Substance is no better sense then an Incorporeal Body, which is a contradiction in the very termes. But it is plain to all the world that this is not to prove, but to suppose what is to be proved, That the Universe is nothing else but an Aggregate of Bodies: When he has proved that, we will acknowledge the sequel; till then, he has proved nothing, and therefore this first argumentation must pass for nought.

2. Let us examine the strength of the second, which certainly must be this, if any at all; That which has its originall merely from Dreams, Fears and Superstitious Fancies, has no real existence in the world: But Incorporeal Substances have no other Original. The Proposition is a Truth indubitable, but the Assumption is as weak as the other is strong; whether you understand it of the real Original of these Substances, or of the Principles of our knowledge That they are. And be their Original what it will, it is nothing to us, but so far forth as it is cognoscible to us, by Axiome first. And therefore when he sayes, they have no other Original then that of our own Phansy, he must be understood to affirme that there is no other Principle of the knowledge of their Existence then that we vainly imagine them to be; which is grossly false.

For it is not the Dreams and Fears of Melancholick and Superstitious persons, from which Philosophers and Christians have argued the Existence of Spirits and Immaterial Substances; but from the evidence of *[20] Externall Objects of Sense, that is, the ordinary Phænomena of Nature, in which there is discoverable so profound Wisdome and Counsell, that they could not but conclude that the Order of things in the world was from a higher Principle then the blind motions and jumblings of Matter and mere Corporeal Beings.

To which you may adde what usually they call *[21] Apparitions, which are so far from being merely the Dreams and Fancies of the Superstitious, that they are acknowledged by such as cannot but be deemed by most men over-Atheistical, I mean Pomponatius and Cardan, nay by Vaninus himself, though so devoted to Atheisme, that out of a perfect mad zeale to that despicable cause he died for it. I omit to name the Operations of the *[22] Soul, which ever appeared to the wisest of all Ages of such a transcendent condition, that they could not judge them to spring from so contemptible a Principle as bare Body or Matter. Wherefore to decline all these, and to make representation onely of Dreams and Fancies to be the occasions of the world's concluding that there are Incorporeal Substances, is to fancy his Reader a mere fool, and publickly to profess that he has a mind to impose upon him.

3. The third argumentation is this: That which appears to us as well sleeping as waking, is nothing without us: But Ghosts, that is Immaterial Substances, appear to us as well sleeping as waking. This is the weakest Argument that has been yet produced: for both the Proposition and <41> Assumption are false. For if the Proposition were true, the Sun, Moon, Stars, Clouds, Rivers, Meadows, Men, Women, and other living creatures were nothing without us: For all these appear to us as well when we are sleeping as waking. But Incorporeal Substances do not appear to us as well sleeping as waking. For the Notion of an Incorporeal Substance is so subtile and refined, that it leaving little or no impression on the Phansy, its representation is merely supported by the free power of Reason, which seldome exercises it self in sleep, unless upon easy imaginable Phantasmes.

4. The force of the fourth Argument is briefly this: Every Substance has dimensions; but a Spirit has no dimensions. Here I confidently deny the Assumption. For it is not the Characteristicall of a Body to have dimensions, but to be Impenetrable. All Substance has Dimensions, that is, Length, Breadth, and Depth: but all has not Impenetrability. See my Letters to Monsieur Des-Cartes, besides what I have here writ in this *[23] present Treatise.

5. In the Excerptions belonging to the fifth place these Arguments are comprised. 1. That we have no principle of knowledge of any Immaterial Being, but such as a Dream or a Looking-Glasse furnisheth us withall. 2. That the word Spirit or Incorporeal implies a contradiction, and cannot be conceived to be sense by a natural Understanding. 3. That nothing is conceived by the Understanding but what comes in at the Senses, and therefore Spirits not acting upon the Senses must remain unknown and unconceivable.

We have already answered to the first in what we have returned to his second Argument in the second Excerption.

To the second I answer, That Spirit or Incorporeal implies no contradiction, there being nothing understood thereby but Extended Substance with Activity and Indiscerpibility, leaving out Impenetrability: Which I have above demonstrated to be the Notion of a thing possible, and need not repeat what I have already written.

To the third I answer, That Spirits do act really upon the Senses, by acting upon Matter that affects the Senses; and some of these Operations being such, that they cannot be rationally attributed to the Matter alone, Reason by the information of the Senses concludes, that there is some other more noble Principle distinct from the Matter. And as for that part of the Argument that asserts that there is nothing in the Understanding but what comes in at the Senses, I *[24] have, and shall again in its *[25] due place demonstrate it to be a very gross Errour.

But in the mean time I conclude, that the Substance of every thing being utterly unconceivable, by Axiome 8. and it being onely the Immediate Properties by which a man conceives every thing, and the Properties of Penetrability and Indiscerpibility being as easy to conceive, as of Discerpibility and Impenetrability, and the power of communicating of motion to Matter as easy as the Matter's reception of it, and the Union of Matter with Spirit, as of Matter with Matter; it plainly follows, that the Notion of a Spirit is as naturally conceivable as the Notion of a Body.

6. In this sixth Excerption he is very copious in jearing and making <42> ridiculous the opinion of Ghosts and Dæmons; but the strength of his Argument, if it have any, is this, viz. If there be any such things as Ghosts or Dæmons, then they are (according to them that hold this opinion) either those Images reflected from water or Looking-glasses, cloathing themselves in aiery garments, and so wandring up & down; or else they are living Creatures made of nothing but Aire or some more subtile and Æthereal Matter. One might well be amazed to observe such slight and vain arguing come from so grave a Philosopher, were not a man well aware that his peculiar eminency, as himself somewhere professes, lies in Politicks, to which the humours and Bravadoes of Eloquence, especially amongst the simple, is a very effectuall and serviceable instrument. And certainly such Rhetorications as this cannot be intended for any but such as are of the very weakest capacity.

Those two groundless conceits that he would obtrude upon the sober Assertors of Spirits and Dæmons belong not to them, but are the genuine issue of his own Brain. For, for the former of them, it is most justly adjudged to him, as the first Author thereof; it being a Rarity, which neither my self nor (I dare say) any else ever met with out of Mr Hobbs his Writings. And the latter he does not onely not goe about to confute here, but makes a shew of allowing it, for fear he should seem to deny Scripture, in Chap. 34. of his Leviathan. But those that assert the Existence of Spirits, will not stand to Mr Hobbs his choice for defining of them, but will make use of their own Reason and Judgment for the settling of so concerning a Notion.

7. In this seventh Excerption is contained the same Argument that was found in the first; but to deal fairly and candidly, I must confess it is better back'd then before. For there he supposes, but does not prove, the chief ground of his Argument; but here he offers at a proof of it, couched, as I conceive, in these words [and hath the dimensions of Magnitude, namely Length, Breadth and Depth] for hence he would infer that the whole Universe is Corporeal, that is to say, every thing in the Universe, because there is nothing but has Length, Breadth and Depth. This therefore is the very last ground his Argument is to be resolved into. But how weak it is I have already intimated, it being not Trinal Dimension, but Impenetrability, that constitutes a Body.

8. This last Excerption seems more considerable then any of the former, or all of them put together: but when the force of the Arguments therein contained is duly weighed, they will be found of as little efficacy to make good the Conclusion as the rest. The first Argument runs thus; Whatsoever is real, must have some place: But Spirits can have no place. But this is very easily answered. For if nothing else be understood by Place, but Imaginary Space, Spirits and Bodies may be in the same Imaginary Space, and so the Assumption is false. But if by Place be meant the Concave Superficies of one Body immediately environing another Body, so that it be conceived to be of the very Formality of a Place, immediately to environ the corporeal Superficies of that Substance which is said to be placed; then it is impossible that a Spirit should be properly said to be in a Place, and so the Proposition will be false. Wherefore there being these <43> two acceptions of Place, that Distinction of being there Circumscriptivè and Definitivè is an allowable Distinction, and the terms may not signify one and the same thing. But if we will with Mr. Hobbs (and I know no great hurt if we should doe so) confine the Notion of Place to Imaginary Space, this distinction of the Schools will be needless here, and we may, without any more adoe, assert, That Spirits are as truly in Place as Bodies.

His second Argument is drawn from that Scholastick Riddle, which I must confess seems to verge too near to profound Non-sense, That the Soul of man is tota in toto and tota in qualibet parte corporis. This mad Jingle it seems has so frighted Mr Hobbs sometime or other, that he never since could endure to come near the Notion of a Spirit again, not so much as to consider whether it were a mere Bug-bear, or some real Being. But if Passion had not surprised his better Faculties, he might have found a true settled meaning thereof, and yet secluded these wilde intricacies that the heedless Schools seem to have charged it with: For the Immediate Properties of a Spirit are very well intelligible without these Ænigmatical flourishes, viz. That it is a Substance Penetrable and Indiscerpible, as I have already shewn at large.

Nor is that Scholastick Ænigme necessary to be believed by all those that would believe the Existence of an Incorporeal Soul; nor do I believe Mr Hobbs his interpretation of this Riddle to be so necessary. And it had been but fair play to have been assured that the Schools held such a perfect contradiction, before he pronounced the belief thereof necessary to all those that would hold the Soul of Man an Immaterial Substance, separable from the Body. I suppose they may mean nothing by it, but what Plato did by his making the Soul to consist ἐκ μεϱιστῆς καἰ ἀμεϱἰστου ουσἰας nor Plato any thing more by that divisible and indivisible Substance, then an Essence that is intellectually divisible, but really indiscerpible.

9. We have now firmly made good, that the Notion of a Spirit implies no contradiction nor incompossibility in it; but is the Notion or Idea of a thing that may possibly be. Which I have done so punctually and particularly, that I have cleared every Species of Substances Incorporeal from the imputation of either obscurity or inconsistency. And that I might not seem to take advantage in pleading their cause in the absence of the adverse party, I have brought in the most able Advocate and the most assured that I have hitherto ever met withall; and dare now appeal to any indifferent Judge, whether I have not demonstrated all his Allegations to be weak and inconclusive. Wherefore having so clearly evinced the possibility of the Existence of a Spirit, we shall now make a step further, and prove That it is not onely a thing possible, but that it is really and actually in Nature.

<44>

CHAP. XI.

1. Three grounds to prove the Existence of an Immaterial Substance, whereof the first is fetch'd from the Nature of God. 2. The second from the Phænomenon of Motion in the World. 3. That the Matter is not Self-moveable. 4. An Objection that the Matter may be part Self-moved, part not. 5. The first Answer to the Objection. 6. The second Answer. 7. Other Evasions answered. 8. The last Evasion of all answered. 9. The Conclusion, That no Matter is Self-moved, but that a certain quantity of motion was impressed upon it at its first Creation by God.

1. THere be Three main Grounds from whence a man may be assured of the Existence of Spiritual or Immaterial Substance. The one is the consideration of the transcendent excellency of the Nature of God; who being, according to the true Idea of him, an Essence absolutely Perfect, cannot possibly be Body, and consequently must be something Incorporeal: and seeing that there is no contradiction in the Notion of a Spirit in general, nor in any of those kinds of Spirits which we have defined, (where the notion of God was set down amongst the rest) and that in the very Notion of him there is contained the reason of his Existence, as you may see at large in my *[26] Antidote; certainly if we find any thing at all to be, we may safely conclude that He is much more. For there is nothing besides Him of which one can give a reason why it is, unless we suppose him to be the Author of it. Wherefore though God be neither Visible nor Tangible, yet his very Idea representing to our Intellectuall Faculties the necessary reason of his Existence, we are, by Axiome 5. (though we had no other Argument drawn from our Senses) confidently to conclude That He is.

2. The second ground is the ordinary Phænomena of Nature, the most general whereof is Motion. Now it seems to me demonstrable from hence, That there is some Being in the World distinct from Matter. For Matter being of one simple homogeneal nature, and not distinguishable by specificall differences, as the Schools speak, it must have every where the very same Essentiall properties; and therefore of it self it must all of it be either without motion, or else be self-moving, and that in such or such a tenor, or measure of motion; there being no reason imaginable, why one part of the Matter should move of it self lesse then another; and therefore if there be any such thing, it can onely arise from externall impediment.

3. Now I say, if Matter be utterly devoid of motion in it self, it is plain it has its motion from some other Substance, which is necessarily a Substance that is not Matter, that is to say, a Substance Incorporeal. But if it be moved of it self, in such or such a measure, the effect here being an Emanative effect, cannot possibly fail to be whereever Matter is, by Axiome 17. especially if there be no external impediment: And there is no impediment at all, but that the Terrestrial parts might regain an activity <45> very nigh equal to the Æthereal, or rather never have lost it. For if the Planets had but a common Dividend of all the motion which themselves and the Sun and Stars, and all the Æthereal matter possess, (the matter of the Planets being so little in comparison of that of the Sun, Stars and Æther) the proportion of motion that will fall due to them would be exceeding much above what they have. For it would be as if four or five poor men in a very rich and populous City should, by giving up that estate they have, in a levelling way, get equal share with all the rest. Wherefore every Planet could not faile of melting it self into little less finer Substance then the purest Æther. But they not doing so, it is a signe they have not that Motion nor Agitation of themselves, and therefore rest content with what has extrinsecally accrued to them, be it less or more.

4. But the pugnacious, to evade the stroke of our Dilemma, will make any bold shift; and though they affront their own Faculties in saying so, yet they will say, and must say, That part of the Matter is self-moving, part without motion of it self.

5. But to this I answer, That first, this Evasion of theirs is not so agreeable to Experience; but, so far as either our Sense or Reason can reach, there is the same Matter every where. For consider the subtilest parts of Matter discoverable here below, those which for their Subtilty are invisible, and for their Activity wonderfull, I mean those particles that cause that vehement agitation we feel in Winds: They in time lose their motion, become of a visible vaporous consistency, and turn to Clouds, then to Snow or Rain, after haply to Ice it self; but then in process of time, first melted into Water, then exhaled into Vapours, after more fiercely agitated, do become Wind again. And that we may not think that this Reciprocation into Motion and Rest belongs onely to Terrestrial particles; that the Heavens themselves be of the same Matter, is apparent from the Ejections of Comets into our Vortex, and the perpetuall rising of those Spots and Scum upon the Face of the Sun.

6. But secondly, to return what is still more pungent. This Matter that is Self-moved, in the impressing of Motion upon other Matter, either looses of its own motion, or retains it still entire. If the first, it may be despoiled of all its motion: and so that whose immediate nature is to move, shall rest, the entire cause of its motion still remaining, viz. it self: which is a plain contradiction by Axiome 17. If the second, no meaner an inconvenience then this will follow, That the whole world had been turned into pure Æther by this time, if not into a perfect flame, or at least will be in the conclusion, to the utter destruction of all corporeal Consistencies. For, that these Self-moving parts of Matter are of a considerable copiousness, the event does testify, they having melted almost all the world already into Suns, Stars and Æther, nothing remaining but Planets and Comets to be dissolved: Which all put together scarce beare so great a proportion to the rest of the Matter of the Universe, as an ordinary grain of sand to the whole ball of the Earth. Wherefore so potent a Principle of Motion still adding new motion to Matter, and no motion once communicated being lost, (for according <46> to the laws of Motion, no Body loses any more motion then it communicates to another) it plainly follows, that either the World had been utterly burnt up ere now, or will be at least in an infinite less time then it has existed, nay, I may say absolutely, in a very little time, and will never return to any frame of things again; which though it possibly may be, yet none but a mad-man will assert, by Axiome 2. And that it has not yet been since the first Epoches of History, seems a Demonstration this second Hypothesis is false.

7. There is yet another Evasion or two, which when they are answered there will be no Scruple remaining touching this point. The first is, That the Matter is all of it homogeneall, of the like nature every where, and that it is the common Property of it all to be of it self indifferent to Motion or Rest; and therefore, that it is no wonder that some of it moves, and other some of it rests, or moves less then other some. To which I answer, That this Indifferency of the Matter to Motion or Rest may be understood two wayes: Either privatively, that is to say, That it has not any real or active propension to Rest more then to Motion, or vice versâ, but is merely passive and susceptive of what Motion or Fixation some other Agent confers upon it, and keeps that modification exactly and perpetually, till again some other Agent changeit {sic}; (in which sense I allow the Assertion to be true, but it makes nothing against us, but for us, it plainly implying That there is an Incorporeal Substance distinct from the Matter, from whence the Matter both is and must be moved.) Or else, this Indifferency is to be understood positively, that is to say, That the Matter has a real and active propension as well to Motion as to Rest, so that it moveth it self and fixeth it self from its own immediate nature. From whence there are but these two Absurdities that follow: the first, That two absolutely contrary properties are immediately seated in one simple Subject; then which nothing can seem more harsh and unhandsome to our Logical faculties; unless the second, which is, That Motion and Rest being thus the Emanative effects of this one simple Subject, the Matter will both move and rest at once; or, if they do not understand Rest, Fixation, but a mere absence of motion, That it will both move and not move at once. For what is immediate to any Subject, will not cease to be, the Subject not being destroyed, by Axiome 17.

Nor will they much help themselves by fancying that Matter necessarily exerting both these immediate powers or properties at once of Motion and Rest, moves her self to such a measure and no swifter. For this position is but coincident with the second member of the Dilemma, Sect. 3. of this Chapter; and therefore the same Argument will serve for both places.

The other Evasion is, by supposing part of the Matter to be Self-moving, and part of it Self-resting, in a positive sense, or Self-fixing: Which is particularly directed against what we have argued Sect. 6. For thus they would avoid that hasty and universal Conflagration there inferred. But that this Supposition is false, is manifest from Experience. For if there be any such Self-fixing parts of Matter, they are certainly in Gold and Lead and such like Metalls; but it is plain that they are not <47> there. For what is Self-fixing, will immediately be reduced to Rest, so soon as external violence is taken off, by Axiome 17. Whence it will follow, that though these Self-fixing parts of Matter may be carried by other Matter while they are made fast to it, yet left free they will suddainly rest, they having the immediate cause of Fixation in themselves. Nor can any one distrust that the change will be so suddain, if he consider how suddainly an external force puts Matter upon motion. But a Bullet of gold or lead put thus upon motion, swift or slow, does not suddainly reduce it self to rest. Whence it plainly appears that this last Evasion contradicts Experience, and therefore has no force against our former Arguments.

8. The utmost Evasion the Wit of man can possibly excogitate is that Figment of a certain Divine Matter dispersed in the World, which some conceit the onely Numen thereof, whose motions they make not necessary, but voluntary; whereby they would decline that exorbitant inconvenience mentioned in the sixth Section of this Chapter. But the opinion to me seems very harsh and prodigious for these reasons following.

First, they seem very absurd in imagining this to be the Numen of the World or God himself, it being so inconsistent with Personality and the Unity of the Godhead to be made up of an Infinite number of interspersed Atoms amidst the Matter of the World: For this cannot be one God in any sense; nor a single Divine Atome an Entire Deity. From whence it would follow that there is no God at all.

And then in second place, They acknowledging this Divine Matter to be Matter, acknowledge therewith Impenetrability and Juxta-position of parts, diversity also of figure, and, where there are no pores at all, absolute Solidity and Hardness. Whence it is manifest that whatsoever Reasonings are strong against Ordinary Matter for making it uncapable of Perception and free Action, from the Nature and Idea thereof, they are as strong against this, on which they have conferred the title of Divine.

And thirdly and lastly, That there is no such Divine Matter interspersed amongst the subtile Matter of the World, that can act freely and knowingly, Effects also and Experiments plainly declare, as I have abundantly noted in my *[27] Antidote against Atheism.

9. Wherefore it is most rational to conclude, That no Matter whatsoever of its own Nature has any active Principle of Motion, though it be receptive thereof; but that when God created it, he superadded an impress of Motion upon it, such a measure and proportion to all of it, which remains still much-what the same for quantity in the whole, though the parts of Matter in their various occursion of one to another have not alwaies the same proportion of it. Nor is there any more necessity that God should reiterate this impress of Motion on the Matter created, then that he should perpetually create the Matter. Neither does his conservation of this quantity of Motion any thing more imply either a repetition or an augmentation of it, then the conservation of the Matter does the superaddition of new Matter thereunto. Indeed he need but con <48> serve the Matter, and the Matter thus conserved will faithfully retain, one part with another, the whole summe of Motion first communicated to it, some small moments excepted, which are not worth the mentioning in this place.

CHAP. XII.

1. That the Order and Nature of things in the Universe argue an Essence Spiritual or Incorporeal. 2. The Evasion of this Argument. 3. A preparation out of Mr Hobbs to answer the Evasion. 4. The first Answer. 5. The second Answer. 6. Mr Hobbs his mistake, of making the Ignorance of Second Causes the onely Seed of Religion.

1. WE have discovered out of the simple Phænomenon of Motion, the necessity of the Existence of some Incorporeal Essence distinct from the Matter: But there is a further assurance of this Truth, from the consideration of the Order and admirable Effect of this Motion in the world. Suppose Matter could move it self, would mere Matter, with Self-motion, amount to that admirable wise contrivance of things which we see in the World? Can a blind impetus produce such Effects, with that accuracy and constancy, that, the more wise a man is, the more he will be assured That no Wisdome can adde, take away, or alter any thing in the works of Nature, whereby they may be bettered? How can that therefore that has not so much as Sense, arise to the Effects of the highest pitch of Reason or Intellect? But of this I have spoke so fully and convincingly in the second Book of my Antidote, that it will be but a needless repetition to proceed any further on this Subject.

2. All the Evasion that I can imagine our Adversaries may use here, will be this: That Matter is capable of Sense, and the finest and most subtile of the most refined Sense, and consequently of Imagination too, yea haply of Reason and Understanding. For Sense being nothing else, as some conceit, but Motion, or rather Re-action of a Body pressed upon by another Body, it will follow that all the Matter in the World has in some manner or other the power of Sensation.

3. Let us see now what this Position will amount to. Those that make Motion and Sensation thus really the same, they must of necessity acknowledge, That no longer Motion, no longer Sensation, (as Mr Hobbs has ingenuously confessed in his *[28] Elements of Philosophy:) And that every Motion or Re-action must be a new Sensation, as well as every ceasing of Re-action a ceasing of Sensation.

4. Now let us give these busie active particles of the Matter that play up and down every where the advantage of Sense, and let us see if all their heads laid together can contrive the Anatomical fabrick of any Creature that lives. Assuredly when all is summ'd up that can be imagined, they will fall short of their account. For I demand, Has every one of these particles that must have an hand in the framing of the Body of an Animal, the whole design of the work by the impress of some Phan <49> tasm upon it, or, as they have several offices, so have they several parts of the design? If the first, it being most certain, even according to their opinion whom we oppose, that there can be no knowledge nor perception in the Matter, but what arises out of the Re-action of one part against another, how is it conceivable that any one particle of Matter or many together (there not existing yet in Nature any Animal) can have the Idea impressed of that Creature they are to frame? Or if one or some few particles have the sense of one part of the Animal (they seeming more capable of this, the parts being far more simple then the whole Compages and contrivement) and other some few of other parts, how can they confer notes? by what language or speech can they communicate their counsel one to another? Wherefore that they should mutually serve one another in such a design, is more impossible then that so many men blind and dumb from their nativity should joyn their forces and wits together to build a Castle, or carve a Statue of such a Creature as none of them knew any more of in several then some one of the smallest parts thereof, but not the relation it bore to the whole.

5. Besides this, Sense being really the same with Corporeal Motion, it must change upon new impresses of Motion; so that if a particle by Sense were carried in this line, it meeting with a counterbuffe in the way, must have quite another Impress and Sense, and so forget what it was going about, and divert its course another way. Nay though it scaped free, Sense being Re-action, when that which it bears against is removed, Sense must needs cease, and perfect Oblivion succeed. For it is not with these particles as with the Spring of a Watch or a bent Cross-bow, that they should for a considerable time retain the same Re-action, and so consequently the same Sense. And lastly, if they could, it is still nothing to the purpose; for let their Sense be what it will, their motion is necessary, it being merely corporeal, and therefore the result of their motion cannot be from any kind of knowledge. For the corporeal motion is first, and is onely felt, not directed by feeling. And therefore whether the Matter have any Sense or no, what is made out of it is nothing but what results from the wild jumblings and knockings of one part thereof against another, without any purpose, counsel or direction. Wherefore the ordinary Phænomena of Nature being guided according to the most Exquisite Wisdome imaginable, it is plain that they are not the Effects of the mere motion of Matter, but of some Immaterial Principle, by Axiome 10.

6. And therefore the Ignorance of Second Causes is not so rightly said to be the Seed of Religion, (as Mr. Hobbs would have it) as of Irreligion and Atheism. For if we did more punctually and particularly search into their natures, we should clearly discern their insufficiency for such effects as we discover to be in the world. But when we have looked so closely and carefully into the nature of Corporeal Beings, and can finde no Causality in them proportionable to these Effects we speak of, still to implead our selves rather of Ignorance, then the Matter and Corporeal motion of Insufficiency, is to hold an opinion upon humour, and to transgress against our first and second Axiomes.

<50>

CHAP. XIII.

1. The last proof of Incorporeal Substances, from Apparitions. 2. The first Evasion of the force of such Arguings. 3. An Answer to that Evasion. 4. The second Evasion. 5. The first kind of the second Evasion. 6. A description out of Virgil of that Genius that suggests the dictates of the Epicurean Philosophy. 7. The more full and refined sense of that Philosophy now-a-dayes. 8. The great efficacy of the Stars (which they suppose to consist of nothing but Motion and Matter) for production of all manner of Creatures in the world.

1. THE Third and last ground which I would make use of, for evincing the Existence of Incorporeal Substances, is such extraordinary Effects as we cannot well imagine any natural, but must needs conceive some free or spontaneous Agent to be the Cause thereof, whenas yet it is clear that they are from neither Man nor Beast. Such are speakings, knockings, opening of doors when they were fast shut, sudden lights in the midst of a room floating in the aire, and then passing and vanishing; nay, shapes of Men and severall sorts of Brutes, that after speech and converse have suddainly disappeared. These and many such like extraordinary Effects (which, if you please, you may call by one generall terme of Apparitions) seem to me to be an undeniable Argument, that there be such things as Spirits or Incorporeal Substances in the world; and I have demonstrated the sequel to be necessary in the last Chapter of the Appendix to my Treatise against Atheism; and in the third Book of that Treatise have produced so many and so unexceptionable Stories concerning Apparitions, that I hold it superfluous to adde any thing here of that kind, taking far more pleasure in exercising of my Reason then in registring of History. Besides that I have made so carefull choice there already, that I cannot hope to cull out any that may prove more pertinent or convictive; I having penn'd down none but such as I had compared with those severe lawes I set my self in the first Chapter of that third Book, to prevent all tergiversations & evasions of gain-sayers.

2. But, partly out of my own observation, and partly by information from others, I am well assured there are but two wayes whereby they escape the force of such evident Narrations. The first is a firm perswasion that the very Notion of a Spirit or Immaterial Substance is an Impossibility or Contradiction in the very termes. And therefore such stories implying that which they are confident is impossible, the Narration at the very first hearing must needs be judged to be false; and therefore they think it more reasonable to conclude all those that profess they have seen such or such things to be mad-men or cheats, then to give credit to what implies a Contradiction.

3. But this Evasion I have quite taken away, by so clearly demonstrating that the Notion of a Spirit implies no more contradiction then the Notion of Matter; and that its Attributes are as conceivable as the Attributes of Matter: so that I hope this creep-hole is stopt for ever.

<51>

4. The second Evasion is not properly an Evasion of the truth of these stories concerning Apparitions, but of our deduction therefrom. For they willingly admit of these Apparitions and Prodigies recorded in History, but they deny that they are any Arguments of a truly Spiritual and Incorporeal Substance distinct from the Matter thus changed into this or that shape, that can walk and speak, &c. but that they are special Effects of the influence of the Heavenly Bodies upon this region of Generation and Corruption.

5. And these that answer thus are of two sorts. The one have great Affinity with Aristotle and Avenroes, who look not upon the Heavenly Bodies as mere Corporeal Substances, but as actuated with Intelligencies, which are Essences separate and Immaterial. But this Supposition hurts not us at all in our present design; they granting that which I am arguing for, viz. a Substance Incorporeal. The use of this perverse Hypothesis is only to shuffle off all Arguments that are drawn from Apparitions, to prove that the Souls of men subsist after death, or that there are any such things as Dæmons or Genii of a nature permanent and immortal. But I look upon this Supposition as confutable enough, were it worth the while to encounter it.

That of the Sadduces is far more firm, they supposing their ἀπορροιαἰ to be nothing else but the efficacy of the presence of God altering Matter into this or the other Apparition or Manifestation; as if there were but one Soul in all things, and God were that Soul variously working in the Matter. But this I have already confuted in my Philosophicall Poems, and shall again in this present Treatise.[29]

6. The other Influenciaries hold the same power of the Heavens as these; though they do not suppose so high a Principle in them, yet they think it sufficient for the salving of all Sublunary Phænomena, as well ordinary as extraordinary. Truly it is a very venerable Secret, and not to be uttered or communicated but by some old Silenus lying in his obscure Grot or Cave, nor that neither but upon due circumstances, and in a right humour, when one may find him with his veins swell'd out with wine, and his Garland faln off from his head through his heedless drousiness: Then if some young Chromis and Mnasylus, especially assisted by a fair and forward Ægle, that by way of a love-frolick will leave the tracts of her fingers in the blood of Mulberies on the temples and forehead of this aged Satyre, while he sleeps dog-sleep, and will not seem to see, for fear he forfeit the pleasure of his feeling; then, I say, if these young lads importune him enough, he will again sing that old song of the Epicurean Philosophy in an higher strain then ever, which I profess I should abhor to recite, were it not to confute; it is so monstrous and impious. But because no sore can be cured that is concealed, I must bring this Hypothesis into view also, which the Poet has briefly comprised in this summary[30]. Namque canebat, uti magnum per inane coacta Semina terrarumque animæque marisque fuissent, Et liquidi simul ignis; ut his exordia primis Omnia, & ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis.

<52>

7. The fuller and more refined sense whereof now-a-daies is this; That Matter and Motion are the Principles of all things whatsoever; and that by Motion some Atomes or particles are more subtile then others, and of more nimbleness and activity. That motion of one Body against another does every where necessarily produce Sense, Sense being nothing else but the Re-action of parts of the Matter. That the subtiler the Matter is, the Sense is more subtile. That the subtilest Matter of all is that which constitutes the Sun and Stars, from whence they must needs have the purest and subtilest Sense. That what has the most perfect Sense, has the most perfect Imagination and Memory, because Memory and Imagination are but the same with Sense in reality, the latter being but certain Modes of the former. That what has the perfectest Imagination, has the highest Reason and Providence; Providence and Reason being nothing else but an exacter train of Phantasmes, Sensations or Imaginations. Wherefore the Sun and the Stars are the most Intellectual Beings in the world, and in them is that Knowledge, Counsel, and Wisdome by which all Sublunary things are framed and governed.

8. These by their several impresses and impregnations have filled the whole Earth with vital Motion, raising innumerable sorts of Flowers, Herbs and Trees out of the ground. These have also generated the several Kinds of living Creatures. These have filled the Seas with Fishes, the Fields with Beasts, and the Aire with Fowles; the Terrestrial matter being as easily formed into the living shapes of these several Animals by the powerful impress of the Imagination of the Sun and Stars, as the Embryo in the womb is marked by the strong fancy of his Mother that bears him. And therefore these Celestial powers being able to frame living shapes of Earthly matter by the impress of their Imagination, it will be more easy for them to change the vaporous Aire into like transfigurations.

So that admitting all these Stories of Apparitions to be true that are recorded in Writers, it is no Argument of the Existence of any Incorporeal Principle in the world. For the piercing Fore-sight of these glorious Bodies, the Sun and Stars, is able to raise what Apparitions or Prodigies they please, to usher in the Births or fore-signify the Deaths of the most considerable persons that appear in the world; of which *[31] Pomponatius himself does acknowledge that there are many true examples both in Greek and Latine History. This is the deepest Secret that old Silenus could ever sing to ensnare the ears of deceivable Youth. And it is indeed Φρικτὸν μιστήριον, in the very worst sense, Horrendum mysterium, a very dreadful and dangerous Mystery, saving that there is no small hope that it may not prove true. Let us therefore now examine it.

<53>

CHAP. XIV.

1. That the Splendor of the Celestial Bodies proves no Fore-sight nor Soveraignty that they have over us. 2. That the Stars can have no knowledge of us, Mathematically demonstrated. 3. The same Conclusion again demonstrated more familiarly. 4. That the Stars cannot communicate Thoughts, neither with the Sun nor with one another. 5. That the Sun has no knowledg of our affairs. 6. Principles laid down for the inferring that Conclusion. 7. A demonstration that he cannot see us. 8. That he can have no other kind of knowledge of us, nor of the frame of any Animal on Earth. 9. That though the Sun had the knowledge of the right frame of an Animal, he could not transmit it into Terrestrial matter. 10. An Answer to that Instance of the Signature of the Fœtus. 11, 12. Further Answers thereto. 13. A short Increpation of the confident Exploders of Incorporeal Substance out of the world.

1. THat the Light is a very glorious thing, and the lustre of the Stars very lovely to look upon, and that the Body of the Sun is so full of splendour and Majesty, that without flattery we may profess our selves constrained to look aside, as not being able to bear the brightness of his aspect; all this must be acknowledged for Truth: but that these are as so many Eyes of Heaven to watch over the Earth, so many kind and careful Spectators & Intermedlers also in humane affairs, as that phansifull Chymist *[32] Paracelsus conceits, who writeth that not onely Princes and Nobles, or men of great and singular worth, but even almost every one, near his death has some prognostick sign or other (as knockings in the house, the dances of dead men, and the like) from these compassionate Fore-seers of his approaching Fate; this I must confess I am not so paganly Superstitious as to believe one syllable of; but think it may be demonstrated to be a mere fancy, especially upon this present Hypothesis, That the Sun and Stars have no immaterial Being residing in them, but are mere Matter consisting of the subtilest Particles and most vehemently agitated. For then we cannot but be assured that there is nothing in them more Divine then what is seen in other things that shine in the dark, suppose rotten wood, glo-worms, or the flame of a rush-candle.

2. This at least we will demonstrate, That let the Sun and Stars have what knowledge they will of other things, they have just none at all of us, nor of our affairs; which will quite take away this last Evasion. That the Stars can have no knowledge of us is exceeding evident: For whenas the Magnus Orbis of the Earth is but as a Point compared with the distance thereof to a fixed Star, that is to say, whenas that Angle which we may imagine to be drawn from a Star, and to be subtended by the Diameter of the Magnus Orbis, is to Sense no Angle at all, but as a mere Line; how little then is the Earth it self? and how utterly invisible to any Star, whenas her Diameter is above 1100. times less then that of her Magnus Orbis? From whence it is clear that it is perfectly impos <54> sible that the Stars, though they were endued with sight, could so much as see the Earth it self, (much less the inhabitants thereof) to be Spectators and Intermedlers in their affaires for good or evil; and there being no higher Principle to inspire them with the knowledge of these things, it is evident that they remain utterly ignorant of them.

3. Or if this Demonstration (though undeniably true in it self) be not so intelligible to every one, we may adde what is more easy and familiar, viz. That the Stars being lucid Bodies, and those of the first magnitude near an hundred times bigger then the Earth, and yet appearing so small things to us, hence any one may collect, that the opake Earth will either be quite invisible to the Stars, or else at least appear so little, that it will be impossible that they should see any distinct Countries, much less Cities, Houses, or Inhabitants.

4. Wherefore we have plainly swept away this numerous Company of the celestial Senators from having any thing to doe to consult about, or any way to oversee the affairs of Mankind; and therefore let them seem to wink and twinkle as cogitabundly as they will, we may rest in assurance that they have no plot concerning us, either for good or evill, as having no knowledge of us. Nor if they had, could they communicate their thoughts to that great deemed Soveraign of the world, the Sun; they being ever as invisible to him, as they are to us in the day-time. For it is nothing but his light that hinders us from seeing so feeble Objects, and this hinderance consisteth in nothing else but this, That that motion which by his Rayes is caused in the Organ is so fierce and violent, that the gentle vibration of the light of the Stars cannot master it, nor indeed bear any considerable proportion to it: What then can it do in reference to the very Body of the Sun himself, the matter whereof has the most furious motion of any thing in the world?

5. There is nothing now therefore left, but the Sun alone, that can possibly be conceived to have any knowledge of, or any superintendency over our terrestrial affairs. And how uncapable he is also of this office, I hold it no difficult thing to demonstrate. Whence it will plainly appear, that those Apparitions that are seen, whether in the Aire or on Earth (which are rightly looked upon as an Argument of Providence and Existence of some Incorporeal Essence in the world) cannot be attributed to the power and prevision of the Sun, supposing him purely corporeal.

6. For it is a thing agreed upon by all sides, That mere Matter has no connate Ideas in it of such things as we see in the world; but that upon Re-action of one part moved by another arises a kind of Sense, or Perception. Which opinion as it is most rational in it self to conceive (supposing Matter has any sense in it at all) so it is most consonant to experience, we seeing plainly that Sense is ever caused by some outward corporeal motion upon our Organs, which are also corporeal. For that Light is from a corporeal motion, is plain from the reflexion of the rayes thereof; and no Sound is heard but from the motion of the Aire or some other intermediate Body; no Voice but there is first a moving of the Tongue; no Musick but there must either be the blowing of wind, <55> or the striking upon strings, or something Analogical to these; and so in the other Senses.

Wherefore if there be nothing but Body in the world, it is evident that Sense arises merely from the motion of one part of Matter against another, and that Motion is ever first, and Perception follows, and that therefore Perception must necessarily follow the laws of Motion, and that no Percipient can have any thing more to conceive then what is conveighed by Corporeal motion. Now from these Principles it will be easy to prove that, though we should acknowledge a power of Perception in the Sun, yet it will not amount to any ability of his being either a Spectator or Governor of our affairs here on Earth.

7. According to the Computation of Astronomers, even of those that speak more modestly, the Sun is bigger then the Earth above an hundred and fifty times. But how little he appears to us every eye is able to judge. How little then must the Earth appear to him? If he see her at all, he will be so far from being able to take notice of any Persons or Families, that he cannot have any distinct discerning of Streets, nor Cities, no not of Fields, nor Countries; but whole Regions, though of very great Extent, will vanish here, as Alcibiades his Patrimony in that Map of the world Socrates shewed him, to repress the pride of the young Heire. The Earth must appear considerably less to him then the Moon does to us, because the Sun appears to us less then the Moon. It were easy to demonstrate that her discus would appear to the Sun near thirty, nay sixty times less then the Moon does to us, according to Lansbergius his computation.

Now consider how little we can discern in that broader Object of sight, the Moon, when she is the nighest, notwithstanding we be placed in the dark, under the shadow of the Earth, whereby our sight is more passive and impressible. How little then must the fiery eye of that Cyclops the Sun, which is all Flame and Light, discern in this lesser Object the Earth, his vigour and motion being so vehemently strong and unyielding? What effect it will have upon him, we may in some sort judge by our selves: For though our Organ be but moved or agitated with the reflexion of his Rayes, we hardly see the Moon when she is above the Horizon by day: What impress then can our Earth, a less Object to him then the Moon is to us, make upon the Sun, whose Body is so furiously hot, that he is as boiling Fire, if a man may so speak, and the Spots about him are, as it were, the scum of this fuming Cauldron?

Besides that our Atmosphere is so thick a covering over us at that distance, that there can be the appearance of nothing but a white mist enveloping all and shining like a bright cloud; in which the rayes of the Sun will be so lost, that they can never return any distinct representation of things unto him. Wherefore it is as evident to Reason that he cannot see us, as it is to Sense that we see him; and therefore he can be no Overseer nor Intermedler in our actions.

8. But perhaps you will reply That though the Sun cannot see the Earth, yet he may have a Sense and Perception in himself (for he is a <56> fine glittering thing, and some strange matter must be presumed of him) that may amount to a wonderful large sphere of Understanding, Fore-knowledge and Power. But this is a mere fancyful surmise, and such as cannot be made good by any of our Faculties: Nay the quite contrary is demonstrable by such Principles as are already agreed upon. For there are no connate Ideas in the Matter, and therefore out of the collision and agitation of these Solar particles, we cannot rationally expect any other effect in the Sun, then such as we experiment in the percussion of our own eyes, out of which ordinarily follows the sense of a confused light or flame. If the Sun therefore has any sense of himself, it must be only the perception of a very vigorous Light or Fire, which being still one and the same representation, it is a question whether he has a sense of it or no, any more then we have of our bones, which we perceive not, by reason of our accustomary and uninterrupted sense of them, as Mr Hobbs ingeniously conjectures in a like supposition.

But if you will say that there is a perception of the jogging or justling, or of whatever touch or rubbing of one Solar particle against another, the body of the Sun being so exceeding liquid, and consequently the particles thereof never resting, but playing and moving this way and that way; yet they hitting and fridging so fortuitously one against another, the perceptions that arise from hence must be so various and fortuitous, so quick and short, so inconsistent, flitting and unpermanent, that if any man were in such a condition as the Sun necessarily is, according to this Hypothesis, he would both be, and appear to all the world to be, stark mad; he would be so off and on, and so unsettled, and doe, and think, and speak all things with such ungovernable rashness and temerity.

In brief, that the Sun by this tumultuous agitation of his fiery Atoms should hit upon any rational contrivance or right Idea of any of these living Creatures we see here on Earth, is utterly as hard to conceive, as that the Terrestrial particles themselves should justle together into such contrivances and formes, which is that which I have *[33] already sufficiently confuted.

9. And if the Sun could light on any such true frame or forme of any Animal, or the due rudiments or contrivance thereof, it is yet unconceivable how he should conveigh it into this Region of Generation here on Earth, partly by reason of the Earth's Distance and Invisibleness, and partly because the deepest Principle of all being but mere Motion, without any superior power to govern it, this Imagination of the Sun working on the Earth can be but a simple Rectilinear impress, which can never arise to such an inward solid organization of parts in living Creatures, nor hold together these Spectres or Apparitions in the Aire, in any more certain form then the smoak of chimnies, or the fume of Tobacco.

10. Nor is that Instance of the power of the Mother's fancy on the Fœtus in the womb, any more then a mere flourish; for the disparity is so great, that the Argument proves just nothing: For whereas the Mother has an Explicite Idea of the Fœtus and every part thereof, the Sun and Stars have no distinct Idea at all of the parts of the Earth; nay <57> I dare say that what we have already intimated will amount to a Demonstration, That though they had Sense, yet they do not so much as know whether this Earth we live on be in rerum Naturâ or no.

11. Again, the Mark that is impressed on the Fœtus, the Mother has a clear and vivid conception of; but the curious contrivance in the Idea of Animals, I have shewn how incompetible it is to the fortuitous justling of the fiery particles of either Sun or Stars.

12. Thirdly, the Impress on the Fœtus is very simple and slight, and seldome so curious as the ordinary impresses of Seals upon Wax, which are but the modifications of the surface thereof; but this supposed Impress of the Imagination of the Sun and Stars is more then a solid Statue, or the most curious Automaton that ever was invented by the wit of man; and therefore impossible to proceed from a mere Rectilinear impress upon the Æther down to the Earth from the Imagination of the Sun, no not if he were supposed to be actuated with an Intelligent Soul, if the Earth and all the space betwixt her and him were devoid thereof. Nor do I conceive, though it be an infinitely more slight business, that the direction of the Signature of the Fœtus upon such a part were to be performed by the Fancy of the Mother, notwithstanding the advantage of the organization of her body, were not both her self and the Fœtus animated Creatures.

13. Wherefore we have demonstrated beyond all Evasion, from the Phænomena of the Universe, That of necessity there must be such a thing in the world as Incorporeal Substance; let inconsiderable Philosophasters hoot at it, and deride it as much as their Follies please.

[1] See Antidote, Book 1. ch. 2, and 9.

[2] See Antidote Book 1. ch. 4. sect. 2.

[3] Iamblich. de vita Pythag. cap. 18. Philostrat. de vita Apollon. lib. 6.

[4] See Book 3. ch. 12, 32, 33.

[5] Book 1. ch. 4. sect. 3.

[6] * See further in my Antidote, Book 1. ch. 4. sect. 3. Also the Append. chap. 3. ad 10.

[7] * Append. c. 13. sect. 2.

[8] See Append. to the Antidote, chap. 13. sect. 4.

[9] Ethic. ad Nicomach. lib. 10. cap. 7.

[10] Chap. 3. sect. 7. and 8.

[11] * See Book 3. ch. 12, & 13.

[12] * Chap. 34.

[13] * Part. 4. chap. 25. Article 9.

[14] Part. 1. chap. 5. Article 4.

[15] Chap. 11. Article 4.

[16] Leviathan, chap. 12.

[17] Chap. 11. Article 5.

[18] Leviathan, chap, 45.

[19] Leviathan. chap. 46.

[20] * See my Antidote against Atheism, the whole second Book.

[21] * See my Antidote, the whole third Book.

[22] * Antid. Book 1. chap. 11.

[23] * Book 1. ch. 2. & 3.

[24] * Antidote, Book 1. ch. 6. Append. ch. 2. sect. 4, 5, 6, &c.

[25] * Book 2 c. 2. sect. 9, 10, 11.

[26] * Book 1. chap. 7, 8.

[27] * See Book 2. ch. 2. sect. 8.

[28] * Chap. 25.

[29] Book 3. ch. 16.

[30] Virgil. Eclog.. 6.

[31] * De Immortalitate Animæ, cap. 14.

[32] * See Enthusiasm. Triumphat. sect. 45.

[33] * Chap. 12. sect. 4, 5.

Cite as: Henry More, The Immortality of the Soul, 2nd ed., from A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings (1662), pp. 15-57, http://www.cambridge-platonism.divinity.cam.ac.uk/view/texts/diplomatic/More1662G-excerpt001, accessed 2020-10-21.