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In this Chapter are contained all the pretended Grounds of Reason for the Atheistick Hypothesis. I. That the Democritick Philosophy which is made up of these two Principles, Corporealism and Atomism complicated together, is Essentially Atheistical. 2. Though Epicurus, who was an Atomical-Corporealist, pretended to assert a Democracy of Gods, yet he was, for all that, an Absolute Atheist: And that Atheists commonly Equivocate and Disguise themselves. 3. That the Democritical Philosophy is nothing else but a System of Atheology, or Atheism swaggering under the glorious Appearance of Philosophy. And though there be another Form of Atheism which we call Stratonical, yet the Democritick Atheism is only considerable; all whose Dark Mysteries will be here revealed. 4. That we being to treat concerning the Deity, and to produce all that Profane and Unhallowed Stuff of Atheists in order to a Confutation, the Divine Assistance and Direction ought to be implored. 5. That there are Two things here to be performed: First, to shew what are the Atheist's pretended Grounds of Reason against the Deity; and Secondly, how they endeavour either to Salve or Confute the Contrary Phænomena. The First of those Grounds, That no man can have an Idæa or Conception of God, and that he is an Incomprehensible Nothing. 6. The Second Atheistick Argument, That there can be no Creation out of Nothing, nor no Omnipotence, because Nothing can come from Nothing, and therefore whatsoever Substantially is, was from Eternity Self-existent, and Uncreated by any Deity. 7. The Third pretended Reason against a Deity, That the Strictest Notion of a God implying him to be Incorporeal, there can be no such Incorporeal Deity, because there is no other Substance but Body. 8. The Atheists Pretence, That the Doctrine of Incorporeal Substances sprung from a Ridiculous Mistaking of Abstract Names and Notions for Realities. They Impudently make the Deity to be but the Chief of Spectres, and an Oberon or Prince of Fairies and Phancies. Their Fourth Argument against a Deity, That to suppose an Incorporeal Mind to be the Original of all things, is but to make a mere Accident and Abstract Notion to be the First Cause of all. 9. Their Fifth Argument; a Confutation of a Corporeal Deity from the Principles of Corporealism it self, That Matter being the only Substance, and all other Differences of things nothing but Accidents, Generable and Corruptible; no Living Under <58> standing Being can be Essentially Incorruptible. The Stoical God Incorruptible, only by Accident. 19. Their Sixth Ratiocination from a Complication of Atomicism; That the First Principle of all things whatsoever in the Universe, is Atoms or Corpuscula devoid of all Qualities, and consequently of Sense and Understanding, (which spring up afterwards from a certain Composition of them) and therefore Mind or Deity was not the First Original of all. 11. In the Seventh place they disprove the Worlds Animation, or its being govern'd by a Living Understanding Animalish Nature, presiding over the Whole; Because Sense and Understanding are a Peculiar Appendix to Flesh Blood and Brains, and Reason is no where to be found but in Humane Form. 12. The Eighth Atheistick Ground, That God being taken by all for a most Happy, Eternal and Immortal Animal, (or Living Being) there can be no such thing, because all Living Beings are Concretions of Atoms that were at first Generated, and are liable to Death and Corruption by the Dissolution of their Compages. And that Life is no simple Primitive Nature, but an Accidental Modification of Compounded Bodies, which upon the Disunion of their Parts vanisheth into Nothing. 13. The Ninth pretended Atheistick Demonstration, That by God is meant a first Cause or Mover, which was not before moved by any thing else without it; But Nothing can move it self, and therefore there can be no Unmoved Mover, nor any First in the order of Causes, that is, a God. 14. Their further Proof of this Principle, That Nothing can move it self, with an Atheistick Corollary from thence, That no Thinking Being could be a First Cause, no Cogitation arising of it self without a Cause; which may be reckoned a Tenth Argument. 15. Another Mystery of Atheism, That all Knowledge, and Mental Conception, is the Information of the things themselves known, existing without the Knower, and a Passion from them; and therefore the World must needs be before any Knowledge or Conception of it, and no Knowledge or Conception before the World, as its Cause. 16. The Twelfth Argumentation, That things could not be made by a God, because they are so Faulty and Ill made, that they were not contriv'd for the Good of Man, and that the Deluge of Evils, that overflows all, shows that they did not proceed from any Deity. 17. The Thirteenth Instance of the Atheists against a Deity, from the Defect of Providence, That in Humane Affairs all is Tohu and Bohu, Chaos and Confusion. 18. The Fourteenth Atheistick Ground, That it is not possible for any one Being to Animadvert and Order all things in the distant places of the whole World at once: But if it were possible, That such Infinite Negotiosity would be Absolutely Inconsistent with Happiness. 19. Several bold but slight Queries of Atheists, Why the World was not made sooner? and What God did before? Why it was made at all, since it was so long unmade? and, How the Architect of the World could rear up so huge a Fabrick? 20. The Atheists Pretence, That it is the great Interest of Mankind, That there should be no God; and that it was a Noble and Heroical Exploit of the Democriticks, to chase away that affrightful Spectre out of the World, and to free men from the continual Fear of a Deity and Punishment after Death, imbittering all the Pleasures of Life. 21. Another Pretence of theirs, That Theism is inconsistent with Civil Soveraign <59> ty, it introducing a Fear greater than the Fear of the Leviathan; And that any other Conscience allowed of besides the Civil Law (being Private Judgment) is, ipso facto, a Dissolution of the Body Politick and a Return to the State of Nature. 22. The Atheists Conclusion from the former Premisses, as set down in Plato and Lucretius, That all things sprung Originally from Nature and Chance, without any Mind or God, that is, proceeded from the Necessity of Material Motions, undirected for Ends; That Infinite Atoms devoid of Life and Sense, moving in Infinite Space from Eternity, by their fortuitous Rencounters and Intanglements, produced the System of the whole Universe, and as well Animate as Inanimate things.

I. HAving in the Former Chapter given an Account of the Genuine and Primitive Atomical Philosophy, which may be called the Moschical; we are in the next place to consider the Democritical, that is, the Atheized and Adulterated Atomology. Which had its Origin from nothing else but the joyning of this Heterogeneous and Contradictious Principle, to the Atomical Physiology, That there is no other Substance in the World besides Body. Now we say, That that Philosophy which is thus compounded and made up of these Two things, Atomicism and Corporealism complicated together, is essentially Atheistical, though neither of them alone be such. For the Atomical Physiology, as we have declared already, is in its own Nature sufficiently repugnant to Atheism. And it is possible for one who holds, That there is Nothing in the world besides Body, to be perswaded notwithstanding of a Corporeal Deity, and that the world was at first framed and is still governed by an Understanding Nature lodged in the Matter. For thus some of these Corporealists have phancied, The whole Universe it self to be a God, that is, an Understanding and Wise Animal, that ordered all things within it self, after the Best manner possible, and providently governed the same. Indeed it cannot be denied, but that this is a very great Infirmity of mind, that such Persons lie under, who are not able to conceive any other Substance besides Body, by which is understood, that which is Impenetrably Extended, or else in Plato's Language, which hath προσβολὴν καὶ ἐπαφὴν, that thrusts against other Bodies and resists their impulse; or as others express it, which is τόπουπληρωτικὸν {sic}, that so fills up place, as to exclude any other Body or Substance from Coexisting with it therein; and such must needs have not only very imperfect, but also Spurious and false Conceptions of the Deity, so long as they apprehend it to be thus Corporeal; but yet it does not therefore follow that they must needs be accounted Atheists. But whosoever holds these two Principles (before mentioned) together, That there is no other Substance besides Body, and That Body hath nothing else belonging to it but Magnitude, Figure, Site and Motion, without Qualities, I say, whosoever is That confounded Thing, of an Atomist and Corporealist jumbled together, he is Essentially and Unavoidably that which is meant by an Atheist, though he should in words never so much disclaim it, because he must needs fetch the Original of all <60> things from Sensless Matter, whereas to assert a God, is to maintain that all things sprung Originally from a Knowing and Understanding Nature.

II. Epicurus, who was one of those Mongrel Things before mentioned, (an Atomical-Corporealist or Corporeal-Atomist) did notwithstanding profess to hold a Multifarious Rabble and Democracy of Gods, such as though they were ἀνθρωπόμορφοι, of Humane Form, yet were so Thin and Subtle, as that Comparatively with our Terrestrial Bodies they might be called Incorporeal; they having not so much Carnem as Quasi-carnem, nor Sanguinem as Quasi-sanguinem, a certain kind of Aereal or Ethereal Flesh and Blood: which Gods of his were not to be supposed to exist any where within the World, upon this pretence, that there was no place in it fit to receive them, Illud item non est ut possis credere Sedes Esse Deûm Sanctas, in Mundi partibus ullis. And therefore they must be imagined to Subsist in certain Intermundane Spaces, and Utopian Regions without the World, the Deliciousness whereof is thus Elegantly described by the Poet, Quas neque concutiunt Venti, neque Nubila nimbis Adspergunt, neque nix acri concreta pruinâ Cana cadens violat, sempérque innubilus Æther Integit, & largè diffuso lumine ridet. Whereunto was added, that the chief Happiness of these Gods consisted, in Omnium Vacatioue Munerum, in freedom from all Business and Employment, and doing nothing at all, that so they might live a Soft and Delicate life. And lastly, it was pretended, that though they had neither any thing to do with us, nor we with them, yet they ought to be worshipped by us for their own Excellent Natures sake, and Happy State.

But whosoever had the least Sagacity in him could not but perceive, that this Theology of Epicurus was but Romantical, it being directly Contrary to his avowed and professed Principles, to admitt of any other Being then what was Concreted of Atoms, and consequently Corruptible; and that he did this upon a Politick Account, thereby to decline the Common Odium, and those Dangers and Inconveniences which otherwise he might have incurred by a downright denial of a God, to which purpose it accordingly served his turn. Thus Posidonius rightly pronounced, Nullos esse Deos Epicuro videri; quæque is de Diis immortalibus dixerit, Invidiæ detestandæ gratiâ dixisse. Though he was partly Jocular in it also, it making no small Sport to him, in this manner, to delude and mock the credulous Vulgar. Deos Jocandi causâ induxit Epicurus perlucidos & perflabiles, & habitantes tanquam inter duos Lucos, sic inter duos Mundos propter metum ruinarum. However if Epicurus had been never so much in Earnest in all this, yet by Gassendus his leave, we should pronounce him to have been not a jot the <61> less an Atheist, so long as he maintained, that the whole World was made μηδενὸς διατάττοντος ἢ διατάξαντος τὴν μακαριότητα ἔχοντος μετὰ ἀφθαροίας, without the ordering and direction of any Understanding Being that was perfectly happy and immortal, and fetcht the original of all things in the Universe, even of Soul and Mind, ἀπὸ τῶν ἀτόμων σωμάτων ἀπρονόητον καὶ τυχαὶαν ἐχόντων τὴν κίνησιν, from Sensless Atoms fortuitously moved. He together with Democritus hereby making the World to be, in the worst Sence, ὦον τὴς νυκτὸς, an Egge of the Night, that is, not the off-spring of Mind and Understanding, but of dark Sensless Matter, of Tohu and Bohu, or Confused Chaos; and deriving the Original of all the Perfections in the Universe, from the most Imperfect Being and the lowest of all Entities, than which nothing can be more Atheistical. And as for those Romantick Monogrammous Gods of Epicurus, had they been Seriously believed by him, they could have been nothing else but a certain kind of Aerial and Spectrous Men, living by themselves, no Body knows where, without the World; Ἐπίκουρος ὡς μὴν πρὸς πολλοὺς ἀπολείπει Θεὸν ὠς δὲ πρὸς τὴν φύσιν πραγμάτων, Epicurus according to Vulgar Opinion leaves a God, but according to the Nature of things none at all.

And as Epicurus so other Atheists in like manner, have commonly had their Vizards and Disguises; Atheism for the most part prudently chusing to walk abroad in Masquerade. And though some over-credulous Persons have been so far imposed upon hereby, as to conclude that there was hardly any such thing as an Atheist any where in the World, yet they that are Sagacious, may easily look through these thin Veils and Disguises, and perceive these Atheists oftentimes insinuating their Atheism even then, when they most of all profess themselves Theists, by affirming that it is impossible to have any Idæa or Conception at all of God, and that as he is not Finite so he cannot be Infinite, and that no Knowledge or Understanding is to be attributed to him, which is in effect to say, that there is no such thing. But whosoever entertains the Democritick Principles, that is, both rejects Forms and Qualities of Body, and makes all things to be Body, though he pretend never so much to hold a Corporeal Deity, yet he is not at all to be believed in it, it being a thing plainly Contradictious to those Principles.

III. Wherefore this Mongrel Philosophy, which Leucippus, Democritus and Protagoras, were the Founders of, and which was entertained afterwards by Epicurus, that makes (as Laertius writes) ἀρχὰς τῶν ὅλων ἀτόμους, Sensless Atoms to be the first Principles, not only of all Bodies (for that was a thing admitted before by Empedocles and other Atomists that were Theists) but also of All things whatsoever in the whole Universe, and therefore of Soul and Mind too; this, I say, was really nothing else but a Philosophical Form of Atheology, a Gigantical and Titanical Attempt, to dethrone the Deity, not only by Salving all the Phænomena of the World without a God, but also by laying down such Principles, from whence it must needs follow, that there could be neither an Incorporeal nor Corporeal Deity. It was Atheism openly Swaggering, under the glorious Appearance of Wisdom and Philosophy.


There is indeed another Form of Atheism, which (insisting on the Vulgar way of Philosophizing by Forms and Qualities) we for distinction sake shall call Stratonical; such as being too modest and shame-faced to fetch all things from the Fortuitous Motion of Atoms, would therefore allow to the several Parts of Matter, a certain Kind of Natural (though not Animal) Perception, such as is devoid of Reflexive Consciousness, together with a Plastick power, whereby they may be able Artificially and Methodically to Form and Frame themselves to the best advantage of their Respective Capabilities; something like to Aristotle's Nature, but that it hath no dependence at all upon any higher Mind or Deity. And these Atheists may be also called Hylozoick (as the other Atomick) because they derive all things in the whole Universe, not only Sensitive but also Rational Souls, together with the Artificial Frame of Animals, from the Life of the Matter. But this kind of Atheism seems to be but an unshapen Embryo of some Dark and Cloudy Brains that was never yet digested into an entire System, nor could be brought into any such tolerable Form, as to have the confidence to shew it self abroad in full and open View. But the Democritik and Atomick Atheism, as it is the boldest and rankest of all Atheisms, it not only undertaking to salve all Phænomena by Matter Fortuitously moved, without a God, but also to demonmonstrate {sic} that there cannot be so much as a Corporeal Deity; so it is that alone which pretending to an entire and coherent System, hath publickly appeared upon the Stage, and therefore doth in a manner only deserve our Consideration.

And now we shall exhibit a full View and Prospect of it, and discover all its Dark Mysteries and Profundities; we being much of this Perswasion, that a plain and naked Representation of them, will be a great part of a Confutation; at least, not doubting but it will be made to appear, that though this Monster, big-swoln with a Puffy shew of Wisdom, strutt and stalk so Gigantically, and march with such a kind of stately Philosophick Grandeur, yet it is indeed but like the Giant Orgoglio, in our English Poet, a mere Empty Bladder, blown up with vain Conceit, an Empusa, Phantasm, or Spectre, the Off-spring of Night and Darkness, Non-sence and Contradiction.

And yet for all that we shall not wrong it the least in our Representation, but give it all possible Advantages of Strength and Plausibility, that so the Atheists may have no Cause to pretend (as they are wont to do in such Cases) that either we did not understand their Mysteries nor apprehend the full strength of their Cause, or else did purposely smother and conceal it. Which indeed we have been so far from, that we must confess we were not altogether unwilling, this business of theirs should look a little like something that might deserve a Confutation. And whether the Atheists ought not rather to give us Thanks for Mending and Improving their Arguments, then complain that we have any way Empaired them, we shall leave it to the Censure of impartial Judgments.


IV. Plato tells us that even amongst those Pagans in his time, there was generally such a Religious Humor, that πάντες ὅσοι κατὰ βραχὺ σωφροσύνης μετέχουσι, ἐπὶ πάσῃ ὁρμῇ καὶ σμίκρου καὶ μεγάλου πράγματος, θεὸν ἀεί που ἐπικαλοῦσι. Whosoever had but the least of Seriousness and Sobriety in them, whensoever they took in hand any Enterprize, whether great or small, they would always invoke the Deity for Assistance and Direction. Adding moreover that himself should be very faulty, if in his Timæus, when he was to treat about so grand a point, concerning the whole World, εἰ γέγονεν ἢ καὶ ἀγενείς ἐστι, whether it were made or unmade, he should not make his Entrance thereinto by a Religious Invocation of the Deity. Wherefore certainly, it could not be less than a piece of Impiety in a Christian, being to treat concerning the Deity it self, and to produce all that Prophane and Unhallowed stuff of Atheists, out of their Dark Corners, in order to a Confutation, and the better Confirmation of our Faith in the Truth of his Existence, not to implore his Direction and Assistance. And I know no Reason but that we may well do it in that same Litany of Plato's, κατὰ νοῦν ἐκείνῳ μὲν μάλιστα, ἑπομένως δὲ ἡμῖν εἰπεῖν, that we may first speak agreeably to his own mind or becomingly of his Nature, and then consentaneously with our Selves.

V. Now there are these two things here to be performed by us, First, to discover and produce the Chief Heads of Arguments or Grounds of Reason, insisted on by the Atheists to disprove a Deity, evincing withall briefly the Ineffectualness and Falsness of them. And Secondly, to shew how they Endeavour either to Confute or Salve, consistently with their own Principles, all those Phænomena which are commonly urg'd against them, to prove a Deity and Incorporeal Substance; manifesting likewise the Invalidity thereof.

The grounds of Reason alledged for the Atheistical Hypothesis are chiefly these that follow. First, That we have no Idæa of God, and therefore can have no Evidence of him; which Argument is further flourisht and descanted upon in this manner. That Notion or Conception of a Deity, that is commonly entertained, is nothing but a Bundle of Incomprehensibles, Unconceivables, and Impossibles; it being only a compilement of all Imaginable Attributes of Honour, Courtship, and Complement, which the Confounded Fear, and Astonishment of Mens minds, made them huddle up together, without any Sence or Philosophick Truth: This seems to be intimated by a Modern Writer in these words; The Attributes of God signifie not True nor False, nor any Opinion of our Brain, but the Reverence and Devotion of our Hearts, and therefore they are not sufficient Premisses to inferr Truth or convince Falshood. And the same thing again is further set out, with no small pretence to wit, after this manner; They that venture to dispute Philosophically or reason of God's Nature from these Attributes of Honour, losing their Understanding in the very first attempt, fall from one Inconvenience into another without end, and without number; In the same manner as when one ignorant of the Ceremonies of Court coming into the presence of a greater <64> Person than he is used to speak to, and stumbling at his Entrance, to save himself from falling lets slip his Cloak to recover his Cloak lets fall his Hat, and with one disorder after another discovers his Astonishment and Rusticity. The meaning of which, and other like passages of the same Writer, seem to be this; That the Attributes of God (by which his Nature is supposed to be expressed) having no Philosophick Truth or Reality in them, had their only Original from a certain Rustick Astonishment of Mind, proceeding from excess of Fear, raising up the Phantasm of a Deity, as a Bug-bear for an Object to it self, and affrighting men into all manner of Confounded Non-sence, and Absurdity of Expressions concerning it, such as have no signification, nor any Conception of the Mind answering to them. This is the First Argument, used especially by our modern Democriticks, against a Deity, That because they can have no Phantastick Idæa of it, nor fully comprehend all that is included in the Notion thereof, that therefore it is but an Incomprehensible Nothing.

VI. Secondly, Another Argument much insisted on by the old Democritick Atheists, is directed against the Divine Omnipotence and Creative Power, after this manner. By God is always understood a Creatour of something or other out of Nothing. For however the Theists be here divided amongst themselves, Some of them believing that there was once Nothing at all existing in this whole Space which is now occupied by the World, besides the Deity, and that he was then a Solitary Being, so that the Substance of the whole Corporeal Universe had a Temporary Beginning, and Novity of Existence, and the Duration of it hath now continued but for so many years only. Others perswading themselves, that though the Matter and Substance at least, (if not the Form also) of the Corporeal World, did exist from Eternity, yet nevertheless, they both alike proceeded from the Deity by way of Emanation, and do continually depend upon it, in the same manner as Light, though coeve with the Sun, yet proceeded from the Sun, and depends upon it, being always, as it were, Made A-new by it; Wherefore, according to this Hypothesis, though things had no Antecedent Non-Entity in Time, yet they were as little of themselves, and owed all their Being as much to the Deity, as if they had been once Actually Nothing, they being as it were perpetually Created out of Nothing by it. Lastly, Others of those Theists resolving, that the Matter of the Corporeal Universe was not only from Eternity, but also Self-existent and Uncreated, or Independent upon any Deity as to its Being; But yet the Forms and Qualities of all Inanimate Bodies, together with the Souls of all Animals, in the successive Generations of them, (being taken for Entities distinct from the Matter) were Created by the Deity out of Nothing. We say, though there be such Difference amongst the Theists themselves, yet they all agree in this, that God is in some Sence or other, the Creatour of some Real Entity out of Nothing, or the Cause of that which otherwise would not have been Of it self, so that no Creation out of Nothing, (in that enlarged sence) no Deity. Now it is utterly impossible that <65> any Substance or Real Entity should be Created out of Nothing, it being Contradictious to that indubitable Axiom of Reason, De Nihilo Nihil, From Nothing Nothing. The Argument is thus urged by Lucretius, according to the Minds of Epicurus and Democritus.

Principium hinc cujus nobis Exordia sumet,
Nullam rem è Nihilo gigni Divinitùs unquam.
Quippe ità Formido Mortales continet omnes;
Quòd multa in Terris fieri Coelóque tuentur,
Quorum operum Causas nullâ ratione videre
Possunt; ac fieri Divino Numine rentur:
Quas ob res, ubi viderimus Nil posse Creari
De Nihilo, tum quod sequimur, jam tutiùs indè
Perspiciemus, & undè queat res quæque Creari,
Et quo quæque modo fiant opera sine Divûm.

It is true indeed that it seems to be chiefly level'd by the Poet against that Third and last sort of Theists before mentioned, such as Heraclitus and the Stoicks, (which latter were Contemporary with Epicurus) who held the Matter of the whole World to have been from Eternity of it self Uncreated, but yet the Forms of Mundane things in the successive Generations of them (as Entities distinct from the Matter) to be Created or made by the Deity out of Nothing. But the force of the Argument must needs lie stronger against those other Theists, who would have the very Substance and Matter it self of the World, as well as the Forms, to have been created by the Deity out of Nothing. Since Nothing can come out of Nothing, it follows, that not so much as the Forms and Qualities of Bodies (conceiv'd as Entities really distinct from the Matter) much less the Lives and Souls of Animals, could ever have been Created by any Deity, and therefore certainly, not the Substance and Matter it self: But all Substance, and Real Entity, whatsoever is in the World, must needs have been from Eternity, Uncreated and Self-existent. Nothing can be Made or Produced but only the different Modifications of Preexistent Matter. And this is done by Motions, Mixtures and Separations, Concretions and Secretions of Atoms, without the Creation of any Real distinct Entity out of Nothing; so that there needs no Deity for the Effecting of it, according to that of Epicurus, ἠ θεία φύσις πρὸς ταὺτα μηδαμῆ προσαγέσθω, No Divine Power ought to be call'd in, for the salving of those Phænomena. To Conclude therefore, If no Substance, nor Real Entity can be made, which was not before, but all whatsoever Is, Will be, and Can be, was from Eternity Self-existent, then Creative Power, but especially, that Attribute of Omnipotence, can belong to nothing, and this is all one as to say, There can be no Deity.

VII. Thirdly the Atheists argue against the stricter and higher sort of Theists, who will have God to be the Creatour of the whole Corporeal Universe and all its Parts out of Nothing, after this manner; That which Created the whole Mass of Matter and Body, cannot be it self Body, Wherefore this Notion of God plainly implies <66> him to be Incorporeal. But there can be no Incorporeal Deity, because by that word must needs be understood, either that which hath no Magnitude nor Extension at all, or else that which is indeed extended, but otherwise than Body. If the Word be taken in the former sence, then nothing at all can be so Incorporeal, as to be altogether Unextended and devoid of Geometrical Quantity, because Extension is the very Essence of all Existent Entity, and that which is altogether unextended is perfectly Nothing. There can neither be any Substance nor Mode or Accident of any Substance, no Nature whatsoever Unexended. But if the Word Incorporeal be taken in the latter sence, for that which is indeed Extended but otherwise than Body, namely so as to penetrate Bodies and coexist with them, this is also a thing next to Nothing, since it can neither act upon any other thing, nor be acted upon by, or sensible of, any thing; It can neither do nor Suffer any thing. Nam facere & fungi nisi Corpus nulla potest res. Wherefore to speak plainly, this can be nothing else but empty Space, or Vacuum, which runs through all things, without laying hold on any thing, or being affected from any thing. This is the only Incorporeal thing, that is or can be in Nature, Space or Place; and therefore to suppose an Incorporeal Deity is to make Empty Space to be the Creatour of all Things.

This Argument is thus proposed by the Epicurean Poet. Quodcunque erit esse aliquid debebit id ipsum Augmine vel grandi vel parvo Cui si Tactus erit, quamvis levis exiguúsque, Corporum augebit numerum Summámque sequetur: Sin Intactile erit, nulla de parte quod ullam Rem prohibere queat per se transire meantem, Scilicet hoc id erit Vacuum quod Inane vocamus. Whatsoever is, is Extended or hath Geometrical Quantity and Mensurability in it; which if it be Tangible, then it is Body, and fills up a Place in the World, being part of the whole Mass; but if it be Intangible, so that it cannot resist the Passage of any thing thorough it, then it is nothing else but empty Space or Vacuum. There is no Third thing besides these Two, and therefore whatsoever is not Body, is empty Space or Nothing, Præter Inane & Corpora Tertia per se, Nulla potest rerum in numero Natura relinqui. Thus the Ancient Epicureans and Democriticks argued; there being nothing Incorporeal but Space, there can be no Incorporeal Deity.

But because this seems to give Advantage to the Theists, in making Space Something, or that which hath a Real Nature or Entity with <67> out our Conception, from whence it will follow, that it must needs be either it self a Substance, or else a Mode of some Incorporeal Substance, the Modern Democriticks are here more cautious, and make Space to be no Nature really existing without us, but only the Phantasm of a Body, and as it were the Ghost of it, which has no Reality without our Imagination. So that there are not two Natures of Body, and Space, which must needs inferr two distinct Substances, one whereof must be Incorporeal, but only One Nature of Body. The Consequence of which will be this, That an Incorporeal Substance is all one with an Incorporeal Body, and therefore Nothing.

VIII. But because it is generally conceived that an Error cannot be sufficiently confuted, without discovering τὸ αἴτιον τοῦ ψεύδους, the Cause of the Mistake, therefore the Atheists will in the next place undertake to show likewise, the Original of this Doctrine of Incorporeal Substances, and from what Misapprehension it sprung, as also take occasion from thence, further to disprove a Deity.

Wherefore they say, that the Original of this Doctrine of Incorporeal Substances proceeded chiefly from the Abuse of Abstract Names, both of Substances (whereby the Essences of singular Bodies, as of a Man or an Horse, being Abstracted from those Bodies themselves, are consider'd Universally) as also of Accidents when they are consider'd alone without their Subjects or Substances. The latter of which is a thing, that Men have been necessitated to, in order to the Computation or Reckoning of the Properties of Bodies, the Comparing of them with one another, the Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying and Dividing of them, which could not be done, so long as they are taken Concretely, together with their Subjects. But yet, as there is some Use of those Abstract Names, so the Abuse of them has been also very great; Forasmuch as, though they be really the Names of Nothing, since the Essence of this and that Man is not any thing without the Man, nor is an Accident any thing without its Substance, yet men have been led into a gross mistake by them, to imagine them to be Realities existing by themselves. Which Infatuation hath chiefly proceeded from Scholasticks, who have been so intemperate in the use of these Words, that they could not make a Rational Discourse of any thing, though never so small, but they must stuff it with their Quiddities, Entities, Essences, Hæcceities and the like. Wherefore these are they, who being first deluded themselves, have also deluded the World, introducing an Opinion into the Minds of Men, that the Essence of every thing is something without that thing it self, and also Eternal, and therefore when any thing is Made or Generated, that there is no new Being produced, but only an antecedent and Eternal Essence cloathed (as it were) with a new Garment of Existence. As also that the mere Accidents of Bodies may exist alone by themselves without their Substances. As for Example, that the Life, Sense and Understanding of Animals, commonly call'd by the Names of Soul and Mind, may exist without the Bodies or Substances of them by themselves, after the Animals are dead; which plainly makes them to be Incorporeal Substances, as it were the Sepa <68> rate and Abstract Essences of Men. This hath been observed by a Modern Writer in these words; Est Hominum Abstractorum tum in omni Vita, tum in Philosophia, magnus & Usus & Abusus. Abusus in eo consistit, quòd cùm videant aliqui, Considerari posse, id est, inferri in Rationes, Accidentium Incrementa & Decrementa, sine Consideratione Corporum, sive Subjectorum suorum, (id quod appellatur Abstrahere) loquuntur de Accidentibus, tanquam possent ab omni Corpore Separari: Hinc enim Originem trahunt quorundam Metaphysicorum crassi Errores., Nam ex eo, quod Considerari potest Cogitatio, sine consideratione Corporis, inferre solent non esse Opus Corporis Cogitantis. It is a great Abuse that some Metaphysicians make of these Abstract Names, because Cogitation can be considered alone without the consideration of Body, therefore to conclude that it is not the Action or Accident of that Body that thinks, but a Substance by it self. And the same Writer elsewhere observes, That it is upon this Ground, that when a Man is dead and buried, they say his Soul (that is, his Life) can walk, separated from his Body, and is seen by night amongst the Graves. By which means the Vulgar are confirmed in their Superstitious Belief, of Ghosts, Spirits, Dæmons, Devils, Fayries and Hob-goblins, Invisible Powers and Agents, called by several Names, and that by those Persons whose work it ought to be, rather to free men from such Superstition. Which Belief at first had another Original, not altogether unlike the former; Namely from mens mistaking their own Phancies for Things Really existing without them. For as in the sense of Vision, men are commonly deceived, in supposing the Image behind the Glass to be a Real thing existing without themselves, whereas it is indeed nothing but their own Phancy; In like manner when the Minds of Men strongly possess'd with Fear, especially in the Dark, raise up the Phantasms of Spectres, Bug-bears, or Affrightful Apparitions to them, they think them to be Objects really existing without them, and call them Ghosts and Spirits, whilst they are indeed nothing but their own Phancies; So the Phantasm or Phancy of a Deity (which is indeed the Chief of all Spectres) created by Fear, has upon no other Accompt, been taken for a Reality. To this purpose a Modern Writer, From the Fear that proceeds from the Ignorance it self, of what it is that hath the Power to do men Good or Harm, men are inclined to suppose and Feign to themselves, several kinds of Powers Invisible, and to stand in awe of their own Imaginations, and in time of Distress to invoke them, as also in the time of an expected good Success, to give them thanks, making the Creatures of their own Fancies, their Gods. Which though it be prudently spoken in the Plural Number, that so it might be diverted and put off to the Heathen Gods, yet he is very simple, that does not perceive the reason of it to be the same concerning that one Deity, which is now commonly worshipped, and that therefore this also is but the Creature of Mens Fear and Phancie, the Chief of all Phantastick Ghosts and Spectres, as it were an Oberon or Prince of Fayries and Phancies. This (we say) was the first Original of that Vulgar Belief of Invisible Powers, Ghosts, and Gods; mens taking their own Phancies for Things really Existing without them. And as for the Matter and Substance of these Ghosts, they could not by their own natural Cogitation fall into any other Conceit, but that it was the same, <69> with that which appeareth in a Dream to one that sleepeth, or in a Looking-glass to one that is awake, Thin Aerial Bodies, which may appear and vanish when they please. But the Opinion, that such Spirits were Incorporeal and Immaterial, could never enter into the minds of men by Nature, Unabused by Doctrine; but it sprung up from those deceiving and deceived Literati, Scholasticks, Philosophers, and Theologers enchanting mens Understandings, and making them believe, that the Abstract Notions of Accidents and Essences could exist alone by themselves, without the Bodies, as certain Separate and Incorporeal Substances.

To Conclude therefore, To make an Incorporeal Mind to be the Cause of all things, is to make our own Phancie, an Imaginary Ghost of the World, to be a Reality; and to suppose the mere Abstract Notion of an Accident, and a Separate Essence, to be not only an Absolute thing by it self, and a Real Substance Incorporeal, but also the first Original of all Substances, and of whatsoever is in the Universe. And this may be reckon'd for a Fourth Atheistick Ground.

IX. Fifthly, the Atheists pretend further to prove, that there is no other Substance in the World besides Body, as also from the Principles of Corporealism it self, to evince that there can be no Corporeal Deity, after this manner. No man can devise any other Notion of Substance, than that it is a thing Extended, existing without the Mind, not Imaginary but Real and Solid Magnitude; For whatsoever is not Extended, is Nowhere and Nothing. So that Res Extensa, is the only Substance, the solid Basis and Substratum of all. Now this is the very self-same thing with Body; For ἀντιτυπία, or Resistence seems to be a necessary Consequence and Result from Extension, and they that think otherwise, can show no reason why Bodies may not also penetrate one another, as some Corporealists think they do; From whence it is inferred, that Body or Matter is the only Substance of all things. And whatsoever else is in the World, that is, all the Differences of Bodies, are nothing but several Accidents and Modifications of this Extended Substance, Body or Matter. Which Accidents, though they may be sometimes call'd by the names of Real Qualities, and Forms, and though there be different apprehensions concerning them amongst Philosophers, yet generally they agree in this, that there are these two Properties belonging to them; First, that none of them can subsist alone by themselves, without Extended Substance or Matter, as the Basis and Support of them: And Secondly, that they may be all destroyed without the Destruction of any Substance. Now as Blackness and Whiteness, Heat and Cold, so likewise Life, Sense and Understanding, are such Accidents, Modifications or Qualities of Body, that can neither exist by themselves, and may be destroyed without the Destruction of any Substance or Matter. For if the Parts of the Body of any Living Animal be disunited and separated from one another, or the Organical Disposition of the Matter alter'd, those Accidents, Forms or Qualities, of Life and Understanding, will presently vanish away to Nothings all the Substance of the Matter still remaining one where or <70> other in the Universe entire, and Nothing of it lost. Wherefore the Substance of Matter and Body, as distinguished from the Accidents, is the only thing in the world that is Uncorruptible and Undestroyable. And of this it is to be understood that Nothing can be made out of Nothing, and Destroyed to Nothing, (i. e.) that every entire thing that is Made or Generated, must be made of some preexistent Matter; which Matter was from Eternity, Self-existent and Unmade, and is also undestroyable, and can never be reduc'd to Nothing. It is not to be understood of the Accidents themselves, that are all Makeable and Destroyable, Generable and Corruptible. Whatsoever is in the World is but ὕλη πῶς ἔχουσα, Matter so and so Modified or Qualified, all which Modifications and Qualifications of Matter are in their own nature Destroyable, and the Matter it self (as the Basis of them, not necessarily determin'd to this or that Accident) is the only ἀγέννητον καὶ ἀνώλεθρον, the only Necessarily Existent. The Conclusion therefore is, that no Animal, no Living Understanding Body, can be Absolutely and Essentially Incorruptible, this being an Incommunicable Property of the Matter, and therefore there can can be no Corporeal Deity, the Original of all things, Essentially Undestroyable.

Though the Stoicks imagined the whole Corporeal Universe to be an Animal or Deity, yet this Corporeal God of theirs was only by Accident Incorruptible and Immortal, because they supposed, that there was no other Matter, which existing without this World, and making Inrodes upon it, could disunite the Parts of it or disorder its Compages. Which if there were, the Life and Understanding of this Stoical God, or great Mundane Animal, as well as that of other Animals in like Cases, must needs vanish into nothing. Thus from the Principles of Corporealism it self, it plainly follows that there can be no Corporeal Deity, because the Deity is supposed to be ἀγέννητον καὶ ἀνώλεθρον, a thing that was never made, and is Essentially Undestroyable, which are the Privileges and Properties of nothing but Senseless Matter.

X. In the next place, the Atheists undertake more effectually to confute that Corporeal God of the Stoicks and others, from the Principles of the Atomical Philosophy, in this manner. All Corporeal Theists who assert that an Understanding Nature or Mind, residing in the Matter of the whole Universe, was the first Original of the Mundane System, and did Intellectually frame it, betray no small Ignorance of Philosophy and the Nature of Body, in supposing Real Qualities, besides Magnitude, Figure, Site and Motion, as Simple and Primitive things, to belong to it; and that there was such a Quality or Faculty of Understanding in the Matter of the whole Universe, coeternal with the same, that was an Original thing Uncompounded and Underived from any thing else. Now to suppose such Original Qualities and Powers, which are Really Distinct from the Substance of Extended Matter and its Modifications, of Divisibility, Figure, Site and Motion, is Really to suppose so many Distinct Substances, which therefore must needs be Incor <71> poreal. So that these Philosophers fall unawares into that very thing which they are so abhorrent from. For this Quality or Faculty of Understanding, in the Matter of the Universe, Original and underiv'd from any other thing, can be indeed nothing else but an Incorporeal Substance. Epicurus suggested a Caution against this Vulgar Mistake concerning Qualities to this purpose. Non sic cogitandæ sunt Qualitates, quasi sint quædam per se existentes Naturæ seu Substantiæ, siquidem id mente assequi non licet; sed solummodo ut varii modi sese habendi Corporis, considerandæ sunt.

Body, as such, hath nothing else belonging to the Nature of it, but what is included in the Idæa of Extended Substance, Divisibility, Figure, Site, Motion or Rest, and the Results from the various Compositions of them, causing different Phancies; Wherefore, as vulgar Philosophers make their first Matter (which they cannot well tell what they mean by it) because it receives all Qualities, to be it self devoid of all Quality; So we conclude that Atoms (which are really the first Principles of all things) have none of those Qualities in them which belong to compounded Bodies; they are not absolutely of themselves Black or White, Hot or Cold, Moist or dry, Bitter or Sweet, all these things arising up afterwards, from the various Aggregations and Contextures of them, together with different Motions. Which Lucretius confirms by this reason, agreeable to the Tenour of the Atomical Philosophy, That if there were any such Real Qualities in the first Principles, then in the various Corruptions of Nature, things would at last be all reduc'd to Nothing: Immutabile enim quiddam superare necesse est Nè res ad Nihilum redigantur funditùs omnes; Proinde Colore cave contingas semina rerum, Nè tibi res redeant ad Nilum funditùs omnes. Wherefore he concludes, that it must not be thought, that White things are made out of White Principles, nor Black things out of Black Principles, Nè ex Albis Alba rearis Principiis esse,— Aut ea quae nigrant, nigro de semine nata: Neve alium quemvis quae sunt induta colorem, Proptereà gerere hunc credas, quòd materiaï Corpora consimuli sint ejus tincta colore; Nullus enim Color est omnino materiaï Corporibus, neque par rebus, neque denique dispar. Adding that the same is to be resolved likewise concerning all other Sensible Qualities as well as Colours. Sed nè fortè putes solo spoliata colore Corpora prima manere: etiam secreta Teporis Sunt, ac Frigoris omnino, Calidíque Vaporis: <72> Et sonitu sterila, & Succo jejuna feruntur, Nec jaciunt ullum proprio de corpore Odorem. Lastly he tells us in like manner that the same is to be understood also concerning Life, Sense and Understanding, that there are no such simple Qualities or Natures in the first Principles, out of which Animals are compounded, but that these are in themselves altogether devoid of Life, Sense and Understanding. Nunc ea, quæ Sentire videmus cunque, necesse 'st Ex Insensilibus tamen omnia confiteare Principiis constare: neque id manifesta refutant: Sed magìs ipsa manu ducunt, & credere cogunt, Ex insensilibus, quod dico, Animalia gigni. Quippe videre licet, vivos existere vermes Stercore de tetro, putrorem cum sibi nacta 'st Intempestivis ex imbribus humida tellus. All Sensitive and Rational Animals are made of Irrational and Senseless Principles, which is proved by Experience, in that we see Worms are made out of putrified Dung, moistned with immoderate Showers.

Some indeed, who are no greater Friends to a Deity than our selves, will needs have that Sense and Understanding that is in Animals and Men, to be derived from an Antecedent Life and Understanding in the Matter. But this cannot be, because if Matter as such, had Life and Understanding in it, then every Atom of Matter must needs be a Distinct Percipient, Animal, and Intelligent Person by it self; and it would be impossible for any such Men and Animals as now are, to be compounded out of them, because every Man would be, Variorum Animalculorum Acervus, a Heap of Innumerable Animals and Percipients.

Wherefore as all the other Qualities of Bodies, so likewise Life, Sense, and Understanding arise from the different Contextures of Atoms devoid of all those Qualities, or from the Composition of those simple Elements of Magnitudes, Figures, Sites and Motions, in the same manner as from a few Letters variously compounded, all that Infinite Variety of Syllables and Words is made, Quin etiam refert nostris in versibus ipsis Cum quibus & quali Positurâ contineantur; Namque eadem Cœlum, Mare, Terras, Flumina, Solem Significant, eadem, fruges, arbusta, animantes; Sic ipsis in rebus item jam materiaï Intervalla, viæ, connexus, pondera, plagæ, Concursus, motus, ordo, Positura, Figuræ, Cùm permutantur mutari res quoque debent. From the Fortuitous Concretions of Senseless Unknowing Atoms, did rise up afterwards, in certain parts of the World called Animals, Soul, <73> and Mind, Sense and Understanding, Counsel and Wisdom. But to think that there was any Animalish Nature before all these Animals, or that there was an antecedent Mind and Understanding, Counsel and Wisdom, by which all Animals themselves, together with the whole World, were made and contrived, is either to run round in a Senseless Circle, making Animals and Animality to be before one another infinitely; or else to suppose an impossible Beginning of an Original Understanding Quality in the Matter. Atoms in their first Coalitions together, when the World was a making, were not then directed by any previous Counsel or preventive Understanding, which were things as yet Unborn and Unmade, Nam certè neq; consilio Primordia rerum Ordine se quæque atque sagaci mente locârunt, Nec quos quæque darent motus, pepigere profectó. Mind and Understanding, Counsel and Wisdom did not lay the Foundations of the Universe, they are no Archical things, that is, they have not the Nature of a Principle in them, they are not Simple, Original, Primitive and Primordial, but as all other Qualities of Bodies, Secundary, Compounded and Derivative, and therefore they could not be Architectonical of the World. Mind and Understanding is no God, but the Creature of Matter and Motion.

The sence of this whole Argument is briefly this; The first Principle of all things in the whole Universe is Matter, or Atoms devoid of all Qualities, and consequently of all Life, Sense and Understanding, and therefore the Original of things is no Understanding, Nature, or Deity.

XI. Seventhly, The Democritick Atheists argue further after this manner: They who assert a Deity, suppose ἔμψυχον εἶναι τὸν κόσμον, the whole World to be Animated, that is, to have a Living, Rational and Understanding Nature presiding over it. Now it is already evident from some of the premised Arguments, that the World cannot be Animated, in the sence of Platonists, that is, with an Incorporeal Soul, which is in order of Nature before Body, it being proved already that there can be no Substance Incorporeal; as likewise that it cannot be Animated neither in the Stoical sence, so as to have an Original Quality of Understanding or Mind in the Matter; But yet nevertheless, some may possibly imagine, that as in our selves and other Animals, though compounded of Sensless Atoms, there is a Soul and Mind, resulting from the Contexture of them, which being once made, domineers over the Body, governing and ordering it at pleasure; so there may be likewise such a Living Soul and Mind, not only in the Stars, which many have supposed to be lesser Deities, and in the Sun, which has been reputed a principal Deity; but also in the whole Mundane System, made up of Earth, Seas, Air, Ether, Sun, Moon, and Starrs all together; one General Soul and Mind, which though resulting at first from the Fortuitous Motion of Matter, yet being once produced, <74> may rule, govern and sway the Whole, Understandingly, and in a more perfect manner than our Souls do our Bodies, and so long as it continues, exercise a Principality and Dominion over it. Which although it will not amount to the full Notion of a God, according to the strict sence of Theists, yet it will approach very near unto it, and indanger the bringing in of all the same Inconveniences along with it. Wherefore they will now prove that there is no such Soul or Mind as this, (resulting from the Contexture of Atoms) that presides over the Corporeal Universe, that so there may not be so much as the Shadow of a Deity left.

It was observed before, that Life, Sense, Reason and Understanding are but Qualities of Concreted Bodies, like those other Qualities of Heat, and Cold, &c. arising from certain particular Textures of Atoms; Now as those first Principles of Bodies, namely single Atoms, have none of those Qualities in them, so neither hath the whole Universe any (that it can be denominated from) but, only the Parts of it. The whole World is neither Black nor White, Hot nor Cold, Pellucid nor Opake, it containing all those Qualities in its several Parts: In like manner, the whole has no Life, Sense, nor Understanding in it, but only the parts of it, which are called Animals. That is, Life and Sense are qualities that arise, only from such a Texture of Atoms as produceth soft Flesh, Blood, and Brains, in Bodies organized, with Head, Heart, Bowels, Nerves, Muscles, Veins, Arteries and the like; Sensus jungitur omnis Visceribus, Nervis, Venis, quæcunque videmus, Mollia mortali consistere Corpore creta; And Reason and Understanding, properly so called, are peculiar Appendices to humane Shape; Ratio nusquam esse potest nisi in hominis figura. From whence it is concluded that there is no Life, Soul nor Understanding acting the whole World, because the World hath no Blood nor Brains, nor any Animalish or Humane Form. Qui Mundum ipsum Animantem sapientemque esse dixerunt, nullo modo viderunt Animi Naturam, in quam Figuram cadere posset. Therefore the Epicurean Poet concludes upon this Ground, that there is no Divine Sense in the whole World, Dispositum videtur ubi esse & crescere possit Seorsim Anima atque Animus; tanto magis inficiandum, Totum posse extra Corpus Formámque Animalem, Putribus in glebis terrarum, aut Solis in Igni, Aut in Aqua durare, aut altis Ætheris oris. Haud igitur constant Divino prædita Sensu, Quandoquidem nequeunt vitaliter esse Animata.

Now if there be no Life nor Understanding above us, nor round about us, nor any where else in the World, but only in our selves and Fellow-Animals, and we be the highest of all Beings; if neither <75> the whole Corporeal System be Animated, nor those greater parts of it, Sun, Moon nor Stars, then there can be no danger of any Deity.

XII. Eighthly, the Democritick Atheists dispute further against a Deity in this manner: The Deity is generally supposed to be ζῶον μακάριον καὶ ἄφθαρτον, a Perfectly Happy Animal, Incorruptible and Immortal. Now there is no Living Being Incorruptible and Immortal, and therefore none perfectly Happy neither. For according to that Democritick Hypothesis of Atoms in Vacuity; the only Incorruptible things will be These three: First of all, Vacuum or Empty Space, which must needs be such, because it cannot suffer from any thing, since it is plagarum expers, Et manet intactum, nec ab ictu fungitur hilum. Secondly, the Single Atoms, because by reason of their Parvitude and Solidity, they are Indivisible; And lastly, the Summa Summarum of all things, that is the Comprehension of all Atoms dispersed every where throughout Infinite Space. Quia nulla loci stat copia certum Quò quasi res possint discedere dissolüique.

But according to that other Hypothesis of some modern Atomists (which also was entertained of old by Empedocles) that supposes a Plenity, there is nothing at all Incorruptible, but the Substance of Matter it self. All Systems and Compages of it, all συγκρίματα and ἀθροίσματα, all Concretions and Coagmentations, of Matter divided by Motion, together with the Qualities resulting from them, are Corruptible and Destroyable: Quæ est Coagmentatio rerum non dissolubilis? Death destroys not the Substance of any Matter; For as no Matter came from Nothing but was Self-eternal, so none of it can ever vanish into Nothing; but it dissolves all the Aggregations of it. Non sic interimit Mors res ut Materiaï Corpora conficiat, sed cœtum dissupat ollis.

Life is no Substantial thing, nor any Primitive or Simple Nature; it is only an Accident or Quality arising from the Aggregation and Contexture of Atoms or Corpuscula, which when the Compages of them is disunited and dissolved, though all the Substance still remain scattered and dispersed, yet the Life utterly perishes and vanisheth into Nothing. No Life is Immortal; there is no Immortal Soul; nor Immortal Animal, or Deity. Though this whole Mundane System were it self an Animal, yet being but an Aggregation of Matter, it would be both Corruptible and Mortal. Wherefore since no living Being can possibly have any security of its future Permanency; there is none that can be perfectly Happy. And it was rightly determined by our Fellow-Atheists, the Hedonicks and Cyrenaicks, εὐδαιμονία ἀνύπαρτον, Perfect Happiness is a mere Notion, a Romantick Fiction, a thing which can have no Existence any where. This is recorded to have been one of Democri <76> tus his chief Arguments against a Deity, because there can be no Living Being Immortal, and consequently none perfectly Happy. Cum Democritus, quia nihil semper suo statu maneat, neget, esse quicquam sempiternum, nonne Deum ità tollit omnino, ut nullam Opinionem ejus reliquam faciat?

XIII. A Ninth pretended Demonstration of the Democritick Atheists is as followeth. By God is understood a First Cause or Mover, which being not before acted upon by any thing else, but acting Originally from it self, was the Beginning of all things. Now it is an indubitable Axiom, and generally received amongst Philosophers, that Nothing can move it self, but Quicquid movetur ab alio movetur, Whatsoever is moved is moved by something else; nothing can act otherwise than it is made to act, by something without it, acting upon it. The necessary Consequence whereof is this, That there can be no such thing as any First Mover, or First Cause, that is, no God. This Argument is thus urged by a Modern Writer, agreeably to the Sence of the Ancient Democriticks; Ex eo quòd nihil potest movere seipsum, non inferetur, id quod inferri solet, nempe Æternum Immobile, sed contrà Æternum Motum, siquidem ut verum est, nihil moveri à seipso, ita etiam verum est nihil moveri nisi à Moto. From hence, that Nothing can move it self, it cannot be rightly inferred, as commonly it is, that there is an Eternal Immoveable Mover (that is, a God) but only an Eternal Moved Mover; or that one thing was moved by another from Eternity, without any first Mover. Because as it is true that nothing can be Moved, but from it self; so it is likewise true, that nothing can be moved but from that which was it self also moved by something else before; and so the progress upwards must needs be infinite, without any Beginning or first Mover. The plain Drift and Scope of this Ratiocination, is no other then this, to shew that the Argument commonly taken from Motion, to prove a God, (that is, a First Mover or Cause) is not only Ineffectual and Inconclusive; but also that on the contrary, it may be demonstrated from that very Topick of Motion; that there can be no Absolutely First Mover, No First in the order of Causes, that is, no God.

XIV. Tenthly, because the Theists conceive that though no Body can move it self, yet a perfect Cogitative, and Thinking Being might be the Beginning of all, and the first Cause of Motion; the Atheists will endeavour to evince the contrary, in this manner. No man can conceive how any Cogitation which was not before, should rise up at any time, but that there was some cause for it, without the Thinker. For else there can be no reason given, why this Thought rather than that, and at this time rather than another, should start up. Wherefore this is universally true, of all Motion and Action whatsoever, as it was rightly urged by the Stoicks, that there can be no κίνησις ἀναίτιος, no Motion without a Cause, i. e. no Motion which has not some Cause without the Subject of it. Or, as the same thing is expressed by a modern Writer, Nothing taketh Beginning from it self, but from the Action of some other Immediate Agent without it. Wherefore no Thinking Being could be a First Cause, any more than an Automaton or Machin could. To this, it is further argued, that <77> these two Notions, the one of a Knowing Understanding Being, the other of a Perfectly Happy Being, are Contradictious, because all Knowledge Essentially implies Dependence upon something else, as its Cause; Scientia & Intellectus signum est Potentiae ab alio Dependentis, id quod non est Beatissimum. They conclude that Cogitation and all Action whatsoever, is really nothing else but Local Motion, which is Essentially Heterokinesie, that which can never rise of it self, but is caused by some other Agent without its Subject.

XV. In the Eleventh place, the Democritick Atheists reason thus: If the World were made by any Antecedent Mind or Understanding, that is, by a Deity; then there must needs be an Idæa, Platform and Exemplar of the whole World before it was made; and consequently Actual Knowledge, both in order of Time and Nature, before Things. But all Knowledge is the Information of the things themselves known, all Conception of the Mind is a Passion from the things Conceived, and their Activity upon it; and is therefore Juniour to them. Wherefore the World and Things, were before Knowledge and the Conception of any Mind, and no Knowledge, Mind or Deity before the World as its Cause. This Argument is thus proposed by the Atheistick Poet; Exemplum porro gignundis rebus, & ipsa Notities hominum Divis unde insita primùm, Quid vellent facere ut scirent, animoq; viderent? Quove modo est unquam Vis cognita Principiorum, Quidnam inter sese permutato Ordine possent, Si non ipsa dedit specimen Natura creandi? How could the supposed Deity have a Pattern or Platform in his Mind, to frame the World by, and whence should he receive it? How could he have any Knowledge of Men before they were made, as also what himself should will to do when there was nothing? How could he understand the Force and Possibility of the Principles, what they would produce when variously combined together, before Nature and Things themselves, by Creating, had given a Specimen?

XVI. A Twelfth Argumentation of the Democritick and Epicurean Atheists against a Deity, is to this purpose: That things could not be made by a Deity that is supposed to be a Being every way Perfect; because they are so Faulty, and so Ill made: The Argument is thus propounded by Lucretius; Quòd si jam rerum ignorem primordia quæ sint, Hoc tamen ex ipsis Cœli Rationibus ausim Confirmare, aliísque ex rebus reddere multis, Nequaquam nobis Divinitùs esse paratam Naturam rerum, tantâ stat prædita Culpâ.

This Argument, à Cœli Rationibus, from Astronomy, or the Constitution of the Heavens, is this: That the Mundane Sphere is so framed, in <78> respect of the Disposition of the Æquator and Ecliptick, as renders the greatest part of the Earth uninhabitable to Men and most other Animals; partly by reason of that excess of Heat in the Torrid Zone (containing all between the Tropicks) and partly from the Extremity of Cold in both the Frigid Zones, towards either Pole. Again, whereas the Stoical Theists Contemporary with Epicurus concluded, that the whole World was made by a Deity, only for the sake of Men, Horum omnia causâ Constituisse Deum fingunt It is urged on the contrary, that a great part of the Habitable Earth is taken up by Seas, Lakes and Rocks, barren Heaths and Sands, and thereby made useless for Mankind; and that the remainder of it yields no fruit to them, unless expugned by obstinate Labour, after all which, men are often disappointed of the Fruits of those Labours, by unseasonable Weather, Storms and Tempests. Again, that Nature has not only produced many noxious and poisonous Herbs, but also Destructive and Devouring Animals, whose Strength surpasseth that of Mens; and that the Condition of Mankind is so much Inferiour to that of Brutes, that Nature seems to have been but a Step-mother to the former, whilst she hath been an Indulgent Mother to the latter. And to this purpose, the manner of mens coming into the World is thus aggravated by the Poet: Tum porro puer, ut sævis projectus ab undis Navita, nudus humi jacet, infans, indigus omni Vitaï auxilio, cùm primùm in luminis oras Nixibus ex alvo matris natura profudit: Vagitúque locum lugubri complet, ut æquum 'st, Quoi tantum in vita restet transire malorum. But on the contrary, the Comparative Advantages of Brutes and their Privileges, which they have above men, are described after this manner: At variæ crescunt pecudes, armenta, feræque: Nec crepitacula eis opu' sunt, nec quoiquam adhibenda 'st Almæ nutricis Blanda atque Infracta loquela; Nec varias quærunt vestes pro tempore cœli. Denique non armis opus est, non mœnibus altis, Queis sua tutentur, quando omnibus omnia largè Tellus ipsa parit, naturáque Dædala rerum.

And Lastly, The Topick of Evils in General, is insisted upon by them, not those which are are called Culpæ, Evils of Fault (for that is a Thing which the Democritick Atheists utterly explode in the Genuine Sence of it) but the Evils of Pain and Trouble; which they dispute concerning, after this manner. The Supposed Deity and Maker of the World, was either Willing to abolish all Evils, <79> but not Able, or he was Able but not Willing; or Thirdly, he was neither Willing nor Able; or else Lastly, he was both Able and Willing. This Latter is the only thing that answers fully to the Notion of a God. Now that the supposed Creator of all things was not thus both Able and Willing to abolish all Evils, is plain, because then there would have been no Evils at all left. Wherefore since there is such a Deluge of Evils overflowing all, it must needs be, that either he was Willing and not Able to remove them, and then he was Impotent, or else he was Able and not Willing, and then he was Envious, or Lastly he was neither Able nor Willing, and then he was both Impotent and Envious.

XVII. In the Twelfth Place, the Atheists further dispute in this manner. If the World were made by any Deity, then it would be governed by a Providence, and if there were any Providence, it must appear in Humane Affairs. But here it is plain, that all is Tohu and Bohu, Chaos and Confusion: Things happening alike to all, to the Wise and Foolish, Religious and Impious, Virtuous and Vicious. (For these Names the Atheist cannot chuse but make use of, though by taking away Natural Morality, they really destroy the Things.) From whence it is concluded, that all things float up and down, as they are agitated and driven by the Tumbling Billows of Careless Fortune and Chance. The Impieties of Dionysius, his scoffing Abuses of Religion, and whatsoever was then Sacred, or worshipt under the Notion of a God, were most notorions {sic}; and yet it is observed, that he fared never a jot the worse for it. Hunc nec Olympius Jupiter fulmine percussit, nec Æsculapius misero diuturnóque morbo tabescentem interemit, verùm in suo lectulo mortuus, in Tympanidis rogum illatus est, eámque potestatem quam ipse per scelus nactus erat, quasi justam & legitimam, hæreditatis loco tradidit: Neither did Jupiter Olympius strike him with a Thunderbolt, nor Æsculapius inflict any languishing Disease upon him, but he died in his bed, and was honourably interred, and that Power which he had wickedly acquired, he transmitted, as a Just and Lawful Inheritance, to his Posterity. And Diogenes the Cynick, though much a Theist, could not but acknowledge, that Harpalus a famous Robber or Pirate in those times, who committing many Villanous actions, notwithstanding lived prosperously, did thereby Testimonium dicere contra Deos, bear testimony against the Gods. Though it has been objected by the Theists, and thought to be a strong argument for Providence, that there were so many Tables hung up in Temples, the Monuments of such as having prayed to the Gods in Storms and Tempests, had escaped Shipwrack; yet as Diagoras observed, Nusquam picti sunt qui Naufragium fecerunt, there are no Tables extant of those of them who were Shipwrackt. Wherefore it was not considered by these Theists, how many of them that prayed as well to the Gods, did notwithstanding suffer Shipwrack; as also how many of those, which never made any Devotional Addresses at all, to any Deity, escaped equal Dangers of Storms and Tempests.


Moreover, it is consentaneous to the opinion of a God, to think that Thunder ratling in the Clouds with Thunder-bolts, should be the immediate Significations of his wrath and displeasure: whereas it is plain, that these are flung at random, and that the Fury of them often lights upon the Innocent, whilst the notoriously guilty scape untouched, and therefore we understand not, how this can be answered by any Theists. Cur, quibus incautum Scelus aversabile cumque est, Non faciunt, icti flammas ut fulguris halent, Pectore perfixo; documen Mortalibus acre? Et potiùs nullæ sibi turpis Conscius reii, Volvitur in flammis innoxius, ínque peditur, Turbine cœlesti, subito correptus, & igni?

Now the force of this Argument appears to be very powerful, because it hath not only staggered and confounded Theists in all Ages, but also hath effectually transformed many of them into Atheists. For Diagoras Melius himself was once a Superstitious Religionist, in so much that being a Dithyrambick Poet, he began one of his Poems with these words, κατὰ δαίμονα καὶ τύχην πάντα τελεῖται, All things are done by God and Fortune. But being injured afterwards by a Perjured Person, that suffered no Evil nor Disaster thereupon, he therefore took up this contrary Perswasion, that there was no Deity. And there have been innumerable others, who have been so far wrought upon by this Consideration, as if not absolutely to disclaim and discard a Deity, yet utterly to deny Providence, and all Care of Humane Affairs by any Invisible Powers. Amongst whom the Poet was one, who thus expressed his Sence. Sed cùm res hominum tantâ caligine volvi Aspicerem, lætósque diu florere nocentes, Vexaríque pios, rursus labefacta a cadebat Relligio, causæque viam non sponte sequebar Alterius, vacuo quæ currere Semina motu Affirmat, magnúmque novas per Inane Figuras, Fortunâ non Arte regi; quæ Numina sensu Ambiguo vel Nulla putat, vel Nescia nostri.

XVIII. A thirteenth Argumentation of the Democritick and Epicurean Atheists is to this purpose; That whereas the Deity is supposed to be such a being, as both Knows all that is done every where in the most distant Places of the World at once, and doth himself immediately Order all things; this is, First, impossible for any one Being, thus to animadvert and order all things in the whole Universe, Quis regere immensi Summam, quis habere profundi Indu manu validas potis est moderanter habenas? Quîs pariter cœlos omneis convertere? & omneis <81> Ignibus ætheriis terras suffire feraceis? Omnibus ínque locis esse omni tempore præstò; Nubibus ut tenebras faciat, cœlíque serena Concutiat sonitu? &c. And Secondly, if it were supposed to be possible, yet such infinite Negotiosity would be absolutely inconsistent with a Happy State; Nor could such a Deity ever have any quiet Enjoyment of himself, being Perpetually filled with Tumult and Hurliburly, οὐ συμφωνοῦσι πραγματείαι καὶ φροντίδες καὶ ὀργαὶ καὶ χάριτες μακαριότητι, ἀλλ' ἀσθενείᾳ καὶ φόβῳ καὶ προσδεήσει τῶν πλησίον ταῦτα γίνεται. Distraction of Business and Sollicitous Cares, Displeasures and Favours, do not at all agree with Happiness, but they proceed from Imbecillity, Indigency and Fear: τὸ μακάριον καὶ ἄφθαρτον οὔτε αὐτὸ πράγματα ἔχει, οὔτε ἄλλῳ παρέχει, ὤστε οὔτε ὀργαῖς οὔτε χάρισι συνέχεται, ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ γὰρ πᾶν τὸ τοιοῦτον. That which is Happy and Incorruptible, would neither have it self any Business to do, nor create any to others, it would neither have Displeasure nor Favour, towards any other Persons, to engage it in Action; all this proceeding from Indigency. That is, Favour and Benevolence, as well as Anger and Displeasure, arise only from Imbecillity. That which is perfectly happy and wanteth nothing, ὅλον ὄν περὶ τὴν συνοχὴν τῆς ἰδίας εὐδαιμωνίας, being wholly possessed and taken up in the Enjoyment of its own Happiness, would be regardless of the Concernments of any others; and mind nothing besides it self, either to do it Good or Harm. Wherefore, this Curiosus & plenus Negotii Deus, This Busie, Restless, and Pragmatical Deity, that must needs intermeddle and have to do with every thing in the whole World, is a Contradictious Notion, since it cannot but be the most Unhappy of all things.

XIX. In the Next Place, the Atheists dispute further by propounding Several bold Quæries, which they conceive unanswerable, after this manner. If the World were made by a Deity, why was it not made by him sooner? or since it was so long unmade, why did he make it at all? Cur mundi Ædificator repentè extiterit, innumerabili antè sæcula dormîerit? How came this Builder and Architect of the World, to start up upon a suddain, after he had slept for infinite Ages, and bethink himself of making a World? For, certainly, if he had been awake all that while, he would either have made it sooner, or not at all; because there was either something wanting to his Happiness, before, or nothing; if there had been any thing wanting before, then the World could not have been so long unmade; but if he were completely Happy in himself without it, then μηδὲν ἐλλείπων κεναῖς ἔμελλεν ἐπιχειρεῖν πράξεσι, wanting nothing, he vainly went about to make superfluous things. All desire of Change and Novelty, argues a Fastidious Satiety, proceeding from Defect and Indigency; Quidve novi potuit tantò pòst, antè quietos Inlicere, ut cuperent vitam mutare priorem? Nam gaudere novis rebus debere videtur Quoi veteres obsunt; sed quoi nil accidit ægri <82> Tempore in anteacto, cùm pulchrè degeret ævum, Quid potuit novitatis amorem accendere tali? Did this Deity, therefore light up the Stars, as so many Lamps or Torches, in that vast Abyss of infinite Darkness, that himself might thereby have a more comfortable and chearful Habitation? Why would he then content himself from Eternity, to dwell in such a Melancholick, Horrid, and Forlorn Dungeon? An Credo in tenebris vitâ & mœrore jacebat, Donec diluxit rerum Genitalis Origo? Was Company and that Variety of Things, by which Heaven and Earth are distinguished, desireable to him? Why then would he continue Solitary so long, wanting the pleasure of such a Spectacle? Did he make the World and men in it to this end, that himself might be worshipped and adored, feared and honoured by them? But what could he be the better for that, who was sufficiently happy alone in himself before? Or did he do it for the Sake of Men, to gratifie and oblige them? At quid immortalibus atque beatis Gratia nostra queat largirier emolumenti, Ut nostrâ quicquam causâ gerere aggrediantur?

Again, if this were done for the sake of Men, then it must be either for Wise Men or for Fools; If for Wise men only, then all that Pains was taken but for a very few; but if for Fools, what reason could there be, why the Deity should seek to deserve so well at their hands? Besides this, what hurt would it have been to any of us, (whether Wise or Foolish) never to have been made? Quídve mali fuerat nobis non esse creatis? Natus enim debet quicunque est, velle manere In vita, donec retinebit blanda voluptas: Qui nunquam verò vitæ gustavit amorem, Nec fuit in numero, quid obest non esse creatum?

Lastly, if this Deity must needs go about moliminously to make a World, ἐργάτου δίκην καὶ τέκτονος, like an Artificer and Carpenter, what Tools and Instruments could he have to work withall? what Ministers and Subservient Opificers? what Engins and Machins for the rearing up of so huge a Fabrick? How could he make the Matter to understand his meaning, and obey his beck? how could he move it and turn it up and down? For if Incorporeal, he could neither touch nor be touched, but would run through all things, without fastening upon any thing: but if Corporeal, then the same thing was both Materials and Architect, both Timber and Carpenter, and the Stones must hew themselves, and bring themselves together, with discretion, into a Structure.


XX. In the last Place, the Atheists argue from Interest (which proves many times the most effectual of all Arguments) against a Deity; endeavouring to perswade, that it is, First, the Interest of Private Persons, and of all Man-kind in General; and Secondly, the Particular Interest of Civil Sovereigns, and Commonwealths; that there should neither be a God, nor the Belief of any such thing entertained by the minds of Men; that is, no Religion. First, they say therefore, that it is the Interesse of Mankind in General; Because so long as men are perswaded, that there is an Understanding Being infinitely Powerful, having no Law but his own Will, (because he has no Superiour) that may do whatever he pleases at any Time to them, they can never Securely enjoy themselves or any thing, nor be ever free from disquieting Fear and Solicitude. What the Poets Fable of Tantalus in Hell, being alwaies in fear of a huge stone hanging over his Head, and ready every Moment to tumble down upon him, is nothing to that true fear which men have of a Deity, and Religion, here in this Life, which indeed was the very thing mythologized in it. Nec miser impendens magnum timet aëre Saxum Tantalus, (ut fama est) cassâ formidine torpens: Sed magìs in vita, Divûm Metus urget inanis Mortales, casúmque timent, quemcumque ferat Fors. For besides mens Insecurity, from all manner of present Evils, upon the Supposition of a God, the Immortality of Souls can hardly be kept out, but it will crowd in after it, and then the fear of Eternal Punishments after Death will unavoidably follow thereupon, perpetually embittering all the Solaces of Life, and never suffering men to have the least sincere Enjoyment. si certam finem esse viderent Ærumnarum homines, aliquâ ratione valerent, Relligionibus, atque minis obsistere Vatum. Nunc ratio nulla est restandi, nulla facultas: Æternas quoniam Pœnas in morte timendum. Ignoratur enim quæ sit natura Animaï, Nata sit, an contrà nascentibus insinuetur; Et simul intereat nobiscum morte dirempta, An Tenebras Orci visat vastásque Lacunas. Wherefore it is plain, that they who first introduced the Belief of a Deity and Religion, whatever they might aim at in it, deserved very ill of all Mankind, because they did thereby infinitely debase and depress mens Spirits under a Servile Fear, Efficiunt animos humiles, formidine Divûm, Depressósque premunt ad Terram: As also cause the greatest Griefs and Calamities that now disturb Humane Life, <84> Quantos tum gemitus ipsi sibi, quantáq; nobis Volnera, quas lachrymas peperere Minoribu' nostris? There can be no comfortable and happy Living, without banishing from our Mind, the belief of these two things, of a Deity and the Souls Immortality, Et metus ille foràs præceps Acheruntis agendus Funditus, humanam qui vitam turbat ab imo, Omnia suffundens Mortis Nigrore, neque ullam Esse voluptatem Liquidam, Furámque relinquit.

It was therefore a Noble and Heroical Exploit of Democritus and Epicurus, those two good-natured Men, who seeing the World thus oppressed under the grievous Yoke of Religion, the Fear of a Deity and Punishment after death, and taking pity of this sad Condition of Mankind, did manfully encounter that affrightful Spectre or Empusa, of a Providential Deity; and by clear Philosophick Reasons, chase it away, and banish it quite out of the World; laying down such Principles, as would salve all the Phænomena of Nature without a God; Quæ bene cognita si teneas, Natura videtur Libera continuò, Dominis privata Superbis, Ipsa suâ per se sponte, Omnia Dis agere expers. So that Lucretius does not without just Cause, erect a Triumphal Arch or Monument to Epicurus, for this Conquest or Victory of his, obtained over the Deity and Religion, in this manner; Humana ante oculos fœdè quum vita jaceret, In terris oppressa gravi sub Relligione, Quæ caput à Cœli regionibus ostendebat, Horribili super aspectu mortalibus instans; Primùm Graius homo mortales tendere contrà Est oculos ausus, primúsque obsistere contrà; Quem nec fama Deûm nec fulmina, nec minitanti Murmure compressit cœlum, &c.

XXI. That it is also the Interess of Civil Sovereigns and of all Common-wealths, that there should neither be Deity nor Religion, the Democritick Atheists would perswade in this manner; A Body Politick or Common-wealth is made up of parts, that are all naturally Dissociated from one another, by reason of that Principle of private Self-love, who therefore can be no otherwise held together than by Fear; Now if there be any greater Fear than the Fear of the Leviathan, and Civil Representative, the whole Structure and Machin of this great Coloss must needs fall a-pieces, and tumble down. The Civil Sovereign reigns only in Fear, wherefore unlese his Fear be the King and Sovereign of all Fears, his Empire and Dominion <97> ceases. But as the Rod of Moses devoured the Rods of the Magicians, so certainly will the fear of an omnipotent Deity, that can punish with eternal Torments after Death, quite swallow up and devour that comparatively Petty Fear of Civil Sovereigns, and consequently destroy the Being of Commonwealths, which have no Foundation in Nature, but are mere Artificial Things, made by the Enchantment and Magical Art of Policy. Wherefore it is well observed by a Modern Writer, That men ought not to suffer themselves to be abused, by the Doctrine of Separated Essences and Incorporeal Substances, (such as God and the Soul) built upon the vain Philosophy of Aristotle, that would fright men from obeying the Laws of their Country, with Empty Names, (as of Hell, Damnation, Fire and Brimstone) as men fright Birds from the Corn, with an empty Hat, Dublet, and a crooked Stick. And again; If the fear of Spirits (the chief of which is the Deity) were taken away, men would be much more fitted than they are for Civil Obedience.

Moreover, the Power of Civil Sovereigns is perfectly Indivisible; 'tis either All or Nothing, it must be Absolute and Infinite, or else 'tis none at all; now it cannot be so, if there be any other Power equal to it, to share with it, much less if there be any Superiour (as that of the Deity) to check it and controul it. Wherefore the Deity must of Necessity be removed and displaced, to make room for the Leviathan to spread himself in.

Lastly, 'Tis perfectly inconsistent with the Nature of a Body Politick, that there should be any Private Judgment of Good or Evil, Lawful or Unlawful, Just or Unjust allowed; but Conscience (which Theism and Religion introduces) is Private Judgment concerning Good and Evil; and therefore the Allowance of it, is contradictious to Civil Sovereignty and a Commonwealth. There ought to be no other Conscience (in a Kingdom or Commonwealth) besides the Law of the Countrey; the allowance of Private Conscience being, ipso facto, a Dissolution of the Body Politick, and a Return to the State of Nature. Upon all these accounts it must needs be acknowledged, that those Philosophers who undermine and weaken Theism and Religion, do highly deserve of all Civil Sovereigns and Commonwealths.

XXII. Now from all the premised Considerations, the Democriticks confidently conclude against a Deity; That the System and Compages of the Universe, had not its Original from any Understanding Nature, but that Mind and Understanding it self, as well as all things else in the World, sprung up from Sensless Nature and Chance, or from the unguided and undirected Motion of Matter. Which is therefore called by the Name of Nature, because whatsoever moves is moved by Nature and Necessity, and the mutual Occursions and Rencounters of Atoms, their Plagæ, their Stroaks and Dashings against one another, their Reflexions and Repercussions, their Cohesions, Implexions, and Entanglements, as also their Scattered Dispersions and Divulsions, are all Natural and Necessary; but it is called also by the <98> name of Chance and Fortune, because it is all unguided by any Mind, Counsel or Design.

Wherefore Infinite Atoms of different sizes and figures, devoid of all Life and Sense, moving Fortuitously from Eternity in infinite Space, and making successively several Encounters, and consequently various Implexions and Entanglements with one another; produced first a confused Chaos of these Omnifarious Particles, jumbling together with infinite variety of Motions, which afterward by the tugging of their different and contrary forces, whereby they all hindred and abated each other, came, as it were by joint Conspiracy, to be Conglomerated into a Vortex or Vortices; where after many Convolutions and Evolutions, Molitions and Essays (in which all manner of Tricks were tried, and all Forms imaginable experimented) they chanced in length of time here to settle, into this Form and System of things, which now is, of Earth, Water, Air and Fire; Sun, Moon and Stars; Plants, Animals and Men; So that Sensless Atoms, fortuitously moved, and Material Chaos, were the first Original of all things.

This Account of the Cosmopœia, and first Original of the Mundane System, is represented by Lucretius according to the mind of Epicurus, though without any mention of those Vortices, which yet were an essential part of the old Democritick Hypothesis. Sed quibus ille modis conjectus materiaï Fundarit cœlum, ac terram, pontíque profunda, Solis, lunaï cursus, ex ordine ponam. Nam certè neque consilio primordia rerum, Ordine se quæque atque sagaci mente locarunt: Nec, quos quæque dárent motus, pepigere profectò: Sed quia multa modis multis primordia rerum, Ex infinito jam tempore percita plagis, Ponderibúsque suis consuerunt concita ferri, Omni'modisque coire, atque omnia pertentare, Quæcunque inter se possent congressa creare: Proptereà fit, utì magnum volgata per ævum, Omnigenos cœtus, & motus experiundo, Tandem ea conveniant, quæ ut convenere, repentè Magnarum rerum fiant exordia sæpe, Terraï, Maris, & Cœli, generísque Animantum.

But because some seem to think that Epicurus was the first Founder and Inventor of this Doctrine, we shall here observe, that this same Atheistick Hypothesis was long before described by Plato, when Epicurus was, as yet unborn; and therefore doubtless according to the Doctrine of Leucippus, Democritus and Protagoras; though that Philosopher, in a kind of disdain (as it seems) refused to mention either of their Names, πῦρ καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ γῆν καὶ ἀέρα, φύσει πάντα εἶναι καὶ τύχῃ φασί. τέχνῃ δὲ οὐδεν τούτων. καὶ τὰ μετὰ ταῦτα αὖ σωματα, γῆς τε καὶ ἡλίου καὶ σελήνης, ἄστρων, τε πέρι, διὰ τούτων γεγονέναι, παντελῶς ὄντων ἀψύχων.. <99> τύχῃ δὲ φερόμενα τῇ τῆς δυνάμεως ἕκαστα ἑκάστων, ᾖ ξυμπέπτωκεν, ἀρμόττοντα οἰκείως πως, &c. ταύτῃ καὶ κατὰ ταῦτα οὕτω γεγεννηκέναι τὸν τε οὐρανὸν ὅλον καὶ πάντα ὁπόσα κατ' οὐρανόν. καὶ ζῶα αὖ καὶ φυτὰ ξύμπαντα ὠρῶν πασῶν ἐκ τούτων γενομένων. οὐ διὰ νοῦν (φασιν) οὐδὲ διά τινα θεὸν, οὐδὲ δὶα τέχνην. ἀλλὰ ὃ λέγομεν, φύσει καὶ τύχῃ; τέχνην δὲ ὕστερον ἐκ τούτων ὑστέραν γενομένην, &c. The Atheists say that Fire, Water, Air and Earth (i. e. the four Elements) were all made by Nature and Chance; and none of them by Art or Mind (that is, they were made by the fortuitous Motion of Atoms, and not by any Deity) And that those other Bodies, of the Terrestrial Globe, of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (which by all, except these Atheists, were, in those times, generally supposed to be Animated, and a kind of Inferiour Deities) were afterwards made out of the foresaid Elements, being altogether Inanimate. For they being moved fortuitously or as it happened, and so making various commixtures together, did by that means, at length produce the whole Heavens and all things in them, as likewise Plants and Animals here upon earth, all which were not made by Mind, nor by Art, nor by any God; but, as we said before, by Nature and Chance. Art and Mind it self, rising up afterwards from the same Sensless Principles in Animals.

Cite as: Ralph Cudworth, The True Intellectual System of the Universe: The First Part (1678), pp. 57-99,, accessed 2024-05-24.