1. From the Immateriality of the Soul. 2. That the Soul is capable of being happy out of this Body.

3. That it can never attain its utmost Happiness and Perfection in this Body.

4. That it is too noble a Nature, to be intended for fo fhort a Duration as this Life.

5. That its Growth and Improvement in this Body, argues, that this Life is but a Preparation for fome greater and more durable Happiness.

As 1. We prove the Immortality of the Soul from its Incorporeity; that it is not Matter, but Spirit, and therefore does not die with the Body, but fubfifts in a feparate State from it. This is an Answer to the Objection taken from our dying; for it proves that the Soul cannot die, if it be a diftinct Being from the Body, and of fo different a Nature, that that which kills the Body, cannot kill the Soul; for then it is evident that the Soul may furvive the Body. All Material Compofitions, fuch as human Bodies are, may be diffolved by the separation of the parts from each other; and the more curious and artificial the Compofition is, the more eafily are they diffolved: But that which is not Matter, which has no Parts, and no Extenfion, may be annihilated, if God fo pleafe, but can't die, as Bodies do. And this is all we pretend to prove by this Argument of the Immateriality of the Soul; That the Soul is in its own Nature indivifible, incorruptible, and therefore Immortal; for that which cannot be diffolved by any natural Caufes, must laft as long as Nature lafts. It may indeed as well be annihilated, as at firft created by the Will of God; but when God has created an Immortal Nature which nothing can destroy but his own immediate Power, as it is an abfolute Security against a natural Death and Diffolution, fo it is a very good Argument that God himself never intends


intends to annihilate it. The Confequence ther from the Immateriality to the Immortality of the Soul, feems very plain and natural. But why fhould we fay that the human Soul is Immaterial and Incorporeal, when we cannot conceive what Immaterial Subftance is? A Subftance which has no Parts, and no Extenfion, and is circumfcribed by no Pace, founds very like nothing; to be fure, is what we can form no pofitive Idea of.

There are many things to be faid in this Argument, which might juftly be thought too nice and abftrufe for my prefent Purpose; and therefore I muft refer thofe who are of an inquifitive and philofophical Genius, to the Writings of learned Men, both Pagan and Chriftian Philofophers, on this Subject; and fhall take notice at prefent only of fuch things as may feem moft obvious and intelligible.

I readily grant, what I find by experience true in my own Mind, that we have no compleat pofitive Idea of Immaterial Subftance: But this, I think, is no Objection at all against the Belief of Spirits; no more than it is against the Belief of Matter, that we have no Idea of Matter, ftripp'd of all Qualities and Accidents. All Philofophers own, that the Subftance of all material things is the fame diversified by different Qualities and Accidents; or, to speak in the Atomick Language, by different Magnitudes, Figures, Sites, and Motion. Now can any Man tell me what that pure naked Matter is, which is the Subject of such different and contrary Qualities; which is hot or cold, hard or foft, moift or dry, light or heavy, visible or invifible, but is none of all this it felf, but capable of being either? He is a very mean Philofopher who does not know, that the naked Effences of Things are not knowable by us. We know nothing of any Material Beings, but their natural


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Virtues, Powers, Operations, or fenfible Qualities: But what that Subftance is, which we call Matter, and is the Subject of all thefe different Powers and Qualities, we know not: Which occafioned that old famous Peripatetick Riddle, Elia Lelia Crifpis, nec Mas, nec Femina, nec Androgyna, nec Cafta, nec Meretrix, nec Pudica, fed omnia.

Now in the fame manner that we know what Matter is, we know what a Spirit is; not what the pure naked Substance of a Spirit is, but what its Virtues, Powers, Operations, and Qualities are; which are fo effentially different from thofe of Matter, that we have reafon to make an effential Difference between their Subftances also. We feel in our selves fomething which Understands, Reasons, and Wills; which can act freely and fpontaneously; which can chufe and refufe; and is the Subject of different Paffions, of Love, and Hope, and Fear, and Defire, and Grief, and the like; which are of a very different Nature from all the Virtues and Qualities of Bodies, that we know of; and therefore must have a diftinct and effentially different Subject alfo, which we call the Soul or Spirit.

Well, you'll fay, this does feem to prove that there is a Diftinction between the Soul and the Body; for it is evident that our Hands and our Feet, and the orher Parts of our Bodies, don't think, but are directed and governed by a Superior Thinking Principle: That our Sight, and Hearing, and Smelling, and other Senfes, are not free and fpontaneous Faculties, but purely paffive which neceffarily receive thofe external Impreffions which are made on them, and affect us accordingly: But yet how does this prove, that this Thinking Principle is not Material, made of divifible Parts, and confequently by Nature diffolvible and corruptible, as the reft of the Body is?



Now I confefs, the infinite Power of God, and the utmost Powers and Capacities of Nature, even of Material Nature, are fuch Secrets and Myfteries to us, that it is hard to pretend to ftrict Demonftration against either of them; to fay, what God can't do, and what Matter is utterly incapable of receiving. But when Men come to také Sanctuary here, they have quitted all Reafon and Philofophy, and give up their Cause as defperate. If Men will reafon about thefe Matters, they must lay aside fuch Appeals on all Hands, and argue from their own Senfations, and the known -Phænomena of Nature. The Infidel can no more demonftrate, that the infinite Power of God cannot create an Immaterial Thinking Subftance; than we can, that infinite Power cannot make thinking Matter: Nay, indeed the Difference between these Two are vaftly great; for though I dare not pretend to fay, what infinite Power can or cannot do, yet according to all the known Principles of Philofophy, there is no Relation between Matter and Thought; nay, as far as we can judge, an utter Incapacity in Matter to think: But there is not any Pretence of Reason against the Poffibility of an Immaterial Substance, unless a confident Affertion, That all Subftance is Body, fhall pass for a Reafon; and this muft prove either a Corporeal God, or none. But when we feek for Natural Evidence, we must be contented with fuch Evidence as Senfe, and Reafon, and the Philofophy of Nature affords us: And if all this proves the Soul to be Immaterial, we have all the Reafon that can be had on our Side, and none against us. I fhall not here enter into a large Difpute, but only give you fome brief Intimations of Things, which are difcourfed more fully by learned Men.


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1. I obferve, that Confcious Life, Senfe, and Understanding, is not effential to Matter. This the Epicureans themfelves own, that Life, and Senfe, and Reason, is not originally in Matter, nor effential to it: And our very Senfes tell us as much, That all the Matter we fee about us is dead, fenfelefs, ftupid Matter: And what Pretence then can any Man have to fay, that a Thinking, Reasoning, Understanding Being, is mere Matter, when there is no other Matter in the World that thinks? There can be no other Pretence for this, but only, that there is no other Subftance in the World but Matter: Whereas it is a much better Argument to prove that there are fubftantial Beings, which are not Matter, when we know that there are fuch Virtues and Powers in Nature, as do not belong to any Thing which we certainly know to be Matter.

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2. It is very unreasonable to think, that Life, and Senfe, and Understanding, fhould be in any Subject, to which they do not effentially belong: For they are not tranfient and mutable Accidents, but the moft real and perfect Things in Nature. A Confcious Life is the firft Perfection of Being; and a living understanding Nature is as much fuperior to fenfelefs Matter, as a Human Soul is to a Clod of Earth. Now can we think that the greatest Perfections in a created Nature, have not a Subject to which they effentially belong? Which makes the greatest Perfections in Nature the most perishing and mutable Things: For if there be no Subject or Nature, to which they effentially belong, they are mere perishing Accidents, which might never have been, and in Time may never be again; though the World would be a defpica-' ble Thing without them, were there any Underftanding Being to defpife it. This only fhews, how abfurd it is in our Infidels, to make a Think

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