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ding to the History of Moses, the Divine Provi. dence in over-ruling all Nations and People, the new Doctrine of Repentance by the preaching of the Gospel, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the appointed Day of an universal Judgment. To all which particulars by God's Permission and assistance I shall say something in due time. But at present I have confined my self to that near and intrinsecal and convincing Argument of the Being of God, which we have from Human Nature it self; and which appears to be principally here recommend. ed by St. Paul in the words of the Text, That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one us. For in him (that is by his power) we live, and move, and have our being.
The Proposition, which I shall speak to, from this Text is this : That the very Life and Vital Motion and the Formal Ellence and Nature of Man is wholly owing to the power of God: and that the consideration of our Selves, of our own Souls and Bodies, doth directly and nearly conduct us to the acknowledgment of his Existence. And,
1. I shall prove, That there is an immaterial Substance in us, which we call Soul and Spirit, ef. sentially distinct from our Bodies: and that this Spi. rit doth necessarily evince the Existence of a Supreme and Spiritual Being. And, B2 2. That
2. That the Organical Structure of Human Bodies, whereby they are fitted to live and move and be vitally informed by the Soul, is unquestionably the workmanship of a most wise and powerfull and beneficent Maker. But I will reserve this latter part for the next opportunity; and my present undertaking shall be this, To evince the Being of God from the consideration of Human Souls.
(1.) And first, I say, there is an immaterialSubstance in us, which we call Soul, essentially di. stinct from our Bodies. I shall lay this down as self-evident, That there is something in our Composition, that thinks and apprehends, and reflects: and deliberates, determins and doubts, consents and denies; that wills, and demurrs, and resolves, and chooses, and rejects; that receives various sensations and impressions from external objects, and produces voluntary motions of several parts of our Bodies. This every man is conscious of; neither can any one be so sceptical as to doubt of or deny it: that very doubting or denying being each of them mentioned and supposed before, and inclu.. ding several of the rest in their Idea’s and Notions. And in the next place 'tis as self evident, that these Faculties and Operations of Thinking, and Willing, and Perceiving, must proceed from something or other as their efficient Cause: meer Nothing being
never able to produce any thing at all. So that if these powers of Cogitation, and Volition, and Sensation, are neither inherent in Matter as such, nor acquirable to Matter by any motion and modification of it; it necessarily follows, that they proceed from some cogitative Substance, some incorporeal Inhabitant within us, which we call Spia rit and Soul.
(1.) But first, these Faculties of Sensation and Perception are not inherent in Matter as such. For if it were so; what monstrous absurdities would follow? Every Stock and Stone would be a percipient and rational Creature. We fhould have as much feeling upon the clipping off a Hair, as the cutting off a Nerve. Or rather, as Men, that is a complex Being compounded of many vital parts, we should have no feeling nor perception at all. For every single Atom of our Bodies would be a distinct Animal; endued with self-consciousness and personal Sensation of its own: And a great number of such living and thinking Particles could not possibly by their mutual contract and pressing and striking compose one greater individual Animal, with one Mind and Understanding, and a vital Consension of the whole Body: any more than a (warm of Bees, or a crowd of Men and Women can be conceived to make up one particular. Living Crea-- ture compounded and constituted of the aggregate of them all.
(2.) It remains therefore, secondly, that seeing Matter in general, as Matter, has not any Sensation or Thought ; if it have them at all, they must be the result of some Modification of it: it must acquire them by some Organical Disposition ; by such and such determinate Motions, by the action and re-action of one Particle upon another. And this is the Opinion of every Atheist and counterfeit Deist of these times, that believes there is no Substance but Matter; and excludes all incorporeal Nature out of the number of Beings.
Now to give a clearer and fuller confutation of this Atheistical Assertion, I will proceed in this me. thod.
1. First I will give a true Notion and Idea of Matter; whereby it will appear that it has no in. herent Faculty of Sense and Perception. "
2. I will prove, that no particular Species of Matter, as the Brain and Animal Spirit, hath any power of Sense and Perception.
3. I will shew, thạt Motion in general superadded to Matter cannot produce any Sense and Per. ception.
4. I will demonstrate, that no Determinate, Motion, as of the Animal Spirit through Muscles
and Nerves, can beger Sense and Perception.
5. I will evince, that no Action and Percussion of the Animal Spirit, one Particle against another, can creare any Sense and Perception.
6. I will answer the Atheists Argument of matter of Fact and Experience in brute Beasts; which, say they, are allowed to be meer Matter, and yet have some degree of Sense and Perception.
And first I will give a true Notion and Idea of Matter ; whereby it will appear that it has no inherent Faculty of Sense and Perception. And I will offer no other, but what all competent Judges, and even Atheists themselves do allow of ; and which being part of the Epicurean and Democritean Philosophy is providentially one of the best Antidotes against their other impious opinions: as the Oil of Scorpions is said to be against the poison of their Stings. When we frame in our minds any notion of Matter, we conceive nothing else but Extension and Buik; which is impenetrable and divisible and passive ; by which three properties is understood, that any particular quantity of Matter doch hinder all other from intruding into its place, till it felf be removed out of it ; that it may be divided and broke into numerous parts of different sizes and figures, which by various ranking and disposing may produce an immense diversity of Surfaces and
: Textures ;