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in the preceding Discourse; we shall now Thew in the third place,
3. That, though we should allow the Atheists, that Matter and Motion may have been from everlasting; yet if (as they now suppose) there were once no Sun nor Starrs nor Earth nor Planets; but the Particles, that now constitute them, were diffused in the mundane Space in manner of a Chaos without any concretion and coalition; those dispersed Particles could never of themselves by any kind of Natural motion, whether calld Fortuitous or Mechanical, have conven'd into this present or any other like Frame of Heaven and Earth.
I. And first as to that ordinary Cant of illiterate and puny Atheists, the fortuitous or casual concourse of Atoms, that compendious and easy Dispatch of the most important and difficult affair, the Formation of a World; (besides that in our next undertaking it will be refuted.
all along ) I shall now brieflv dispatch it, from Serm. V. what hath been fornierly said concerning the
true notions of Fortune and Chance. Whereby it is evident, that in the Atheistical Hypothesis of the World's production, Fortuitous and Mechanical must be the self-fame thing. Because Fortune is no real entity nor physical essence, but a mere relative signification, de
noting only this; That such a thing said to fall out by Fortune, was really effected by material and necessary Causes; but the Perfon, with regard to whom it is called Fortuitous, was ignorant of those Causes or their tendencies, and did not design nor foresee such an effect. This is the only allowable and genuine notion of the word Fortune. But thus to affirm, that the World was made fortuitously, is as much as to say, That before the World was made, there was some Intelligent Agent or Spectator; who designing to do something else, or expecting that lomething else would be done with the Materials of the World, there were some occult and unknown motions and tendencies in Matter, which mechanically formed the World beside his design or expectation. Now the Atheists, we may presume, will be loth to assert a fortuitous Formation in this proper iense and meaning; whereby they will make Understanding to be older than Heaven and Earth. Or if they should so assert it; yet, unless they will affirm that the Intelligent Agent did dispose and direct the inanimate Matter, (which is what we would bring them to) they must still leave their Atoms to their mechanical Affections ; not able to make one step toward the pro
duction of a World beyond the necessary Laws of Motion. It is plain then, that Fortune, as to the matter before us, is but a fynonymous word with Nature and Necessity. It
remains that we examin the adequate meanSerm. V. ing of Chance ; which properly signifies, That P. 12, 13. all events called Casual, among inanimate Bo
dies, are mechanically and naturally produced according to the determinate figures and textures and motions of those Bodies; with this negation only, That those inanimate Bodies are not conscious of their own operations, nor contrive and cast about how to bring such events to pass. So that thus to say, that the World was made casually by the concourse of Aroms, is no more than to affirm, that the Atoms composed the World mechanically and fatally ; only they were not fenfible of it, nor studied and consider'd about fo noble an undertaking. For if Atoms formed the World according to the essential properties of Bulk, Figure and Motion, they formed it mechanically; and if they formed it mechanically without perception and design, they formed it casually. So that this negation of Consciousness being all that the notion of Chance can add to that of Mechanism; We, that do not dispute this matter with the Athe
ifts, nor believe that Atoms ever acted by Counsel and Thought, may have leave to confider the several names of Fortune and Chance and Nature and Mechanism, as one and the fame Hypothefis. Wherefore once for all to overthrow all possible Explications which Atheists have or may allign for the formation of the World, we will undertake to cvince this following Propofition:
II. That the Atoms or Particles which now conftitute Heaven and Earth, being once feparate and diffused in the Mundanę Space, like the supposed Chaos, could never without a God by their Mechanical affe&tions have convened into this present Frame of Things or any other like it.
Which that we may perform with the greater clearness and conviction; it will be necessary, in a discourse about the Formation of the World, to give you a brief account of fome of the most principal and systematical Phanomena, that occurr in the World now that it is formed.
(1.) The most confiderable Phanomenon belonging to Terrestrial Bodies is the general action of Gravitation, whereby All known Bodies in the vicinity of the Earth do tend and press toward its Center; not only such as arc.
sensibly and evidently Heavy, but even those that are comparatively the Lighteit, and even in their proper place, and natural Elements, (as they usually speak) as Air gravitates even in Air and Water in Water. This hath been demonstrated and experimentally proved beyond contradiction, by several ingenious Per
sons of the present Age, but by none so, perPhyli spicuously and copiously and accurately, as, comExp. by the Honourable Founder of this Lecture Hydro- in his incomparable Treatises of the Air and doxes.* Hydrostaticks. il l !
(2.) Now this is the constant Property of Gravitation ; That the weight of all Bodies around the Earth is ever proportional to the Quantity of their Matter: As for instance, a Pound weight (examin'd Hydrostatically) of all kinds of Bodies, though of the most different forms and textures, doth always contain an equal quantity of folid Mass or cor
poreal Substance. This is the ancient Doctrine Lucret. of the Epicurean Physiology, then and since
very probably indeed, but yet precariously alserted: But it is lately demonstrated and put
beyond controversy by that very excellent Newton and divine Theorist Mr. Isaac Newton, to whose Natur. most admirable fagacity and industry we shall Minh. lib. frequently be obliged in this and the follow3. prop.6. ing Discourse.