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necessarily the only ways of perception? Is it not in- PROP. finitely more reasonable to suppose, that this is a mere prejudice arising from custom,* and an attending to bare sense in opposition to reason? For, supposing men had been created only with four senses, and had never known the use of sight, would they not then have had the very same reason to conclude there were but four possible ways of perception, as they have now to fancy that there are but five? and would they not then have thought sight to have been an impossible, chimerical, and merely imaginary power; with absolutely the same reason as they now presume the faculties of immaterial beings to be so ? that is, with no reason at all. One would think, men should be ashamed therefore to be so vain, as, from their own mere negative ignorance, without any appearance or pretence of any positive argument, todispute againstthe possibility of the being of things, which (exceptingonly that they cannot frame tothem. selves an image or notion of them,) there is a concurrence of all the reasons in the world to persuade them that such things really are. And then, as to the difficulty of conceiving the nature and manner of the union between soul and body, we know altogether as much of that as we do of the nature of the union or cohesion of the infinitely divisible parts of body, which yet no man doubts of. And therefore our ignorance can be no more an argument against the truth of the one, than it is a bar to our belief of the other.
Secondly. It is possible to infinite power to indue a creature with the power of beginning motion. This is constantly denied by all atheists; because
* Has tamen imagines (mortuorum, ] loqui volebant; quod fieri nec sine lingua, nec sine palato, nec sine faucium, laterum, pulmonum vi et figura potest. Nihil enim animo, (speaking of such as attributed to spirits the same power, and senses only, as they saw men indued with in this present state,) videre poterant: ad oculos omnia referebant. Magni autem ingenii est, revocare mentem a sensibus, et cogitationem a consuetudine abducere.-Cicero Tuscul.
PROP. the consequence of it is a liberty of will, of which
I shall have occasion to speak presently. But that Of induing the proposition is true, I thus prove.
power creatures of beginning motion be in itself a possible thing, power of and also possible to be communicated ; then a beginning creature may be indued with that power. Now,
that the power of beginning motion is in itself a possible thing, I have already proved, by showing there must necessarily be somewhere a power of beginning motion ; because otherwise motion must have been from eternity, without any external cause of its being ; and yet it is a thing that has no necessity of existence in its own nature. So that, if there be not somewhere a principle or power of beginning motion, motion must exist, without any cause or reason at all of its existence either within itself, or from without, which, as I have before shown, is an express contradiction. Wherefore, a principle or power of beginning motion there must of neces. sity be somewhere or other; and consequently it is not in itself an impossible thing. I add; as a power of beginning motion is not in itself an impossible thing, because it must of necessity be in the supreme cause; so neither is it impossible to be communicated to created beings. The reason is plain ; because no powers are impossible to be communicated, but only those which imply self-existence and absolute independency. That a subordinate being should be self-existent or absolutely independent, is indeed a contradiction; but it is no contradiction ; to suppose it indued with
power whatsoever, separate from these. know, the maintainers of fate are very confident that a power of beginning motion is nothing less than being really independent, or being able to act independently, from any superior cause. But this is only a childish trifling with words. For a power acting independently in this sense, communicated at the pleasure of the supreme cause, and continued only during the same good pleasure, is no more a real and absolute independency, than the power of
existing, (which I suppose the defenders of fate are PROP. not so fond to make a continual creation, as they are to make the power of self-motion a continual external impulse ;) or than the power of being conscious, or any other power whatsoever, can be said to imply independency. In reality, it is altogether as hard to conceive how consciousness, or the power of perception, should be communicated to a created being, as how the power of self-motion should be so, unless perception be nothing else but a mere passive reception of impulse, which I suppose is as clear that it is not, as that a triangle is not a sound, or that a globe is not a colour. Yet no man doubts, but that
. he himself, and all others, have truly a power of perception. And therefore in like manner, (however hard it may be to conceive, as to the manner of it, yet since, as has been now proved, it can never be shown to be impossible and expressly contradictory, that a power of self-motion should be communicated,)I suppose no considering man can doubt but that he actually has also a power of self-motion. For the arguments drawn from continual experience and observation, to prove that we have such a power, are so strong that nothing less than a strict demonstration that the thing is absolutely impossible, and that it implies an express contradiction, can make us in the least doubt that we have it not. We have all the same experience, the same marks and evidence exactly, of our having really a power of self-motion, as the most rigid fatalist could possibly contrive to require, if he was to make the supposition of a man's being indued with that power. There is no one thing that such a man can imagine ought to follow from the supposition of self-motion, which every man does not now as much feel and actually experience in himself, as it can possibly be imagined any man would do, supposing the thing were true. Wherefore to affirm, notwithstanding all this, that the spirits, by which a man moves the members of his body, and ranges the thoughts of his mind, are themselves moved wholly by air, or subtler matter inspired into the
PROP. body, and that again by other external matter, and X.
so on, as the wheels of a clock are moved by the weights, and those weights by gravitation, and so on, without a man's having the least power, by any principle within himself, to think any one thought, or impel his own spirits, in order to move any member of his body. All this is so contrary to experience and the reason of things, that, unless the idea of selfmotion were in itself as evidently and clearly à contradiction, as that two and two should make five, a man ought to be ashamed to talk at that rate. Nay, a man of any considerable degree of modesty would even in that case be almost tempted rather to doubt the truth of his faculties, than take upon him to assert one such intolerable absurdity, merely for the avoiding of another. There are some, indeed, who, denying men the power of beginning motion, would yet seem in some manner to account for their actions, by allowing them a power of determining motion. But this also is a mere ludicrous trifling with words ; for if that power of determining motion be no other in a man than that which is in a stone to reflect a ball one certain way, this is just nothing at all. But if he has a power of determining the motion of his spirits any way, as he himself pleases, this is in all respects the very same as the power of beginning motion.
Thirdly, it is possible to infinite power to indue possibility a creature with freedom or liberty of will. It might a creature suffice that this is at once proved by the same arwith free. guments, and in the same method, as I just now liberty of proved self-motion, or a power of beginning motion,
to be possible, viz. because liberty must of necessity be in the supreme cause ; (as is at large proved in the ninth general head of this discourse ;) and therefore cannot be impossible and contradictory in the nature of the thing itself, and because it implies no contradiction to suppose it communicated, as being no harder to conceive than the fore-mentioned power of beginning motion ; and because the arguments drawn from experience and observation are stronger
on the one side of the question than those ari- PROP. sing merely from the difficulty of our apprehending the thing, can be on the other. But forasmuch as this is the question of the greatest concern of all in matters both of religion and human life, and both Spinoza and Mr Hobbes, and their followers, have with great noise and confidence denied it; I shall therefore (not contenting myself with this,) endeavour to show, moreover, in particular, the weakness of the principal arguments by which these men have pretended to demonstrate, that there cannot possibly be any such power in man as a liberty of will. As to the propriety of the terms, whether the will be properly the seat of liberty or not?-is not now to the purpose to inquire ; the question being, not where the seat of liberty is, but whether there be at all in man any such power, as a liberty of choice and of determining his own actions, or on the contrary, his actions be all as necessary as the motions of a clock? The arguments by which Spinoza and Mr Hobbes have attempted to maintain this latter side of the question, are all plainly reducible to these two.
1st. That, since every effect must needs be produced by some cause, therefore, as every motion in a body must have been caused by the impulse of some other body, and the motion of that by the impulse of a third; so every volition, or determination of the will of man, must needs be produced by some external cause, and that in like manner be the effect of some third ; and consequently, that there cannot possibly be any such thing in nature as liberty or freedom of will.
2dly. That thinking, and all its modes, as willing and the like, are qualities or affections of matter ; and, consequently, since it is manifest that matter has not in itself a power of beginning motion, or giving itself any manner of determination whatsoever, there. fore it is evident likewise, that it is impossible there should be any such thing as freedom of will.