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know that it is so. We have the ideas of matter and thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know, whether any mere material being thinks, or no; it being

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* Against that assertion of Mr. Locke, that possibly we shall never be able to know whether any mere material being thinks or no, &c. the bishop of Worcester argues thus: if this be true, then, for all that we can know by our ideas of matter and thinking, matter may have a power thinking and, if this hold, then it is impossible to prove a spiritual substance in us from the idea of thinking: for how can we be assured by our ideas, that God hath not given such a power of thinking to matter so disposed as our bodies are? especially since it is said, "That, in respect "of our notions, it is not much more remote from our comprehension to "conceive that God can, if he pleases, superadd to our idea of matter a "faculty of thinking, than that he should superadd to it another sub"C stance, with a faculty of thinking." Whoever asserts this can never prove a spiritual substance in us from a faculty of thinking, because he cannot know, from the idea of matter and thinking, that matter so disposed cannot think: and he cannot be certain, that God hath not framed the matter of our bodies so as to be capable of it.

To which Mr. Locke answers thus: here your lordship argues, that upon my principles it cannot be proved that there is a spiritual substance in us. To which, give me leave, with submission, to say, that I think it may be proved from my principles, and I think I have done it; and the proof in my book stands thus: First, we experiment in ourselves thinking. The idea of this action or mode of thinking is inconsistent with the idea of self-subsistence, and therefore has a necessary connexion with a support or subject of inhesion: the idea of that support is what we call substance; and so from thinking experimented in us, we have a proof of a thinking substance in us, which in my sense is a spirit. Against this your lordship will argue, that, by what I have said of the possibility that God may, if he pleases, superadd to matter a faculty of thinking, it can never be proved that there is a spiritual substance in us, because, upon that supposition, it is possible it may be a material substance that thinks in us. I grant it; but add, that the general idea of substance being the same every where, the modification of thinking, or the power of thinking, joined to it, makes it a spirit, without considering what other modifications it has, as, whether it has the modification of solidity, or no. As, on the other side, substance, that has the modification of solidity, is matter, whether it has the modification of thinking, or no. And therefore, if your lordship means by a spiritual, an immaterial substance, I grant I have not proved, nor upon my principles can it be proved, (your lordship meaning, as I think you do, demonstratively proved) that there is an immaterial substance in us that thinks. Though I presume, from what I have said about this supposition of a system of matter, thinking (which there demonstrates that God is immaterial) will prove it in the highest degree

+ Essay of Human Understanding. B. 4. C. 3. §. 6.

In his first letter to the bishop of Worcester.
B. 4. C. 10. §. 16.

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probable, that the thinking substance in us is immaterial. But your lordship thinks not probability enough, and by charging the want of demonstration upon my principles, that the thinking thing in us is immaterial, your lordship seems to conclude it demonstrable from principles of philosophy. That demonstration I should with joy receive from your lordship, or any one. For though all the great ends of morality and religion are well enough secured without it, as I have shown*, yet it would be a great advance of our knowledge in nature and philosophy.

To what I have said in my book, to show that all the great ends of religion and morality are secured barely by the immortality of the soul, without a necessary supposition that the soul is immaterial, I crave leave to add, that immortality may and shall be annexed to that, which in its own nature is neither immaterial nor immortal, as the apostle expressly declares in these words, + For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Perhaps my using the word spirit for a thinking substance, without excluding materiality out of it, will be thought too great a liberty, and such as deserves censure, because I leave immateriality out of the idea I make it a sign of. I readily own, that words should be sparingly ventured on in a sense wholly new; and nothing but absolute necessity can excuse the boldness of using any term in a sense whereof we can produce no example. But, in the present case, I think I have great authorities to jus tify me. The soul is agreed, on all hands, to be that in us which thinks. And he that will look into the first book of Cicero's Tusculan questions, and into the sixth book of Virgil's Æneid, will find, that these two great men, who of all the Romans best understood philosophy, thought, or at least did not deny the soul to be a subtile matter, which might come under the name of aura, or ignis, or æther, and this soul they both of them called spiritus in the notion of which, it is plain, they included only thought and active motion, without the total exclusion of matter. Whether they thought right in this, I do not say; that is not the question; but whether they spoke properly, when they called an active, thinking, subtile sub. stance, out of which they excluded only gross and palpable matter, spi. ritus, spirit. I think that nobody will deny, that if any among the Romans can be allowed to speak properly, Tully and Virgil are the two who may most securely be depended on for it: and one of them speaking of the soul, says, Dum spiritus hos reget artus; and the other, Vita continetur corpore et spiritu. Where it is plain, by corpus, he means (as generally every where) only gross matter that may be felt and handled, as appears by these words, Si cor, aut sanguis, aut cerebrum est animus: certe, quoniam est corpus, interibit cum reliquo corpore; si anima est, fortè dissipabitur; si ignis, extinguetur, Tusc. Quæst. 1. 1. c. 11. Here Cicero opposes corpus to ignis and anima, i. e. aura, or breath. And the foundation of that his distinction of the soul, from that which he calls corpus or body, he gives a little lower in these words, Tanta ejus tenuitas ut fugiat aciem, ib. c. 22. Nor was it the heathen world alone that had this notion of spirit; the most enlightened of all the ancient people of God, Solomon himself, speaks after the same manner, ‡ that which befalleth the sons of men, befalleth beasts, even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other, yea, they have all one spirit. So I

* B. 4. C. 3. § 6.

+ 1 Cor. xv. 53. † Eccl. iii. 19.
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translate the Hebrew word n here, for so I find it translated the very next verse but one; who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast which goeth down to the earth? In which places it is plain, that Solomon applies the word m, and our translators of him the word spirit, to a substance, out of which materiality was not wholly excluded, unless the spirit of a beast that goeth downwards to the earth be immaterial. Nor did the way of speaking in our Saviour's time vary from this: St. Luke tells us +, that when our Saviour, after his resurrection, stood in the midst of them, they were affrighted, and supposed that they had seen wa, the Greek word which always answers spirit in English; and so the translators of the Bible render it here, they supposed that they had seen a spirit. But our Saviour says to them, Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have. Which words of our Saviour put the same distinction between body and spirit, that Cicero did in the place above-cited, viz. That the one was a gross compages that could be felt and handled; and the other such as Virgil describes the ghost or soul of Anchises.

Ter conatus ibi collo dare brachia circum,
Ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago,

Par levibus ventis volucrique simillima somno ‡.

I would not be thought hereby to say, that spirit never does signify a purely immaterial substance. In that sense the scripture, I take it, speaks, when it says, God is a spirit; and in that sense I have used it; and in that sense I have proved from my principles that there is a spiritual substance; and am certain that there is a spiritual immaterial substance: which is, I humbly conceive, a direct answer to your lordship's question in the beginning of this argument, viz. How we come to be certain that there are spiritual substances, supposing this principle to be true, that the simple ideas by sensation and reflection are the sole matter and foundation of all our reasoning? But this hinders not, but that if God, that infinite, omnipotent, and perfectly immaterial Spirit, should please to give to a system of very subtile matter, sense and motion, it might with propriety of speech be called spirit, though materiality were not excluded out of its complex idea. Your lordship proceeds, It is said indeed elsewhere, that it is repugnant to the idea of senseless matter, that it should put into itself sense, perception, and knowledge. But this doth not reach the present case; which is not what matter can do of itself, but what matter prepared by an omnipotent hand can do. And what certainty can we have that he hath not done it? We can have none from the ideas, for those are given up in this case, and consequently we can have no certainty, upon these principles, whether we have any spiritual substance within us or not.

Your lordship in this paragraph proves, that, from what I say, we can have no certainty whether we have any spiritual substance in us or not. If by spiritual substance your lordship means an immaterial substance in us, as you speak, I grant what your lordship says is true, that it cannot upon these principles be demonstrated. But I must crave leave to say at the same time, that upon these principles it can be proved, to the highest degree of probability. If by spiritual substance your lordship means a thinking substance, I must dissent from your lordship, and say,

Eccl. iii. 21. + Ch. xxiv. 37. Lib. VI. B. 4. C. 1p. §. 5.

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that we can have a certainty, upon my principles, that there is a spiritual substance in us. In short, my lord, upon my principles, i. e. from the idea of thinking, we can have a certainty that there is a thinking substance in us; from hence we have a certainty that there is an eternal thinking substance. This thinking substance, which has been from eternity, I have proved to be immaterial. This eternal, immaterial, thinking substance, has put into us a thinking substance, which, whether it be a material or immaterial substance, cannot be infallibly demonstrated from Our ideas; though from them it may be proved, that it is to the highest degree probable that it is immaterial.

Again, the bishop of Worcester undertakes to prove from Mr. Locke's principles, that we may be certain, "That the first eternal thinking Be"ing, or omnipotent Spirit cannot, if he would, give to certain systems "of created sensible matter, put together as he sees fit, some degrees of "sense, perception, and thought."

To which Mr. Locke has made the following answer in his third letter. Your first argument I take to be this; that according to me, the know. ledge we have being by our ideas, and our idea of matter in general being a solid substance, and our idea of body a solid extended figured substance; if I admit matter to be capable of thinking, I confound the idea of matter with the idea of a spirit to which I answer, No, no more than I confound the idea of matter with the idea of an horse, when I say that matter in general is a solid extended substance; and that an horse is a material animal, or an extended solid substance with sense and spontaneous motion.

The idea of matter is an extended solid substance; wherever there is such a substance, there is matter, and the essence of matter, whatever other qualities, not contained in that essence, it shall please God to superadd to it. For example, God creates an extended solid substance, without the superadding any thing else to it, and so we may consider it at rest: to some parts of it he superadds motion, but it has still the essence of matter: other parts of it he frames into plants, with all the excellencies of vegetation, life, and beauty, which is to be found in a rose or peach tree, &c. above the essence of matter, in general, but it is still but matter: to other parts he adds sense and spontaneous motion, and those other properties that are to be found in an elephant. Hitherto it is not doubted but the power of God may go, and that the properties of a rose, a peach or an elephant, superadded to matter, change not the properties of matter; but -matter is in these things matter still. But if one venture to go one step farther and say, God may give to matter thought, reason, and volition, as well as sense and spontaneous motion, there are men ready presently to limit the power of the omnipotent Creator, and tell us he cannot do it; because it destroys the essence, or changes the essential properties of mat. ter. To make good which assertion, they have no more to say, but that thought and reason are not included in the essence of matter. I g grant it; but whatever excellency, not contained in its essence, be superadded to matter, it does not destroy the essence of matter, if it leaves it an extended solid substance, wherever that is, there is the essence of matter: and if every thing of greater perfection, superadded to such a substance, destroys the essence of matter, what will become of the essence of matter in a plant or an animal, whose properties far exceed those of a mere extended solid substance?

But it is farther urged, that we cannot conceive how matter can think. I grant it; but to argue from thence, that God therefore cannot give to X 4

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matter a faculty of thinking, is to say God's omnipotency is limited to a narrow compass, because man's understanding is so; and brings down God's infinite power to the size of our capacities. If God can give no power to any parts of matter, but what men can account for from the essence of matter in general; if all such qualities and properties must destroy the essence, or change the essential properties of matter, which are to our conceptions above it, and we cannot conceive to be the natural conse. quence of that essence; it is plain, that the essence of matter is destroyed, and its essential properties changed, in most of the sensible parts of this our system. For it is visible, that all the planets have revolutions about certain remote centres, which I would have any one explain, or make con. ceivable by the bare essence, or natural powers depending on the essence of matter in general, without something added to that essence, which we cannot conceive; for the moving of matter in a crooked line, or the attraction of matter by matter, is all that can be said in the case; either of which it is above our reach to derive from the essence of matter or body in general; though one of these two must unavoidably be allowed to be superadded in this instance to the essence of matter in general. The omnipotent Creator advised not with us in the making of the world, and his ways are not the less excellent, because they are past finding out.

In the next place, the vegetable part of the creation is not doubted to be wholly material; and yet he that will look into it, will observe excellencies and operations in this part of matter, which he will not find contained in the essence of matter in general, nor be able to conceive how they can be produced by it. And will he therefore say, that the essence of matter is destroyed in them, because they have properties and operations not contained in the essential properties of matter as matter, nor explicable by the essence of matter in general?

Let us advance one step farther, and we shall in the animal world meet with yet greater perfections and properties, no ways explicable by the essence of matter in general. If the omnipotent Creator had not superadded to the earth, which produced the irrational animals, qualities for surpassing those of the dull dead earth, out of which they were made, life, sense, and spontaneous motion, nobler qualities than were before in it, it had still remained rude senseless matter; and if to the individuals of each species he had not superadded a power of propagation, the species had perished with those individuals: but by these essences or properties of each species, superadded to the matter which they were made of, the essence or properties of matter in general were not destroyed or changed, any more than any thing that was in the individuals before was destroyed or changed by the power of generation, superadded to them by the first benediction of the Almighty.

In all such cases, the superinducement of greater perfections and nobler qualities destroys nothing of the essence or perfections that were there before: unless there can be showed a manifest repugnancy between them: but all the proof offered for that, is only, that we cannot conceive how matter, without such superadded perfections, can produce such effects; which is, in truth, no more than to say, matter in general, or every part of matter, as matter, has them not; but is no reason to prove, that God, if he pleases, cannot superadd them to some parts of matter, unless it can be proved to be a contradiction, that God should give to some parts of matter qualities and perfections, which matter in general has not; though we cannot conceive how matter is invested with them, or how it operates

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