Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 297

This is a reproduction of a library book that was digitized

by Google as part of an ongoing effort to preserve the


information in books and make it universally accessible.

http://books.google.com
m9
.stev/aut.
1, London.

^ I
' WM /.

|4218. Toland's (John) Nazarenus, or Jewish, Gentile, and Ma


hometan Christianity, 5s. ib. 1718.
4219. Another Copy, fine paper, 7s. 6d. ib. 1718.
4220. Tolandi (Joannis) Pantheisticon, seu Formula celebrandæ So- .
dalitatis Socraticæ, morocco, £l. 11s. 6d. Cosmopoli, 1720.
" None of Toland's Works abound so much with impiety as the present,
nay to such an extreme is it carried, that the very Libertines whom Ke
intended to gratify were disgusted."—De Bute.—There were only a few
copies W. r/' /£"/1iZ/> S &/t /cVS

/,,„/,.,
:L.::± U /—
\J
1 A ^—

7si4/J U<y? 2-u^Zrv ja £? t/w/ 777 'ptJtfM^ '/W720J&

?c/j> /iwrwrpr? ?^; ?/v% 4?uf J/tvcf vof


A ^u^ ^^ vy? jsy w? 'frwymp 6x7*4 'vy^?^

f77??j° ^ajwj ' ?2 r7^^ ?y i*7*?, fi1 T7"^ >z?°/


™*y. — *Tn'7"fy ' :/r76 'fy W
ft su-C//ci/cr?i I &/r;j4*y .
fa. /. p. 3 J, .

I is. a

*►

is?* Jif-i^ J^
LETTERS
T O

SERENA: ■m

CONTAINING, £?( , 1 ,3)


I. The Origin and Force of Prejudices. ^V-. ■ ■ W
II. The History of the Soul's Immortality among 'ft^^M
Heathens.
III. The Origin of Idolatry, and Reasons of Heathenism.
As also,
IV A Letter to a Gentleman in Holland, mowing
SPINOSA's System of Philosophy to be without
any Principle or Foundation.
V. Motion essential to Matter:, in Answer to some
Remarks by a Noble Friend on the Confutation os
SPINOSA.
v To all which is Prefix'd,
VI. A Preface •, being a Letter to a Gentleman in Lon
don, sent together with the foregoing Dissertations,
and declaring the several Occasions of writing them.
By Mr. Toland,

Opinionum Commenta delet Dies,


Naturæ Judicia confirmar. Ck. de Nat. Deor. I. :.

LONDON.,
Printed for Bernard Lintot at the Middle-Temple Gate in Fleet-
Jrect. M.DCC.IV.
T r r ,*. •-» r™ 9'
'J
A' _■ ,1
'-

, • f !

. : i i . . • :
; .-o-.-.

: : '.":• •: ' -y

. ' ~t * . .

<■ >

.. ' ; us .■ •:
f l.i- . i
•.:.:J« ...

c.
Advertisement concerning the Faults of
the Press.
Notwithstanding the Care httt been us'd in correcting thit
Biok, yet the Reader must with bit Pen amend at follows.
In the Preface, to avoid Ambiguity, for Mennonite read Menno-
nist. Page 24. line 3. read Ionic before Philosophers. The
Marginal Nitein p. 41. mark} thm (2) ought to be refer'd to 1. 9.
if p. jo. P. 7 $. /. i(5. for eighth read seventh. In p. 90. 1.
13. after the wirdMinds, add this Period : From the lame Ori
ginal, and in the same manner, the Poets did vastly increase
the Catalogue of the Gods, apjstrophing as such not only the
Winds, Meteors, Clouds, Rivers, Fountains, Hills, and all
Parts of the Universe ; but likewise Facultys, Paflions,
Habits, Accidents, and every thing they cou'd express by one
word, or which they cou'd address as a Person j and they pre
sently made it a God or a Goddess, as the Word happen'd to
be of the Masculine or Feminine Gender, which was all the
Rule they observ'd in Deitys of so little consequence. Pag.
103. /. lo.foron read over. P. 127./. 23. read many before
Mediators. P. ij^. former read mere. P. 184./. 2. after
Relations, read the Results of peculiar internal Dispositions, or.
P. 199. I. 20. blot out of before Action. P. 22$. /. 29. for
little read stinted. In the Notes, consequati k put for conse-
quuti in the last Line of p. 80, at i it put for it in the first Line
ofp. 49. and perhaps there may be found a few others like these, not
capable to perplex an inteSigent and candid Reader, the Greek, *
printed without Accents, which are a useless, troublesom, and no
very antient Invention ; nor fhou'd there have bin any Abbreviations
or Ligatures, had the Author's DireSions bin observ'd, there being
no more Reason or Authority for such things in the Greek, than in
the Latin, to speak, nothing of the Beauty of the Page.
. '* I \"V ^*

C )'

.' * »

» •*, :: r
•<:\

T HE C 1 • ;'

•x<
PR E FACE;
Being a Letter to a Gentle
man in London, sent to
gether with the following
Dissertations, and contain
ing the several Occasions
of writing them.

I you insinuate that consider-


I ing the Place I am in, and
M the Company I keep, 1 must
rued* foyget my 'Books as "toB as my Ac-
a quaintance ;
The Preface.
ijuamtance • which you kindly endea
vour to excuse, tho not wholly to
approve. M for observing no re>
gular Correspondence, 1 believe you
receiVd Satisfatlion in my last, nor
are you to txpefi any thing more
from me on that Subjett : wkre-
fore now, instead of the public News
or the private Intrigues of this part
of the World, la fend you some ac
count of my oT»n Studys, 'Its, I
readily confess, one of the baryenest
and least entertaining Themes 1 cou'd
take ; but you may thank your self
for the Trouble, at 1 hope you'll ac
quit me from the Choice. And, first
of all, I must frankly say, that you
are Very unjust to this Country, and
that all your Comparisons between
f°&£y dir and cloudy Understandings,
between flow Motions and dull Con
ceptions, between immense Wilds and
Marshes and indigested Imaginations
or immethodml Qommon places, are
altogether
The Preface.
altogether groundless : nor needs there
any other Cen/ure of your Partiality,
than to put you in mind of those
great Names for War and Peace,
for Arts and Letters, which this
Country ha* in all times producd,
with which it is adornd at presents
and with many of Tbbom you might
haVe agreeably conversed at London,
were you less Conceited of your own.
Countrymen , or had you a greater
regard to Strangers. For there's but
too much reason for the QomplaintS)
which most Foreigners make of the
Qoldnefs aud Negleft they commonly
meet in England, and "Very often
from those to Upborn abroad they have
tin most friendly and obliging*

i. T HIS Town, where 1 remain


at present, seems to be the Metropolis
of Politeness and Gallantry. As be*
ing the Seat of the government, you
may be sure the most refind Wits,
a i tht
The Preface.
the'- tnojl ftining . Beautys, and il*
tnofl Jplendid Equipages make a Figure
hoe ; besides ** perpetual Concourse
of Strangers, ^ Men of the firjl Vi-
fiinBion inx their own, Qountrys,* whose
Curiosity excited, and -whose Fortunes
enabl'd 'em Vo fee. otha- Men and
Manners. . •■■7h<y they , abound "with
true and useful IQrowledg, yet J own
to you,- that. tlyert's little\to be found
of.\whac '.the mistaken World is apt to
honor with the name of Learning ;
and tbo tlxy hiVe Variety of excellent
Books, yet booh/I* Tonrs.for Wis
dom are the >?rioJl contemptible fort
of Animals among 'em. To judg of
things here by Appearance, there s but
one continud Scene of LoW dnd Gay^
ety among the Young and the Fair,
temper 'd indeed, .but not \ interrupted
iiy the Men of Politics and Employx
mhit, A hafly Passenger, \ot\ one
that cannot produce himself into all
Companys,- fees ^10 more j and knofts
*'i * * less
The Preface!.
less than he did at homey"1 bf giving
his Friends, a' tvrow
o
Account. But
believe me, Sl%y I neVer mit in
any- Tart with choicer or more nu
merous Collections of 'Booh in private;
LibrarySy with freer Inquirers- into the
Series of History and the Secrets of
Naiurey nor with any\ (ma word)
who better mderstood jh^ Art of
making Sfady-a help Jo Conversationt
of reading* to good purpose by practising
the World.- of diftinvuifhbiz. Pedantry
from twwjiw^ and CtfefflW) from
r.tv.

X\H. 11S^ such a tpiaee you may


imagine it:, musk be my town fault, if
1 negleB- those Studys, fo which you
know me so much addic~led,i*a)iA- which
1 may rather improve than abandon by
such Variety 6f ' diverting Intervals.
1 .assure- you, . that wUlt 1 tnjoy Heakb
■wtd Liberty, ho« Consideration r shall be
-able to tdebmX\^m from1 ) i.the use
;r.Mj a 3 of
0
The Preface.
ef good 'Books, wherein J am pe/r
Juaded the only persett Pleasure is
to be found : for tho I loVe a great
Many other Pleasures natural to Afanf
and that 1 temperately indulge my self
in all that are lawful, yet 1 must
agree with common Experience, thap
in every one of them there's always a
Jb- mixture of Pain, either in she Ex
pectation, in the Enjoyptent, or in the
Consequences; whereas in going oVer
an entertaining 'Book, the Reader
tafls an absolute Satisfaction without
any disturbing Allay, unmindful of the
paft, not sollicitom for the future, and
wholly taken Up with his present Hap
piness. I haVe therefore the Power
and the Will to pursue my former
Studys, as well as many Occasions to
increase that firiowledg, which is the
Ornament and Perfection of our Na
ture : but you are to impute the
small advances 2 make under such
favourable Circumstances, not ty
t

The Preface:
want of Inclination, but of Qapa-
city.

4. THO I have le/s business


than some People think, or at least re
port3 yet when 1 first came hither, J
did resolve to confine my /elf to %ead-
mgand ConVerse? without ever yield
ing to the Temptation of writing so much
as a familiar Letter : but 1 was quickly
obligd to take otkr Measures, by the
repeated Desires of a Correspondent, to
whom it's not in my power to deny any
thing. The Person lives on this fide
the Sta, tho not in this Town ; and,
what Will further mortify your Par
tiality, it is a fair Lady, who was
pleas d to aik my Opinion concerning the
Subjects of the three first T)ifferta-
turns its the Tacquet annext, and which'j
1 fend to convince you that I was not
quite so idle as you thought. She's
Wife to 4 Man of conspicuous Dignity,
which it all that imports you to know
24 at
s
The Preface.
at. present of . her , ferfon* .,

y NO IV do I fee the inmost


Thoughts of your £<>«/, m well 04 if
1 had the managing • of all its.^eights
and Springs, oruhad the Ve$ forming,
of your r£raip. , sou may -jt member
how;, fften I\tpofcjhe part- of;ytbt other
$ex -againji, your ^.<Prejuriess ^ratjjer
than your Judgment. , 1 wfts cjptfcious}
it's true, of tto pointss qf^my. Cause y
hut, witb^t^^itj^lcou'd\ defend. a■

only drawn from .the habitual jb'tf-


courje of. your (j^P^nions^from^ tpe.
ordinary bad Education ofUfyfntnt 0£
from the famous Ladys ofs that Jftace
where you kaf>pen[dto be fasi brefy artel
with Tobom you hdd- a more intimate
/icquaiptance, than with any- hkAfotyer
Character, either since , or^JuMe,
Mow often pas I forc4\io Qdefqfi$
TJie Preface.
of our Sex use to be, who are not
cultivated and poltsbt by Conyerfation
or Letters ; and that the Wives and
Daughters of such Teasants haVe ge
nerally more Wit and Cupiiugbi,^
greater /hare of 'Breeding .qnj&\Sqg*--t
city ? Whether the Exclusion $f\ Women
from Learning be the Effect of inve
terate Custom, or proceeds from De
sign in the Men, fliall be no Inquiry
of mine : but if a Woman once in
her Life happens to pry into 'Books,
and that upon this Jhe grows trouble-
fom, affected, or ridiculous {as 'tis a
thousand to one she does not) what, a
clutter do we make about tins matter,
how-, ready are we to improve it against
their natural Genius, and what Tri-r
umphs are we decreeing to the Superi
ority of our own Understandings ?
Whereas, God knows, this is nothing
^4i/ to the purpose,, or at most but
th^Jame thing smith the Impertinence\
fp/trsp& Pedantry of thofcMfr
The Preface.
who are only Sntatterers in Learning,
superficial Readers of 'Books, the
Jworn Heralds of Authors and Edi
tionsy Collectors of hard or high-
founding Words and crabbed Thra/es,
eager Hunters after (Rules and Ety-
piologys, or mere Scholars, and there
fore mere Ajfes. 1 won't repeat what
I ievimflrated to you ( for I thought
it worth the Tains) about the Parity
of the intclleBual Organs in both Sexes,
and that what puts 'em both on the
fame foot in Discourse of ordinary
"Business {"which is denfd by no body)
makes 'em equally capable of all Im
provements, had they but equally the
fame Advantages of Education, Tra-
Velt Company, and the Management of
affairs. ' ■•"'

6. 1 MIGHT -dispense with the


Trouble of alledging seasons, where
Experience is Jo express of my fUi}
and 'ti$ not likely, that you taVe for*
The Preface.
got some intire Volumes, which I re
commended to your Library, containing
nothing but the Lives of such Women,
among the Antients and the Modems,
<u became fatnous 'u% their own Time,
and deferV'd to have their Names
transmitted to Posterity, for their ad-*
tnirable Writings in Philosophy, Tiiyi'
nity, Morality, arid History, in Verse
and Prose, as well as for their apr
prov'd Skill in Painting, \n Mustek,
and in all the other Arts and Sciences,
in the £onducl of formidable Wars,
and the Administration of Qvil Affairs,
no less than in private Oeconomy.
Diogenes Laertius dedi
cates to a Lady the History of the Opt*
nionsaswell as the Lives of the antient
Philosophers ; and therefore We muft
suppose that [he understood their several
Systems, many of 'em extremely intri
cate and abstruse, especially those in
vUch fie most delighted, the fhiloso-
physof?L*TQ and Epicurus.
w~ Monsieur
~ ' f
/«J)

The Preface.
Monfienr Menage has written a
whole 'Book of the Female philosophers 3
inscrib'd to a Woman now aliVe, the
Qlebrated Madam D * c i-e r, Daugh
ter to the- great t\hiklogi/l T a.n a-
q/u r'L fi.BER. ^11. the Learned
World ; hat dove Jufi'ke to her excel
lent Worfcs\\and no body questions but
fhes am rffvthe keft. Critics df our
Time iri the Greek ajid^ Latin Jutlmst,
of which the ample Tension Jut I'd- on
her by the Rinch J^ing it truly ,tbe
weakejl Argument, \ considering some
X others that are in his <Pay. I coud
write a Volume to you, my jelf of such
as 1 knsw to be i$ several. Qarts: iof
Europe, without recalling from the Dead
the <Pytbagoric .Ladys of antient Italy.
And among diyers others, in England
(where nevertheless they.anwlfcareeue^
nough) you may find a Lady n.<H pet-
fonattyMQmy^ me\\■-, wfa- is absolute
Miftrifs of- tfawast'uabflKtfle^ Specu-
to'tonsuw tteH.At<$tyslf!b <to^ ;php
.•;:nl\KcM with

.
/5
The Prefaci.
with an \ easy tfurn of Stile and Argu
ment b<*s defend&d Mr. L osc k's Essay >-
of Human Understanding, against
the Letters vf\ an Eminent DiVine.
FJer.'Bdokit intituYd, A Defence of
the. Essay of, Human Understand
ing, written- by Mr. Loc k, -—
lo Answer to some Remarks on
chat Essay, i , ,* -.-.,, . \ m. .. .• • .
i ,v\\ ru ..■..-;. • ..<\v. \
.<
7. F 0 1^ Womens wifely 'govern-
ingrof 'States. and their yaliant'fynduH
in War, 1 heed not go back to the Baby-
fonifin S e M 1 r a M 1 s, -• the "Scythian
T.Ao'.juy Rt s, % (British Bo a-
0. 1 c'e a, or fta tPalhtyrean* Zen o-
b«i A. • ^Tfe^ d>»n& you of M a r-
g are T the famous (Regent of the
Spani/b Netherlands ? And bow often
IpaVe- I known you transported in read
ing the glorious Annals of -our own
most learned LbgUtft, Qtuen E 1 1 2 a-
b e. t h, , > who chose and , diretled her
incomparable Counsellors) and who wisely
.v ' gave
The Preface.
gave hopes to the Papists of her Fa
vor at the first, that (he might after
wards {as she did) with the greater
Security establish the Trote/iant Reli
gion on an unsttaken Foundation ? TI?us
Jhe became in a small time the 7error
of her Enemys, the Darling of her
Subje&s, the Support of her AOys,
and filld aU Europe then Tbith EnVy
and Admiration, as she has since done
the whole World with her 2{ame. At
this Very instant, Queen Anne, "who
graces the fame Ihrone, ancs who pro
poses Elizabeth for her Pat-
tern, abundantly (hows what a Lady is
capable to do. For as she yields to
no Prince whatsoever for the Admi
nistration of common Justice in her Do
minions, in maintaining most powerful
fleets by Sea and numerous Armys by
Landy in heading the Grand Affiance
of so many different Rations and Ter*
suasions against the Tyranny of France,
and providing fit Supplys for the
Wars
The Preface.
Wars in (jermany, Flanders, Spain,
and the Indies : so (Ti>bat seems to be
yet a mightier faA) she keeps fucb
an eVen Balance among the several
contending Partys at borne, that they
are not able, according to their unna
tural 'Dispositions, to oppressor devour
one another ; am\ even fucb as oppose
her juft Title in saVor of a pretended
'Brother, find her as merciful in her
Lenity to their persons, as prudent in
preventing their pernicious 'Defigns.
She has given sufficient Proofs that
she will not be mfiumcd by the Clamors
of 'Bigots from any Quarter, as well
knowing 'em to be the resiless Firebrands
of Society, and the Disturbers of the
public Tranquillity', under pretence of
having greater Zeal than others for
Religion, wf)ile they only push forward
their own particular Piques and De*
figns, 4bo mder the false color of
advancing God's Cause or the Church,
Nevertheless she generously endeavours
to
The Preface.
to quiet And satisfy the JMinds of ah
Jorts of Men, without neglecting the mofl
unreasonable ; which extraordinary Cfood.
ness .( not duly underflood at the begin
ning) did animate the malignant Tarty
tooMftily to show their vindictive and ar
bitrary Spirit, as it drew some peaceable
Murmurings from the Friends of Liberty,
out of Apprehensions for her Majesty's
Safety and the Preservation of the Com
monwealth. 'But her Enemys were
sadly disappointed, and her dutiful Sub
jects seasonably confirmdy when it
appeared to all the World {and to us
here especially) by her Speech at the
opening of this Session of Parliament,
that she wou'd not only govern the
Qhurch and State according to the known
Laws of England, ' but likewise reso
lutely maintain the (Regal Succession in
thefrotefiant Line, with a full and im
partial Toleration to all Protestant Dis
senters. Beres but a short Character
of what's due to the Merits of a Wo
man.
.fy

The Preface.
man, and this under the Disadvantage
of succeeding so great a Man as IQng
William. Or if there Wanted
yet an Example , Sll^, to reconcile
you to Female Ability, 1 "tooud alledg
the Presumptive Heir of our Qrown,
her EleBoral Highness tjte .Princess
Sophia, who for the many Lan
guages she speaks jo perfectly, for
her Vast J^nowledg in History, her
deep Insight in State-Affairs, and nice
understanding of the principal Contro
versy* in Religion and Philosophy, is
highly applauded by most of the Learned
Men in Europe. Now, if after all
these seasons and Inflames, you are
not yet become a stncere Convert,
you shall not oniy he pronoun'd
an obstinate Heretick,' but be deli-
Ver'd over to the Scorn of the Lady*,
as an adequate Punishment of your
CrimtNi ;.'.-, v. • 'o. •;.:>.-$« *■■*• '".■ '• ^ I

I-- bv\T LV.l.fca w:\ll 'BUT


Tbe "PresacX

,8. 'BUT boWmrr'yw conti


nue dtfposd, as to this mattsr, yet
' tit length and KttmbiWf the Vij-
X'mrjts r jetui- l^rtiy^ are^a sufficient
Afif&tr 16»• ttfbat you wrote r>f wyordi-
ihty OccMMtiris in this (Place.' The
Lady 4t whose %\qwst- J^wrote the
mop: of '(?«,• w\ms' no\ QnHiifuations
for comprehending their Contents, no
InMcXhan fht-hpanted Huriofity to pro-
ftiftittirf Questions. , She understands none
Vf {he anttent Languages, /to {he Knows
^ery well ths,- Importance of Attffority,
'and will belteV^no Matter&bf fact with
out it. 'But-^heit -fot^pj^ xqtnt
fake, as to obviate the Scruples of
those -to Tvhotn you may occasionally
jhow these >Letlefc (\mi^oS^^ba'Ve
leave to- Jo\fonoi as • m&nyUas^'yoU
please) I JoaXe addM all Mx*JOrigind
/Words of the Quotations in the Margin,
tho in my Discourse to the Lady they
7ruk+&thc fame cofkinu'd Thred and
/ ' Stile
v -,' .7-/ ///;..: .«rf, \ -.' :>(h'((.:- c
.7 / '■■ ■ ■/•, - / ■- . -v
The Prefac&r
Stile with the reft. Ttis has bin the
laudable Method of the Antients, not-
wubjsana%g this Moderns baVe jo
strangely pei plex'd their Readers with
the odd manner of inserting their Au
thority* : nor did eVer any 'Person pre*
tend that a ^oman Lady of good
Sense cou'd mt read Cicero ot
Human Dutys, or Its Dialogues a-
bout Divination, because he has artful
ly wrought into his own Text and Wordst
Jo many Tafjages of the Greek Wri
ters i whereas no Woman on Earth (and
1>ery few Men) can maty any thing
$, S e l d E n or S A LjM a s i ti s,
without being tir'd and disgusted, which
coWd not fail, e\>en had they written
in the Vulgar Languages. To fay
that Ladys \ ought not to be troulld
with Authority in (Reasoning, is not
only to fay that they are unreasonable
Creatures, but , also that - {he Scripture
itmfi never, fa;quoted to 'em in Religion ;
because l the Men pill not Jet them
b x learn
The Preface.
learn Hebrew, or that they are not
willing themselves to spoil the Soft
ness of their Tronuntidtion by so harp?
a Language.
4

9. YOU may depend upon »V,


S 1^ that my QorreJ[indent is one of
the most curious Persons you eVer
knew, and'Mtjirifs of a. Vast Compass
of finowledg, having read all that's
worth the pdihs iftihe Modern Tongues\
to speak nothing of the best Transla
tions from the antient Originals: and
doubtless yotiftt allow a Lady to admin
those old Me'ntbat are long since dead,
provided she esteems the young Men
that deserve it among the Living.
Tho some may think $E%ETSIA
an imaginary Lady, yet 1 assure you
tn particular that /he's a Very real
Terson, Tt>hicb 1 the rather repent\
both to'createWfiu abetter Opinion
of Women, 'laving so frequently preft
you to marry; and in bopet that you Q
give
«*> '

The Preface.
give such an Education to your Daugh
ters (if ever you have any) as to be
a leading Example to others: for the
Trattice of one Man of Fortune,
Birth, and ^Reputation, has often gone
Very far towards reforming a whole
Country, As for others, 'tis no mat*
ter if they still believe SE^ETS^A
a Romantic Name, like the Marchioness
of Monsieur de Fontenelles
in his Plurality of Worlds : for
theyll be Jo jufl however to acbio'to-
ledg, that if 1 had the making of a
jVoman according to my own Fancy,
she fhoud be quite another thing from
those Vain, giddy, ajfel~ledt pratling,
and gawdy things, who are as cheap as
they are common, and Ti>ho, as they
are nothing but Outside themselves, Va
lue nothing but Outside in others ; being
Strangers to all good Qualitys, Void
of solid Vertue and true SWcrit ; fit
only for an hour's "Diversion or Amuse
ment, but not for the principal Ve-
b j light
.:*.->

The Pressed
fi&ht and indissoluble Society of Life.
"lbk is no more a %eftctlion on the
Women, than on the generality of the
Men , whose Foppery, Singularity ,
Tride, Ignorance, and hunnperance,
mufl jet \m at least on an equal bot-
tunTbith the other Sex. lS[pr ought
this Consideration to heighten your A-
.Version, but your Qaution, since be
ing none of those -lMen, you may rear
jon ably expest your match among the
Women. k \

*? »o. 'B U T leaving the Lady; for


this time, J mufl prepare you a little,
SI^, for reading the Letters anmxt,
by telling you the federal Occasions of
writing them. The SubjeLl of the
~ ' fi'ft Letter is The Origin -and Force
If) &rr t-.. ' c n -V r C ,' ••' ' i r-
•*» c.$ or Prejudices, not from their physical,
/ L a/f / V'V but their moral Causes. The Occasion
• was my showing to SE<i\kNA the
following' faffage os Cicero.
Neither
The Preface*
* Neither Parents ( sqi hr) 6t
Nurse; -or Schoolmaster, or Peer, or
Playhouse depraves our Senses, nor
can the Consent of the Multitude
mislead them : but all forts of
Traps are laid to seduce our Un
derstandings, either by those whom
I just now mentiond, who when
they receive us .tender and igno
rant, insect and bend us as- -they
please ; or else by that Pleasure
which lies so deeply rooted in
every one of our Senses, the pre
tended Follower of Good, - but
the real Mother of- all Evils, cor
rupted by whose Allurements, we
do not sufficiently distinguish those
b 4 things
:--— —

* Sensus nostros non Parens, non Nutrix, non


Magistcr.non Poeta, non Sccna depravat, non mukitudir.is
Consensus abducit : at vero Animis omnes tenduntur
Infidix, vel abiisques modo enunieravi, qui teneros
$£ rudes cum acceperunt,innciunt & fiectunt ut volunt ,
vel ab ea, quæ penitus in omni sensu implicata insidet,
imitatrix Boni voluptas, Malorum autem mater omnium,
cujui
7 ':.
The Preface,
things that are good by Nature,
because they want this Softness
and Titillation. Admiring the mas
terly Strength, and yet natural Easiness
of theje Words) she owrid to me, that
after discovering many Prejudices to be
really Juch, yet fix did not find her self
perfectly curd of their Influence arid fre
quent 'Returns. Wherefore she de
manded my Opinion of this matter in
^ritnigj which I perform d in as brief
a manner as 1 coud, taking that Very
iv (passage for my Text ; showing tJx suc
cessive Growth and Increase of Preju
dices thro eVery flep of our Lives, and
proving that all the Men in the World
are joind in the fame Conspiracy to
deprave the season of every individual
Person. 1 haVe drawn as lively a
PiBure as 1 coud in little, of tk Pr&

irujus Blatiditiis corrupti qui natura bona Cunt, quia


dulcedine hac &seabie carent, iron ccrninius satis. Pi
Leg. lib. i. . . •*
* judtees
/ ,'
The Preface.
indices- in all Qmditions of Men, nor
haVe 1 tax'd any thing but t>hat is
blam'd by every one in others, however
they may indulge their own Mistakes :
and he that will infer, that 1 am against
either Learning, or Religion, or Go
vernment, from what I have cenfu/d
in Schools, UniVerptys, Churches, or
Statesmen, may with as good reason
pretend that 1 am against breeding up
#r nursing of Children, against all Pro
fessions and Irades, against ordinary
Conversation, or living in Society ;
since there's none of these without
their peculiar abuses, and that they
are only such Abuses which 1 dis
prove,

it. THE second Letter contains


The History of the Soul's Immor
tality among the Heathens, and
was written at S EQ^BNAs (Re
quest. After ashing me one day, whe
ther Justice was done so P i a t p in
*
pi

a French'Tranfl.ition'ofm P h m d o,
h^/Y/j / recommended to her, and my
.wintering that Hi Setfe fi?as pretty well
nprejintcd, tbo his Elegance far from
being txprejl ; she wonder d that the
rraSfg ef that 'Book cou'd add any
horce to C a t o's %esolution of laying
! i Violent hands on himself to ai>o'td
falling under the Usurpation of Cw-
s a r ; and much more 'that 'it'edud
z/o transport ClEomUotds 0/
"N AmbrdcU a* to precipitate himself into
l;\
the Sea, the sooner to arrive at that
happy State therein dtfcrib'd : acknow
ledging that she found little cogent
foidhety atidaworldof precarious Sup
positions, throughout that whole ttdioM\
Dialogue. 1 told her that Divine
Authority was -the (weft Anchor of our
Hope, and the best- if not the >6hty De-
monftration of the Soul's Immortality:
h added, that jk* was not strange to
find this Opinion doubted or deny A by
mans mfi Mht Medt-lmsy and ^m&ck d
* matter
The Preface.
matter ossuch Indifference by most of i
'em, considering bow it firft came to
be Known ammg them, and the feebU
seasons they bad to belieVe it '. conclu
ding, that CaTo wou'd not haVv
furVtVd the Liberty of 1(omey bad be
neVer seen the Works of Plato;
that the Story 6/CleombrotUS >
Tt>a* jar from being well attejled] that
some of the Antients themselves laid lit
tle 'stress on the Arguments there put in
the' mouth of Sot k atesj and that
Cicero, vthe profefl'Jdniirer of
P l a "fbj and, particularly' 'of this
'Book, 'cou'd yet giVe his Qnfure of it
in these words : * But I know noc
> how it happens { fays he) that
white I reacM assent ,• but when I
have laid aside the Book, and be
gin to reason with my self about
w > the

* Sed neseioquo modo, dum lego afsentior: cum


- postii Librum, & mccum ipse de Immorcalitate Ani-
raarum
The Preface.
the Soul's Immortality, all that
Affent is vanish 'd. 67tf, was fur>
fn\d to bear me talk of a lime when
dis Opinion begun among the Heathens,
' -~
\ at if like other Notions it had its pro
per Authors, Favorers, or Oppofcrs, all
which J roundly affirm d to her, and
that xotthal 1 wou'd show her the gra
dual (Progress of it thro all the Tarts
* \
of the Earth then known, together with
the true Original of the Poetical Fables
concerning the Elyfian Fields, the (la
yers, Judges, Qates, and Ferryman of
Hell, of Souls being disquieted for
want of orderly Burial, and mmtfefl
(Proofs that the antient Egyptians were
the genuine Fountains of all Learning
and Religion, to the Heathen World.
All this J have endeavour'd to make out,
1 will not fay by the bejl jiuthoritys
that eVer were, but by the best in the

marum cœpi cogitare, Assensio omnis ilta elabitur.


Zitfc. 8ji4ft,Mt>.rtyi au'] -cbora oup c. "bi- f»? *
•britiivmml »i »)qi tnvanta J8 rfr.rdij most
The Preface.
most antient Books we haVe remain'
ing j for in these cafes Suppositions
ought to go for nothings and there
fore when we jay that such or such
were the jirjl that taught Astronomy,
that built females, that pracitsd SMa-
gtek, we do not mean absolutely the
first (form so many Ages who cou'd
be certain of tljat?) but th firft that
can be proYJ on Record so to have
done ; and thus 1 "tooud be understood
whenever 1 express my self in that
manner. I have in this Letter like
wise proYd, that the Opinion of the Soul's
Immortality had not its beginning from
the Philosophers, a* making such an
Inference from the Spontaneous Motions,
seasoning, or Speech of Men ; but, on
the contrary, I haVe shown this Xtytion
among the Heathens to haVe bin first
taken up by the Moby popular Traditions
often becoming the VotJrins of Philo*
fophersy who strive to support by good
seasons what the others begun with none

■ ; jo~ /--.-
1C> f> ,yf
The Preface.
or Very bad ones. If what I haVe
alledg'd be found to be * true, it. firfl
confutes those who commonly juppnje
/x *■/<• that the- Heathens bad learnt the Soul's
(ft.IT/ r6cf{- Immortality from the jews, and Jecond-
' ly the Opinion which Dr. Coward
. has efpousri&\ * That the separate
Existence of Human Souls pro
ceeded from the Heathen Philo
sophers and no others j tho when I
wrote that Letter I'did not know there
was any such 'Book in the world as tire
floftor's, which I haVe but lately seen,
and found nothing in it' to my purpose.
_, _u '■■''' WK-'1'.* "' #,»4 k* W-- < > 'iviv.V
• fi*\L&$ 'the third Letter written
\t/~
likewise to SE^El^A, and at her
own 3efire, you 11 find The Origin
of KJolawy, explains' after la Yety
'different manrier from what is commonly
recetWS "there also you may read the
pfitk/es^ihe Heathen lenifk^

V n-t / , Priests,
re- tic? a £ h-ad,^-// Ss/sce ■ :>-i~ss
. k.'M ft ft s7 /.': a-i-sf r/A. tvVW ■■■> :-''c
Cs>e .--./ . • L«r .i ^/i/tbii
The Preface;
TV tests, and Altdrs\ their Feasts, and
Sacrifices | of Images, Statues , *dnd
Tutelary foyers ; of Ghosts; Spetleh,
OracieSj Magick, and Judiciary[Astro
logy • with the seasons .hpw'T'eofli'
came to imag in e ' that fledVeh "J or the-
<Palace of the (/ood) was oVeY their
Heads, and that Hell (or the Ttifou
of the Wicked)- has- under' their 'feet ;
T*>hy sky look «p Tttbefr thef pray,
and several' other things of thkndture,
for which tts genes-ally imagines ho "ac
count tan be given befidesXufftimsor
thafjn the Abyss' of Tirrie, l^d;&der
tfx %tinsof' fjrofer: Monument^fikh
Originals arf^ifhdoV&d&ly bursd.
seasons are likewiftgivenih W? Letter
for the principal of 'the Heathefrffiks,
the ddd Descriptions they have made of

iaritys whtW %a1i£ bin song


gardedas the PMits%fW<)tttfrp?

« but
'.••■

m The Preface.
but no way to be probably reduced to the
L Exactness of History. And last of all
v , is explain d the threefold Division of the
Heathen Theology into Natural, Civil,
I
and Poetical, with the Allegorical Inter
pretation of their Myjierys, and a <Pa-
',* / / <■ , rallel of their Traflices with the Cart
•a. rupttons of Lbri tiantty : whereby it ap-
„S pean that tn all Ages Superstition is
actually the fame, however the Names of
it may "Vary. This third is the longest
of all the Letters, but you II think it
irripoffible that in so fljort a one any
Satisfaction can be given concerning jo
many different Subjects as IbaVe already
namd, not to infifl on what I have not
time to mention : and therefore you are
to suppose that I dont empty common
places here, and deliver all that may be
said on each of these Heads (which IbaVe
bin far from doing) but only all that's
strictly necessary to make *em Very cer*
tain, easy, and intelligible to a Lady,
and consequently to all Capacity*. 1 bis
The Preface.
is not an Argument therefore that ,1
have no wine seasons <or \Authoritys
left to defend what may be reckon d
dangerous 'Paradoxes, by such as ate
mortally afraid if. they are led but one
jlep cut of. the common 1(oad, tho but to
make their way sorter and safer, or lo
ypalk uson Carpet Downs , infieadof wan-
dring guidelefs thro a Wilderness, *>W
Lakes and Morasses, among dreadful
Q{pcks and 'Precipices* '• c1 \V«v ,\v.a
>M*

1 3 . YOU'Jl wonder, tbelieVe, tha{


1piou'd differ so much both about the
Origin and Progress of Idolatry, witb'-Mt
whose 'Book on this Very SubjeB I have
Jo lately recommended toyybu under an
advantageous Charatler-,' J me-an the 4 . :'
mcfi faithstfl]and laborious Antiquary -' ' '
A*tTO j«V V ANi> A-t^v princfd,
Phystckn tot-be City of Harlem, My
Optiiioriof titdt ©qoA is JIM the fame,
only *fate (M-lthen told you) infteMof
the <3i^iaririd" Progress of -idolatry;
Idwfaiwright f& bMe^'ieeriUtititul'di
ti\itaM c A
*-•'

The Prefacd: •
A compleat Collection of the most
antient Heathen, Jewish, and
Christian Superstitions : for these
things are.ill that .'Book.J'try eciurattfy
drfmL\ly but tittle jaid of their Origin,
or nothing contrary to my Aatboiiys,
Gaelic t{ except .--what L haVe confuted about
IK ui''t/>st G:xi-£ tbt^wfhtyiop'Jbt Cdeftul Bodys ;
?( Cerrcc{— nndtfh&rtgftjsof tdobtry from Chat*
dm to Syria and other Tarts of Asia,
particularly to Ionia, thence ta Greece,
and soon, barely Juppoid, but not of
fer d to bej pKoVd, as may be pen in tie
second and third Qbapttrs of the firfl
'Dissertation, Tphere the Subject id indeed
but incidentally hinted. Nor. do I ques
tion hut that learned gentleman mil pre*
jfita good Authority, tho. not commonly
taken notice of, to a Vulgar Error, tfo
generally qppp.dy'd* Mr. VandaleV
ftfijhry of\the Heatfon Oracle-f^ou Ixtye
already penis'd with greaL-$atyfa£iiitti)
fiehas lately publifrd eleven ) MffeKta-
{ions relating chiefly to tf&iSagrti&iFHnCA
dons of the : Heathensi ^i^rewhfrofii
A „,. Medals,
i

\
The Preface.
Medals, Inscriptions, and passages of
Authors, Vajl ViscoVerys are made in
Antiquity. u ' He has] at' (resent - hi the
Press aXonfkatiin^os- *&-'"■ fretenled
A K 1st 6 As, hjp Vbnftjufotfy the K
ftistoWof'the Greek TranflatioU of the
Qldyejla»iHt,fnlsly- mfibute&\h thi
seventy fiittrpreters. ' In the' fahieVo^
hike lx treats of the antient fytes of
fuftfic-atiort and Regeneration, as Wash*
ihgs,: SptuMings, hnmtrfton^ by'Wa*
ter^by'Blood, and ihz like; whence *toe
are to expeStmany cursous Circumstances'
reUtmg'& Q'tijlian 'Baptism, deliver'd
not only wifl> the greatest Freedom, but
also with the utmost Fairness : for tho
Mr. V,a N i> At £ be by Profession a
ftfennonifc or (as we term them) an
Anabaptist, < yet he's one of the most
pasfojiaie'LpVersof Truth, as will at
of bis friends, that I eVer knew {of
a large Shi not withstanding his narrow
FbrtUntf^and of nobler Thoughts 'thait
so & a *-2&gtf t& :aty thing against
q i plain
V

Thc Preface.
|{tfm season, or Authority.

y .; 14. J H /4 V Q written other Let-


iento $£9{&NAS and concerning
matters.imch^ore,,curioui j, but not
haying yettranfcrib'd 'em fair, I fend
you instead q/ themvtwo Philosophies
l#tters9 mitten to Gentlemen altoge-
tixr unknown, to you, ( The firsts , being
th fourth in tb$ Pacquet, was sent, to
att^xceffive'Jdmirer 'o/-.S»p 1 tf o $.a,
one wtytiy addiiHed to his frinfipse's^
and reputed the be[k of. any 4% tinder?
stand hit, System, jster salting, ^dis
puted together at federal times, on je-
yeral Beads3,1 told H^oru;ey ,mvpafc
fans,,, that the whole fabnch of? t^af
ffldpfophy Was. without any Jotld^oMr
datum j- - of which he,\ laying immediate
i$dA ^oudm^erdetm}e^eC^Ji^
getting lufur-e^nougkuin ajpv^ ypn^

fim*fffjfa Æw*%ii^£m
The Piefaci.
s a" to W desetlive- in that paints arid
consequently in all that -depended on it ;
tho be had neVer obserV'd so much be
fore, and some other Spindsijls Jhow'd
the fame Ingenuity,* ''But a; (gentle
man, no less illuflrwus'forbisixceh
lent Learning than his noble Family, hav
ing got a fight of- what they (lisd the
Confutation of S * i n © s a , and
"which they handed one to another, he
bestow d- many Commendations (not fit
for me to repeat) oyt^that part of the
Letter which direllly regarded that
Philosopher : but'expreji his Di/tike
of the latter part; wherein I declar'd
my own Opinion^ that Motion is essen- i(\\vv'
tial to Matter no less than fcxt'en^
sion, ^and that Matter neither ever
was nor ever can be a sluggish; dead,
and irraiiiVe Lump,*'or hi a\$tMVof
absolute Repose. v" W the* sitorkl ot
jetliom he was pleas d to mike, I re
turn d 'distinct Answers ifi the- feM
txmr^khis (he'-ftftfiM' fast -in
iRi^a c 3 the
The Preface
tie Tacautt. Far tre Apologys J
nuke about mauitamm* a Kotim lo
stilly Qppcjiu bvtb to the Jntients and
hi&ierns, I refer you to the Letter
tf jeif% where you'll likewise, be con-
yu'c'J that wty Uftmon is not -charge*
abu with any of those tU Con/equente$y
ta Ttbtzh at first jigbc u may jeem ob
noxious. 1 [h+l not amiteipate your
tmnQbja^tin tub rditto* to what
xm£Jtant Uses it maty /*rV< in ŒBlo-
josh* since tie Q^jitan aught .mt to
be bow ca*V<nwttt but bow true it. is :
nor wttt 1 excuse my writing of the
Mysterjs of Philosophy in Jo phin^js
S.'jfe, being sorry J JhpJ not timeenough
$0 rendtr those things much wvre com
mon and intelligible*) it being a great
deal easier to deliver 'em in the ordinary
Terms of Art ,- but then selfer are left
Judges of the Controversyt and the.
Subjetl made less useful or entertain
ing. J hope, tf J)r. Co WARD
(whose last !Book IhaV< lately fetus'd)
£..' { j happens

*" X
*9
happens tb 'p'Wns Utier* that'Wx
will not ajfcrt^1* W te^Videnfrjr •
plain that' lUotion 'is- ;ftoi Matters
tho is We fcorrib ' tbr deterre {\t', '[dp1
he, we can' hardly &M ^dr^s-' ^6°
express iri'QiUddky By 4 ftp's fiaid
cy I have rhacst it serf]^cleaf, that'
iMotionh bttt Matttr units'- a » tertam*
Consideration; tho it ties 'not imply 'o£
exhaust the whole Idea, tf J^^j'#
Wo/'e thhti Extension doer. • *Qne tfrafi
saw {as he professes tb ^ '^l^tW
*ossibiViry of1 feod's" eri]d6win£'
possibility
Matter with lels-movent Princi
ples, will no longer hoiJWtO'bfiphilo-x.
sophically imjMible S^tioY'^nahrtdiiP
that || it does not alWy^'cxert ir
self frofa ctti'fr latent^arid un-'
kriown Reasons of "the Divine*
Wisdoms and'-these seasons he guep

* Grand Essay, p. 74.


t Ibid. Preface. 4. ■-» ♦
(j Ibid. p. 153.
.... C 4 /«
- <

Ttje Presage;}-
fes may -be * to preserve the Order,
and Frame of tj^e Universe, whicl^,
{jk. thinks) flhon'd all; Majctpr start
v\p .im-p Seiffmotion, wou'oV ner,
cessarily Jpe i destroy d, and there-;
fore- Go,d has thought fit to re^
strain it.,,: Wh» he considers my Ar
guments, :, h^^nd nojucb danger tq
the Universe, , as he apprehends, from,
Ttfattep'scfwjla^ Bxerajfe'of Its effeny
tiqlAcliop : and^ indeed it woifd be a.
Cpntra,dt£li<m that Motion tens ejjential
to-rMatferrrt and yet that only form
$arts .of JAqttpfa and. on certain occa*
fions, w«jœ ^dow'd, with a , power ot
tfflV'mg. themselves ; whereas Matters
may as well be sometimes without Ex-,
tension
I*/'
as without
^ ' »-• Jil *
Motion, if there
-.iiJWI* KM * i
b$
( ! y'

any weightin-- my Allegations ; t-ho net-,


ther this,nor. that, nor anyptherparticMltift
Diretlicn of its Motion be essential to
..y/
The. Preface
it, but left to the ordinary Determina*
tions of the mutual Atlion of Bodys
on one another, or to the immediate
Tower and most wife Purpose of Al
mighty God. \ 'But to fay that God
may take Motion from Matter, tho it
were essential to it, is to Jay, that he
can deprive it of Extension or Sol'h
dity ; and this is to fay , that he can
make it no Matter.

i$. ACC0$LT>12{G tatheli*


bertj I ga\?e you before, you may in-
differently jholb these Letters to all
mir Acquaintance that are curioui of
such things, without inquiring whether
they be Friends or Foes to me, whether
they be Whigs or lorys, Latitudina-
nans at precisians, Occasional Confor
mists or Jfynjurant Schematics : fort
tber*synotbin$in this Tacquet relating
to th& 3)ifpHtswhichdiYidt'm.atxpn^
f^ekh% irbtyligwi pr-.^«^^i *°«.
ihjte but what may h.n^d.^oup,
/ <">

The Preface.
faffim by those of all'Tdrtys, Setts,
and tatliotis. These are only innocent
(j\rsearches into the VeneraHe latins of
Antiquity, or jhrt P.Jfays'hi Philo
sophy, not calculated to offend anyt but
to please all ; and to divert, if tire)
are mt capable to inftrutl. At sot-
those uho are jealous of every things
they are sufficiently punish'd in hiding
thetr Qnjutes Valud by no body ; anil
(as we use to quiet sroward Children)
to neglttl their Complaints, and not to
humour their Tettiftriefs, u the triosi-
certain way of silencing those peeVijk
'^nights Errant, who are always in!
search of new Adventures, and wake,
every one they encounter -a Giant of cb
f)warsi it -were an ejfttlual Method
indeed to discourage all Improvements' W
Learning, all further Wbgrefs lliflF
XfyioTbledgwWoittenefsy • if Men cbu'A
be Xeieffl from presenting jVe WbM
tilth theQpinions, Mannert\ Religions,-
or (joyehrmtents of the Ahtients, fc/fr
v,.t\". ? any
- ;/5
The Preface.
any of the J/Moderns fhoud fancy their
own Personages to be acted under this
Disguise : nor will 1 deny but Appli
cations as, this kind may sometimes, be
Very Matttrally made, tho a Writer bad
neVeti thought or intendedsuch a thing>
whichJ declare to be my present Dis
position, except where 1 have direstiy
expreji the Comparison ; but such Infe
rences are much easier drawn by the Peo
ple concern dy who muji needs perceive
the besi- of any, what- has the greatest
(Resemblance fbith their own Votlrins or
Tractives. 2S[pw in this Qafe there
remains, in my judgment, but one of
theje two things >t either to rejeB what
they themselves defend, if it be no better
grounded than what they condemn iji the
AntientSy and that perhaps it has from
thence its Very Original: or else, to get
a Law enacted, that .'People must not be
told what the Antiints\belieV'd, and
that the Moderns never1 copyd any thing
from them but what was absolutely, use*
ful
The Prcsa'rt.1 .
fyiow; of that peculiar Yenisei■,' that
thej caftnot lives nf' tbej dre not be-
fpatteriiig one oA other 5 and if it be
necessary for %xeir flealth, ' or that
their•^wistituitbn requires this Vis-
charge of' their Xholef, we ought kH0
more% blame them-, 'than we fina other)
regaMI' what they fay. As /or tiheJ
Character ofa Low Chufchfriak,^
wind you sent.nit; inifuch 0e> yAu-
thorsswh notwithstdndmg m^Æfetidi^
or mt intermeMing in tlmrContfoVei;-
fjsy and considering the, Satisfaffioh f
gaVe in Vindicius Ljfcerius concern
ing the Exceptions 'tdfyfi at 'CrifistJ-
anity hot "Mysterious, yef'haVe
wire-drawn my Natye into their irre
ligious IsnVetliVess'and woutd needsx
hontir' me wkh thYir Muses in fq "gpod^
Company' as that of our nipjt' Vene
rable TAUtes'swfo] WlhotfyUvi
us^th'e) fame" slanguage\ jthce mj''Sir
lence anuXompthnce^ls before j'fjt1
jaunty evidentsthkt airtheir Pretences
were
4r
V
The Preface.
were as hypocritical as their Charity is
narrow, that they were ne'Ver 'aBed by . k\
'Zeal for fnjSoul, «rt Malice against my
<PerJonsymt7 out of Concern for the
Cf?nrcJ>,buth zratih* FaHion andsome
<^em to be rewardedfor petty Services,
who tan never expeft Preferment by
^reiiter* These are the men w1>6 oc
casion d that Scandal on the Clergy, that
they ?ieVer forgive 5 but God'x forbid
that a great <Body Jhoidd be chargeable i .xn sft t'i
with the Offences of a few, who jcrib-
lie withouttheir Consefit. He shall at
anytime haVe my flunks, and not my
Displeasure, who treats me with no more
1(espetl than our ne'Ver to he forgot'
ten Deliverer from SlaVery-aiid the
inimitable Statorof our Liberty, IQng
WilliaMj who gives me no better
Quarter than to so considerable -a 'Body
of (protestants and good Subjests as
the English Dissenters $ and w/rt shows
no more Tenderiiefs to me, than to all
the moderate Members of the established
/I'js T 1 3. S Church.
The PrcsadeT
Chunk But that Person has pleased
so Very few by his furibus and intern-
perate may of writing, not to speaks of
his want of IQiowledg as well as want
of Civility, and indeed the Very Design
of his Ltbel was so extremely wicked^
to oppress some, and to divide us all,,
that without regard to him or those of
his l^dney, J may Venture to declare
my Jelf a Low Churchman, at home,
qnd an Occasional Conformist with the
<Protesiants her* abroad., V >r. ■>.
>\\ .'•. .0 m Sr- ■ . <•'. '&•

i 7, . HAVIKG > m& pre.


par'J yott before .forjMding the rsol-
lowugVi/fertatwify without my <$$
orObfiacliM you^w^^lshaU.' r&
l^/^m^4 W^Mffioin d&y.sfar*
%,9«4(r ■& \p#, itnly. ajfuriiQ

ft*. $&Ayoiqfrhmkk &itfWtoro ok

' -.rt-D LETTER


Letter
•r.'ci . . w:ist ,«'. ' .c J.
' v? '' . :.-.! H«;fl 1 .; •.. .-,,'<?vv
. cT1 ~ aii^jd FT:
: f -• :\it ,'v-.': " ,■-i:i-Vi ".• - *

LETTER.
It) . : i.
\J
: i i-> ihl .1 .-. : j:. J
-TÆtf Or/gm and Force
-M™<f Prejudices.
; . ItJ w I). .;} y,i-.."->
.n j.v) ai!j ', ' { ' 'i*4 */

0 U greatly complain*
MADAM, that you
are still a Captive to
several Prejudices ; and
1 wonder more how
you came to get rid of so many. You!
be easily comforted, and entertain a bet
ter Opinion of your self, when you se
riously consider in what a miserable
Condition all men are born, and how
impossible it is for them not to be edu*
cated in Error ; how difficult to get
free from their Prepossessions in riper
Age, and how dangerous to do it, when
they become well-dispos'd by the Dis
covery of Truth. ^ : ::nJ ' t .
B a. NOW,
% The Origin and Force
Jmwcf
I. 2. NOW, since you are pleas'd to
'•VNJ desire it, I (ball briefly trace this Subject
from the beginning, showing by what
degrees our Prejudices grow, and what
additional strength they incessantly re
ceive in their course. We all partake
\ - but too much of the Inclinations of
those that give us Life, and of the
Passions that are predominant in the
Blood of the Family : and if our Fea
tures and Actions were not infallible
Arguments, that we are subject to re
ceive good or bad Impressions in the
Womb; yet the extraordinary Marks
which we sometimes bear, occasion'd by
the Longing ofour Mothers, or by some
other Accident (which they often re
member) afford a sufficient Proof that
the Foundation of our Prejudices is very
strongly laid before we* are born. The
Temperament we receive in the first
Formation, gives not only a Disposition
to this or that particular Humor and
Habit; but also a visible Biafs to most
Actions of our future Lives, which is
not to be cur'd but by the utmost Efforts
and Exercise of Reason. . '- Uthntn .

J. W E no sooner see the Light, but


the grand Cheat begins to delude us
/o'.. ■ ■ . * ... 'from
y/i /j 't /(,./( /r,r j , ' /•<■''' '■ "'

■t . 'i ■ i." T"? /■.' .'..',.*_ £'#J£ , v"•


of Prejudices. J
from every Quarter. The very Mid- Letter
wife hands us into the World with super- I.
stitious Ceremonys, and the good Wo- o"VN*
men assisting at the Labor have a thou
sand Spells to avert the Misfortune, or
to procure the Happiness of the Infant ;
making several ridiculous Observations,
to discover the Omen of his future State
of Life. Nor is the Priest in some pla
ces behind-hand with these Gossips, to
initiate him betimes into his Service,
by pronouncing certain Forms of Words
as so many powerful Charms, and using •■')
the gentle Symbols of Salt or Oil, or
the severer Applications of Iron or Fire,
or by marking him after some other
manner, as his own Right and Property
for the future. The Child, it's true, is
not yet affected by any of these or the
like Foolerys, whatever Virtue he may
be afterwards persuaded to allow them:
but this shows how early those about
him begin to infect him (if they cou'd)
with their own mistakes, and how in
dustriously every one with whom he has
afterwards to do, endeavours to deprave-
his Reason from the very beginning j
so that not remembring when, or where,
or how he came by many of his No
tions, he's tempted to believe that they
proceed from Nature it self, and is asto-
B 2 nifh'd
y" '/a "/'-"' * ., ,'• '' -'"- -'• -'--'*' CK
l "■ ' ' ■

' "/ ' t y •. v ' .


-4 The Origin and Force
- L§Mjr nish'd to find that any shou'd call tK)e
jl. .Truth of 'em in question ; as it will
^^•^V more evidently appear from -the follow
ing Reflections.
4. \V E are presently aster our Birth
delivered to Nurses, ignorant Women of
^she-meanest Vulgar, who infuse into us
.their Errors withiheir Milk, frightning
us into quiet with the menaces of
Rawhead and Bloody-bones, Buggle-
bows and Bullbeggars. And lest we
fhou'd be lost by wandring abroad, or
drop into Wells or Rivers, they terrify
us with storys of Spirits and Hobgob
lins, making us believe that all lonesome
places are haunted, and that the invi
sible Powers are principally active and
mischievous in the night-time. What is
thus invented at the beginning to keep
Children under Government (a Go
vernment that indeed makes 'em mise
rable Slaves ever after) is believ'd by
them in good earnest when they grow
older, wheieby the whofei Generation
and Country comes to be persoaded of
<it at last, and thisto such a degree, that
many People (otherwise prudent e-
nough) darenpt sleep alone in a Cham
ber, nor travel but by Day-lights much
Jess have they the courage to enter
1 ; into
-
^; ;:v ... ;'^

It**:
: .'of Prejudices* j;
into empty Houses or Churches. Letter
• :■ ■<•,■ i:
5. FROM our Nurses we are ty^ro'
brought home, where we are still put'
into worse hands among idle and igno
rant Servants, whose chiefest Enter
tainments are Discourses of Fairy s,
Elves, Witchcrafts, walking Ghosts,;
Fortune-telling, consulting Astrologers,
or such other chimerical Doings; de
lighting to fright and delude one ano
ther, not seldom to carry on their pri-I
vate Intrigues: which^things, however-
intended, never fail to make fatal im«
preflions on the Children : and for "the
most part our Parents are not wiser. ■ <'■**
... 1 ..if....-, .--, :• -B h'i ... '■ .-:■: 'jV»

6. TREN we are sent out to School,


where all the Youth come equally infect
ed from home, and hear of nothing there
but Dæmons, Nymphs, Genii, Satyrs?
Fauns, Apparitions, Prophecys, TranP
formations, and other stupendous MiJ
racles. We tell all our storys over again
among our selves; and what may be*
cpnceaj'd from a Child in a prudent
ifermfyT fe% lure.to hear of it at Schobr,-
where Co many Children are brought
together, not to improve one another
(which cannot be suppos'd of such Con
versation) but to communicate their-
•;. j J3 3 mutual
6- 7he Origin and Vorce
, Letter mutual Mistakes and vicious Habits, to
I; grow the more idle, and to meet with
'WXJ bad Examples. We greedily devour
the Poets, Orators, and Mythologists,
committing great Extracts of their
Fictions to our memory, being sur-
priz'd and gain'd by the Charms of their
Stile, Numbers, and Composition ;
whereby it comes to pass that we swal
low the Poison of their Errors with
inexpressible Pleasure, and lay a large
Foundation for future Credulity, insen
sibly acquiring a Disposition for hearing
things rare and wonderful, to imagin
we believe what W€ only dread or desire,
to think when we are but puzzl'd that
we are convine'd, and to swallow what
we cannot comprehend.

7- WE are made little wiser, tho


much more vain and conceited in the
Universitys, especially abroad, where
the Professors (right or wrong ) must
accommodate all things to the Laws
and the Religion of the Country : or, if
they steal sometimes into the Liberty of
Philosophizing, they generally run into
Extremes, either making us trust too
little or too much to our Senses, or
amusing us with illusory Abstractions,
and Subtiltys which refine the Subject
< .■ jt out
v

*iA
of Prejudices. ?
out of our View, reducing it at last to Letter
mere nothing. The University is the I.'
most fertile Nursery of Prejudices, ^V>J
whereof the greatest is, that we think
there to learn every thing, when in
reality we are taught nothing ; only we
talk by Rote with mighty assurance the v
precarious Notions of our Systems
which if deny'd by another, we have
not a word further to fay out of our
common Road, nor any Arguments less,
to fatisfy the Opposcr or our selves.
But our comfort is, that we know as
much as our Masters, who affect to
speak a barbarous Jargon which com
monly has no Signification ; and the ( -.
main Art that fits their Disciples to
take their Degrees, is to treat of very
ordinary Matters in very extraordinary
Terms. Yet this dos not render them
half so insupportable to People of Sense,
as their formal Stiffness and Pedantry,
their perpetual Itch of Dispute and Con
tradiction. I purposely forbear faying
any thing of the Advantage commonly
taken there from the Inexperience of the
Youth (who must naturally rely on the
Judgment of their Teachers) to ingage
*em betimes to different Partys and
Factions, to Sourness, Censoriousness,
and Bigotry : for, in one word, there
B 4 is
8 The Orgin and Force
Letter is scarce any thing learnt at the Uni-
I. verfity, but what a man must forget, if
V^VNJ he would b? , understood, or not ap
pear ridiculous and troublesome, when
he qomes into other Company.

8. BUT as, if all this were not


enough to corrupt our Understandings,
there are certain Persons hir'd and set
apart in most Cpmmunitys of the World,
not to undeceive, but to retain the rest
of the People in their Mistakes. This
• / will be counted a hard Saying, but, it
cannot concern the Orthodox Clergy :
and of other Priests what caji there be
more certain, since ^tis for this very rea
son they accounted Heterodox? The
strange things and amazing storys wq
ha ve read or heard (if of any Concern
%.o a particular Religion) . are daily con
firms to .us by the Preacher from the
Pulpit, wh^re all he fays is taken for
Truth .by. the greatest part of the Audi
tory, no body having the liberty ,tq
contradict: him, and he giving out his
own Concepts for ,the very Oracles of
God. Tho every Sect will deny this
of its pe^u^iar Doctrines (and that we
know it, £ E R E N A, tp be false of
the Reform'd Religion which we pro
fess) yet the rest affirm it with under
* niable
of. Prejudices. .— ' 9
niable Arguments of one another ; for it; Letter jn
is impossible they fhou'd be all or above I.
one of 'em in the right, which is a.'/W "i-
Demonstration that the rest, being the
bulk of Mankind, are retain'd in their Jx
Miftakesby their Priests. And never
theless the very Doubts about the Joys
of Heaven and the Torments of Hell,
are enough to procure Authority for
their infinite Contradictions : so strong
are .the Impressions of Hope and Fear,
which; yet are ever founded in Igno
rance!,., :« Jr': .
. \. ■' ■ r
9. WHEN we come abroad into-
the World, we find all those Errors to
be in so high a Credit, that every one is
gaz'donas a Monster, who is outuof
this universal Mode : or if by some
lucky chance we Ihou'd happen to be
undeceiv?d, yet the prevailing Power of
Interest will make : us hypocritically
(or, if you please, prudently) to pre
tend the contrary, for fear of losing
our .-; Fortunes, ;Quiejf, Reputation, or
lives., rTfii5 confirms otheriJg. their
Prejudices by 6uFeKample,"as much as
if Jye- Were deceiv'd our "selves '; Tor
Knowing nothing of our MindYbut by
bur outward Actions, which appear ib
like their own, they judg us to be of
■;iJJT the
10 The Origin and Force
y Letter the some Persuasion. Besides, that to
I. maintain we are in the Right, while
t>V%J others are in the Wrong, will be inter
preted such an Affront to all other Peo
ple, as a Man wou'd not venture to be
guilty of who knows Mankind, and is
resolved to lead an easy Life far from
the Noise, and Crowd, and Hurry of
the Works.

10. THOSE who are more in love


with the Bustle of the Publick, or more
under a Necessity to endure it, gene
rally betake themselves to some Pro
fession. This indispensably engages 'em
to many Prejudices in favor of their par
ticular Calling, which if ail of 'em do
not always believe, yet they fincTlc
their interest that others shou'd do so, to
gain with them the greater Credit, Re
putation, and Authority. Cato the
Censor wonder'd, that when one Augur
met another, they did not laugh at the
Simplicity of those who believ'd their
Divinations j and if they had done so
among themselves ( as we know from
History they often did) yet they wou'd
never the sooner expose the Craft of
theirOrdertothe People, who thought
'em the infallible News- mongers of
Heaven, and who paid 'em so well for
their
©/ Prejudices. 11
their Intelligence. Hence not only every Letter
Profession, but also every Rank of Men, I.
have their particular Language, which t-'^VVJ
is thought by others to contain very
extraordinary Matters, much above the
common Capacity or Comprehension.
The Nobility, Country -Gentlemen,
Jockys, and Beaus, have as well their
several Cants (tho not so barbarous) as
the Divines, the Lawyers, Physicians,
and Philosophers. Except the few wise
and cunning, all the rest are really per
suaded that they are far greater Men
than such as are ignorant of their
Terms ; and I have many times seen a
Hunter as much despise the good Sense
of those who did not understand his
noisy Jargon, as an Astrologer very
proud of illuminating the credulous Mob
with that vile Stuff, which he did not
so much as understand himself. In
most Professions (especially in those
they repute Mechanick) the Members
are sworn not to discover the Mystery
of their Trade, which very Notion of
Mystery makes others imagin that
there's something extraordinary in very
trivial matters thus artfully diiguiz'd ;
and your Mysterys of State (tho not
to be pry'd into by vulgar Eyes, but to
Se^dttiiPa with" Veneration) are some
times
il The Ongxn and Force
Lette^ times 3<» airy, and imaginary, as flight
f. and ridiculous as any others.

1 1. B/UT , no fort of prejudices stick


closer to u%pr,are harder to be erad^-,
catedV than^hplebf ^the Society wherein
we liveand had our Education. This
Holds equajly true of their civil Customs
and religious Rites, of their Notions ►
and FtacYices. We cannot easily be
brought to believe that our Ancestors
were mostly in the, wrong, much less
that those with whom we daily converse
have so little ground for many os' their
Actions.: especially since we are as apt
to love, or to admire the Opinions of
Men as we do' their -Persons,, and that,
we are bieJ in the fame Persuasion as
well as they. On the contrary likewise,
we frequently hate the Opinion for the
sake us the Person^aJijJ not less fre*
fluently the Person 'for the fake pf hjft
Opinion \ commonlyfor no better r,ea^
son, than that we were differently bred,
andacalstom'd1 to think that one who,
errs in his Notions cannot be right in
his Practice. Thus the Body of the
People in all Places of the World do
£reedity imbibe whatever they arc
<au£ri'£ Jt'o imitate.pr to '.respect fropi
Meit Infancy and without further Evi-
?rvi. dcocc
'« os (Prejudices; Ij
dence are ready to die for the Truth Letter i
of it- in old' Age; which is to: become j. '
properly Martyrs to a Habit, but not'<-?'V>0
to Religion or Truth, unless by mere
.Accident. Nay, Custom ( which is
cot unfitly call'd a second Nature) has
imprest such a Stamp on the very Lan
guage of the Society, that what is dt- ^cnnf <-°
liver'd in these or those Words, tho •', -,'-'.
never so contradictory or abstruse, passes /k^//u
ordinarily for current Truths but change l/
your Terms, or use the Expressions of
any other Party, and then if you. speak
Oracles, whatever you fay is refuted
false, or at best suspected- And indeed
it cannot well be otherwise,..since these
Prejudices of all others must' never be
jexamin'd. You may reason your self
.{for example) into what Religion you
please; but, pray, what Religion will
permit you to reason your self out of
it ? I know some of 'em profess to al
low a Liberty of examining, but their
■Proceedings not seldom show their want
of Sincerity : for let any of their Doc
trines be ca I I'd in doubt or deny'd after
such, an Examination, and the Person
that dos it will pafi his time very ilL
If he's not put to Death, sent into Ba
nishment, depriv'd of his Employ
ments, fin'd, or excommunicated; a©-
:;•.-.- cording
14 The Origin and Force
Letter cording as his Church has more or less
I. Power; yet the least he may expect:, is
\jr\r\) to be abhorr'd and fhun'd by the other
Members of the Society (a thing in all
People's power) which every Man has
not Fortitude enough to bear for the
fake of the greatest Truths ; and the very
Dearness of Acquaintance has often re-
tain'd Men of admirable Understanding,
in the external Profession of the most
absurd and ridiculous Errors.

12. ADD to all this our own Fears


and Vanity ; our Ignorance of Things
past, the Uncertainty of the present
Time, and our sollicitous Curiosity a-
bout what's to come ; our Precipitation
in judging, our Inconsideratenefs in
assenting, and want of due Suspension
in examining : which makes us not
only be carry'd away by vulgar Errors
in our Practice, to be misled by our
Senses as well as by our Appetites, and
to take numberless Falsitys for demon
strated Truths in matters of Specula
tion ; but likewise to be unjust to the
Merit of others, to confound the Inno
cent with the Guilty, and generally to
prefer the latter. And, as our Preju
dices govern us, Vis next to impossible
we should ever truly discern who is the
innocent
of Prejudices. <*$
innocent or guilty Person, who has got Letter
the better or the worse of any Cause ; I.
since our first Question is not what a t-i^VJ
Man has done or how, But who or
whence he is ? being ready to approve
or condemn, to read over his Book or to
throw it away, according to the Faction
or Party he espouses. This surely is nei- y
ther fair nor manly dealing : and I hope
no body will pretend that it is the way
to discover Truth, no more than to con
tinue stedfaft in the Profession of it;
since it's hard to conceive (for exam
ple) by what means a Man can quit the
Alcoran if he roust never : read _> the <:
Bible; or if a Mahometan ought to read
the Bible, I see no reason a Christian
Ibou'd fear to read the Alcoran ; which ■>5
is as true of all the Books in the World.
It were superfluous to speak any thing
more at large of such common Places
as our predominant Passions, the Con
tagion of the consenting Multitude, or
the Authority of our most mighty Mas
ter, the irresistible Tyrant Custom,
which* equally rules jiyer Pfinces,
Priests, and People*
*n£r
u "

13. AFTER these Observations


we may perceive the perillous Condition
of every particular Man, and how im
possible
i6 The Origin and Force
Letter possible it appears for him to escape In*
.1. section, to obtain or to preserve his
:^VVJ Liberty ; since ail the other men of the
World are agreed in the lame Con-
{piracy to deceive him. But thaaJftw
son exempt from Prejudices seems, in
his outward Circumstances to have little
advantage over others ; yec theculti-
vating of. his Reason will be the chief
Study of his Life, when on the .one
hand he considers that ■ nothing can
equal his inward Quiet and Joy, seeing
almost all the rest of his kind evengrovei
ling in the dark; lost in inextricable
Mazes, agitated with innumerable
Doubts, tormented with perpetual Fears,
and not sure to find any End of their
Misery even in Death: while, on the
other hand, he himself is wholly fe*
cur'd by a right use. of his Under*
standing against all these vain Dreams
and terrible Phantoms, content with
what he already knows, and pleas'd
with new Difcoverys, without think
ing himself concern'd in things inscru
table ; not led like a Beast by : Au
thority or Passion, but giving Law to
his own Actions as a free and reaso
nable Man. i ■\i 04 A ,|i ■
. ■; . ?.q •: \t j. . . ^ ; .-Tj r**
' iif Prejudice V
'*■•'*'. ■• • . i i Letter
■ ' '14. I AM as sensible as any in I.
the World* SERENA, how little ^>v^o
you need that I fhou'd further inlarge
on this Subject, you having already so
much Knowledg and so few Prejudices,
reasoning so exactly, thinking so nice
ly, and speaking so justly. Nor is it
for your Instruction (I confess) that I
have written now at your Desire, but
to show you how much we agree in our
Opinions ; tho I am ready to acknow-
ledg that you exceed most men as well
as my self in Quickness of Understand
ings as you do all your own Sex by
your many excellent Qualitys. In the
matter of Prejudices, you fee that at
least you are not in a worse state thart
other Persons ; or if your Circum
stances are better (as I'm sure they are)
nevertheless you must be content with
the inward Pleasure and Satisfaction of
your own Mind, and not expect the
Applause of the Publick, which wou'd
rather expose you to Disgrace or Danger,
than do Justice to your incomparable
Virtues. But this ought not to hinder
your in joying the Happiness of free
Discourse with any Persons worthy of
this Honor, whom you shall find to
have as much Judgment and Di£
C cretion
18 The Origin, &c.
Letter cretion in reasoning, as I have Zeal
I. and Sincerity in professing my self,
isv*v MADAM, to be your most faithful
humble Servant.

LETTER

i
Letter
_ L; 1 i — 't>V\>
r• ; in

a.! V

; lett %K il ;
Tie History of :the Souh
i." ! Immortality among the
. Heathem.

i.|"F the best Religion ought so


I be distinguished by the Purity
M and Integrity of its Morals, as
well as by the Truth and Usefulness of
its Doctrins, I am not acquainted with
any body more sincerely pious than
you, MADAM; which is a TestU
mony that all those, who have the Hap
piness to be acquainted with you, will
readily grant to your Virtue. You
have no Doubts, I'm certain, about the
Soul's Immortality, and Christianity
affords the best, the clearest Demonstra
tion for it, even the Revelation of God
himself. But you have often admir'd,
you say, how the Heathens came by
C a the
io The History of the
setter the Discovery of this Truth, fine©
II. they had no such Revelation from Hea-
tVWJ ven, and that what is so confidently (aid
of their learning it from the antient
Books of the Jews, may be as easily
deny'd as affirrn'd ; besides that it is
altogether groundless, no such thing
plainly appearing in these Books them
selves, tho it be manifest from the Pea-
tateuch and the Series of other History,
that many Nations had their several
Religions and Governments long be
fore the Law was deliver'd to the
Israelites. The fame holds as true of
the pretended Preaching of A bra*
/.
//:. t%s/i*c*- ham, and of the Tradition of the Sons
/ /-/''//- of N o a h ; these being as destitute
of any Evidence from matter of Fact,
j-n as in their Circumstances utterly im-
A ' ' probable. To have therefore the plea-
' sure, MADAM, of doing a Thing
which you signify will be very agreeable
to you, I (hall lay this Subject before
you as it appears to my self, not from
[ Conjectures and Suppositions, which
give no body any real Conviction, how
ever they may silence or amuse ; but
I (hall argue from unbiaf&'d Reasons,
»1 and the greatest Consent of antient
Writers.
\" . '. •.' ;-i .ji'.I .

; : 2. TO
Soul's Immortality, it
Letter
2. TO Persons left knowing and II.
unprejudiced than SERENA, it wou'd f*>J
sound strange perhaps to hear me speak
of the Soul's Immortality, as of an
Opinion, which, like some others in
Philosophy, had a Beginning at a certain
time, or from a certain Author who
was the Inventor thereof, and which
was favour'd or oppos'd as Peoples Per
suasion, Interest, or Inclination led 'em.
But so it was among the Heathens,
whatever you may think of the matter ;
and I have sometimes consider'd with
astonishment the weakness of those,
who, contrary to their own Experi
ence, seem'd afraid to acknowledg so
much : as if the nature of the thing
tou'd suffer any detriment from the
Errors of others about it; or as if the
Heathens had not entertains as ex
travagant Fancys about the very Being
of God, and all the other Articles of
our Religion, which no body takes to
beany Argument against the Truth of
them.
i vjljjoim . ,
g. NOW iho the Egyptian Priests,
the Chaldæan Magi, and the Indian
Brachmahsjfiave disputed among them
selves aboixt the Honor of this Ir
C j ventio
li . tloe Bistory of the
Letter vention (no less than those of Harlem
II. and Mentz --about the beginning of
L^\rv Printing, and those of China and Eu
rope about the Origin of Artillery as
well as of Printing, and other Nations
about other Arts or Opinions) yet it is
exprefly asserted by Aristotle,
and agreed by the generality ef Writers
as an uncontroverted Truth, that the
jnostantient Greek Philosophers did not
dream of any Principle or actuating
Spirit in the Universe it self, no more
than in any of the Parts thereof: but
explain'd all the Fbænoraena of Nature
/ by Matter and local Motion, Levity
and Gravity, or the like ; and rejected
all that the Poets faid of the Gods,
Dæmons, Souls, Ghosts, Heaven, Hell,
Visions, Prophecys, and Miracles, as
Fables invented at pleasure, and Fictions
to divert their Readers. After Tha
mes, AN AXIM ANDER, ANAXlr
men es, and others had thus taught
the Universe to be infinite, and Matter
« ito be eternal, tho the Forms thereof
were changeable, comes Anaxa-
Att%XfMrW(t% coras (as it is unanimously own'd
rr/j^J ~ < 1 .K '.. '.J ' I i i ii I i i.i , ,

' 1 i !i btic <" ' Iv vr: ! ii riO


vhm vfu tutor flwaww ««** arm bwtoW Mewph.
-f.l, . . j ' " . '. . f.b ti

lulj- vV s by
Soul's Immortality. 2}
' by almost all Authors Heathen or Letter
Christian) and to this Matter adds ano- II.
ther Principle, which he calPd the '^v*^
MIND, as the Mover and Disposer
of the same : whereupon from so cu
rious, so new, and strange an Invention
he was_sirnam'd ^ the JM I ND, some f « ? &
deriding and others admiring mm for
this Notion. We {hill presently show
how he came by this Discovery, tho
most of those that preceded him made
infinite Matter the Principle of all
things. 'Tis true that Thales ,
maintained Matter to be essentially
Water, as Anaximenes affirm'd
it to be Air; and that by various
Rarefactions and Condensations all
things were form'd out of these Ele
ments, and resolv'd into them again :
but the meaning of both is, that the
Particles of Matter are extremely sub
til and in perpetual motion like Air or

* Aristot. Metaph.I. i. Plato in Phædone. Cic. dc


Nat. Dear. 1. i. Diogen. Laerc. in Anaxag. Plutarch.
inPeridc, & in placic. Philos.I. i. Tertul. de Aniraa.
Clem. Alex-Stronut. I. 2. Euseb. de Praep. Evang. J.
14: August, de Civ. Dei, 1. 8. Themist. Orar. 15.
Etiam Proclus, Simplicity, cum mulcis aliis, tarn Gen-
tilibiisquam Christianis.
* Diogen. Laert. in Anaxag. Suidas in Anaxagora.
Plutarch. inPericlc.
C 4 Water;
14 Tie Htftory os the
Letter Water; from which Motion, and the
II. I«fiaity> ef the Universe, the whole
'w/'WJ Tribe osA Philosophers (as we (aid just
bow) accounted ior all the Phenomena
cr Nature, till Anaxagoras ad
ded the moving and ordering Mind.

4. ONE wou'd think that a Person,


who deserv'd so well of the Greeks,
JhouM have met with sutable Rewards
and Applause; but whether it be that
the ether Philosophers envyM him, or
that they wiuVd there was no Spirit,
cr chat be did not sufficiently answer
Obteckioos, or whatever were the
£a» 'as certain that he was unfor?
ft Jus Reputation at that time
zad ever sicce, having bin very ill us'd
by ail Partss, for no cause that I can
fee, but that be did not fully come up
to any ci them. Seme assert that he
did oct understand the corpuscular Phi
losophy, and that he espous'd the Opi
nion of the separate Mind (for he was,
rot the Author of it) to save feim-
telf the lalOT"oTnhderstaodjing|.MiEi-
Æanicks, cf making long Deductions
wd accurate OMer^AtiOns, ot' prying
fnto the Nature of Things* : iJKoA Mit
p>nftrmacioia of ■ . tfeisjnthej* "tselt1 you;
Jhat jn ofher Matters bir'ltti^grnaticih
4' w?§

i
SouV* Immortality. xy
was very gross, witness bis ' teaching Letter
that the Sun was little bigger than the II.
Penioful of Peloponnesus ; that the tAV
Earth was flat, and not round ; that
the Firmament was made of Stones,
which were kept From falling by their
swift Rotation ; that in Generation
the Males came from the Mother's right
Side, and the Females from her left ;
that Snow was black ; and that the Par
ticles of all things, as of Blood, or
Bones, or Gold, or Milk, were already
form'd and existent from Eternity, but
that they constituted Blood, or Gold,
Black or Green, as it happened that a
sufficient Number of them were brought
together into one Body, so as greatly to
surpass the Particles of any other fort,
which Opinion the Greeks express by
the i Word Homœomeria. They further
1 laught at him for leaving his Grounds
to the discretion of his Sheep, that tie
might be the more at leisure for the
Study of -Astronomy, in which his
System of the Sun and the Stones of
the Firmament (hows he was a wonder-
(XL. :!. -Mut^r-: Cl .. ci.!:.:)
ni^i... ' ' ";.' .' I jBW I ' H '" "" '■
" Vide Diog. I nAsf in Ar,v'p,r"K', <St 3*1 ftiffi Ann"*
tatores.
* Diogen. Laerc. in Anaxagora, Sic .:"!'
oik' ful
26 Tie History of the
Letter ful Proficient ; they blam'd him for neg-
II. lesting what was necessary and pro-
^•W fitable in Life, and giviftg himself up
to speculative, abstruse, and remote
Considerations, which are wholly useless
and uncertain ; and (aid that he de
servedly wanted Bread , in his old Age,
having bin in danger of starving with
out the assistance of his Scholar Peri
cles. Those who believ'd a divine
intelligent Being, counted him a mun-
grel Philosopher between themselvesand
those of the IonickSect, and were an
gry with him for not employing his
ordering Mind en every occasion ; for,
as often as he ccu'd without it, he ex-
», plain'd all the Phenomena of Nature by
the Action and Reaction of Bodys on
one another. Plato (in his Phado)
introduces Socrates charging him
with this very matter, and showing no
small contempt for his Books. For the
fame reason he was not counted Ortho
dox by some Fathers of the Christian
Church, notwithstanding his adding
Spirit to Matter; and .' Irenæus
(in his second Book against Heresy s)
dos not only call him irreligious,- but

: Lib. 2. deHscs- jaclni


also
/

k
SouTs Immortality, 27
also in precise terms an Atheist, and Letter |
lays that he was so stit'd by others; II.
Clemens Alexandria us bears <-^v^ }
very hard upon him with Puns, which
I shall here render word for word.
JAnaxagoras, fays he, was thefirst
who added Mind to things : hut he did not
preserve the Dignity of the efficient Cause,
describing certain mindless Vortexes^ to~ i
gether with a Mindlesness and Inaction 7 of
the Mind. And Aristotle com- J// . ,? / . • \r.-fn
pares him to a Poet that brings off his , ,■■ ,,i//oj^-\
Hero with a Miracle, when no natural '/n.x^ f{7Csh;J-U. ,
Cause can save him : for he affirms that _
'Anaxagoras makes use of the Mind
as of a Machine in the Formation of the ' "'
World ; andproduces it only, when he doubts
by what Cause it necessarily exists : but in
other matters, he ^figns any other Cause
of the things which. are made rather than
the Mind. However, there wanted
.not those among the Antients and Mo
derns who entertain'd a more favorable
. 1 ..1 .1 .

' tmi tuu kvaS,Ay>^i Tf«t« tannin roy N*p tok

nnMv, Aim Tiv&t «wm7« *va£uy£pQovy nv tm t* Nk


**•©<§<* 75 km ttvotq* Scromat. 1. 2. t • r~- <
,, ' .Afa^a.^st(7ttyt( wi%ewt'XS1imt T* ^ *&* nv
KoeiAB'xaiia.v ■ , Ktu otuy aorof n<rri Jiativ tu}ijw i%avtty-
.■*«.. fjfci T0?* tAXM . W/w «* W J% Ttti-aXKut, iko[*
(uMw <u)uuwtt TVs ya°WM » w' Mctaph. 1. i«
rji^ Opinion
28 7be History os the
Letter Opinion of him, and the great Dr.
II. B u r n e t (in his ' Archæology) fays
t/WJ that his Sirname of the Mind is far more
«2 honorable than those of Africanus and
Asiaticus : nor did Anaxagoras
fail of setting a just Value on his own
Worth ; for after his Exile (whether
for Atheism in ungodding the Planers,
oi for Treason in "conspiring" wltn r e*
ricles) When some body told him
that he was depriv'd of the Athenians,
lie immediately answer'd, * .Ȥt I of
them, but they of me.

f. PHERECYDES of thelstand
Syrus, as we are inform'd by ' Cice
ro and others, was the first among the
Greek Philosophers that committed the
Immortality of human Soujsto writing;
io* tho T<H'ALE-«-j£-.(aid.tQ have bin
of the fame * Opinion, ydt he publifh'd
nothing ; and Maximus Tyrius

* t. I. <Vt©«
* Diogenes Laercius in Anaxagora : t utm, «Wu*
lYJkmi ipu. :.:■. : ■ mvj'.,:,* .:."•; . .:* '

1 Credo *o,uidem earn bKqs } fed (qni UttOis


**tet) Phcrecydes Syriu* prhinnm *ixk Airiinos Ho-
minum esse sempiternw. Hioc ppiniemeni Difciputas
«JiiiPythagor«j nuxinjcconfinnavii. . TkJc. &MJI. i.
'■■mi l "" *V T"*" £*** ^«MW i*
Soul's Immortality, zp
(in his twenty eighth Dissertation) as- Letter
firms with Cicero that Pytha- II.
goras the Samian, the Disciple of L/W
Pherecyd,6S, ' was the first among
the Greeks who durst openly maintain, that
the Body only dy'd, hut that the Soul wot
immorfal, neither fubjefi to Age nor Cor- •
ruption^ and that it existed before it cams
hither. Yqusee, it was so great an In
novation, that he was reckon'd a bold
Man, who had Courage enough to vent
ir. Afterwards Plato and the rest y
greedily imbrac'd this Doctrine i and we a- //
know how widely the Grecians cou'd A *>' /^/J
spread it by their numberless Colonys 7 />,?,/ tr '*.. .
in- Asia, in Italy., in Sicily, in'GauIe, / ../'
and other Parts of the World, as well ', ?
as by their Poets, Orators, I Historians, '}.rye
and Philosophers, whose Works were Y7?-
so much admir'd by other Nations for
their Subtlity, Politeness, and Learning,

6. BUT the next Question is,


y/'
whence Anaxagoras and his
Followers (who pretended to no divine
Revelations) borrow *d this Invention.
.u . 1 I . 1 .' ilUli J ! . ~!C "..". C .•••:
T n\ J r~^- 1 .'. .': , " ' "«" . . ' -
- ij ' 1 „) •! • • ~p*eff.- t^.'fi .
' Tlvbtyt&S <stt a fm«f: <Tf»7« W Ton 'EMJitit ';.„,•„
ijoKfAMnv eenav H]t duly to, iuv cb^c* •zt&mifmh 4 /
w anu awn* wet* mur Jiv&-
IM1 ^ * . : . K
30 The History os the
Letter It is evident from antient Monuments
-IL that he and the other Philosophers of his
i>W> side, with the Poets and Mythologists,
licit r,oU ,earn? k partly from the Ma8i» when
r; J. the Persians transported their Arms into
Greece, and partly from the Priests of
Egypt when they travel'd. for Know-
I ledg into that Country. 'Thai. es
had his Philosophy of the Egyptian
Priests. Plato wasinEgypta long
time, he has a great many of the Egyp
tian Doctrins in his Works, and is ac-
' knowfedg'd by all to have learnt of
' them and of their Disciple Pytha-
jJ g o r a s as well as of the Persian Mags,
'' / whatever he has (jetiver'd about the
Immortality of the Soul, the different
Mansions of the Just and Unjust . in'
a future State, the' Expiations of
Crimes, the Lakes and Rivers, the
Meadows, Caves, and Monsters of

* Diogen.Laerr,inThalete. Clem. Alexand. Strom.


1. 1. Euseb. dePræpar. Evangel.;]. io. Joseph.!. 1.
contra Ap.
* Diod. Sic. 1. 1. Cicero 1. 5. de Finibus. Lib. de
Senectute. Tusc. Quasi. 1. 1. Aristot. Metaph. I. T.
Diog. Laert. in Platone. Quintilian. lib. s. Clem.
Alexandrin. in Admonic. ad Gent. Valer. Max. I. 8.
Philostrat. vit. Appollon. Jib. j. Hieronymus lib.
a. Ep. i.- ad Paulinam. Lactanr. lib. 4. cum multis
alik. ; ; !»~ • . ;
Hell.
$oul*s Immortality i 31
Hell. ' ' P v xh a g o r a s, one' of the Letter |
greatest Travellers in the World, con- II.
vers'd with the Chaldaean Magi, the O^VNJ
Indian Gymnosophists, and particularly
with the Egyptian Priests and Pro- ^j fc^fj?
phets, suffering himself to be circum- 9 cc./yien-[ /.lL
cis'd that he might be admitted to hearV L-
the secret Doctrins of the latter, - which "J* '""„ ' Jh;J
they wou'd not communicate to him - sl* >'«*n &' ":rr
without this Condition. I will not typi*,"* it^tt1:
here insist on the Poets, as Orpheus, j0 y^^t /y. lu.
Homer, or any other of the most ^ jf.&c* '-.-
antient, who yet are all confest to have /
borrow'd their Fictions from the Egyp- -g * j . . ,
tians, as may be seen in the first Book
of D I ODOR us Siculus. A'-y,%%
naxagoras was first taught by the '
Magi, hayiag bin twenty J^ears of Age
at the Expedition of "Xerxes, and
(S 'Dionysius Phalereus re
lates) he begun to philosophize in A-
thens at those Years. He was a Hearer
of A naximenes, and (as Theo
dore t and Ammianus Mar-

' Herodot. in Thalia. Diod. Sic. 1. 1. Cicero dc


Finibus 1. 5. Flin. Hist. Nat. 1. 36. etiam lib. 2$.
Diogen. Laert. in Fychag. Isocrat. in laude Pusiridis,
& alii passim. ••.1
* Clem. Alex. ... Theodorec. in Serm. contra
Græcos. .. . , . .-• .
I Diog. Lacrt, in Anaxagora.
'.* CELLINUS
}* The History tf the
' Letter efii/fciN«s inform vsj), bad travel
If. likew/ffc into 'Egypt;, so that we
VYV plainly perceive whence he had htfNo-
tion of the ordering Mind. The Greeks
learnt several things of the Magi in
those Days* which afterwards in^wr'd
others With the Desire of going into
chose Parts.for perfecting their Know-
ledg. :::s.:;:.. ■ .'.! > i''t ■ .•- Virh
... : !i;-v .-.» iJii.- i'.' -j- ':; •■> miji'V

'f"/is< Cm I x. • •?« ^;T> the §reat 3>oubt ■ 'ftiH . j»&.


\ j-■ c mains, who were the first I nrencora of
"I t /'? ''J'■'.- ^ 'Doctrin of Spirits, among the Hea*
thens, the Egyptian Priests, the Chal-
dæan Magi, or the Indian Bramins.
A Pa u s a n & a, S; i* vary .pofitive in fe*
vourof the two last:. For, fays he,
J~knor». the Chaldsctn .and'Indian Magi
to be the firfi who affirntd thst the Soul
of Man Mt immortals and of this the}
■persuaded at veil other Greeks, as es
pecially Pl at o the.Son of- Am st oift
A few more Greeks besides P aus a-
2* iAsi (and from their Authority some
W0t&

> «•• Theodorec. deGræc. Affect: Senn. 2. Thcodor*


Mclicenior. Proain. in Astronomiam. Amm. Marcel*
Lax. 'I .-••Uni ..-. 1 . :/n-i .: I ."1-.CIU
1 Ey» «ft XdKfatvf v&t hJbp ti( Mdyxt '#?•#*
•'A «Wj««, »« </3*K<trt* «S7C <tf3-f««ni M^ 'nji

H?war i Att&vof. Messeniac


• •] . • 1 .: i i •> of
Soul's Immortality* j*
of the Roman Writers) believ'd the Letter
Chaldæans to have bin ac least the In- II.
ventors of Astrology, if riot of the o'VXJ
Soul's Immortality. But we might pro*
duce an Army of Witnesses, if the
things did not speak themselves, to
prove that the Chaldæans ( to whorfl ' n
the Bramins ' were Disci plesXTiadTall
iheir Learning and Religion, and con* J £.■>,{?<,■■£
sequently the Immortality of the Soul, v ','/'
no less than Astrology, from the Egyp* ^
tians. We cou'd show that Macro* /» / ' /• f t/> g (
y
bius a did not exaggerate, when h& :}tl// /
call'd Egypt the Mother of the Sciences, //
and its Inhabitants the Parents of all the
Arts in Philosophy, the first of all Men
that dar'd to search and measure the Hea
vens, and the only Persons skilled in all
Divine things ; that is to fay, the best
Divines then in the World. But such /■''
a Disquisition "not" being absolutely ne-
fa;-,. ■>)/.

* KMafx>( (si o 2oA«t/f, iv to tftet rituJleidi, nat y^,-


t*i Tv/jU>ompiO.( cumynvvf uvat rmv 1/la.ym ywnv> Diog.
Laert. in Proæmio Histor. Philosophorum.
*,Dies quidem hie intercalaris, antequam quintus
Annus incipiac inserendus, cum Ægypci matris Artium >*
ratione consentit. Satmnal. lib. i. c. 15. Plato Ægyp- V '
tios omnium Philosophise Diseiplinarum Parentes se- . / ^. -
cutns est. Somn. Sets. 1. 1. c. 19. Quos constac primos 'f ' ,
omnium Cœlum scrucari & metiri ausos. Ibid. c. ai. ~ ^ .' s . ' *
Imitate Ægypcios solos divinarum rerum omnium
conscios.- Satmnal, U i.e. 14. '
D cessary ?" t3-?,
\\ ^ 77* Bstory of the
Layer cessary here,; we must be content with
C*&k; just what make's for our purpose.
ltv^j '; ' ,
S. THOSE who attributed theln-
:2/ li?r»s vention of' Religion to the Chaldaeans,
tad''no rea(Jfivbut their. becoming so fa-
pious for Astrology (which they first
taught the Greeks ) and the' migfity
/■■ r Koise which they made every where
I ///,>, V.I
'about Spirits arid Dæmons, their Hierar-
'/ t /'#+■
/«aJ / chy of Angels, the final Conflagration
- si f/<\< // I :
pt the World, and several other Notions
V'V'ti' ■ V like to. 'these. But this Assertion h
'"/-'< ^ Vafily overthrown by moreantient and
'•'•*' • > ','' numerous Auchoritys. Herodotus,
/,.'(' fy u< :the Father of History, fays that1 the
f*t>: P&1 Egyptians toere the frst of $fe» who in
stituted Jfiemblys, Shows, and Pilgri-
%. mages in honour of the Gods, and that
from them' the Greeks have learnt if, of
which he alledges for a Proof, that these
Things were ■frattis'd from remote Times
by the Egyptians, whereas but very lately
by the Greeks, 'tis confest by all that

Tfujei ttv%!aiTt-JV Aiyv/}ioi ita.t it 'mmfa.^yai ; mu


'*t»«5'' rx]ay al 'EMLwef fj-ifMt^nmo-t' TeKfote^i' «
:>fi* tJjv <TJ>J\a 'A/ (MT ya.t feuvovl*! tK (ToWuj "*
■^yvx frmvuiya.i, dt Ji'Emwixm *ws» tTromSmaAY'

v V ** f . . ,-r. .- s 'j tne


Souls Immortality, }£
the Athenians had a great part of their Letter
Worship from their King Cecrops II.
an Egyptian ; they had many Customs ,~''YN>
from Dan aus and his Daughters of
the lame Country, and the, Eleufiniart
and Samothracian Mysterys were only
Copy's Trom chose of Is is arid Osi
ris. As to Astrology particularly,
Herodotus maintains, ' That the
Egyptians first invented what Month and
.Day should belong to each God, and on ^^f'"'/*'AC>A'

whatever Day any Person was to be bornj .',,


ithat was to be his Lot, what Death he
(baud die, and how he frond live ; and
.that these things were made use of by such Nv
Greeks as were addicted to Poetry. To
the fame purpose Dion Cassias
£tys, ' That the Disposition of the Dap
according to the [even Planets was the In Jrltt U
vention of the Egyptians, tho not com-
municated to all oihtr People but very late
ly ; and that it was utterly unknown to

1 Kcti reifs ***& Aiyj-iflmTi er/ t^iui^ivit ; (Mit


% Km v[j.°fn tacts* dffac o-nv ki ; Kcu % ix,o\9 <

K*i CXPI&- 1« S?a<. KtfJ To?5/« iw *'£-KHi\vav 01 tv


vtomni y$oij&t(H iyjm».y\o- Lit*. 2.
': " .* To i<$ cTw i< 1»« t*9EJ«s %( kir\& 1*i TKstvtifii av9-
uAfy^vif lat t\\xi£tfS OMO.ytMSm.t-, KajtrH (.&» uV tuy**-
7/W, mnrl Ji Kat Im mtv\at esy^S'swfj * otX« wots,
ut-Kvytp iHTitv, oif%a(i£vw. 'Ot yxv a'iyaiti 'Emjwi!
*«Sh.(jui ceflo, htra y* ifni &Av&i mtwflt. l-it»- 37«-. . »..

J
36 The History of the
Letter the oUGrecians. Herodot us again
II. acquaints us with what the Egyptians
t^VVJ affirm'd from their own most antient
Records, ' That they had f.rst in use the
Sirmomes of the twelve greater Gods, and
that the Greeks borrow & these things of
them : that they were likewise the first who
appointed Altars, and Statues, and Shrines
for the Gods, and to carve Animals in
Stone. Tbis is further confirm'd by
Lucian, whose Words are these :
* The Egyptians are said to be the first of
Men who had the Kjiowledg of the Gods,
who built Templest and instituted Shrines
and Ajsemblys. They were likewise the
first who understood the (acred Names, or
Word?, and the first that taught the sa
cred Discourses or Language. But not
long after the Assyrians learnt the Doc-
r;. > i -/ trinof the Gods from the Egyptians ', they

' Av»/uc£ Star _£nv}yj*i*t itepv t?<»7« Arywr-


1i*( routeau, Kn 'Eaajvc,' tœ£* fftar <tv<thaSiiv ■ &ap*t
Ti MU ctytMuCllt KOJ VHK( Sf0/97 O.1t0VU\UU (TtpiCt! Itl*)-
7sf, xa/ £«* tr A/3r/S7 ifyKv^aj. Lib. 2.
' Tlsa.ot (*s» dLyfyuTtoiv AryWliol tepvl&l $tu>
*t« tvrotm Ko£iv, khi i^e eied&ti, kcu rtf-w* mj
■mvnyjctaf aTo-f.tr/ju. Ufajs/ cTs KM ocofxoj* «f*
tyvac-ax-, x.ai Koyv< ift« Oi^av. . Mtl* J\& 8 9T0AA.era»
;<e»'v t*?* Arymrliav Koysv Acouetp/ a Swf musty*
KM h* Ktu vttAf *yuta.v, tv rotfft kcu aythfutl* tStr%
km 5'mo* mm/j* : to /* mtAcuec kcu •mi Aiywflitw
*Z**M vtoi nr*r. D,e Pea Syria.

*LJ
Soul's Immortality. ■ 37
also built Temples and Shrines, and in Letter
these they plat• d Images and erefted Sta- II.
tues : yet of old the Temples of the Egjp- ty"V"Xi,-j£'
tians were without any Statues. Here
are decisive Passages against the Assy
rians and the Greeks. But let's hear
"Diodorus Siculus of the Ma-
gi in particular. The Egyptians, fays he, £%( 1. -c
affirm that many Colonys were spread over I t/J f
the World out of their Country, For' t.
Bel us, who is reckoned the Son of '"
Neptune and Libya, ledaColony /' * -'- •; ."■ -''■/ n
into the Land of Babylon ', and having fixt > f(% ?',--, ,, /, ,:
bis Seat near the River Euphrates, he did / '"
after the manner of the Egyptians infti- "\ *'** c
tute Priests, exempting them from pah-■■ ^t'Jyn j < t*-
lick and expensive Offices ; and by the ~J$t /. ■ •■■■
Babylonians they are fliPd Chaldeans, who , , /
observe the Stars after the Example of s
the Priests, and natural Philosophers^ and ' •
Astrologers of Egypt. This is back'd

* 'Oi J\s xv Atynrnot tptfft kai [Ai]& Tttvjtt ctToirj&s


TAs/fttf s£ ktynr\t **/« -aaadui JiM-njweu thv oikk-
jxsiw : tti B&fiuKavct, fjiiv ya.j a-)<i.vii> <frotii«( BhAw
"7av vo[*i£op.iW TlofHjbiw hvm mli AiSvnt : ov m?tc
roy EvQsalw irS\<m.w *&3»JW3-«7<it, 7« J>i hgnf„
*c$dK»ta&ttl ircLiAirKiieiai 7« kut' &jyjir]oy «J«A«f,
tuu stunt AwJ«fjicti ATraMKVfjAvus, « Baft/Aw/o/ *«- ,
Kvtt X&Acfcutf; : T«f ts cr«f«7»fwtn w/ asim rn%; '
•KtlWeU, IMftxpmt T« <**% Aiyvmoi! li!ii{} ytj&t '
qwtMft in J\i Ar^Asysf. Lib. I. ;
D 5 by]
38 the History os' $*
Letter by ' Pa us Art i -is.,.. *vi\o seys; That.
II. Bel us the. %abylont*n had bit Name ,
x^^*si from Bei,u$ ,*»' Egyptian the Son of
Libya. Ani ' Dio.do-_r.us repeats,
once again, That the Egyptians said the
Chaldeans of 'Babylon were descended from
them, and that they learnt front the Egyp~
tian Priests that Astrology whish gave
them so mttch Reputation. To tire you
with no more, Proofs, the Egyptians
bad many opportunity s to spread their
i Doctrins in Asia as well as in Africa
(especially before the Assyrian Monar
chy) by the prodigious Conquests of
Sesostris and his Succesiors even
into India, much further than A,lex-
fi/./r/ an DERtheGreatcou'd penetrate many
Ages afterwards. Sesost.-r.is was
likewise in Thracia,. and some other.
Parts of Europe. ■-* N ece.ps.q-s, anc-
ther Egyptian King,, is related to have
taught many mysterious Rites to the
Magi, the Sciences not beirrg~then un-
1 . ir-.1 ■' " .' . ... \:\tv:\ ' ' ' ".< <t?

1 'O se Baifo&i'V BoAof am 'tofps • A/}«jiw Bh>.«-


T* AtCvm wqtki<xiv, Melscnilc. -^ "'
* *aff7 J'i T»f iv BttCvKuvt X&kPxivf kfroiiatt Afyrti^
■pay ovlttf, THV &&,&? ?~{S1V 7W ■^fiit *n% 'Afgfktytiit*
VAfA tkv 'liftay yu&ovl&f "mr Aiyj^fifur. ■ !-Mb/-*i'- "* '■
■ * Ojuique Magosdocuit Mysteria'^ana Necepfos.- v'
"- Austin. £}vft.i&
worthy
Soul's Immortality. 39
worthy of Princes; for 'Fouphy- Letter^
ry tells us, That the Race of the Magt _ H.
was so potent and honorable among the '^^f^
Persians, that D AR i u s the Son of
H y s T A s p E s cmsrd to ' be nnscrib d
among other things, on his own Monument, .
that he rvai Master to the Magt. I know - / .
tEcJwk and a world of Christians '*' "'' ' ^
pretend that the Egyptians had all their J'V.£/#:' .'/"..
Learning from Abraham, a Chal- "^
dean by Nation, tho not by Profession, -//..<r•
a Stranger who Iiv'd there only two
years, and who probably spoke a dif
ferent Language. The Pentateuch
makes no mention of his Learning ;
or if he understood Astronomy, or any
other Science, why did he not rake thp
fame pains to instruct his own Nation i
as he did the Egyptians ? for the Jews ;
were of all Eastern People the most
illiterate ; whereas it is recorded in the
Acts of the Apostles for the Honor ofc.:.v.:2.
Moses, not that he follow'd , the
Doctrins of A b r a h a m, but that he
was educated and had e^cellM in all
the Learning of the Egyptians. The

' 'OJJa & fJGya Kai afafffut* yt>« ril» wj*


XliWdut vivofw&h *ki *.*•' Aetfeoc ,tok Tgdm

vwv yvrA* La^aiM^K- D£ Abstin. Animal. 1. 4-*


D 4 •"' - Pentateuch

lific fi 'fttytft Jjt/C /u jr ..'/lit, .'.-'••...,- • •


40 7he Hiftory of the
Letter Pentateuch it self makes mention of
II. their Religion and Sciences long before
L/WJ the Law was deliver'd to Moses,
which is an indisputable Testimony of
their Antiquity before any Nation in
* i-.
the World.

■' 9. HAVING thus done Justice to


the Egyptians, and proving them to
■> have bin the Fountains of Learning"' to
airthe East, "the AutHofs of the Cnal-
dasan and Greek Religions ; I come
now, SERENA, to show that they
were the first among the Heathens, who
particularly asserted the Immortality of
the Soul, with all that depends on it, as
Heaven, Hell, and the intermediate
I Spaces, Specters, Visions, Sorcery, Ne-
,• ' / / . crotnancy, and all kinds ofItMvjnation,
* .,» Herodotus, who liv'd long in their
Country, who conversed familiarly with
their Priests, ' who carefully distin
guishes what he saw, and ask'd, and
examin'd, from Hearsay and Report,
and who had opportunitys to search into
their Antiquity and Opinions the best

* M§^e« fur T*\* '4*( «ft *(*"> W yvafjai, ygi ifw*

keyxs Sftav rj]a. hkhoh, itymax ii 'lot Ktt.1 mJJoihi W


«*< rni \im <&*. L. 2. ■ ■.
of
Soul's Immortality. 41
of any body, is very clear and positive. Letter
' The Egyptians, fays he, were the first II.
who maintained this Opinion, that the <-^VNJ
Soul of Man is Immortal;'
that the Body being dead, it removes into J^
some other Animal that is born ; and that
when it hat taken its Circuit thro aU v l ''] '•
terrestrial, mdrine, and volatile Bodys, it^jyt/,/.i".
enters again into the Body of some Man
that is born. Now this Course is pet'
formd in the space of three thousand jj£
Tears. Certain Greeks have made use of
this Dolirin, as if it were of their own
Invention, some sooner and others later \
whose Names, tho known to me, 1 pur
posely forbear to write. Diodorus
Siculus acquaints us who * they
were : and here, to name no other, we >^,
see whence Pythagoras had his
Transmigration, of which I shall have

1 rifojo/ </ls kcu Tov<Pi top hoyov AiyjTnot tvst


ttmflit, *< <tv^utn 4«^t *&&*% z$l j % aa(Mijo{ /»
Ka}et,ipSivovlo{, if aMo £W clih yvofum iirMlttii
im&v S'i 7neti>i3ii mv\<t to. %$<mia, km to. Stt\afi3><*y
Kcu 7» <at7W<t, earns « eui&eum m>{M pnpmt
irsuviv- Ttw m-itm^wiv <As cuJ]n yntdtu tv Ttii'A-
Xtoiijt i}ta-i. T«7v % ^"yv «ss/ °' '&Mir»>y vxsn°*vfo,
it f*si> •xfujtgfv, htS'iv<x&v, at iJltj) ttuj-mv torn, 1UV
. ?ya « JJw 7it wef/Ut7<* » 5'£«9S'- ^~ 2*
* Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampus, Dædalus, Homcrus,
Lycurgus, Solon, Plato, Pythagoras, Eudoxus, Demo-
critus, Ænopis. 1. j. Alii dlios nominanc.
occasion
qi The- History of the
Letter- occasion to make some mention before I
^ II.. Have done. Thus it was with other
'%' <^V"VJ Doctrins. Yet, as I hinted before, be
cause the Greeks learnt most of their
Astronomy and Astrology from the Ma-
J in: gi, they imagin'd them to have Invent*
j ed those Sciences : for by reason of their
Colonys in Asia ' and in the Ionian
Islands, they were acquainted with the
Magi, much sooner than with" the'Egyp-
.p.jj/ nan Prophets, having little knowfedg of
the latter, till Egypt wasconquer'd by
the Persians, and till the time of A l e x-
ander the Great; travelling after
wards very frequently thither, and in
great
j? numbers.
10. THE Getes learnt the Immor
tality of the Soul from their Country
man Zamolxis, who was Servant
and Disciple to Pythagoras, and
who so wrought by his ' Address on
those Scythian Nations, that they not
only receiv'd Laws from him, and the
Doctrin of a future State -; but so
•great was their Respect towards him
. *-. -• .". V. .;;(':* . ';,-.' ,. -
i -."?" U i . '' '" y '"-*. '

VHerodor. 1. 4. Stfabo 1.' ii; Mnaseas;& Hefla-


c hicus in Etymologico magno. Porphyr. in, vitaPythag.
Diog. Laert. in Pythagora. ' ,' " -*°. J g--.-'":
fvl •• M» H' • _/ tor
Souls Immortality. 4}
for these Benefits, that after his Death Letter ".".I ~
they worship'd him as a God. This II. - '^j^
Opinion of changing the present Life S*^*^; •
for a better, made them so fearless in . ,
Battel, and so ready to ' expose them- 5
(elves to the greatest Dangers, being
continually fir'd to a noble Emulation X ^ .'
by their Poets, who (like the ' Gall'tck £
Bards) eterniz-'d the Memory of those ^
magnanimous Worthys that lost their V., .
Lives in War. The Druids of Gaule vv-i •
(ctf whom were iffu'd those in Britain) N^- , -.
who were of the fame Persuasion with vv . J'
the Getes, and who taught the Tran£ :
migration of Souls, borrow'd their Let- ; -." * v
ters from the Greeks, arid probably "< '. . /
their Philosophy, as Julius Cæ- .. >.-/ tv
sar in 3 express words informs us. • C ( :. V
This might easily be done by means of ^ v; .l.:
the most antient Greek Colony of Mar- \. ? • -:-"J
feFITes, famous for Arts and Learning, "ivl p, -.
They might have a Communication c> « '' 5
-+- with those of the Grecian Country, jand -^v N
Religion behind them in Italy. And ^
from their Neighbors the Germans 'x: • * C.
.. , __^_ ^'
' Pompon. Mela J. z.c. 2. cumaliispaene innumeris.
" Cæsar de Bollo GaL I. 6. Pompon. Mela 1. 3; c. j,
Amm. Marcel: 1. 15* Plinius aliique. • ,»
* Cumin reliqttis fere Rebus, public* privatisque ^i^' .„
Radonibu^Gncis Lfctcris utaatur. Libv&^ dc Bello ^
Gallico. . . T-^- •1.'.. .Jin- .' :.-:\
-i .'. . . -M-cy j 1' '.. . L (who

£'>€ fir: i' V') '. i Ctrai c !**. x in: i' r£ •

"t (4/ic n
. r. r-
46 fix Hijhry of the
Letter for the same end. Thus Is is, O si
ll, ri s, Anu bis, Tho vt h, and the
•vW> like, were at first pointed to above, and
/{** ' their Historys explain'd: Suphis, and
Set h os, and Phanes, and Mo
ses were said to be under ground.
But the unconfidering Vulgar hearing
the Learned constantly talk of certai-n
Persons in the Stars, believ'd 'em at laA
to be realty there, and that all the others
were under ground; because, as Ci
cero fays, ' The Bodjs of the Dead
falling on the Ground, and being covered
vith Earth, they thought that they led the
reft of their Lives below : from which
Persuasion he observes many Errors to
have proceeded, especially the Fables
and Terrors of Hell.

12. A B OU T the Life of those m


the Stars I (hall speak more largely ano
ther time, when I have leisure to write
the Discourse 1 promised you about the
Origin of Idolatry. But at present I
shall proceed with those Funeral Rites,
which were the occasion of so many

" In •Tcrram cadentibtis Corporibus, hisee hurho


tectis, sub Terra ceniebant rclkjuam vitam agi Mor-
tuorum. Tufc. Qu*ftJ. i.
Opinions
Sours Immortality. \*y
jns relating to a future State Lettefc
Opinions
in Egypt, in other Parts of Africa,. JtL ,
over all Asia, in many places of Europe, i^*****
and particularly in Greece. Diodo-
11 u s Sicu l n s, in the first Book of
his unvaluable Library, very largely re
cces the Funeral Rites of the Egyp
tians, especially their manner of em
balming Bodys to such Perfection, that •
aster many Ages the same Likeness and
Lineaments continue: after which he
'proceeds in these words. ' The Rela
tions of the Body that is to be bnryd, ac
quaint before-hand the 'Judges, and the
Kindred as well as the Friends bf the dead
Person with the Day of his Burial ) and
after telling his Name, they certify that
he is at that time to pass over the Lake.
After this there assemble above softy
fudges, and fitting in a certain Semi
circle, prepared on the fide of the Lake,
the Boat, which is provided in the mean
nhile

voit tv^ytnmv, vn «fe atKon r* Tnti&vmvilot j tuu


JldStCeOwldu, Mjev]i( «n Jia.Ga.vea/ f«AA« vis KifWfV
rv'nixa, t* -TiliKv/InxfliK. E^e/]* lo^ffywofiifw Ji-

W/w
'4.8 The History of the
Letter while by those to whom that Care belongs,
is brought thither by the Ferryman,
^-^V^ whom the Egyptians in their Lan-
_, guage call Charon. Wherefore they
fay that Orpheus, having seen this
Custom when he had formerly trAV«£JL
into Egypt, composed his fable about Hell,
partly imitating these things, and partly
inventing out of his own Head. Then
Diodorus goes on to tell that every
body may accuse or defend the dead Per
son, who, if he be prov'd to have led a
bad Life, is deny'd the usual sort of
Burial. From this Prohibition of Bu
rial in Egypt, which was afflicting to
the Living and scandalous to the Dead,
the Greeks (and from them the Ro
mans) had their Notion that the Souls
of the unbury'd were disquieted, and
cou'd not pass over the River into the
Elysian Fields, turning a noble Practice
into a senfless Fable. Hence you may
likewise perceive how they came by tne
Notion of infernal Judges, which Office

C,k<ti Xttfftii/*. A/o xœ.1 qamv Of^s* to 7m.htt.1w «*


klyjts]ov <S^g£cLKof\d. Kct: SnamyAvov ts/Jo rs ?ofi/f«Y,
fWdvBWimi in Kdft' d<Pu ; Td fits M4/UWtyttW, T*
Sbiil's Jrhmortalitj. ^
they bestow'd on Minob, Æacus, Letter
and Rh ad am a nth us, the 'most II.
just Princes among the Greeks. But ty*VV
hot to digress, if any false Accuser ap- -Y
pear'd, he was severely punish'd ; and
if none accus'd the dead, then he was
put into his Coffin, and his Relations
throwing oft their Mourning;, made a
solemn Panegyrics not magnifying his
Dignity or Family, but commending '¥■
his Education, Piety, Justice, Tempe
rance, and other Virtues. After re
lating more Particularitys to our pur- ^ j/j
pose, Diodorus makes this most ju- "% «^
dicious Observation. 5 The Greeks, says
he, in theit'commentitiom Fables, and. by
their celebrated, Poets have disguised, the
Truth of these things, as of what relates
to the Honor of the Just and Disgrace of
the Wicked 5 and therefore they have bin
so far from being able by these means to
lead Men to the best fort of Life, that
they are themselves despised by the Bad,
and derided for their Folly. But among
E ' the
13. The History of the
1&M& the Egyptians, the Pun/Jbment of the
\l. Wicked and the Recompence of the Good,
VV^P nos being contain d in Fables, but exhi
bited to our Eyes, each Party is. every day
put in mind of their Dutys ; and by this
Custom there grows the best and most use
ful Reformation of Manners- Lower in
the fame Book he gives a Catalogue of
sudh celebrated Greek Philosophers and
Legislators, as were initiated in the
Egyptian Learning; and repeats again,
rbat Orpheus ' brought from thence
the greatest part of the mysterious Rites
(us'd in Greece) with the Orgys that are
celebrated at their Explanation, and the
Fitlions of Hell. Somewhat lower a-
gain, he, that was an Eye- witness,
assures us, That ' the Meadow, which was
the feign d Habitation of the Dead, is a
flace by the Lake calfd Acherufia near Mem
phis,

pip mvt&if iK Miaows, roii fayidw vk ti/uh


*cv<, rglf s^fwc »<«0» ttupojwt toy icafliif v^tn-

jjfrw km av^o^ujun Afsfdro;; yytjai iw JiSay. Lib. I.


* Office, (iiv jctf 7t»F ULV&rjtut Tififmv r* TA&ftt, ruu
W tifex ~m iaJ]x fKtmtt c^ia^cuivc, rj* "Mt ivy sv
'tt.i\jixibx>KGya.v ATTinyyjfJint. Ibid.
' A&ttara. <& rtyuQtst km tm (nvSttoyviJsvny ctumv
my nt]vtM}clt# Tsr im&7tit tjuim rimy rnr *****
1 Souss Immortality, 51
shit, which City is surrounded with most letter
beautiful Meads and Groves of Lotus and 1 1.
Calamus. Nor is it improperly said that the Vv^
Dead inhabit those places ;for that the great
est part and the most sumptuom of the Egyp
tian Burials are made here, the dead Bodys
being transported over the River and
Acherufian, Lake, and laid there in Grots
made for that purpose. The other Fic
tions of the Greeks about Hell, do likewise
agree with those things which are to tbit
day perform d in Egypt : for. the Vessel
for transporting the Bodys U calPd Bi- 4.
ris7 and a piece of Mony 10 the value of
an Obolus is paid for fraught to the Ferry
man, who in their Country Language is
caWd Charon. There is also near
those places, as they fay, the Eam of
E 2 darkfom

ep)uy <sfel ttufw haftuvvy KeO^l^uV, ihav, x&l Ka% XeU


yj.Kop.ti. AwA«3»f /'«jh<3b/ yg.i to ng.'ioix.tiv rw
7iKVj]nettv1&{ ec Tovfoif 70/* 1&iroi{: Sis. to -mt ray
kiynrriav fa <n\&sa.t >y.i p&y<<&.i ivfa&t. yvu'hti,
fltt-izifduAoulliCiitr y.iv 7W vir.t>wv Si a, TL Tov "B-s-
1<tyun> yjj T»f AyttovffleK A«f«w, ri^i^tfm Si lar
MMW «f fa itfauSvt, wy-wa; Svy&f. XvjMfaynt A
I0j t'«M* t* rntgj! T!!/<,E^AH3»)B^9, dd\ nvbvhtrytpivx
TUt til Tip yvo^ivoK y&T \iyjtt\ov : to invya.? Sictyji-
(u£oy 7* fuya\<t. <pKolov, Ba&v ng.het^v.1 ; to Jl'tntCtt&!W
yofiHTi/a. TiV cCoAw t» irifSfti StJbAn.1, jgiAcy^eyp i@j&"tir
ty%>e*ov si atoiflw Xaj mi. ' E atuJt My xsri <annnw I"*
707mv t»7*k w cvlw 'Hi»%< 'nejft ** aifcx^**
51 The Hi/lory esthe
Letter darksom H e c a T e, and the GAtes of
II. Cocytus and Lethe made fast
,j/^>J with brazen Bolts. There are also other
Portals of Truth, and near these the Stjr
tueof Justice without a Head. There jet
remain among the Egyptians several other
things that gave occasion to, our Tables,
keeping still the [ame Names, and the
fame AcTtons being'perform1d. Here's a
most natural Account of the Rise of
those Poetical Fictions concerning the
V ;-, Elyfian Fields, Charon and his
Paflage-mony, with the different Man
sions of departed Souls, and the several
Portals of Hell. All other. Origins are
false, or manifestly absurd and precarious.
. This whole Book of the most accurate
Diodorus deserves to be read : but
I have transcribe enough for my pur
pose.
•••' 1 5. THUS have I shown you,
MADAM, how this Opinion of the
Souls Imrnortality,andthe Consequences

Jw7* km Aw&itf, SiHKiyy-ivtK p^t^oi; ayAitw : w-


tfXiv <& x.a.1 «aa«w Tivtef AhnSetas, km qsbxitiar
/tA^a run ix.invSiKeyrp'.mv Ju^urtiV intf Aijcsflioiy,
vM*piVYii {\i mi «ftnyie*tt,( km ipi w rq> irfa/rlm
tHPyn«{> Ibid. ' '<a.<v...-<:
" "■'<'.'„ '• - .-.."1 . i^-IU'-v - ,
* of
Soul's Immortality. 53
of the same, was introduced from the Letter
Egyptians among the Grecians, spread II.
by the latter in their Colonys in Asia 'vv^WT
and Europe, and deliver'd to the Ro- *'
mans, who from the Greeks had their
Religion and Laws. I mar k'd the Pro- ' ■
gresi of it among the Scythians, Ger
many, Gauls, and Britasns. I have like-- '.'"C/
wileprov'd how from Egypt, the Place T /( Vi
of its Birth, it travel'd to the Chal-
dæans and Indians, and from them over
all the Eastern Parts of the World : for
'tis no wonder that this Doctrin was. ,
gladly and universally receiv'd (tho not
built among the Heathens on its true 'i
Reasons) since it flatter'd Men with the
Hopes of what they with above all j-
i
things whatsoever, namely, to con
tinue their Existence beyond the Grave ;
there being but few that can bear the.
very Thoughts of ever ceasing to live
somewhere, and most People commonly,
chusing to be miserable, rather than
not to be at all. This was the State of
the Soul's Immortality, among those
Nations who were not illuminated by
Divine Revelation. The People begun > ■
it, from them their Children learnt .if,:
at last it became a pare of all mens
Education {as it happens to Opinions
generally receiv'd) and so the Learned- .•
E 3 themselves
* m5
54 Tfc* fitytorj! 0/ tte
Letter themselves believ'd it before they had a
II. reason for it. 'Tis true, tbe Vulgar,
C/VXJ wbo are not UiJd to Reflections, era-
brac'd it ever afterwards (as they do still)
upon Trust or from Authority : but not
•«. ,%,'■> u ;>■,->:. Ib with the Philosophers, who ofFer'd
.0. Yh> /'.>r,~*6tj many probable Arguments for the Soul's
./'./. .v> .'- . separate Existence and eternal Duration.
k They conceiv'd their own Thoughts or
Ideas to be immaterial, and to have
nothing in common with Extension ;
they found a Freedom in their Wills,
and a spontaneous Motion in their Bo-
dys; they obferv'd a perpetual Conten
tion between their Appetite and their
Reason ; they laid much stress on their
Dreams, and thought that sometimes
awake they had certain Presages in their
,* Minds of future Dangers ; they saw
ihat Men had an unquenchab'e Thirst
after Knowledg, a Prospect of Futurity,
and earnestly defir'd a Happiness that
fliou'd never end : therefore they con
cluded that all these things must needs
proceed from some Being distinct from
the Body, which was self moving, and
consequently immortal ; since every
Parcel of Matter is mov'd by some ex^
ternal Cause, and that what has Mo
tion1 m it self can never lose it. The
*>m s Immortality was likewise great?
c.:'l ■'>:■ \
ly
Soii's Immortality. 35
ly confirmed among the Heathens by Lettef
their Legislators, whereof several did II.
not believe it themselves ; but (obscrv- ^"V^
ing that tho some were vertuous by
Nature or Temper, and thatothers were
made so by the hopes of Reward and
Honor, or by the Fear of Punishment
and Disgrace) they further adopted this
Opinion, as luting all mens Circum
stances, persuading them that in the
other Life, the Wicked were sure to be
punish'd for their Crimes, tho they
might here escape the Rigor of the
Laws ; and that the Good wou'd like
wise meet there with those Rewards,
which might be unjustly deny'd so
their Merit in the present Life. By
others this Argument was deem'd so
have more of Reason than of Politicks in
it, and they have labor'd to prove that
such a Conduct was necessarily be
coming the Goodness and Equity of a
most wise Being. They had several
Disputes about the Soul's Præ-existence,
Duration, Essence, and the Manner arid
Time of its coming into the Body, 4ts
leaving of it, and their Union together.
On these Subjects there have bin written
many subtil and ingenious Conjectures,
but more that were ridiculous, extra
vagant, and impossible. Nor have the
£ 4 modern
]6 The History of the
Letter modern Philosophers succeeded any bet-
II. ter than the Antients, and among both of
«-/"VV them scarce any two were of a mind ;
whereas in my opinion the Moderns
have not the fame right to examine this
jmatter as the Antients, but ought hum
bly to acquiesce in the Authority of our
Savior Jesus Christ, who brought
Life and Immortality to Light.

14. 'TIS no wonder that a Notion,


thus grounded among the Heathens,
was doubted or deny'd by great num-
-bers of them, even by whole Sects, as
rhe Epicureans for example; and in
feme other Sects, the distinct Being of it
«fter Death was totally destroy'd, they
making it then to return to the Soul of
the World, and to be swallow'd up
therein. But in all Sects there never
.wanted particular Persons who really
oppos'd the Soul's Immortality, tho
they might accommodate their ordinary
Language to. the Belief of the People:
for rnqst of the Philosophers (as we
.read) had; two forts of Dodtrins, the
. one internal aiid the other external, or
> she one private and the other publick ;
, thp latter to rfce -indifferently communi
cated tp all the; .World, arid the 1 former
^jWiIy very cautiously tot heitffeest Friends,
■ /.■ubc:;: ; *■> W
5WV Immortality. J7
or to some few others capable of receiv- Letter
ing it, and that wpu'd not make any ill II.
use of the fame. Pythagoras him- ^>W
self did not believe the Transmigration
which has made him so famous to Pos
terity ; for in the internal or secret Doc-
trin he meant no more than the eternal
\n
; I.
Revolution of Forms in Matter, those
ceafless Vicissitudes and Alterations, ' . \
which turn everything into all things,
and all things into any thing, as Vegeta
bles and Animals become part of us, we
become part of them, and both become
parts ofa thousand other things in theUni-
verse,Earth turning into Water,Water in
to Air, Air into Æther, and so back again
in Mixtures without End* or Number.
But in the external or popular Doctrin
he impos'd on the Mob by an equivocal
Expression, that they (boitd become vari ■X
ous kinds of Beasts after Death, thereby to
deter 'em the more effectually from Wic
kedness. Take notice, MADAM,
how his intimate Acquaintance and Dis
ciple Timæus Locrus speaks.
' If any Person, fays he, will continue
impenitent and refractory, he (ball be sure
of Punishment both from the Laws, and
from
-

s TOY*
5% The Htstorf os the
Letter from those Dotfrins, which denounce ce-
IL leftid and infernal Judgments ; as that
V^W unhappy Ghosts mil meet with implacable
Torments, and those other things which
the lonick Poet has delivered out of an-
•>»',' tient Tradition. For as we cure the Bodys
of ftck Persons with any fort of Remedy s,
if they refuse the most wholefom', [o^ we
Jteep the Minds of Men in order by false
Reasons-, if they will not be govern d by
true ones. Wherefore there is a necessity of
teaching those foreignTorments : as that
there is a Transmigration of the Soul, those
of Cowards passing into female Bodys assigned
*em for a Disgrace \ those os Murderers
into Beasts of Prey, for a Punishment }
those os luxurious Persons, into the Forms
of Swine or Goats ; those of inconstant
and boosting Fellows, into Animals flying
■i intfo Air } and those of the Slothful and
.-. ■'[■: .: /.' . • .•• . ■ ' ..-■':■ i-
the
i —* * "' '
* ■■ ■<-* • ■'*
"7<3frt amyitaa. S'Mufi* Ti iTiu^yia, kju t* nod' a. ha ;
,<m MkkffHt I <uie.(yi.i\i!\ai tt-jnx&v}au $vaiu.i\xwt rsp-
lipolf, Ktu TttAAi* oaa- iTMina 70V Iovikov vrottflatr, IX.
t&K&i&s 'anuLvlct lat ivmyutt. '9.f ya.p m o&(/Ul}&
VOOuftW TtOHA VJ10Jll)(«t, HKO, /MI HKH T«/< tfj»Wfe-
\7dh» ; irf t<u •&&< anreifymit 4«uJW *<bM<t
um. nm atyfia,i cthd.Si<rr. teptf\t fewctiyKcuot iuu
Ttf-oeicu ipiaj, ut pdivsuonsvou/ ray -\fJ%tV, iav \&>
■ fttbm •; ymaanfi.it. tfxars*, vr<# v€&r -MfrlMfUt j
to* <Ae (iKnfiwy tf Sn&w cup*,]*, to}i tutJatv ;
h&yw Pit nmv » Kttsrfov {Lofttui ; xwpftvVte x*i
s.. J pifluifvt
Soult Immortality.
the Idle, of the VnUachable and the LetteJ
Foolish, into the Shapes of Animals liv Hi
ing'm the Water. H o m e r's Tradition t/VV
of the Torments of Hell I have prov'd
already to have bin from Egypt ; and
Transmigration is here call'd a foreign V
Tcrmen t, because Pythag 3nT'Ars
learnt it of the Egyptian Priests.
■'•"
15. THO the Poets embeHifli'd
their Pieces with the Opinion of the
Soul's Immortality, yet a great miknber 1 ,.
d£ theto (for they were hot all of a
mind) utterly rejected it, as I might
show by their own express words : for
Seneca ' was not single in faying,

Nought's after Death, and Death it


self is nought, ..: *i.j . I"
Of a quick Race only the utmost God ; I
Then may the Saints lose all their
f Hopes of Heav»y -.-'-- iMiui .;.i;
And Sinners quit their racking Fears
of Hell.
: sr.i.\ ■:-- ; ■ -•s'But

7*ip, apei&vr te mi woiitoc, 1;, tav tuv tvvS'fuv


fJW« «' Ivt LibriCalce.
* Post Mortem aihil est, ipsaque Mote nihfl, ..'
Velocis spatii Meta novislima.
Spem ponanc avidi, sollicici Mewm.
\i.j " ~ ' Qpzth
60 Ibe History os the
letter But *fter Dextb yiur^teu)fms^Mere'.
Ijk .. toJe?\ , -.. .:"• v\„ -or,. ?^v.W'i
fe^rv E'en where the Children yet '-unborn
remain. .; .-■ : . . I' j"*' '.
HVr* /o/? *'* Darkness and devouring
Time.
Death, wafts the Bodyt and at last de
stroys ; -'.';;-- -Jt.i ! :.i:iti.A
Nor spares the Soul. Infernal Depths,
! •:;Md-tnose I *'■ 0:iT .^i
JDdri Kjngdomsof^tl? inexorable
, rfjordyr :, .V -t . j:;r.r:: ..'..i ^i!J' -•"
With CerPrus,guarding the well-bolted

i Art' only fenjless- lEnksi: and empty


, Wottls, :■■' r.'l 1-n ^r.'.v ' /. :> :i h t i
^ F^/f //& »/»/o a frightful Dream.
The best reason I can. find for the fricre-
duJity.^f\\th&>EbetsV i«- the Experii&tice
they* had of their, own Fictions- a&Sut
the future State oT tficsSour : for'\&arce

. -rk -^
Quæris quo jaceas post obitum loco ?
Quo non nata jacenr.
Tempus nos . avidum .deyorac 8c Chaos.
Mors individua est noxia Corpori,
■-. J(|c,garceas Mimx.., Tænara, & aspero ...... ..;JJ
> *%^MJ>pranov.tiniericCobsidens, '; ".'.",
Musics non facili Cerberus blsio, *""'.,.J.\4
Rumo/ei, vacuj, yerbaque rinania, - • • •/ fwV"' ""
** *m soKdta.Fabi&.Sommo..
Soul's Immortality. 6t
one of 'em believ'd the charming De- Letter
scriptiofts they -made of the Efysian If.
Fields, nor their terrible thb elegant Is^vNJ
Relations of:-'die Torments of the Wic-
Eed. Virgil, the most accurate and
ample Topographer of the infernal
Regions, cou'd yet, when he -thought
of EpicuR\us,^break out into this
Philosophical Rapture :
' Happy ! who cotfd of things the Can-

Cufd of all Fearsj who cotfd tread


" under foot *
Relentless Fate, and greedy Waves
cW ofHeU! ;vul '

I$hou?d never have done ifi I alledg'd


all the Passages where Horace, Ju
venal, and 'the rest of them sport
with the storys about Hell, and Ghosts,
and the like : but Cornelius S e-
v e r ti s has exprest the Minds of them
all/ tho after a more serious manner, in
his Poem concerning the burning of
Mount Etna.

• Felix qui pocuit rcrum cognoscere Causas^ ,


Atq'ue Mecus omnes & inexorabile.Faram '
Siibjecis pedibus, faepiMmque Acberontis avari!
.-'• ---, - ft. .' , Gm&.i* *•
<$i The Hiftor) os the
&s«WF -: j :':./.» ..j V.J'.i- ./'"!•:: o "
XI ^ Of all our Errors and Mistake^rof
<XV*V things ..-;!:? .'Sbi*
Tfo greatest fart proceeds from Hi*
b . : •„. jfiofe Scenes, 1 1 ; :: •; i V .b'«jf
lnVtrse the Poty, n^inj^m

ground, ; u >cj" K 1-- > ~ lololiri*!


^»<i Pluto's /u///W Regions after

77tf Pfltf/ ff/g»V /^ Stygian Waves

T^/<r 6aw /o»/ T i -i y xx%&ersevn


-OH Acres stretched \ i\ ' -. A-.ft
'I* */j£, ^oor Tantalus, 9^0
t^ee torment
. With Hunger merciless and thirsts
:, f . Var */*?, 'h'; !lr.
O-Ml NOS 4»<J 0 E A C US, tvAo
' sing .: v
3W splendid Judgments upon trem
bling Souls ; : u .( J ./

' PlurimaparsScenæ rcrum estfallacia: Vates


Sub' terris nigros viderurit Carmine Manes,
Atqpe inter cincres Ditis pallentia Regna.
Mcntiti vates Stygias Undafque, Canesque.
Hi Tityon septem stravere in jugera fœdum ;
Sollicitant magna te circum, Tarrtale, pcena, l
Solli&taotque Siti •, Minos, tuaque, Æace,in umbris
\J Jura
Soul's. Immortality.: t$»
'IV* they who turn Ix ion's rest- I#&e?
lessWheel, , J\.
And forge all th1 other Tables under ^/V^
Zartb.
> tsÆLM ™°%h •' '^ w *^*
j" ^ Uty ww *£<* #MW» g*«£ they

You'l think me uncharitable, perhaps,


for excluding them by this last Line, our,
of Paradise: bur? besides thai; they de
serve no less fof" their Fictions iri j^re-j
jud ice of Truth, the Injury's not so
great ; since they cannot much fear a
Helios their own making.
A'.
i<5. B U T the Reasons of those who,
deny'd the Immortality of the" Spul^
whether Poets or Philosophers^ are a£
most all comprehended in a ^parrow;
Compass by Pl i n y the elder, in the
seventh Book of his Natural History.
' After the Inttrment of the Body, (ays hef
there are various Conjetfures about de-
■ farted
Juracanunt; idcmquerotanc Ixionisorbem ;
Quicquid &: interius farfi sibi conscia Terra est.
Non est Terra saris : speculantur Numina Divum,
Nee mecuunt oculos alieno admictere Cœio, Sec.
' Post l'epulturam rariæ Manium Ambages. Ora-
uibUs a suprema die eadern quæ ante primatn ; nee
'■-'.' ■ maeis
44 1'he History of the
Letter farted Souls. But the State of all Men
If. is the fame after the last Day of their
^^^ Life, m before the first ; nor u there any
more Sense in Body or Soul after Death,
than before the 'Day of our Birth, let
the Vanity of living Men extends to fu
ture Ages, and feigns to it self a new
Life in the very time of Death -.some
bestowing Immortality on the Soul ; feme
teaching the Transmigration of the fame ',
others allowing Sense to those in Hell, and
worshipping their Ghosts, and making a
God of hint, who is not at present so
much as a Man. As if indeed the man
ner of breathing in Man differed any way
from that of all other Animals ; or as if
there coud not be found many things
which enjoy a longer Life, to which no
body dreams of attributing the like Im
mortality. But what fort of Body has
the separate Soul ? Of what Substance ?
Where

magis a morte sensils ultus auc Corpori aut Aniib*,


quam ante Natalem. Eadtmenim Vanicasin iuturum
ctiam fe prorogat, & in mortis quoque tempore ipsi
sibi vitam mentitur : alias Immortalicatem Animæ ;
alias Transfigurationem ; alias scnium Inferis dando,
& Manes colendo, Deumque faciendo qui jam etiam
Homo else desierit. Ceu vero ullo modo spirandi racio
Homini a carteris Animalibus distet ; aut non diutur-
niora . raulta in vita repwiantur, quibus nemo similem
divinat Imracrtaliutem. Quod autem Corpus Animas
pit
Soul's Immortality^. . 6<$
Where resides itsTbinking? How does it Letter 1 . -
fee ? How does it hear ? Or by what II.
means does it touch? About what it it t>'V>J
bufyd? Or what Good can there be -y.Qfc
without these things ? Where likewise is '
the Mansion thereof? And in so many
Ages, how vast must be the multitude
of Souls, as -well as of Ghosts I These
are Allurements to quiet Children, and the
fictions of Mortals that woitd live with
out end. The Vanity of preserving the
Bodys of Men, u like that of the Resur
rection promised by Democritu?,
who did not revive himself1 But what a
prodigious Madness is it,. to think that
Life can be renewed by Death ? Or what
Repose can Mortals ever enjoy, if the
Soul be alive above, and the Ghost has
Sense below ? In earnest, this Fondness
and Credulity destroys the usefulness of
F • Death,

per se ? Quæ Materia ? Ubi Cogitatio illi ? Quomodo


visus? Audicus ? Aut qui tangit ? Qui usus ejus ? Auc
quod sine his Bonum ? Quæ deinde Sedes ? Quantave
multitudo tot seculis Animarutn, veluc Umbrarum!
Puerilium istaDelinimencorum,aviclæque nunquatn desi-
nere mortalicatis Commetua sunc. Similis & de asserran-
disCorporibus Hominum, ac reviviscendi promista De-
mocritovanicas, qui non revixic ipsc. C^uac (raalum)
ista Dementia est, iterari Vitam raorte ? Quxve IGe-
nitis quies unquam, si in sublimi sensus Animæ manet
inter infernos Umbra ? Perdit proiecto ista Dul-
cede
66 The History of the
Letter Death, which u the principal Good of
II. Nature ; and doubles the Pains of & dying
« lyVNJ $£i, // he happens to be concern d about
hit future State : for if it he a pleasure
to live, to whom can it be pleasant to have
livd? But how much easier and more
certain is it for tvery one to believe hit
own Experience, and to draw an Argu
ment of his Security from the Considera
tion of whtt he has bin before he was born ?
Such are the Reasonings of Men who
talk all the while of they know not
what, having tfalse Notions of the Ori
gin of the Soul, none at all of its Uni-
-}, 0.i on with the Body, and but imperfect
Guesses about its Essence, which leads
'em consequently to doubt of its sepa
rate Existence, and so to deny its Im
mortality. But, however Men left to
themselves may mistake, 'tis impossible
that God (hou'd lie ; and what he has
reveal'd, tho not in every thing falling
# under our Comprehension, must yet be
true and absolutely certain. And in

cedo Credulitafque præcipuum Nacuræ bonum, mor


tem;' ac duplicec Obirus, si doJere eciam post-futuri
Ænimarione evenit : etenim si duJce vivere est, cni
porest esse vixisse-' At quanro facilius cerciusque sibi
quemque credere, ac Specimen sceuricatis antegenieali
sumerc experimento ? Cas. $$.
■•- - ■ * - -, • « • .. »•» ><<*•• *
S'-' this
Soul's Immortality, 67
this consists no small Advantage of Be- Letter
lievers, that tho they may be equally U.
ignorant with others about the nature o£*&*TS*- \ ,
a thing, yet they may have the greatest
Convictioh of its Existence, and make
.
that use of this Discovery which is bene
ficial or convenitht.

17. BUT I exceed my defign of a


bare Historian ; befides that you need
no Antidote, SERENA, against the
Poison of an abler Adversary than
Pliny. I have freely given you my
Opinion how the Heathens came by
their Notion of the Soul's Immortality,
with my Reasons for the lame : and if I
attribute the Invention of this Doctrin,
asrwell as of Astrology, and most of the
other Sciences, to the old Egyptians, 'tis r
not out of any Partiality to an extinct
Nation (tho never so learned, wife, or. <•
polite) but led by historical Proofs to a
full Persuasion. In treading the Mazes
of Antiquity, I am secure from all sus
picion of Favor or Fear, of Interest or
Revenge. I can'c be thought to flatter
Necepsos, if I fliou d make him
pass for the King of Astrologers ; and I
am«come too late into the World to ex
pect any Recompence from Sesos-
trij, who, I think, far exceeds all
Fa the
6% Tbe Histvyy ice
Letter the other Heroes and Cooquerors of At-
D. tiquitv. When I undertook to examine
^"*>J thB Sabject, the Discovery of Tradi
was the only end I propos'd to my self,
besides that of obeying your Commands,
which (hall be always, MADAM,
received with more Alacrity and Sub
mission, than those of any Monarch in
the Universe, by your most oblig'd and
devoted Servant.

LETTER

h
Letter
in.

LETTER III.
*

The Origin os Idolatry, and


Reasons os Heathenism.

i. A M under a double Obligation,*

I MADAM, to impart my
Thoughts to you about the'
Origin of Idolatry, both from the Pro--
mise I made you by word of mouth, and
by what I have since written to you in
the Letter concerning the SouPs Immor~
tality among the Heathens. But you are
not to expect an account of all the an- '
tient Superstitions, which wou'd re-1
quire many Volumes, nor of any one
Religion whatsoever. I shall only en
deavour to show by what means the
Reason of men became so deprav'd, as
to think of subordinate Deitys, how
the Worship of many Gods was first
F j introdue'd
7o the Orlgm of Idolatry,
l^ucr introducd into the world, and v
111. induced Men to pay Divine Hooot
v/W' their Fellow-Creatures, whether
Ea«bot4«- the Heavens: then I ]
explain the Fables of the Heathen:
genera] and certain Principles, gii
the occasion or their Temples, Pri
and Altars ; of their Images and
tues ; their Oracles, Sacrifices, Fe
Expiations, Judiciary Astrology, Gh
and Specters-, of the tutelary Powei
several Countrys ; of Peoples rhinJ
that Heaven is over us, that Hel
under us, and such other things as c
monly occur in the Greek and Ro
Authors. Tho wjth very small [
I could manifestly prove that in Ej
' Men l*d Jirjl, long before others, arr
tttfft liartop* beginnings of Religions
A M M I A »jU $ M AR C E L L I N
ipeaks) i»dik\t they prefirvi the
.-cessions of SucreA Rites comet?c
their secret Writings ; yet I shall
trouble you with repeating the A
njents I have already produe'd to
ruisose in the History of the SpuCs
~H'} ,; f ■ ii^sl!' '

R«gi6o,Sj,IgB:'P«lS*no, Jonge ante alias, ad

wftijjs. 1,1,. 4;'™ "ute tWB™r edndita Si


and'seasons of Heathenism. 71
mortality, from the Authority of H e- Letter
RODOTUS, DlODORUS SlCU- III.
los, Lucia n, Dion C a ssius, ^"VV^
Macrobius, and others: nor will
I urge that, by Examples and Laws
from the Pentateuch, it clearly appears Jusctc
that Magick, the Interpretation ©f
Dreams, Astrology, and Necromancy,
were long us'd in Egypt before they
were known in Chaldæa or any other
place. ,.> : • v ■• -

2. THE, most anticot Egyptians,


Persians, and Romans,; the first Pa
triarchs of the Hebrews, with several
other Nations and Sects, had no sacred
Images or Statues, no peculiar Places or
costly Fashions of Worship ; the plain
Easiness of their Religion being most
agreeable to the Simplicity of the Di
vine Nature, as indifference of Place or
Time were 'the best Expressions of in
finite Power and Omnipresence. But
tho God did thus make Men upright, yet
they found out (fays the wisest King of Eccl.7.29.
Israel) many Inventions. And certainly
when oftce a Man suffers himself to be
led into.precarious or arbitrary Practices,
he cannot stop for any Reason, but
what* if it be gaod, must conclude with
equal Force against alL I believe I
«■ ,i ■■>•>■ F 4 may
*?l • ■ Iht Origin of Idolatry,
Letter may without much difficulty prove,
III. that such as first entertain'd Designs
'i^^ro against the Liberty of Mankind, were
also the first Depravers of their Reason.
For none, in his right fenses, can ever
be persuaded voluntarily to part with
his Freedom ; and he that makes use of
Force to deprive- him of it, must have
brib'd or deluded very many before
hand to support his unjust Pretensions,
by which accession of strength he cou'd
seduce, frighten, or subdue others. It
will not therefore appear unlikely that
Men very early learnt to have the fame
Conceptions of God himself, which
they had before of their earthly Princes :
and after thus fancying him mutable,
jealous, revengeful, and arbitrary, they
next endeavoured to procure his Favor
much after the fame manner that they
made their court to those who pre
tended to be his Representatives or
Lieutenants, nay to be Gods them
selves, 6r to be descended of heavenly
Parentage, as the antient Monarcbs us'd
to do. ■v

J. IT seems evident from the re


motest Monuments of Learning, that
all Superstition originally related to the
Worship of the Dead, being principally
i deriv'd
and seasons of Heathenism. 73
deriv'd from Funeral Rites, tho the Letter
first occasion might be very innocent or III.
laudable, and was no other than Orations OW»
wherein they were sometimes personally
addrest (such as the Panegy ricks of the
Egyptians) or Statues dedicated with
many Ceremonys to their Memory.
But the Flatterers of great Men in the
Persons of their Predecessors, the ex
cessive Affection of Friends or Rela
tions, and the Advantage which the
Heathen Priests drew from the Credu
lity of the simple, carry'd this matter
a great deal further. Not only Kings
and Queens, great Generals and Legis
lators, the Patrons of Learning, Pro
moters of curious Arts, and Au:
thors of useful Inventions, partook of
this Honor ; but also such private Per
sons, as by their virtuous Actions had
distinguilhM themselves from others,
were often consecrated to pious and
eternal Memory by their Country or
their Kindred, as reputable to the Dead,
and exemplary to the Living. This is
the true reason (as we shall shew in its
proper place) of all Nations having
their proper . tutelary Gods ; and hence

Divi Iodigete.
are

r
74 ^e ®ri£m °f Idolatry,
Letter arc deriv'd the peculiar Religions of
in. ' particular Familys. Pliny, 'in the
1-/W second Book of his Natural History
fays, That the most antient way of Mens
faying their Acknowledgments to their
Benefactors, was by deifying of them after
their Decease (which was affirm'd by
'Cicero with several others befoi'e
him) and that the several Appellations of
the Gods and of the Stars are deriv'd
from the meritorious Actions of Men.
The first Idolatry therefore did not pro?
ceed ( as 'tis commonly suppos'd )
from the Beauty, orOrder, or Influence
of the Stars : but Men, as I told you
in the History of the Soul's Immortality,
observing Books to perish by Fire,
Worms, or Rottenness ; and Iron, Brass,
Or Marble not less subject to violent
Hands or the Injurys of the Weather,
they impos'd on the Stars (as the only

' Sacra denrilitia. '' '


* Hie i est vecustistimus referendi bene merentibus
Gratiam mos, ut tales Numinibus adseribant : quippe
& omnium aliorum nomina Dec-rum, & quæ supra
retuli Syderum, ex hominum nata sum meritis.* - : • •
» $i#cepicaucem vita Hominum consueeudoque eaw-
munis, uc benefieiis excellentes vfros in Ccelum fema
ac votantate tollerem: ; hinc Hercules, hinc "Castor &
Pollux, &c. DeNat.Deor.1.2. .,-.. ,.. , iyli ,
j. £ ever-
and seasons of Heathenism. 75
everlasting Monuments) the proper Letter
Names of their Heroes, or of some- III.
thing memorable in their. History. <V/VJ
Eratosthenes the Cyrenean, a
very antient Philosopher of prodigious
Knowledg in all the Sciences, wrote
a, Book ( yet extant ) of the Constella
tions, wherein he delivers -the Reasons
of their Names, which are perpetual
Allusions to antient History, tho won
derfully difguiz'd by Time, and for
the most part mere Fables. The most
learned Monsieur Le Clerc, when
he wrote an Extract of Eratos
thenes, among some other Mytho
logical Tracts in the eighth Volimie of
the Universal and Historical Library,
made the following Epigram. •

',, Antiquity, Ping sure that Nature 's


Force
Wotfd Brass and Marble Monuments
, . consume, .
Did wisely its own History transmit
To future Times by Heav'ns eternal
fires.

I Tempore, cum Iapidum sciret monumenta vetustas,


, Atque perire fuo cuncta mecalla situ ;
Cauta, suam, ætates fqrtur docuisse futures
Cælorum æternis ignibus, Hisloriam.
In
76 the Origin of Idolatry,
Letter
Hi. In other places he declares himself to be
4^V>J of the fame opinion concerning the
Appellations of the Stars, and in that
very Journal explains some Fables, upon
this Principle. As divers Nations
learnt this Custom one of another, so
they accordingly chang'd their Spheres, '
each imposing on the heavenly Bodys
the Names and Actions belonging to
their own Country. This is manifest
in the Spheres of the Greeks and Bar
barians, and for this reason the Cretans
maintain'd ' that most of the Gods were
born Among them, being Men, who, for
their Benefits to the Publick, had obtained
immortal Honors : for they believ'd the
Grecian Gods to be those of all Man
kind, and knew not that in other places
this way of naming the Constellations
and deifying deserving Men, was long
in use before they had practis'cf it.
Nor was there wanting one among
the Christians, who, approving this
Method, endeavour'd to abolish those

ytwzv&t, tx{ Jia T*f taivat ivisyurtat tv/*v\<k *3*-


vdlur Tifiny. Diod. Sic. 1. 5.
Heathen
\
i

/j
and (Reasons of Heathenism. 77
Heathen Names, as not understood, or Letter
of no concern to us; and to impose III.
on the Stars new Names in their stead, u'WJ
containing the History of the Old and
New Testament. But since he cou'd
not prevail with the Astronomers, let's
not digress. At last such as were ig- '
norant or aiham'd of the true Reasons
of these things, wou'd justify their
Worship (tho, as I shall evince, by
weak Arguments ) from the endless
and' orderly Revolution, the admirable
Lustre, and general Usefulness of the
Sun, Moon, and other Planets and
Stars. This did likewise give the
Philosophers a handle to explain the
Motions of the Planets by certain In
telligences fixt and inhabiting in their
Orbs, which they perpetually guided in
their Courses ; and hence the Bodys of
the Sun and Moon are painted like a
Face with Eyes, Nose, and a Mouth.

4. THE Opinion of the twelve


greater Gods proceeded from certain
Historys affix'd to the twelve Signs of
the Zodiack, as the seven Planets bear
the Names of as many Persons, to
whom were also consecrated the Days
jof the Week, but reputed more or less
... . holy,
78 The Origin os Idolatry,
-•>'
Letter holy, lucky or fortunate, according to
III. the Temper and Dignity of these Gods :
iyw> so that the Egyptian Division of Time
into Months and Weeks, and the storys
they wou'd perpetuate by the Stars,
gave a Rife to the most eminent Gods of
the Heathens. From hence very natu*
rally Judiciary Astrology had its be
ginning : for the People, as you'l see
lower, believing those Gods to corre-
• spond with their Priests, who they
thought might as well foretel any other
Secret as they did Eclipses, consulted
them about all they dreaded or wifh'dl.
The fluctuating of mens Minds be
tween Hope and Fear, is one of tfife
chief Causes of Superstition : for being
no way able to foresee the Event of
what greatly concerns them, they nervf
hope the best, and the next minute
fear the worst, which eafily leads them
not only to take any thing for a good
or bad Omen, which happen'd to them
in any former good luck or misfortune ;
but also to lay hold of any Advice, to
consult Diviners and Astrologers. 'Tis
just after the fame manner with sick
Persons, who frequently prefer a Conf-
jurer to the best Doctor, and a ridicu
lous Charm to the most excellent Re-
, » . medy.
and seasons of Heathenism. y$
medy. ' Magick it self (in the worst Letter
fense) had its undoubted Original from III.
Physick, as Pliny fays, pretending t-^VNJ
to afford better Remedys, to ' fa* no
bler and more divine : to its JUt~
tering and most alluring Promises were
added" the joint Forces of Religion (to
which Mankind is always extreme
ly obnoxiont) and of Mathematical
Arts (meaning Astrology) every body
being desirous to know what regards him
for the future, and believing that the
Truth of these Things may be certainly
learnt from Heaven. Thus captivating
Mens Understandings by this triple Ty, it
increased to such a prodigious pitch, Sec.
Over and above the Impressions of
Religion in barbarous Words and
Charms; and of Astrology, in the In
fluence and Intelligence of the Stars,
the Magicians wou'd appear not to act:
. ..

* Natam primum e Medicina nemo dubitat, ac spe


cie ialutari irrepsilsc velut alriorem sanctioremque
quam Medicinam -. ita blandisfimis desideratilTimifque
promiflis addidiffe vires Religionis, ad cjiias naxfme
eciamnum caligut humanum genus : atque uc hoc quo-
que sijggesseritmifcuisse Artes mathematicas, nullo non
avido futura de ie.se seiendi, atque ea e Carlo Teriffime
peti credence. Ita, posseslis hominum scnfibus tripb-
ci nodo, in tantum Fastigium adolevit, Sic. Nat.

without
80 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter without rational Grounds, by the oo
IIL cult physical Virtues of certain Herbs*
o'VX' Stones, Minerals, and other Things
extremely difficult to be procur'd,
and only known to themselves. I
have already prov'd in my last' Let
ter, that the Egyptians were the In-
venters of Astrology ; and tho C i-
cero, the Disciple of the Greeks,
inclines to attribute it rather to the
Chaldeans of Assyria, yet it's worth
your while to hear how cautiously this
wife Man has exprest himself. The
Chaldeans, ' fays he, not those so calPd
from their Profession but from their Na
tion, by a constant Observation of the Stars
are thought to have framed a Science,
whereby it may be foretold to every
Verson what may haspen to him, and to
what Condition he is born. The Egypti
ans likewise, from the Antiquity of
Times, are believed to have had the fame
Art for innumerable Ages.

' Chaldai, non ex Arcis fed ex Gencis vocabulo no-


minati, diuturna Observatione Sydcrum. Scientiam pn.
tantur effecisse, ut prædici poffec quid cuique evencu-
rum, &quoquiiqueFatonatus esset. Eandem Artem
etiatn Egyptii longinquitate temporum innumerabilibat
pene fxculisconsequati putancur. tie Divinat. lib. i.
5. SINCE
and season's of HtatkmfrU. 8i
■-. V.™ :• -. „ Letter
5. SINCE thus I baVe 'accounted III.
for Magick and judiciary Astrology^ ^V^
I shall, before I go any further, add a
Word or two about Peoples looking
tip when they pray, believing Hea
ven to be over their Heads; and Hell
under their Feet. I shall likewise pro
duce the occasional Causes , of Ghosts
ind Specters : for all those Things came
from the fame common Root with the"
Origin of Idolatry, that is, from the
Rites of the Antients about dead Bo-
dys. In the Letter about the Immor*
tality of the Soul among the Heithentj
I explain'd to you by what Degrees
the People came to be persuaded, that
there were Persons living in the Scars ;
dnd here I'll Ihow you how they arJ
riv'd to the supreme Dignity of God-
ship : from which you'l easily per
ceive that this introduc'd ths Custom
of Mens lifting up their Eyes,- and ex
tending their Hands to Heaven when
they pray, directing themselves to the
Gods whom they beheld above them.
From the fame Funeral Rites thCy be-
liev'dHell to be under the;raj; and to
be the Mansion of the Good and the!
Bad, tho distinguished in their Places
■ 'j', G
8£ 77* Origin os Idolatry,
Letter and Conditions; because all sorts of Men
IIL were equally bury'd, and only a sinal-
o'WJ ler number deify'd, whom they thought
to be above: whereas in the Universe,
properly speaking, there is in reality
neither Above nor Below, Right nor
Left, East, West, North, or South,
these being only abstracted Notions, de
noting the Relatioos of particular Bo-
dys to one another, and their several
Snuations in respect of us. The Fan
cy of Ghosts and Specters proceeded in
like manner from the Egyptian Mum-
mys, these being so long kept intue,
notonly in the' Grots near Memphis,
but also by many People in fine A-
parrmentsat home, and which (whe
ther preserving their Lineaments
fresh, or becoming ghastly with Time)
cou'd naturally make frightful Impres
sions on Children, Strangers, and the
ignorant Vulgar. Tho Humation, or
the placing of the intire Corps under
Groand, was the most antient and uni
versal manner
Athenians areofacknowledged
Burial, and to
thathave
the

iearn'd it of the Egyptians, yet you


know the Romans were accustom'd to
burn their dead Bodys ; and neverthe
less as Cicero judiciously remarks,
they
and^easomof Heathenism. gj
they were nothing cur'd thereby of Letter
their Notions concerning Ghosts and HJ.
Specters, Humation having bin like- o^WJ
wise their first Method of Burial. And
so prevalent n\*j Error, ' fays he, that
tho they knew the Bodys were burnt, jet
they feign 'd such things to be transacted
in the infernal Places, which without Bo*
dys can neither be done nor under/toed:
For as they coud not frame any Notion
in their Minds of Souls living in a se
parate State, so they fought out some
form 'or Figure. Thence proceeded all
Home r'j Divination by the Dead ',
thence those necromantick Rites which my
Friend Appius us'd to perform ; thence
in our Neighbourhood the Lake of Aver-
HUS, y. .;-

Whence Ghosts ate nightly raised, and


Gates of deepest Hell

' Tantumque valuit Error— tfc corpora cremata cum ,


iciitent, ramen ea fieri apud inferos fingerent, qua fine
corporibus nee fieri possent nee iiuelligi. Ammos e-
nim per seipsos viventes nonpoceranc mente complects
Formam aliquam Figuramque quærebanr. Inde Home-
ri cota Nsjui/-* : inde ea qai meus amicus Appius N«-
ftftyucPTicefaciebat: inde in Vicinia nostra Averni Lacus,
Unde Anima: excitantur obseura umbra, aperco ostiof
Alti Acherontis, lalso sanguine imagines morcuorum.
nfcQust. hu
G 9 Ope/t
84 27^ Origin of UoUtty,
Letree
JII. Open to false Bodys, Images of tht
^™ Dead.

6. THUS you sec, MADAM,


how they took care co people Hell ; and
the truth is, that the very Heaven of
the Gentiles was wholly inhabited by
Colonys from our Earth. Cicero
in his first ' Tusculan Disputation, bold
ly.fayj, Is not all Heaven full os human
Race? Is I /bond be at the pains of
searching among the Antients, and parti
cularly the Greek Writers, those, who are
accounted the principal Gods, will be found
to have removed from among m into Hea
ven. Ask whose are the Sepulchers they
show in Greece. Remember, seeing you
are initiated, what is told at the Celebra
tion of the Myfierys ; and then you 11 un
derstand how very far this Business reaches.

' Totum pene Goelum nontie humano Genere com-


pletum eit ? Si vero icrutari vetera, & ex his ea quæ
Scriptorcs Graci prodidcrunt eiuere coner ; ipsi lfli,
rnajore> gentium Dii qui habentur, hinc a nobis profec-
rl in Cœlum reperientur. Quære quorum demon stran-
rur lepulchra in Grsecia. Reminiscere, quoniam es ini-
riacus, qua; trad uncur Mysteriis; turn denique quam
hoc late pateat intelliges.
Nor
and 'seasons of Heathenism. 85
Nor was it at the Eleusinian Myflerys Letter
only that such Discoverys were made, II!".
for those of the Egyptians adumbrated '^"v^
the Death of their, deify 'd King Osi
ris and his Queen Isis; to speak no--
thing of the Syrian Rites in Honor of
Adonis and other Deitys,which King
David most properly, calls the Sacri
fices of the Dead. It is as true of a<ll the psai. 10$.
Mysterys in general, what- Cicero 28-
fays in another place of those of Eleu-
sis, Samothracb, and Lemnos, ' That
being explained, and reduced to the Ex
amination of Reason, the Nature of
Things is better known than that of the
Gods. Eu hem er us, afi old Sicilian
Poet and Philosopher, wrote the Histo
ry of Saturn, Jupiter, andtl^e
rest of that sort, describing the Birth,
Country, Action?, and Buryal -place of
each; and, as Pl ut ar ch words ir,
2 He humanized the Gods, not transform
ing but reducing them to Men, such as
they ' truly were before. Bur, not con*

* Quibus explicatis, ad rationemque r.evocatis, return


magis natura cognoseicur quam Deortim. De Nut, Deor.
lib. 1.

' Ab Euheraero autem & Morces & Sepuluræ dc-


caonstrantur Deorura. " Cic. de Nat. Deor. /. i.
G 3 tent
#8 . ~'7he Origin os Idolatry,
Letter most natural, the most universal, and
III. what gave occasion to all the rest. The
tyv>J fame excessive Respect: was transfers by
degrees to other things, both as being
jheGiftsof theGods, and for their own
innateiExcellency. ' There are many other
Natures of the Gods, fays Cicero,
(not without reason, because of their
great Benefits), instituted and «ani'd by
the wisest Men of Greece, and by our
Ancestors : for whatever coud bring great
profit to Mankind, that thing they thought
eoudnot be made without the Divine Boun
ty towards Men. But they did not re
strain this Notion to those useful things
without us, nor to the celestial Bodys ;
they also extended the like Privilege
to the Dispositions of the Mind, to its
Facultys, and Virtues : for, according
to the fame Cicero, 'The thing it
self, in which there is any great worth, u
' so

' Multas autem alias naturae Deomm ex magnis Eene-


tcii? eorum, non finecausi, &a Græciæ'lajpientifTinris
& majoribus nostris constitute nominatxque sunt:
ejuicquid enim magnam utilitatem gerieri afferret hu-
hiano, id non fine divina Bonitate «rga Homines fieri
arbitrabantur. De Nit. Deor. 1. 2. .« \ -.
' Turn autem res ipsi in qua vis inert major aliqua.
and (Reasons of Heathenism, 89
so term'd by them, that even this very Letter
Worth is calTd a God, as Fidelity, the III. '
Mind, &c. And so Virtue, Honor, .i/W
Safety, Concord, Chastity, Liberty,
Victory, Clemency, Piety, and. such .
like, were deify'd ; in all which things,
adds he, ' because there was so great a
Worth that it could not be managed without
God, the Thing it [elf has obtained the
name of a God, of which kind the words
Cupid and Desire, Venm and Love,
are consecrates. Without question,
when wise and good Men perceiv'd
that the People wou'd needs have a
plurality of Gods, and Temples dedi
cated to them, they, to comply with
their Weakness, and at the fame time
to bring 'em as much as they cou'd to
better and nobler Thoughts, deify'd
such Things. Hence may be perceiv-d
how so many Things came to be deify'd,
which have no personal Form or Ex
istence, and are nothing else but mere

sic appellaeur, utea ipsavis nominccur Deus, ut Rdes, >


ut Mens, &c. Ibid.
' Quarum omnium rerum quia vis erat tanta ut sine
Deo regi non posset, ipsi res Deorum nomen obtinuit,
quo ex genere Cupidinis & Voluntatis, & lubentinæ
Vcncris vocabula consecrata sunt. Ibid. . ■
Propertys,
po The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter Propertys, Modes, or Accidents. This
III. made Cicero appoint in his Laws
t-z'W^a matter practis'd in Rome before)
that those things shou'd be reputed
Gods, ' for the fake of which Man was
admitted to ascend into Heaven. T«
well done, fays he, that the Mind, Piety,
Virtue, Faith, are consecrated, of all
which the Temples are fablickly dedicated
at Rome ; that those who have them
( and all good Men have them ) may
think that the Gods themselves are flacd
in their Minds,
i ' '
8. BUT as the Superstitious pervert
every thing in Heaven and Earth, so
they fail'd not to do in this cafe, conse
crating the most vitious and abominable
things, for which our Author justly
reprehends them. The Athenians
were bless'd with a couple of fine God
desses, Contumely and Impudence ; the
Romans had Fear and Hope, Paleness

* Propter qua» datur homini ascensus in Coelum.r—-


Bene vcro quod Metis, Pietas, Virtus, Fides, conse-
crantur manu, quarum omnium Romæ dedicate publice
Tcmpla sent : ut ilia qui habeaht (habent avtem om-
nes boni) Deos ipsos in Animis seis collocatos purest.
Ve Leg. 1.2,. :•■..""■•': •_>/ eirjipv
astd
and seasons of Heathenism, 91
and Trembling. The destructive Fe- Letter
ver had an Altar ; and there was an III.
endless rabble of Gods presiding over ^^
the foulest Distempers, and even over
Actions very barbarous and obscene.
The Egyptians, besides the Worship of
the celestial Gods, or of the Stars and
Planets, had withal a symbolical Wor
ship on Earth, attributing Divine Vir
tues and paying a religious Respect to
almost all sorts of Animals and Plants,
not excepting the most vile and con
temptible. Yet all parts of Egypt did
not reverence the (ame Species. The
Reasons they alledg'd in their own
Justification, were either the Usefulness
of these things, or that the several
Deitys manifested their particular Pow
ers more in one Species than in another,
or they pretended to some Allegory
drawn from Morality or Natural Phis
losophy. ' In their Sacred Rites, fays
Plut arch, there s nothing Appointed
that's unreasonable (at some imagine) or
sabulous, or from Superstition; but some
things

i vx
jtt 7be Origin of Idolatry,
Letter things having moral and useful Causes,
III. And. others not being void of some hijio-
L/^Y"*0 rical or philosophical Elegance. Agree
able to which Cicero says, that
the very Egyptians, ' who are fa much
laughs at, have not consecrated any Beast,
but for some Advantage that they drew
from it. This symbolical Theology
made several learned Men believe that
all the other parts of the Heathen Re
ligions might and ought to be so ex
plains, which I shall prove to be ai
great mistake before I have done. The
Egyptians indeed carry'd it farther than
all others : for they did not only wor
ship the Bird Ibis, Hawks, Cats', Dogs^
Crocodiles, Sea-horses, Goat?, Bulls,
Cows, Onions, Garlick, and what not ?
but * they worships a Man in the Town of
Anubis, in which they sacrificed to him,
and burnt the sacred stuff on the Altars.

& Ofiride.
• * Jpsi illi, qui irridentur, Ægyptii, nullam Belluam,
nisi ob aliquam ucilitatera quam ex ea caperent, con-
secraverunt^ DeNat. Deor.l.i.
Av&t**mv oiGtsiriir KoJ* AvxGiv mvmv, w 9' Km
Txlo 8u«7«, KM iTl TW &UUJW -TO. hit!* KULilcU, fit
abslin.1.4; -/..•;".; ..-' ~:~- r-* .-v'a'A- .•••

: .-./.- They
and seasons of Heathenism. pj
^They are the words of Porphyry. Letter
; ... . w.
9. IN other Countrys some paid a t/srv
philosophical Worship to the four Ele
ments, and certain parts of the human
Body. Other Citys as well as that of
Rome were elevated to the high Dig
nity^ Goddesses. And many for fear
of «offending by mistake erected Altars >
to'-' 'unknown Gods. The Romans
frankly naturaliz'd those of all other
Nations, falling down before such De-
itys as cou'd not protect their antient
Votarys from the Power of their Arms :
yet this was rather a politick Liberty
of Conscience, than the Effects of any
real Devotion. Now from all this it is
very evident, not only that the Gods did
infinitely exceed Mankind in number
as well as in dignity ; but that, tho
Superstition cou'd be kept within no
bounds, yet all Idolatry had its Original
from mens Nottons and Actions about
dead Bodys. But no Absurdity seems
greater to me than to find Divinity at-
tributecTto Chance, which is directly

' Diog. Laerc. in Epimcnide. tfausan. in Attic. &


Lucian. inPhilopat.
opposite
94 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter opposite to all Order, Intelligence, and
]If. Design: and, nevertheless, under the
i/*VV name of Fortune it had its proper Tem
ples, one dedicated to good, and another
to bad Fortune ; at the fame time re*
ceiving Divine Worship, and the most
opprobrious Epithets of blind, various,
inconstanr, true to the worst, and a jilt
to the best. These things, as in the
Sequel will appear, were inn oduc'd and
invented at second hand ; but all occa*
sion'd and grounded on the Worship of
the Dead.

io. I AM far from designing to


bring all the Arguments I cou'd to
demonstrate my Opinion about the Ori*
gin of Idolatry, yet I cannot forbear
producing one Example, which shows
the utmost Extravagance of human
Nature. Tho the generality of Chris
tians have almost made a Martyr of
Socrates as dying for the Belief
of one God, and that the Heathens will
have his guilt to have bin for intro
' ducing other Gods than the State al-
low'd, yet both these Assertions are
false : for to his death he adher'd to the
Worship of his Country, being of opi
nion that no private Person ought to
) separate

/
fc.
and seasons of Heathenism, pj
separate from the publick Establish- Letter
merit ; and tho he might believe but III.
one God, yet this was none of the <vv^O
Crimes objected to him by his Accusers
or his Judges. However, considering
the Sentiments of all Men about him,
it seems scarce credible that this Father
of good Manners, this Prince of Philo
sophers, and ablest Physician of the
Mind, fhou'd have divine Honors paid
to himself after his death, that he fhou'd
have a Temple and a Fountain dedi
cated to his Name. We read, it's true,
that the Athenians, repenting of their
injust Sentence, and to acknowledg his
exemplary worth, erected a Statue to
perpetuate his Memory : and we know
(what is very natural) that his Admirers
celebrated his Birth-day, and wore the Fi
gure of his Head about them on Gems in
their Rings or Seals. But this Veneration
at last was carry'd to religious Worship.
For Marinus, the Disciple and
Successor of Proclus at Athens,
who wrote his Master's Life* and who
speaks of a thing he knew as well as I
do to what Saint my Parish-Church is
dedicated: Marinus, I fay, rela
ting the happy Presages of P r o c l u s's
succeeding in the Platonick School, says,
that
$6 "the Origin of IdoUtrj,
Letter that - as he arriv'd at the Pirdum, N i-
III. c o l A s, who afterwards grew famous in
;/V>° the Art of Declamation, but study d theto
under the Professors at Athens, went
down to the Port its to one of hiJ Ac
quaintance, to receive and lodg him as
his Countryman ; for Nicolas wi
likewise a Lycian, and so he conduced
him into the City. But (Pro cms)
finding himself weary after his Voyage,
fat down by the way in the Chappel of
Socrates (when as yet he neither
knew nor had heard that Soc'RAtES
was honor'd in any place thereabouts)
and prayd N i CO L as* that he woifd
likewise fit down a little, and, if he cou d
any where, to help him to some Water\
The other obeying him, ordesd some to be
brought

siv y.tv 7nej.fctv\]i mi r» ovpisnt* ytvotiu/os, tuviKmJ*


A 0-^5A«4^4>V TOK VI hSsMa.l< AlJotsKSthOlf, Kt£\iGn its

K'M ^ivasyiwv a; voKiftw. Avxjs< ya? mi a Ntyj-Kais{.


tiyiv xt avjov tm tw toA/c *Q h if. ta /Wi^P
M7TB iidefc X«J* TW '0»fhl>> **' "Sfe* 7B 2o*£Jt7*/OI', K/7W
iiAx «A <&xm.mx oJi'Soz&flisf cus}n tk iyyvovjo 71^0.1 ;

Kxdi£i£ttl, ifM cste KM U IX<" W^*" «'«% eWTO

'O J*5 \jDium axfja, xm t*7o \sK a^J^A^it vaStr,


and seasons of HeatUnisml 97
brought immediately, and that from no Letter
other place, but from that fame confecra- III.
ted Ground : for the Fountain of So- OOPO
crates'; Statue was nos far from
thence. Now, as he was drinking, N 1-
colas, who thought of it only just
then, said to htm, this is a good Omen
that you have fat in the Temple o/So-
crates, and that there you drunk the
first Attic fVater. Then Proclus,
rising up and worshipping, proceeded on
his way to the City. Here you .have an
Example in all Forms how the' Vene
ration of dead Men becomes excessive
in time; and I have chosen to relate if
thus at length, because it was most
unlikely ro happen to Socrates,
tho more deserving it than any
other.
ii. I SHOU'D never have done,
S E R EsN. A* if I wou'd confirm my
OpinlQP fey ail the Authpritys I couM

yti ^opfffl W H 77X7H VIS ^oKfcfluS SflXMf. Uiov\i /«


ttv\a> evpCoKw a N/Ko\«of, toJs T^ov iTttsims, etm»,
tif vq s«fafl<H$> «n tyiftu&etf, wu wl'r nutter
Arlituv vJhf •mat. 'O J'i,- t^itrapts tuu owa-jM/-
maaji, vm w ToKtvwrofAno. Marin. in vita Prodi,
Cap. 10. Edit. Lond.
H produce.
$>8 Tk Origin of Idolatry',
Letterprocluce. Whoever is conversant in the
III. Learning of the Antients, and con-
*>"Vso fiders the Accounts they have left us of
their own Original as well as- that of
other Nations, what they have parti
cularly written-' oF; their Gods, and the
Reasons of their Deification, can have
no doubts remaining concerning this
matter. But *cis observable, that fco
cording to the degrees of Improvement
any Nation made In Politeness, Lite
rature, or Government, the less they
were addicted to this impious Humor
'of God-making. To give an Instance
hereof, the Romans deify'd Romu
lus their first King and Founder ; bur,
during those many hundred Years their
Commonwealth subsisted, they did not
consecrate one Mortal, tho for Virtue,
Knowledg, and Valqr^ they were fur-
;nisliM with more deserving- Examples
'than1 all the World besides. And yet
as sbouasever their free Republick was
tuen'd. .into, .absolute Monarchy, the
greatest part of the first Emperors
'were deify 'd ; Both Julius Cæ-
rSAR the Subverter of their Liberty,
^•and the most cruel, leud, or foolish of
, the. succeeding Tyrants,* faith some of
th^ir Wives, Relation's, ".aadjffiavJQraesi;
,;,-,;-' '•'! I* imitating
and (Reasons of Heathenism. 99
imitating herein the Custom of Kings Letter
among the Barbarians, who by such III.
Artifices kept their Subjects in per- <-/*V*s*
petual Slavery, as not daring to rebel ,
against: the Gods, or those that were
in Election to become such. There's
nothing better known in History, than
that Princes had Divine Honors paid
'em after Death by the Egyptians, As
syrians, the most antient Greeks, and
other Nations. Their Queens also,
their Brothers, Sisters, and other Kin
dred, were made Gods and Goddesses;
and it was always the Interest of the
succeeding Monarch, to keep up this
extraordinary Notion of his Race.
Nay Divine Worship was offer'd to
many others during their Lives, as well
as to Augustus. Plutarch,
to whom I might add several more
Authors, relates that Artabanus,
a Persian Lord, said to Themisto-
cles, then a Fugitive in that Court,
1 Of the many and good Laws which we
have, this is the molt excellent, to honor

TT—'

- ' 'Hum ft <rt».\w vs(jiav xtu x,*Koy evmr xtA*

w* Su. In Thtmistocle. 1

iav "tk
i do The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter the Kjng, and to worship the Image of
tit God. Nobody is ignorant how sacred
*>*v^ the Ottoman Race is esteem'd ; tho this,
• as we see, cannot always preserve 'em
from the Fury of their insolent Guards
or of their injur'd Subjects. The Di
vine Right claim'd of late by some
Christian Kings, and the unreserv'd
and passive Obedience pretended by
their flattering Clergy to be due to
them, if not a better Expedient to sup
port Tyranny than that of the Hea
thens, yet they were unquestionably
intended for the fame end and purpose.
But the wiser Men grew, the less they
believ'd of these things; on the con
trary the more narrowly they watch'd
their Princes, the more jealous they be
came of their Liberty and Privileges.
Religion and Reason are hated Ob
stacles to Superstition and Error ; and
' Cicero remarks that some Ora
cles ceas'd to give Responses in bis
time, because People were grown less
credulous.
1 2. H A V I N G hitherto explained
and established the Origin of Idolatry,
I shall now, MADAM, conformably
to these Principles, assign the Reasons
of
and G^ea/ons of Heathenism. ioi
of the Heathen Rites, if you'! allow Letter
any Reason to be given for Practices in III.
many cases very absurd and extrava- o"VVJ
ganr. Men thinking to please their
God (whoever he was among so many)
as they were wont to do while a Prince
on Earth, erected magnificent Tern*
pies or Palaces, and on sumptuous
Tables or Altars they made Feasts or
Sacrifices to him ; imagining that he
and his Court (principally compos'd of
their deceas'd Heroes) did feed on the
Blood and Fumes of slaughters Ani
mals, and delight their celestial Nos
trils with snuffing up the Fragrancy of
Incense, as they did their sacred Eyes
with Pomp and Shows. All the At
tendance was finable to their State and
Dignity when living. Solemn Times
or Holy-days were set apart from ordi
nary Labor for the Celebration of the
Feast ; and those, whom afeerwards
they call'd their Priests (whose business
was to order the Feast, to serve the
Company, and to repeat a Panegyrick
in Commemoration of the deify 'd Mor
tal) were clad in splendid Garments,
and endow'd with several commodious
Privileges, as the Servants of Princes
always are ; but the chiefest at the be-
H J ginning
!bi The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter ginning were an Exemption from
III. every other • Duty to the Publick, and
Lsvkj plentiful Salarys assigned for their
Livelihood. There was likewise ar
these Feasts, good store of Mustek,
Dancing, Perfuming, Illuminations,
Bowings, Cringings, Prostrations, and
every thing besides that is usually im-
ploy'd to gratify the Senses of the most
vain or licentious Prince; but ccu'd
never be thought acceptable to any Di
vine Being, without placing the Origia
of Idolatry in the Worship of the Dead,
which makes such Worship and Cere-
monys very accountable.
* ._*-'*
1 5. AS they did with the Ministers
of their Princes, so they must make an
Interest both with the Courtiers in Hea
ven and with the Priests on Earth y not
only bribing them_for their Intercession,
but if they wou'd not favor, at least not
to oppose their Petitions : for they were
commonly of different Factions above
as well as below. But you must under
stand that the Power of these Courtiers
.was of no small moment, the Govern
ment and Protection of all Regions and
Citys,: particularly of those where they
Jiv'd or govern'd themselves, being difc
r, ii tribured
and jetsons of Heathenism. 105
tribured among 'em. There was nei- Letter
ther Tree nor Plant ; nor Beast, Fish, III.
or Fowl ; nor River, Fountain, nor Hill ; yv"VJ
nor almost any other Creature, but was
the special Care and Delight of one or
other of them, and frequently call'd
after their Names, as in their Life-time
they happen'd to use, or love, or admire
them. This immediate Direction they
were thought to have on the Things
now mention'd, as well as over the Dis
eases of the Body and the Passions of the
Mind, gave a Reputation and Authori
ty to their pretended Miracles, Appari
tions, Divinations, Oracles, and all
other Arts of the Cunning, to drain the
Pockets of the Credulous.
-1.1/ - ••.- -' ' j ,.' ' " -•
/'„. 14/ AS for the Sanctuarys and the se
cret Arks kept in them, with their many
mysterious Doings, their Expiations,
Purifications, and other ridiculous, pro
fane, or cruel Ceremonys, and all very
burdensom ; these, I fay, were at the
beginning symbolical, representing the
true History. of the Gods while living
on Earth, exhibiting the Reasons of
.their Deification, and,the Arks in parti
cular containing the Emblems, Marks,
or Tokens of the whole Fact, as all a-
OT .? 1 H 4 Bree
I04 Iht Origin os Idolatry,
Letter gree who have look'd into the Heathen
III. Mysterys. But these things were after-
iyV^J wards manag'd by the Priests so as to
make their imagin'd IntirrJacy with
Heaven more valu'd, and to get Re
venues settled on themselves, proporti
onable to the Laboriousnefs and Impor
tance of the Service in which they were
engag'd. Nor did the Multitude of
the Rites serve a little to amuse and di
stract the Vulgar from reflecting on
matters with more consideration, their
whole Time being almost employ'd a-
bout them : besides that they muft
needs entertain a high Opinion of them,
who ccu'd affix Sanctity to Times, Pla
ces, and Persons, and to such things as
were either indifferent in their own Na
tures, orseem'd the farthest imaginable
from being religious. Moreover, there
was not wanting sometimes a mutual
Compact between the Prince and the
Priest, whereby the former oblig'd him
self to secure all these Advantages to the
latter, if he in return would preach up
his absolute Power over the People, on
whose well-meaning Understandings he
cou'd make what Impreflions he pleas'd
at any time.

15. TO
and seasons of Heathenism. 105
s 1r Letter
15. TO the Authority of Princes III.
they added their own Inventions about t/VNJ
Hell (as I show'd before in this Letter,
and also in the last I sent you) not con
tenting themselves to terrify Men with
Ice and Flames, deep Mire and Dark
ness, they added Vultures, Rolling-
Stones, Wheels, and Chains ; Hydras,
Centaurs, Harpies, Chimeras, Sphyn-
xes, Gorgons, Dragons, and a World of
other Monsters, the Executioners of
t*he Princes Tyranny. They told 'em
also of Ghosts and Specters, Visions
and Voices, amazing the Vulgar with
the tremendous Sounds of Tartarus,
Erebus, the -black and roaring Waves
of

Styx, Acheron, Vhlegethon, Lethe, Co~

wkh the hideous barking of triple-


headed Cerberus, the dogged Sul-
lennessof Charon the Ferryman :
but the inexorable Furys, Alect o,
T til v h on e, and M e g-'jb. r a, were
inore dreaded by far than Pluto or
Proserpina, tho Sovereign Go*
vernors over those infernal Regions.
«'"*' f From
io6 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter From what I said before about the Ori-
III. gin of Ghosts and Astrology, you may
o^/V^ be sure they were addicted to all man
ner of Divination and Magick, such as
' Augurys and Auspicys, • Extispicys,
I Necromancy and Necyomancy, * Py
romancy, ' Pfychomancy, ! Nephelo-
mancy, 7 Hydromancy, ' Capnomancy,
' Sortileges, with other numberlefe
and superstitious Vanitys, which are
continu'd in most parts of the World
to this very Time, and which may be
fouqd ,deicrib'd at large in V a n d a l e.
We may imagin, from the fame Reasons,
that they abounded with Witches, Sor-
cerers,and Fortune-tellers, who, by vir
tue of a Covenant or .,'.' Compact with
the Dæmons, by their Knowledg of trie

1 Divining by Birds and Signs. , . * By ,the Entrals of


Animals. » By the Dead ahdGiiojts'r * By Pire. 5 By
Souls. * By the Clouds. ' By Water. ' By Smoal^.
* By Letsl. vhetber in Passages of Body or otherwise.

"Quis labor We superis,- Canrus Herbasque scquendi


Spcrnandiq-, Timor 1 Cujns Commercia PACT I
O "i'9^%^05 habuere Deos ? Parere neecsse est, . ,
An juvat? Ignou taatum pietate merentur,
' An tacitis valuere minis ? Hoe Juris in ortnos' l
. Est illis superos ? An habent hæc Carmina cestum
. % Imperiofr Pcum, qui Mund,um cogere, quicquid
' X^gWiple, pptest?J ..iLu%an.PhaT3jai.k6.
.-'.•. '- .3>i k;::. • Jo;1 j wu jwjrs/
.n'.■^ Stars,

k
and season* of Heathenism. r©7
Stars, and by the occult Qualitys of Letter
certain Herbs, Stones, barbarous Words, III.
and Charms, and by pricking, or melt- yr^SkJ
ing, orburying the Images of the Par
ty s concern'd, pretended to make the
Gods appear, and to raise the Ghosts of
the Dead ; to darken the Sun and
Moon, and make the Planets more
backward, nay to bring down the Stars
from the Firmament ; to transform
themselves andv others into various
Shapes ; to afflict whom they, pleas'd
with Distempers ; procure Love or
Hatred \ foretel future Events * disco
ver hidden Treasures ; spirit away Peo
ples Corn, or Milk, or other Goods ;
change little Children in their Cradles ;
and a thousand more such Pranks^ tedi*
ous to relate, and impossible fqri^iipk-
ing Men to believe. But what; thp
Learned and the Prudent thought of all
these Pretenders to extraordinary Know-
Iedg, old Ennius will frankly- tell
you in his rugged Measures.
:t.' ■■■■ -■■: 's. •" ,'"••" '-7lT [''
' I value not one rush a Mar/tan Aw
.-■••;-:• £Wl . . ■ •.. ... , ■ ._..: , -r-;;^
.:.-:!■; • n . - ,i.-!i : .. - .•..-'' ..''. .j 'fljgf
... ■ >.L~''-' A '■'•■■ ' '■ ' -•'•'•'* "•"■■-' 'livifc iu:)'rj<- >
,ir ■ ;iii'j. ' . ' '. ". .*■,; '.'
* Nonliabeo deniqup nauci Marsum Augnrem,'
• Noa
Letted iSor Country Fortunetellers, tor
jjj# VsTown Star-gazers,
(/^v Nor 'Jugling-Gypfies, nor yet Dream-
■' cf Interpreters i
'• for not by Skill or Art are these D<J
viners ; /
But superstitious Prophets, Gueffers
'"' impudent,
* Or Ule Rogues, or craztd, or mere
• starving Beggars. •-•' •
i The} know no way themselves, yet
others would direst ',
And crave a Groat of those, to whom
they promise Kithes,
-I Thence let *em take the Groat, and
>' • ghithackallthlrefo -r •
; ? Jb-vJ •.:'■! i ' i n.«. . i:ID :•' ;• 'V* ".
Vts& may :ad<i here the febulous Storys
of theHeartiens (much like our modern
Tales' of' Fairy s) concerning their Syl*
viaft ^auhs and Satyrs; their Larva
v;on>I 7T.-r.ti. ■ .; • s ui r..rr
ii i ^l/fti/i' i—" nil.:.'. . ,' '•
Non vicanos Arufpices, non de circo Astrologos,
Non Isiacos Conjectores, non Incerpretes Somnium :
JNoiwailmiuBt ii aut Xdentiaaui arte Divini,
SedfuperstiriosiVates, impudentesq; Harioli,
Aut inertes,aut insani, aut quibus Egestas imperat;
>qui fibisemitam nonsapiunt, alteri monstrant viam,
Quibus divitias pollicentur ab iis Drachmam ipsi petunc,
De his divitiis fibi dcducant Drachmam, reddant

ixvi and
and seasons of Heathenism. 1 09
and Lemures ; their Nymphs of the Letter
Seas, Rivers, Fountains, Hills, and III.
Woods, such as the Nereids, Naiads, <-^/NJ
Dryads, Hamadryads, Oreads, and if
there be any more like to these, only fit
to scare Women and Children.

16. LET's now return, if you


please, to the higher Powers ; for as in
Life so after Death they were of several
Orders, Gods of the upper, and Gods
of the lower Form, the ' Nobility and
• Commons, as also * intermediate, in
ferior, and vagabond Dæmons (origi
nally from the Supposition of departed
Souls) who had no certain Habitation,
bur wander'd in die Air, and were con
stantly sent on Errands, either to carry
the Prayers of Men to their Superiors,
or to acquaint the World with the
Wrath or Favor of the Gods, where
of they were commonly thought to be
the Ministers and Executioners, for
those Princes had their Armys in Hea
ven as well as on Earth* But as the
; —rrf-i • . ■ . -■
,-.':'.> . • 1 i.'v.'' ' :
• Diimajorum Gentium.
* Dii minorum Gentium.
* Dii medioxurai, &c.
Til Hea-
j IO .' . The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter Heathens sent the best of their Gods to
III. Heaven, so they recall'd 'em again at
l/W their Pleasure, confining their Presence
to some small Chappel, or to the poor
Idol within that: for they imagin'd
that many of them liv'd in Tombs or
wander'd in the Air, before they help'd
'em to those Accommodations, where
the Desires of their Petitioners were
more agreeably heard than in any other
place. ' They often fell down before
the Work of their own Hands, which,
Bad it Life or Reflection, ought rather
toi worship them from whose Skill all
its Excellency had bin deriv'd : but the
wiser Mice, Swallows, and Spiders made
very bold with their Statues, notwith
standing the virtue of Consecration,
while silly Men were forc'd themselves
to protect what they fear'd and ador'd.
These very Statues are an Argument of
their human Figure and Original, and
we know the respect that was paid to
the Statues, even of living Princes.
Their Shrines were often visited by the
most ignorant and devout, who also
hung the Temples round with Offerings
and rich Presents, consulted the Oracles
in all dubious Events, bound them
selves by Vows in their Distress, believ'd
: ~i their
and seasons of Heathenism. Hi
their,> very Dreams to ,be divinely Letter
infpir'd, and made their Religion in UT.
every respect as troublesom to others as i>"VVJ
to themselves. -From what they ? prac
tised on Earth, there was not a darling
Passion or Game of their great Men
(such as drinking, wenching, or hunt
ing) but the like- were ascrib'd to the
Gods. Wherefore, we often read of
their Amours, Marriages, Rapes and
Adulterys; their Dissensions, Revel-
lings, Quarrels, and Wounds ; their
Revenges and Thefts ; their Com
plaints and manifold Distresses, being
sometimes expbs'd, at other times im
prisons, and once fairly beaten out of
their Cittadel in Heaven by the Giants,
to seek in a pitiful manner for shelter
on Earth ; all which things demonstrate
their Earthly Original. We need not
wonder after this to find, that they are
always represented in the State wherein
they dy'd, and with all the distinguish
ing Marks in which they liv'd. Thus
are some of 'em ever old, and others e-
ver young ; Pareats, Children, and Re
lations ; some lame and blind, of diffe
rent Colours and Appetites; some clo
ven-footed (whence the present vulgar
notion of the Devil) some furnith'd
with
in The Origin os Idolatry, *
Letter with Wings, or arm'd with Swords,
IH, ^Spears, Helmets,, Clubs, Forks and
^"v^Bows; or drawn in their Chariots by
Lions, Tygers, Horses, Sea-calfs, Pea
cocks, and Dove?, iNow all these
things were partly bnrrow'd from their
true History, and are partly allegorical,
poetical, and fabulous Disguises of what
is no longer perfectly known nor under
stood. -■> n ,-. ' , ".. jiaffci -
. n'A ev.l.i! .'■:.'! -Jrtiil ir'-i'.t'nTA
17. ÆNOMAU3,..E«h^m^
r u s, L uci a n, and miny other Per
sons who made use of cheiF Rgftr
son, didsearkfly mock the Deitvs soi
being natural iz'd of this or that Flape,
where they exercisM every orje.th*
Trade wherein he e^ccll'd. Thus
Afoli o had an Office, pf Intelligence,
and told Fortunes at DeJphos ; E s qyT
la pi Us sec up an Apothecary's Shop
at Pergamus; Venus kept a noted
BaudyJbouse at Pdphos; V upcast
had a Blacksmith's Forge in Lemnosj
some were Midwives, some Huntreues,
and aJJ of them traffick'd where they
•cou'd: sot they us'd, like us Mortals,
such as they had formerly bin, when
they, did not thrive in one place, to re-
move into some other more convenient
:-.*f for
and (Reasons of Heathenism . ijj
for their Business* As all Events Were Letter
believ'd to be the Effects of their Love III.
or Displeasure, so Men found out se- yVV,
veral Methods to thank or appease
them ; and particularly gave *em (by
way of acknowledgment for the rest,)
the First-Fruits of all Productions, whe
ther of Animals or Vegetables, with
Tythes and other Offerings which they
were bound to pay to their Living
Princes. ,Nor was there any thing al
most that came amiss in their Sacrifices j
for what was.th'e aversion of one prov'd
the delight of another, and some of
em would be content with nothing un
der human Victims, an Argument of
their bloody Disposition in this World.
We often find them highly resenting the
Affront (as Princes and Great Men use
to do) when their Altars were neglec
ted, especially if the People feasted other
Gods ; and Men have not Jess frequent
ly in their Turns reproach'd the Divine
Powers with Ingratitude, and even out-
rag'd their Statues (being sometimes in-
clin'd to Rebellion) when they thought
themselves not sufficiently requited tor
. the rich Presents or Bribes which they
gave them.

* ...i.

j /s-
/>•
114 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter
III. 1 8. BUT thothe more learned and
o'VNJ virtuous had many times better Noti
ons of Things, vet we find the Senti
ments of some of 'em mighty fluctua
ting and obscure, principally occasion'd
by the Persecution that was sure to at
tend the Truth, or any attempt towards
a general Reformation, witness the
Death of So crates. We may ob
serve from ' Plutarch, that the
true Reason why the. Theory of the
Stars and Planets was so little, or at least
not so generally known, was, that the
common People wou'd never endure to
hear those things made subject to a Phi
losophical Examination, orexplain'd by
the ordinary Laws of Nature, by in
voluntary Causes, and blind Facultys,
while they held 'em to be intelligent,
eternal, and immortal Gods. And
therefore when An ax agoras difc
cover'd that the 'Moon had but a bor-

' Ou</l' o,Aof®-ec/o?®- w, «M' aroamof £77 x«<

irxty u(ti(ouTtu( a.ht>y« tuu J\.wa^mt et,r&ywnft not


KATwayKAtruiyti, irtfin, Jl<*Te*G*VT& to buoy* In
yica Nici*.
row'd
and seasons of Heathtil/m. 115
row'd Light from the Sun, and so gave Letter
the Reasons of its Wax and Wane,- such III.
a Doctrine durst not be made publick, ''-»<v>^
but was secretly communicated to very
few, and even to them under a Promise
of Fidelity. Indeed a great many emi
nent Persons in Europe and Ada, both
understood themselves the Origin of the
Religions commonly receiv'd, and
sometimes have dar'd to discover their
Vanity, Insufficiency, and Imposture
to others. But such as at any time
thus asserted the Unity of the Deity,
and expos'd Superstition, we ought not
to reckon for Heathens, by which Ex
pression is properly understood Idolaters
who believe a plurality of Gods, and
that pretend to have particular Revela
tions from them, with several sorts of
Rites instituted to their Honor as they
were thought toast in distinct Provin
ces, or else to commemorate their par
ticular Actions. The Jews ( wap
thought all the People of the World,
but themselves, to be of this kind) usu
ally call'd 'em the Nations, from the
Greek whereof we have the word Hea
thens, and Gentiles from the Latin.
All those therefore who had Penetration
enough to discover, and Courage to op-
I 2 pose
i 16 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter pose the Folly or Craft of this Tsieology,
III. were call'd and reputed Atheists, and
<^f**J treated as such by the Multitude at the
Instigation os the Priests. Several Per
sons, especially among the.Philosophers,
werenVd and imprisorfd, some were
sent into Exile, others judicially sen
tenced to Death, many torn in pieces by
-the Rabble, and all of them constantly
branded with Impiety for disbelieving
the Mysterys, or exposing the Holy
Cheats or their Times. But no thanks
are due to the Heathen Priests, that
fewer Instances of this kind occur a-
mong them than the Christians: for,
besides that most of the Heathen Priests
dister'd little from Civil Magistrates,
and that many of them did not conti
nue in their Office for Life; they were
likewise in perfect subjection to the
State : whereas the Christian Priests (ex
cept in a very few Protestant Gountrys)
overtop the Government, and are every
where absolute Masters of the Under
standing of the Laity. In our Discour
ses therefore of the Antients, we are to
ascribe their sound Notions or moral
Practices to the Light of Reason, where
of Heathenism was a notorious Corrup
tion. For want of observing this Dis
tinction,
and seasons of Heathenism. \\j
tinction, there are infinite Mistakes Letter
committed. One rashly maintains III.
that Heathenism was a better Foun- t>*Y"NJ
dation for Virtue than Christianity,
whereas he ought to have (aid no
more ( at mod ) than that the Law
of Nature was often better fulHlPd
by Heathens than Christians. Ano
ther thinks all those to Jjave bin Ido
laters who liv'd when Heathenism
prevaiTd, than which there cannot
be a grosser Error. Can any Man
be 16 stupid as to count Cicero
( for example ) a Heathen, who, in
his admirable Treatises of Divinati
on and of the Nature of the Gods,
has demonstratively subverted their
Polytheism, Sacrifices, pretended Re
velations, Prophecys, and Miracles ;
their Oracles, Augurys, Oneirocri-
ticks, Incantations, and all Fopperys
of the like sort ? Minutius
Felix, Tertullian, and o-
ther Primitive Apologists for Chris
tianity, transcrib'd their best Argu
ments against Heathenism out of
these and the like Books, and very
often in the fame words. A r n o-
b i u s, after doing Justice to others,
I j maintain?,
il8 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter maintains, that if 'Tullv's Works
III. were read, the Christians need not
t/W trouble themselves with Writing; and,
after acknowledging that he did with
much Ingenuity, Constancy, Boldness,
and greater Piety explode the Gods, tells
us that many Heathens did for that rea
son not only decry those Books, and
avoid reading them ; but were also for
sollicking the Senate to burn and abo
lish them : whereas, to use the judicious

1 Quern quidem locum plene jamdudum homines


pecton&vivi, tarn Romanis Liceris explicavere, quam.
Gratis, & ante omnes Tullius, Romani difertisltmus
Generis, nullain veritus Impietatis Invidiam, ingenue,
constanter, & libere, quid super tali Opinatione senti-
ret, pietate cum majore monstravit. A quo si res
sumcrejudicii veritate conscriptas, non verborum Lu-
culentias pergeretis, prohata cssec & hacc Causa, ncc se.
ctindas (ut dicitur) actiones nobis ab Infantibus postu-
laret. Sed quid aucupia verborum, splendoremque ser-
monis peti ab hoc dicam, cum sciam esse non paucos
qui aversentur & fugiant Libros de hoc ejus, nee in
aurem velint admittere lestionem Opinionum suaruno
prasumpta vincentem? Cumque aliosaudiatn muflitare
indignanter &dicere, oportere statui per Senatumabo-
leanturut hxc lcripta, quibus Christiana Religio com-
probetur, & vetustatis opprimatur auctoritas ? Quinimo
?i fiditis exploratum vos dicere quicquam de Diis veslris,
Erroris convincife Ciceronem j temeraria & impia dic-
tirare refellicote, redarguite, comprobate : narn inter-
cipefe scripta, & publicatam velle fubmergere Lectio^
nern, non est Deos defendere, fed verkatis Teslificatio-
nem timere. Lib. 3. adverfut dent.
words
and seasons of Heathenism. 1 19
words of our Author, to suppress those Letter
Books., or to prohibit the publick reading III.
of them, was not to defend the Gods, W"V
but to fear the Testimony of Truth. I
cou'd name a great number of other
Persons remarkable for their Valor,
Piety, or Justice, who were much far
ther from being Idolaters than their
Accusers ; and Ihou'd no more be de
nominated Heathens, than those can
be now call Mahometans, who, tho
living at Mecca, disbelieve the Alcoran.
Now, such as will have these to be
Mahometans, or those to be Heathens,
plainly show their Ignorance of what
is meant by the Words, or that they
perceive noc'the Distinction between the /.■ ■ '
Law of Nature and all positive Insti
tutions.
19. TO be short, MADAM, the
Religion of the Gentiles (as contrary
or superadded to the Light of Reason)
is such as cou'd not influence Virtue or
Morality very much in this Life, nor
afford any certain Hopes or Security
against the Terror of Death. 'Tis
true, there were many among the Hea
thens, who, loath to believe their Re
ligion so groundless and ridiculous as
I 4 it
no The -Origin of Idolatry,
setter it seem'd to appear, especially from the
III. Descriptions ot' the Poets, wou'd have
laO^ their numberless Gods to be nothing else
but the various Appellations, Attri
butes, or Provinces of some one Being,
whether it were the Sun, or BAq-
chus, or any God besides, of whom
they had a better Opinion. Legislators
did put the best face they cou'd upon the
matter, and, without anxious Inquiry
into the Truth or Falshood of things,
they approv'dof all that contribu/ed to
keep Mankind in order, that excited
'em to Virtue by Example and Re
wards, that deter'd 'em from Vice by
Punishments and Disgrace. But others,
as the well-meaning Philosophers, alte-
goriz'd all their Doctrins into mere na
tural things, wherein the Deity mani
fests his Efficacy, Bounty, or Goodness ;
from which threefold Consideration
proceeded the famous Distinction of
their Poetical, Political, and Philoso
phical Theology. Yet the more dis
cerning Persons laught at these shifts,
well knowing that it was impossible to
make any tolerable Apology for most of
their Fables. Cicero therefore
"condemns the Stoicks for pretending
that al|^he: Greek Theology was.
mysterious.
and seasons of Heathenism, ill
mysterious. Fir/f Zeno, 'fays he, Letted t:
after him Cleanthes, and then r lit!
C h R y s i p p u s, were at great pains t^VVl
to no purpose, to give a reasonable Ex
plication of commentittorn tables, and to
account for the Etymology of the very
Names of every God : which proceeding
plainly (bows that they believe' not the
Truth of these things in the literal fense. .
However, to give a Specimen of their
Allegorys, they made Jupiter and
Juno, to signify the Air and Clouds ;
Neptuse and Thetis, the Sea
arid Flouds ; Ceres and Bac
chus, the Earth and all its Produc
tions; Mercury and Minerva,
the ingenious Talents of the Mind, as
Learning, Merchandize, Arts, or the
like; Cupid and Venus, our ear
nest Desires and amorous Inclinations;
Mars and Bellona, Dissensions and
Wars; Pluto and Proserpina,

' Magnam molestiam suscepit, ac minime necesta-


riam, primus Zeno, post Cleanthes, deinde Chrysippus,
commentitiarum fabularum reddere rationem : voca-
bulorum, cur quique ka appellati suit, cauiis expli.
care. Quod cum faciris, illud profecto confitemini,
longe alicer rem se habere atque hominum opinio sit.
Qe Nat. Dear. I. 3. .
Mines,
ill The Origin, of Idolatryy
Letter Mines, Treasures, and whatever lies
Us. conceal'd under ground. So they pro-
l>*w; ceeded to explain away the rest of the
Gods ; and, as Allegorys are as fruitful
as our Imaginations, scarce any two
Authors cou'd wholly agree in Æeir
Opinions. But supposing the Truth
of the matter had bin as any or all
of 'em wou'd have it, yet their Re
ligion was not a whit the better, and
descrv'd to be abolifh'd ; since, what
ever were the Speculations of a few
among the Learned, \is evident that
the Vulgar took all these to be very
real Gods, of whom they stood in
mighty fear, and to whom they paid
Divine Adoration : not so insist on the
Trouble and Expensiveness of their
Rites, or the Cheats and Dominion of
the Priests. This was clearly perceiv'd
by Cicero, who, enumerating th^
several kinds of the Heathen Gods,
Front another Reason, ' fays he, and in
deed a physical one, has proceeded a great
multitude of Gods, which, being intro

' Alia quoque ex ratione, & quidem physica, magna


fluxit multitudo Deorum, qui, inducti specie humana,
fabulas Poetis suppeditaverunt, hominum autem vitam
superstitione omni rcserscrunt. Dt Nap. Dear. I. 2.
d«e&
and (Reasons of Heathenism. 115
dufd under human Shape, have supply*d Letter
the Poets with Fables, but at the fame Iff.
time have flPd the Life of Men with all ^^S
forts of Superstition. The same may j
be as truly said of the modern Saints
and Images : for notwithstanding the
nice Distinctions of supreme and ab
solute, of inferior and relative Wor-
ship ; all the common People arc
downright gross Idolaters ; and as to
the multitude of their Observations,
the Impostures or Power of their
Clergy in the places where this Wor
ship is established, the Superstitions of
the whole World put together wou'd,
in respect of them, make a very easy
and tolerable Religion. Nor ought
we to forget that this new Idolatry
of the Christians, is altogether groun
ded, as that of the ancient Heathens,
on the excessive Veneration of dead
Men and Women ; but improv'd by
degrees to such a pitch by the Arti
fices of the Priests, who allure others
by this example to follow their Di
rections, which always tend to the In
crease of their own Glory, Power, and
Profit.
' -rr*
ao. T H E

<'■■
i%4 Ik Origm of Idolatry, '
Letter
III. *°- THE present Heathens, who
t>VV inhabit the greatest-part of Africa, vast
Tracts- of Asia, almost "all America,.
and ferne few Corners of Europe,
agree very much with the Antients in
their Opinions, which is the reason that
I have hitherto omitted some things I
mention under t:his Head, to avoid
Repetition. But thef disagree among
riletrifelves in different places, as' the
Antients did* They have their se
veral Cosmogonias, or Accounts of the
CreaYton of the World ; and their
Theogontas, or Gerrtalogys of the Gods;
whorriilbrrie hb& to; Be0 coecfual, others
sub^.iriare, someto' be-all good, others
again- to be all ;bad : aYid many that
tfSere'aretwo sovereign Principles of
Good &atf Itl, silc»!4s the Oroma-
xr&b a^Aki^/N^s of; the* old
CftaiaVarls,!?i rffef* .art* there • wanting
Wh*tfx maintairf':1tlie; Divine Unity,
foWietlmes with, and ibrnetimes • with
out inferior Ministers ; as khcvd1 b*
tftto assert the Eternity and rifimeiS-
sity'of the tJniverse, and that all things
happen by an irresistible Decree of Fate.
Their Sentiments are as different a-
bout Providence, the Duration of the
, World,
and %e&(dni of F&athenifm. £ %*
World, and a future State; whether Letter
the Soul be immortal, is .conhVd HI.
after Death to any. certain Mansions, or V*W?
transmigrates ,out ot one Body into
another, this. Jaft being the most pre
vailing Opinion, .They diversify their
Sacrifices withrjuunbesletg Rite* aud
Ceremonys, >one Nation worshipping J
that Animal whereof another makes
an Offering to its God ; and one Man i
religiously using that Gesture or Garb,,
which another rejects as unbecom
ing and profane : for as Juv.e^al
observes of the old Egyptians, . j

.' Such is the Madness of the thought


less Mob,
\wsEacI> place abhors the Deitys of
others, i
-na" And own no Gods but what themselves
.''•'- ■ *dorc. ,.u : ^j) ilt
■ —li i....',-.. :., U* ,'ii;.-j
They, perform Divine Ser.viqe;on the
Tops of Hills, in the open Air, or in
: Temples, and Groves, or- Cave?.
• i'.i^ tj .
-<TF, i ~ [
' Inde furor vulgo, quod-Numida viciiorum
Odic ucerque locus, dim solus credat Uaf*ndoj
fisse Deos, quos ipse-colir. S*t. > <,
They
ii 6 The Origin of Idolatry,
Letter They believe good and bad Dæmons,
III. and guardian Powers of Places and
t^V>/Men. They have several subordinate
Degrees of Priests and Priestesses, Col
leges in many parts for their Education,
and religious Houses for their Main
tenance. They have their sacred
Books, Traditions, and Images ; pre
tended Miracles, Prophecys, Revela
tions, and Oracles ; Sorcerys, Augu-
rys, Sortileges, Omens, and all sorts
of Divination. As the^ have their
Merry-meetings where they eat ' and
drink, fing and dance before their
Gods ; so they have their more me
lancholy Seasons, when they not
only mortify themselves with strange
Austeritys of Fasting , Abstinence
from Women, coarse Habits, long
Pilgrimages; or other laborious Pen-
nances : but they also burn and
whip, and cut and slash their Bodys
in a most cruel manner ; vainly ima
gining to honor or please the Deity
by such things as do themselves real
hurt, and no body else any good;
When the Unintelligibleness or Ab
surdity of any of their Practices or
Doftrins is objected to them, they
presently tell you that nothing is im
possible
and seasons of Heathenism, itf
possible to the higher Powers, and Letter
that these are Mysterys neither to be III.
fathbm'd or examin'd by the finite o"v>J
Understanding of Man ; as may be
fead in almost all the Travels of all
Nations.
21. HAVING given this sum
mary Account, SERENA, of an-
tient and modern Heathenism, we
may remark that almost every Point
of those superstitious and idolatrous
Religions are in these or grosser Cir
cumstances reviv'd by many Chris
tians in our Western Parts of the
Word, and by all the Oriental Sects !
as Sacrifices, Incense, Lights, Images,
Lustrations, Feasts, Musick, Altars,
Pilgrimages, Fastings, religious Celi
bacy and Habits, Consecrations, Divi
nations, Sorcerys, Omens, Presages,
Charms, the Worship of dead Men
and Women, a continual Canoniza
tion of more, Mediators between God
and Men, good and evil Dæmons,
guardian Genius's, Male and Female
tutelar Powers to whom they dedicate
Temples, appoint Feasts and peculiar
Modes of Worship, not only can
toning all Places among 'em, but
likewise
11 8 7h Origin of Idolatry,
Letter likewise the Cure of- Diseases, and
HI. the d>lpo(al of every thing which
^.^ Men are glad to want or enjoy.
These things, I confess, are not ob-
serv'd in all places alike; yet more
or less in every place, and rivetted
by Education where they are not
©ttablilh'd by Law. But how little
right theft have to the Denomination
of Christians, who defend the very
things which Jesus Christ went
about, to destroy, : is , evident, to all
them who don't consider Christianity
as a politick Faction or a bare Sound ;
but as, an In slum ion designed to rec
tify our Morals, to give us just Ideas
of tbeiDivinity, and consequently to
extirpate all superstitious Opinions and
Practices. In, plain and proper Terms
this is Antichristianism, nothing being
more diametrically repugnant to the
Doctrin of Christ ; and as far as
any is tinctur'd with it, so far he:
is a Heathen or a Jew, but no Chris
tian, -f.r.i .>.».■,: 2 ...

a*. !,T H I S Refledion is a Tri


bute due to Religion and Truth; nor,
in my opinion, is the gratifying of mens
Curiosity
:•[ a sufficient Recommendationto
and seasons of Heathenism . ij p
to any Disquisitions, without some Letter
general Instruction naturally conducing HI.
to Wisdom or Virtue. And indeed <-''V"\J.
this whole Dissertation, MADAM,
is a memorable Proof and Instance to
what an astonishing degree of Extra
vagance human Nature is capable of
arriving; and that in all times Super
stition is the fame, however the Names
of it may vary, or that it may have
different Objects, or be greater or less in
degrees, as any Country has more or
less Liberty of Conscience and free
Speech. But if any fhou'd wonder
how Men cou'd leave the direct and
easy Path of Reason to wander in
such inextricable Mazes, -Jet him
but consider how in very many
and considerable Regions the plain
Institution of Jesus Christ cou'd
degenerate into the most absurd Doc-
trins, unintelligible Jargon, ridiculous
Practices, and inexplicable Mysterys:
and how almost in every corner of the
world Religion and Truth cou'd be
chang'd into Superstition and Priest*
craft. In a word, the Subject of this
long Letter is elegantly comprehended
in those four Lines which are in every
body's mouth :
K Natural
Mo The Origin of Idolatry:
Letter
nr. Natural Religion was easy first and
slain,
Tales made it Mystery, Offrings made
it Gain ;
Sacrifices and Shows were at length
prepar'd,
The Priests ate Roast- meat, and the
People stard.

I am afraid, by the time you come


thus far, you'l be as weary of reading
as I am now of writing ; and there
fore, MADAM, for both our Ease
I (ball add no more on this occasion,
but that I shall continue all my Life
your most sincere and obedient Ser
vant.

LETTER
Letter
IV.

LETTER IV.
To a Gentleman in Holland,
showing Spinosa's Sys
tem of Vhilofofhy to be
without any Princifle or
Foundation.

i. VTOU guess very right, SIR,


Y ' when you fancy that in so
-*- charming a Retirement, I
injoy the most perfect Happiness this
Earth can possibly afford, Health of
Body ancLTranquillity of Mind. Besides
the Purity of the Air, this Country
abounds in all manner of Game ; and
my Neighbors seem wholly unacquaint
ed with any other Fraud or Violence,
than what they use against wild Beasts,
K 2 Fowlj
15i A Confutation
Letfer Fowl, and Fish. You cannot read in
XV. their Looks (as in those of your tattling
i-'WJ jnd hiisy Citizens) the^ood jorbacl
Success of Fleets and Armys : they
know as little of foreign Affairs, as of
what passes in the Planetary Worlds ;
and if sometimes they inform them
selves about the State of things at
Court, 'tis not to learn who is in fa
vor or disgrace, who is to be next in
. or out of the Ministry ; but to know
how the publick Good of the Nation
is manag'd, how its Security, Wealth,
and Power are preserved. Whoever is
able and active to promote these ends,
him they esteem their best Friend ;
nor can the Name or Pretence of
any Party make them become his
Enemy s. . . ' ^

2. BUT, Sir, I cannot easily for


give your fearing that any thing
which comes from you shou'd disturb
my Repose among such innocent People,
every Letter you write being as agree
able and instructive as their . Conver
sation is plain and sincere; Your mag
nificent Expressions in praise of S pi-
no sa I cannot blame, no more thkri
the excessive Encomiums 'Wfiich Lu
cretius
o^Spinosa. IJ}
cretius took all opportunitys to Letter
heap on Epicurus : for so long as IV.
in your Opinion he paffes for so extra- t^v^o
ordinary a Person, so much above the
common rate of Mankind, and so
happy above all Philosophers in his
Discoverys, you cannot in justice speak
less than you have done, and, were
you a Poet, you wou'd raise your Strains
yethigh^r. ;r
i !? i 'I '. ... • '/'• ■
. 3. FOR my part, I shall always
be far . from saying that S pi no sa
did nothing well, because in many
things he iucceeded so ill. On the
contrary, he has had several Jucky
Thoughts, and appears to have bin a
Man of admirable natural Endow
ments, tho his share of Learning (ex
cept in some parts of the Mathema-
ticks, and in the understanding of the
Rabbins) seems to have bin very mo
derate. I grant you likewise that he
was truly sober, observant of the Laws
of his Country, and not possest with
the sordid Passion of heaping up Riches :
for there's nothing more undeniable
from antient History and present Ex
perience, than that as the Professors
of Truth are not always the greatest
K 3 Saints,
i j 4. A Confutation
Letter Saints, so Men of erroneous Principles
IV. have often led excellent Lives ; and you.
t/^v^O know that Monsieur Baile, in his
various Thoughts upon Comets, has mani
festly prov'd that even Atheism does
not necessarily lead a Man to be wicked,
tho he acknowledges withal that the
Considerations of Safety, Reputation,
and Interest, are not such effectual
Restraints against Immorality, as the
Doctrins of Religion. I further agree
with you that S p i it o s a's Adversa
ry^ have gain'd nothing on his Dis
ciples by the contumelious and vilifying
Epithets they bestow on his Person for
the sake of his Opinions; which shame
ful little Artifices are only fit for the
Patrons of Error, being contrary to
Religion as well as to common Civility,
and may well enrage a superstitious
Mob, but can never impose on Men of
Sense, who judg of things as they are
in themselves, and not as represented
to them by passionateand unjust An
tagonists. < ""
' r ' * i'j. .

4. DON'T imagine, Sir, that I


express this Moderation either out of
Complaisance to the Respect you bear
to the Memory of Spikosa, or that
: .:* i
o/Spinosa. 135
I am now more convinc'd of his Opi- Letter
nions than you formerly us'd to find IV.
me : for after this manner it is that ,-/v>J
I think all Men in the World ought
to be treated in matters of mere Specu
lation, leaving their immoral Actions
(if they be guilty of any) to the Care
of the Law, and the Animadversion of
the Magistrate. But I am so far from
being a Profelite to those Points whereof
you and I have difcours'd at your House,
that I am persuaded the whole System
of Spinosa is not only false, but
also precarious and without any fort of
Foundation. I do not mean that there
are no incidental Truths in his Book,
no more than that there are no mistakes
carelefly crept into those that are better:
but I maintain that no such thing fol
lows from his System, which if it be gra
tuitous and without any Principles, can
not serve to explain any past or future
Difficultys, nor to give better Reasons
for what we commonly receive.

5. LET him have bin never so
honest a Man, yet I suppose you'l not
exempt him from many human Frailtys
to which the best are subject : and I
am inclined to suspect that his chiefest
K 4 Weakness
i»6 A Confutation
Letter Weakness was an immoderate Passion
IV. to become the Head of a Sect, to have
o^v^o Disciples and a new System of Philo
sophy honor'd with his Name, the
Example being fresh and inviting
from the good Fortune of his Master
Cart esi us. I do not make this
Conclusion . from his frequent use of
such Expressions as tny Philosophy, or
our System, and the like : nor wou'd I
have every man accus'd of this Affecta
tion who makes some particular Pis-
coverys, or who even changes the
whole Face of Philosophy, and intro
duces a Method absolutely new ; for
such Persons may without all question
be acted by no other Motives besides
the Love of Truth and the iknesit
of the Society, nor will they reject
any thing but what they really con
ceive to be hurtful, erroneous, or un
profitable. Socrates, notwith
standing the mighty Reformation be
made in Philosophy, was never sus
pected to aim at being the Head of
a new Sect ; and Cicero very
truly observes that his Disciples mul-
tiply'd their Contests, divided into
Partys, and spoil'd his Doctrin when
they
Of Sp I NO S A. 1^7
they form'd it into a ' System, by which Letter
they pretended, no doubt, to explain IV.
a thousand things whereof Socra-^^
tes never thought, and to which we
find they reduc'd even those airy Spe
culations which he discarded as use
less to Life, expensive of Time, of no
concern to the World, and never to
be comprehended.

6. BUT when a Man builds a


whole System of Philosophy either
iwithout any first Principles, or on a
precarious Foundation : and afterwards
when (he's told of this Fault, and put
in mind of the Difficultys that at
tend it, yet neither supplies that Ef
fect, nor accounts for those Difficultys
hy any thing he has already esta-
blish'd, nor yet acknowledges his Mis-
-take ; we may reasonably suspect that
'fieV.tod much in love with his new
-World (for such is a System of Philo-
•; IF

' -' -• !« Jllam autem Socraticam Dubitationem de omnibus


rebus, & nulla adhibita affirmatione consuetudinem
differendi, reliquerunt. Ita factaest disserendi (quod
minirtie Socrates probabat) ars quædam, Philosophise
$C rcrum ordo, & descriptio disciplinæ. Academic.
Qusft' I. u
! sophy)
ij8 A Confutation
Letter sophy) ever to admit of a better Cre-
IV. ator: whereas a Person that proposes
i*^v^> no other view but the manifesting
and propagating of Truth, and that,
cannot rest satisfy'd with' Fancys or
Conjectures, wou'd in such Circum
stances be nothing asham'd to confess
and amend his Error.
7. NOW let's examine whether
Spinosa be guilty of the Charge
I have drawn up against him. I
shall fairly alledg my Proofs, and
leave your self to be Judg, tho you
seem so highly prepossest in his fa
vor. I need not prove to his greatest
Admirer that he acknowledges but one
. Substance in the Universe, or that the
Matter of all the things in the Uni
verse is but one continu'd Being,
every where of the fame nature, how
ever differently modify'd, and endu'd
with unchangeable, essential, and inse
parable Attributes. Of these Attri
butes ( which he supposes eternal as
well as the Substance to which they*
belong) he reckons Extension and
Cogitation to be the most principal ;
tho he supposes innumerable others
which he has not bin at the pains to
name.
os SP I N O S A. 139
name. He has no where so much as Letter
insinuated that Motion was one of IV.
them ; or if he had, we fliou'd not v>*vv;
have believ'd it on his word, nor
without more convincing Arguments
than he has given that every Portion
and Particle of Matter always thinks :
for this is contrary to Reason and
Experience, both which demonstrate
the Extension of Matter. Whatever
be -the Principle of Thinking in Ani
mals, yet it cannot be perform'd but
by the means of the Brain. We Men
are conscious of no Thoughts, while
the Functions of the Brain are sus
pended ; we find our selves to think
there, and there only ; and we observe
no signs of Thought in any things that
want a Brain, whereas every- Creature
that has one, seems to show some
degree of Thinking by its Actions.
As for his Subtiltys to prove under
pretence of Reason what is thus re
jected by Experience, I may send you
my Thoughts about them another time :
for it is not my present Design to con
fute all his Errors one by one, but to
show that his whole System is altogether
groundless, which at one stroke de
stroys whatever is built upon it.
8. WE
140 A Confutation
LcttCf .: C. s- '.. ' : .
IV. 8..WE agree on eVery fide that the
c/^sTV* perpetual Changes in Matter are the
Effect&qf Motion, which produces an
Infinity of different Figures, Mixtures,
and sensible Qualitys. But we must
distinguish between local Motion and
the moving Force or Action : for
local Motion is only a Change of Situ
ation, or the successive Application of
the same Body to the respective Parts
of several, other Bodys ; so that this
Motion is nothing different from the
Body it self, nor any real Being in Na
ture, but a mere Mode or Considera
tion of its Situation, and the Effect of
some Force or Action without or within
the Body. Tho the ordinary Rules of
Motion are but Observations learnt
from the Experience of what com
monly passes in local Motion, or pro
bable Calculations dedue'd from such
Observations ; yet the Action or moving
Force is likewise often call'd by the
name of Motion, and thus the Effect
is confounded with the Cause, which
has occasions a world of Perplexitys,
and Absurditys. But all those who
have treated of the Diversitys that hap
pen in Matter, must have meant this
>' * Action
of S P I N O S, kl l^I
Action as their Cause, or labor'd to Letter
no purpose : for this being once ex- IV.
plain'd, we can easily account for local t/W?
Motion as its Effect, and not otherwise.
The Mathematicians generally take the
moving Force for granted, and treat of
local Motion as they find it, without
giving themselves much trouble about
its Original: but the Practice of the
Philosophers is otherwise,- or rather
ought to be so.
9. WHOEVER then goes about
to explain by their first Causes the
Origin of "the World, its present Me
chanism, or the Affections of Matter,
must begin with the first Cause of Mo
tion : for no manner of Variety is inclu
ded in the bare Idea of Extension, nor
any Cause of Alteration ; and seeing it
is Action alone that can possibly produce
any Change in Extension, this Action
or Principle of Motion must be well
clear'd and established, or the System
must quickly be found defective. If
it be only taken for granted, the Sys
tem will be but a Hypothesis ; but if
prov'd and explain'd, then we may
expect to find some greater1 Certitude
fchan hitherto in natural Philosophy.
'* It
i^.t A Confutation m
Letter It is not enough then to build on local
IV. Motion, which, as we said before, is
\S*/\) but an Effect of this Action, as well as
all the other Varietys in Nature : so
is Rest, which is now generally ac
knowledged to be no Privation nor a
State of absolute Inactivity, as much
Force being necessary to keep Bodys
at rest as to move them ; where
fore local Motion and Rest are only
relative Terms, perishable Modes, and
no positive or real Beings.
10. T I S hard to determine what
were the true Opinions of the most
antient Sages of Greece; but the gene
rality of Philosophers every where
since Anaxagoras have laid down
as a Principle, that Matter being of it
self inactive, a dull and heavy Lump,
the Divinity (which was acknowledg'd
distinct from this Matter) communi
cated Motion to it, tho after a man
ner exceeding human Comprehension.
Hence they proceed to show what Di
visions this Motion made in Matter,
what Particles of different Bulk and
Figure thence were form'd, and how
the Universe (I will not say how well)
and all the Parts thereof came into their
present
o/.Sp ilsOS A. i^i
present State. Spinosa, on the con- Letter
trary, acknowledges no Being separate IV.
or different from the Substance of the txvvj
Universe, no Being to give it Motion,
to continue or to preserve it, if it has
none of its own. He builds on all the
common Notions about local Motion,
without ever showing any Cause of it ;
being not willing to allow the Impulse
of a presiding Deity, and unable (as
you'll presently perceive) to produce a
better, or as good a Reason. Yet he
was of opinion that Matter was natu
rally inactive : for in the second part of
his Ethicks or System, Proposition the
thirteenth, Axiom the first, he fays in
express terms, ' AU Bodjs are either in
motion or at reft. And to let you see
that he did not mean respective Rest,
or the Resistance of other Bodys, in the
Demonstration of the second Lemma
he further affirms, that ' all Bodys may
sometimes be absolutely mov'd, and some
times be absolutely at rest. There can be
nothing more positive : yet if any or all

' Omnia Corpora moventur vel quiescunc


* Omnia Corpora —- absolute jam mover;, jam
quiescere poflime.
the
144 d Confutation
Letter the Parcels of Matter may be in abffc-
IV. lute Rest, they must ever persist in
^SV^J that State without some external Cause
to put 'era in motion, and this Cause
he has no where astign'd ; besides that
all Matter may be inactive, if any part
of it can ever be so.
•ii. SPIN OS A has no where in
his System attempted to define Motion
or Rest, which is unpardonable in a
Philosopher, whether done with or
without design ; and yet according to
himself in his Ethicks, l Motion and
Reft' are the Causes of all the Diver(itjs
among Bodys, thence * proceeds the dis
tinction of particular Bodys, and ? an In*
fnity of things proceed from Motion and
Rest. In prosecuting this Subject I
shall alledg nothing out of his other

* Corpora ratione motlis & quietis, celeritatis &


tarditatis, &non ratione subitantiasab inviccm distin-
guuntur. Lem.i. ante Prop. 14. Part. 2.
' Corpora res fingulares sunt, quæ ratione rnotus &
quietis ab invicem distinguuntur. Demonjhat. Lem. 5.
ante Prop. 14. Ibid.
' Non tamen propterea Deus magis did potest ex
Iibertate voluntatis agere, quam proptcr ea quæ ex
motu & quiete sequuritur (infinita enim ex his etiam
sequuntur) dici potest ex Iibertate motus & quietis
agere. Corol. 2. Prop. 3. Part. s.
Books :
of Sp I N O S A. , \^
Books: because that in his TraftatusTheo- Letter
logico-Politicus he has had no occasion IV.
to treat of these matters ; and that in ^^
one of his Epistles he declares himself
not answerable for any thing in his
Demonstration ofCARTESius's Prin
ciples ; and this he oblig'd Meyer
the Publisher to tell the world in the
Preface of the Book, which he has ac
cordingly done : for he compos'd that
Work at the request of one of his Disci
ples, and built his Demonstrations on
Cartesius's Definitions, Postulates,
and Axioms, which are suppos'd but not
believ'd to be true. So that the Etbicks
(to which Title he has reduc1d all his
Philosophy) is his real System, wherein
and in his Letters his genuine Sentiments
of Philosophy are only to be found. After
dealing thus fairly with him (which is
no more than Justice requires) there's
no need of showing by Inferences that
he did not hold Motion to be an eternal
Attribute of Matter ; which if he had
done, we cou'd not have believ'd it
without good proof: I fay, we are
fpar'd these pains, since he exprefly
asserts the contrary, and he was
surely best able to acquaint us with
his own Opinion. In his first Letter
L to
146 A Cmfuuuum
Letter to Oldenbqig, whereby he
IV. communicates to him some part of his
W%J Ethicks, thus he writes. Tom must
take heed that by Attribute 1 understand
every thing that is conceivd by it [elf and
in it feify in such a manner as that the
Conception of it does not involve or sup
pose the Conception of any other thing :
os Extension, for example, it conceived by
it self and in it self, but Motion not so ;
. for it is conceived to be in another thing,
and the Conception of it involves Ex
tension. This is extremely plaia and
peremptory ; nor shall we examine at
present how true or false it may be of
Extension, which is but an abstracted
Idea, and no more conceivable without
a Subject than Motion is.

12. SPINOSA then, who values


himself in his Ethicks on deducing
things from their first Causes (which
the Schoolmen term a priori) Spino-

' Ubi notandum me per attributum intelligere omne


id quod concipitur per se & in se, adeo ut ipfius Con-
cepeus non involvac Concepcum alterius rei : ut, ex. gr.
Extensio per se & in se concipitur, at Motus non item ;
ram concipitur in alio, fc ipfius Concepcus invol vit E£-
tcniionem. .M •

S A)
of S? mo sa; 147
sA, I say, having given no account Letter
how Matter came to be mov'd or Mo- IV.
tion comes to be cootinu'd, not allow- <^VXJ
ing God as first Mover, neither prov
ing nor supposing Motion to be an
Attribute (but the contrary) nor in
deed explaining what Motion is, he
couM not possibly show how the Di
versity of particular Bodys is recon
cilable to the Unity of Substance, or to
the Sameness of Matter in the whole
Universe : wherefore I may safely con
clude that his System is intirely pre-r
carious and without any fort of ground,
indigested and unphilosophical. But
lest your Affection fhou'd biass you to
think that such a great Man cou'd not
stumble so at the Threshold, and that
he has somewhere supply'd this enor
mous Defect tho it might escape my
Observation, I hope you'll believe his
own Words to a Person who wou'd not
implicitly swear to his Philosophy, buc
whose Difference of Opinions did pro
bably make as little Difference in rheif
Affections as iq yours and mine. Tis
a very remarkable thing by what De
lays, Shifts, and Excuses he wou'd
avoid solving the Objections that were
made to him on this Head, which
L a keeps
148 A Confutation
Letter keeps me still in the Belief that he cou'd
IV. not bear to part with his System, nor to
^/^ lose the hopes of heading anew Sect.

15. BUT be this how it will (for


we ought to be reserv'd in divining
the Thoughts or the Dead) the Author
of the sixty third Epistle in bis Posthu
mous Works presses him by a very sen
sible and modest Request, which,
without a good Answer, overthrows,
as we have prov'd, the whole Fabrick
of his Philosophy. ' If you have lei
sure, says his Friend, and that oppor
tunity permits, 1 humbly beg if you the
true Defnition of Motion, as well as the
Explication of that Definition : and after
what manner (since Extension, as con
sidered in it self, is indivisible, immu
table, &c.) we can show a priori how
such and so many Varietys cou'd begin,
and by consequence the Existence of fi-
gutes in the Particles of any Body, which
yet

' Si otium est & occasio sinit, a tc submisse pcto


vcram Motus derinicionem, ut & ejui cxplicationem ;
atque qua ratione (cum Extensio, quatenus per ic
concipitur, indivisibilis, immutabilis, &c. fit) a priori
dcducerc poffimus tot tamquc multas oriri posie varie-
tWj $i per conlequetis^ KxistcBtiam figurse in parti
cular
of S p i n 6 s a. , ■ 1 49

yet in every Body are various and, different Letter


from the Figures of the Parts, which con- IV.
ftitute the Form of another Body. Well; ^^v^>
what fays Spinosa? or does he di
rect him to any place where this is al
ready done to his hand ? Far from it ;
for in the following Epistle he replies-
in these words : ' Now for the rest, that
k to fay, concerning Motion, and such
things as relate to Method, because they
are not yet written in Order, I keep \m
till another opportunity. His Friend,
who wou'd not be put off so (lightly,
and whole Thirst after Knowledg made
him wait with Impatience, brings him
again in mind of this Difficulty in the
sixty ninth Epistle : * I cannot without
great difficulty conceive, fays he, how a
priori can be proved the Existence of Bo-
dys which have Motions and figures ;

culis alicujus Corporis , qua: tamen in quovis Corpore


variæ & divcrsæ funt a figuris partium quæ alterius
Corporis formam constituunt.
' Cæterum, de reliquis,t nimirum de Mocu, quæque
admethodum ipectant, quia nondum ordine conicripta
funt, in aliam bccasioncm rescrvo.
■a Difficulter admodum concipere queb, qui a priori-
Corporum existentia demonstreturquæMatus&Figuras
habent ; cum ia extenfione, rerh absolute eonfiderahdo,
nil tale occurrat. «fca -
»*• si' L, j since
more
of S P I N 0 % \. I5I
more earnestness than ever to speak Letter
his Thoughts without all disguize, for IV.
here he shelters himself under common '^"VNJ
Expressions. ' / wish, fays his Friend
in the one and seventieth Letter, that
you woud be pitted to gratify me in
this particular, by telling me how the
Variety of things can be [bown to proceed
from the Conception of Extension ac
cording to your Notions., since ) on men
tion''d C a r. t e s 1 u s's Opinionj in
which he affirms to be able no other way to
deduce this from Extension, but by sup
posing it to have bin produced therein
from a Motion imprest by God. Car-
T e s 1 u s therefore in my Judgment de
duces the Existence of particular Bodys
not from quiescent Matter, except the
Supposition of God as Mover goes for
nothing with you, since you have not
your

' Velim ut' in hac re mihi gratiikeris, indicando,


.qui ex conceptu Extenfionis secundum tuas Medi-
tationes varietas reruma priori possic ostendi, quando-
quidem meministi Opinionis Cartesianæ, in qua Car-
tesius statuit fe earn ex Extensione nullo alio modo
deducere posse, quam supponendo motu a Deo exci-
tato hoc effectum fuisse in Extensione. Deducit ergo
juxta meam Opinionem corporum Existentiam non ex
quiescente materia, nisi forte suppofitionem motoris
Pei pro nihilo haberes, quandoquidem, qui illud ex
L 4. essenti*
i ji A Consutwon
Letter your self demonstrated how it fhoud ne-
JV. cejfarily follow from the Essence of God
L/*v~v; a priori ; which, Cartesius going
about to show, he believed it to exceed all
human Comprehension. Wherefore 1 in-
treat this thing of you, well knowing you
have other Thoughts, unless perhaps there
be some culpable occasion that has hi
therto kept you from making this Matter N>^
plain. This Person has done Justice to
Cartesius; for tho his System is
at best but an ingenious Philosophical
Romance, yet he was never so careless
or inaccurate as to think of deducing
the Variety and Difference of particular
Bodys from mere Extension, and there-
tore suppos'd God at the beginning to
liave given a shake to the lazy Lump,
from which his Matters of the first,
second, and third Elements successively
existed, and from these, after his manner,
the Disposition of the whole Universe.
But Spin os a neither supposing the
i;>;r

dsentia Dei a priori necessario sequi debeai:, abs re


non fit ostensum, id, quod Cartesius o'stensurus, Cap-
cum humanum superare credebat. Quare a te hanc ifem
rcq'wiro, sciens bene te alias Cogitationes habere, nisi
alia sontica subsit tbrte causa, quare illud hasteni^s
iji4uifert«rn facere nolueris, &c.
* fame
of Sp inosa. lff
same Principle, nor establishing any Letter
other" to explain the Varietys of par- IV.
ticular Bodys in the Identity of Sub- o*v"VJ
stance, you'll own, I doubt not, that
without any Artifice, Passion, or In
terest, I have clearly prov'd what I
undertook to you, that his Philosophy
is built on no certain or probable Foun
dation, but on gratuitous Suppositions,
from which he deduces what he and
his Followers call Demonstrations. He
was accustom'd to this way of pre
tending to demonstrate things in a
Geometrical Method, tho he knew 'em
to be false, since thus he had before
demonstrated Cartesius's Princi
ples. But that very Work is a memo
rable Example how easily People may
be deceived by this Method (tho in it
self absolutely certain) if they are not
us'd to make long Deductions without
missing one Link in the Chain, if they
take any thing for self evident which
needs it self to be prov'd, or any thing
for prov'd from the Authority of others
pr their own Prepossessions. But to
return to his Friend, all the Answer
he receiv'd to his last Intreaty was
jn general words ; for in the two and
seventieth Epistle, Spinosa after re
jecting
1.J4 d Cmfutatisn'r
Letter jecting Cartesius's Definition of
IV. Matter, thus bespeaks him : ' What you
U^?>J deftre of me, whether the Variety of
things can he demonstrated a priori from
the mere Conception of Extension, I
think I have already shown this to be
impossible, and that consequently Matter
was ill dejind by Cartesius from
Extension; whereas it ought to be neces
sarily explain d by some Attribute, . whish
expresses an eternal and infinite Essence.
Butt if I live, perhaps I may some
other time deal more plainly with you
about these matters : for I have not bin
able hitherto to dispose any thing in order
about them. We do not rind that he
eves did so about Motion, which
makes it the more inexcusable, be
cause* altho his Ethicks were compleat-
ed at this time, yet he might change,
*dd, or take away what he wou'd,
'.- -'tli ,••■•'.'■ :if?': i.; ;!. •' :• . grlfffci
■'" '"''" ' ti I T 1 ; -||« Sil-l
* Q^iod petis, an ex solo Extensions concepts rerum
/arictas a priori poslic demonilrari, credo me jam satis
iare oltenditlc id impotsibile die, ideoque materiam
a Cartesio male definiri per Extensionem; fed earn
necessario debere explicari per Attributum, quod xxtt-
tum & infinitam EfTentiam exprimat. Sed de his forsin
aliquando, si vita suppctit, clarius cecum agam ;
nam hue usque nihil de hts ordine disponere mihi
Hculr.. :; /. i ';;n«. ■. ,-.. ; .**• ,•/*>
"n'fi r since
o/Spinosa. I J »r
since the Book was not publish'd till Letter
after his Death. Neither cou'd Mo- IV.
tion be the Attribute he means here, t>W>
having directly declar'd the contrary
before, and nothing appearing to favor
this Notion in all his Works.

14. I NEED not require abetter


proof that Men of the greatest Can
dor and Judgment may be in many
things seduc'd by Prejudice, since you
never perceiv'd this Flaw, my Friend ;
and that you ever extoll'd Spin os a,
for demonstrating all things a priori.
On the contrary, in your Letter to me
of the Tenth Instant, you much insist
on the Difficultys which accompany
the common Systems of Mosioh^ tak
ing it, I suppose, for graqted that
your Hero had mended the matter,
which you see he never did. To take
my leave of him therefore, and to
apply my Discourse to your self, it is
notorious that most of those Difficul
tys you mention, proceed from Peoples
confounding the Cause with the Ef
fect, or the moving Force with local
Motion : and when they think they
have given its true Definition, they
have really said nothing but thatMo-
t: tion
■ ^6 A Confutation
Letter tion is Motion, only diversifying their
IV. Terms a little ; for when a Bowl runs
i/V^ on the Green, and the Definition of
Motion is ask'd, 'tis gravely anfwer'd,
that it is the removing of one Body
from the Neighborhood, of othersy Sec.
and this the Bowlers know as well
as the Philosopher, seeing it daily with
their own Eyes ; but 'tis the1 Cause
of this Eeffect they desire to hear ex
plained, of which he's ordinarily as
ignorant as they.

15.-Y.OU fay very truly that even


those who carefully distinguish the
Cause and the Effect, are yet extreme
ly puzzl'd about the moving Force it
self,' what sort of Being it is ; where
it resides, in Matter or without it ;-
by what means it can move Matter;
how it passes from one Body to ano
ther ; ,or is divided between many
Bodys while others are at rest, and a
thousand more such Riddles. Where
fore not being able to discover any
such real Being in Nature, nor to de-
termin whether it be a Body or Spi
rit, and yet less to make it a Mode,
sioce (among other Objections) no
Accident can • pass from. ': one" Subjects
1 i to
os Sp'inosa^ \^f
to another, nor be without its par- Letter
ticular Cause in any Subject whatso- IV.
ever, and that it may be intirely de- LS"V\J
stroy'd the Subject remaining safe,
they are forc'd at last to have recourse
to God, and to maintain that as he
communicated Motion to Matter at the
beginning, so he still begets and con
tinues it whenever, and as long as
there's occasion for it, and that he
actually concurs to every Motion in the
Universe. But this System is subject to
more fatal Consequences than those
they wou'd avoid by it : for besides that
they hereby destroy what many have
said about God's impressing Motion on
Matter at the beginning, as something
that was of it self sufficient for the
future ; they farther make God the Au
thor of all the Wickedness in Nature,
tho Motion were still but a Mode.
Tis he, for example, that actually
moves the Tongue of a lying Witness,
the Hand and Dagger of a Murderer,
with such other palpable Difficultys,
which all their moral and physical
Distinctions are not able to solve. But
why shou'd I throw away any Words
on this System, since in all times, as
Cicero observes, when the Philo-
noh sephers
158 A Confutation
Letter sophers are ignorant of the Cause of
IV. any thing, they presently betake tbem-
v^W selves for refuge and sanctuary to ' God,
which is not to explain things, but to
cover their own Negligence or Short
sightedness, their Vanity not suffering
diem to allow any other Cause, but
God's immediate Concourse to what
they are not able to unfold.
\6. YOU do not foresee perhaps
what Doubts you create to your self,
and what Work you cut out for me,
in demanding my particular Opinion
about Motion. 7Tis easier at any
time to find out the Defects of others
than to supply them, and a Man is
very like to be wrong understood
who delivers his Opinion (especially
if altogether new) before it be guard
ed with its Proofs and Explication :
but our Friendship not allowing me
to deny you any thing in my power,
f shall be open and free with you in
this particular. I hold then that Mo-
M

' Sed omuium talium rcrum ratio reddcnda est :


quod vos, cum facere non poteslis, ranquam in aram
consogicis ad Pcum. De !f*t. Dear. I. 5.
lion
f

of Sv IK OS k. fj£
//<?» « essential to Matter, that is to Letter
lay, as inseparable from its Nature as IV.
Impenetrability or Extension, and that lAV
it ought ro make a part of its Defi
nition. But as in Matter we distin
guish the Quantity of particular Bodys .
and the Extension of the whole, of
which these Quantitys are but several
Determinations or Modes, existing
and perishing by their several Causes:
so, the better to be understood, I
wou'd have this Motion of the Whole
be call'd Æion, and all local Motions, as
direct or circular, fast or flow, simple
or compounded, be still call'd Motion,
being only the several changeable De
terminations of the Jftion which is al
ways in the Whole, and in every Part
of the fame, and without which it
cou'd not receive any Modifications. •
I deny that Matter is or ever was an
inactive dead Lump in absolute Re
pose, a lazy and unweildy thing ; and
when I write expresly on this Subject
to you, I hope to evince that this
Notion alone accounts for the lame
Quantity of Motion in the Universe,
that it alone proves there neither
needs nor can be any Void, that Mat
ter cannot be truly defin'd without it,
that
tie A Confutation
Letter that it solves all the Difficulty's about the
IV. moving Force, and all the rest which
'^^'"WJ we have mention'd before.

17. BUT you'l fay that, befides


the Singularity of the Opinion, I shall
make a world of Adversarys by rea
son of the many Hypotheses and Doc-
trins which it unavoidably destroys.
To this I answer, that the Offence i9
taken, but not given ; and that I shall
, thereby be nothing disquieted, pro
vided 1 1 be able to contribute any
thing towards the Discovery of Truth.
This is not a System of Accommodation,
such as those which some invent to
reconcile other different Systems, tho
they are not certain that their own is
more true than the rest. But if I be
• able to prove from the nature of the
thing it self, and not to favor or op
pose any Cause, that Æion is efientid
to Matter^ that Matter cannot be
rightly conceiv'd nor consequently be
rightly defin'd without it, that nothing
can be accounted for in Matter with
out this essential Action, and that k
is easily shown to exist in the most
heavy or hard Body s; then they may
quarrel (who have^ a mind to it) with
. 's God
■'-■ if S P I NO S A.^ 161

God or Nature, and not with me, who Letter


am but their humble Interpreter. As- IV.
ter 'all, I apprehend no Enemys if I (VWJ
shou'd ever publish to the World what
I may write to aoyFriend on thisSubject ;
for every Party is necessitated to ex
plain the Phenomena of Nature by
Motion : and therefore such as believe
Matter created, may as well conceive
that God at the beginning endu'd it
with Action as well as with Extension ;
and those who believe ic eternal, may
as well believe it eternally active, as
eternally divisible ; nor can they ever
account for any Change in Nature
without admitting this, as I have
prov'd before against Spinosa, My
only business is to prove Matter necessa
rily aSiive as well as extended, and thence
to explain as much as I can of its Af
fections ; but not to meddle in the Dis
putes which others may raise about its
Original or Duration.

1 8. YOU may perceive, SIR, that I


have a great deal of leisure, and nothing
to make me uneasy^ dr at least that I
won't be made so, when lean take oc
casion to write so long a Letter from a
few hints in & couple of yours* But it
M is
\6i A Confutation, Sec.
Letter is impossible not to acquire a more dila-
IV. ted Understanding by your Correspon-
t^>i^NJdence. After so much Philosophy about
the Primitive World, I shall trouble you
with nothing that passes in the present;
and I desire this particular favor o£you,
that in the Letters with which you'l
please to honor me during my Stay in
this Solitude (which I hope will be ve
ry many) you wou'd not mention a
word of News : for there's something
in all such Occurrences, which engages
us to interest our selves more than in
many Peoples Opinion we are concern'd
to do ; and yet, according as it goes
with publick Affairs, I cannot for my
Life refrain from rejoicing, or being an
gry, or growing fad like others, which
perhaps proceeds from very good Rea
sons, but with which I wouM not
willingly be disquieted here. Still I
except from the foregoing Instructions
all that regards your Family or our
other Friends, in whose Welfare, and
particularly in your own, none can re
ceive more real Satisfaction, than,
, SIR, your most humble and affectio
nate Servant.

LETTER
\6i
Letter
V.

LETTER V. •'■.

Motion essential to Matter;


in Answer to some Remarks
; by a. noble Friend on the
Confutation of Spinosa.

Nunc qua msbilitas fit reddita Material


Corporibus, ptuci-s licet bine cognosces*)
Memmi. Lucres. 1. 2.

1. T1ARDON me, SIR, if I


u~J doubt whether the favorable
-*. Character you are pleas'd to
bestow on the Confutation of Spi
nosa, proceeds front your Kindness
Ma or
a 64 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter or your Judgment. But what makes
,V. me flatter my self that you wrote your
ti^y^y genuine Thoughts about the first part
TTf that Letter ro our worthy Friend, is
your making some Objections against
the latter parr, wherein I have barely
declar'd my Opinion, this flatter is
necessarily atfive as well as extended.
To this you cannot easily agree, and
neither he nor I can blame you for it,
unlese ar^tM^Jame time we wou'd
rashly condemn our selves wTien
We were of veur mind. -\ But as* our
Opinion ought xa gp for nothing
without good Reasons," Co we admit
of no Right from Possession, of no Pri
vilege by Prescription in Philosophy,
how much soever we allow it in na
tional Laws or.Customs.- Authority is
to decide matters of Fact, but not to
determine the Truths of Nature. You
ventur'd fan-, I must acknowledg, to
, make your Observations and Objections
before I gave any notice or hint of my
Arguments : but this very Proceeding
declares how untenable you believe my
Assertion to be, even to unguarded
and absurd, that any Person cou'd easi
ly guess at tbe little that might be
plausibly offer'd for such a Paradox.
This
Motion essential to Matter. 165
This is bur a natural Construction of Letter
your meaning, and such Thoughts as V.
People are extremely apt to entertain <-^W
of any Notion that contradicts the
common Belief, especially if such a Be--
lies has continu'd very long in pos
session, and has bin very universally re-
ceiv'd. In the Answer you desire of
me, I shall follow the Thread of your
own Letter ; and take care to be as
brief, as the indispensable Law of Per
spicuity will permit.
2. Y O U take my Meaning very
right in urging, that if Jttivity ought
to enter into the Definition of Matter, it
ought likewise to express the Essence there-,
of: for certainly all the Propertys of
any thing shou'd follow or be knowable
from its Definition ; else the Definition'
is not distinguishing and adequate, but
confuse and imperfect. In my Opi
nion therefore Matter has bin hitherto
but half, or rather a third part defin'd
by Extension, from which alone many
of its Modifications can follow by no
means ; and this is the reason, why
none of the motive Effects have bin
consider'das essential to it, but adven
titious and of a different sort, because
M $ not
\66 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter not conrain'd in any of the Terms of
V. its Definition : whereas Matter being
i/V^> desin'd active as well as extended (to
which you may add Solidity, with the
incomparable Mr. Lock) then all
the motive Effects follow very naturally, .
and need not be explains by any other
Cause, no more than the Consequences
of Extension. Supposing it an Error
that Motion is extraneous to Matter,,:
you*ll own that the ordinary Defini-j
tions which are built upon this Suppo
sition, have greatly contributed to set
tle ic firmly in the Minds of men *, they
being thus accustom'd to deprive Mat
ter of Motion in their Speech and
Writing from the beginning, which,
kept 'em for ever after from revoking
it in doubt, but rather making it a self-
evident Principle : and you know that
such as had designs of gaining Repu
tation by introducing false Doctrins
that favor'd their Designs, or of main
taining their Authority in supporting
absurd Persuasions already establish'd,
did make it a standing Rule that Prin
ciples must not be disputed ; and then
they canoniz'd for Principles, whatever
Maxims they found most conducible to
their purpose. But if Motion be essen-
*-'i W
Motion essential to Matter". 167
rial to Matter, it must be likewise as Letter
essential to its Definition. V.

3. I OWN what you next object,


that before such a Definition is made, the
necessary Activity of Matter ought ta be
clearly prov'd, which to do, in the Se
quel ot this Letter, is my Intention ;
and to endeavor the recommending of
this Definition by the Reasons I shall
produce to show that all the Matter in
Nature, every Part and Parcel of it,
has bin ever in motion, and can never
be otherwise ; that the Particles which
lie in the midst of the most solid and
bulky Rocks, in the heart of Iron Bars
or Gold Ingots, are as well in constant
Action, as those of Fire, or Air, or
Water, tho not according to the saras
Determinations, nor in the fame De
grees, no more than these last men-
tion'd, compared among themselves :
for this Action is equally natural and
internal to them all, and to all other
Classes of Matter in the Universe; tho
their specifics* Motions be so various
and different, which proceeds from
their several ways of affecting one ano
ther. But its time enough to think
of a new Definition, when this essen-
M 4 tial
168 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter tial Motion is evidently prov'd.
V.
txW> 4. Y O U once thought it incon
ceivable, it seems, I should ever main
tain that Mdtter ca/mot as much as
be concelvd. without an Action of its own,
or under some Effect of such an Acti
on', and I frill maintain, that Matter
can no more he conceiv'd without Mo
tion than without Extension, and that
the one is as inseparable from ir as the
other. Your conceiving Faculty I
know to be much more delicate than
niioe, wherefore I wou'd have you try
it a little on this Subjtct, and then to
make me comprehend what Idea you
have fram'd of Matter without Action.
It must be something depriv'd of all
Ficure or Color, neither heavy nor
4ighr, rough or smooth, sweet or sour,
■hot or cold, void (in a Word) of all
sensible Qualitys, without Parts, Pro
portion, or any Relation whatsoever :
since all these depend immediately on
Motion, as well as the Forms of all
corporeal Beings , their Generation ,
Succession, and Corruption, by the num
berless Mixtures, Transpositions, and
other Arrangements of their Parts, all
which are the natural and undoubted
Efseeu
Motion ejfential to Matter. • isScji
Effects of Motion, or rather Motion it Letter
self under these several Names and V-."
DePerminations. The commonly ac- 0W1
knowledg'd Divisibility of Matter is
also an undeniable Argument . that ic
cannot be conceiv'd without Motion,
since it is Motion that diversifies or
divides it , which is therefore presup-
pos'd as well as Extension in the Idea
of Divisibility, and consequently the
one is as essential to Matter as the other.
How can you conceive that Matter is
any thing or a Substance, unless it be
endu'd with Action ? How can it be
the Subject of Accidents (according to
the vulgar Definition) since all Accidents
are nothing else but the several Deter
minations of Action in Matter, diver-
sify7d as they are differently plac'd with
relation to our Senses; but in reality
not distinct from our Imagination, or
from the thing it self wherein they are
said to exist? Roundness is nothing
different from the round Body (which
is as true of all Figures) for this
Roundness is aot the Name of any real
thing, but only a word to express the
particular manner of- a certain Body.
Neither are Hot or Cold, Sounds,
Smells, or Colors, so much as even the
Man-
I/O Motion essential to Matter.
Letter Manners or Postures of the things
V. themselves, but the Names we give to
i/v\? their ways of affecting our Imagination;
for most things are conceived by us
with respect to our own Bodys, and not
to their true Nature : wherefore what
is sweet to one is four to another, what
is rough to me is smooth to you, what
is pleasure to the Healthy is pain to
the Sick ; tho most mens Organs being
fram'd very like one another, they are
consequently affected much after the
fame manner, yet still with some de
grees of Difference. But these, and
all other Differences in Matter proceed
ing from several Changes, or these very
things being but the Conceptions of
different Motions, I think I may war-
rantably affirm that Matter is never
conctiv'd but under some Notion of
Action, which before I end I design to
show to be as true of Rest it self.
Now strip me Matter of Motion (if
you can) and I undertake before-hand
to divine your Conception of it, which
must be the very fame with those
who try'd such Projects before you : for
their M&teru frima, was qua neque eft
quidy neque eft quale, neque eft quantum,
neque quicquam eorum qu'tbtu Ens Mnomi-
nttur %
Motion* essential to Matter. 17*
K4tur; which is in 4 great many words Letter
to fay, that it is nothing at all. . V.
5. B U T you affirm that the Ex
tension of M*tter is very etfily known, if
not self evident, but not it sr Activity ',
wherein I must beg leave to dissent
from you, asserting that the one
is no less easy to be known than the
other, and neither of 'em doubted or
mistaken, but by such as judg of
things from Appearances, Custom, or
Authority, without consulting their
own Reason, arguing in which Method
they may as well prove the Moon to
be no bigger than a large Cheshire
Cheese : for as the Vulgar believe that
there is no Extension, where they per
ceive no visible Object ; so those, who
wouM take it ill to be rankt in other
things with the Vulgar, yet agree with
them in this, thinking that there's no
•Action, where they can see no local or
determinate Motion. Experience shows
that great numbers of Adversarys are
no Argument against the Truth of any
thing whatsoever. The plainest things
in the World have bin mighty Secrets
for whole Ages ; and we know that
it's bard to find a thing, where no body
dreams
17* Motion ejjential to Matter.
Letter dreams of looking for it. Have a little
V. patience, SIR, and I may be so happy
VV^J as to be capable of showing you what
led all Sects of Philosophers as well as
the Vulgar,^ to believe the Sluggishness
of Matter, tho divers of the former
were aware of its actual universal Mo
tion, which from the Prejudice of their
Infancy, they were ready to ascribe to
any Cause rather than to the right one ;
and this has very often oblig'd 'em to
feign very ilf- sorted and ridiculous Hy
potheses.

&. I APPROVE of your fourth


Observation (for you know I wou'd not
easily disagree with you in any thing)
that many of the most learned Philosophers
contend for a Vacuum, which Notion seems
to be grounded on the Deadnefs or Inacti
vity of Matter : to which I add, that
some of those Philosophers deny(with the
Epicureans) the Void to have any sub
stantial Extension, and will have it to be
nothing ; while the rest make it an ex
tended Substance, which is neitherBody
nor Spirit. These Notions have raisM
a world of Disputes about the nature
of Space. The Opinion of a Void ;js
one of the numberless erroneous Conse
quences
Motion essential to Matter. 173
quences of defining Matter only by Letter
Extension, of making it naturally in- V.
active, and of thinking it divided into ^/VN)
real Parts every way independent of
one another. On these Suppositions it
is impossible there shou'd not be a
Void ; but *cis as impossible that ten
thousand Ablurditys fhou'd not follow
from thence. What we call Parts in
Matter, may be prov'd to be but the
different Conceptions . of its Affections,
the distinctions of its Modifications;
which Parts are therefore only imagi
nary or relative, but not real and abso
lutely divided : for Water, as such, can
be generated, divided, and corrupted,
increas'd.and diminish'd ; but not wheo
considers as Matter*
-3i J 11 „
?fJ7. O N this occasion, to avoid all Am
biguity, 'ris convenient to inform you,
that by Bodys I understand certain Mo
difications of Matter, conceiv'd by the
Mind as so many limited Systems, or
particular Quantitys mentally abftract-
tbut not actually separated from the
tension of the Universe. We.there-
e (ay that one Body is bigger or less
than another, is broken or dissolv'd,
from the multifarious Change of Modi
fications:
'*y^ Motion essential fa Matter.
tetter fications: but we cannot properly fay
V. that Matters are bigger one than ano-
'%/*J*sJ ther, because there's but one sort of
Matter ia the Universe ; and if it be
infinitely extended, it can have no ab
solute Parts independent of one another,
Parts and Particles beingcbnceiv'd as I
told you just now that Bodys were'.
A world of other words are invented
to help our Imagination, like Scaffolds
for ffie Convenience of the Workmen ;
but which- must belaid aside when the
Building is finish'd, and not be mista
ken for the Pillars or Foundation. Of
this sort are Great and Small, for exam
ple, which are but mer Comparisons,
of the Mind, and not the Names of
any positive Subjects ; as you are Big
in respect of your little Sister, but Lit
tle in respect of an Elephant, and she
is Big when compar'd to her Parrot,
but very Little when (he stands by her
Mother. These and such words are very
serviceable when rightly apply'd ; yet
they are often abus'd,and from relative or
modal, are made real, absolute, and po
sitive : such are Bodys, Parts, Particles,
Somthing, a certain Being, and the
like, which may be well allow'd in
the Practice of Life, but never in the
Specu
Motion essential to Matter. '/H
tSpeculations of Philosophy. Letter
:.-'■. -• :: ■ .' V.
$. BUT to ceturn to your Objec- l/*s\j
tion ; others who admitted no real,
bur only modal and respective .Parrs in
Nature, yet cou'd never with all their
Subtilty bring any Arguments against
.»: Void, but what their Adversarys
rcou'd easily ruin, because they agreed
with them in making Matter inactive.
.You, that understand so well the Histo-
ry.of Philosophy, know that the £>iifi-
cultys appear to be equal on both sides,
which has induc'd many to believe that
the thing is in its own nature inexpli
cable, throwing the fault (as they of
ten unjustly do) on their own Con
ceptions, which they find unsatisfy'd;
and not on the precarious Suppositions
<i>f| both Partys, which they do not per-
ccive. There is nothing more certain
than that of two Contradictorys the
one must be always true, as the other
must be always false ; and tho it be
therefore indisputable that either there
is a Void, or that all is full (to use
their improper Expression) tho it be
plain that the Truth is within the nar
row Compass of these two ihort Pro
positions, yet neither side has bin hi
therto
,l?6 Motion essential to Matter/
Letter therto able to demonstrate which of 'em
V. is the true Opinion, because they have
•VWboth atgu?d from a false Medium,
from which nothing but Falsitys
and Absiirditys cou'd naturally fol
low*. ii:> tl
3. '. :> r,-.. . , '. .. . ■ ■ .. '. •
9. j BUT if you are once persua
ded, SIR, as I hope you quickly will,
that Matter is active as well as ex
tended, all your- difficultys about *
-Vacuum mast fall to the ground. For
as those particular or limited Ouaflti-
tys, which we call such or such Bodys,
•are-' but ; several Modifications of the
•general Extension of Matter in which
they ar* all contain'd, and which they
neither increase npr diminish; fo (as
an adequate Parallel) alt the particular
or local Motions of Matter are- but
the several Determinations of its -gene
ral Action, directing it this or that way,
by these or those Causes, in this or that
manner, without giving it any Augmen
tation or Diminution. Indeed in all Trea
tises of the ordinary Laws of Morion,
•you meet with the several degrees of
Motion that any Body loses or acquires ;
-but those. Laws concern the Quantity
of the Action of particular Bodys on
^:\i?\ one
Motion essential to Matter, 177
One another, and not the Action of Letter
Matter in general ; as particular Quan- V.
titys of Matter are measur'd by other ^V^O
lesser Quantitys, but not the Extension
of the Whole. The Mathematicians
compute the Quantitys and Proportions
of Motion, as they observe Bodys to
act on one another, without troubling
themselves about the physical Reasons
of what every person allows being a
thing which does not always concern
them, and which they leave the Phi
losophers to explain : tho the latter
wou'd succeed better in their Reasons,
if they did more acquaint themselves
before hand with the Observations and
Facts of the former, as Mr. New-
Ton justly ' observes. •

10. THERE is no inseparable


Attribute of Matter, but has number-

* In Mathesi invesligand* sunt virinm Quanr'tatet


& Rationes illar, quæ ex conditionibus quibu(cunque
posicis cemsequencur : denique ubi in physicam de*
scenditur, conserendx sunt ha: Rariones cum Phæno-
menis, ut innoteseat quænam virium Condidones fin-
gulis Corporum atcractivorum generibus competant ;
& turn demum de virium Speciebus, Causis, & Ratt-
onibus Physicis tutius disputare lieebit. Philos. Nat,
Trincif. Math, p. 19 a.
N less
»78 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter less Modifications proper to it self as
V. well as Extension. So has Solidity,
'L/y~\Js0 has Action ; and yet all the Attri
butes mult concur in producing the
peculiar Modes of each, because they
are still hut the Consideration of the
self-lame Matter under different re
spects. To fay. then, as you do after
a Croud of Philofc pliers, that ;/ there
be no Void, there it consequently no p/ace
for C to remove into, nor any Elhotv-
room for B to push C ; tor you, I repeat
it, to speak in tnis manner, is not only
to have the fame gross Conception of
Space with your Farmers, but also to
suppose the Points B and C, and all or
molt of the Points about them, to be
really fix-, and in absolute Repose.
But you shou'd not run with a multi
tude tocommit Mistakes, no more than
to do evil ; and if I succeed in provjng
the natural, essentials intrinsick, and ne
cessary Action -of Matter, then you
may easily perceive that these Objecti
ons will be no longer Difficulty s, and
that all your Circles of contiguous Balls,
your Fish on the point of moving in
the Water, and the rest of those thred-
bare Examples must be employ'd on
some other occasion!; becausev all thefe
i. A ;/. suppose
Motion essential to Matter, 179
suppose an absolute Rest, as well as the Letter
Generation of Motion, which is the V.
thiqg—in question ; and cou'd it be o"VNJ
prov'd, there wou'd be no solid an-,
swering of such Arguments for a Va
cuum.

11. I HINTED something to


you before about the abuse of Words
in Philosophy, and we may instance
particularly certain Terms invented to
very good purpose by Mathematicians ;
but misunderstood or perverted by
others, and not seldom very wrongly
apply'd by certain Mathematicians
themselves, which can never fail to
happen when abstracted Notions are
taken for real Beings, and then laid
down as Principles whereon to build
Hypotheses. Thus the Mathematical
Lines, Surfaces, and Points have bin
maintains to exist in reality, and
many Conclusions thence deduc'd, tho
very unhappily ; as that Extension was
compounded of Points, which is to?
fay, that Length, Breadth, and Thick
ness are form'd of what is neither longj
nor broad, nor thick, or Measure of;
no Quantity. So the word 1/tji*
mte has bin wonderfully perplex^ :;
-wlui N * which
i 80 Motion essential to Matter*
Letter which has given occasion to a thousand
V. Equivocations and Errors. Number
o*V\J Was made infinite ; as if it sollow'd,
because Units may be added to one ano
ther without end, that there actually ex
isted an infinite Number. Of this nature
are infinite Time, .the infinite Cogi
tation of Man, asyraptot Lines,, and
a gTeat many other boundless Progres
sions, which are infinite only with re
spect to the Operations of our Minds,
but not so in themselves : for what"
ever is really infinite, does actually ex
ist asTuch ; whereas what only may be
infinite, is very positively not so.

12. BUT no Word has bin more


misapply'd, nor consequently has given
occasion to more Disputes than Space,
which is only an abstracted Notion
(as you (hall perceive hereafter) or
the Relation that any thing has to other
Beings at a distance from it, without
any Consideration of what lies between
them, tho they have at the fame time a
real Existence. Thus Place is either
the relative Position of a thing with
respect to the circumambient Bodys,
or the Room it fills with its own Bulk,
and from which it is conceiv'd to ex.
elude
Motion essential to Matter* -i 8 1
elude all other Bodys, which are but Letter
mere Abstractions, the Capacity no- V.
thing differing from the Body con- txWJ
tain'd: and so Distance is the Measure
between any two Bodys, without re*
gard to the things whole Extension is
so measur'd. Yet because the Mathe
maticians had occasion to suppose Space
without Matter, as they did Duration
without Things, Points without Quanr
tity, and the like ; the Philosophers,
who cou'd not otherwise account for
the Generation of Motion in Matter
which they held to be inactive, ima
ging a real Space distinct from Matter,
which they held to be extended, in
corporeal, immovable, homogeneal, in
divisible, and infinite. But this whole
Dispute depends on the Action and In
finity of Matter. In the first place,
if Matter it self be essentially active,
there's no need to help it to Motion
by this Invention, nor is there any
Generation of Motion. Secondly, if
jt be infinite, it can have no separate
Parts that move independently of one
another in crooked or streight Lines,
notwithstanding those Modifications
which we call particular divisible Bo
dys. Thirdly, Matter must be like-
N 3 wife
i 81 Motion essential to Matter.
(Letter wise homogeneal, if it has Action of
V. it. self as well as Solidity or Extension,
t/W without being divided into Part?.
And fourthly, if it >tjej, infinite, the
Universe must be without all local
Motion, there being no fix'd Points
without it, to which it might be suc
cessively applv'd, nor any place into
-which it cou'd possibly remove.

15. PROCEEDING, SIR, ac


cording to the Order of your Remarks,
I shall briefly endeavor to prove
these several Points. I am not insensi
ble that I oppose a Notion universally re-
ceiv'd, and that in this particular Arti
cle of Space lam said to have the greatest
Man in the world against me, who yet
.Cannot grow any thing less, tho be fhou'd
happen herein to be mistaken ; since
the Demonstrations and Diseoverys of
his unparallel'd Book remain rhtirely
true without it. For my part, I can
no more believe an absolute Space
distinct from Matter, as the place of
jt ; than that there is an absolute Time,
different from the things whose Du
ration are considers. And yet Mr.
_Newton is thought not only to be
lieve these things, but alfa to put
them
Motion essential to Mutter. 183
them both on the same foot. Times and Letter
Spaces, says ' he, are as it were their V.
own Places, and, those of all other things. t/WJ
AU the things in the Universe are in
Time as to the Order of Succession, and
in Space as to the Order of Situation.
*Tis essential to ''em that they be Places ',
and to think these primary Places can be
mov'd, is absurd. These are therefore
absolute Places, and the Translations
from them are the only absolute Motions^
I am conyinc'd that these Words are \
capable of receiving an Interpretation
favorable to my Opinion; -but I chuse
to cite them in the fense wherein they
are commonly understood: besides 'that
his Book (as I said before) is neither
way concern'd.

14. AS for your alledging (to infer


the Inactivity of Matter, as well as a
Vacuum} that one Body ts heavier or
lighter than another of equal Bulk ', you

1 Tempora & Spatia sunt fai-ipsorum & rerum


omnium quasi loea. In Temppre, quoad .ordinem
SuccetTionis, in Spacio, quoad ordinem Sicus, locantur
universe. De illorum essentia est uc sine loca,' £&
loca primaria moveri abfurdum est. Hæc sunc igitur
absoluca loca, & sol£ Transtationes. de his locis sunc .
absoluci Motus. P. 7.
N 4 must
1 84 Motion essential to Matter*
Letter must suppose that Levity and Gravity
V. are not mere Relations, the Coropa-
i/"W jisons of certain Situations and exter
nal Pressures ; but that they are real
Beings, or absolute and inherent Qua-
l.itys, which is now by every bcdy ex
ploded, and contrary to all that you
know your self of Mechanicks. It
may not be difficult to persuade even Per
sons of a moderate Capacity, that there
cou'd be no Levity or Gravity in the
suppos'd Chaos, and that these Qua-
litys wholly depend on the Consti
tution and Fabrick of the Universe ;
which is to fay, that they are the
Consequences of the World in actual
feeing, and the necessary Effects of its
present Order, but not essential At"
tributes of Matter, the fame Body be
coming heavy or light by turns, ac
cording as it is .plac'd among other
Bodys, and there being nothing better
known, than that many things are
not sometimes in a state of Levity or
Gravity. To imagine that any Parcel
of Matter has Levity or Gravity of it
self, because you see those Effects in
the Fabrick of the World ; or to deduce
it from the common Laws of Gravita
tion, is not only to imagine Matter
'"'■ alike
Motion essential to Matter, i8j
alike affected in all Places, but that the Letter,
Wheels, and Springs, and Chains of a V.
Watch, can perform all those Motions t>'W
separately which they do together.
And yet it was from such false Sup
positions, that the Philosophers, in their
several Formations of the World, in
vented the Fable of the four Elements,
orderly placing themselves according
to their different degrees of Gravity
and Levity ; the Earth undermost or
in the Center, next to that the Water,
then the Seat of the Air, and upper
most of all the Fire. All Sorts and
Sects of People have bin superstitioufly
fond of this primary Chaos, a Notion .
p a-,-
as confus'd and monstrous as the Im-
Sort of the Name, and built in every T* '
ep on Suppositions that are not only -
arbitrary, but utterly false and chime*
rical : such is the gross Conception
of the Number and Unmixedness of
the four Elements, drawn from the
most compounded Bodys in the world ;
such is the Levity and Gravity of the
dancing Particles; and such the Sepa
ration of the Seeds of things (as they
speak) which without such Levity
and Gravity cou'd not be performed,
nor indeed on these very Conditions,
without
it 6 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter without an Almighty Architect, which
V. they did not always take care to pre
law* vide, or furnish'd him with such
wretched Tools and Contrivance, as
show'd the Meanness of their own
Understanding, the sole Model by
which they form'd him. Such a pre.
carious Supposition ( in a word ) is
Matter's having bin at any time in this
Confusion, without ascertaining how
long or for what reason, with a thou
sand more the like Absurditys, which
every man may easily represent to him
self from these few Instances. This
may also serve for an Example, how
little stress is to be laid on universal
Consent, or rather on any epidemical
and common Error that makes pre
tences to that Name. .

15. BUT not to ramble into Di


gressions, tho never so natural, you
own that most Bodys are in actual Mo
tion, which can be no Argument that
they have bin always so, or that there
*re not others in absolute Repose, I
grant that such a Consequence does
not necessarily follow, tho the thing
in it self be true. But however, it may
SiQt be amiss to consider, how far this
:<ri'.~ <i actual
Motion' essential to Matter. 187
actual Motion reaches and is allow'd, Letter
before we come to treat of Reft. V.
Tho the Matter of the Universe bc'-{^S^SJ
every where the fame, yet, according
to its various Modifications, it is con-
ceiv'd to be divided into numberless
particular Systems, Vortexes, or Whirl
pools of Matter; and these again are
subdivided into other Systems greater
or less, which depend on one another, .
as every one on the Whole, in their Cen
ters, Texture, Frame, and Coherence.
Our Sun (for example) is the Center of
one of those bigger Systems, which
contains a great many lesser ones with
in the. Sphere of its Activity, as all the
Planets that move about it : and these
are subdivided into yet lesser Systems
that depend on them, as his Satellites
wait upon Jupiter, and the Moon on
the Earth ; the Earth again is divided
into the Atmosphere, Ground, Water,
and other principal Parts ; these again
into Men, Birds, Beasts, Trees, Plants,
Fishes* Worms, Infects, Stones, Met-
tals, and a thoufand other differen
ces. Now as all these depend in a
Link on one another, so their Matter
( to speak in the usual Language ) is
mutually resolv'd into each other: for
Earth,
1S8 Motion essential to Matter'.
Letter Earth, and Water, and Air, and Fire,
V. are not only closely blended and united,
V'VVbat likewise interchangeably trans
forms in a perpetual Revolution ;
Earth becoming Water, Water Air,
Air Æther, and so back again in Mix
tures without End or Number. The
Animals we destroy contribute to pre
serve us, till we are destroy'd to pre-
. serve other things, and become Grafs,
or Plants, or Water, or Air, or some
thing else that helps to make other
Animals, and they one another, or
other Men ; and these again turn into
Stone, or Wood, or Mettals, or Mine
rals, or Animals again, or become Parrs
of all these and of a great many other
Things, Animals and Vegetables daily
consuming and devouring each other;
Ib true it is that every thing lives by
the Destruction of another. All the
Parts of the Universe are in this con
stant Motion of destroying and beget
ting, of begetting and destroying : and
the greater Systems are acknowledged to
have their ceastefs Movements as well as
the smallest Particles, the very central
Globes of the Vortexes turning about
their own Axis ; and every Particle in the
Vortex gravitating towards the Center.
Pur Bodys, however we may flatter our
selves,
Motion essential to Matter. 1 89
selves, differ nothing from those of Letter
other Creatures, bur like them re- v.
ceive Increase or Diminution by Nu* lsv~\)
trition and Evacuation* by Accretion,
Transpiration, and several other ways,
giving some Parts of ours to other
Bodys, and receiving again of theirs,
not altogether the fame yesterday as to
day, nor to continue, the (ame to mor
row, being alive in a perpetual Flux
like a River, and in the total Disso
lution of our System at death to be
come Parts of a thousand other things
at once ; our Carcases partly mixing
with the Dust and Water of the Earth,
partly exhal'd and evaporated into the
Air, flying to so many different pla
ces, mixing and incorporating with in
numerable things.
16. N O Parts of Matter are ty'd
to any one Figure or Form, losing and
changing their Figures and Forms con
tinually, that is, being in perpetual
Motion, dipt, or worn, or ground to
pieces, or dissolved by other Parts, ac
quiring their Figures, and these theirs,
and so on incessantly ; Earth, Air, Fire,
and Water, Iron, Wood, and Marble,
Flams and Animals, being rarefy'd or
condens'd,
ioo Motion essential td Matter.
Letter condensed, or liquify'd or congeal'd,
V. or diflblv'd or coagulated, or any other
iyWJ way resolv'd into one another. The
whole Face of the Earth exhibits those
Mutations every minute to our Eyes,
nothing continuing one hour numeri
cally the lame ; and these Changes
being but several kinds of Motion, are
therefore the incontestable Effects of
some universal Action. But the Chan
ges in the Parts make no Change in
the Universe : for it is manifest that
the continual Alterations, Successions,
Revolutions, and Transmutations of
Matter, cause no Accession or Dimi
nution therein, no more than any Let
ter is added or lost in the Alphabet by
the endless Combinations and Tranfc
positions thereof into so many different
Words and Languages : for a thing
no sooner quits one Form than it puts
on another, leaving as it were the
Theater in a certain dress, and appear
ing again in a new one, which pro
duces a perpetual Youthfulness and Vi
gor, without any Decay orDecrepitness
of the World, as some have foolishly
imagined, c#}trajy; not only, to Reason,
but to Experience » the World, with
all tjif Parts and $ia^janfhereos,.co.n-s
. ? --kvo tinuing

fer^
Motion essential to Matter. i«i
tinuing at all times in the fame con- Letter
dition. The great Systems of the y.
Universe being subdivided into gra- l/*v>j
dual and lesser Systems of Matter, the
Individuals of the latter do perish in
deed, tho they are not annihilated, \
continuing only a certain time in their
particular Forms, according to the
Strength or Weakness of their Dis
position, Structure, or Constitution,
which we call the natural age or time
of such a thing ; yet if this Consti
tution, before its ordinary Period, be
destroy'd by more prevalent circum
ambient Motions, in such cases we
commonly call it Violence or Accident,
as that a murder'd young man is dead
before his time. But the Species still
continues by Propagation, notwith
standing the Decay of the Individuals ;
and the Death of our Bodys, is but
Matter going to be drest in some new
Form : the Impressions may vary, but
the Wax continues still the fame, and
indeed Death is in effect the very fame
thing with our Birth; for as to die
is only to cease to be what we for
merly were, so to be born is to begin
to be somthing which we were not
before. E'er I leave this Head, I
.*£:f?3 beg
ipi Motion ejsential to Matter.
Letter beg your pardon, S I R, if I take no-
V. tice to you , that considering the
^^ numberless successive Generations that
have inhabited this Globe , return
ing at Death into the common Mass
of the fame, scattering a*nd mix
ing with all the other Parts thereof;
and joining to this, the incessant river-
like Flowing and Transpiration ot Mat
ter every moment from the Bodys of
Men while they live, as well as their
daily Nourishment, Inspiration of Air,
and other Additions of Matter ro their
Bulk : I fay, considering these things,
it seems to be probable that there is
no Particle of Matter on the face of
the whole Earth, which has not bin
& Part of Man. Nor is this Reason
ing confin'd only to our Species, but
remains as true of every Order of Ani
mals or Plants, or any other Beings ;
since they have bin all resolv'd into
one another by numberless and ceafless
Revolutions, so that nothing is more
certain than that every material Thing
is all Things, and that all Things are
but one.

17. THUS far you allow a con


stant Motion in Things from sensible
Eftas.
Motion essential to Matter. ip-$
Effects. You fay that the Particles of Letter
Air, Water, Fire, Æther, Vapors, Ex- V.
halations, are without all question in tW>J
perpetual Motion. You confess the
Motion of the imperceptible little Bo-
dys that flow from all greater visible
Bodys, which by their Size, Figure,
Number, and Motion, operate on our
Senses, and produce the several Sen
fations and Ideas we have of Colors,
Tastes, Smells, Hear, Cold, and the
like. But you appeal at the fame time
to my Senses, that there are some Body*
in absolute Reft, as well as others in ab
solute Motion ; and you instance Rocks,
Iron, Gold, Lead, Timber, and such
other things as do not suddenly change
their Situation without some external
Force. To this I answer, that your
Reason, and not your Senses are the
true Judges in this case ; tho I own
that your Senses can never deceive you,
if you call your Reason to their Assis
tance : and to these in consult together
I fear not likewise to appeal, as to
those very Examples you have alledg'd.
But you must always distinguish be
tween the internal Energy, Autoki-
nesy, or essential Action of all Matter,
without which it cou'd be capable of
O no
$$4 MotiM :essential t»Miiter<
Le t ter no particular Alterations ok- Division ; and
V. the external' local Mociori or Changes
*^V*\J of Place, -Which are but the various Men
difications of the essentM% Action as
ttre'ir Snbject'«Hrhe particular Motions
being' de***mjVi?d by mother' more pre
ys }>nv' i\ioti6n&, to be 'director cir-
eu%r, UatV or flow, cbhtmtt'dor inter
rupted, according to the occurrent,
iVhseqoenf, cf circumambienr Motions
©-t'other Bodys*; no part > of Matter
toeirig without its own internal Energy,
ttowemchas determio'd .by the neigh*
boring PaV» according as their parti*
cuter Determination is stronger or
weaker, yields or resists!; and these
again continue to be vary'd after some
fethter Planner by the nexc; and so every
"tftfrtg proceeds in endlels Changes, that
is-'Cas I maintain) in perpetual Motion.
fNoWall the local Motions imaginable
being acknowledged Accidents, increase
irig, altering, diminishing, and periflitng,
without she-Destruction of the Subject
•which they modify, op in which they
exist, this Subject cannot be wholly
imaginary, a mere abstracted Notion,
"but something real and positive. Ex
tension cannot be this Subject, since
'the Idea of Extension *does'.not neectf-
O larily
Motion ejsential to Matterv. r$pj
farily infer any Variety, Alteration, or Letter
Motiap ; and therefore (as I fajd ju/l V.
now) it must be Action, since;', all o'VSJ
those Motions arc but the different
Modifications of Action, as all parti
cular Bodys or Quarititys are but the
differed Modifications of Extension.
Of Solidity or Impenetrability I shall
put you in mind in its due place, and
show how these three essential Attri
butes or Propertys are inseparable, and
do co-operate.

18. BUT not to forget the Appeal


to our Senses, wou'd not you believe
with the Vulgar that the Stars are no
bigger than ordinary Tapers, that the
Sun and Moon are no more than a
Foot or two in breadth, if your Rea
son had not computed the Distance
between your Eyes and those Bodys,
and measur'd their real Bulk by their
Appearances in such a distance, with the
other proper Arguments which I need not
repeat to one that knows 'em so well ?
Is it not the fame thing as to the
distinguishing the fixt Stars from the
Planets, and understanding the true
Motion of the latter, which is very
different from what the Senses exhi
bit ? I will not descend so low as a
O. 2 . streight
196 Motion ejsattul t§ M*ter.
Letter (height Stick appearing crocked in die
V. Water, or the Colors oo the Neck of
' a Dove ; nor (bar so high as the Heat,
Cold, Relishes, and Odors, that are
not in the things themselves, which
we denominate from these Sensations.
But to come home to the Subject we
have in hand ; is not local Motion it
self sometimes so slow, that it is not
percei v'd by our Senses, no distinguish
able Removal from one Point to ano
ther, tho the Motion goes constantly
on all this while, and that we are
convinc'd of it at last by undoubted
Effects and visible Intervals, as in the
Hand of a Clock or the Shadow of a
Dyal ? And so it is in Motions that
are extremely swift, where no Succession
is distinctly obscrv'd, as in the Passage
of a Bullet, or the like. To judg of the
Body of a Man or any other Animal
by the external Surface, it wou'd seem
to have as little internal local Motion
(not to speak now of its inseparable
Action) as Lead, or Gold, or Stone ; nor
wou'd we make a different Judgment
of any Tree or Plant. And yet un
less every Particle of a Tree were in
motion, it cou'd neither receive Aug
mentation when it grows, nor Dimi
nution when it decays. Your Skill
# in
Motion effential to Matter. 1 97
in Anatomy, join'd to common Expe- Letter
rience, will not let you question but V.
that all the Particles of Animals are o"V>J
in perpetual Motion as well as those
of Plants, growing, decaying, tranP
piring, dissolving, corrupting, becom
ing fat or lean, hot or cold, tho the
Man fits still, or the Beast is asleep,
or the Tree stands fixt in its place.
The Circulation of the Blood and Sap
to every imaginable Part, are now no
Secrets in Natural Philosophy. Nor is
Iron, Stone, Gold, or Lead, more void
of this internal Motion, than those
they call fluid Bodys : for otherwise
they cou'd never undergo those Alte
rations which Air, or Fire, or Water,
or any thing else produces in them.
But tho by their being reduc'd into
these Forms from a precedent different
State, tho by their continual wearing,
and final Change of Figure, 'tis cer
tain that their Parts are always in ..,
motion, yet they are not so easily nor
quickly determined by other circum
ambient Motions (tho there are that
do it very suddenly) to change their
Form or Situation perceptibly to our "*
Senses; which made People imagine that
they had no Motion ac all, nor any
peculiar Determinations.
O ? 19. N E- J
i$t Motion ejsentUVttWlW:
Letter -**v:i
t/V. . "ro. NEVER THIS LESS the very
o^V^o remaining, of such Bodys in one place
E a Veal Action, she Efforts and . Re-
siffarVte of this Parcel being equal for
some time to the' determining Motions
of the neighboring Bodys that act
upon if, and that will not suffer it
to pass certa^'Bd'urids ; which is easi
ly ^understood from what I have al-
Ve'aa'if no 'less copiously than plainly
fafa°*of fhb numberless successive De
terminations of : Motion, of which
t'nls' is one kind, and call'd by the
People. Reft, to distinguish that State
orcody from, the' 'local Motions that
• a'f£ visible/' A 6ody that. descends by
.GPaVif y or %'& 'stronger Impulse of other
'B^BEs-,asitio^'f) Impulse is. stronger than
tr% l5eterstTinaHdris that yield to it on
the'Wy, ls'Jno £eis: in Action that it
"K'rlfistcd"FftfiA a'aVancine further by

WrWi -\S\ fcted'frtJi33JoiHg back


' fyf % equal ; Pressure' from .the Bodys
'BBiii^ir^iftan'i'Sriip is without Acti-
""tffl? M'e^orleW the Winds 'blowing
'WwMdHIW in^lWffie'jtfVC be
:'e#l'to that-onHe;Ti'de;'fl6\ving to-
WkroV the^pYing06f JS tt'c-Sit'. either
Motion :essential to Matter. 199
of these get the better of the other, Lmet
and the Ship fails. But all this while -V.
the Ship was depriv'd only of one fort of W'V'O
Motion, and not of all Effort or Action,
no more than Iron, or Lead, or Geld,
whose Parts, by their ; own internal
Motion, and by the Motions of the
circumambient Bodys, are perpetually
growing and increasing, or wearing,
moldring, decaying, changing, and pe
rishing in some other manner to us
imperceptible ; till by the Rust -or
Tarnish on their Surface, by the Aug
mentation or Diminution of their
Quantity, the Alteration of theii Form
or Figure, or by some other sensible
Effects, we are intirely convine'd of
it at last. Since Rest therefore is but
a certain Determination of the Motion
of Bodys, a real I Action of Resis
tance between equal Motions, 'cis plain
that this is no absolute Inactivity among
Bodys, but only a relative Reposewit.1i
Vespect to other Bodys that sensibly
change their place,
-oner rlT 5i!j !.Is ]*fh uwo yad i .zlst
20. BUT the Vulgar taking local
Motion (as they do all ether Refa-
tions) for a real Being, have thought
Rest a Privation/ or that Motion w«s
O 4 Action,
loo Motien ejjential to Matter.
Letter Action, and that Rest was a Passion ;
V. whereas every Motion is as well a Paflioa
t-^WJ in respect of the Body that gave it the
last Determination, as it is an Action
compared to the Body that it deter
mines next. But the turning of these
and such Words from a relative to
an absolute Signification, has occa
sions most of the Errors and Disputes
on this Subject. However the best Phi
losophers and Mathematicians, notwith
standing their making Motion extrane
ous and Rest essential to Matter, have
fairly acknowledg'd the actual constant
Motion of every Part ; being oblig'd to
this by the irresistible Evidence of Rea
son and Experience. They grant that
the fame incessant Changes and Motions
appear in the Bodys under ground, as
in those above it ; which is confirmed
not only by the nature of the several
Beds of Earth in Mines and Quarrys,
by the generation of Metals and Mi
nerals, but also by the Appearances of
all other subterranean Bodys and Fos
sils. They own that all the Phæno-
mena of Nature must be explained by
Motion, by the Action of all things on
one another, according to mechanick
Principles. And *tis so in effect that
they
Motion ejsential to Matter, 201
they account for all the Diversitys in Letter
Nature, for the elementary and scnfi- v.
ble Quality's ; for all the Forms, Fi- i/VV
gures, Mixtures, or other Modifica
tions and Alterations of Matter. Those
who think the most truly and nicely
therefore on local Motion, consider
the Points from which and to which
the Body moves, not as in absolute
Repose, but only as quiescent with
respect to the Motion of that Body :
and tho Mr. Newton be deem'd
an Advocate for extended incorpo
real Space, yet he declares that per
haps no one ' Body is in absolute Rest,
that perhaps no ' immovable bodily
Center is to be found in Nature ; and
in one place he expresses himself in
these * Words : . The Vulgar attribute
Refi/rance to quiescent, and Impulse to
movent Bodjs ; tut Motion and Restt
at commonly conceiv'd, are only respec
tively

' Fieri enim potcst uc nullum re tcw quieseat Cor


pus, ad quod loca morusque referantur. Pag. 7.
* Hactenus expoiui motus Corporum~a"ttfastbrutn ad
Centrum immobile, quale tamen vix extat in rerum
Natura. Pag. 162.
, ' . Vulgu$ Refistentiam quiefcentibus & Impetum
moventibus tribute ; fed Motus & Quies, uti vulgo
" *" * conci-
w *. I. , ' .
ibi Motion effmtklto flatter.
tester tively distinguishd from one another; nor
•Vs are those things always in true KcPofey
"&<j\j which are vulgarly consider i as quiescent.
Thus, far that deservedly admir'd Au
thor, who has seen the farthest os all
Men living into the actual State of
Matter ; and indeed all Physicks QUgrjt
to be denominated from the Title he
has given to the first Book of his Prin-
dpks, v\z. of the Motion of Bod}s.

21. I NEED not ask ycur par-


don, SIR, for being so particular,
both because it was your request to
me, and for the fake 'of those who
are ignorant of many things which I
might suppose to you, and to whom
you might nevertheless show my Let
ter, or speak of my Opinion. I think
'after all that has bin faid, I may now
venture to" conclude that Aftion it essen
tial to )tfattir, since it must be the
real Subject: of all those Modifications
which are call'd local Motions, Chan
ges, Differences, or Diversitys ; and
TO wsfeiup »m »i a.-AL:?, su fbj.-<j fr.v>-.: t '
tX M-iotti.i-Ji .•. . •.-;,; -ujem iui--c > :. - -
n.
concipiynttir, rdpcstu solo distinguvJntur ab kivicem,
neque'semperver'e quiescunt quæ vulgo tanquam qui-
'escentiafpectawfar. Pag. "2.
princi
Motion essential to Matter. ib\
principally because absolute Repose, Letter
on, which the Inactivity or Lumpish- Vl ,
ness of Matter was built, is entirely 0^s\)-
destroy'd, and prOv'cf no where to exist.
This vulgar Error of- absolute Rest was
occasion'd by the Appearances of heavy,
hard, and bulky Bodys ; and seeing
they did not change that strong Deter
mination (which the People did not
conceive to be an Action) but by much
stronger Determinations, whose Effects
we re obvious to their Senses, they con
cluded first that there was an absolute
Rest, and secondly that all BodyS wou'd
continue in that State without some _
foreign Mover, which they imagin'd
nos to be Matter, since all Bodys were
Matter, and that what was natural to
the Parts, was so to the Whole. At
least, the Philosophers made such Infe
rences from the Notion of Rest, which
they learnt from their Education, and
from the sole Judgment of their Senses:
for none is born a Divine, Philosopher,
os' Politician, and therefore every man
at the beginning stands on the fame
ground with the Vulgar, receiving the
fame Prejudices and Impressions; and
however he may extricate himself from
- Errors, yet if he leaves any in
possession
104 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter possession unexamin'd, he (hall always
V. reason himself into Contradictions or
V**"^ Absurditys from that Principle, tho
otherwise justly reckon'd a wise and
able Person. Since therefore there is no
such absolute Rest in those Examples
you have brought, and that on the con
trary every other Parcel of Matter, as
well as these, are in absolute Motion,
you (hou'd not fide with such Philo
sophers, as were either the most super
stitious or the least perspicacious; nor
ought you to argue at all from a vulgar
Error: but seeing that every Part of
Matter is prov'd to be always in mo
tion, youshou'd conclude that Motion
is essential to the Whole, for the fame
reason that you think Extension to be
so 5 because every Part is extended.
To all that will think without Biass,
Experience renders these Cases parallel,
and Reason evidently demonstrates it.

22. I HAVE industriously omitted


to speak any thing of the relative Mo
tions of all those Bodys conceiv'd to be
in Repose ; and I (hall but hint them
now, to put you in mind that at the
. lame time they cease not to be absolute.
Every thing in the Globe of our Earth
(which
Motion essential to Matter. 2 ok
(which is as true of all the other Pla- Letter
nets) partakes of its constant Motion ; V.
for the Motion of the Whole is but the t^WJ
Sum total of the Motion of the Parts ;
which is not only plain from the Rea
son of the thing it self, but also from
the proportionable Force that is neces
sary either to impress a new Deter
mination on any Body, or to stop the
Determination it has already acquir'd,
for the one cannot be less than the
other. Tho all the assignable Parts of
a Ball in Motion are at rest: with re
spect to one another, or to their places
in the Ball ; yet none will fay, but
that they are all in actual Motion as
Parts of the Ball, and in relation to
every thing without it. So a Passenger
(hares the Motion of a Ship under Sail,
to lay nothing of the specific Motions
of his human System ; tho he's con
ceived to be at rest, with regard to the
place wherein he (its, or to the other
Parts of the Ship, which, notwithstand
ing the Motion of the Whole, keep the
fame Distance and Position with respect
to him. I have likewise dropt but a
word (in the fifteenth Paragraph) of
the Centripetal Force, by which all
the Bodys of the Earth are drawn or
tend
lo 6 Sfoion effentid to Mater.
Letter tend towards its Center (as all ethers
V. to the ptoper Centers ok their Motions)
o'V^J nor have I mentioriV! a- fyilafcAe of the
centsisogal Forea, t/y which :they en
deavour to recede frortuche 'Center in a
ftreight Line, if they are n tot her wise
determin'd by some stronger Cause.;: as a
Stone whiri'd about in a Sling is cec airsd
in its Orbit by the Leather, the String
of which, being stretcht by the Motion
of the Stone, is contracted towards the
Stoie k self, by its Efforts to fly off
directly in every point of the Circle
it describes ; and at the fame time it is
equally contracted towards the man's
Hand ; whence it follows, that the
Center approaches as much to the Stone
as the Stone does to the Center, which
yet does not alwavs happen for many
reasons. Notable Effects depend on
these Forces the nearer they are to being
equal, or the stronger one of 'em is
than the other ;. wherefore the centri
petal being much greater than the cen
trifugal Force of the Parts of the Earth,
taking in likewise the Atmosphere, is
one main reason that it never loses any
of its Matter, and that it always con
tinues of the fame Bulk or Dimensions,
the centripetal Force of Gravity that de
tains
MotiH essential to Md&K i&f
tains the several Bodys- in their Orbits Ijatre*
being considerably stronger than the, Vs.
centrifugal F4rce of Motion, by which ^v"^
they strive to fly off in the Tangent!
Let the Causes of these Forces be what
they will, they are unanswerable Ar
guments to my purpose of a perpetual
Motion in all things. But I shall write
no more concerning them, lest I insen
sibly ingage my self in a Dispute with
you about the nature of Gravity, as
whether the weight of Bodys be always
proportionable to their Quantity of
Matter ; that is, whether there be more
Matter as there is more weight in a
cubic Foot of Lead than in a cubic Foot
of Cork, which, I know, you main
tain after no contemptible Philosophers :
or whether- the fame Quantity of Matter
be contained in the fame Dimensions of
Mercury, Gold, Silver, Iron, Lead,
Earth, Water, Cork, or Air, tho their
specific Gravitys be so different from
each other, proceeding partly from ex
ternal Pressures, and partly from those
internal Structures or Modifications
which give their common Matter those
various Forms that constitute their Spe
cies, and are distinguifh'd by their Gra
vity, tfs' they are by their Figures, Co
lors,
io 8 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter lore. Tastes, Smells, or any other Af-
V. sections, arising from their peculiar
l/VNJ Disposition, from the Action of other
Bodys, or from our Senses and Imagi
nation. This is my own Opinion,
whatever be my reasons for it: besides,
that were Gravity an essential Attribute,
and not a particular Mode of Matter,
the fame things wou'd equally ponde
rate in all places and circumstances, as
they are every where equally solid or
equally extended ; nor wou'd they vary
in the Retardation or Acceleration of
their Descent in various Distances from
the Center. With me therefore Gra
vity infers no Vacuum (as I told you
before in the fourteenth Paragraph) and
is but one of the many Modes ot Action,
however this Determination happens,
which at present we shall not examine ;
its real Existence being deny'd by no
body, and the Quantitys and Propor
tions of Motion proceeding from Gra
vity, or the mutual Action of particular
Bodys in this respect, being to be cal
culated from Fact and Observation, be
their physical Causes what you please.
For the fame reasons I (ball pass by
the Attraction of the Planets, their
gravitating, or acting any other way on
one
Motion essential to Matter*. to$
one another; as 'tis certain not only Letter1
from th& Iafluence of the Sun, ,the V.
Tides occasion'd by the Moon, and' by ^VXJ
several other Arguments, that they
very remarkably affect: each orher, ac.
cording to their Magnitude, .Figure^
Distances, and Position.
• : ;' -':. \j i .,-, i .. -,i ' ......»
zf. THAT Motion is adventitious
to. Matters/that it has actually separate
and; independent ;Partsy that there is ai
Void or incorporeal Space, are not the
only Mistakes occasion'd by the Notion
of absolute Rest. For those Philoso
phers who were the least superstitious,
and who look'd the most narrowly into
the Nature of things,have taught thatall
Matter was animated, as well every Pat*
tide of Æir^ or Water, dr Wood, or Iron,
or Stone, as a Man, a Brute, or the .w hols
Mass together ; being; naturally, led
into this Conceir, because having learnt
from others that Matter was essentially,
inactive (from which Prejudice they
did.not take care to free themselves)
and; yet findingi*y Experience all and-
every Particle of Matter to be in ra^
tion, and- believing.likewise that Life-
was different from the organiz'd Body^
they concluded that "the Cause of thlis
P Motion
no Motion essential to Matter.
Indies Motion was some Being intimately
V. jorn'd to Matter however modify'd,
t^*VXJ and that it was inseparable from the
fame. But this pretended Animation is
utterly useless, since Matter has Motion
of it self, and that there is no real Re
pose. These enlivening Philosophers
were divided into several Classes ; so
many Expedients are necessary to put
some face of Truth upon Error ! Some
of 'em, as the Stoics, held this Life to
be a Soul of the World, co-extended
with Matter, insinuated and infus'd
thro the whole and every part thereof,
being it self essentially corporeal, tho
infinitely finer than all other Bodys,
which, in respect: of its Subtilty and
Action, were reputed extremely gross :
but the universal Soul of the Platonists
was' immaterial, and a pure Spirit.
Others, as S t r a t o of Lampsacu?,
and the- modern Hylozoicks, taught
that thet Particles of Matter had Life,
and also a degree of Thought, or a di
rect Perception withouc any Reflection ;
to which Her acl it us of old, dnd
lately Spin as a, added Understanding
or rtflex Acts,withoi\t ever removing the
pifficultys apparently offerings them
selves against such a precarious Hypothe-
Kcis-..*/. 1 sis,
*
Motion essential to Matter. 211
fis,not as much as showing (tho thisCon- Letter
fcioufnefs were granted) how the seve- V.
ral reasoning Particles cou'd agree 'to- t/^VV
getber to form the fame Body or System,
or to separate cr join so regularly on
certain occasions, without any jarring
or change of Opinions, as to their be
ing better or worse in Other places,
single or in numerous Company ; nor
how, tho all the Particles of a Man
have Sense and Understanding, he finds
but one such Faculty in himself, and
that Faculty exerting its Operations only
in one place. No less romantic is the
plastic Life of other Philosophers, which
(according to its modern Reviver, the
univerfally learned Dr. Cudworth)
is not material, but an inferior fort of
Spirit without Sensation or Thought,
yet endu'd with a vital Operation and
Energy ; these Plastics seeming to dif
fer with the Hylozoics only about words,
tho pretending a mighty Disagreement1,
to keep clear, I suppose, of the absurd
or invidious Consequences charg'd on
their Opinions ; as the Jansenists and
Calvinists treat one another about
Predestination, in which Doctrin they
certainly mean the fame, thing, not
withstanding the nice distinctions of the
P 2 Jansenists.
i.ijfc Motion essential to Matter.
Letter Jansenists. But all these Hypotheses
V. are so many visible Shifts to account
(^YV for (he actual "Motion of inactive Mat
ter,.- and to avoid bringing God every
'moment on the .stage, and setting him
a work on a 11" occasions, nay in all Acti
ons without distinction, and this top by
an absolute and unavoidable Necessity.
'Thus far of such as provided external
or foreign Movers of Matter ; and as
for thole who allow'd it naturally in-
Ac}ive, but assign'd no Cause For its
^Motion, , as . An axi m ander, A-
,N a x i me n es, and some other An-
nents ; nor any Cause either of its Mo-
,tion or Cogitation, as Spinosa a-
Tmbrig the Modems : these, I lay, are so
■Ain philosophical as to deserve tip fur
ther History, and have always afforded
matter of Triumph to the Stoics, Spiri
tualists, and Plastics, or reckon ''em by
what other Names or Distributions you
may think more proper.
i •■
24. BUT the most universal Mis*
.take proceeding from the 'supposed In
activity of Matter is the I^btiori of an
infinite, extended, and yet incorporeal
Space. Because great matters are built
on *■■•.■
this substantial Space,
~ and that men"6f
Motion essential to Matter. 113
of great Name and Merit have coun- Letter
tenanc'd it by their Approbation, I V.
shall give you the History of this o/V>J
Opinion, as I have done of the rest j
tho I might justly neglect it after
having prov'd Matter to be essentially
active, and that its general Motion was
the immediate Subject of all the par
ticular motive Determinations, as Ex
tension is the immediate Subject of the
several Figures and Quantitys ; for it
was likewise to help sluggish Matter
to Motion, that this Space (as the
room of its Action) was principally de-
vis'd; but Matter not being inactive, nor
wanting to have Motion continually im
prest by an external Agent, Space may be
exterminated from Philosophy, as use
less and imaginary. Extension is grant
ed on all hands to be infinite, for it
cannot be terminated by Inextension ;
and the Demonstrations for this are so
univerfally known and acknowledg'd,
that I shall not trouble you with re
peating them. No less infinite is Mu
ter, when conceiv'das an extended thing,
for you can imagin no bounds of it, to
which you may not add more Extension
infinitely; and therefore if it be no: act j-
ally infiiice, ics Finitenessmust proceed
P 3 from
114 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter iioin some other Cause besides its Exten-
V. sion. Those who maintain'd Matter to be
c/V>J smite upon philosophical grounds, ima
gin'd it to be inactive, divisible into
Pans independent and separate, with
vacant Interstices; which Parts were
heavy er light of themielyes, and had
various Figurcs,as well as degreesof Mo
tion, when violently fore'd out of their
natural state of Rest. This necessarily
led 'em to suppose finite Extensiqns, at
the fame time that they allow'd ano
ther Extension, which was infinite.
4-lnd then they cou'd not but make
those Extensions essentially different in
other respects ; the one immovable,
impenetrable, indivisible, unchangeable,
homogeneal, incorporeal, and all-con
taining; the other movable, penetrable,
divisible, changeable, heterogeneal, cor
poreal, and contain'd; the one betokening
infinite Space, and the other particular
Bodys. But this wholeDistinction is built
on supposing the thing in question, and
by. the equivocal Signification of the
words Place, Whole, Parts, Particles,
^Divisibility, or the like ; and therefore
after they took it for granted that
Matter was finite, divided into Parts,
that it wanted Motion from elsewhere,
i
and
Motion essential to Matter"* 115
and had a void Place wherein to act, then Lettel"
they establish'd this Wheel within a V.
Wheel, or one Extension penetrating ^*v^o
another, as if Modes were penetrated
by their Subject. But all these Suppo
sitions being (as I have often told you)
only the Consequences of the main
Supposition, that Matter was inactive,
and the contrary of this or the essen
tial Motion of it being already de
monstrated, there is no reason not to
think Matter infinite, and that, as
Nothing has no Propertys, so that the
acknowledg'd infinite Extension belongs
to this infinite Subject, which is infi
nitely modify'd in its Motion, Exten
sion, and other inseparable Attributes.

25. I MIGHT conclude here,


SIR; but to put this matter beyond
all doubt with you, I shall be at a
little more pains to show how all these
things, which they attribute to Space
and Body as their essential Differences,
do wholly belong without any contra
diction to infinite Matter : for I grant
that these Propertys have a real Ex
istence, and tho seemingly opposite,
they are but the Affections of the seme
Subject under various Considerations.
P 4 When
ti£ }Aoti<m essential- to Matter:
Letter When Bodys are conceiv'd finite, œo-
V. vable, divisible, at rest, heavy or light,
V"V*^»> under different Figures, and in various
Situations ; then we abstract the Mo
difications from the Subject, or, if you
will,; the Parts from the Whole, and
imagine proper Boundarys ,-tQ; certain
Portions of Matter, which separate
ana" distinguish, them from all the rest,
whence came originally the Notion of
a;Void: but when we consider infinite
Space as impenetrable, immovable, in-
diyisible, the place which receives ail
Bodys, wherein they move and are
cootain'd, it self being void of. all
Change, Form, or Figure ; then, on
the .contrary, we abstract the infinite
Subject from the finite Modifications,
or the Whole from the Parts. Now
Jet's apply thisPpctrin in particular
Instances. Since nothing can be added
to Infinite nor taken away from ic, the
Universe can neither increase nor di
minish, there being no place without
it to which you may remove what
you divide from it, or from which
you may bring what you add to it:
consequently it is immovable and in
divisible ; and also without all Figure,
since it has nQ Bounds or Limits ;
, : .7 and

:
Motion essential to Matteh.\ %\f
and immense, since no finite Quantity, Letter
tba never so often repeated, can equal y.
or; measure its Extension. Therefore \sstsj
when we fay, that Space is all-contain
ing, . we mean it of infinite Matter,
to distinguish. -the. 'Whole from the
Parts, which yet are not different from
the^Whole. When; we fay it per
meates, all things, we abstract the Ex
tension of. Matter from its other Fro-
pertys ; and so we do, when we fay
it's incorporeal, not then considering
if c> otherwise; than as the Mathema
ticians in Points, or Lines, or Surfaces.
When we affirm i it; isione, we mean
that it is infinite and indivisible ; for
there's but one Universe, tho there
may be numberless Worlds. When
we fay it is the Place of all things,
We signify that it is the Subject of its
own' Modifications, whether Motions,
Figures, or others. .When we fay it's
homogeneal, we mean that Matter is
ever the fame, be the Modifications of
it never so various. And lastly, when
we. lay that finite fiodys cannot exist
without an infinite Space, we only fay
that they cannot be unless they are ; for
their own Solidity or their. Respect to
other things is all their Place, abstracting
from
ft I 8 Motion ejjential to Matter.
Letter from theUniverse of which they areParts,
V. of whose infinite Motion, Solidity, and
ts**V"x; EKtension, they finitely partake : for
infinite Matter is the real Space and Place,
as well as the real Subject of its own par
ticular Portions and Modifications.
- . ■ a6. ■ Y O U may now perceive how
this Notion of absolute Space was
fortn'd, partly by gratuitous Suppo
sitions, as that Matter was finite, in
active, and divisible ; partly, by ab
stracting Extension, the most obvious
Property of Matter, without consider
ing the other Propertys, or their ab
solute Connection in the same Subject,
tho each of 'em may be mentally ab
stracted from the rest, which is of sin
gular use to Mathematicians on several
occasions: provided such Abstractions be
never taken for Realitys, and made to
exist out of the Subjects from which
they are abstracted, no more than
plac'd in another Subject uncertain or
unknown. Matter is often abstracted
from Motion, as Motion is from Mat
ter, so are Solidity and Matter, Motion
and Extension, Extension and Solidity,
Solidity and Motion ; each of these
may be and is taken by it self without
:.; , ■'; any

:
Motion essential to Matter, 219
any Consideration of the rest, whereas Lettec
in reality the Motion of Matter de- V.
pends on its Solidity and Extension, ^v>^
and so all of 'em inseparably on one
another. But the Defenders of Space,
after abstracting Extension from Mat
tery then distinguish^ between Exten
sion in general and the particular Ex
tension of Matter, of this or that Body, as
if the latter were somethingsuperadded to
the former, tho they cou'd not assign the
Subjectoftheforrfjes.whetberaSubstance
neither Body nor Spirit, or a new kind
of Nothing endow'd with the Propertys
of a Being. Nay many of them have
not-..(tuck to make it pass for the Su
preme Being it self, or at least for an
inadequate Conception of God, as may
be seen in the ingenious Mr. R ax ph-
son's Book of Real Space, to whom
I had an eye in the two foregoing
Paragraphs ; tho, as may be likewise
learnt from his own Authoritys, he was
neither the first Broacher of this Con
ceit, nor the only Maintainer of it
now. I am satisfy'd that most of those
Gentlemen did firmly believe the Ex
istence of a Deity, and I charitably
hope it of 'em all ; but in my Opinion
their unwary Zeal refin'd him into
mere
120 Motion essential to Matter,
Letter mere Nothing, or (what they wou\J-
V. as little allow) they made Nature or
^v^vj the Universe to be the only God : but
the Goodness of their Intention ought
to secure 'em with all men of Candor
from the Charge and Consequences of
Atheism. Their Mistake however was
perceiv'd by the Atheists themselves,
and made the Subject of their Mirth,
as in these four Lines of a Poem,
wherein, after cavilling before at some
other Notions of the Deity, they ridi
cule this infinite incorporeal Space on
much better grounds.
: rr./'- : •; .
Others, whose Heads sublimer Notions
trace,
Cunningly prove that thottrt Almighty
Space i
And Space w'are sure is nothing, ergo
Thou:
These Men flip into Truth they know
not how.

And truly the fancy of one Extension


penetrating another, made many others
laugh, who are as far as any from A-
theism or Irreligion : and some of 'em
wou'd fain learn where the Reason
and Wisdom of extended Space resides,
whether
Motion ejsential to Matter. 221
whether in the Whole, or in any of Letter
the Parts, I speak of Parts in a sense V.
of Accommodation, for Infinite can have o'V^J
none: but if with one of Cicero's
Dialogists they wou'd infer that the
Whole must have Understanding, be
cause some Portions of it are intelligent;
besides not allowing the Understand
ing of the Parts to belong in any
manner to their Extension, we may
retort with the other Speaker in C 1-
cero, that by the fame Argument, the
Whole must be a Courtier, a Musician,
a Dancing-master, or a Philosopher, be
cause many of the Parts are such. But
these are Sophisms on both fides, by
confounding variable Modes with essen
tial Property?, or by ascribing true Ef
fects to imaginary, foreign, or dispro
portionate Causes.
,27. AFTER accounting for the
essential Motion of Matter, you'll find
that the Comparisons and Similitudes ra
ther than the Arguments of those who
defend Space, prove no more than that
you conceive what they mean, or else
that they generally beg the Question^
icaji'suppose. with any of them, that
a itijie Matter of the World is - redue'd
-r:C.J cL's.JVM .1 l-i. «- £
-?i;jgi J
> I

11% Motion essential to Matter.


Letter by God into two equal Spheres; that
^ V. if they be at a distance from one ano-
'.^VV ther, there is between them a measu
rable Space or Void ; or that if they
mutually touch in- a Point (as perfect
Spheres must necessarily do) there is
a Space which is not Body, between
the other Points of their Circumfe
rences. But is not all this at the fame
time to suppose Matter finite, to sup
pose this very Space which they pretend
to prove, and from no reason that I
can see, but from the bare Considera
tion of Gravity ? I can with Mr.
Lock conceive the Motion of one
Body alone without any other succeed
ing immediately into its place; but it
is by abstracting this single Body, and
with-holding my Attention from those
that really succeed it. I can with him
conceive two Bodys at a distance ap
proaching one another, without dis
placing any thing else till their Super
ficies come to meet ; but Ms by ab
stracting from all that they necessarily
displace: for, as he judiciously observes
himself, it does not follow that any
thing exists in such a state, merely be
cause we can conceive it so; or toere
wou'd be great store of Hydras, Cen
taurs,
Motion essential to Matter, ti *
taurs, Chimeras, and other Monsters, Letjcel
which never had a Being. But I grant V.
to him that by such Instances I per- t/W
fectly understand the meaning of those
who contend for Space or a Void,
which was absurd in the Cartesians
to deny, and unpardonable to dispute
against a thing, whereof they profest
to have no Idea. Mr. Lock has all
that can be said on this Subject in his
Essay of Human "Understanding, especial
ly in the thirteenth Chapter of4 the
second Book, where among other
things he uses these words: If Body be
not supposed infinite, which, I think, no
one will affirm, I can conceive a Man at
the extremity of Matter, and ■ that he
can stretch his Hand beyond hit Body.
He cou*d not be ignorant how many
affirm'd the Infinity of Matter before
he was born, and I am not the only
Man that does it in his own time:
but tho I can abstract to my self such
imaginary Bounds, yet I cannot meet
with one good reason ro persuade me
that Extension ( which he acknow
ledges infinite) does exist any where
out of Matter : I fay, that I find no
thing offer'd to persuade me of, this,
but such Suppositions as 1 have already
confuted ;
IH Motion essential to Matter* t
Letter confuted ; not to insist on insurmoun-
V. table Difficulty s arising from those fictiti-
t/VXJous Extremitys, as to their Consistence,
Figure, whether any thing can break
loose from them, what becomes of such
Fractions, and a thousand other Rid
dles. I can further gratify him in
the Consideration of divided Particles ;
but I deny that the Continuity of in
finite Matter can ever be separated by
any distinct Surfaces with void inter
mediate Spaces: for we only abstract
(as I tojd you in the sixth and seventh
Paragraphs) what we call Parts, con
sidering by it self so much of Exten
sion as is for our purpose, and distin
guishing such Parcels not by real Di
visions from the Whole, but by the Mo
difications of Color, Figure, Motion,
or the like, as we consider the Heat
without the Light of the Sun. He
fays further, That those who ajsert the
Impossibility ofSpace existing without Mat
tery must not only make Body infinite, but
must also deny a sower in God to anni
hilate any part of Matter. That they
make Matter infinite is confest ; but
what he adds about Annihilation is
deny'd : for besides that no Revelation
from God can-be produc'd, wherein be
has
Motion essential to Matter* 215
has declar'd that he will annihilate any Letter
part of Matter, so it is no Argument V.
for a real Space, that God has it in his <v~\PO
power to annihilate, no more than that
the World shall actually finish in three
Days, because I conceive it possible for
God to destroy it in that short time.
I know no reason (of what he asserts
in the fame place) why the Main
tained of infinite Matter (hou'd be loth
to speak out their opinion, any more
than the Maintainers of infinite Space,
or of any other Infinite, for the word
is apply'd to more Subjects than one
or two : and what made Carte-
si u s backward to affirm exprefly that
Matter was infinite, contenting him*
self with the word Indefinite, was his
being sure on the one hand that Ex
tension was infinite; and yer; allowing
withal that Matter was naturally in
active and really divisible, he cou'd not
well demonstrate its Infinity, tho you
that read him so often need no Proofs
that he sometimes positively affirm'd ir.
As for thesheological Exceptions to this
Position, they are of little weighs, and
show the Philosophy of some Men to be
as little as their Zeal is great and fervent;
nor do I believe that the moderate and
Q^ learned
li6 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter learned Divines of cur time will revive
V. the exploded Sophisms of their ignorant
C/"V>J Predecessors. But I desire you wou'd
remember, that notwithstanding my
Dissent with Mr. Lock about Space,
I consider his Effay of Humin Vnderftant
ing to be the molt useful Book towards
attaining universal Knowledg, that is ex
tant in any Language ; as well as for help-
ingMen to speak pertinently,intelligibly,
and accurately, of all kinds of Subjects:
nor have I affected here to oppose so
great a Man ; but knowing how much
his Authority fway'd with you from my
own Recommendation, I took care to
remove the Prejudices you might thence
entertain against infinite Matter, its
essential Motion, or whatever might be
built on such Foundations.

28. AND now, SIR, after having


led me this tedious Chafe, by the work
you took care to cut out for me in your
short but most comprehensive Letter, 1
question not but you'll allow that Mo
tion ought to enter into the Definition
of Matter, no less than Extension or
Solidity. But if you demand the Defi
nition of Motion it self, I answer that
I cannot give it, nor any other Man,
tho
Motion essential to Matter, 217
tho never so able ; not that we know Letrer
it the less for all this, but on the con- V.
trary because we know it better than ^^^
any thing which is capable of a Defini
tion. Simple Ideas, such as Motion,
Extension, Color, Sound, are self-evi
dent, and their Names by no means de
finable ; but the single Words which de
note complex Ideas, that is, a Collection
of self-evident Ideas consider'd as one
thing, are the true Objects of Defini
tion ; because the several Terms for those
Ideas, when put together, show the
Connection, Possibility, and Conception
of the Whole. Thus all the Words in
the world cou'd not explain Blue, nor
give the clear Idea of it to one who
never saw that Color ; but supposing the
same Person never saw any Gold, tho
well acquainted with other Metals, yet
he'll be able to form a distinct Notion of
it, from the mouth of another who de
scribes it of a certain Yellowness and
Weight, malleable, fusible, fixt, and the
like. When the Names therefore of
simple Ideas are defin'd, we must not
imagine it to be their Subjects ; for sy
nonymous Terms do not explain the na
ture of the thing, but give us the mean
ing of the Word in more intelligible
0^3 Terms:
2i% Motion essential to Matter.
Letter Terms : wherefore Passage, Translation,
V. Removing, successive Application, are
L/^v^o but other words for Motion, and no
Definitions of the thing, no more than
Aristotle's AH ofa, being in power
so far forth as it is in sower ; but all
particular local Motions may be defined
by the Lines they describe, and the
Causes that determine the Course or
Degrees of their Motion. The fame is
to be understood of the general Extensi
on of Matter, and of its particular Deter
minations, by Measure, Figures, or any
other way. The Solidity of all Mat
ter is likewise an intuitive or undcfinable
Idea. But I do not here understand So
lidity in the sense of Geometers, of eve
ry assign'd Quantity that has three Di
mensions ; but as Mr. Lock has sub
stituted this positive Term, instead of
the negative one of Impenetrability,
for the Resistance we find in every Body
to the Entrance of any other Body into
the place it possesses till it has left it : as
a drop of Water equally prest on all sides,
is an insurmountable Obstacle for the
strongest Bodys in the Universe to join,
till it be remov'd ; and so a piece of
Wood will keep your two Hands from
ever coming together, tho you endea-
* vour
' Motion ejsential to Matter. 119
vour it never so forcibly. The same is Letter
as true of all fluid and soft things, as of V.
the molt fixt or hard, or heavy or light ; <W**o
as true of Air and Pulp, as of Gold
and Diamonds ; which, as the most
exact Mr. Lock again observes to you,
distinguishes the word as put for an in
separable Property of Matter, from the
common Acceptation of it, when solid
is put for hard, in which fense it is a
^certain Cohesion of the Parts of any
thing difficultly separated, whereas in the
Philosophical sense it is a Repletion, or
utter Exclusion of all other Bodys, and
so I have understood it throughout this
whole Letter, except in the third Para*
graph.

29. I WON'T fay that Matter has


no other essential Propertys but these
three of Extension, Solidity, and Acti
on : but I am persuaded that from the
due and joint Consideration of these a-
lone, a world of its Phænomena may
be better accounted for than hitherto.
But few Discoverys are to be expected
in natural Philosophy from one who ab
stracts any of them from the rest, or that
makes it alone the compleat Essence of
Matter : for 'tis most certain that in
Q^J Matter
r jo Motion ejsent'ul to Matttr.
Letter Matter those Attributes are never other -
V. wife but mentally divided from one
o^v^J another. That ExtenfioD, for example,
exhausts the Idea of Matter, I deny ;
since it does not imply Solidity or Moti
on : but that all extended is Matter, may
be very ttue, tho Matter be not barely
extended, but likewise active and solid.
But tho in the pure Consideration of
those Ideas the one does not suppose the
other, and that each of 'em has certain
Modes which are conceived to belong
immediately to it self, yet they are so
firmly linkt in Nature, that the one can
not exist without the other, and they all
necessarily concur to the producing of
those Modes which are proper to each.
Extension is the immediate Subject of all
the Divisions, Figures, and Parcels of
Matter ; but 'tis Action that causes those
Alterations, and they cou'd not be dis
tinct without Solidity. Action is the
immediate Cause of all local Motions,
Changes, or Varietys in Matter ; but
Extension is the Subject and Measure of
their Distances : and tho upon Solidity
depends the Resistance, Impulse, and
Protrusion of Bodys, yet 'tis Action that
produces them in Extension. Solidity,
Extension, and Action, are therefore
three
Motion essential to Matter. 231
three distinct Ideas, but not three diffe- Letter
rent things; only the various Confide- V.
rations of one and the self- fa me Matter. tv^vPvJ
To return to our particular Subject, you
may easily perceive by this time, that
the Vis motnx, the true motive Force is
this essential Action of Matter ; and
that the Vu impress*, the imprest: Force
of particular Bod.ys, is some Determi
nation of the general Action : for in this
sense it's indisputable that nothing can
move, that is, determine it self, till it
be determin'd by some other thing : so
that Matter being active, the Direction
given to that Action in any part, wou'd
of it self for ever continue, because no
Effect can be withouc a Cause, and by
consequence this Direction must be
chang'd by some greater Force, as that
by another, and soon, one never ending
but for another to begin, no more than
any Figure is destroy 'd in Matter, but
to make place for another. Thus one
Motion is always succeeded by another
Motion, and never by absolute Rest, no
more than in any Parcel of Matter the
ceastng of one Figure is the ceasing of all,
which is impossible. These Determinati
ons of Motion in theParts of solid extend
ed Matter, are what we call the Phæno-
Q^4 mena
2?i Motion essential to Matter.
Letter mena of Nature, and to which we give
V. Names or ascribe Uses, Perfection or
'-/"WJ Imperfection, according as they affect
our Senses, and cause Pain or Pleasure
to our Bodys, contribute to our Preser
vation or Destruction : but we do not
always denominate 'em from their real
Causes, or ways of producing one ano
ther, as the Elasticity, Hardness, Soft
ness Fluidity, Quantity, Figures, and
Relations of particular Bodys. On the
contrary we frequently attribute many
Determinations of Motion to no Cause
at all, as the spontaneous Motion of A-
nimals : for, however those Motions
may be accompany'd by Thought, yet,
conlider'd as Motions, they have their
physical Causes, as a Dog's running after
a Hare, the Bulk of the external Object
acting by its whole Force of Impulse
or Attraction on the Nerves, which are
ib dispos'd with the Muscles, Joints, and
other Parts, as to produce various Mo
tions in the Animal Machine. And
whoever understands in any measure the
Action of Bodyson one another by their
immediate Contact, or by the imper
ceptible Particles that continually flow
from them, and to this Knowledg joins
that of Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and
Anatomy,
Motion ejsentid to Matters 211
Anatomy, will be convinc'd that all the Letter
Motions of sitting, standing, lying, ri- v.
sing, running, walking, and such others, o~/V;
have their proper, external, material,
and proportionable Betermioationst
After Mr. Newton, in the Preface
of his Mathematical Principles of Natu*
ral Philosophy, has spoken of Gravity,
Elasticity, Resistance, Impulse, and At
traction, and of his Explication of the
mundane System by these Principles ;
* I wish, adds he, that we coud by the
same Method ofreasoning be able to explain
the other Phenomena of Nature from me
thanic Principles ! for I am indue 'd by di
vers Considerations to fufpecl a little, that
all these may depend on certain Forces,
whereby from Causes yet undiscovered the
Particles of Bodys are mutually impelsA
against each other', and cohere according to
regular Figures, or whereby they recede
and are driven from one another: which

1 Ucinam cztera Naturæ Phenomena ex Principiis


mechanicis eodern argumentandi gencre derivare li-
cerec ! Nam multa me movent, ut nonnihil suspicer ea
omnia ex viribus quibusdam pendere posse, quibus Cor-
porum particular per causes nondum cognitas vel in fe
mutuo impelluntur & secundum Figuras regulares cohe
rent, vel ab invicem fugantur & recedunt : quibus viri-
bnsignotis, Philosophi hactewus Naturam frustra ten-
tarunt.
Forces
*}4 Motion tjftnt'ul to Matter.
Letter Forces being jet unknown, the Philosophers
V. hive hitherto Attempted Nature in vain.
t-'*f^> What those particular Forces and Fi
gures may be, with their Reasons
and Degrees, none in the world is so
well able to discover and reduce into an
intelligible System, as the most excel
lent Author : but as for the general or
moving Force of all Matter, I wou'd
flatter my self, that I have done some
thing towards it in this Letter.

30. THUS I have retum'd a par


ticular Answer, I think, to every De
mand in yours, except to your last Ob
jection, which (were there degrees in
Truth and Fallhood) is more feeble
than all the rest, That after admitting
the ABivitj of Matter, there seems to be
no need of a presiding Intelligence : which,
give me leave to fay it, is the most
thoughtless and unweigh'd Expression I
ever knew to drop from your Mouth or
Pen ; since you do not allow your self
to draw invidious Consequences con
trary to the Persuasion of your own
Conscience, as but too too many are
known to do- Besides, that God was
able to create this Matter active as well
as extended, that he cou'd give it the
one
Motion essential to Matter, 2$J
one Property as well as the other, and Letter
that no realbn can be assigned why he V.
fhou'd not endue it with the former o^W>
-as well as with the latter ; is there
likewise no necefficy that he fhou'd
ever or rather always direct its Mo
tions? Can the Formation of Animals
or Plants be accounted for from the
Action, any more than from the Ex
tension of Matter? Or are you able to
imagine that the Action and Reaction of
Bodys, of all the Particles of Matter on
one another, cou'd ever have the Contri
vance to make any one of those admi
rable vegetable or animal Machines ?
All your Skill in Mechanism can no
more help you, than it did Carte-
si us, to find out Rules and Engines
for making either a Man or a Mouse.
All the jumbling of Atoms, all the
Chances you can suppose for it, cou'd
no more bring the Parts of the Uni
verse into their present Order, nor con
tinue them in the same, nor cause the
Organization of a Flower or a Fly, than
you can imagine that by tumbling to
gether the Letters of a Printer a million
of times, they fhou'd ever fall at last
into such a Position, as to make the
JEntis of Virgil, or the Was of
Homer,
Ij6 Motion essential to Matter.
Letter Homer, or any other Book in the
V. world. And as for the Infinity of Mat-
<-^W> ter, it only excludes, what all reasona
ble and good Men must exclude, an ex
tended corporeal God, but not a pure
Spirit or immaterial Being. I am per-
iuaded, that in omitting many other
common Objections, you purposely
spar'd me, knowing there was no end
of Absurditys from false or precarious
Systems ; Absurditys so monstrous, that
they have driven several of the Carte
sians (to name no others) to as mon
strous- Hypotheses, when not knowing
wherein consisted the moving Force,
and for avoiding the Transition of Ac
cidents from one Subject to another,
they are not afham'd to sey, that God
takes the Motion from one Bowl that
is running forward (for example) and
communicates it to the other against
which it rubs, continuing it during its
Course by his immediate Concurrence,
and taking it away by such degrees as
are observ'd in the ordinary Laws of
Motion. Is this to explain any thing ?
Or are these the men that laugh at
Sympathy, Antipathy, occult Qualitys,
or the like ? I know to whom I ad
dress my self, when I speak of every
thing
Motion essential to Matter. 227
thing so succinctly ; any the least Hint Letter
being enough for you, to work out all y.
the rest by your own most happy Ge- i/v^
nius: besides that the ordinary Solutions
can never satisfy any man who denies
the ordinary Suppositions.

31. PRAY, against your writing


to me next, be pleas'd to consider
whether the Mathematicians (who are
generally the best and strictest Rea
soners, tho they build sometimes on
groundless Suppositions, and have often
made real Beings of abstracted Ideas)
whether, I fay, they did not perceive,
without reflecting that they did so, the
Necessity of this intrinsick and essential
Action of Matter, by their Conatus ad
Motum ? I have purposely omitted in
sisting on this, when I show'd you that
it was the Discovery of the same per
petual and universal Action, that gave
a Being to the Systems of the Stoics,
Plastics, Hylozoics, and others : for
my Intention has not bin to write all
I cou'd fay on this Subject, but as
much as I thought necessary to answer
your Objections, and to bring you over
to the fame Opinion. Neither will
I point out to you what further use in
Philosophy
138 Motion ejsential to Matter.
Letter Philosophy may be made of this es-
V. sential Motion of Matter, besides a
OWJ clearer Knowledg of Nature in gene
ral, and the particular Decision of
the Controversy s about the moving
Force, about local Motion without
or with a Void, about the nature of
Space, and the Infinity of Matter. I
am confident that before your reading
thus far, you have already made the
Application of this Doctrin to several
other Difficultys, having impartially
revolv'd in y°iir own Mind the un
satisfactory Guesses and miserable Cir
cles, rather than genuine Explications
of the Schools ; and that you have consi
dered likewise what numberless Errors
may branch themselves over the whole
Body of Philosophy, from any one false
Principle laid down for undisputedTruth,
without Proof or Examination. What
Observations of this kind I have made
my self from time to time, I shall
freely impart to you and our common
Friend, who alone philosophizes at
Court, and who exceeds all the rest
in Politeness and Address, as much
as he does in Wisclom and Literature,
his superior Genius and admirable
Sense no less distinguishing him in
ordinary
Motion essential to Matter. 2 lo
ordinary Ceremonys, than in the nicest Letter
and most arduous Points of State As- V.
fairs. But I shall give you no further OVXJ
trouble, SIR, till you are next dis-
pos'd to honor me with your Com
mands*

F 1 *{ J S.
(
Xs
/

,/. y.
.**
J

,::... ±^
V *
I
F

Похожие интересы