THE NATURE AND IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL PROVED. In Answer to one who professed perplexing Doubt­fulness.


LONDON: Printed for B. Simons, at the Three Golden Cocks, at the West End of St. Pauls. 1682.


I Have Reason to judg you no Stranger to such Addresses as these: and therefore have adventured more boldly to apply my self to you. Others would, it may be, rigedly censure this Attempt; but your more Christian Temper will induce you, I hope, to judg more charitably, did you but understand with what reluctancy I un­dertook this task.

I have had many Disputes with my self, whether or no I should stifle these Doubts, or seek Satisfaction. Shame to own such Principles bid me do the first; but the weight of the Concern obliged me to the last. For I could not with any chear­fulness, or with that vigor I thought did become me, pursue those unseen Sub­stances, those Objects of Faith Religion holds forth, except I did really believe their existence, and my own capacity of enjoyn­ing them.

[Page 4] I thought at first to satisfie my self in the certainty of the things I did believe, to confirm and establish my Faith by these Studies, that I might be able to render a Reason of the hope that is in me: but in­stead of building up, I am shaken; and in­stead of a clearer evidence, I am inviron­ed with uncertainties.

Unhappy that I am! I had better have taken all upon Trust, could I so have sa­tisfied my Reason, than thus to have in­volved my self in an endless Study. For such I am afraid it will prove without help: for that I may not in this Concern rest without satisfaction; and yet the more I consider, and weigh things, the more are my doubts multiplied. I call them only doubts, not to palliate any opinions; for I have not yet espoused any; but because they have not yet attained so much matu­rity or strength, as to take me off those things, my doubts being satisfied, I should conclude of indispensable necessity; they are but yet in the Womb: assist to make them Abortives.

I have not been wanting to my self, but in the use of all means to me known, have sought satisfaction, both by Prayer, Reading, and Meditation. I have weigh­ed and consulted things according to my [Page 5] Capacity. I have been as faithful to my self in all my reasonings, as I could, and void of prejudice, have passed impartial Cen­sures on the things in debate, so far as that light I have would enable me; and what to do more, I know not, except this course I now take, prove effectual, you inclining to assist me, that I know have studied these things.

My request to you therefore is, If your more publick Studies will permit you, That you would condescend to satisfie me in the Particulars I shall mention. I as­sure you, I have no other design, but to know the Truth: which in things of such moment, certainly cannot be difficult, tho to my unfurnished Head they have proved so: I hope my shaking may prove my esta­blishment.

That I may therefore put you to as lit­tle trouble as I can, I will first tell you what I do believe, and then what I stick at.

First, therefore, I do really believe, and am very well satisfied, That there is a God, or a first Cause that hath created all things, and given to every thing its Being. For I am not acquainted with any independent Being. I know not any thing that is able to subsist without the Contribution of its [Page 6] Fellow-Creatures. I am conscious to my self, when sickness invades me, and death summons my Compound to a dissolution, I can do nothing to the preservation of the Being I enjoy. And if I cannot preserve my self as I am, much less could I make my self what I am: For when I was no­thing, I could do nothing. And Experi­ence and Sense tells me, As it is with me, so it is with others; as there is none can preserve their Beings, so there is none could acquire to themselves the Being they have; and if none, then not the first man. And indeed that was it I enquired after, from whence every species had at first their Beings; the way, how, and means by which they are continued. I know not any Cause of the Being of any thing, of which again I may not enquire the Cause: and so from Cause to Cause, till through a multitude of Causes, I ne­cessarily arrive at the first Cause of all Causes, a Being wholly uncaused, and with­out Cause, except what it was unto it self.

My next Enquiry was into my self; and my next business, to find what Concern I have with my Creator: which I knew no better way to attain, than by searching the bounds of humane Capacity. For I [Page 7] concluded it reasonable to judg those at­tainments I was capable of in my Creati­on, I was designed for. Now if man is nothing more than what is visible, or may be made so by Anatomy or Pharmacy, he is no Subject capable of enjoying, or loving God, nor consequently of a life of Retro­bution.

In this Enquiry I found Man consisted of something visible and invisible; the Bo­dy which is visible, and something else that invisibly actuates the same. For I have seen the Body, the visible part of man; when the invisible, either through indisposition of its Orgains, or its self, or being expelled its Mansion, hath ceased to act (I speak as one in doubt): the Body hath been left to outward appearance the same; it was yet really void of Sense, and wholly debilitated of all power to act: But then what this invisible is, what to conclude of it, I know not: Here I am at a stand, and in a Labyrinth, without a Clue: For I find no help any where. Ma­ny have, I acknowledg, defended the Souls Immortality; but none have proved the existence of such a Being, and a life of Retrobution,Here [...]what [...] want [...] the A [...] Copy. and that copiously e­nough; but none have proved a Subject capable of it. I know all our Superior [Page 8] Faculties and Actings, are usually attri­buted to the Soul; but what it is in man they call so, they tell us not. To say it is that by which I reason, or that now di­ctates to me what I write, is not satisfa­ctory: For I look for a definition, and such an one, as may not to ought else be appropriated. Is it therefore a real Be­ing, really different from the Body, and able to be without it? or is it not? If not, whatever it be, I matter not. If it be, is it a pure Spirit, or meerly material? If meerly material, and different only from the Body gradually, and in some few de­grees of subtilty, it is then a question, whether or not that we call Death, and suppose a separation of the Compound, be not rather a Concentration of this a­ctive Principle in its own Body, which through some indisposition of the whole, or stoppage in its Orgains, through gross Corporeity, hath suffocated its actings. If it be a pure Spirit, I would then know, what is meant by Spirit? and whether or no all things invisible, and imperceptable to Sense, are accounted such? If so, it is then only a term to distinguish between things evident to Sense, and things not. If other wise, how shall I distinguish be­tween the highest degree of material, and [Page 9] the lowest degree of spiritual Beings, or know how they are diversified, or be cer­tain the Being of the Soul is rightly appro­priated. For to me, an immaterial and spi­ritual Being, seems but a kind of Hocus, and a Substance stript of all materiality, a substantial nothing. For all things at first had their Origine from the deep dark Waters: witness Moses Philosophy, in the 1 st of Genesis, on which the Spirit of God is said to move. I am far from believing those Waters such as that Element we dai­ly make use of; but that they were mate­rial, appears by those multitudes of ma­terial Productions they brought forth. And if those Waters were material, such were all things they d [...]d produce, among which was Man, of whom the Text asserts nothing more plain; for it saith, God cre­ated man of the dust of the earth; the most gross part and sedement of those Waters, after all things else were created. Now the Body only is not Man; for Man is a living Creature: it is that therefore by which the Body lives and acts, that con­stitutes the Man. Now the Apostle men­tioneth Man to consist of Body, Soul and Spirit. My Argument then is this, God cre­ated man of the dust of the earth.

[Page 10] But Man consists of a Body Soul and Spi­rit:

Therefore Body, Soul and Spirit are made of the dust, &c. and are mate­rial.

The major and minor are undeniable; and therefore the conclusion. Yet do I not therefore conclude its annihilation: for I know all matter is eternal; but am rather perswaded of its concentration (as afore) in its own body.

But of its real Being, purely spiritual, and stript of all materiality, really di­stinct from its body, I doubt.

Because that by several accidents hap­pening to the body, the man is incapaci­ted from acting rationally, as before; as in those we call Ideots, there is not in some of them so much a sign of a reasonable Soul, as to distinguish them from Bruits: Whereas were the Soul such as represent­ed, it would rather cease to act, than act at a rate below it self. Did it know its Ex­cellencies, such as we make them, it would as soon desert its being, as degrade its self by such bruitish acts: It is not any defect in its Organs could rob the Soul of its Reason, its Essential Faculty. Tho the Workman breaks his Tools, his hands do not lose their skill, but ceaseth to act, ra­ther [Page 11] than to do ought irregularly: so like­wise would the Soul then act contrary to its own nature.

Secondly, Because all the species both of the Mineral, Vegitable, and Animal King­doms, appear to me, but as the more emi­nent Works of a most excellent Operator, as Engines of the most accurate Engineer; they all live, and have a Principle of Life manifest in their growth and augmentati­on, and so far as they are living weights, as I can perceive from the same source. But then comes in those Natures and Fa­culties whereby each is distinguished from other, even like several pieces of Clock, or Watch-work: the one shews the hour of the day, and no more; the next shews the hour and minutes, another shews both the former, and likewise the Age of the Moon; another hath not only the three former motions, but an addition of the rise and fall of Tides; yet all this, and many more that in that way are perform­ed, are several distinct motions, arising all from the same Cause, the Spring or Weight, the Principle of motion in them. So a­mong living Weights, the first do only grow and augment their bulk, and have no possibility in nature to augment their kind; the next, to wit, Vegitables, do not [Page 12] only grow and increase their bulk, but likewise have a power of propagating their like: the third Family, I mean the Animal Kingdom, do not only live and encrease their kind, but likewise are made sensative. And lastly, we our selves that are not only possest of all the former, but of something, I know not what, we think more excellent, and call Reason, and all this from the same source; namely▪ that we live; which if we did not, we could not perform any of these acts. For life in us is the same as the Spring or Weight in the Watch or Clock, which ceasing, all other motion ceaseth, as in a Watch or Clock, the Spring or Weight being down.

As Life therefore is the Cause of all Motion, and all natural Operation and Faculties; yet those multifarious Opera­tions and Faculties, manifest in, and pro­per to the particular species of the Three Kingdoms, requires not divers Principles of Life, no more than divers motions spe­cified in a Watch or Clock, requires di­vers Weights or Springs. And as the di­versity of motion in Watch or Clock, a­riseth not from diversity of Weights or Springs, but rather from other means: so those diversities of Natures and Faculties, [Page 13] manifest throughout the Three Kingdoms, arise not from divers Principles of Life, but from one Principle of Life, manife­sting its power in Bodies diversly organi­zed. So that a Tree or Herb that only vegitates and propagates its kind, hath no other Principle of Life than an Animal that hath Sense, and more eminent Faculties. The difference only, as I con­ceive, is, this Principle of Life in the ve­gitable, is bound up in a Body organized to no other end, by which Life is hindred exerting any other power: but in the A­nimal it's kindled in a purer matter, by which it's capacitated to frame more ex­cellent Orgains, in order to the exerting more eminent Acts. For the Principle of Life can no more act rationally in matter capable of naught but vegitation (for it acts in matter according to the nature thereof, advancing it to its utmost excel­lency), than a man can saw with a Coult-Staff, or file with an Hatchet, or make a Watch with a Betle and Wedges.

I am apt to believe those rare Endow­ments, and eminent Faculties, wherewith men seem to excel meer Sensatives, are only the improvement of Speech, where­in we have the advantage of them, and the result of reiterated Acts, until they [Page 14] become habits. For by the first we are able to communicate our Conceptions and Expe­riments each to other; and by the other we do gradually ascend to the knowledg of things. For is all the knowledg either in the acts, Liberal or Mechanical, any more than this acts reiterated, until they become habits; which when they are, we are said to know them? And what is all our reasoning, but an Argument in Dis­course tossed from one to another, till the Truth be found, like a Ball between two Rackets, till at last a lucky blow puts an end to the sport? We come into the World hardly men; and many whose natures want cultivation, live, having no­thing to distinguish them from Brutes, but the outward form, speech, and some little dexterity, such as in Apes or Mon­keys, in the things they have been taught, and the Affairs they have been bred to. And could we imagine any man to have lived Twenty or Thirty years in the World, without the benefit of Humane Converse, What would appear then, think you, of a rational Soul? which the wise man well saw when he asserted the Condition of Men and Beasts to be the same what a meer Ignorant hath, Moses himself made of Adam, that in his sup­posed [Page 15] best state, knew not that he was naked: but I believe the Nine Hundred and Thirty years Experience of his own, and the continual Experiments of Poste­rity, in that time communicated to him, might quicken his Intellect. So that he died with more Reason than he was crea­ted, and humane nature in his posterity. The next Generation was imbellished with his attainments, to which their own Experiences still made a new addition. The next Generation built on their Foun­dation, and the next on their; and so on: and we are got on the shoulders of them all. So that it's rather a wonder, that we know no more, than that we know so much. So that what we have, seems rather times product, through the means aforesaid, than what our Natures were at first enricht with.

The which appears likewise in those whose memory fails, and in whom the vestigia of things is wore out; the habits they had contracted, and manner of working in their several acts being forgot­ten, what silly Animals are they? Where­as were the Soul such as repesented, who could rob it of its Endowments? It's true the debilitating of a hand, may impead a manual labour; but rase what hath for­merly [Page 16] been done out of the Memory, and you render Man a perfect Bruit, or worse: for he knows not how to give a sig­nification of his own mind.

And indeed, I know not any thing wherein Man excels the Beasts, but may be referred to the benefit of Speech and Hands, capable of effecting its Concep­tions; nor find any better way to attain a right knowledg of our selves, but by be­holding our selves in Adam, and enqui­ring, what Nature had endued him with, which will fall far short of what we now admire in our selves.

But now supposing all this answer'd, what will it avail us to a Life of Retro­bution, if all return to one Element, and be there immerged as Brooks and Rivers in the Sea? If we lose our Individuation; and all the Souls that have existed, be swal­lowed up of one, where are the Rewards and Punishments of each individual. And we have reason to judg it will be thus, ra­ther than otherwise, because we see every thing tends to its own Centre, the Water to the Sea, and all that was of the Earth to the Earth, from whence they were ta­ken. And Solomon saith, The spirit returns to God that gave it. Every thing then re­turning to its own Element, loseth its In­dividuation. [Page 17] For we see all bodies return­ing to the earth, are no more individual bodies, but earth: Have we not reason then to judg the same of Spirits returning to their own Element? And what happiness then can we hope for, more than a delive­rance from the present calamity? or what misery are we eapable of, more than what is common to all?

The same is more evident in the body with which we converse, and are more sensibly acquainted with, seems wholly uncapable of either, &c. For all bodies are material, and matter it self is not ca­pable of multiplication, but of being changed. Therefore Nature cannot mul­tiply bodies, but changeth them; as some bodies arise▪ others perish. Natures ex­pence in continual Productions being con­stantly supplied by the dissolution of other Compounds: were it otherwise, her Store­house would be exhausted; for its by continual Circulations, Heaven and Earth is maintain'd; and by her even Circular motion, she keeps her self imployed on the same stock of matter, and maintains every species. There is no body the same to day it was yesterday, matter being in a conti­nual flux; neither immediately on the dis­solution of a Compound, and Corruption [Page 18] of the body, doth the earth thereof retain any specifick difference of that body it once was, but is immediately bestowed by Na­ture, and ordered to the new production of other things. That part of matter therefore which constituteth a humane body, in a short time is putrified, and made earth, which a­gain produceth either other inferior Ani­mals, or Grass, or Corn, for the nourish­ment of Beasts and Fowl, which again are the nourishment of men. Thus circularly innume­rable times round, Nature continually im­pressing new forms of the same matter. So that that matter that now constitutes my bo­dy, it may be a thousand years ago was the matter of some other mans, or it may be of divers mens, then putrified; which in this time hath suffered infinite changes, as it may be sometime Grass, or Corn, or an Herb, or Bird, or Beast, or divers of them, or all, and that divers times over, before my body was framed; who then can say, why this matter so changeable, should at last be resto­red, my body rather than his, whose for­merly it was, or the body of a Bird, or o­ther Animal? For by the same Reasons that the body of man is proved to arise again, may, I think, be proved the Restoration of all other bodies, which is equally incredible to me (if understood at one time). For Na­tures [Page 19] stock of matter being all at first exhau­sted, she could not employ her self in new Productions, without destroying some of the old; much less can she at once fabricate out of the same quantity of matter, all the bodies that ever were, are, or shall be; which yet, notwithstanding could she, they could not be said to be the same bodies, be­cause all bodies suffer such alteration daily, that they cannot be said to be the same to day they were yesterday; how then can they be capable of Reward or Punish­ment?

These are now my doubts; but are they the fruits of Diligence? and am I thus re­warded for not believing at a common rate? A great deal cheaper could I have sate down, and believed as the Church believes; with­out a why, or a wherefore, have been ig­norant of these Disputes, and never have e­merged my self in this gulf, than thus by Re­flection to create my own disturbance. Had I been made a meer Animal, I had had none of these Doubts nor Fears that thus torment my mind; for doubting, happy Bruits hap­py, far more happy than my self! With you is none of this; with you only is sere­nity of mind, and you only void of Anxi­eties; you only enjoy what this world is able to accommodate with, and it may be too [Page 20] have those Caresses we know not of, while we, your poor purveyors, go drooping and dis­ponding, doubting, fearing, and caring a­bout, and our whole lives only a preying on one another, and tormenting our selves. You have the carnal content and satisfacti­on; we nothing but the shell, a vain glo­rious boast of our Lordship over you, with which we seek to satisfie our selves, as Pro­digals, with husks, while the truth is, we are afraid to confront our Vassals, except we first by craft and treachery beguile them from whom likewise we flee, if once enra­ged: and what a poor comfort is this? Is this a Priviledg to boast of? Is this all Rea­son advanceth to, only a Purveyor to Beasts, and to make my life more misera­ble, by how much more sensible of mise­ry! Well might Solomon prefer the dead before the living; and those that had not been, before both; intimating thereby, that being best, least capable of misery; that is, of Trees, of Herbs, of Stones, and all in­animates, which wanting sense, are insen­sible of misery. Better any thing than man therefore, since that every brute and inani­mate stock or stone, are more happy in that measure: they are less capable of misery. What the advantage then, what the bene­fit that occurs to us from them, or what [Page 21] preheminence have we above them, seeing as dieth the one, so dieth the other, and that they have all one breath?

Pardon this Degression; the real sense and apprehension I have of things, extort it from me. For I, as Job, cannot refrain my mouth, but speak in the bitterness of my Spirit, and complain in the anguish of my Soul, Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts, that I should suck? I had then been among Solomon's happy ones: I should now have lain still and been quiet; I should have slept, and been at rest: whereas now I am weary of life. For tho I speak, my grief is not asswaged; and tho I forbear, I am not eased; but now he hath made me weary, and made desolate all my company: he hath filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me; and my lean­ness rising up in me, beareth witness to my face, God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me cver into the hand of the wic­ked, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. I said, I shall die in my nest, and shall multiply my days as the sand, when my root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night on my branch; when my glory was fresh, and my bow was renewed in my hand: [Page 22] but I find while my flesh is upon me, I shall bave pain, and while my soul is in me, it shall mourn. Have pity upon me, O my friend! for the hand of God hath touched me. The wicked live, and become old; yea, they are mighty in power, their seed is established in their sight with them, and their off-spring be­fore their eyes; their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them, &c. they are planted, and take root, they grow; yea, they bring forth fruit, yet God is never in their mouth, and far from their reins. In vain then do I wash my hands in innocency, see­ing all things come alike to all. There is one e­vent to the righteous and to the wicked, to the good, to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

I have now done (tho I hardly know how), lest I too far trouble you; and only beg your perusal of these lines, and two or three in answer of them by this Bearer, who shall at your appointment wait on you for the same. Let me farther beg these two things of you: first, That you would consider you have not to do with a Sophi­stick Wrangler, or with one that would willingly err, but with one that desires to [Page 23] know the Truth. Let therefore your An­swer be, as much as you can, void of Scho­lastick Terms, or Notions that may lead me more into the dark. And then, as Job did beg, That God would withdraw his hand far from him, and that his dread might not make him afraid; so I. And further, That you would not awe me with his greatness, nor suppress my Arguments with his Omnipotence. Then call thou, and I will answer; or let me speak, and answer thou me. Thus begging the Divine Influ­ence to direct you, and enlighten me, I sub­scribe myself,


§. 1. IT is your wisdom in Cases of so great moment, to use all just en­deavours for satisfaction; and I think you did but your duty, to study this as hard as you say you have done. But 1. I wish you had studied it better; for then you would not have been a stranger to many Books which afford a just solution of your Doubts, as I must suppose you are, by your taking no notice of what they have said. 2. And I wish you had known, that between the sol­ving of all your Objections, and taking all on Trust from men, or believing as the Church believeth, there are Two other ways to satisfaction (which must be con­junct): 1. Discerning the unanswerable e­vidences in Nature and Providence, of the Souls future Life. 2. And taking it on trust from Divine Revelation; which is o­therwise to be proved, than by believing as the Church by Authority requireth you.

[Page 25] I have written on this Subject so much al­ready, that I had rather you had told me, why you think it unsatisfactory, than desire me to transcribe it, while Print is as legible as Manuscript. If you have not read it, I humbly offer it to your consideration. It is most in two Books: The first which I in­treat you to read, is called, The Reasons of the Christian Religion: the other is called, The Unreasonableness of Infidelity. If you think this too much labour, you are not so hard or faithful a Student of this weighty Case, as it deserveth, and you pretend to be. If you will read them (or the first at least), and after come to me, that we may fairly debate your remaining Doubts, it will be a likelier way for us to be useful to each other, than my going over all the mi­stakes of your Paper will be. And I sup­pose you know, that we have full assurance of a multitude of Verities, against which many Objections may be raised, which no mortal man can fully solve, espe­cially from Modes and Accidents. Nay, perhaps there is nothing in the World which is not liable to some such Objecti­ons. And yet I will not neglect your wri­ting.

[Page 26] §. 2. When you were convinc'd, That there is a first Cause, it would have been an orderly progress to think what that Cause is; and whether his Works do not prove his Infinite Perfection, having all that eminently which he giveth formally to the whole World, as far as it belongeth to perfection to have it. For none can give more than he hath. And then you should have thought what this God is to man, as manifest in his Works: and you should have considered what of man is past doubt, and thence in what relation he stands to God, and to his fellow-creatures: And this would have led you to know mans certain duty: and that would have assured you of a future life of Retribution. Is not this a just pro­gress?

§. 3. But you would know a Definition of the Soul. But do you know nothing but by Definitions? Are all men that cannot de­fine, therefore void of all knowledg? You know not at all what seeing is, or what light is, or what feeling, smelling, tasting, hearing is, what sound or odor is, what sweet or bitter, nor what thinking, or knowing, or willing, or loving is, if you know it not be­fore defining tell you, and better than bare defining can ever tell you. Every vital fa­culty [Page 27] hath a self-perception in its acting; which is an eminent sense: Intuition also of outward sensible Objects, or immediate per­ception of them, as sensata & imaginata, is before all Argument and Definition, or rea­soning action. By seeing, we perceive that we see; and by understanding; we perceive that we understand. I dare say, That you know the Acts of your own Soul by acting, tho when you come to reasoning or defining, you say you know not what they are. You can give no definition what substance is, or Ens at least, much less what God is. And yet what is more certain than that there is Substance, Entity, and God?

§. 4. But I'le tell you what the Soul of man is: It is a Vital, Intellectual, Volitive Spirit, animating a humane organized Body. When it is separated, it is not formally a Soul, but a Spirit still.

§. 5. Qu. But what is such a mental Spi­rit? It is a most pure Substance, whose form is a Power or Virtue of Vital Action, Intel­lection, and Volition (three in one).

§. 6. I. Are you not certain of all these Acts, viz. That you Act vitally, understand and will? If not, you are not sure that [Page 28] you see, that you doubt, that you wrote to me, or that you are any thing.

II. If you act these, it is certain that you have the power of so acting. For no­thing doth that which it cannot do.

III. It is certain, that it is a Substance which hath this power: For nothing can do nothing.

IV. It is evident, that it is not the visible Body, as composed of Earth, Water and Air, which is this mental Substance. Nei­ther any one of them, nor all together have Life, Understand [...]g, or Will. They are passive Beings, and act not at all of them­selves, but as acted by invisible Powers. They have an aggregative inclination to U­nion, and no other. Were it not for the Ig­neous Nature which is active, or for Spirits, they would be cessant. Therefore you are thus far past the dark, That there is in man an Invisible Substance, which hath, yea, which is a Power or Virtue of Vital Action, Intellection, and Volition.

V. And that this Active Power is a di­stinct thing from meer Passive Power, or mobilitie per aliud, Experience puts past doubt. There is in every living thing a Power, or Virtue of self-moving, else Life were not Life.

[Page 29] VI. And that this is not a meer accident of the Soul, but its essential form, I have proved so fully in my Methodus Theologiae, in a peculiar Disputation, that I will not here repeat it. It's evident, That even in the igneous Substance, the Vis Motiva, Illumi­nativa, Calefactiva, is more than an acci­dent, even its essential form: But were it otherwise, it would but follow, That if the very accidental Acts or qualities of a Soul be so noble, its essential must be greater.

VII. But it is certain, That neither Souls, nor any thing, have either Being, Power, or Action, but in constant receptive dependence on the continued emanation of the prime Cause; and so no Inviduation is a total se­paration from him, or an Independence, or a self-sufficiency. Thus far natural light tells you what Souls are.

§. 7. You add your self, That those at­tainments which you were made capable of you were designed to. Very right. God ma­keth not such noble Faculties or Capacities in vain; much less to engage all men to a life of duty, which shall prove▪ deceit and misery. But you have Faculties capable of thinking of God, as your Beginning, Guide, and End, as your Maker, Ruler, and Be­nefactor; [Page 30] and of studying your duty to him, in hope of Reward, and of thinking what will become of you after Death, and of hoping for future Blessedness, and fear­ing future Misery: all which no Bruit was ever capable of. Therefore God designed you to such ends which you are thus capa­ble of.

§. 8. You say (p. 3.) Many have defen­ded the Souls Immortality; but none have pro­ved a Subject capable of a life of Retribution. It's a Contradiction to be immortal, or re­warded, and not to be a Subject capable▪ For nothing hath no accidents. Nothing hath that which it is not capable of ha­ing.

§. 9. You say, None tell us what it is. How many Score Volumes have told it us? I have now briefly told you what it is. You say, [To say it is that by which I reason, is not satisfactory. I look for a Definition]. But on Condition you look not to see or feel it, as you do Trees or Stones, you may be satisfied. I have given you a Definition. The Genus is Substantia purissima; the Diffe­rentia is Virtus Vitalis, Activa, Intellectiva, Volitiva (trinum a Imago Creatoris). What's here wanting to a Definition?

[Page 31] I have told you, That there is an antece­dent more certain Perception, than by Defini­tion; by which I know that I see, hear, taste, am, and by which the Soul, in act, is conscious of it self.

§. 10. You ask, 1. Is it a real Being? Answ. I told you, Nothing can do no­thing.

2. Is it really different from the Body? Answ. A Substance which hath in it self an Essential Principle of Life, Intellection, and Volition, and that which hath not, are re­ally different. Try whether you can make a Body feel, or understand without a Soul. 2. Those that are seperable, are really dif­ferent.

3. You ask, Is it able to be without it? Answ. What should hinder it? The Body made not the Soul: A viler Substance giveth not being to a nobler. 2. Nothing at all can be without continued Divine sustentati­on. But we see, Juxta naturam, God an­nihilateth no Substance: Changes are but by composition, and separation, and acti­on, but not by annihilation. An Atome of Earth or Water, is not annihilated; and why should we suspect, that a Spiritual Substance is? Yea, the contrary is fully evident, tho God is able to annihilate all things.

[Page 32] §. 11. You say, If it be meerly material, and differ from the Body but gradually, Death may be but its concentration of this active Prin­ciple in its own Body.

Answ. If you understand your own words, it's well. 1. Do you know what material signifieth? See Crakenthorp's Meta­physicks, and he will tell you in part, it's an ambiguous word. Sometime it signifi­eth the same as substantia; and so Souls are material. Sometime it signifieth only that sort of Substance which is called cor­poreal. Dr. More tells you, That Pe­netrability, and Indivisibility, difference them.

But what if fire▪ should differ from air materially, but in degree of subtilty and pu­rity, or sensitive Souls from igneous, and mental from sensitive, but in higher de­grees of purity of matter; Is it not the form that maketh the specifick difference? Air hath not the igneous Virtue of Motion, Illumination, and Calefaction; nor ig­nis, the sensitive Virtues, nor meer sensi­tives the rational Virtues aforesaid. For­ma dat esse & nomen. This maketh not a meer gradual difference, but a speci­fick.

[Page 33] There is in Compounds matter, and ma­teriae dispositio receptiva, & forma. There is somewhat answerable in spiritual uncom­pounded Beings. There is substantia, and substantiae dispositio, & forma. These are but intellectually distinct, and not divisible, and are but inadequate conceptions of one thing▪ That substantia is conceptus funda­mentalis, is confest. Some make penetra­bility and indivisibility, substantiae conceptus dispositicus. But the Virtus vitalis activa, intellective, volitiva, in one, is the concep­tus formalis.

2. But what mean you by [the active Principles concentration in its own body]? It is a strange Expression: 1. If you mean, that it's annihilated, then it▪ remaineth not. 2. If you mean, that it remaineth an active Principle, you mean a substance, or acci­dent. If a substance, it seems you acknow­ledg it a self-subsisting being, only not sepa­rate from its carcass. And if they be two, why are they not separable? If separable, why not separated? When the dust of the Carcass is scattered, is the Soul concentred in every atome, or but in one? And is it many, or one concentred Soul? If you mean, That it's but an accident, that's disprov'd be­fore; what accident is it? If concentred in the body, the body, and every dust of it, [Page 34] is vital and intellectual. And if so, every clod and stone is so; which I will not so much wrong you, as to imagine that you think.

§. 12. But you would know what's meant by a spirit, whether all that is not evident to sense? Ans. It is a pure substance (saith Dr. More, penetrable and indivisible) essentially vital, perceptive and appetitive.

§. 13. You add, [How shall I know the difference between the highest degree of mate­rials, and lowest of immaterials? To me an immaterial, and spiritual being, seems a kind of Hocus, a substantial nothing.

Ans. If you take matter for the same with substance, it is material. But not if you take matter, as it's usually taken, for corporeal; or gross, and impenetrable, and divisible substance, uncapable of essential, vital, self-moving perception and appetite. If this seems nothing to you, God seems nothing to you, and true Nature, which is Principium motus, seems nothing to you: And all that perform­eth all the action which you see in the world; seems nothing to you. It's pity that you have converst so little with God and your self, as to think both to be nothing.

[Page 35] §. 14. What you say out of Gen. 1. is little else but mistake, when you say [all was made out of the deep waters by the spi­rit of God]. The Text nameth what was made of them. It saith nothing of the Creation of Angels, or Spirits, out of them (no, nor of the Light, or Earth, or Firma­ment.)

And whereas you say, [God made man of the dust of the ground; but the body only is not man, ergo. Ans: You use your self too unkindly, to leave out half the words, Gen. 2. 7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his no­strils the breath of life, and man became a li­ving soul; when the Text tells us the two works by which God made man, will you leave out one, and then argue exclusively against it? What if I said, [The Chandler made a Candle of Tallow, and then by a­nother kindled it]? or [a man made an house of Bricks, and cemented them with Mortar, &c.]? will you thence prove, That he made a Candle burning with­out fire, or the House without Mor­tar? Words are useless to such Exposi­tors.

§. 15. Page 4. you say; You know all matter is eternal.

[Page 36] But you know no such thing. If it be Eternal, it hath one Divine perfection: and if so, it must have the rest, and so should be God. But what's your proof?

You again (believe the Souls concentration in its body]. Ans. Words insignificant. It's Idem or Aliud. If Idem, then dust is Essen­tially Vital and Intellectual. Deny not spiritual forms, if every clod or stone have them. If. Aliud, how prove you it to be there, rather than elsewhere? And if you considered well, you would not believe essential, substantial life and mind, to lye dead and unactive, so long as the dust is so.

§. 16. You come to the hardest Objecti- [The Souls defective acting in infants, ideots, the sick, &c. and say, [It would rather not act, if it were as represented.]

Ans. 1. It cannot be denied, but the Operations of the Soul here, are much of them upon the organized body; and tho not organical, as if they acted by an Organ, yet organical, as acting on an Organ; which is the material Spirits primarily. And so there go various Causes to some Effects, called Acts.

[Page 37] 2. And the Soul doth nothing indepen­dently, but as dependent on God, in Be­ing and Operation: and therefore doth what God knoweth, and useth it too, as his Instrument, in the forming of the body; and in what it knoweth not it self. And as God, as fons naturae▪ necessitateth the na­tural agency of the Soul▪ as he doth the Soul of Bruits. But as the wise and free Governor of the world, he hath to moral acts, given mans Soul free-will, and there­fore conducting Reason; which it needs not to necessitated acts, as digestion, moti­on of the blood, formation of the body, &c.

And as it is not made to do all its acts freely and rationally, so neither at all times, as in Apoplexies, Infancy, Sleep, &c. It is essential to the Soul, to have the active power or virtue of Intellection and Free-will, but not always to use it. As it is essential to the substance of fire, tho latent in a flint, to have the power of motion, lighe and heat.

And its considerable, that as a traveller in his journey, thinking and talking only of other things, retaineth still a secret act of in­tending his end, (else he would not go on) when he perceiveth and observeth it not at all. He that playeth on the Lute or Harpsi­cal, ceaseth when his Instrument is out of [Page 38] tune; because he acteth by free-will.

But the Soul of an Idiot or mad-man a­cteth only per modum naturae, not by free-acts, but necessitated by God by the order of nature. Only moral acts are free; and that some other are but brutish▪ and some but vegitative, is no more a wonder, than that it should understand in the head, and be sensible only in the most of the body, and vegitative only in the hairs and nails. It operateth in all the body by the Spirits, as valid; but about the eyes, and open sen­soria, by Spirits also as lucid, for that use.

§. 14. But never forget this, That no­thing at any time doth what it cannot do: but many can do that which they do not. Tho the Soul in the Womb, or Sleep, remember not, or reason not; if ever it do it, that proveth it had the power of doing it. And that power is not a novel accident, tho the act may be so.

§. 18. To your Explications p. 4. I say, 1. None doubts, but all the world is the work of one prime operating Cause; Whom I hope you see in them, is of perfect power, wisdom and goodness, the chief efficient di­rigent and final cause of all.

[Page 39] 2. I doubt not, but the created universe is all one thing or frame; and no one atome or part totally separated from, and inde­pendent on the rest.

3. But yet the parts are multitudes, and heterogeneous, and have their Individua­tion, and are at once many and one in seve­ral respects. And the unity of the Uni­verse, or of inferior universal Causes (as the Sun, or an anima telluris, &c.) are certainly consistent with the specifick and individual differences of the parts.

E. g. Many individual Apples grow on the same Tree; yea, Crabs and Apples by divers grafts, nourished on the same stock: One may rot, or be sower, and not ano­ther. Millions of Trees, as also of Herbs and Flowers, good and poysonous, all grow in the same earth. Here is Unity, and great Diversity. And tho self-moving. Animals be not fixed on the earth, no doubr they have a contiguity, or continuity, as parts with the Universe. But for all that, a Toad is not a Man, nor a man in torment, undif­ferenced from another at ease, nor a bad man all one with a good.

§. 19. And if any should have a conceit, That there is nothing but God and matter. I have fully confuted it in the Appendix to [Page 40] Reas. of Christian Religion. Matter is no such omnipotent sapiential thing in it self, as to need no cause or maker, any more than Compounds. And to think, that the infinite God would make no nobler Creature than dead matter, no liker himself▪ to glorifie him, is antecedently absurd, but conse­quently notoriously false. For tho nothing be acted without him, it's evident that he hath made active Natures with a principle of self-moving in themselves. The Sun differs from a clod, by more than being matter va­riously moved by God, even by a self-moving power also. Else there were no living crea­ture, but bodies in themselves dead, ani­mated by God. But it would be too tedi­ous to say all against this that's to be said.

§. 20▪ When you tell us of [One life in all, differenc'd only by diversity of Organs], you mean God, or a common created Soul. If God, I tell you where I have confuted it. It's pity to torment or punish God in a mur­derer, or call▪ him wicked in a wicked man: or that one man should be hang'd, and ano­ther prais'd, because the Engines of their bodies are diverse. But the best Anatomists say, That nothing is to be seen in the brain of other Animals, why they might not be [Page 41] as rational as Men. And if it be an Anima creata communis that you mean, either you think it is an universal Soul to the universal world, or only to this Earth or Vortex. If to all the World, you feign it to have Gods Prerogative. If to part of the world, if each Vortex, Sun, Star, &c. have a distinct individuate superior Soul, why not men al­so inferiors? And why may not millions of individual Spirits consist with more common or universal Spirits, as well as the life of Worms in your belly with yours. That which hath no Soul or Spirit of its own, is not fit for such reception and communion with superior Spirits, as that which hath. Communion requireth some similitude. We see God useth not all things alike, because he makes them not like.

§. 21. But if the difference between Beasts, Trees, Stones, and Men, be only the organical contexture of the body; then 1. Either all these have put one Soul, and so are but one, save corporeally. 2. Or else e­very Stone, Tree and Beast hath an Intel­lectual Soul: for it is evident that man hath, by its Operations.

I. Had you made but Virtue and Vice to be only the effects of the bodies contexture, sure you would only blame the maker of [Page 42] your body, and not your sclf, for any of your Crimes: For yon did not make your own body, if you were nothing.

Is the common light and sense of Nature no Evidence? Doth not all the world dif­ference Virtue and Vice, moral good and evil? Is it only the difference of an▪ Instrument in Tune, and out of Tune? Either then all called sin is good; or God, or the universal Soul, only is to be blamed. Then to call you a Knave, or a Lyar, or Perjured, &c. is no more disgrace, than to say, that you are sick, or blind. Then all Laws are made on­ly to bind God, or the Amima mundi; and all punishment is threatned to God, or this common Soul. And it is God, or the common Soul only in a body, which sorroweth, fear­eth, feeleth pain or pleasure.

II. And if you equal the Souls of Beasts, Trees, Stones and Men, you must make them all to have an Intellectual Soul. If man had not, he could never understand. And if they have so also, frustra fit potentia quae nunquam producitur in actum. It is certain that it is not the body (Earth, Air or Water) that feeleth, much less that understandeth or willeth. If therefore all men have but one Soul, why is it not you that are in pain or joy, when any, or all others are so? Tour suffering and joys are as much theirs. You [Page 43] hurt your self when you hurt a Male­factor. Why are you not answerable for the Crimes of every Thief, if all b [...] one?

§. 22. You vainly liken several Natures and Faculties to several pieces of Clock-work. For Natures and Faculties are self-acting Prin­ciples under the prime Agent: but a Clock is only passive, moved by another: Whether the motus gravitationis in the poise, be by an intrinsick Principle, or by another unseen active Nature, is all that's controvertible there. All that your similitude will infer, is this, That as the gravitation of one poise, moves every wheel according to its receptive aptitude; so God, the universal Spirit, mo­veth all that is moved, according to their several aptitudes, passives as passive, actives as active, vitals as self-movers, intellectuals as intellectual-free-self-movers under him. No Art can make a Clock feel, see or under­stand.

But if the world have but one soul, what mean you by its concentring in the Car­cass? Is the universal Soul there fallen a­sleep, or imprisoned in a Grave, or what is it?

[Page 44] §. 23. Add page 5. You well say, That Life is the cause of all motion: Yea, infinite Life, Wisdom and Love, is the cause of all: but there be second Causes under it: Pluri­ma ex uno. And it maketh things various, which it moveth variously; and maketh them vital, sensitive or mental, which he will move to vital, sensitive and mental acts. Operari sequitur esse.

§. 24. You are apt to believe, That those eminent Faculties wherewith men seem meer Sensitives, are only the improvement of Speech, and reitorated Acts, till they become Ha­bits.

Ans. 1. I had a Parrot that spoke so very plainly, that no Man could discern but he could have spoke as well as a Man, if he had but had the Intellect of a Man; and quickly would learn new words, but shewed no understanding of them.

2. Many men born deaf and dumb, are of a strong understanding (enquire of a Brother of Sir Richard Dyett's, a Son of Mr. Peter Whalley of Northampton, a Son in Law of the Lord Wharton's, &c.

3. The Faculty and the Habit are Two things. The Faculty is the Essential form of the Substance. The Habit, or Act, is but an Accident. The Faculty is nothing [Page 45] but the active Power. And the Power goeth before the Act. Doth acting, without Power to act, cause the Power? What need you the Power, if you can act without it? And What's a Contradiction, if this be not, to say, I do that which I cannot do, or I can do that which I have no power to do? You are not a man without the Faculty, but you are without the Act; or else you are no man in your sleep. The act then is but the Faculties act; and Habits are nothing but the Faculties promptitude to act. And this indeed is caused sometime by very strong acts, and sometime, and usually, by frequent acts; and sometime suddenly, by a special Divine Operation. No doubt, but Oratory, and all Arts and Sciences, are caused by frequent acts, and their Objects: But those acts are caused by humane Facul­ties, under God, the first Cause. You can never cause a Carcass, or a Parrot, or any Bruit, to think of God, and the glory to come, nor to do any proper humane act.

Credible History assureth us, That De­vils, or separate Souls, have acted Carcas­ses, and discoursed in them, and seemed to commit Fornication in them, and left them dead behind them; and they were known to be the same that were lately executed [Page 46] or dead, and were re-buried. Here the dead Organ was capable, when a Spirit did but use it.

You too much confound Intellection and Ratiocination. The prime acts of intelle­ctive Perception; are before Ratiocination. And there are a multitude of Complex Ve­rities, which all found men know without, Syllogisms. The disposition to know them, is so strong, that some call it Actual Know­ledg.

§. 25. Add page 6. It's well known, That the Natives in New England, the most bar­barous Abassines, Gallanes, &c. in Ethicpia, have as good natural Capacities as the Eu­ropeans. So far are they from being but like Apes and Monkeys; if they be not Ideots, or mad, they sometime shame learned men in their words and deeds. I have known those that have been so coursly clad, and so clownishly bred, even as to Speech, Looks and Carriages, that Gentlemen and Scholars, at the first congress, have esteem­ed them much according to your descripti­on, when in Discourse they have proved more ingenious than they, And if improve­ment can bring them to Arts, the Faculty was there before. When will you shew us an Ape or a Monkey, that was ever brought [Page 47] to the Acts or Habits before mentioned of Men? Yea, of those that were born deaf and dumb?

§. 26. Your mistake of Adam's case, and Solomon's words, is so gross, that I will not confute it, lest the description of it offend you.

§. 17. The case of failing memories is answered before, in the case▪ of Infancy and Apoplexies, &c. Out memory faileth in our sleep▪ and yet when we awake, we find that there remains the same knowledg of Arts and Sciences. They did not end at night, and were not all new made the next morning. The Acts ceased, because the receptivity of the passive Organ ceased: but the Habit and Faculty continued. And when memory in old men faileth about names, and words, and little matters, their judgments about great things are usually stronger (by better Habits) than young mens:

§. 28. You say, You know nothing where­in Man excels Beasts, but may be referred to the benefit of speech and hands, capable of effe­cting its Conceptions.

[Page 48] Ans. This is answered before. Those Conceptions are the cause of words and acti­ons: and is there no cause of those Concepti­ons? And if mans Conceptions differ from the beasts, the causes differed. And if the first Conceptions did not differ, the Subsequent would not differ neither, without a diffe­rence in the causal Faculties. Why do not Beasts speak as well as Men? Parrots shew, That it is not in all for want of a speaking Organ. If one be born dumb, and not deaf, he will know but little the less for his dumbness. If he be born dead and dumb, and not blind, he will still be rational, as Dr. Wallis can tell you, who hath taught such to talk and converse intelligibly by their fin­gers, and other signs, without words. I confess, if all the outward Senses were stopt from the Birth, I see not how the Soul could know outward sensible things, as being no Objects to it. And how it would work on it self alone, we know not; but under­stand, and will, we are sure it doth: and therefore can do it. And it's one thing to prove Beasts to be men, or rational, and ano­ther thing to prove Men to be Beasts, or ir­rational. If you could prove the former, viz. That Beasts have Souls that can think of God, and the Life to come, if they could but speak, this would rather prove [Page 49] them immortal, than prove man unreasonable, or of a mortal Soul. Your whole speech makes more to advance bruits, than to deny the reason of man.

§. 29. You say, You know no better way to attain a right knowledg of our selves, than by beholding our selves in Adam, and enqui­ring what Nature had endued him with, which will fall far short of what we now admire in our selves.

Answ. 1. As a multitude of Objects, and Experiences, more tend to Wisdom than one alone; so to know both what Adam was, and what all men are, and do, doth evidence more to our information, than to know Adam's first Case alone.

2. Adam's first Powers are to be known by his acts; and his acts were not to be done at once, in a minute or a day: And we have not the History of his Life much after his Fall. But we may be sure, that Adam's Nature in Innocency, was no baser than ours corrupted. And therefore Adam had the Powers of doing whatever other men since have done.

3. But let us come to your Test: 1. A­dam was made a living Soul by the breath of God, after the making of his body of the earth.

[Page 50] 2. Adam and Eve were blessed with a generative multiplying Faculty: but they did not generate God; nor did every bruit that had also that Faculty. Therefore there is a Soul which is not God, in e­very Animal, (nor yet an Universal Soul).

3. Adam, no doubt, could not know ex­ternal sensible Objects, till they were brought within the reach of his sense: no more can we.

4. Adam knew the Creatures as soon as he saw them; and gave them Names suit­able. This is more than we could so soon do.

5. Adam had a Law given him; and therefore knew that God was his Ruler. He knew that God was to be obeyed; he knew what was his Law: else it had been no sin to break it. He knew that he ought to love, and believe, and trust God, and cleave to him: else it bad been no sin to for­sake him, and to believe the Tempter, and to love the forbidden Fruit better than God. He knew that Death was the threatned Wa­ges of Sin. In a word, He was made in the Image of God: And Paul tells us, it is that I­mage into which we are renewed by Christ: And he describeth it to consist in wisdom, righ­teousness, and true holiness.

[Page 51] 6. And we have great reason to think, that it was Adam that taught Abel to offer Sacrifice in Faith, and delivered to his Po­sterity the Traditions which he had from God. Tho Adam did not do all this at once, he did not receive a new Soul or Faculty for every new act. Can Apes and Monkeys do all this? Doth God give them Laws to know and keep as moral free-agents?

But you say, Adam knew not that he was naked. Ans. What! and yet knew God and his Law, and how to name the Crea­tures, and how to dress and keep the Gar­den? He knew not that nakedness was shame­ful; for he had newly made it shame­ful.

Perhaps you think of Adam's forbidden desire of knowledg, and his miserable attain­ment of it. But that did not make him a new Soul, that had no such Faculty before. Adam was the Son of God by Creation, Luk. 3. and it was his duty and interest to live as a Son, in absolute trust on his Fathers care and love: and instead of this, he was tempte [...] [...] self-dependance, and must needs know more than his duty, & his fathers love and reward: He must know good and evil f [...] himself: like a Child that must know what Food, and Ray­ment, and Work is fittest for him, which [Page 52] he should know only by trusting his Fa­thers choice, or as a Patient that must needs know every Ingredient in his Physick, and the Nature and Reason of it, before he will take it, when he should implicitly trust his Physician. Man should have waited on God for all his Notices, and sought to know no more than he revealed. But a distrustful, and a selfish knowledg, and busy enquiring into unrevealed things, is become our sin and misery.

§. 36. You say, Suppose all this answered: what will it avail, as to a life of Retribution, if all return to one element, and be there im­merged as Brooks and Rivers in the Sea, and we lose our individuation.

Ans. I answer'd this in the Appendix to the Rea [...] of the Christian Religion. I add [...]. Do you believe, that each one hath now one individual Soul, or not? If not, how can we lose that which we never had? If we have but all one universal mover, which mo­veth us as Engines, as the Wind and Water [...] Mills, how come some motions to be [...] (as a Swallow), and others so slow, or none [...] all, in as mobile a body [...]? Yea, how cometh [...] motion to be so much in our Power, that we can sit still when we will, and rise, and go, and run▪ and speak when [Page 53] we will, and cease, or change it when we will? A stone that falls, or an arrow that is shot, cannot do so. Sure it is some inward formal Principle; and not a material Me­chanical mobility of the matter, which can cause this difference.

Indeed if we have all but one Soul, it's easie to love our Neighbours as our selves, because our Neighbours are our selves. But it's as easie to hate our selves as our Enemies, and the good as the bad, if all be one (for forma dat nomen & esse). But it is strange, that ei­ther God, or the Soul of the World, shall hate it self, and put it self to pain, and fight against it self, as in Wars, &c.

But if you think still, That there is no­thing but God and dead matter actuated by him, I would beg your Answer to these few Questions.

1. Do you really believe, that there is a God? that is, an eternal infinite self-being, who hath all that power, knowledg, and goodness of will, in transcendent [...] ­ey, which any Creature hath formally, and is the efficient Governor of all else that is. If not, all the world condemneth you▪ for it is not an uncaused Being, and can have no­thing but from its Cause, who can give no­thing greater than it self.

[Page 54] 2. Do you think this God can make a Creature that hath a subordinate Soul, or Spirit, to be the Principle of its own Vital Action, Intellection, and Volition, or not? Cannot God make a Spirit? If not, it is ei­ther because it is a Contradiction (which none can pretend), or because God is not Omnipotent; that is, is not God; and so there is no God; and so you deny what you granted. But if God can make a Spi­rit,

3. Why should you think he would not? Some of your mind say, That he doth all the good that he can; or else he were not per­fectly good. Certainly his goodness is equal to his greatness, and is commmunica­tive.

4. Hath he not imprinted his Perfections in some measure, in his Works? Do they not shew his glory? Judg of his Greatness by the Sun, Stars, and Heavens; and of his Wisdom, by the wonderful Order, Con­texture, and Goverument of all things. E­ven the Fabrick of a Fly, or any Animal, poseth us. And do you think, that his love and goodness hath no answerable ef­fect?

5. Do you think, that passive matter doth as much manifest Gods Perfection, and ho­nour the Efficient, as vital and Intellectu­al [Page 55] Spirits? If it be a far nobler Work for God to make a free, vital, mental Spirit, to act under him freely, mentally, and vi­tally, than to make meer atomes, why should you think that God will not do it?

6. And do you not dishonour, or blas­pheme the prime Cause, by such disho­nouring of his Work, as to say, he never made any thing more noble than Atomes, and Compositions of them.

7. Is there not in the Creature a commu­nicative disposition to cause their like? A­nimals generate their like: Fire kindleth fire: Wise men would make others wise: God is essential infinite Life, Wisdom and Love: and can he, or would he make no­thing liker to himself than dead Atomes? Yea, you feign him to make nothing but by Composition, while you say, That mat­ter it self is eternal.

8. But when the matter of Fact is evi­dent, and we see by the actions, that there is a difference between things moved by God, some having a created Life and mind, and some none, what needs then any further proof?

§. 31. But if you hold, That we have now distinct Spirits, which are individual, [Page 56] Substances, why should you fear the loss of our individuation, any more than our anni­hilation, or specifick alteration? If God made as many substantial individual Souls, as men, is there any thing in Nature or Scripture, which threatneth the loss of In­dividuation? I have shewed you, and shall further shew you enough against it.

§. 32. You say, page 7. Every thing re­turneth to its element, and loseth its indivi­duatiou: Earth to Earth, Water to the Sea, the Spirit to God that gave it. What happi­ness then can we hope for more than deliverance from the present calamity; or what misery are we capable of, more than is common to all?

Ans. 1. Bodies lose but their Compositi­on, and Spiritual forms. Do you think, that any Atome loseth its individuation? If it be still divisible in partes infinitas, it is in­finite. And if every Atome be infinite, it is as much, or more than all the world; and so is no part of the world; and so there would be as many Worlds, or Infi­nites, as Atomes. It is but an aggregative motion which you mention. Birds of a Fea­ther will flock together, and yet are Indivi­duals still. Do you think any dust, or drop, any Atome of Earth or Water, lo­seth [Page 57] any thing of it self, by its union with the rest? Is any Substance lost? Is the sim­ple Nature changed? Is it not Earth and Water still? Is not the Haecceity, as they call it, continued? Doth not God know e­very dust, and every drop from the rest? Can he not separate them when he will? And if Nature in all things tend to aggre­gation, or union, it is then the Perfection of everything. And why should we fear Per­fection?

2. But Earth, and Water, and Air, are partible matter. Earth is easily separable: The parts of Water more hardly, by the means of some terrene Separaror. The parts of Air yet more hardly: and the Sun-beams, or substance of fire, yet harder than that (tho it's contraction and effects are very different): And Spirits either yet harder, or not at all. Some make it essen­tial to them to be indiscerptible; and all must say, That there is nothing in the Na­ture of them, tending to division, or sepa­ration. And therefore tho God, who can annihilate them, can divide them into parts, if it be no Contradiction; yet it will never be, because he useth every thing according to its nature, till he cometh to miracles. Therefore their dissolu [...]ion of parts is no more to be feared, than their annihilation.

[Page 58] 3. But if you take Souls to be partible and unible, then you must suppose every part to have still its own existence in the whole. And do you think, that this doth not more advance Souls than abase them? Yea, you seem to Deifie them, while you make them all to return into God, as drops into the Sea. And if you feign God to be partible, is it not more honour and joy to be a part of God, who is joy it self, than to be a created Soul? If a thousand Can­dles were put out, and their light turned into one Luminary, as great as they all, e­very part would have its share in the en­lightning of the place about it. Is it any loss to a single Soldier, to become part of a victorious Army.

4. But indeed this is too high a Glory for the Soul of man to desire, or hope for. It is enough to have a blessed union with Christ, and the holy Society, consistent with our Individuation. Like will to like, and yet be it self. Rivers go to the Sea, and not to the Earth. Earth turns to Earth, and not to the Sun, or Fire. And the holy and blessed, go to the holy and blessed: And I believe, that their union will be nearer than we can now well con­ceive, or than this selfish state of man de­sireth: But as every drop in the Sea, is the [Page 59] same Water it was, so every Soul will be the same Soul.

2. And as to the incapacity of misery which you talk of, why should you think it more hereafter than here? If you think all Souls now to be but one, doth not an a­king Tooth, or a gouty Foot, or a calcu­lous Bladder, suffer pain, tho it be not the body that feeleth; but the same sensitive Soul is pain'd in one part, and pleas'd in another. And if all Souls be now but God in divers Bodies, or the Anima mundi, try if you can comfort a man under the tor­ment of the Stone, or other Malady, or on the Rack, or in terror of Conscience, by telling him, That his Soul is a part of God. Will this make a Captive bear his Captivi­ty, or a Malefactor his Death? If not here, why should you think that their misery hereafter will be ever the less, or more tolerable for your conceit, that they are parts of God? They will be no more parts of him then, than they were here. But it's like, that they also will have an uni­ting inclination, even to such as themselves; or that God, will separate them from all true unity, and say, Go you cursed into ever­lasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his An­gels, &c.

[Page 60] §. 33. No doubt it's true, that you say, page 7, and 8. That matter is still the same, and liable to all the changes which you mention. But it's an unchanged God, who doth all this by Spirits, as second Causes, who are not of such a changeable, dissolu­ble, partible nature, as Bodies are: It is Spirits that do all that's done in the world! And I conjecture, as well as you, That u­niversal Spirits are universal Causes. I sup­pose, That this Earth hath a vegitative form, which maketh it as a matrix to re­ceive the Seeds, and the more active influx of the Sun. But Earth and Sun are but general Causes. Only God, and the semi­nal Virtue, cause the species, as such. The Sun causeth every Plant to grow; but it causeth not the difference between the Rose, and the Nettle. and the Oak. The won­derful unsearchable Virtue of the Seed causeth that. And if you would know that Virtue, you must know it by the effects. You cannot tell by the Seed only of a Rose; a Vine, an Oak, what is in it. But when you see the Plants in ripe­ness, you may see that the Seeds had a spe­cifying Virtue, by the influx of the general Cause, to bring forth those Plants, Flow­ers, &c. Neither can you know what is in the Egg, but by the ripe Bird; nor [Page 61] what the Soul of an Infant is, but by Man­hood and its Acts.

§. 34. You here pag. 7. divert from the point of the Immortality or Nature of the Soul, to that of the Resurrection of the Body: of which I will now say but this; Christ rose, and hath promised us a Resurrection, and nothing is difficult to God. [...] Oft signifieth our living another life after this. The Body hath more parts than Earth and Water. The Spirits as we call them, which are the igneous parts, lodged in the purest aereal in the blood, &c. are that body in and by which the Soul doth operate on the rest. How much of these material Spirits the Soul may retain with it after Death, we know not: and if it have such a body, it hath partly the same; and God can make what Addition he please, which shall not contradict identity: Paul saith of Corn, God giveth it a body as pleaseth him▪ in some respect the same, &c. in some not the same that was sown. We do not hold, That all the flesh that ever a man had, shall be rai­sed as that mans. If one man that was fat, grow lean in his sickness, we do not say, that all the flesh that sickness wasted, shall rise: It shall rise a spiritual body. God knoweth that which you and I know not.

[Page 62] §. 35. You add, how easie it would have been to you to believe as the Church believeth▪ and not to have immerged your self in these dif­ficulties?

Ans. 1. The Church is nothing but all indi­vidual Christians; and it is their Belief which makes them capable of being of the Church: As we must be men in order of Nature, be­fore we are a Kingdom of men; so we are Believers before we are a Church of Belie­vers. A Kingdom or Policy maketh us not men, but is made of men; and Church-so­ciety or Policy maketh us not Believers, but is made up of Believers. Therefore Belief is first, and is not caused by that which followeth it? And why doth the Church believe? Is it because they be­lieve?

And whom do they believe? Is it them­selves? I doubt you have fallen into ac­quaintance with those whose Interest hath made it their Trade to puzzle and confound men about things as hard to themselves as others, that they may bring them to trust the Church, and then tell them that it's they that are that Church, as a necessary means to the quieting their minds. And they tell them, You are never able by reason to com­prehend the mysteries of Faith; the more you search, the more you are confounded. But if [Page 63] you believe as the Church believeth, you shall speed as the Church speedeth, But it's one thing to believe the same thing which the Church believeth; and another to believe it with the same faith, and upon the same Authority. If a man believe all the Articles of the Creed only because men tell him that they are true, it is but a human Faith, as resting only on mans Authority; but the true Members of the Church believe all the same things, because God revealeth and at­testeth them; and this is a Divine Faith: And so must you.

If you love light more than darkness and deceit, distinguish, 1. Believing men for Authority. 2. Believing men for their Honesty, 3. Believing men for the natural impossibility of their deceiving.

And the foundation of this difference is here: Mans Soul hath two sorts of acts, Necessary and Contingent, or mutably free▪

To love our selves, to be unwilling to be miserable, and willing to be happy; to love God as good, if known, &c. are acts of the Soul as necessary, as for fire to burn combu­stible contiguous matter; or for a Bruit to eat; so that all the Testimonies which is produced by these necessary acts by knowing men, hath a Physical certainty, the contrary being impossible. And this is infallible hi­storical [Page 64] knowledg of matter of fact. Thus we know there is such a City as Rome, Pa­ris, Venice, &c. and that there was such a man as K. James, Ed. 6. Hen. 8. William the Conqueror, &c. And that the Statutes now ascribed to Ed. 3. and other Kings and their Parliaments are genuine. For Judges judge by them, Lawyers plead them, Kings own them, all men hold their Estates and Lives by them. Contrary mens Interest by Lawyers are daily pleaded by them against each other; and if any one would deny, forge or corrupt a Statute, Interest would engage the rest against him to detect his fraud.

1. The certain effect of natural necessary Causes hath natural necessary evidence of Truth.

But when all knowing men of contrary Dispositions and Interests▪ acknowledg a thing true, this is the effect of natural necessary Causes.

Ergo it hath natural necessary evidence of Truth.

2. It is impossible there should be an Effect without a sufficient Cause.

But that a thing should be false which all knowing men of contrary Dispositions and In­terests acknowledg to be true, would be an Effect without a Cause▪ for there is no Cause [Page 65] in nature to effect it. It is impossible in nature that all men in England should agree to say, There was a King James, K. Ed­ward, Q. Mary, or that these Statutes were made by them, if it were false. This is infallible Historical Testimony. It were not so strong if it were only by one Party, and not by Enemies also, or men of contrary Minds and Interests. And thus we know the History of the Gospel; and this Tra­dition is naturally infallible.

II. But all the Testimony which depend­eth on humane Acts, not necessary, but free, have but an uncertain moral humane Credibi­lity. For so all men are Lyars; i. e. fallible, and not fully to be trusted.

And I. Those Testimonies which depend on mens Honesty, are no farther credible, than we know the Honesty of the men: which in some is great, in some is none, in most is mixt, and lubricous, and doubtful, Alas! what abundance of false History is in the world! Who can trust the Honesty of such men, as multitudes of Popes, Prelates, and Priests have been? Will they stick at a Lye, that stick not at Blood, or any wickedness? Besides, the ignorance which invalidates their Testimony.

II. And to pretend Authority to rule our Faith, is the most unsatisfactory way of all. [Page 66] For before you can believe that Jesus is the Christ, and his Word true, how many im­possibilities have you to believe? 1. You must believe that Christ hath a Church. 2. And hath authorized them to determine what is to be believed, before you believe that he is Christ. 3. You must know who they be whom you must believe; whether all, or some, or a major vote. Whether out of all▪ the world, or a party. 4. And how far their Authority extendeth? Whether to judg whether there be a God, or no God; a Christ, or no Christ; a Hea­ven, or none; a Gospel, or none: or what. 5. And how their determinations out of all the world may come with certainty to us: and where to find them. 6. And when Countreys and Councils contradict and condemn each other, which is to be believed. Many such im­possibilities in the Roman way, must be belie­ved, before a man can believe that Jesus is the Christ. In a word, you must not puzzle your head to know what a man is, or whether he have an immortal soul; but you must, 1. believe the Church of Believers, before you are a Be­liever in Christ. 2. And you must believe, that Christ was God and Man, and came to save man, before you believe that there is such a creature as man, or what he is, and whether he have a soul capable of salvation. But I have oft elsewhere opened these Absurdities and Con­tradictions; [Page 67] where you may see them con­futed, if you are willing.

§. 36. Your question about the souls nature, existence, and Individuation, may be resolved by a surer and easier way as followeth:

I. By your own certain experience.

1. You perceive that you see, feel, under­stand, will and execute. 2. You may know, as is oft said, that therefore you have an active power to do these. 3. You may thence know, that it is a substance which hath that power. Nothing can do nothing. 4. You may per­ceive, that it is not the terrene substance, but an invisible substance, actuating the body. 5. You may know, that there is no probabili­ty, that so noble a substance should be annihi­lated. 6. Or that a pure and simple substance should be dissolved by the separation of parts (or if that were every part would be a spirit still). 7. You have no cause to suspect, that this substance should lose those powers or facul­ties which are its essential form, and be turned into some other species, or thing. 8. And you have as little cause to suspect, that an essential vital intellective power, will not be active, when active inclination is its Essence. 9. You have no cause to suspect, that it will want Ob­jects to action in a World of such variety of Objects. 10. And you have as little cause to [Page 68] suspect, that it will be unactive, for want of Organs, when God hath made its Essence a­ctive; and either can make new Organs; or that which can act on matter, can act without, or on other matter. He that can play on a Lute, can do somewhat as good, if that be bro­ken. 11. And experience might satisfie you, that several men have several souls, by the several and contrary Operations. 12. And you have no reason to suspect, that God will turn many, from being many, into one; or that unity should be any of their loss. All this, Reason tells you, beginning at your own experience, as I have (and elsewhere more fully) opened.

§. 37. II. And you have at hand sensible proof of the individuation of spirits, by Witches, Contracts, and Apparitions: of which the world has unquestionable proof, tho there be very many Cheats. Read Mr. Glanvill's new Book, published by Dr. Moore, Lavater de Spectris, Zanchy de Angilii, Manlii Collect. Bodin's Dae­monolog. Remigius of Witches, besides all the Mallei Malificorum, and doubt if you can. If you do, I can give you yet more, with full proof.

§. 38. III. But all that I have said to you, is but the least part, in comparison of the as­surance which you may have by the full [Page 69] revelatson of Jesus Christ, who hath brought life and immortality to light in the Gospel, where the state, the doom, the rewards and punishment of souls is asserted.

And without dark and long Ambages, or Roman Juggles, we prove the truth of this Gospel, briefly and infallibly thus:

I. The History of Christ's Life, Mira­cles, Doctrine, Death, Resurrection, As­cension, the Apostles Miracles, &c. is proved by such forementioned evidence, as hath physical certainty: Not such as dependeth only on mens honesty, or moral argument, much less on a pretended determining au­thority; but such as dependeth on necessary acts of man, even the consent of all sorts of contrary minds and interests, as we know the Statutes of the Land, or other certain History. But we are so far from needing to ask, which part of Christians it is that is this Church, that is to be believed, that it tendeth to the assertaining of us, that all the Christian World, Papists, Protestants, Greeks, Moscovites, Armenians, Jacobites, Nestorians, &c. herein agree, even while they oppose each other. To know whe­ther there was a Julius, or Augustus Cae­sar, a Virgil, Ovid Cicero, and which are their Works; yea, which are the Acts of Councils, no man goeth to an authorized determining [Page 70] Judg for the matter of Fact, but to histori­Cal proof. And this we have most full.

II. And if the History be true, the Do­ctrine must needs be true, seeing it is fully proved by the matters of Fact. Christ be­ing proved to be Christ, all his words must [...]eeds be true.

§. 39. The Gospel of Christ, hath these four parts of its infallible evidence.

I. The antecedent and inhererent Prophecies fulfilled.

II. The inherent impress of Divinity on the Gospel it self, unimitable by man. It hath Gods Image and Superscription; and its Excellency, propria luce, is discerni­ble.

III. All the Miracles, and Resurrection, and Ascention of Christ, the Gift of his Spi­rit, and extraordinary Miracles of the Apo­stles, and first Churches.

IV. The sanctifying work of the Spirit by this Gospel, on all Believers in all Ages of the World, by which they have the Witness in themselves. A full constant unimitable Testimony.

§. 40. And now how highly soever you think of Bruits, think not too basely of Men, for whom Christ became a Saviour: [Page 71] And yet think not so highly of Men, Bruits and Stones, as to think that they are God. And think not that your true diligence hath confounded you, but either your negligence, or seducers, or the unhappy stifling of ob­vious truth, by the ill ordering of your thoughts. And I beseech you remember, that Gods Revelationt are suited to mans use▪ and our true knowledg to his Revtlations. He hath not told us all that man would know, but what we must know. Nothing is more known to us than that of God which is necessary for us: Yet nothing so incomprehensible as God. There is much of the Nature of Spirits, and the world to come, unsearchable to us, which will pose all our Wits: yet we have sufficient certainty of so much as tells us our duty and our hopes. God hath given us Souls to use, and to know only so far as is useful. He that made your Watch, taught not you how it's made, but how to use it▪ Instead therefore of your concluding complaints of your condition, thank God, who hath made man capable to seek him, serve him, love him, praise him, and rejoyce in hope of promised Perfection. Live not as a willful stranger to your Soul and God. Use faithfully the Faculties which he hath given you: sin not willfully against the truth revealed; and leave things secret to God, till you come into the clearer light: and you [Page 72] shall have no cause to complain, that God, whose goodness is equal to his greatness, hath dealt hardly with mankind. Instead of trusting fallible man, trust Christ, who hath fully proved his trustiness; and his Spirit will advance you to higher things than bruits are capable of. God be merciful to us dark unthankful sinners.

Ri. Baxter.


IN the Second Part, p. 12. l. 9. for primus r Prime. p. 16. l. 21. for is r. are.

I have not leisure to gather the rest, if there be any.

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