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ble; the canvas becomes wrinkled and uneven ; 'the glowing colours cannot spread ; the size 'and attitude of the figures are confounded; and all the requi'sites of reasoning are wanting. Let the drunken man sleep, and the sick man recover, then the obstacl'es are removed 5 and reason will inform you, that the soul is still the same.
If the soul, then, under the inconvenience of the foregoing circumstances of drunkenness, fever, &e. still retains a faculty or power of perceiving, reasoning, andjudging, to be exerted when these obfiacles are removed,-how much more capable will it not be of those spiritual functions, after its separation from the mass of clay, when, disentangled from its fetters, with its enlargement from the body, ** it will return " to the God who gave it l"
But you inform us, that " God can do any " thing that does not imply a contradicti'on ': " and that, " by an infinite power, he can add " thought to matter."
" But," sir, " must not a man be very san-' " guine " in the cause of scepticism, and eager to work himself into incredulity, when he has recourse to infinite power, sooner than admit a spiritual soul ? If God can add thought to
matter, why deny, in a peremptory manner, F z the
the poffibility of uniting spirit to body ? 'Locke acknowledges the poffibility of adding thought to matter, by the intervention of infinite power, to the great comfort of our modern free-thinkers; but still he acknowledges his soul to be spiritual and immortal.
No unhappy comfort can then arise to those whose greatest joy would consist in being a lump of animated earth, from Locke's opinion : for God can do several things which he will never perform. He never will animate a stone, or tree; and cover them with fiesh, susceptible of paffions, and willing to gratify them ; giye them the organs of speech ; and thus introduce onthe stage of life, a set of dogmatizing philo
sophers, who will glory in being the brothers of,
plants and mushrooms: as Bias, the philosopher, said of the Athenians, who gloried in being originally sprung from the earth.
Sound logic doesnot allow to argue from poffibility to fact : and, though every respect is due to Locke's authority, yet his. poffibility of thinking matter, and others of his hypotheses,
' are objected to, by the learned. Nor has he any
room to complain, if the world does not pay him the same implicit obedience which the disciples of Pythagoras paid their master: for several great mathematicians and metaphysicians
'5 ' -consider,* 'consider, as very poffible, syltems which Locke
rejects, as contradictions.
We' cannot account for the operations of the foul, upon the principles of mechanism. We know that the motions of parts, and the artful manner of combining them, can produce nothing but an artful structure, and various modes of motion. Hence, all machines, however artfully their parts are put together, and however complicated their structure, though we conceive i'nnumerable different motions varioufly combined, and running into one another, with an endless variety, yet never produce any thing but figure and motion. Much less can we account for our mental operations, from the properties of matter. Lucretius and his followers may employ their plastic
_ powers in forming a foul composed of particles
of air, fire, vapour, and a fourth something which that poet does not describe.
They will acknowledge, that none of those elementary particles, separate from the rest, can think ; but that, from their mixture and collifion, thought results: which they attempt to prove by the example of the tree and the earth, neither of which produces fruit in a'separate slate. But it is obvious, that the tree contains in itself the feed of the fruit, which the earth
stirs and developes': and, to give justness to the ' com< comparison, by the same rule, either the fire or air should contain in itself the origin of thought ; which is an absurdity.
If you admit, that God can superadd thought to matter, this thought, then, must be a quality superior to matter, and, consequently, distinct from it. Then the contradiction is palpable : for it will follow, that it' is matter and not matter at the same time.
As to the brutes, become of late the subjects of philosophical panegyric, that raises them to an equality with man, we like them for the service or diversion they afford us : but, lest 'virtuous than our phz'losophers, we have not humility to wish to be on a level with them. Pity our pride and ignorance, great oracles, who revile the Christians, and extol the cunning of the fox, the imitative powers of the ape, the architecture of the beaver, and the provident sore-, sight of the ant.
Since you believe them of the same nature with yourselves, why do not you arraign the cruelty of the magistrates, under whose eyes so many murders are daily committed on your
brethren ? For if man and the brute be of the'
same nature, why should beasts be killed with impunity, whilst the afl'affin is doomed to the gibbet ? The question may seem childish : yet your refined Philosophy is humbly requested to
give a solid answer. Your catechism can illusv trate the subject.
FRE E-THINKER'S CATECHISM:
'llTII'Vl-LY COLLIC'I'ID 'IOI "I! 'I I'll'
MOST CELEBRATEÞ FREE-THINKERS OF THIS AGE,
Wefiion. Who made man ?
A. He sprung out of the earth, sponta-. neoufly ; as a mushroom. *
(L The souls of men and brutes, are they oF the same nature ?
A. Yes. T
(L What difference, then, is there between man and the brute ?
A. Man is a more multiplied animal, with
aIÞ Voltaire, on the population of America.
A" Servetus* of Cork. * 1 hands.