<73>

Dr. Clarke's Third Reply.

1. THIS relates only to the Signification of Words. The Definitions here given, may well be allowed; And yet Mathematical Reasonings may be applyed to Physical and Metaphysical Subjects.

2. Undoubtedly nothing is, without a sufficient Reason why it is, rather than not; and why it is Thus, rather than Otherwise. But in things in their own Nature indifferent; mere Will, without any thing External to influence it, is alone That sufficient Reason. As in the Instance of God's creating or placeing any particle of matter in One place rather than in Another, when All places are Originally alike. And the Case is the same, even though Space were nothing real, but only the mere Order of Bodies: For still it would be absolutely indifferent, and there could be no other reason but mere Will, why Three equal Particles should be placed or ranged in the Order a, b, c, rather than in the contrary Order. <75> And therefore no Argument can be drawn from this Indifferency of All places, to prove that no Space is real. For different Spaces are really different or distinct one from another, though they be perfectly alike. And there is This evident absurdity in supposing Space not to be real, but to be merely the Order of Bodies; that, according to That Notion, if the Earth and Sun and Moon had been placed where the remotest fixt Stars now are, (provided they were placed in the same Order and Distance they now are with regard one to another,) it would not only have been, (as this Learned Author rightly says,) la même chose, the same Thing in effect; which is very true: But it would also follow, that they would Then have been in the same Place too, as they are Now: Which is an express Contradiction. The [1] Ancients did not call All Space which is void of Bodies, but only extramundane Space, by the Name of Imaginary Space. The meaning of which, is not, <77> that such Space is [2]not real; but only that We are wholly ignorant what kinds of Things are in that Space. Those Writers, who by the Word, imaginary, meant at any time to affirm that Space was not real; did not thereby prove, that it was not real.

3. Space is not a Being, an eternal and infinite Being, but a Property, or a [3]consequence of the Existence of a Being infinite and eternal. Infinite Space, is Immensity: But Immensity is not God: And therefore Infinite Space, is not God. Nor is there any Difficulty in what is here alledged about Space having Parts. For Infinite Space is One, absolutely and essentially indivisible: And to suppose it parted, is a contradiction in Terms; because there must be Space in the Partition it self; which is to suppose it [4] parted, and yet not parted at the same time. The <79> Immensity or Omnipresence of God, is no more a dividing of his Substance into Parts; than his Duration, or continuance of existing, is a dividing of his existence into Parts. There is no difficulty here, but what arises from the figurative Abuse of the Word, Parts.

4. If Space was nothing but the Order of Things coexisting; it would follow, that if God should remove in a streight Line the whole Material World Entire, with any swiftness whatsoever; yet it would still always continue in the same Place: And that nothing would receive any Shock upon the most sudden stopping of that Motion. And if Time was nothing but the Order of Succession of created Things; it would follow, that if God had created the World Millions of Ages sooner than he did, yet it would not have been created at all the sooner. Further: Space and Time are Quantities; which Situation and Order are not.

5. The Argument in This Paragraph, is; That because Space is Uniform or Alike, and One Part does not differ from another; therefore the Bodies created in One place, if they had been created in Another place, (supposing them to keep the same Situation with regard to each other,) would still have been created in the Same Place as before: Which is a manifest Contradiction. The <81> Uniformity Uniformity of Space, does indeed prove, that there could be no (External) reason, why God should create things in One place rather than in another: But does That hinder his own Will, from being to it self a sufficient reason of Acting in Any place, when All Places are Indifferent or Alike; and there be Good reason to Act in Some place?

6. The Same Reasoning takes Place here, as in the foregoing.

7 and 8. Where there is any Difference in the Nature of things, there the Consideration of That Difference always determines an Intelligent and perfectly wise Agent. But when Two ways of Acting are equally and alike good, (as in the Instances before mentioned;) to affirm in such case, that God [5] cannot Act at all, or that 'tis no Perfection in him to be able to Act, because he can have no External Reason to move him to Act one way rather than the other, seems to be a denying God to have in himself any Original Principle or Power of beginning to act, but that he must neds {sic} (as it were Mechanically) be always determined by things extrinsick.

9. I suppose, That determinate Quantity of Matter, which is now in the World, is the most Convenient for the present Frame of Nature, or the Present State of Things: And that a Greater (as well as a Less) <83> Quantity of Matter, would have made the Present Frame of the World less Convenient; and consequently would not have been a greater Object for God to have exercised his Goodness upon.

10. The Question is not, what Goclenius, but what Sir Isaac Newton means by the word Sensorium, when the Debate is about the Sense of [6] Sir Isaac Newton's, and not about the Sense of Goclenius's Book. If Goclenius takes the Eye, or Ear, or any other Organ of Sensation, to be the Sensorium; he is certainly mistaken. But when any Writer expresly explains what he means by any Term of Art; of What Use is it, in this case, to enquire in what different Senses perhaps some other Writers have sometimes used the same Word? Scapula explains it by domicilium, the place where the Mind resides.

11. The Soul of a Blind Man does for This reason not see, because no Images are conveyed (there being some Obstruction in the way) to the Sensorium where the Soul is present. How the Soul of a Seeing Man, sees the Images to which it is present, we know not: But we are sure it cannot perceive what it is not present to; because no <85> thing can Act, or be Acted upon, where it Is not.

12. God, being Omnipresent,is really present to every thing, Essentially and [7] Substantially. His Presence manifests it self indeed by its Operation, but it could not operate if it was not There. The Soul is not Omnipresent to every part of the Body, and therefore does not and cannot it self actually Operate upon every part of the Body, but only upon the Brain, or certain Nerves and Spirits, which, by Laws and Communications of God's appointing, influence the whole Body.

13. and 14. The [8] Active Forces, which are in the Universe, diminishing themselves <87> so as to stand in need of new impressions; is no inconvenience, no disorder, no imperfection in the Workmanship of the Universe; but is the consequence of the Nature of dependent Things. Which Dependency of Things, is not a matter that wants to be rectified. The Case of a Humane Workman making a Machine, is quite another thing: Because the Powers or Forces by which the Machine continues to move, are altogether independent on the Artificer.

15. The Phrase, Intelligentia supramundana, may well be allowed, as it is here explained: But without this explication, the expression is very apt to lead to a wrong Notion, as if God was not really and substantially present every where.

16. To the Questions here proposed, the Answer is: That God does always act in the most regular and perfect manner: That <89> there are no Disorders in the Workmanship of God; and that there is nothing more extraordinary in the Alterations he is pleased to make in the Frame of things, than in his continuation of it: That in things in their own nature absolutely Equal and Indifferent, the Will of God can freely choose and determine it self, without any External Cause to impell it; and that 'tis a Perfection in God, to be able so to do. That Space, does not at all depend on the Order or Situation or Existence of Bodies. And as to the Notion of Miracles,

17. The Question is not, what it is that Divines or Philosophers usually allow or not allow; but what Reasons Men alledge for their Opinions. If a Miracle be That only, which surpasses the Power of all Created Beings; then for a Man to walk on the Water, or for the Motion of the Sun or the Earth to be stopped, is no Miracle; since none of these things require infinite Power to effect them. For a Body to move in a Circle round a Center in Vacuo; if it be usual (as the Planets moving about the Sun,) 'tis no Miracle, whether it be effected immediately by God himself, or mediately by any Created Power: But if it be unusual, (as, for a heavy Body to be suspended, and move so in the Air,) 'tis equally a Miracle, whether it be effected imme <91> diately by God himself, or mediately by any invisible Created Power. Lastly; if whatever arises not from, and is not explicable by, the Natural Powers of Body, be a Miracle; then Every animal-motion whatsoever, is a Miracle. Which seems demonstrably to show, that this Learned Author's Notion of a Miracle is erroneous.

[1] This was occasioned by a Passage in the private Letter, wherein Mr. Leibnitz's Third Paper came inclosed.

[2] Of Nothing, there are no Dimensions, no Magnitude, no Quantity, no Properties.

[3] See below, the Note on my Fourth Reply, § 10.

[4] See above, § 4. of my Second Reply.

[5] See Appendix, No 4.

[6] See the Note on § 3. in my First Reply.

[7] Deus Omnipræsens est, non per virtutem solam, sed etiam per Substantiam: Nim virtus sine Substantiâ subsistere non potest. i. e. God is Omnipresent, not only virtually, but substantially: For, Powers cannot subsist without a Substance. Newtoni Principia, Scholium generale sub finem.

[8] Note: The word, Active Force, signifies here nothing but Motion, and the Impetus or relative impulsive Force of Bodies, arising from and being proportional to their Motion. For, the Occasion of what has passed upon This Head, was the following Passage. Apparet Motum & nasci posse & perire. Verùm, per tenacitatem corporum fluidorum, partiumq; suarum Attritum, visq; elasticæ in corporibus solidis imbecillitatem; multò magis in eam semper partem vergit natura rerum, ut pereat Motus, quàm ut nascatur. — Quoniam igitur varij illi Motus, qui in Mundo conspiciuntur, perpetuò decrescunt universi; necesse est <87> prorsus, quo ij conservari & recrescere possint, ut ad actuosa aliqua Principia recurramus. i.e. Tis evident, that Motion can in the Whole both increase and diminish. But because of the Tenacity of Fluid Bodies, and the Attrition of their Parts, and the Weakness of elastick Force in Solid Bodies; Motion is, in the Nature of things, always much more apt to diminish, than to increase.— Since therefore all the various Motions that are in the World, are perpetually decreasing; 'tis absolutely necessary, in order to preserve and renew those Motions, that we have recourse to some Active Principles. Newtoni Optice, Quæst. ult. pag. 341, 343.

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