Dr. Clarke's First Reply
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- Notes on the Electronic Edition
Dr. Clarke's First Reply.
1. THAT there are some in England, as well as in other Countries, who deny or very much corrupt even Natural Religion it self, is very true, and much to be lamented. But (next to the vitious Affections of Men) this is to be principally ascribed to the false Philosophy of the Materialists, to which the Mathematick Principles of Philosophy are the most directly repugnant. That Some make the Souls of Men, and Others even God himself to be a Corporeal Being; is also very true: But those who do so, are the great Enemies of the Mathematical Principles of Philosophy; which Principles, and which alone, prove Matter, or Body, to be the smallest and most inconsiderable Part of the Universe.
2. That Mr. Locke doubted whether the Soul was immaterial or no, may justly be suspected from some Parts of his Writings: But herein he has been followed only by some Materialists, Enemies to the Mathematical Principles of Philosophy; and whoapprove little or nothing in Mr. Locke's Writings, but his Errors.
3. Sir Isaac Newton doth not say, that Space is the Organ which God makes use of to perceive Things by; nor that he has need of any Medium at all, whereby to perceive Things: But on the contrary, that he, being Omnipresent, perceives all Things by his immediate Presence to them, in all Space whereever they are, without the Intervention or Assistance of any Organ or Medium whatsoever. In order to make this more intelligible, he illustrates it by a Similitude: That as the Mind of Man, by its immediate Presence to the Pictures or Images of Things, form'd in the Brain by the means of the Organs of Sensation, sees those Pictures as if they were the Things themselves; so God sees all Things, by his immediate Presence to them: he being actually present to the Things themselves, to all Things in the Universe; as the Mind of Man is present to all the Pictures of Things formed in his Brain. Sir Isaac Newton considers the Brain and Organs of Sensation, as the Means by which those Pictures are formed; but not as the Means by which the Mind sees or perceives those Pictures, when they are so formed. And in the Universe, he doth not consider Things as if they were Pictures, formed by certain Means, or Organs; but as real Things, form'd by God himself, and seen by him in all Places whereever they are, without the Intervention of any Medium at all. And this Similitude is all that he means, when he supposes Infinite Space  to be (as it were) the Sensorium of the Omnipresent Being.
4. The Reason why, among Men, an Artificer is justly esteemed so much the more skillful, as the Machine of his composingwill continue longer to move regularly without any farther Interposition of the Workman; is because the skill of all Human Artificers consists only in composing, adjusting, or putting together certain Movements, the Principles of whose Motion are altogether independent upon the Artificer: Such as are Weights and Springs, and the like; whose forces are not made, but only adjusted, by the Workman. But with regard to God, the Case is quite different; because He not only composes or puts Things together, but is himself the Author and continual Preserver of their Original Forces or moving Powers: And consequently tis not a diminution, but the true Glory of his Workmanship, that nothing is done without his continual Government and Inspection. The Notion of the World's being a great Machine, going on without the Interposition of God, as a Clock continues to go without the Assistance of a Clockmaker; is the Notion of Materialism and Fate, and tends, (under pretense of making God a  Supra-Mundane Intelligence,) to exclude Providence and God's Government in reality out of the World. And by the same Reason that a Philosopher can represent all Things going on from the beginning of the Creation, without any Government or Interposition of Providence; a Sceptick will easily Argue still farther Backwards, and suppose that Things have from Eternity gone on (as they now do) without any true Creation or Original Author at all, but only what such Arguers call All-Wise and Eternal Nature. If a King had a Kingdom, wherein all Things would continually go on without his Government or Interposition, or without his Attending to and Ordering what is done therein; It would be to him, merely a Nominal Kingdom; nor would he in reality deserve at all the Title of King or Governor. And as those Men, who pretend that in an Earthly Government Things may go on perfectly well without the King himself ordering or disposing of any Thing, may reasonably be suspected that they would like very well to set the King aside: So whosoever contends, that the Course of the World can go on without the Continual direction of God, the Supreme Governor; his Doctrine does in Effect tend to Exclude God out of the World.
 The Passage referred to is as follows. Annon Sensorium Animalium, est Locus cui Substantia sentiens adest, & in quem sensibiles rerum Species per nervos & cerebrum deferuntur, ut ibi præsentes à præsente sentiri possint? Atque – – – –annon ex Phænomenis constat, esse Entem Incorporeum, Viventem, Intelligentem, Omnipræsentem, qui in Spatio infinito, Tanquam Sensorio suo, Res Ipsas intime cernat, penitusque perspiciat, totasque intra se præsens præsentes complectatur; quarum quidem rerum, Id quod in Nobis sentit & cogitat, Imagines tantum ad se per Organa Sensuum delatas, in Sensoriolo suo percipit & contuetur? i.e. Is not the Sensory of Animals the Place where the Perceptive Substance is present, and To which the Sensible Images of Things are convey'd by the Nerves and Brain that they may there be Perceived, as being Present to the Perceptive Substance? And do not the Phænomena of Nature show that there is an Incorporeal, Living Intelligent, Omnipresent Being who in the Infinite Space, which is as it were His Sensorium (or Place of Perception,) sees and discerns in the inmost and most Thorough Manner, the Very Things themselves, and comprehends them as being entirely and immediately Present within Himself; Of which Things the Perceptive and Thinking Substance that is in Us, perceives and views in its Little Sensory, nothing but the Images, conveyed thither by the Organs of the Senses? Newtoni Optice, Quæst. 20. pag. 315.
 See Appendix, No 1.