Mr. Leibnitz's Fifth Paper.
An Answer to Dr. Clarke's Fourth Reply.

To § 1 and 2, of the foregoing Paper.

1. I Shall at This Time make a larger Answer; to clear the difficulties; and to try whether the Author be willing to hearken to reason, and to show that he is a lover of truth; or whether he will only cavil, without clearing any thing.

2. He often endeavours to impute to me Necessity and Fatality; though perhaps no One has better and more fully explained, than I have done in my Theodicæa, the true difference between Liberty, Contingency, Spontaneity, on the one Side; and absolute Necessity, Chance, Coaction on the other. I know not yet, whether <157> the Author does this, because he will do it, whatever I may say; or whether he does it, (supposing him sincere in those imputations,) because he has not yet duly considered my Opinions. I shall soon find what I am to think of it, and I shall take my measures accordingly.

3. It is true, that Reasons in the Mind of a Wise Being, and Motives in Any Mind whatsoever, do that which answers to the effect produced by Weights in [1] a Balance. The Author objects, that this Notion leads to Necessity and Fatality. But he says so, without proving it, and without taking notice of the explications I have formerly given, in order to remove the difficulties that may be raised upon that Head.

4. He seems also to play with Equivocal Terms. There are Necessities, which ought to be admitted. For we must distinguish between an absolute and an Hypothetical Necessity. We must also distinguish between a Necessity, which takes place because the Opposite implies a Contradiction; (which necessity is called Logical, Metaphysical, or Mathematical;) and a Necessity which is Moral, whereby a Wise Being chuses the Best, and every Mind follows the strongest Inclination.

5. Hypothetical Necessity is that, which the Supposition or Hypothesis of God's Foresight and Pre-ordination lays upon fu <159> ture Contingents. And This must needs be admitted, unless we deny, as the Socinians do, God's Foreknowledge of future Contingents, and his Providence which regulates and governs every particular thing.

6. But neither That Foreknowledge, nor That Pre-Ordination, derogate from Liberty. For God, being moved by his Supreme Reason to chuse, among many Series of Things or Worlds possible, That, in which free Creatures should take such or such Resolutions, though not without his Concourse; has thereby rendred every Event certain and determined once for all; without derogating thereby from the Liberty of those Creatures: That simple decree of Choice, not at all changing, but only actualizing their free Natures, which he saw in his Ideas.

7. As for Moral Necessity, This also does not derogate from Liberty. For when a Wise Being, and especially God, who has Supreme Wisdom, chuses what is Best, he is not the less free upon that account: On the contrary, it is the most perfect Liberty, not to be hindred from acting in the best manner. And when Any Other chuses according to the most apparent and the most strongly inclining Good, he imitates therein the Liberty of a truly Wise Being, in proportion to his disposition. Without this, the Choice would be a blind Chance.


8. But Good, either true or apparent; in a word, the Motive, inclines without necessitating; that is, without imposing an absolute Necessity. For when God (for Instance,) chuses the Best; what he does not chuse, and is inferior in Perfection, is nevertheless possible. But if what he chuses, was absolutely necessary; any other way would be impossible: Which is against the Hypothesis. For God chuses among Possibles, that is, among many ways, none of which implies a Contradiction.

9. But to say, that God can only chuse what is Best; and to infer from thence, that what he does not chuse, is impossible; this, I say, is confounding of Terms: 'Tis blending Power and Will, Metaphysical Necessity and Moral Necessity, Essences and Existences. For, what is necessary, is so by its Essence, since the Opposite implies a Contradiction; But a Contingent which exists, owes its Existence to the Principle of what is Best, which is a sufficient Reason for the Existence of Things. And therefore I say, that Motives incline without necessitating; and that there is a Certainty and Infallibility, but not an absolute Necessity in contingent Things. Add to this, what will be said hereafter, Numb. 73, and 76.

10. And I have sufficiently shown in my Theodicæa, that this Moral Necessity is a good Thing, agreeable to the Divine Per <163> fection; agreeable to the great Principle or Ground of Existences, which is that of the Want of a sufficient Reason: Whereas Absolute and Metaphysical Necessity, depends upon the Other great Principle of our Reasonings, viz. that of Essences; that is, the Principle of Identity or Contradiction: For, what is absolutely necessary, is the only possible Way, and its contrary implies a Contradiction.

11. I have also shown, that our Will does not always exactly follow the Practical Understanding; because it may have or find Reasons to suspend its Resolution till a further Examination.

12. To impute to me after this, the Notion of an absolute Necessity, without having any thing to say against the Reasons which I have just now alledged, and which go to the Bottom of Things, perhaps beyond what is to be seen elsewhere; This, I say, will be an unreasonable Obstinancy.

13. As to the Notion of Fatality, which the Author lays also to my Charge; this is another Ambiguity. There is a Fatum Mahometanum, a Fatum Stoicum, and a Fatum Christianum. The Turkish Fate will have an Effect to happen, even though its Cause should be avoided; as if there was an Absolute Necessity. The Stoical Fate will have a Man to be quiet, because he <165> must have Patience whether he will or not, since 'tis impossible to resist the Course of Things. But 'tis agreed, that there is Fatum Christianum, a Certain Destiny of every Thing, regulated by the Foreknowledge and Providence of God. Fatum is derived from Fari; that is, to Pronounce, to Decree; and in its right Sense, it signifies the Decree of Providence. And those who submit to it through a Knowledge of the Divine Perfections, whereof the Love of God is a Consequence; have not only Patience, like the Heathen Philosophers, but are also contented with what is ordained by God, knowing he does every thing for the best; and not only for the greatest Good in general, but also for the greatest particular Good of those who love him.

14. I have been obliged to enlarge, in order to remove ill-grounded Imputations once for all; as I hope I shall be able to do by these Explications, so as to satisfy equitable Persons. I shall now come to an Objection raised here, against my comparing the Weights of a Balance with the Motives of the Will. 'Tis objected, that a Balance is merely Passive, and mov'd by the Weights; whereas Agents intelligent, and endowed with Will, are Active. To this I answer, that the [2] Principle of the <167> Want of a sufficient Reason is common both to Agents and Patients: They want a sufficient Reason of their Action, as well as of their Passion. A Balance does not only not act, when it is equally pulled on both Sides; but the equal Weights likewise do not act when they are in an Æquilibrium, so that one of them cannot go down without the others rising up as much.

15. It must also be considered, that, properly speaking, Motives do not act upon the Mind, as Weights do upon a Balance; but 'tis rather the Mind that acts by virtue of the Motives, which are its Dispositions to act. And therefore to pretend, as the Author does here, that the Mind prefers sometimes weak Motives to strong ones, and even that it prefers that which is indifferent before Motives: This, I say, is to divide the Mind from the Motives, as if they were without the Mind, as the Weight is distinct from the Balance; and as if the Mind had, besides Motives, other Dispositions to act, by Virtue of which it could reject or accept the Motives. Whereas, in truth, the Motives comprehend all the Dispositions, which the Mind can have to act voluntarily; for they include not only the Reasons, but also the Inclinations arising from Passions, or other preceding Impressions. Wherefore, if the Mind should prefer a weak Inclination to a strong one, it would act against it self, and otherwise <169> than it is disposed to act. Which shows that the Author's Notions, contrary to mine, are superficial, and appear to have no Solidity in them, when they are well considered.

16. To assert also, that the Mind may have good Reasons to act, when it has no Motives, and when Things are absolutely indifferent, as the Author explains himself here; this, I say, is a manifest Contradiction. For if the Mind has good Reasons for taking the Part it takes, then the Things are not indifferent to the Mind.

17. And to affirm that the Mind will act, when it has Reasons to act, even though the Ways of acting were absolutely indifferent: This, I say, is to speak again very superficially, and in a manner that cannot be defended. For a Man never has a sufficient Reason to act, when he has not also a sufficient Reason to act in a certain particular manner; every Action being Individual, and not general, nor abstract from its Circumstances, but always needing some particular way of being put in Execution. Wherefore, when there is a sufficient Reason to do any particular Thing, there is also a sufficient Reason to do it in a certain particular manner; and consequently, several manners of doing it are not indifferent. As often as a Man has sufficient Reasons for a single Action, he has also sufficient Reasons for all its Requisites. See also what I shall say below, Numb. 66.


18. These Arguments are very obvious; and 'tis very strange to charge me with advancing my Principle of the Want of a sufficient Reason, without any Proof drawn either from the Nature of Things, or from the Divine Perfections. For the Nature of Things requires, that every Event should have before-hand its proper Conditions, Requisites, and Dispositions, the Existence whereof makes the sufficient Reason of such Event.

19. And God's Perfection requires, that all his Actions should be agreeable to his Wisdom; and that it may not be said of him, that he has acted without Reason; or even that he has prefer'd a weaker Reason before a stronger.

20. But I shall speak more largely at the Conclusion of this Paper, concerning the Solidity and Importance of this great Principle, of the want of a suffcient Reason in order to every Event; the overthrowing of which Principle, would overthrow the best part of all Philosophy. Tis therefore very strange that the Author should say, I am herein guilty of a Petitio Principii; and it plainly appears he is desirous to maintain indefensible Opinions, since he is reduced to deny That great Principle, which is one of the most essential Principles of Reason.


To § 3, and 4.

21. It must be confessed, that though this great Principle has been acknowledged, yet it has not been sufficiently made use of. Which is, in great measure, the Reason why the Prima Philosophia has not been hitherto so fruitful and demonstrative, as it should have been. I infer from that Principle, among other Consequences, that there are not in Nature two real, absolute Beings, indiscernible from each other; because if there were, God and Nature would act without Reason, in ordering the one otherwise than the other; and that therefore God does not produce Two Pieces of Matter perfectly equal and alike. The Author answers this Conclusion, without confuting the Reason of it; and he answers with a very weak Objection. That Argument, says he, if it was good, would prove that it would be impossible for God to create any Matter at all. For, the perfectly solid Parts of Matter, if we take them of equal Figure and Dimensions, (which is always possible in Supposition,) would be exactly alike. But 'tis a manifest Petitio Principii to suppose That perfect Likeness, which, according to me, cannot be admitted. This Supposition of two Indiscernables, such as two Pieces of Matter perfectly alike, seems indeed to be possible in abstract Terms; but <175> it is not consistent with the Order of Things, nor with the Divine Wisdom, by which nothing is admitted without Reason. The Vulgar fancy such Things, because they content themselves with incomplete Notions. And this is one of the Faults of the Atomists.

22. Besides; I don't admit in Matter, Parts perfectly Solid, or that are the same throughout, without any Variety or particular Motion in their Parts, as the pretended Atoms are imagined to be. To suppose such Bodies, is another popular Opinion ill-grounded. According to my Demonstrations, every Part of Matter is actually subdivided into Parts differently moved, and no one of them is perfectly like another.

23. I said, that in sensible Things, two, that are indiscernible from each other, can never be found; that (for Instance) two Leaves in a Garden, or two Drops of Water, perfectly alike, are not to be found. The Author acknowledges it as to Leaves, and perhaps as to Drops of Water. But he might have admitted it, without any Hesitation, without a perhaps, (an Italian would say, Senza Forse,) as to Drops of Water likewise.

24. I believe that these general Observations in Things sensible, hold also in proportion in Things insensible; and that one may say, in one Respect, what Har <177> lequin says in the Emperor of the Moon; 'Tis there, just as 'tis here. And 'tis a great Objection against Indiscernibles, that no instance of them is to be found. But the Author opposes this Consequence, because (says he) sensible Bodies are compounded; whereas he maintains there are insensible Bodies, which are simple. I answer again, that I don't admit simple Bodies. There is nothing simple, in my Opinion, but true Monads, which have neither parts nor extension. Simple Bodies, and even perfectly similar ones, are a consequence of the false Hypothesis of a Vacuum and of Atoms, or of Lazy Philosophy, which does not sufficiently carry on the Analysis of things, and fancies it can attain to the first material Elements of Nature, because our Imagination would be therewith satisfied.

25. When I deny that there are Two Drops of Water perfectly alike, or any two other Bodies Indiscernible from each other; I don't say, 'tis absolutely impossible to suppose them; but that 'tis a thing contrary to the divine Wisdom, and which consequently does not exist.

To § 5 and 6.

26. I own, that if two things perfectly indiscernible from each other did exist, they would be Two; but That Supposition is false, and contrary to the Grand Principle <179> of Reason. The vulgar Philosophers were mistaken, when they believed that there are things different solo numero, or only because they are two; And from this error have arisen their perplexities about what they called the Principle of Individuation. Metaphysicks have generally been handled like a Science of mere Words, like a Philosophical Dictionary, without entring into the discussion of Things. Superficial Philosophy, such as is that of the Atomists and Vacuists, forges things, which superior Reasons do not admit. I hope My Demonstrations will change the Face of Philosophy, notwithstanding such weak Objections as the Author raises here against me.

27. The Parts of Time or Place, considered in themselves, are ideal things; and therefore they perfectly resemble one another, like two abstract Units. But it is not so with two concrete Ones, or with two real Times, or two Spaces filled up, that is, truly actual.

28. I don't say that two Points of Space are one and the same point, nor that two Instants of Time are one and the same Instant, as the Author seems to charge me with saying. But a Man may fancy, for want of Knowledge, that there are two different Instants, where there is but one: In like manner as I observed in the 17th Paragraph of the foregoing Answer, that frequently in Geometry we suppose Two, in <181> order to represent the error of a gainsayer, when there is really but One. If any Man should suppose that a right Line cuts another in two Points; it will be found after all, that those two pretended Points must co-incide, and make but One Point.

29. I have demonstrated, that Space is nothing else but an Order of the existence of things, observed as existing Together; And therefore the Fiction of a material finite Universe, moving forward in an infinite empty Space, [3] cannot be admitted. It is altogether unreasonable and impracticable. For, besides that there is no real Space out of the material Universe; such an Action would be without any Design in it: It would be working without doing any thing, agendo nihil agere. There would happen no Change, which could be observed by Any Person whatsoever. These are Imaginations of Philosophers who have incomplete notions, who make Space an absolute Reality. Mere Mathematicians, who are only taken up with the Conceits of Imagination, are apt to forge such Notions; but they are destroyed by superior Reasons.

30. Absolutely speaking, it appears that God can make the material Universe finite in Extension; but the contrary appears more agreeable to his Wisdom.

31. I don't grant, that every Finite is moveable. According to the Hypothesis of my Adversaries themselves, a part of Space, <183> though finite, is not moveable. What is moveable, must be capable of changing its situation with respect to something else, and to be in a new state discernible from the first: Otherwise the Change is but a Fiction. A moveable Finite, must therefore make part of another Finite, that any Change may happen which can be observed.

32. Cartesius maintains, that Matter is unlimited; and I don't think he has been sufficiently confuted. And though this be granted him, yet it does not follow that Matter would be necessary, nor that it would have existed from all eternity; since That unlimited diffusion of Matter, would only be an effect of God's Choice, judging That to be the better.

To §7.

33. Since Space in it self is an Ideal thing, like Time; Space out of the World must needs be imaginary, as the Schoolmen themselves have acknowledged. The Case is the same with empty Space within the World; which I take also to be imaginary, for the reasons before alledged.

34. The Author objects against me the Vacuum discovered by Mr. Guerike of Magdeburg, which is made by pumping the Air out of a Receiver; And he pretends that there is truly a perfect Vacuum, or a <185> Space without Matter, (at least in part,) in that Receiver. The Aristotelians and Cartesians, who do not admit a true Vacuum, have said in answer to that Experiment of Mr. Guerike, as well as to that of Torricellius of Florence, (who emptied the Air out of a Glass-Tube by the help of Quick-Silver,) that there is no Vacuum at all in the Tube or in the Receiver; since Glass has small Pores, which the Beams of Light, the Effluvia of the Load-Stone, and other very thin fluids may go through. I am of their Opinion: And I think the Receiver may be compared to a Box full of Holes in the Water, having Fish or other gross Bodies shut up in it; which being taken out, their place would nevertheless be filled up with Water. There is only this difference; that though Water be fluid and more yielding than those gross Bodies, yet it is as heavy and massive, if not more, than they: Whereas the Matter which gets into the Receiver in the Room of the Air, is much more subtile. The new Sticklers for a Vacuum allege in answer to this Instance, that it is not the Grossness of Matter, but its mere Quantity, that makes resistance; and consequently that there is of necessity more Vacuum, where there is less Resistance. They add, that the subtleness of Matter has nothing to do here; and that the particles of Quick-Silver are as subtle and fine as those of Water; and yet that Quick-silver re <187> sists above Ten times more. To this I reply, that it is not so much the quantity of Matter, as its difficulty of giving place, that makes resistance. For instance; floating Timber contains less of heavy Matter, than an equal Bulk of Water does; and yet it makes more resistance to a Boat, than the Water does.

35. And as for Quick-Silver; 'tis true, it contains about Fourteen times more of heavy Matter, than an equal Bulk of Water does; but it does not follow, that it contains Fourteen times more Matter absolutely. On the contrary, Water contains as much Matter; if we include both its own Matter, which is heavy; and the extraneous Matter void of heaviness, which passes through its Pores. For, both Quick-Silver and Water, are masses of heavy matter, full of Pores, through which there passes a great deal of Matter void of Heaviness; such as is probably that of the Rays of Light, and other insensible Fluids; and especially that which is it self the Cause of the gravity of gross Bodies, by receding from the Center towards which it drives those Bodies. For, it is a strange Imagination to make all Matter gravitate, and That towards all other Matter, as if each Body did equally attract every other Body according to their Masses and distances; and this by an Attraction properly so called, which is not derived from an occult im <189> pulse of Bodies: Whereas the gravity of sensible Bodies towards the Centre of the Earth, ought to be produced by the motion of some Fluid. And the case must be the same with other gravities, such as is that of the Planets towards the Sun, or towards each other.

To § 8, and 9.

36. I objected, that Space, taken for something real and absolute without Bodies, would be a thing eternal, impassible, and independent upon God. The Author endeavours to elude this Difficulty, by saying that Space is a property of God. In answer to this, I have said, in my foregoing Paper, that the Property of God is Immensity; but that Space (which is often commensurate with Bodies,) and God's Immensity, are not the same thing.

37. I objected further, that if Space be a property, and infinite Space be the Immensity of God; finite Space will be the Extension or Mensurability of something finite. And therefore the Space taken up by a Body, will be the Extension of that Body. Which is an absurdity; since a <191> Body can change Space, but cannot leave its Extension.

38. I asked also; If Space is a Property, What thing will an empty limited Space, (such as that which my Adversary imagines in an exhausted Receiver,) be the Property of? It does not appear reasonable to say, that this empty Space, either round or square, is a Property of God. Will it be then perhaps the Property of some immaterial, extended, imaginary Substances, which the Author seems to fancy in the imaginary Spaces?

39. If Space is the Property or Affection of the Substance, which is in Space; the same Space will be sometimes the Affection of One Body, sometimes of another Body, sometimes of an immaterial Substance, and sometimes perhaps of God himself, when it is void of all other Substance material or immaterial. But this is a strange Property or Affection, which passes from one Subject to another. Thus Subjects will leave off their Accidents, like Cloaths; that Other Subjects may put them on. At this rate, how shall we distinguish Accidents and Substances?

40. And if limited Spaces are the Affections of limited Substances, which are in them; and infinite Space be a Property of God; a Property of God must (which is <193> very strange,) be made up of the Affections of Creatures; For all finite Spaces, taken together, make up infinite Space.

41. But if the Author denies, that limited Space is an Affection of limited Things; it will not be reasonable neither, that infinite Space should be the Affection or Property of an infinite thing. I have suggested all these difficulties in my foregoing Paper; but it does not appear that the Author has endeavoured to answer them.

42. I have still other Reasons against this strange Imagination, that Space is a Property of God. If it be so, Space belongs to the Essence of God. But Space has parts: Therefore there would be parts in the Essence of God. Spectatum admissi.

43. Moreover, Spaces are sometimes empty, and sometimes filled up. Therefore there will be in the Essence of God, Parts sometimes empty, and sometimes full, and consequently liable to a perpetual Change. Bodies, filling up Space, would fill up part of God's Essence, and would be commensurate with it; and in the Supposition of a Vacuum, Part of God's Essence will be within the Receiver. Such a God having Parts, will very much resemble the Stoicks God, which was the whole Universe considered as a Divine Animal.

44. If infinite Space is God's Immensity, infinite Time will be God's Eternity; and therefore we must say, that what is in <195> Space, is in God's Immensity, and consequently in his Essence; and that what is in Time, is also in the Essence of God. Strange Expressions; which plainly show, that the Author makes a wrong use of Terms.

45. I shall give another Instance of This. God's Immensity makes him actually present in all Spaces. But now if God is in Space, how can it be said that Space is in God, or that it is a Property of God? We have often heard, that a Property is in its Subject; but we never heard, that a Subject is in its Property. In like manner, God exists in all Time. How then can Time be in God; and how can it be a Property of God? These are perpetual Alloglossies.

46. It appears that the Author confounds Immensity, or the Extension of Things, with the Space according to which that Extension is taken. Infinite Space, is not the Immensity of God: Finite Space, is not the Extension of Bodies: As Time is not their Duration. Things keep their Extension, but they do not always keep their Space. Every Thing has its own Extension, its own Duration; but it has not its own Time, and does not keep its own Space.

47. I will here show, how Men come to form to themselves the Notion of Space. They consider that many things exist at once, and they observe in them a certain <197> Order of Co-Existence, according to which the relation of one thing to another is more or less simple. This Order, is their Situation or Distance. When it happens that one of those Co-existent Things changes its Relation to a Multitude of others, which do not change their Relation among themselves; and that another thing, newly come, acquires the same Relation to the others, as the former had; we then say, it is come into the Place of the former; And this Change, we call a Motion in That Body, wherein is the immediate Cause of the Change. And though many, or even All the Co-existent Things, should change according to certain known Rules of Direction and Swiftness; yet one may always determine the Relation of Situation, which every Co-existent acquires with respect to every other Co-existent; and even That Relation, which any other Co-existent would have to this, or which this would have to any other, if it had not changed, or if it had changed any otherwise. And supposing, or feigning, that among those Co-existents, there is a sufficient Number of them, which have undergone no Change; then we may say, that Those which have such a Relation to those fixed Existents, as Others had to them before, have now the same Place which those others had. And That which comprehends all those Places, is called Space. Which <199> shows, that in order to have an Idea of Place, and consequently of Space, it is sufficient to consider these Relations, and the Rules of their Changes, without needing to fancy any absolute Reality out of the Things whose Situation we consider. And, to give a kind of a Definition: Place is That, which we say is the same to A and, to B, when the Relation of the Co-existence of B, with C, E, F, G, &c. agrees perfectly with the Relation of the Co-existence, which A had with the same C, E, F, G, &c. supposing there has been no cause of Change in C, E, F, G, &c. It might be said also, without entring into any further Particularity, that Place is That, which is the Same in different moments to different existent Things, when their Relations of Co-existence with certain Other Existents, which are supposed to continue fixed from one of those Moments to the other, agree intirely together. And fixed Existents are those, in which there has been no cause of any Change of the Order of their Co-existence with others; or (which is the same Thing,) in which there has been no Motion. Lastly, Space is That which results from Places taken together. And here it may not be amiss to consider the Difference between Place, and the Relation of Situation, which is in the Body that fills up the Place. For, the Place of A and B, is the same; whereas <201> the Relation of A to fixed Bodies, is not precisely and individually the same, as the Relation which B (that comes into its Place) will have to the same fixed Bodies; But these Relations agree only. For, two different Subjects, as A and B, cannot have precisely the same individual Affection; it being impossible, that the same individual Accident should be in two Subjects, or pass from one Subject to another. But the Mind not contented with an Agreement, looks for an Identity, for something that should be truly the same; and conceives it as being extrinsick to the Subjects: And this is what we here call Place and Space. But this can only be an Ideal Thing; containing a certain Order, wherein the Mind conceives the Application of Relations. In like manner, as the Mind can fancy to it self an Order made up of Genealogical Lines, whose Bigness would consist only in the Number of Generations, wherein every Person would have his Place: And if to this one should add the Fiction of a Metempsychosis, and bring in the same Human Souls again; the Persons in those Lines might change Place; he who was a Father, or a Grand-Father, might become a Son, or a Grand-Son, &c. And yet those Genealogical Places, Lines, and Spaces though they should express real Truths, would only be Ideal Things. I shall allege another Example, to show how <203> the Mind uses, upon occasion of Accidents which are in Subjects, to fancy to it self something answerable to those Accidents, out of the Subjects. The Ratio or Proportion between two Lines L and M, may be conceived three several Ways; as a Ratio of the greater L, to the lesser M; as a Ratio of the lesser M, to the greater L; and lastly, as something abstracted from both, that is, as the Ratio between L and M, without considering which is the Antecedent, or which the Consequent; which the Subject, and which the Object. And thus it is, that Proportions are considered in Musick. In the first way of considering them, L the greater; in the second, M the lesser, is the Subject of That Accident, which Philosophers call Relation. But, Which of them will be the Subject, in the Third Way of considering them? It cannot be said that both of them, L and M together, are the Subject of such an Accident; for if so, we should have an Accident in two Subjects, with one Leg in one, and the other in the other; Which is contrary to the Notion of Accidents. Therefore we must say, that this Relation, in this Third way of considering it; is indeed out of the Subjects; but being neither a Substance, nor an Accident, it must be a mere Ideal Thing, the consideration of which is nevertheless useful. To conclude: I have here done much like Euclid, who not be <205> ing able to make his Readers well understand what Ratio is absolutely in the Sense of Geometricians; defines what are the same Ratio's. Thus, in like manner, in order to explain what Place is, I have been content to define what is the same Place. Lastly; I observe, that the Traces of moveable Bodies, which they leave sometimes upon the immoveable ones on which they are moved; have given Men occasion to form in their Imagination such an Idea, as if some Trace did still remain, even when there is Nothing unmoved. But this is a mere Ideal Thing, and imports only, that if there was any unmoved thing there, the Trace might be marked out upon it. And 'tis this Analogy, which makes Men fancy Places, Traces and Spaces; though those things consist only in the Truth of Relations, and not at all in any absolute Reality.

48. To conclude. If the Space (which the Author fancies) void of all Bodies, is not altogether empty; what is it then full of? Is it full of extended Spirits perhaps, or immaterial Substances, capable of extending and contracting themselves; which move therein, and penterate each other without any Inconveniency, as the Shadows of two Bodies penetrate one another upon the Surface of a Wall? Methinks I see the revival of the odd Imaginations of Dr. Henry More (otherwise a Learned and well-meaning Man,) and of some Others, <207> who fancied that those Spirits can make themselves impenetrable whenever they please. Nay, some have fancied, that Man, in the State of Innocency, had also the Gift of Penetration; and that he became Solid, Opake, and Impenetrable by his Fall. Is it not overthrowing our Notions of Things, to make God have Parts, to make Spirits have Extension? The Principle of the Want of a sufficient Reason does alone drive away all these Spectres of Imagination. Men easily run into Fictions, for want of making a right Use of that great Principle.

To § 10.

49. It cannot be said, that Duration is Eternal; but that Things, which continue always, are Eternal. Whatever exists of Time and of Duration, perishes continually: And how can a thing exist Eternally, which, (to speak exactly,) does never exist at all? For, how can a thing exist, whereof no Part does ever exist? Nothing of Time does ever exist, but Instants; and an Instant is not even it self a part of Time. Whoever considers these Observations, will easily apprehend that Time can only be an Ideal Thing. And the Analogy between Time and Space, will easily make it appear, <209> that the one is as merely Ideal as the other.

50. If the reality of Space and Time, is necessary to the Immensity and Eternity of God; if God must be in Space; if being in Space, is a Property of God; he will, in some Measure, depend upon Time and Space, and stand in need of them. For I have already prevented That Subterfuge, that Space and Time are Properties of God.

To § 11, and 12.

51. I objected that Space cannot be in God, because it has Parts. Hereupon the Author seeks another Subterfuge, by departing from the received Sense of Words; maintaining that Space has no parts, because its parts are not separable, and cannot be removed from one another by Discerption . But 'tis sufficient that Space has Parts, whether those parts be separable or not; And they may be assigned in Space, either by the Bodies that are in it, or by <211> Lines and Surfaces that may be drawn and described in it.

To § 13.

52. In order to prove that Space, without Bodies, is an absolute reality; the Author objected, that a finite material Universe might move forward in Space. I answered, it does not appear reasonable that the material Universe should be finite; and, though we should suppose it to be finite; yet 'tis unreasonable it should have motion any otherwise, than as its parts change their Situation among themselves; because such a motion would [4] produce no Change that could be observed, and would be without Design. 'Tis another thing, when its parts change their Situation among themselves; For then there is a Motion in Space; but it consists in the Order of Relations which are changed. The Author replies now, that the reality of Motion does not depend upon being observed; and that a Ship may go forward, and yet a Man, who is in the Ship, may not perceive it. I answer, Motion does not indeed depend upon being Observed; but it does depend upon being possible to be Observed. There is no Motion, when there is no Change that can be Observed. And when there <213> is no Change that can be Observed, there is no Change at all. The contrary Opinion is grounded upon the Supposition of a real absolute Space, which I have demonstratively confuted by the Principle of the want of a sufficient Reason of things.

53. I find nothing in the Eighth Definition of the Mathematical Principles of Nature, nor in the Scholium belonging to it, that proves, or can prove, the reality of Space in it self. However, I grant there is a difference between an absolute true motion of a Body, and a mere relative Change of its Situation with respect to another Body. For when the immediate Cause of the Change is in the Body, That Body is truly in Motion; and then the Situation of other Bodies, with respect to it, will be changed consequently, though the Cause of that Change be not in Them. 'Tis true that, exactly speaking, there is not any one Body, that is perfectly and intirely at Rest; but we frame an abstract Notion of Rest, by considering the thing Mathematically. Thus have I left nothing unanswered, of what has been alledged for the absolute reality of Space. And I have demonstrated the falshood of that reality, by a fundamental Principle, one of the most certain both in Reason and Experience; against which, no Exception or Instance can be alledged. Upon the whole, one may judge from what has been said, <215> that I ought not to admit a moveable Universe; nor any Place out of the material Universe.

To § 14.

54. I am not sensible of any objection, but what I think I have sufficiently answered. As for the objection that Space and Time are Quantities, or rather things endowed with Quantity; and that Situation and Order are not so: I answer, that Order also has its Quantity; There is in it, that which goes before, and that which follows; There is Distance or Interval. Relative things have their Quantity, as well as absolute ones. For instance, Ratios or Proportions in Mathematicks, have their Quantity, and are measured by Logarithms; and yet they are Relations. And therefore though Time and Space consist in Relations, yet they have their Quantity.

To § 15.

55. As to the Question, Whether God could have created the World sooner; 'tis necessary here to understand each other rightly. Since I have demonstrated, that Time, without Things, is nothing else but a mere ideal Possibility; 'tis manifest, if any one should say that this same World, which <217> has been actually created, might have been created sooner, without any other Change; he would say nothing that is intelligible. For there is no mark or difference, whereby it would be possible to know, that this World was created sooner. And therefore, (as I have already said,) to suppose that God created the same World sooner, is supposing a Chimerical Thing. 'Tis making Time a thing absolute, independent upon God; whereas Time does only co-exist with Creatures, and is only conceived by the Order and Quantity of their Changes.

56. But yet, absolutely speaking, one may conceive that an Universe began sooner, than it actually did. Let us suppose our Universe, or any other, to be represented by the Figure A F;Figure and that the Ordinate A B represents its first State; and the Ordinates C D, E F, its following States: I say, one may conceive that such a World began sooner, by conceiving the Figure prolonged backwards, and by adding to it S R A B S. For thus, Things being encreased, Time will be also encreased. But whether such an Augmentation be reasonable and agreeable to God's Wisdom, is <219> another Question, to which we answer in the Negative; otherwise God would have made such an Augmentation. It would be like as

Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam

Jungere si velit.

The case is the same with respect to the destruction of the Universe. As one might conceive something added to the Beginning, so one might also conceive something taken off towards the End. But such a Retrenching from it, would be also unreasonable.

57. Thus it appears how we are to understand, that God created things at what Time he pleased; For this depends upon the Things, which he resolved to create. But Things being once resolved upon, together with their Relations; there remains no longer any choice about the Time and the Place, which of themselves have nothing in them real, nothing that can distinguish them, nothing that is at all discernible.

58. One cannot therefore say, as the Author does here, that the Wisdom of God may have good reasons to create this World at such or such a particular Time: That particular Time, considered without the things, being an impossible fiction; and good reasons for a choice, being not to be found, where every thing is indiscernible.


59. When I speak of This World, I mean the whole Universe of material and immaterial Creatures taken together, from the beginning of Things. But if any one mean only the beginning of the material World, and suppose immaterial Creatures before it; he would have somewhat more Reason for his Supposition. For Time then being marked by Things that existed already, it would be no longer indifferent; and there might be room for choice. And yet indeed, this would be only putting off the difficulty. For, supposing the whole Universe of immaterial and material Creatures together, to have a beginning; there is no longer any Choice about the Time, in which God would place that Beginning.

60. And therefore one must not say, as the Author does here, that God created things in what particular Space, and at what particular Time he pleased. For, All Time and All Spaces being in themselves perfectly uniform and indiscernible from each other, one of them cannot please more than another.

61. I shall not enlarge hereupon my Opinion explained elsewhere, that there are no created Substances wholly destitute of Matter. For I hold with the Ancients, and according to Reason, that Angels or Intelligences, and Souls separated from a gross Body, have always subtil Bodies, <223> though they themselves be incorporeal. The vulgar Philosophy easily admits all sorts of Fictions: Mine is more strict.

62. I don't say that Matter and Space are the same Thing. I only say, there is no Space, where there is no Matter; and that Space in it self is not an absolute reality. Space and Matter differ, as Time and Motion. However, these things, though different, are inseparable.

63. But yet it does not at all follow, that Matter is eternal and necessary; unless we suppose Space to be eternal and necessary: A Supposition ill grounded in all respects.

To § 16, and 17.

64. I think I have answered every thing; And I have particularly replied to That Objection, that Space and Time have Quantity, and that Order has none. See above, Numb. 54.

65. I have clearly shown that the Contradiction lies in the Hypothesis of the opposite Opinion, which looks for a difference where there is none. And it would be a manifest Iniquity to infer from thence, that I have acknowledged a Contradiction in my own Opinion.


To § 18.

66. Here I find again an Argument, which I have overthrown above, Numb. 17. The Author says, God may have good Reasons to make two Cubes perfectly equal and alike: And then (says he) God must needs assign them their Places, though every other Respect be perfectly equal. But Things ought not to be separated from their Circumstances. This Argument consists in incomplete Notions. God's Resolutions are never abstract and imperfect: As if God decreed, first, to create the two Cubes; and then, made another decree where to place them. Men, being such limited Creatures as they are, may act in this manner. They may resolve upon a thing, and then find themselves perplexed about Means, Ways, Places, and Circumstances. But God never takes a Resolution about the Ends, without resolving at the same time about the Means, and all the Circumstances. Nay, I have shown in my Theodicæa, that, properly speaking, there is but One Decree for the whole Universe, whereby God resolved to bring it out of possibility into Existence. And therefore God will not chuse a Cube, without chusing its Place at the same time; And he will never chuse among Indiscernibles.


67. The Parts of Space are not determined and distinguished, but by the Things which are in it: And the Diversity of Things in Space, determines God to act differently upon different Parts of Space. But Space without Things, has nothing whereby it may be distinguished; and indeed not any thing actual.

68. If God is resolved to place a certain Cube of Matter at all, he is also resolved in what particular Place to put it. But 'tis with respect to Other Parts of Matter; and not with respect to bare Space it self, in which there is nothing to distinguish it.

69. But Wisdom does not allow God to place at the same time two Cubes perfectly equal and alike; because there is no way to find any Reason for assigning them different Places. At this Rate, there would be [5] a Will without a Motive.

70. A Will without Motive, (such as superficial Reasoners suppose to be in God,) I compar'd to Epicurus's Chance. The Author answers; Epicurus's Chance is a blind Necessity, and not a Choice of Will. I reply, that Epicurus's Chance is not a Necessity, but Something indifferent. Epicurus brought it in on purpose to avoid Necessity. 'Tis true, Chance is Blind; But a Will without Motive would be no less Blind, and no less owing to mere Chance.


To § 19.

71. The Author repeats here, what has been already confuted above, Numb. 21; that Matter cannot be created, without God's chusing among Indiscernibles. He would be in the right, if Matter consisted of Atoms, similar Particles, or other the like Fictions of superficial Philosophy. But That great Principle, which proves there is no Choice among Indiscernibles, destroys also these ill-contrived Fictions.

To § 20.

72. The Author objected against me in his Third Paper, (Numb. 7, and 8;) that God would not have in himself a Principle of Acting, if he was determined by Things External. I answered, that the Ideas of External Things are in him; and that therefore he is determined by Internal Reasons, that is, by his Wisdom. But the Author here will not understand, to what end I said it.

To § 21.

73. He frequently confounds, in his Objections against me, what God will not do, with what he cannot do. See above Numb. 9. For Example; God can do every <231> Thing that is possible, but he will do only what is best. And therefore I don't say, as the Author here will have it, that God cannot limit the Extension of Matter; but 'tis likely he will not do it, and that he has thought it better to set no Bounds to Matter.

74. From Extension to Duration, non valet consequentia. Though the Extension of Matter were unlimited, yet it would not follow that its Duration would be also unlimited; nay, even à parte ante, it would not follow, that it had no Beginning. If it is the Nature of Things in the whole, to grow uniformly in Perfection; the Universe of Creatures must have had a Beginning. And therefore, there will be Reasons to limit the Duration of Things, even though there were none to limit their Extension. Besides, the World's having a Beginning, does not derogate from the Infinity of its Duration à parte post; but Bounds of the Universe would derogate from the Infinity of its Extension. And therefore it is more reasonable to admit a Beginning of the World, than to admit any Bounds of it; that the Character of its infinite Author, may be in Both Respects preserved.

75. However, those who have admitted the Eternity of the World, or, at least, (as some famous Divines have done,) the possi <233> bility of its Eternity; did not, for all that, deny its dependence upon God; as the Author here lays to their Charge, without any Ground.

To § 22, 23.

76. He here further objects, without any Reason, that, according to my Opinion, whatever God can do, he must needs have done. As if he was ignorant, that I have solidly confuted this Notion in my Theodicæa; and that I have overthrown the Opinion of those, who maintain that there is nothing possible but what really happens; as some ancient Philosophers did, and among others Diodorus in Cicero. The Author confounds Moral Necessity, which proceeds from the Choice of what is Best, with Absolute Necessity: He confounds the Will of God, with his Power. God can produce every Thing that is possible, or whatever does not imply a Contradiction; but he wills only to produce what is the Best among Things possible. See what has been said above, Numb. 9.

77. God is not therefore a necessary Agent in producing Creatures, since he acts with Choice. However, what the Author adds here, is ill-grounded, viz. that a Necessary Agent would not be an Agent at all. He frequently affirms Things <235> boldly, and without any ground; advancing Notions which cannot be proved.

To § 24 — 28.

78. The Author alledges, it was not affirmed that Space is God's Sensorium, but only as it were his Sensorium. The latter seems to be as improper, and as little intelligible, as the former.

To § 29.

79. Space is not the Place of all Things; for it is not the Place of God. Otherwise there would be a thing co-eternal with God, and independent upon him; nay, he himself would depend upon it, if he has need of Place.

80. Nor do I see, how it can be said, that Space is the Place of Ideas; for Ideas are in the Understanding.

81. 'Tis also very strange to say, that the Soul of Man is the Soul of the Images it perceives. The Images, which are in the Understanding, are in the Mind: But if the Mind was the Soul of the Images, they would then be extrinsick to it. And if the Author means corporeal Images, how then will he have a human Mind to be the Soul of those Images, they being only transient Impressions in a Body belonging to that Soul?


82. If 'tis by means of a Sensorium, that God perceives what passes in the World; it seems that Things act upon him; and that therefore he is what we mean by a Soul of the World. The Author charges me with repeating Objections, without taking notice of the Answers; but I don't see that he has answered this Difficulty. They had better wholly lay aside this pretended Sensorium.

To § 30.

83. The Author speaks, as if he did not understand, how, according to my Opinion, the Soul is a Representative Principle. Which is, as if he had never heard of my [6] Pre-establised Harmony.

84. I don't assent to the vulgar Notions, that the Images of Things are conveyed by the Organs [of Sense] to the Soul. For, it is not conceivable by what Passage, or by what Means of Conveyance, these Images can be carried from the Organ to the Soul. This Vulgar Notion in Philosophy is not intelligible, as the new Cartesians have sufficiently shown. It cannot be explained, how Immaterial Substance is affected by Matter: And to maintain an unintelligible Notion thereupon, is having recourse to the Scholastick Chimerical Notion of I know not what inexplicable Species Intentionales, passing from the Organs <239> to the Soul. Those Cartesians saw the Difficulty; but they could not explain it. They had recourse to a Concourse of God, which would really be miraculous. But, I think, I have given the true Solution of that Ænigma.

85. To say that God perceives what passes in the World, because he is present to the Things, and not by a continual Production of them; is saying something unintelligible. A mere Presence or Proximity of Co-existence, is not sufficient to make us understand, how that which passes in One Being, should answer to what passes in another.

86. Besides; This is exactly falling into That Opinion, which makes God to be the Soul of the World; seeing it supposes God to perceive Things, not by their dependence upon him, that is, by a continual Production of what is good and perfect in them; but by a Kind of Perception, such as that by which Men fancy Our Soul perceives what passes in the Body. This is a degrading of God's Knowledge very much.

87. In Truth and Reality, this way of Perception is wholly Chimerical, and has no place even in Human Souls. They perceive what passes without them, by what passes within them, answering to the <241> Things without; in virtue of the [7] Harmony, which God has pre-established by the most beautiful and the most admirable of all his Productions; whereby [8] every simple Substance is by its nature, (if one may so say,) a concentration, and a living mirror of the whole Universe, [9] according to its Point of view. Which is likewise one of the most beautiful and most undeniable Proofs of the existence of God; since none but God, viz. the universal Cause, can produce such a Harmony of things. But God himself cannot perceive things by the same Means whereby he makes other Beings perceive them. He perceives them, because he is able to produce That Means. And Other Beings would not be caused to perceive them, if he himself did not produce them all harmonious, and had not therefore in himself a representation of them; Not as if that Representation came from the Things, but because the Things proceed from Him, and because he is the Efficient and Exemplary Cause of them. He perceives them, because they proceed from him; if one may be allowed to say, that he perceives them: Which ought not to be said, unless we divest That Word of its imperfection; for else it seems to signify, that things act upon him. They exist, and are known to him, because he understands and wills them; and because what he wills; is the same, as what exists. Which ap <243> pears so much the more, because he makes them to be perceived by one another; and makes them perceive one another in consequence of the Natures which he has given them once for all, and which he Keeps up only, according to the laws of every one of them severally; which, though different one from another, yet terminate in an exact correspondence of the Results of the whole. This surpasses all the Ideas, which Men have generally framed concerning the divine Perfections, and the works of God; and raises [our notion of] them, to the highest degree; as Mr. Bayle has acknowledged, though he believed, without any ground, that it exceeded possibility.

88. To infer from That passage of Holy Scripture, wherein God is said to have rested from his Works, that there is no longer a continual Production of them; would be to make a very ill use of that Text. 'Tis true, there is no production of New Simple Substances: But it would be wrong to infer from thence, that God is now in the World, only as the Soul is conceived to be in the Body, governing it merely by his presence, without any concourse being necessary to continue its Existence.

To § 31.

89. The Harmony, or Correspondence between the Soul and the Body, is not a perpetual Miracle; but the effect or consequence of an original Miracle worked at the Creation of things; as all natural things are. Though indeed it is a perpetual Wonder, as many natural things are.

90. The word, Pre-established Harmony, is a Term of Art, I confess; but 'tis not a Term that explains nothing, since it is made out very intelligibly; and the Author alledges nothing, that shows there is any difficulty in it.

91. The Nature of [10] every simple Substance, Soul, or true Monad, being such, that its following State is a consequence of the preceding one; here now is the cause of the Harmony found out. For God needs only to make a simple Substance become once and from the beginning, a representation of the Universe, [11] according to its Point of view; Since from thence alone it follows, that it will be so perpetually; and that all simple Substances will always have a Harmony among themselves, because they always represent the same Universe.


To § 32.

92. 'Tis true, that, according to Me, the Soul[12] does not disturb the Laws of the Body, nor the Body those of the Soul; and that the Soul and Body do only agree together; the one acting freely, according to the rules of Final Causes; and the other acting [13] mechanically, according to the laws of Efficient Causes. But this does not derogate from the Liberty of our Souls; as the Author here will have it. For, every Agent which acts according to Final Causes, is free, though it happens to agree with an Agent acting only by Efficient Causes without Knowledge, or mechanically; because God, foreseeing what the free Cause would do, did from the beginning regulate the Machine in such manner, that it cannot fail to agree with that free Cause. Mr. Jaquelot has very well resolved this difficulty, in one of his Books against Mr. Bayle; and I have cited the Passage, in my Theodicæa, Part I. § 63. I shall speak of it again below, Numb. 124.

To § 33.

93. I don't admit, that every action gives a new force to the Patient. It frequently happens in the concourse of Bodies, that each of them preserves its force; as <249> when two equal hard Bodies meet directly. Then the Direction only is changed, without any change in the Force; each of the Bodies receiving the Direction of the other, and going back with the same swiftness it came.

94. However, I am far from saying that it is supernatural to give a new force to a Body; for I acknowledge that One Body does frequently receive a new Force from another, which loses as much of its own. But I say only, 'tis Supernatural that the whole Universe of Bodies should receive a new force; and consequently that one body should acquire any new force, without the loss of as much in others. And therefore I say likewise, 'tis an indefensible opinion to suppose the Soul gives force to the Body; for then the whole Universe of Bodies would receive a new force.

95. The Author's Dilemma here, is ill grounded, viz. that according to Me, either a Man must act Supernaturally, or be a mere Machine, like a Watch. For, Man does not act Supernaturally: And his Body is truely a Machine, acting only mechanically; and yet his Soul is a free Cause.


To § 34, and 35.

96. I here refer to what has been or shall be said in this Paper, Numb. 82, 86, and 111; concerning the comparison between God and a Soul of the World; and how the opinion contrary to mine, brings the one of these too near to the other.

To § 36.

97. I here also refer to what I have before said, concerning the Harmony between the Soul and the Body, Numb. 89, &c.

To § 37.

98. The Author tells us, that the Soul is not in the Brain, but in the Sensorium; without saying What that Sensorium is. But supposing That Sensorium to be extended, as I believe the Author understands it; the same difficulty still remains, and the Question returns, Whether the Soul be diffused through that whole Extension, be it great or small. For, more or less in bigness, is nothing to the purpose here.

To § 38.

99. I don't undertake here to establish my Dynamicks, or my Doctrine of Forces: <253> This would not be a proper Place for it. However, I can very well answer the Objection here brought against me. I have affirmed that [14] Active Forces are preserved in the World [without diminution.] The Author objects, that two soft or Un-elastick Bodies meeting together, lose some of their force. I answer, No. 'Tis true, their Wholes lose it with respect to their Total Motion; but their Parts receive it, being shaken by the force of the Concourse. And therefore That loss of Force, is only in appearance. The forces are not destroyed, but scattered among the small parts. The Bodies do not lose their forces; but the case here is the same, as when Men change great Money into small. However, I agree that the quantity of motion does not remain the same; And herein I approve what Sir Isaac Newton says, page 341 of his Opticks, which the Author here quotes. But I have shown elsewhere, that there is a difference between the quantity of Motion, and the quantity of Force.

To § 39.

100. The Author maintained against me, that Force does naturally lessen in the material Universe; and that This arises from the dependence of things, (Third Reply, § 13 and 14.) In my [15] Third Answer, I desired him to prove that this Imper <255> fection is a consequence of the dependence of things. He avoids answering my demand; by falling upon an Incident, and denying this to be an imperfection. But whether it be an imperfection, or not, he should have proved that 'tis a consequence of the dependence of things.

101. However; That which would make the Machine of the World as imperfect, as that of an unskilful Watchmaker; surely must needs be an imperfection.

102. The Author says now, that it is a Consequence of the Inertia of Matter. But This also, he will not prove. That Inertia, alledged here by him, mentioned by Kepler, repeated by Cartesius, and made use of by Me in my Theodicæa, in order to give a notion of the natural imperfection of Creatures; has no other effect, than to make the Velocities diminish, when the Quantities of Matter are encreased: But this is without any diminution of the Forces.

To § 40.

103. I maintained, that the dependence of the Machine of the World upon its divine Author, is rather a reason why there can be no such imperfection in it; and that the Work of God does not want to be set right again; that it is not liable to be disordered; and lastly, that it cannot lessen in Perfection. Let any one guess now, how the <257> Author can hence infer against me, as he does, that, if this be the Case, then the material World must be infinite and eternal, without any beginning; and that God must always have created as many Men and other Kinds of Creatures, as can possibly be created.

To § 41.

104. I don't say, that Space is an Order or Situation, which makes Things capable of being situated: This would be Nonsense. Any one needs only consider my own Words, and add them to what I said above, (Numb. 47.) in order to show how the Mind comes to form to it self an Idea of Space, and yet that there needs not be any real and absolute Being answering to that Idea, distinct from the Mind, and from all Relations. I don't say therefore, that Space is an Order or Situation, but an Order of Situations; or [an Order] according to which, Situations are disposed; And that abstract Space is That Order of Situations, when they are conceived as being possible. Space is therefore something [merely] Ideal. But, it seems, the Author will not understand me. I have already, in this Paper, (Numb. 54.) answered the Objection, that Order is not capable of Quantity.


105. The Author objects here, that Time cannot be an Order of successive Things, because the Quantity of Time may become greater or less, and yet the Order of Successions continue the same. I answer; this is not so. For if the Time is greater, there will be More successive and like States interposed; and if it be less, there will be fewer; seeing there is no Vacuum, nor Condensation, or Penetration, (if I may so speak,) in Times, any more than in Places.

106. 'Tis true, the Immensity and Eternity of God would subsist, though there were no Creatures; but those Attributes would have no dependence either on Times or Places. If there were no Creatures, there would be neither Time nor Place, and consequently no actual Space. The Immensity of God is independent upon Space, as his Eternity is independent upon Time. These Attributes signify only, that God would be present and co-existent with all the Things that should exist. And therefore I don't admit what's here alledged, that if God existed alone, there would be Time and Space as there is now: Whereas then, in my Opinion, they would be only in the Ideas of God as mere Possibilities. The Immensity and Eternity of God, are things more transcendent, than the Duration and Extension of Creatures; not only with respect to the Greatness, but also to <261> the Nature of the Things. Those Divine Attributes do not imply the Supposition of Things extrinsick to God, such as are actual Places and Times. These Truths have been sufficiently acknowledged by Divines and Philosophers.

To § 42.

107. I maintained, that an Operation of God, by which he should mend the Machine of the material World, [16] tending in its Nature (as this Author pretends) to lose all its Motion, would be a Miracle. His Answer was; that it would not be a miraculous Operation, because it would be usual, and must frequently happen. I reply'd; that 'tis not Usualness or Unusualness, that makes a Miracle properly so called, or a Miracle of the highest Sort; but it's surpassing the Powers of Creatures; and that this is the [general] Opinion of Divines and Philosophers: And that therefore the Author acknowledges at least, that the thing He introduces, and I disallow, is, according to the received Notion, a Miracle of the highest Sort, that is, one which surpasses all created Powers: And that this is the very Thing which all Men endeavour to avoid in Philosophy. He answers now, that this is appealing from Reason to vulgar Opinion. But I reply again, that <263> this vulgar Opinion, according to which we ought in Philosophy to avoid, as much as possible, what surpasses the Natures of Creatures; is a very reasonable Opinion. Otherwise nothing will be easier than to account for Any thing by bringing in the Deity, Deum ex Machina, without minding the Natures of Things.

108. Besides; the common Opinion of Divines, ought not to be looked upon merely as vulgar Opinion. A Man should have weighty Reasons, before he ventures to contradict it; and I see no such Reasons here.

109. The Author seems to depart from his own Notion, according to which a Miracle ought to be unusual; when, in § 31, he objects to me, (though without any Ground,) that the pre-established Harmony would be a perpetual Miracle. Here, I say, he seems to depart from his own Notion; unless he had a Mind to argue against me ad Hominem.

To § 43.

110. If a Miracle differs from what is Natural, only in Appearance, and with respect to Us; so that we call That only a Miracle, which we seldom see; there will be no internal real Difference, between a Miracle and what is natural; and at the bottom, every thing will be either equally natu <265> ral, or equally miraculous. Will Divines like the former, or Philosophers the latter?

111. Will not this Doctrine, moreover, tend to make God the Soul of the World; if all his Operations are natural, like those of our Souls upon our Bodies? And so God will be a part of Nature.

112. In good Philosophy, and sound Theology, we ought to distinguish between what is explicable by the Natures and Powers of Creatures, and what is explicable only by the Powers of the Infinite Substance. We ought to make an infinite Difference between the Operation of God, which goes beyond the Extent of Natural Powers; and the Operations of Things that follow the Law which God has given them, and which he has enabled them to follow by their natural Powers, though not without his Assistance.

113. This overthrows [17] Attractions, properly so called, and other Operations inexplicable by the natural Powers of Creatures; which Kinds of Operations, the Assertors of them must suppose to be effected by Miracles, or else have recourse to Absurdities, that is, to the occult Qualities of the Schools; which some Men begin to revive under the specious Name of Forces; but they bring us back again into the Kingdom of Darkness. That is, inventa fruge glandibus vesci.


114. In the Time of Mr. Boyle, and other excellent Men, who flourished in England under Charles the IId, no Body would have ventured to publish such Chimerical Notions. I hope, That happy Time will return under so good a Government as the present. Mr. Boyle made it his chief Business to inculcate, that every thing was done mechanically in natural Philosophy. But it is Men's Misfortune to grow, at last, out of Conceit with Reason it self, and to be weary of Light. Chimæra's begin to appear again, and they are pleasing because they have something in them that is wonderful. What has happened in Poetry, happens also in the Philosophical World. People are grown weary of rational Romances, such as were the French Clelia, or the German Aramene; and they are become fond again of the Tales of Fairies.

115. As for the Motions of the Celestial Bodies, and even the Formation of Plants and Animals; there is nothing in them that looks like a Miracle, except their Beginning. The Organism of Animals is a Mechanism, which supposes a Divine Preformation. What follows upon it, is purely natural, and entirely Mechanical.


116. Whatever is performed in the Body of Man, and of every Animal, is [18] no less Mechanical, than what is performed in a Watch. The Difference is only such, as ought to be between a Machine of Divine Invention, and the Workmanship of such a limited Artist as Man is.

To § 44.

117. There is no Difficulty among Divines, about the Miracles of Angels. The Question is only about the use of that Word. It may he said that Angels work Miracles; but less properly so called, or of an inferior Order. To dispute about this, would be a mere Question about a Word. It may be said that the Angel, who carried Habakkuk through the Air, and he who troubled the Water of the Pool of Bethesda, worked a Miracle. But it was not a Miracle of the highest Order; for it may be explained by the natural Powers of Angels, which surpass those of Man.

To § 45.

118. I objected, that an Attraction, properly so called, or in the Scholastic Sense, would be an Operation at a Distance, without any Means intervening. The Author answers here, that an Attraction without any Means intervening, would be indeed a <271> Contradiction. Very well! But then what does he mean, when he will have the Sun to attract the Globe of the Earth through an empty Space? Is it God himself that performs it? But this would be a Miracle, if ever there was any. This would surely exceed the Powers of Creatures.

119. Or, are perhaps some immaterial Substances, or some spiritual Rays, or some Accident without a Substance, or some kind of Species Intentionalis, or some other I know not what, the Means by which this is pretended to be performed? Of which sort of things, the Author seems to have still a good Stock in his Head, without explaining himself sufficiently.

120. That Means of Communication (says he) is invisible, intangible, not Mechanical. He might as well have added, inexplicable, unintelligible, precarious, groundless, and unexampled.

121. But it is regular, (says the Author,) it is constant, and consequently natural. I answer; it cannot be regular, without being reasonable; nor natural, unless it can be explained by the Natures of Creatures.

122. If the Means, which causes an Attraction properly so called, be constant, and at the same time inexplicable by the Powers of Creatures, and yet be true; it must be a perpetual Miracle: And if it is <273> not miraculous, it is false. 'Tis a Chimerical Thing, a Scholastick occult Quality.

123. The Case would be the same, as in a Body going round without receding in the Tangent, though nothing that can be explained, hindered it from receding. Which is an Instance I have already alledged; and the Author has not thought fit to answer it, because it shows too clearly the difference between what is truely Natural on the one side, and a chimerical occult Quality of the Schools on the other.

To § 46.

124. All the natural forces of Bodies, are subject to Mechanical Laws; and all the natural Powers of Spirits, are subject to Moral Laws. The former follow the Order of Efficient Causes; and the latter follow the Order of Final Causes. The former operate without Liberty, like a Watch; the latter operate with liberty, though they exactly agree with That Machine, which Another Cause, Free and Superior, has adapted to them before-hand. I have already spoken of this, above, No 92.

125. I shall conclude with what the Author objected against me at the Beginning of this Fourth Reply: To which I have already given an Answer above, (Numb. 18, 19, 20.) But I deferred speaking more fully <275> upon that Head, to the Conclusion of this Paper. He pretended, that I have been guilty of a Petitio Principii. But, of What Principle, I beseech you? Would to God, less clear Principles had never been laid down. The Principle in Question, is the Principle of the want of a sufficient Reason; in order to any thing's existing, in order to any Event's happening, in order to any truth's taking place. Is This a Principle, that wants to be proved? The Author granted it, or pretended to grant it, Numb. 2, of his Third Paper; Possibly, because the denial of it would have appeared too unreasonable. But either he has done it only in words, or he contradicts himself, or retracts his concession.

126. I dare say, that without this great Principle, one cannot prove the existence of God, nor account for many other important Truths.

127. Has not every body made use of This Principle, upon a thousand occasions? 'Tis true, it has been neglected, out of carelesness, on many occasions: But That Neglect has been the true cause of Chimæras; such as are, (for instance,) an absolute real Time or Space, a Vacuum, Atoms, Attraction in the Scholastick sense, a Physical Influence of the Soul over the Body, and a thousand other Fictions, either derived from erroneous opinions of the Ancients, or lately invented by Modern Philosophers.


128. Was it not upon account of Epicurus's violating this great Principle, that the Ancients derided his groundless Declination of Atoms? And I dare say, the Scholastick Attraction, revived in our days, and no less derided about thirty Years ago, is not at all more reasonable.

129. I have often defied People to alledge an Instance against that great Principle, to bring any one uncontested Example wherein it fails. But they have never done it, nor ever will. 'Tis certain, there is an infinite number of Instances, wherein it succeeds in all the Known Cases in which it has been made use of. From whence one may reasonably judge, that it will succeed also in Unknown Cases, or in such cases as can only by its means become known: According to the Method of Experimental Philosophy, which proceeds a posteriori; though the Principle were not perhaps otherwise justified by bare Reason, or a priori.

130. To deny this great Principle, is likewise to do as Epicurus did; who was reduced to deny That Other great Principle, viz. the Principle of Contradiction; which is, that every intelligible Enunciation must be either true, or false. Chrysippus undertook to prove That Principle against Epicurus; but I think I need not <279> imitate him. I have already said, what is sufficient to justify mine: And I might say something more upon it; but perhaps it would be too abstruse for this present Dispute. And, I believe, reasonable and impartial Men will grant me, that having forced an Adversary to deny That Principle, is reducing him ad absurdum.

[1] See Appendix, No 3.

[2] See Appendix, No 3.

[3] See Appendix, No. 10.

[4] See Appendix, No. 10.

[5] See Appendix, No 4.

[6] See Appendix, No 5.

[7] See Appendix, No. 5.

[8] See Appendix, No 2.

[9] See Appendix, No. 11.

[10] See Appendix, No 2.

[11] See Appendix, No 11.

[12] See Appendix, No 5.

[13] See Appendix, No 13.

[14] See above, the Note on § 13, of Dr. Clarke's Third Reply.

[15] Which is Mr. Leibnitz's Fourth Paper, in this Collection.

[16] See above, the Note on § 13. of Dr. Clarke's Third Reply.

[17] See Appendix, No 8.

[18] See Appendix, No 13.

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