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ral Government of the World; the Nature of Necesity and Fate, and of Liberty of Astion ; and the Foundation, Distinction, and Consequences of Virtue and Vice, Good and Evil. It was occasioned by two Books of Mr. Jackson's, one entituled, The Existence and Unity of God proved from his Nature and Attributes. The other being the Defence of it.
Mr. Dudgeon had carefully perused these Books, and he thought that Mr. Jackson had therein fully demonstrated the necessary Existence of God, his Eternity, Immensity, and Unity: but then he could frame no Idea of his Power being exerted ad Extra, frequently supposed and argued from in both those Treatises: nay, he apprehended a Power exerted either from Eternity or in Time, ad Extra, with respect to the immense Being, to be impossible ; and the Supposition of it, or of any Thing's existing, in consequence thereof, ad Extra, while nothing can be imagined to exist externally to che immense Substance, a Contradiction in Terms.
Mr. Jackson, in Answer to this, first defines the Meaning of God's exerting Power ad Extra to be, “ The Exertion of Power in the Production or Go“ vernment of Things of extraneous Effence and “ Substance, or such as are not his Substance, and " whose Existence is in Space, and comprehended “ by the immense omnipresent Substance of God.” And then he directly asserts, in Opposition to Mr. Dudgeon, that “ The Substance of God compre
hending all Things, does not exclude the Existence “ of Things comprehended by it, or make them to " be his Substance : nor does the Nature of one “ immense Being exclude the Possibility of the Ex“ istence of other Beings, whether finite or infinite ; " but only of another immenfe Being of the same 6 Kind.”
This did not prove satisfactory to Mr. Dudgeon, who in a second Letter repeats and enforces his Objection. « Exertion of Power, says he, hath a ne“ cessary Relation to particular Place, Time, Mo
« tion, Change ; all which Ideas are contradictory “ to our Ideas of an immense Substance. ---- But sup
posing the Existence of other Substances, in confequence
of God's Exertion of Power, to be possible, yet the immense Substance cannot comprehend ano“ther Substance of different kind, unless it hath Va
cuity in it, equal to the real Dimensions of the “ comprehended Substance, which is a Supposing it 66 immense and not immense at the same time. " But if it be said that the Divine Substance pene" trates or pervades the Substances comprehended by “ it, and that yet the Penetration is not mutual ; this " is attempting to defend one Impossibility by ano" ther; or else we must suppose that the one hath 66 no real Dimensions, and consequently is no real di“ stinct Substance and Existence : wherefore, if the " Divine Immensity is demonstrated, no other Sub« stance exists."
Some Passages of Mr. Jackson's Reply to this are as follow.
“ You allow, says he to Mr. Dudgeon, " the Divine Substance is immense; and since it is “ self-evident, that there are other Existents, their 6 Place of Existence must be the Divine Immensity « or Space, which cannot exclude folid Existents, 66 unless itself be folid; which Motion demonstrates ç it not to be: nor unsolid Existents, unless they are 6 of the same kind, and coincided with it by Uni“ formity of Existence. The Exertion of the Di• vine Power requires no particular Place, Motion, “ &c. ---- When the human Mind exerts Power, as
by Volition, Reflection, &c. the Exertion of these “ Powers supposes no Place, but that of the intellec« tual Substance: Power is exerted in the Mind it66 felf. So God's Power is not exerted extraneous to « his Substance; it exists and is exerted in his Sub“ stance, not out of it, whatever is the Effect or 66 Production of that Exertion. ---- There is no Ab“ furdity in supposing that God is Locus OMNIUM. " I cannot easily conceive different kinds of Exten“ fion, as I can of Substance and Existence. If
is finite changeable Substance exists not, or is annihila“ ted, I cannot conceive Space to be annihilated, or to " be more or less than it necessarily is.—The Existence " of Substance supposes Extension and Space ; but
whether the Dimensions of finite mutable Existents " are distinct from Space itself, is very difficult to " determine. — If Extension distinct from Space does i exist, and belong to other Existents, it is essen“ tially distinct in kind from Space, as being solid 16 and moveable. - I do not at all see the Confe" quence of Space, * or the Immenlicy of God's Sub“ stance, excluding the Existence of all other Sub“ stances — any more than that the Immensity or
Infinity of his Properties, as Power, Knowledge, &c, ós muft necessarily exclude the Existence of other « finite Properties. of
In the Answer to this Letter Mr. Dudgeon charges Mr. Jackson with begging the Question, when in his laft he says, that the Existence of something which is not the immense Substance of God, or any Property of it, is self-evident. This, as he says, is the point yet to be proved. He can, as he adds, easily conceive
* Space is here synonimous with the Immenfity of the Divine Substance. The Divine Immenfiry is an abitraat Idea. Is it not odd to talk of an abstract Idea excluding the Existence of other Substance ? No one ever could suppole that Space excluded the Existence of any Subftance; but it is eafy and rational enough to fuppose, a Substance that absolutely fills the Whole of Space must exclude the Existence of all other Substance out of that Space whicha it entirely fills. And if Space is filled, it is so no less with regard to Beings of a different than of the same Presence. In short, how justly foever Mr. Jackson may charge Mr Dudgeon's Notion here with Absurdity, I greatly question if he can clear his own Scheme from the fame Imputation. That Fancy of God's filling intinite Space can never, I fear, be disengaged from Mr. Dudgeon's Consequences : and feeing these Consequences are oppolite to our clearest Conceptions, we have some Reason to doubt the Truth of that Principle from which they seem so readily to flow. -- Upon a Survey of the whole Debate it appears, that these acute and ingenious Disputants have fairly overthrown one another's Tenets, but have neither of them establish'd their own.
+ Metbinks every one that considers must discorn the Cases to be widely different.
that the Idea of an immense Substance includes the Idea of infinite Power to support infinite Modes, inhering in it; but to suppose other Substances, besides it, finite or infinite, of different kind, to exist, appears to him an absolute Impossibility. And this he apprehends to be agreeable to what Mr. Jackson himself had said in Defence of Existence and Unity, p. 179. viz. That one Being can no more have the same Presence than the same Existence, or than it can be the same Being with another. “ Now the Divine Substance being omni“ present, either it hath the same Presence with the
supposed different Substances, which Mr. Jackson "owns to be, as indeed it is, impossible; or else
they have no Presence at all; and consequently no “ distinct Existence or Substance. An immense “ Substance comprehending another or different Sub“ stance is an impossible Supposition: as on the con
trary it is evident, that any comprehending Sub6 stance must have Vacuity in it, equal to the real
Dimensions of the comprehended Substance or Sub" ftances; which to suppose of the immenfe Sub“ stance is a plain Contradiction, and a finite Sub, 66 ftance of no Dimensions is an Absurdity.” Mr. Jackson at the Close of his last Letter had hinted, as if Mr. Dudgeon's Reasoning might infer the Impossibility of any Existence but of God, which he calls an evident Absurdity. Mr. Dudgeon here owns the Consequence, if by Existence is meant Substance; and the Absurdity, as he says, seems to lie in the contrary Supposition. But if by Existence be meant Things immediately dependent upon, and comprehended by, the immense Substance or Being, no such Conclusion follows. He goes on, “ Intelligence and Will, as “ they are Properties of the one infinite Being, have “ no relation to particular Time, Place, &c. But " for Volitions, Reflections, &c. they have a neceffary “ relation to particular Time, at least.”
He carries this Consideration somewhat farther, but what I have quoted may suffice.
In yet nei
In the Answer to this, Mr. Jackson tells Mr. Dudgeon, that in confessing himself to exist, he owned that to be self-evident which Mr. Jackson held to be fo, but which he faid was the Point to be proved : for his own Existence, which is distinct from God's, must be either Substance or Property ; and ther God's Substance or any Property of it. And then as to the Objection against the Existence of any Substance but God's, from there being no Vacuity in it to comprehend any other, he says, " Finite Ex“ istents, and Motion of Existents, are so far from “ being incompatible with the Immensity of the Diu vine Substance or Space, that they cannot be con“ceived without the Presupposition of it; and are “ only excluded by the Immensity of the same spe“ cifick Substance, or by folid or resisting Sub“ stance. — God's Presence excludes the Presence " of nothing which has not the same Presence or • Mode of Existence: and Modes or Properties « cannot be conceived without some kind of Presence belonging to them. Whatever we are, fure we move and act in Space, and so are present in it.
In the Letter wherein Mr. Dudgeon replies to this, he is very explicite in delivering those Opinions, for the sake of which he engaged in this Controversy, and which he had not so distinctly asserted before. " I confess, says he, my own Existence, most certain ; 66 but that I, a distinet Substance, exist, I never said. " On the contrary, I said, * that I immediately de
pend upon, and am supported and comprehended “ by the omnipotent and omnipresent Substance of " God; which is consistent with the Existence of " one only Substance, and every thing's being Mo“ difications of his Effence." - Mr. L udgeon thinks this Notion should not appear irrational to Mr. JackSon, who himself fays in his Existence and Unity, The finite Continuance or Time of every Thing, is their Exiftence in particular Portions of God's Duration. Now, as he asks, may not their finite Existence itself be as * He does so in his preceding Letter.