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would be in a manner certain that we should CHA P.
survive Death, provided it were certain that I.
Death would not be our Destruction, it must
be highly probable we shall survive it, if there
be no Ground to think Death will be our De-
struction.

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Now though I think it must be acknowledged, that prior to the natural and moral Proofs of a future Life commonly insisted upon, there would arise a general confused Suspicion, that in the great Shock and Alteration which we shall undergo by Death, We, i. e. our living Powers, might be wholly destroyed; yet even prior to those Proofs, there is really no particular diêtinct Ground or Reason for this Apprehension at all, so far as I can find. If there be, it must arise either, from the Reason of the thing, or from the Analogy of Nature,

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unavoidably ambiguous ; and may signify either the Destruction
of a living Being, so as that the same living being shall be un-
capable of ever perceiving or acting again at all: Or the De-
struction of those Means and Instruments by which it is capable
of its present Life, of its present State of Perception and of Action.
It is here used in the former Sense. When it is used in the
latter, the Epithet prefent is added. The Loss of a Man's Eye
is a Destruction of living Powers in the latter Sense. But we
have no Reason to think the Destruction of living Powers,
in the former Sense, to be possible. We have no more Reason
to think a Being endued with living Powers, ever loses them
during its whole Existence, than to believe that a Stone ever
acquires them.

But

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C3

PART But we cannot argue from the Reason of

I. the thing, that Death is the Destruction of Mliving Agents, because we know not at all

what Death is in itself; but only some of its Effects, such as the Diffolution of Flesh, Skin, and Bones. And these Effects do in no wise appear to imply the Destruction of a living Agent. And besides, as we are greatly in the Dark, upon what the Exercise of our living Powers depends, so we are wholly ignorant what the Powers themselves depend upon; the Powers themselves as distinguished, not only from their actual Exercise, but also from the present Capacity of exercising them; and as opposed to their Destruction: For Sleep, or however a Swoon, Thews us, not only that these Powers exist when they are not exercised, as the passive Power of Motion does in inanimate Matter ; but shews also that they exist, when there is no present Capacity of exercising them: or that the Capacities of exercising them for the present, as well as the actual Exercise of them, may be sufpended, and yet the Powers themselves remain undestroyed. Since then we know not at al! upon what the Existence of our living Powers depends, this shews further, there can no Probability be collected from the Reason of the thing, that Death will be their Destruction: because their Existence may depend,

upon

upon somewhat in no Degree affected by CH AP. Death; upon somewhat quite out of the I. reach of this King of Terrors. So that there is nothing more certain, than that the Reason of the thing shews us no Connection between Death, and the Destruction of living Agents. Nor can we find any thing throughout the whole Analogy of Nature, to afford us even the slightest Presumption, that Animals ever lose their living Powers; much less, if it were poffible, that they lose them by Death: for we have no Faculties wherewith to trace any beyond or through it, so as to see what be comes of them. This Event removes them from our View. It destroys the sensible Proof, which we had before their Death, of their being possessed of living Powers, but does not appear to afford the least Reason to believe that they are, then, or by that Event, deprived of them.

And our knowing, that they were possessed of these Powers, up to the very Period to which we have Faculties capable of tracing. them, is itself a Probability of their retaining them, beyond it. And this is confirmed, and a sensible Credibility is given to it, by observing the very great and astonishing Changes which we have experienced ; so great, that our Existence in another State of Life, of Perception and of Action, will be but ac

cording

C4

PART cording to a Method of providential Conduct, I, the like to which has been already exercised

even with regard to Ourselves; according to a Course of Nature, the like to which, we have already gone through,

However, as one cannot but be greatly sensible, how difficult it is to silence Imagination enough to make the Voice of Reason even distinctly heard in this Case; as we are accustomed, from our Youth up, to indulge that forward delusive Faculty, ever obtruding beyond its Sphere; of some Assistance indeed to Apprehension, but the Author of all Error: As we plainly lose Ourselves in gross and crude Conceptions of things, taking for granted that we are acquainted with, what indeed we are wholly ignorant of; it

may

be

proper to consider the imaginary Presumptions, that Death will be our Destruction, arising from thele Kinds of early and lasting Prejudices ; and to shew how little they can really amount to, even though we cannot wholly devest our. felves of Them. And,

I. All Presumption of Death's being the Destruction of living Beings, must go upon Supposition that they are compounded; and so, discerptible. But since Consciousness is a single and indivisible Power, it should seem that the Subject in which it resides, must be

fo

so too. For were the Motion of any Parti-CHAP. cle of Matter absolutely one and indivisible, 1. so as that it should imply a Contradi&tion to mm suppose Part of this Motion to exist, and Part not to exist, i. e. Part of this Matter to move, and Part to be at rest; then its Power of Motion would be indivisible; and so also would the Subject in which the Power inheres, namely the Particle of Matter : for if this could be divided into two, one Part might be moved and the other at rest, which is contrary to the Supposition. In like manner it has been argued, and, for any thing appearing to the contrary, justly, that since the Perception or Consciousness, which we have of our own Existence, is indivisible, so as that it is a Contradiction to suppose one Part of it should be here and the other there ; the

perceptive Power, or the Power of Consciousness, is indivisible too: and consequently the Subject in which it resides ; i. e. the conscious Being. Now upon Supposition That living Agent each Man calls himself, is thus a single Being, which there is at least no more Difficulty in conceiving than in conceiving it to be a Compound, and of which there is the Proof now mentioned; it follows, that our organized Bodies are no more ourselves or Part of ourselves, than any

other Matter around us. And it is See Dr. Clarke's Letter to Mr. Dodwell, and the Defences

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