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PART sumptions of the Inmortality of human

I. Minds: I say the greatest Part; for it is less mapplicable to the following Observation, which

is more peculiar to Mankind :

III. That as it is evident our present Powers and Capacities of Reason, Memory, and Affection, do not depend upon our gross Body in the Manner in which Perception by our Organs of Sense does ; so they do not appear to depend upon it at all in

it at all in any such Manner, as to give Ground to think, that the Dissolution of this Body, will be the Destruction of these our present Powers of Reflection, as it will of our Powers of Sensation or to give Ground to conclude, even that it will be so much as a Suspension of the former.

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Human Creatures exist at present in two States of Life and Perception, greatly different from each other ; each of which has its own peculiar Laws, and its own peculiar Enjoyments and Sufferings. When any of our Senses are affected or Appetites gratified with the Objects of Them, we may be said to exist or live in a State of Sensation. When none of our Senses are affected or Appetites gratified, and yet we perceive and reason and act; we may be said to exist or live in a State of Reflection. Now it is by no means cer

tain,

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tain, that any thing which is dissolved by Chap.
Death, is any way necessary to the living 1.
Being in this its State of Reflection, after in
Ideas are gained. For, though from our pre-
sent Constitution and Condition of Being,
our external Organs of Sense are necessary for
conveying in Ideas to our reflecting Powers,
as Carriages and Leavers and Scaffolds are in
Architecture : yet when these Ideas are
brought in, we are capable of reflecting in
the most intense Degree, and of enjoying the
greatest Pleasure and feeling the greatest Pain
by Means of that Reflection, without any
Affistance from our Senses; and without any
at all, which we know of, from that Body,
which will be dissolved by Death. It does
not appear then, that the Relation of this
gross Body to the reflecting Being, is, in any
Degree, necessary to Thinking; to our intel-
lectual Enjoyments or Sufferings : nor conse-
quently, that the Diffolution or Alienation of
the former by Death, will be the Destruc-
tion of those present Powers, which render
us capable of this State of Reflection. Fur-
ther, there are Instances of mortal Diseases,
which do not at all affect our present intellec-
tual Powers ; and this affords a Presumption,
that those Diseases will not destroy these pre-
fent Powers. Indeed, from the Observations
made above, it appears, that there is no
e p. 28, 29, 30.

D 3 Presump

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Par t Presumption, from their mutually affecting I. each other, that the Diffolution of the Body

is the Destruction of the living Agent. And by the fame Reasoning, it must appear too, that there is no Presumption, from their mutually affecting each other, that the Diffolution of the Body is the Destruction of our present reflecting Powers: But Instances of their not affecting each other, afford a Presumption of the contrary. Instances of mortal Difeases not impairing our present reflecting Powers, evidently turn our Thoughts even from imagining such Diseases to be the Destruction of them. Several things indeed greatly affect all our living Powers, and at length sufpend the Exercise of them; as for Instance Drowsiness, increasing till it ends in sound Sleep: and from hence we might have imagined it would destroy them, till we found by Experience the Weakness of this Way of judging. But in the Diseases now mentioned, there is not so much as this Shadow of Probability, to lead us to any such Conclufion, as to the reflecting Powers which we have at present. For in those Diseases, Persons the moment before Death appear to be in the highest Vigour of Life. They discover Apprehension, Memory, Reason, all entire ; with the utmost Force of Affection ; Sense of a Character, of Shame and Honour; and the highest mental Enjoyments and Sufferings,

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even to the last Gasp: and these surely prove Chap.
even greater Vigour of Life than bodily 1.
Strength does. Now what Pretence is there in
for thinking, that a progressive Disease when
arrived to such a Degree, I mean that Degree
which is mortal, will destroy those Powers,
which were not impaired, which were not
affected by it, during its whole Progress quite
up to that Degree? And if Death by Diseases
of this Kind, is not the Destruction of our
present reflecting Powers, it will scarce be
thought that Death by any other Means is.

!

It is obvious that this general Observation may be carried on further : and there appears so little Connection between our bodily Powers of Sensation, and our present Powers of Reflection, that there is no Reason to conclude, that Death, which destroys the former, does so much as suspend the Exercise of the latter, or interrupt our continuing to exist in the like State of Reflection which we do now. For Suspension of Reason, Memory, and the Affections which they excite, is no Part of the Idea of Death, nor is implied in our Notion of it. And our daily experiencing these Powers to be exercised, without any Affistance, that we know of, from those Bodies, which will be dissolved by Death; and our finding often, that the Exercise of them is so lively to the last; these Things afford a

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sensible

PAR T sensible Apprehension, that Death may not

1. perhaps be so much as a Discontinuance of m the Exercise of these Powers, nor of the En

joyments and Sufferings which it implies f.
So that our posthumous Life, whatever there
may be in it additional to our present, yet
may not be entirely beginning anew; but

go-
ing on. Death may, in some Sort, and in
some Respects, answer to our Birth; which
is not a Suspension of the Faculties which we
had before it, or a total Change of the State
of Life in which we existed when in the
Womb; but a Continuation of both, with
such and such

great

Alterations.

Nay, for ought we know of Ourselves, of our present Life and of Death ; Death may immediately, in the natural Course of Things, put us into a higher and more enlarged State of Life, as our Birth does $; a State in which

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f There are three distinct Questions, relating to a future Life, here considered : Whether Death be the Destruction of living Agents ; If not, Whether it be the Destruction of their present Powers of Reflection, as it certainly is the Destruction of their present Powers of Sensation; And if not, Whether it be the Suspension, or Discontinuance of the Exercise, of these present reflecting Powers. Now if there be no Reason to be. lieve the last, there will be, if that were possible, less for the next, and less still for the first.

& This according to Strabo was the Opinion of the Bracho mans, νομίζειν μεν δη τ μεν αθάδε βίον, ώς αν ακμην κυομένων είναι το θάνατον, γένεσιν εις τ όντως βίον, και η ευδαίμονα τους Pinocopyruor Lib. XV. p. 1039. Ed. Amk. 1707. To which

Opinion

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