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Diss. any other Person. It may be thought perhaps,

I that this is not a juft Representation of the w Opinion we are speaking of : because those

who maintain it allow, that a Person is the same as far back as his Remembrance reaches. And indeed they do use the Words, Identity and fame Perfon. Nor will Language permit these words to be laid aside : fince if they were, there must be, I know not what ridiculous Periphrafis, substituted in the Room of them. But they cannot, confiftently with themfelves, mean, that the Perfon is really the same. For, it is Self-evident, that the Personality cannot be really the fame, if, as they exprefsly affert, That in which it confifts, is not the same. And as, consistently with themselves, they cannor, so, I think it appears, they do not, mean, that the Perfon is really the same, but only that he is so in a fi&titious Sense : in such a Sense only as they affert, for this they do affert, that any Number of Perfons whatever may be the same Person. The bare unfolding this Notion, and laying it thus naked and open, seems the beft Confutation of it. However, since great Stress is said to be put upon it, I add the following things.

First, This Notion is absolutely contradictory to that certain Conviction, which neces.

A

sarily and every Moment rises within us, when D 1 8 s. we turn our Thoughts upon ourselves, when

1. we reflect upon what is past, and look forward upon what is to come.

All Imagination of a daily Change of that living Agent which each Man calls himself, for another, or of

any such Change throughout our whole present Life, is intirely born down by our natural Sense of things. Nor is it possible for a Person in his wits, to alter his Conduct, with regard to his Health or Affairs, from a Suspicion, that though he should live to morrow, he should not, however, be the same Person he is to day. And yet, if it be reafonable to act, with respect to a future Life, upon this Notion that Personality is transient; it is reasonable to act upon it, with respect to the present. Here then is a Notion equally applicable to Religion and to our temporal Concerns; And every one fees and feels the inexpressible Absurdity of it in the latter Case : If therefore any can take up with it in the former, this cannot proceed from the Reason of the thing, but must be owing to an in, ward Unfairness, and secret Corruption of Heart.

Secondly, It is not an Idea, or abstract Notion, or Quality, but a Being only, which is capable of Life and Action, of Happiness and Misery. Now all Beings confessedly

continue

Dis s. continue the same, during the whole Time

1. of their Existence. Consider then a living mBeing now existing, and which has existed

for any Time alive : this living Being must have done and suffered and enjoyed, what it has done and suffered and enjoyed formerly, (this living Being, I say, and not another,) as really as it does and suffers and enjoys, what it does and suffers and enjoys this Instant. All these successive Actions, Enjoyments, and Sufferings, are Actions, Enjoyments, and Sufferings, of the same living Being. And they are fo, prior to all Confideration of its remembring or forgetting : since remembring or forgetting can make no Alteration in the Truth of past Matter of Fact. And suppose this Being endued with limited Powers of Knowledge and Memory, there is no more Difficulty in conceiving it to have a Power, of knowing itself to be the same living Being which it was some time ago, of remembring some of its Actions, Sufferings, and Enjoyments, and forgetting others, than in conceiving it to know or remember or forget any

thing else.

Thirdly, Every Person is conscious, that he is now the same Person or Self he was, as far back as his Remembrance reaches : since when any one reflects upon a paft Action of his own, he is just as certain of the Person

who

who did that Action, namely, Himself, the D is s.
Person who now reflects upon it, as he is cer- J.
tain that the Action was at all done. Nayu
very often a Person's Assurance of an Action
having been done, of which he is absolutely
assured, arises wholly from the Consciousness
that he himself did it. And this He, Person,
or Self, must either be a Substance, or the
Property of some Substance. If He, if Per-
fon, be a Substance ; then Consciousness that
He is the same Person, is Consciousness that
He is the fame Substance. If the Person, or
He, be the Property of a Substance ; still
Consciousness that He is the same Property is
as certain a Proof that his Substance remains
the same, as Consciousness that he remains the
fame Substance would be : since the same
Property cannot be transferred from one Sub-
stance to another.

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But though we are thus certain, that we are the fame Agents, living Beings, or Substances, Now, which we were as far back as our Remembrance reaches ; \yet it is asked, Whether we may not possibly be deceived in it? And this Question may be asked at the End of any Demonstration whatever : because it is a Question concerning the Truth of Perception by Memory. And he who can doubt, whecher Perception by Memory can in this Cafe be depended upon, may

doubt

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Di s s. doubt also, whether Perception by Deduction

I. and Reasoning, which also include Memory, mor indeed whether intuitive Perception can.

Here then we can go no farther. For it is ridiculous to attempt to prove the Truth of those Perceptions, whose Truth we can no otherwise

prove,

than by other Perceptions of exactly the same Kind with them, and which there is just the fame Ground to sufpect; or to attempt to prove the Truth of our Faculties, which can no otherwise be proved, than by the Use or Means of those very suspected Faculties themselves.

DIS

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