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part of the world, and was thence diffufed throughout Europe, though with confiderable variations. From this doctrine he derives all the capital corruptions of Chriftianity; particularly the pre-existence and divinity of Chrift, purgatory, the worship of the dead, with their endlefs fubdivifions and appendages, including almoft the whole fyftem of popery.
The doctrine of the natural immortality of the foul, confidered as a fubftance diftinct from the body, evidently afforded a foundation to the two laft mentioned parts of that fyftem; and accordingly Luther, the Author obferves, opposed this dogma to the laft moment of his life, and ranked it among "the monftrous opinions to be found in the Roman Dunghills of Decretals." He accordingly maintained the fleep, as it has been called, or utter infenfibility, of the foul after death;-an opinion which was indeed violently oppofed by Calvin, but which has lately been revived, and has been ably fupported by the present learned Bishop of Carlifle. This doctrine, the Author remarks, very materially affects the hypothefis of the immateriality, or separate existence of the foul. It certainly, fays he, takes away all the ufe of the fyftem of the Immaterialifts:- for though we should have a foul, yet while it is in a state of utter infenfibility, it is in fact as much dead, as the body itself, while it continues in a state of death. Our calling it a state of fleep, is only giving another and fofter term to the fame thing; for our ideas of the ftate itfelf are precifely the fame, by whatever name we please to
Thus the Author's 'EXTINCTION of the whole man, at death,' -(by which phrafe, however, he appears to have meant only a decompofition, or temporary derangement, and difperfion of his material component particles) at which fo much offence has been taken by many perfons, and fome by ourselves, may be confidered as analagous to, and as venial a trefpals against orthodoxy as, the doctrine of the foul-fleepers, and may be allowed to stand or fall with that hypothefis.
The originality of the Author's fyftem with refpect to the nature of matter, and the novelty of many of the arguments and confiderations propofed in this treatife, will render it highly interefting to thofe who choose to make the difficult fubject difcuffed in it the object of their meditation. With respect to the main queftion we fhall be filent; leaving it to the reader to fuppofe that we may not perhaps be quite unanimous concerning it;-it would indeed be ftrange enough if a jury, compofed of critics and philofophers, were to agree perfectly in their decifion of fo recondite and litigious a fubject. In the opinion of their prefent foreman, the modcfteft and fafeft verdict they can bring in, is IGNORAMUS.
ART. IX. The Doctrine of Philofophical Neceffity illuftrated; being an Appendix to the Difquifitions relating to Matter and Spirit. To which is added an Answer to the Letters on Materialism, and on Hartley's Theory of the Mind. By Jofeph Priestley, LL.D. F. R. S. 8vo. 4 s. Johnfon. 1777.
F man be a fimple and wholly material being, as the Author has endeavoured to prove in the preceding treatife, he must be fubject to the laws of mechanifm; and all his actions must be the mechanical and therefore neceffary refults of certain causes, which muft operate on his mind in the fame invariable manner, when the circumstances are the fame, and with the fame certainty, as is obferved in the action of bodies on each other. Accordingly the doctrine of Neceffity is confidered by the Author as a direct inference from that of Materialifm; and the prefent Effay is very naturally given as a proper fequel to the foregoing Difquifitions on Matter and Spirit f.
The philofophical neceffity, however, for which the Author here contends, is very different from the fate of the ancients, and the predeftination of the Chriftians and Mahometans. Our countryman Hobbes, was, in the Author's opinion, the first who underflood and maintained the proper doctrine of philofophical neceffity. The obfcurity in which Locke involved this subject in his chapter on Power,-where he afcribes liberty to man ' after writing a long time exactly like a Neceffarian'-' was effectually cleared up by Mr. Collins, in his Philofophical Inquiry concerning 'Human Liberty, published in 1717. By the ftudy of this treatise the Author was convinced of the truth of the doctrine of Neceffity; and was afterwards confirmed in this principle by his acquaintance with Dr. Hartley's Theory of the Human Mind: though, like Dr. Hartley himself, he was not a ready convert, but gave up his liberty with great reluctance.'
As Dr. Priestley does not offer the prefent as a complete treatise on the fubject, he refers those who have not yet entered on the difcuffion of this difficult queftion, to the writers abovementioned; and likewife recommends to them the perufal of the writings of Dr. Jonathan Edwards, Mr. Hume, and Lord Kaims, particularly in his Sketches on Man. His plan is only to difcufs thofe particular topics on which he imagined he could throw
Both the volumes are, accordingly, fold together; not feparately. Price 8s. in boards.
* The unfettled flate of Mr. Locke's mind, with refpect to this fubject, may be collected from the following quotation extracted from a letter written by him to his friend Mr. Molyneux, dated January 20, 1692-3. It appears, from it, that Mr. Locke at that time doubted whether liberty could be communicated by the Deity to man. We cannot at prefent recollect from what particular publication the extract was taken." If it be poffible for God," fays he, to make a free agent, then man free, though I fee not the way of it."
fome new light; either by fuggefting new confiderations on the fubject, or by illuftrating the arguments of his predeceffors, as well as clearing the doctrine of neceffity from the fuppofed dangerous confequences, with refpect to religion and morality, with which it has been clogged. He fhews likewife, pretty much at large, the effential difference between this doctrine, and the tenets of the Calvinifts with refpect to predeftination; and finally inquires how far the Scriptures are favourable to the doctrine of neceffity.
As a great part of the difputes relating to the question of Liberty and Neceffity- properly enough denominated by Hume, "the moft contentious queftion of metaphyfics, the moft contentious fcience."-have been occafioned by the difputants affixing different ideas to the fame words, and by not accurately ftating the fubject of difpute; the Author begins with fome obfervations explaining the terms of the queftion, or what he, as a Neceffarian, means and contends for, when he affirms that man is, or is not, possessed of a liberty of doing certain things.
Thus he acknowledges in man a liberty or power of doing whatever he WILLS, or pleafes. As he can move his body or limbs at his pleasure, provided he is not prevented by any foreign obftacle; fo likewife, in the abfence of all extrinfic impediments, he is at liberty to turn his thoughts to any subject, to weigh the reasons for or against any propofition, and to reflect upon them as long as he fhall think proper.
In this conceffion the Author obferves that he grants' not only all the liberty that the generality of mankind have any idea of, or can be made to understand; but alfo all that many of the profeffed advocates for liberty, against the doctrine of neceffity, have claimed.'
"Surely it is in a man's power,' fays Wollafton [Religion of Nature, p. 112.] to keep his hand from his mouth. If it is, it is alfo in his power to forbear excefs in eating and drinking. If he has the command of his own feet, so as to go either this way or that, or no whither, as fure he has, it is in his power to abstain from vicious company or vicious places, and fo on."-Thefe forbearances and motions, he adds, "depend folely upon the will, and begin there."
This laft affertion of the advocate for philofophical liberty our Author denies. Though the motion, for inftance, depends upon the will, or is the immediate confequence of it, he affirms that it does not begin there: the will itself being determined by fome motive, which acts upon it as an efficient and neceflary caufe.
Further, the Author acknowledges likewife that man has a liberty of fufpending a former determination; but this is only a confequence of another new volition; and the volition itfe is
the confequence or effect of fome motive or reafon, which is its proper caufe, as we have just now observed.
Having explained the nature of that liberty of which man is poffeffed, the Author proceeds to fhew, on the other hand, that the liberty, or rather power, which he is not poffeffed of, is that of doing feveral things'-(not only different, but contrary, for example), when all the previous circumstances (including the fate of his mind, and his views of things) are precifety the fame-When every circumstance is exactly fimilar, man would always voluntarily (and yet neceffarily *) make the fame choice, and come to 'the fame determination.
A man indeed,' fays the Author, on another occafion, when he reproaches himself for any particular action in his past conduct, may fancy that, if he was in the fame fituation again, he would have acted differently. But this is a mere deception; and if he examines himself ftrictly, and takes in all circunftances, he may be fatisfied that, with the fame inward difpofition of mind, and with precifely the fame views of things, that he had then, and exclufive of all others that he has acquired by reflection fince, he could not have acted otherwife than he did.'
The Author, in fhort, maintains that there is fome fixed law of nature refpecting the will, as well as other powers of the mind, and every thing elfe in the conftitution of nature; and confequently that it is never determined without fome real or apparent caufe, foreign to itself, i. e. without fome motive of choice; or that motives influence us in fome definite and invariable manner, fo that every volition, or choice, is conftantly regulated, and determined, by what precedes it.' This conftant determination of mind,' he adds, according to the motives prefented to it, is all that I mean by its neceffary determination. This being admitted to be the fact, there will be a neceffary connection between all things paft, prefent, and to come, in the way of proper cause and effect, as much in the intellectual, as in the natural world; fo that, how little foever the bulk of mankind may be apprehensive of it, or staggered by it - according to the established laws of nature, no event could have been otherwife than it has been, is, or is to be; and therefore all things paft, prefent, and to come, are precifely what the Author of nature really intended them to be, and has made provifion for.'
The clearing up the feeming contradiction between these two terms may throw light on the Author's argument. Voluntary,' he obferves, as hath likewife Mr. Locke, is not oppofed to neceffary, but only to involuntary; and nothing can be oppofed to neceffary, but contingent. For a voluntary motion may be regulated by certain rules as much as a mechanical one; and if it be regulated by any certain rules, or laws, it is as necessary as any mechanical motion whatever.'
Having fully explained what is meant by the doctrine which is maintained in this treatife, the Author proceeds to prove the truth of it, ft from the confideration of caufe and effect, or the obfervation that the fame events neceffarily and certainly follow the fame preceding circumftances; and in the next place from the Divine prefcience, which attribute of the divine and furely omnifcient Being fome zealous advocates for the liberty of man have been hardy enough to give up, on account of its inconfiftency with their fyftem.-Following the proper rules of philofophizing, according to which the causes of things are to be deduced from obfervations of the appearances, he finds that motives are the proper caufes of volitions and actions; or, in other words, that the will or choice, and the motive, correspond precisely to an effect and its caufe.,
Thus, fays he, nothing can act more invariably, or mechanically, than motives in producing human actions. Strengthen the motive, and the action is more vigorous; diminish it, and its vigour is abated: change the motive, and the action is changed; intirely withdraw it, and the action ceafes; introduce an oppofite motive of equal weight, and all action is fufpended, juft as a limb is kept motionlefs by the equal action of antagonist mufcles. As far as we can judge, motives and actions do, in all poffible cafes, ftrictly correfpond to each other.'-In fhort, he afterwards adds, determinations must be directed by certain invariable laws, depending upon the previous ftate of mind, and the ideas prefent to it, at the moment of forming any refolution; fo that, in no cafe whatever could they have been otherwife than they actually were.'
The Author next confiders that confciousness of liberty, or of a Self-determining power, which all men certainly feel, and which he analyfes in the fifth fection; where he fhows that, according to the conftitution of the mind of man, his thoughts can be turned to different fubjects, according to the motives that occur to him; and that a confcioufnefs of this property of the human mind is all that we properly can feel in what is called a confciousness of liberty.
In the two next fections the Author confiders whether liberty be effential to practical virtue, as hath been affirmed by thofe who maintain man's felf determining power; and who likewife deny that there can be any propriety in rewards and punishments, or indeed any responsibility or accountableness, on the fcheme of neceffity. He endeavours, on the contrary, to fhew that virtue. can only be properly established on the neceffary influence of motives on the mind of man; and that it is this neceffary influence that makes him the proper fubject of reward and punishment, praise and blame. Mankind in general, fays he, even the vulgar as well as the philofopher, have no idea of volition but as