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the Jews in that place with the rest; because he brings his Argument from the confession of Foreign Historians, who were acknowledged by the Greeks to be of much greater Authority in things of this nature, than they could pretend to themselves.
n A little before, having translated something out of Ocellus Lucanus, to prove the World Eternal, this Gentleman thus lubjoins, Now it is very much, that this Author, Ocellus Lucanus, who, for his Antiquity, is held to be almost Contemporary with Moses, (if not before him) should have so different a Sentiment of the World's Beginning from that, which Moses bad: methinks, if Moses his History of the Creation, and of Adam's being the Firft Man, had been a general received Opinion at that time;. Ocellus. Lucanus, who was so ancient and So. eminent a Philosopher, fould not have been altogether ignorant thereof. But what shall we fay? if Ocellus Lucanus was not fo ancient, but of no Antiquity in comparison of Moses; then, methinks, this Author might have spared his Pains and his Inferences. And of what Antiquity Ocellus Lucanus was, is shewn by Ludovicus Nogarola, who translated this Piece of Ocellus Lucanus into Latin, and publish'd it with his own Observations upon it.
it. For he makes it appear, from Plato, that the Ancestors of this Ocellus being banish'd from Troy, under Laomedon, came to Myra, a City in Lycia; but Laomedon was the Father of Priamus, in whose
+ Oracles of Reafon, p. 2:8.
time, as every body knows, happen’d the Destruction of Troy; and fair was then Judge of Israel, about Three hundred Years after they had been in possession of the promised Land. He farther shews, from Lucian, that Ocellus Lucanus was a Scholar of Pythagoras; who lived, sure, long enough after Moses, to save our Author's Criticism, or to expose it. , Indeed, the best Accouut we have in Heathen Antiquity, agrees exactly with the History of Mofes, concerning the Creation of the World. Aristotle himself was not satisfied in his own Doctrine of the Eternity of the World; and he ? confefses, that all the Philosophers asserted the Creation; " he says, it was esteemed a very ancien Doctrine, and thought, by some, to be the Do&trine of the most ancient Theologists, That it was formed out of water. It is certain, thať
Thales, the first Greek Philosopher who treated of these things, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, and the Wisest of them, in Tully's judgment, taught, That God formed all things out of Water. Which Notion, Homer, as well. as Thales, was ' fuppofed to learn from the Æ gyptians.
The same Gentleman has observed, That the Epicurean Deists labour to have their Vices imputed rather to a Superiority of their Reason above
o Grot. de Verit. Annot. ad c. 7:
Ariftot. de Coelo, 1. 1. C. 10. 9 Metaphyf. 1. i. c. 3. I Tull. de Nat. Deor. 1. i. De Legib. I. 2. Plutarch. de Isid. & Ofir. Oracles of Reason, p. 93:
that of others, than to a Servitude of their Reas: son to their own Paffions; which hews, Vice is naturally esteemed a base and low thing. This is transcribed from u Mr. Boyle, without any men tion of him: Mr. Blount, it feems, had a mind to give himself the honour of the Observation; It is but too plain, that this was his own cafe, as his unhappy Death declared.
This, I think, is sufficient to shew, how little this Book deserves the vain Title of The Oracles of Reason: it will be hard to meet with any Book, which has less right to fo high a Pretence. I shall take notice but of one thing more, and that is, * Mr. Gildon's Attempt to prove the Materiality of the Soul; his Arguments are as unlikely to prove it, as most I have seen: but I shall Thew the Notion to be absurd in it self, and impossible to be maintained.
The Essence of all Matter must be the same, whether Extension, or any thing else, be af sign'd as the Essence of it; and though we may be ignorant of the Essence of Matter, yet we know it cannot be essential to it to Think: for then all Matter would necessarily Think. But the difference in the several sorts of Matter can be only in Accidents, that is, in Bulk, Rest, Motion, Situation, and Figure, none of which can render Matter capable of Thought. For if a different Bulk of Matter could produce Thought in it, and the Subtile Matter should be able to Think and Reason, though the Grofs cannot;
u Sryle of Seripture, p. 177.
* Ibid. p. 187
then the Parts of a Stone would think, when it is ground to Duft; though when they are joined and compacted together, they make up a Body, as unlikely to think, as any thing we can imagine. If Reft could cause Matter to think, a Stone would be the most thinking Creature in the World. If Motion could cause it, then that which moves with moft quickness, would think most, as Fire, and the Sun, and Stars: but Motion is only a successive change of Place, and there is no reason why Matter should think-in one place, rather than in another; or why it should think, when it is moved in a Right Line, or in a Circle, or in any Curve Line, rather than when it lies ftill. Again, There is no reason why Matter should be able to think, or not think, according to its Situation or Pofition; why it should think in the Brain, rather than upon the Trencher; or when it is digested, and reduced to Animal Spirits, rather than when it is in a more compacted Substance, and has a different relation to the parts of Matter about it. Lastly, If any sort of Figure could produce Thought, Stones must certainly think, as well as the best of us; and fo, indeed, might any thing else: for whát Body is there that may not fubfift under all varieties of Figure?
Neither can any lucky conjuncture of all these together produce a Power and Faculty of Thinking. For, imagine what Bulk, Rest or Motion, Situation and Figure you can, to meet together, they are all alike uncapable of so much as one
Thought; since there is nothing in the Nature of any of these Accidents : or Modifications of Matter, but it is as far from any Power of Thinking, as Matter it felf is; and therefore Thinking can no more arise from a combination of them together, than it can proceed from the amassing together of Matter. All the Accidents, but Motion, have nothing Active or Operative in them, but are only Matter under different Modes and Relations. And Motion, whatever the Figure, or Bulk and Contexture of any Body may be, can be but Motion ftill: and suppòse what Contexture or Modifications you will; what is Motion, under all Determinations, Collisions and Combinations, but change of Place? and, how can change of Place produce Thinking, under any variety of Contexture in the Particles of Matter?' Free-will is impossible to be accounted for by Matter and Motion, as Epicurus found, who was therefore forced to have recourfe to his Destination's Atomorum ; for which he is so justly exposed by Tully. For neither can Matter determine its own Motion, nor can Motion determine it felf, but must be determined by something External; whereas all Men find it in their power to determine themselves by an Inward and Voluntary Principle.
It is true, indeed, that the Soul, in its Operations, depends very much upon the Temperament of the Body: yet the Soul, even in this ftatė, has Thoughts, which have no Relation to the Body, or any Material Thing; as Thoughts