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but with advantage; finding it to be, as Dr. Price acknowledges with respect to myself, even falutary.'
In answer to Dr. Price's remark, above given, that the belief of the doctrine of neceffity muft break every afpiring effort, and produce univerfal abjectness; Dr. Priestley here too opposes to his theoretical inferences, a kind of an appeal ad hominem; and defires him to confider whether his theory has any correfpondence with facts. Let him confider, fays he, thofe of his acquaintance who are neceffarians. To fay nothing of myself, who certainly, however, am not the moft torpid and lifelefs of animals; where will he find greater ardour of mind, a ftronger and more unremitted exertion, or a more strenuous and steady pursuit of the moft important objects, than among those whom he knows to be neceffarians? I can fay with truth (and meaning no difparagement to Dr. Price, and many others, who, I believe, unknown to themselves, derive much of the excellence of their characters from principles very near akin to thofe of the doctrine of neceffity) that I generally find Chriftian neceffarians the most diftinguished for active and fublime virtues, and more fo in proportion to their steady belief of the doctrine, and the attention they habitually give to it.'
The last particulars relative to this subject are contained in a Note from Dr. Price, and a fhort answer to it by Dr. Priestley. In the former Dr. Price observes that his fentiments have been undefignedly misrepresented, when Dr. Priestley suggests that he (Dr. Price) confiders wickednefs as a thing that is proper, and thinks the plan of the Deity abfolutely required it.'-He declares that he has never meant to say more, than that the PERMISSION of wickedness is proper, and that the divine plan required the communication of powers rendering beings capable of perverfely making themselves wicked, by acting, not as the divine plan requires (for this, he thinks, would be too good an excufe for wickedness), but by acting in a manner that opposes the divine plan and will, and that would fubvert the order of nature; and to which, on this account, punishment has been annexed.'
To this last remark Dr. Priestley anfwers, that his friend can need no affurance that his fentiments have not been knowingly mifrepresented. He obferves however that he cannot help confidering the voluntary permission of evil, or the certain cause of it, by a Being who forefees it, and has fufficient power to prevent it, as equivalent to the exprefs appointment of it.'
From thefe laft words of our two metaphyfical difputants on this fubject, our Readers will perceive that, though they part friends, they ftill retain their respective opinions. Although we avoid taking a part in this controverfy, ftill thinking it prudent to adhere to our former fafe and humble verdict *; we will how
See Monthly Review, vol. lviii. May 1778, p. 353.
ever go fo far as to fay, that we did expect to fee Dr. Price yield fomewhat to his friend's reafonings in this laft point at least. As to the main queftion-refpecting liberty and neceffity-we do not wonder that perfons whofe ideas on the subject have long gone in a certain train, find even an infuperable difficulty in adopting the oppofite doctrine. There is fcarce, perhaps, a matter in the whole compafs of human difcuffion, in which it may more truly be faid-to borrow the appofite and emphatic terms of Dr. Young on a different subject—that "One argument is balanced by another, "And reafon reafon meets in doubtful fight, "And proofs are countermined by equal proofs." It is, in fact, the subject, xar' εon, in which -Reafon knits the inextricable toil,
In which herself is taken.'
Some Illuftrations are fubjoined, in this volume, in addition to those which the Author formerly gave at the end of his Difquifitions. In these we meet with a general hiftorical view of the origin and progrefs of opinions relating to the Effence of the Soul, with fome confiderations on the notion of its being an extended, though an immaterial, fubftance. In the courfe of this historical deduction, the Author fhews that, among the Heathen philofophers, the foul was supposed to be what we should now call an attenuated kind of matter, capable of divifion, as all other matter is; that this notion was adopted by the Christian Fathers, many of whom did not fcruple to affert that the foul, though conceived to be a thing diftinct from the body, was nevertheless properly corporeal, and even naturally mortal; that afterwards, however, the opinion of its being naturally immor tal gained ground; and matter being then confidered as neceffarily perishable as well as impure, the doctrine of the immateriality as well as of the immortality of the foul was pretty firmly established. The idea of its being immaterial foon led to the notion of its having no property whatever in common with matter; of its having neither length, breadth, nor thickness; of its being indivisible alfo; and, finally, of its not exifting in Space. The fchoolmen added various other refinements: but the doctrine of pure fpiritualism was not firmly established before Descartes.
He, fays the Author, confidering extenfion as the effence of matter, made the want of extenfion the diftinguishing property of mind or fpirit. Upon this idea was built the immaterial fyftem in its state of greatest refinement; when the foul was defined to be immaterial, indivisible, indifcerptible, unextended, and to have nothing to do with locality or motion, but to be a fubftance poffeffed of the fimple powers of thought, and to have nothing more than an arbitrary connection with an organized fyftem of matter.'
Mr. Locke contributed greatly to lower this idea of mind or fpirit, by contending that whatever exifts muft exift somewhere, or in fome place; and by fhewing that, for any thing that we know to the contrary, the power of thought may be fuperadded by the Divine Being to an organized fyftem of mere matter; though at the fame time declaring himself in favour of the notion of a feparate foul. From this time, the doctrine of the nature of the foul has been fluctuating and various; fome ftill maintaining that it has no property whatever in common with matter, and bears no relation to space; whereas others say that it exifts in space, and occupies a portion of it, fo as to be properly extended, but not to have folidity, which they make to be the property that diftinguishes it from matter."
The Author proceeds to obferve, that the object of his late work was to prove that the doctrine of a foul is altogether unphilofophical, and unfcriptural; and that the refined and proper fpiritualism, above described, is peculiarly chimerical and abfurd. Abfurd, however, as is the notion of a fubftance which has no property in common with matter, which bears no relation to Space, and yet both acts upon body, and is acted upon by it; it is the doctrine that, in the course of gradual refinement, philofophers and divines were neceffarily brought to, and is the only confiftent immaterialifm. For every other opinion concerning spirit makes it to be, in fact, the fame thing with matter: at least, every other opinion is liable to objections fimilar to those which lie againft the notion of a foul properly material.'
As the Author had not been thought to have given fufficient attention to the doctrine of a spirit's having extenfion, he here makes fome fhrewd remarks on that hypothefis, for which we are forry we have not room. All the embarassments attending this fyftem, as well as that of pure fpiritualism above-mentioned, are, he affirms, at once removed by his fimple theory on this. fubject. According to this, the power of thinking belongs to the brain of a man, as that of walking, to his feet, or that of fpeaking, to his tongue.'-Man, therefore, who is one being, is composed of one kind of fubftance, made of the dust of the earth: —when he dies, he, of course, ceases to think; but when his fleeping duft fhall be reanimated at the refurrection, his power of thinking, and his consciousness, will be restored to him.'-This fyftem likewife gives a real value to the doctrine of a refurrection from the dead, which is peculiar to revelation, on which alone the facred writers build all our hope of a future life.'In his last letter to Dr. Price, the Author thus expreffes the grounds of his zeal with refpect to this fubject. So long,' fays he, as I conceive the doctrine of a feparate foul to have been the true fource of the groffeft corruptions in the Chriftian system, of that very antichriftian fyftem which fprung up in the
times of the apoftles, concerning which they entertained the ftrongest apprehenfions, and delivered, and left upon record, the most folemn warnings, I muft think myself a very lukewarm and difaffected Christian if I do not bear my feeble teftimony against it.'
After declaring that he does not lay any ftrefs on any merely theoretical opinion, he affirms that, with respect to the general plan of Christianity, the importance of the doctrines he contends for can hardly be rated too high. What I contend for leaves nothing for the manifold corruptions and abuses of Popery to fasten on. Other doctrinal reformations are partial things, while this goes to the very root of almost all the mischief we complain of; and, for my part, I fhall not date the proper and complete downfal of what is called Antichrift, but from the general prevalence of the doctrine of materialism.
This, I cannot help faying, appears to me to be that fundamental principle in true philofophy, which is alone perfectly confonant to the doctrine of the fcriptures; and being at the fame time the only proper deduction from natural appearances, it muft, in the progrefs of inquiry, foon appear to be fo; and then, fhould it be found that an unquestionably true philosophy teaches one thing, and revelation another, the latter could not ftand its ground, but muft inevitably be exploded, as contrary to truth and fact. I therefore deem it to be of particular confequence, that philofophical unbelievers fhould be apprised in time, that there are Chriftians, who confider the doctrine of a foul as a tenet that is fo far from being essential to the Chriftian fcheme, that it is a thing quite foreign to it, derived originally from heathenifm, difcordant with the general principles of revealed religion, and ultimately fubverfive of them.'
In the foregoing extracts from the controverfial part of this work, we have confined ourselves to a particular question, and to what may be called the last and mature results of each of the difputants on that particular fubject. We must not however terminate our account of this work without observing, that these are preceded by many reciprocal communications, not only on that intricate queftion, but on the nature of matter, perfonal identity, consciousness, &c. on which our two philosophical difputants exhibit many proofs of their metaphysical acumen, and frankness.
ART. VIII. Continuation of the Account of the Bishop of London's News Translation of Isaiah. Vid. laft Month's Review. Cadell.
UR learned Prelate, having confidered the nature of the
Ο alphabetical poems of the ancient Jews, proceeds to a
larger and more minute explication of the circumstances which difcriminate the parts of the Hebrew fcriptures that are written
in verfe, from those which are written in profe. This, he obferves, will not only afcertain the character of the prophetical ftyle in general, and that of the prophet Ifaiah in particular; but be of confiderable ufe, and of no fmall importance, in the interpretation of the poetical parts of the Old Teftament.
The Correspondence of one verfe, or line, with another, our Author calls Parallelifm. When a propofition is delivered, and a fecond is fubjoined to it, or drawn under it, equivalent, or contrafted with it, in fenfe; or fimilar to it in the form of grammatical construction; these he calls Parallel Lines; and the words, or phrafes, answering one to another in the corresponding lines, Parallel Terms. Parallel lines may be reduced to three forts; Parallels Synonymous, Parallels Antithetic, and Parallels Synthetic. Of each of these our ingenious Writer gives a variety of examples; in order to fhew the various forms in which they appear; firft from the books univerfally acknowledged to be poetical; then correfpondent examples from the prophet Ifaiah; and fometimes alfo from the other prophets; to fhew, that the form and character of the compofition is in all the fame. In fuch of the examples produced, as are of many lines, there is sometimes a fingle line or two intermixed, which do not properly belong to that clafs under which they are ranged. Thefe, however, are retained by Dr. Lowth, to preserve the connection and harmony of the whole paffage: and he obferves, that the feveral forts of parallels are perpetually mixed with one another; which mixture gives a variety and beauty to the compofition.
Under the different heads that follow, the Bishop introduces a number of examples; but the narrownefs of our limits will oblige us to confine ourselves to one or two inftances under each head.
Parallel Lines Synonymous, are thofe lines which correspond one to another by expreffing the fame fenfe in different, but equivalent terms; when a propofition is delivered, and is immediately repeated, in the whole or in part, the expreffion being varied, but the fenfe entirely or nearly the fame. As in the following examples:
"O Jehovah, in thy ftrength the King fhall rejoice;
Hearken unto me, O houfe of Jacob;
Ifaiah xlvi. 3.