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"forced to afcribe it to the counfel and contrivance "of a voluntary agent."
The hypothefis of matter evenly disposed through infinite space, feems to labour with fuch difficulties, as makes it almoft a contradictory fuppofition, or a fuppofition deftructive of itself.
Matter evenly difpofed through infinite space, is either created or eternal; if it was created, it infers a Creator: if it was eternal, it had been from eternity evenly spread through infinite space; or it had been once coalefced in maffes, and afterwards been diffused. Whatever state was first, must have been from eternity, and what had been from eternity could not be changed, but by a caufe beginning to act as it had never acted before, that is, by the voluntary act of fome external power. If matter infinitely and evenly diffufed was a moment without coalition, it could never coalefce at all by its own power. If matter originally tended to coalefce, it could never be evenly diffused through infinite space. Matter being fuppofed eternal, there never was a -time when it could be diffused before its conglobation, or conglobated before its diffufion.
This Sir Ifaac feems by degrees to have underftood; for he fays, in his fecond Letter, "The "reason why matter evenly feattered through a "finite space would convene in the midft, you con"ceive the fame with me; but that there fhould be
a central particle, fo accurately placed in the "middle, as to be always equally attracted on all “ sides, and thereby continue without motion, feems "to me a fuppofition fully as hard as to make the "fharpeft needle stand upright upon its point on a "looking
looking-glass. For if the very mathematical "center of the central particle be not accurately in "the very mathematical center of the attractive 48 power of the whole mafs, the particle will not be "attracted equally on all fides. And much harder
is it to suppose all the particles in an infinite space "should be fo accurately poifed one among ano"ther, as to ftand ftill in a perfect equilibrium. "For I reckon this as hard as to make not one nee"dle only, but an infinite number of them (so many "as there are particles in an infinite space) ftand ac"curately poised upon their points. Yet I grant it "poffible, at leaft by a divine power; and if they "were once to be placed, I agree with you that "they would continue in that pofture without mo"tion for ever, unless put into new motion by the "fame power. When therefore I faid, that matter "evenly spread through all space, would convene
by its gravity into one or more great maffes, I "understand it of matter not refting in an accurate "poise."
Let not it be thought irreverence to this great name, if I observe, that by matter evenly spread through infinite space, he now finds it neceffary to mean matter not evenly spread. Matter not evenly Spread will indeed convene, but it will convene as foon as it exifts. And, in my opinion, this puzzling question about matter is only how that could be that never could have been, or what a man thinks on when he thinks of nothing.
Turn matter on all fides, make it eternal, or of late production, finite or infinite, there can be no regular fyftem produced but by a voluntary and
meaning agent. This the great Newton always afferted, and this he afferts in the third letter; but proves in another manner, in a manner perhaps more happy and conclufive.
"The hypothefis of deriving the frame of the world by mechanical principles from matter evenly spread through the heavens being inconfiftent with my fyftem, I had confidered it very little before your letter put me upon it, and "therefore trouble you with a line or two more about it, if this comes not too late for your use. "In my former I reprefented that the diurnal " rotations of the planets could not be derived from gravity, but required a divine arm to impress "them. And though gravity might give the pla"nets a motion of defcent towards the fun, either "directly, or with fome little obliquity, yet the "tranfverfe motions by which they revolve in their "feveral orbs, required the divine arm to impress "them according to the tangents of their orbs. "I would now add, that the hypothefis of matter's being at first evenly spread through the heavens, is, in my opinion, inconfiftent with the hypothefis of innate gravity, without a fupernatural power to reconcile them, and therefore it infers a (( Deity. For if there be innate gravity it is impoffible now for the matter of the earth, and all "the planets and ftars, to fly up from them, and become evenly fpread throughout all the heavens, "without a fupernatural power; and certainly that which can never be hereafter without a fuperna"tural power, could never be heretofore without the fame power."
HE title of this book very naturally excites
TH curiofity, as the fubject is in general pleafing
to all readers who have any pretenfions to taste. But in treating abftract ideas, there is often great danger that the author will bewilder himself in a maze of chimerical notions; and this the more especially if he attempts to fet himself up for a fyftem-maker. Something like this, we are apprehenfive, has happened to the author of the performance now before us; who has however the merit of having been very curious in his research, and appears to have employed much clofe and deep thinking about the subject of his investigation. But the love of novelty feems to have been a very leading principle in his mind, throughout his whole compofition; and we fear that in endeavouring to advance what was never faid before him, he will 04 find
find it his lot to have faid what will not be adopted after him. We do not think this gentleman faw his way very clearly through the queftion: and we are of opinion that he has been very ingenious to err, inftead of affording us any new lights, whereby we might find out the fources of the Sublime and Beautiful. A review of his book, we think, will fet this matter in a clear light.
In order to come at the bottom of things, he fets out with explaining the first principles of the human mind: he obferves that curiofity is one of our earlieft paffions: he then endeavours to prove that pain and pleasure are not connected, and that the removal of pain is not a pofitive pleafure, but for diftinction's fake, he chufes to call it delight. "If "a man," says he, " in a state of tranquillity should "fuddenly hear a concert of mufic, he then enjoys
pleasure without previous pain; and on the other "hand, if a man in the fame ftate of tranquillity "fhould receive a blow, here is pain without the "removal of pleasure." But furely the removal of a tooth-ach is pleafure to all intents and purposes; it induces a train of pleafing ideas in the mind, fuch as fatisfaction with our prefent ftate, &c. and pleafure is equally pofitive, whether it begins in the mind, or is conveyed thither by agreeable bodily fenfation. In like manner the removal of pleasure is pofitive pain, as the abfence of a fine woman to whom we are attached, &c. The truth is, pain and pleasure may fubfift independently, and also reciprocally induce each other. Our author allows, that the lofs of pleasure occafions three different fenfations, viz. indifference, disappointment, or