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to be favourable to scepticism and atheism. It perhaps is true, that sceptics and atheists are generally of this faith, and this faith
may be thought to suit their taste. But the character of many of the most strenuous defenders of materialism is above all sinister suspicion, and the most dignified religion can be solidly defended on the ground of materialism.
There is another prejudice in favour of materialism, with which and my reply to it I shall close this first
The prejudice is this, That man has a clear and positive idea of body and matter, while of mind, as immaterial, he has but a very indistinct and negative idea. This is a prejudice, which I believe possesses many, and intercepts the free exercise of their under, standing But reflection ought to show them how fallacious, and even ridiculous, the prejudice is. Our ideas both of matter and mind are equally positive and negative. We may say that matter is not mind, as well as that mind is not matter : these
would be negative descriptions of each, but it would be mere trifling. Our positive ideas of matter are comprehended in form, colour, magnitude, &c.; and of mind, in consciousness, - perception, reasoning, volition; and of both equally clear, distinct, and enforced with equal evidence. “ We know them each equally by their respective. properties, and beyond their properties. We know nothing of either.. . Our knowledge of both is equally perfect, and equally imperfect; and the man who supposes, that he knows more or has clearer conceptions of one than the other, deceives himself, because he has not sufficiently considered what he really knows, and what he does not know, of either.
But the argument is conclusive only so far as our knowledge extends. No one is authorised to say that matter, in the disposal of Omnipotence, may not be susceptible of the attributes which we ascribe tolmind; or that mind with all these attributes may not be some unknown modification of matter:
But of this we have no evidence: if it be so, the great Author of this wonderful modification has totally concealed it from our view. He has revealed matter and mind to us, each in their distinct characters, with not one property common to each: and so far as human knowledge and human reason can authorise, the conclusion is, and must be, That mind is a being sui generis, having no participation of matter whatever.
PROBABLE ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF THE IM
MATERIALITY OF THE SOUL, continued.
I pass to another argument, probable at least, derived from the subject of motion. This is vulgarly supposed to be favourable to the doctrine of materialism, but in this the advocates for materialism appear to me to be miserably deceived; for if any subject · be singularly adverse to them, it is that of motion. In the motions which on our Earth familiarly present themselves to our view, whether under the instrumentality of man, or of any other character, we observe, that the intervention of body is necessary to give motion to another body; and thence is hastily inferred the supposed impossibility, that motion cannot ensue unless from the action of body upon body. A singular inference in truth, while no attention is paid