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The nerves, differently agitated by various objects, communicate their agitations to the brain; whofe impulfes are answered by perceptions and fenfations in the foul, totally distinct from the caufe which appears to produce them."
Now we should be glad to know how Mr. Bonnet can make it appear that our ideas of the union and reciprocal action of foul and body, are more common or lefs complicated than those we entertain of Gravity, the laws of motion, mechanic powers, &c. He fpeaks here very pofitively of two fubftances very diftinct and different; neither of which, we will venture to fay, ever came separately under his examination. For our part we never before heard of a Naturalift that had a diftinct idea of a thinking, active, fubftance without folidity, figure or extenfion; much less of any one who had any proof of its exiftWe may fay the fame, with regard to the other fubftance, viz. the unthinking, inert, impenetrable and extended figure; of whofe effence our Naturalifts have no diftinct idea, and of whofe exiftence they have just as little proof.
By the exact relation which Mr. Bonnet fuppofes to fubfift between the agitations of the brain, and the perceptions or fenfations of the foul, he feems to adopt the notion favoured by Mr. Robinet; i. e. that the foul is a little complicated body, made of finer ftuff than ordinary, whofe component parts anfwer to thofe of our groffer flesh; a kind of Jack in the box, whofe wooden doublet fits him fo nicely that every body thinks it alive. Of the boxes, indeed, our anatomical Naturalifts have feen enow, but they have always found them penetrable and hollow:-as to Jack, he hath always been fo light of heel, as to escape their moft vigilant enquiries; and, what is worse, without leaving a veftige of the fpot wherein he refided, though fometimes they pretend to have difcovered the aperture through which he hath flown. It is faid of a famous anatomist in the laft age, who was told of the wonderful difcoveries of Lewenhoeck and others, made by the means of microfcopes, that he cried out, while he was looking over an apparatus brought him for the like ufe, "Oh! Mr. Optician, that you could make me a lens, through which I might but fee a naked foul !" Had Mr. Bonnet been poffcffed of fuch a microscope indeed, we might have admitted of his placing the foul among his fubjects of Natural History; but till fuch a lens can be procured, we conceive it is not an object of phyfical data.
The like objection holds good against the admiffion of solid, impenetrable, inactive matter, among the fame data. Can our Naturalifts produce an extended fubftance that is not penetrable or porous, and at the fame time totally unelaftic; or have they one
good reason to conclude from experiment that fuch a fubftance exifts? It is to very little purpose, therefore, whether our Author is a Materialift or not; nor do we think any thing of the atchievement on which he plumes himself, viz. of demonftrating more fatisfactorily than any philofopher hath done before him, that matter cannot think. Let him first prove that the fubftance, whofe qualities he fhews to be incompatible with thinking, really exifts, and then we may poffibly propose to his confideration, a few of our obfervations on the fubject.
Contes de Guillaume Vadé. 8vo. 1764.
E have here as heterogeneous a mifcellany of pieces
W bona, mala, mediocria, as perhaps was ever offered to the
publick. Some of them are written in verfe, and others in profe; bearing the various titles of tales, difcourfes, converfations, reflections, letters, &c. The greater part are merely jeux d'efprit, as is fuppofed of Mr. de Voltaire; the reft relate to hiftory, religion, politics, morals and literature. We shall tranflate one of them for the amusement of our Readers.
An Epifle from Mr. Cubflorf, Paftor of the Church at Helmftad, to Mr. Kirkerf, Paftor of Lauvtrop. Oct. 10, 1760.
I tremble, as well as you, my dear brother, at the fatal progress of philofophy. Magiftrates and Princes begin to think for themselves, and we must be totally ruined. England, in particular, hath corrupted all Europe by its unhappy discoveries of the nature of light, of the laws of gravitation, and the aberration of the fixt stars. Mankind have arrived infenfibly at such an excess of temerity, that they will believe nothing but what is reasonable; replying to moft of our inventions,
Quodcumque oftendis mihi fic incredulus odi.
I have reflected, in the bitterness of my heart, upon the fatal hatred, which fo many perfons of every rank, age and fex, entertain against us and our brethren. Perhaps our own divifions are the cause of it; perhaps alfo we may juftly impute it to the want of due circumfpection in our endeavours to influence the minds of the people; who inftead of being perfuaded by our eloquence, are disgusted at our arrogance. For we have abused the philofophers, juft as the Lutherans have done the Calvinifts; as the Calvinifts have done the Church of England; the Church of England the Prefbyterians, the Prefbyterians the Quakers;
So we have ventured to tranflate this Name: fubmitting it to the correction of those who are better acquainted with it.
just as they have all abufed the Church of Rome, and as the Church of Rome hath abused them all, in return.
I am perfuaded that, had we been more moderate, we fhould not have incurred fo much ill will. Let us forgive those, my dear brother, who unjustly attack the foundation of that edifice which we ourselves are daily pulling to pieces, in order to throw the ftones at each others head. I conceive the only way to convert our enemies, is to fet before them examples of charity and modefty: whereas we fet out, on the contrary, with calling them names, and abufing them as void of genius and understanding, as libertines, men of bad hearts, &c. by which means we directly attack their felf-love, and oblige them, Would it in their own defence, to be continually under arms. not be more prudent and effectual to employ moderation and lenity against them? For these carry every point they undertake.
On one fide, we tell them, that our opinions are so clear and felf-evident, that a man must be a madman to deny them: on the other, we pronounce them to be fo fublime and myfterious, that reafon cannot comprehend them. How is it poffible they should not be embarraffed by fuch contradictory expofitions? Each of our fects pretends to the title of univerfality, to the profeffion of the true Catholic religion; but what answer can we make our adverfaries, when they take a map of the world, and cover the little spot to which our fect is confined, with the tip of their little finger? Let us, if we are wife, show them that, if it is not in reality, it merits, at leaft, to be univerfal. Let us not difguft them, by affirming there is no fincerity or probity but with us. This circumftance hath juftly offended the learned more than any other. They can never be brought to believe that Confucius, Pythagoras, Zaleucus, Socrates, Plato, Cato, Scipio, Cicero, Trajan, Antoninus, Epictetus, and many others, were men without virtue or probity. Hence it is that they reproach us with calumniating the best and wifeft of mankind, in all ages and in all countries. With what propriety could the fanguinary Anabaptist affirm, at the fiege of Munster, that probity belonged exclufively to his own fect? With what truth could the fame pretence be made by the Calvinifts, when they were affaffinating the Duke of Guife; or by the Papists, while they rung the matins of St. Bartholomew ?
Poltrot, Clement, Chatel, Ravaillac, and the Jefuit Le Tellier were all remarkably devout; but tell me truly do you not prefer the probity of Motte le Vayer, Gaffendi, Locke, Bayle, Defcartes, Middleton, and an hundred other great philofophers, whom I could enumerate? Let us, for the future, my dear brother, never make use of thefe unlucky arguments, which
are fo eafily retorted upon ourselves. Father Canaye ufed to fay, Away with reafon! And I fay, Away with difputes and abufe
We were charged, in former times, with being influenced by ambition, hatred, avarice and revenge; with having disputed the jurifdiction of Sovereigns; with difturbing the peace of ftates, and fhedding innocent blood: let us beware of falling again into fuch horrible exceffes; let us acknowlege that the ftate is head of the Church, and not the Church of the state.
( Let us be obedient to the Prince and magiftrate, like other fubjects. It is our misconduct, and not our tenets that create us fo many enemies. We do not fee the people revolt against their laws and the functions of their magiftrates, in any country upon earth. If they have exclaimed, therefore, against us, in all ages and in all countries, we may juftly thank ourselves.
Silence, humility and prayer ought to be our only weapons.
The learned, you fay, do not believe in certain affertions; (nor in fact we ourselves neither) but what then? Will they believe the fooner for being abufed and infulted? The Japanefe, the Chinese, the inhabitants of Siam, the Indians, Turks, Tartars, Perfians and Africans believe in us as little. Shall we, for this reafon, treat them as difturbers of the flate, as bad citizens, as enemies to God and man? Why do not we go and abuse all nations on the fame principle, and infult every German or Englishman, for instance, who thinks differently from us? Why do we bend, and even tremble, fo respectfully before a fovereign Prince, who we know defpifes us; and yet declaim fo arrogantly against an individual without power or credit, whom we suspect of not paying us proper deference ?
This thirst after dominion over the minds of men ought to be abolished. And I fee that every effort we make to attain it, ferves to debafe us. Let us leave the powerful and the wife, princes and philofophers, alone; in order that they may do the fame by us; living prudently in peace with those whom we never can fubdue, and who may expofe us. Let us, in particular, throw afide that haughtinefs and zeal, which becomes us fo little, and fucceeds fo very ill.
You are acquainted with paftor Durnol; a good fort of man upon the whole, but a little choleric. He was one day explaining the Pentateuch to his fcholars; and, having got upon the fubject of Balaam and his afs, one of the lads, an arch young rogue you may be fure, fell a laughing. Durnol on this flew into a violent paffion, declaimed, threatened and proved
that affes might fpeak very well, particularly if they faw an angel ftand before them with a drawn fword. At this argument the boy laughed more heartily than before; on which our good Paftor loft all patience, and with that convincing argumentum ad hominem, his fquare toe, gave him a fevere kick on the breech. The poor boy's note was now changed, and the young fceptick confefled, as he cried and rubbed his breeches, that Balaam's afs might have fpoke; but added he, I did not know before that he kicked too.
The fimplicity and archnefs of this reply from our friend Durnol's pupil made a fenfible impreffion on me, in fo much that I have advised my friends ever fince to forbear both to kick and to bray.
CATALOGUE OF FOREIGN BOOKS.
Art. 1. Albini Academicarum Annotationum. Liber Sextus, &c. 4to. Leyden. 1764.
Albinus's Academical Annotations, Book the Sixth, on Physiological, Anatomical, and Pathological Subjects.
HE former volumes of our celebrated Profeffer's Observations,
be to any
here, of this work in general. The prefent book is divided into thirteen chapters; of which the following are the titles. Chap. 1. De Generatione Offis. 2. Quædam de prima offium natura difceptatio. 3. De miro quodam oculorum vitio. 4. De vulnerato oculo. 5. De bulbo racemi mufæ. 6. De clavo pedis. 7. De cartilagina auricula. 8. De inteftinis. 9. De radicibus pilorum, et poris cutis humanæ. 10. De papillis catis. 11. De incurfione Halleri nova. 12. De Icone mea 1phincteris ani externi. 13. Quædam de curatione calculoforum, qua Ranius utebatur.
In the first chapter, our learned Author controverts the opinion of Du Hamel, concerning the formation of the bones by the hardening of the periofteum; fupporting the doctrine he taught long fince of their being firft cartilaginous. In the eleventh chapter, alfo, we are forry to fee him revive the difpute he had fome time ago with that moft ingenious phyfiolog ft, Mr. Haller; whom he treats by no means with that candour and urbanity, with which the latter, in all his writings, hath behaved to
Art. 2. Send Schrieben von der Aufrottung derer Kinder-Blattern. Von Frederick Cafimir, &c. Manheim. 1764.
A Letter concerning the Extirpation of the Small-pox. By Frederick Cafimir, Phyfician at Manheim, Member of the Academy of Bavaria, Mentz, &c.
APP. VOL. XXXI.