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deed they are not properly so,but only as Matbematical Points to Quantity, which have no Proportion at all; ought to be eft eemed vain and of no Force. Again, 'tis in like mannet demonstrable, that Quantity is infinitely Divisible: All the Objections therefore raised by comparing the imaginary. E. quality or Inequality of the Number of the Parts of Ūnequal Quantities, whose Parts have really no Number at all, they all baving Parts without Number ; ought to be lookt upon as weak and altogether inconclusive.
second Defense of an Argument made use of in a Letter to Mr. Dodwell, you (c) write thus; there are many Demonstrations even in abstract Mathematicks themselves, wbich no Man who understands them, can in the least doubt of the certainty of, which yet are attended with difficult Consequences that cannot perfe&tly be cleared, The infinite Divisibility of Quantity, is an Instance of this kind. Also the Eternity of God, than which notbing is more self-evident ; and yet the Difficulties consequent upon it, are such as bave reduced most of the Schoolmen to entertain that unintelligible Notion of a Nunc Stans. And bis Immenfity, attended with much the like Difficulties,
And (d) again, Even abstract Mathematical DemonArations; as those concerning the Infinite Divisibility of Quantity, the Eternity of God, and bis Immensity ; have almost insuperable Difficulties on the other side : And get no Man, who understands those Matters, thinks that those Difficulties do at all weaken the Force, or diminish the Certainty of the Demonstrations.
In your third Defense of the fame Argument, you (e) fay; Difficult Consequences that cannoc perfe&tly be cleared, may be, and very often are, found to aitend Things wbich are Demonstrated to be True. The
(c) Pag. 38, 39. of the first Edition.
Reason is; because Difficulties that cannot perfectly be cleared, do not (like Absurdities and Contradidions) arise from a Perception of the Disagreement of Ideas, bilt barely from the Defect or Imperfectness of the Ideas themselves. Our Reason is able to apprehend clearly, the Demonstration of the. Certainty of the Existence of some Things, where the Imagination is not able to comprehend the Ideas of the Tbings themselves. This is plainly the Case of the infinite Divisibility of Quantity, of Infinity and Eternity in general, of the Adions of Immaterial Substances upon Matter, and of many other Things.
And in your fourth Defense of it, you (f) fay; A Difficulty which cannot be perfectly cleared, is a Difficul ty arising, not from the Perception of any Disagreement of Ideas, but from the Want or Defectiveness of Ideas in the Imagination; which therefore we cannot compare so as to Imagin distinętly how they agree, though we can by our Reason and Understanding demonstrate it is impossible they should disagree. This is plainly the Case is most Questions, concerning Eternity, Immenfity, &c.
These several Passages do abundantly demonftrat,that how widely foever we may differ in other Respects; yet what I have advanc'd, ought not even in your own Opinion to be therefore rejected, because I don't pretend throughly to explain the Doctrin of the Trinity. 'Tis sufficient, if I have shewn, that the Holy Scriptures do teach it. For if that appears, I am sure, you are a better Scholar, as well as a better Christian, than to make any Objection against it, upon the account of such. Difficulties, as this great Mystery must needs perplex us with, whose Capacitys are so narrow, and whose
(f) Pag. 15. of the first Edition,
Facultys Facultys are so dull, that we are constaņely puzzled even with those Objects which are most familiar to us, and which we have the best Opportunitys of being intimately acquainted with. How then fhou'd the wifest Man in the World throughly comprehend the Nature of the felfexiftent and infinitly perfect God ?
Thus, Dear Sir, have I given you my Thoughts upon this nice and important Subject ; and I am willing to hope, that they may work that good Effect, for which, I can truly fay, they are most fincerely intended.
Whether there be any Solidity in my Reasonings, and whether my Notions be true, as you must judge for your self, so the World must judge between us both. God grant, that when we are at any time busy'd in forming our Judgments, we may duly consider and remember, that we shall answer for our Opinions as well as our Practices (because Opinion is the Foundation of Practice) at his Tribunal, about whose Divinity you and I have been amicably contending; and who will pass a final Sentence upon us, according to, not the Strength of our Heads, but the Integrity of our Hearts.
Here I shou'd have released your Patience, had these Papers been communicated to you in a privat manner. But since I am obliged to address them to you from the Press, I ought not to forget, that very few Readers have Abilitys equal to those which God has blessed you with; or will bestow such a measure of Attention, as you naturally afford even to Matters of far less concern. And therefore, tho' you wou'd easily apply what has been already said, to the several Parts of your own Scheme; and wou'd instantly discern what my Sentiments are touching every Point of it: yer I can't but esteem it necessary, for the sake of most other Readers, to subjoin a short Examination of your Doctrin, and therein to signify what I think concerning each difting Branch,referring backwards to those Places, in which I have more largely handled such Particu- . lars, as we may happen to clash with each other about. By this means, what I have digested into a regular Discourse in a Syftematical way, will be immediatly transform'd into a Personal Contoverfy with your self; and the meaneft Reader will be able to find, without any Trouble or loss of Time, a distinct Reply to whatsoever you have advanced in opposition (as I verily think) to what the Holy Scriptures do teach concerning the Everbleffed Trinity in Unity.
Ε Χ Α Μ Ι Ν Α Τ Ι Ο Ν
Of the Doctor's Preface.
Of his Introduction.