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BOOK What becomes now of the argument from the mechan
ical contrivance of the human body, which, he said, was so clear a proof of a wise Maker, that he must be said to be without a mind, that did not assert that it was made by one? And this is in one of his Philosophical Treatises, published after the other; but in his vindication of himself, he justifies the former passage; only he saith, except the creation. So that he knew not well what to say in this matter; but only, to keep himself out of danger, he was resolved to submit to the law. But that is not our point : and why did he not go about to take off the argument from the wise contrivance of things, which ought to go along with the other? But he knew it was far easier to darken an argument, wherein eternity and infinity is concerned'; and so from thence would infer, that in the series of causes mankind are only puzzled, and not convinced. But why, I pray, must a man's mind give over in the search of causes, as not knowing whether he may go on or not? Can any thing be plainer in common reason, than that in the order of causes a man must go on till he arrive at a first Cause ? What should make a man to stop here? for he sees he inust go on till he comes at a first. No, saith Mr. Hobbes, a first Cause is infinite, and whatever is infinite is above our conception, and so we are lost. But that is running from the order of causes to the nature of the object, which is a thing of another consideration. .
But he saith yet farther, that the argument from motion doth only prove an eternity of motion, and not an eternal first Mover ; because as nothing can be moved from itself, so whatsoever gives motion must be first moved. But all this depends upon the supposition that there is nothing in the universe but body; and if that be granted, his argument holds : but if there be mind
distinct from body, and can give motion to it, there is CHAP. not so much as the colour of reason in this argument. And so much in answer to the second atheistical pretence.
The third atheistical pretence to be considered, is, that there is no such common consent of mankind, as to God and Providence, as was asserted by the ancients, and is still by the defenders of religion ; for, upon the late discoveries, whole nations have been found without any sense of God or religion. This is a thing very fit to be inquired into, with more care than hath been yet used about it: for although we do not ground the truth of religion merely upon such a general consent, but upon those arguments which the wiser part of mankind hath insisted upon, of which I have given some account in the foregoing discourse; yet such an universal consent doth manifestly shew that there is nothing repugnant to the common sense of mankind in it; nothing that looks like a trick or imposture, which could never so universally prevail as this hath done, especially among the more sensible and civilized part of mankind.
But, for our better understanding this matter, it will be necessary to lay down some general observations.
That we have reason to distinguish the more brut- 1. ish and savage people from the more tractable and reasonable ; because it is possible for mankind, by an affected and universal neglect of all kind of instruction, to degenerate almost to the nature of brutes. But surely such are not fit to be brought in for the instances of what naturally belongs to mankind; which we ought to judge of by a due measure, i. e. by such as neither want natural capacity, nor are professed savages, nor have the improvements of the most civilized people.
BOOK. There are two sorts of brutish people in the world,
whose sense in these matters is not much to be regarded.
1. Such as have very little of common humanity left Acosta of among them; such as Acosta describes the Uros, who the Indies, 1. ii. c. 6.' were such dull and brutish people, that they did not
think themselves men; and such are the Caffres, or Hottentots, at the Cape of Good Hope, who, by the last account we have of them, remain as bestial and sordid
as ever; insomuch that the author who was among Voyage them saith, That if there be any medium between men to Surat,
and beasts, they lay in the fairest claim to that spe
cies. And such are the Caiguæ of Paraquaria, (of De Laet Descript., whom afterwards.) 2. Such as express open contempt Ind. Occid. 1. v. c. 25. and defiance of laws as well as religion, as the ChichiDe Orig. Gent. Am. mecæ in the northern part of America, who are said Pic2zia of to have lived without any government as well as relithe West gion (unless that they offer the first wild beast they Indies, 1. vii. c. 3. catch to the sun :) and so Acosta describes some other Du Val Observa- savages among them, viz. without king, law, God, or tions sur le
e reason. Those of Brazil are said to be without faith, irard, without law, without a king; and the savages of Canada p. 132. De Laet are described after the same manner. So that if 1. ii. c. 12. any argument can be drawn from such against reli
gion, it will as well hold against law and civil government.
We must not judge , by light informations of mere strangers, and persons looked on as enemies; which is
the case of the inhabitants of the Southern islands, Diarium which we have only from seamen who landed upon
them, and were supposed to come with an ill design; p. 47. ed.
whose accounts must be very imperfect and partial. Descript. Navig. But in Le Mair's account we only read, that they could Jac. Le Mair, 31 observe no offices of religion among them: and Schou
ten to the same purpose of the inhabitants of Horn island, (as they call it, not far from New Guinea; but
Vovace de CWDVI
they seemed, he saith, to live like the birds of the air, chAP. without any care, upon the fruits of the earth. But no certainty can be grounded upon such observations : nor can we build any thing upon the want of religion in places not yet fully discovered; as what is said by some of the people of Yedso or Jesso: for the first account given of it was from the Jesuit Fronius, who lived long Maff. Epist.
• 1. iv. Apr. in Japan; and he describes it as a country of savages ; 28, 156. and he saith, that they have no other religion but the worship of the heavens. And so Diodorus Siculus Diod. Sic. saith, The sight of the heavens was that which brought": men first to Divine worship; and he doth not attribute it to ignorance and fear, but to admiration; and therefore fixed on the sun and moon as their chief gods ; which was the most prevailing idolatry in the world. But from hence we are not to infer that they believed no God above them; but they thought he that was above them was above their service : but their visible worship they thought ought to be paid to these visible gods, as hath been already observed of the old Greeks; and Diodorus Siculus saith the same of the Egyptians. But as to these people of Yedso, we find the first account of them was, that they were a very savage people, but had such kind of religion as most ancient idolaters had : since that time there hath been no exact account given of them. The best we have is from the Dutch. Caron, who was resident in Japan, saith only, that this people are brutish; and that the Japonese could never make a full discovery of the country which is parted from Japan by an arm of the sea, where it bounds on vast mountains and deserts, so that the common passage is by ferrying over. If this be true, there is a passage by land beyond that arm of the sea, and so Japan is one continent with it, which extends in probability to the northern parts of America : for in the ac
BOOK count of the Dutch embassy to Japan, A. D. 1641, we
- are told, that in the treaty between the Japonese agent Ambassade
Syvoan and the Dutch, he produced a map of those parts agreeable to what Caron had said ; and they observe that Jesso was in it of a vast extent, and reached
to North America, without any streight of Anian. Martin. At- Martinius makes no doubt that Japan was inhabited Asiæ, p.***from East Tartary, as well as by a colony from China,
which he proves from their customs and language; but he thinks they came over the water, or at least
over the ice ; for he saith, there are severe winters Martin. At- there. But he saith withal, that the Chinese do make las, p. 21.
" Jesso a part of Tartary, and that it is joined with the Couplet province of Niulhan and Yupi. F. Couplet agrees Dissert. Procem. ad with Martinius, that Japan was peopled from Tartary; Confuc. Oper. p.71. am .. and he saith they have a chronology of their kings for
660 years before Christ; and long before that the 1587.
northern Tartars took possession of Japan: so that the people of Yesso and Japan are of the same original. In the Dutch account of Yedso, printed by Thevenot in the second part of his collections, (which was taken from a ship which went upon the coasts of that country and people, we have a more favourable description : both of the country and people; only it is said, that they do not love to take pains, have little government or religion ; but they observed some superstitious practices among them. And what exact account could be expected from such, who went not thither to acquaint themselves either with the country or their religion, but to find a passage farther that way?
That it is no certain rule that the people have no religion, because strangers cannot find any set times and places of worship among them. For this was a principle among many nations, that the supreme God was to be worshipped only by acts of the mind; and that