Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

34 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. that though, by the light of nature, we may know the immortality of souls, (and that they lose not their powers or activity,) yet, without supernatural light, we know not what manner of action theywill have in their separated state, or in another world, because here they act according to objective termination, and the recep- tivity of the sense and fantasy, and recipitur ad modus recipi- entis ; and in the womb we perceive not that it acteth intellectu- ally at all. But we know, That, (1.) If even then it differed not in its for- mal power from the souls of brutes, it would not somuch afterward differ in act ; and it would never be raised to that whichwas not virtually in its nature at the first. (2.) 'And we find that even very little children have quick and strong knowledge of such ob- jects as are brought within their reach ; and that their ignorance is not for want of an intellectual power, but for want of objects, or images ofthings, which time, and use, and conversation among ob- jects, niust furnish their fantasies and memories with. And so a soul in thewomb, or in an apoplexy, bath not objects of intelled- tion within its reach to act upon ; but is as the sum to a room that hath no windows to let in its light. (3.) And what if its pro- found vitality, self-perception, and self-love, be by a kind of sensa- tion and intuition, rather than by discursive reason ;. I doubt not but some late philosophers make snares to themselves and others, by too much vilifying sense and sensitive souls, as if sense were but some losable accident ofcontempered atoms ; but sensation (though diversified by organs and uses, and so far mutable) is the act of . a noble, spiritual form and virtue. And as Chambre, and some others, make brutes alower rank of rationals and man another high- er species, as having his nobler reason for higher ends; so for man to be the noblest order (here) of sensitives, and to have an intel- lect to order, and govern sensations, and connect them and improve them, were a noble work, if we had no liighér. And if intellec- tion and volition were but a higher species of internal- sensation than imagination and the fantasy and memory are, it might yet be aheight that should set man specifically above the brutes. And I am daily more and more persuaded, that intellectual souls are es- sentially sensitive 'and more,and that their sensation never ceaseth. (4.) And still I say,,that it 'is to nature itself a thing unlikely, that the God of nature will long continue a soul that hath formally or, naturally an intellective power, in a state in which it shall have no use of it. Let others, that Will, inquire whether it shall have a ve- hicle or none to act in, and whetheraërial, or igneous, and ethereal, and Whether it be really an intellectual sort of fire, as material as the solar fire, whose (not compounding, but) inadequaté-conceptos ob- jectivi are, an igneous susbtance, and formal virtueof fife, 'sense, and ,