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terms is neceffary in order to avoid miftakes and the only poffible way of defining a term, is to exprefs its meaning in more fimple terms. Terms expreffing ideas that are fimple without parts, admit not of being defined, because there are no terms more fimple to exprefs their meaning. To fay that every term is capable of a definition, is in effect to fay, that terms resemble matter; that as the latter is divisible without end, fo the former is reducible into fimpler terms without end. The habit however of defining is fo inveterate in fome men, that they will attempt to define words fignifying fimple ideas. Is there any neceffity to define motion: do not children understand the meaning of the word? And how is it poffible to define it, when there are fimple to define it by?

attempts that bold task.

not words more Yet Worster (a) "A continual

"change of place," fays he, or leaving


That every

one place for another, without remain་ ing for any space of time in the fame "place, is called moțion." body in motion is continually changing place, is true: but change of place is not

(a) Natural Philosophy, p. 31.


motion; it is the effect of motion. Gravefend (a) defines motion thus, Motus

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eft tranflatio de loco in locum, five con"tinua loci mutatio*;" which is the fame with the former. Yet this very author admits locus or place to fignify a fimple idea, incapable of a definition. Is it more fimple or more intelligible than motion? But, of all, the most remarkable definition of motion is that of Ariftotle, famous for its impenetrability, or rather abfurdity, "Actus entis in potentia, quatenus in "potentia +." His definition of time is numerus motus fecundum prius ac pofterius. This definition as well as that of motion, may more properly be confidered as riddles propounded for exercifing invention. Not a few writers on algebra define negative quantities to be quantities less than nothing.

Extenfion enters into the conception of every particle of matter; because every

(a) Elements of Phyfics, p. 23.

"Motion is, the removing from one place to another, or a continual change of place."

+ "The action of a being in power, fo far as it is

" in power."

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particle of matter has length, breadth, and thickness. Figure in the fame manner enters into the conception of every particle of matter; becaufe every particle of matter is bounded. By the power of abstraction, figure may be conceived independent of the body that is figured; and extenfion may be conceived independent of the body that is extended. These particulars are abundantly plain and obvious; and yet obferve what a heap of jargon is employ'd by the followers of Leibnitz, in their fruitless endeavours to define extenfion. They begin with fimple existences, which they fay are unextended, and without parts. According to that definition, fimple exiftences cannot belong to matter, because the smallest particle of matter has both parts and extenfion. But to let that pafs, they endeavour to fhow as follows, how the idea of extenfion ari"We fes from these fimple existences.


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may look upon fimple exiftences, as ha

ving mutual relations with respect to "their internal ftate: relations that form 66 a certain order in their manner of existAnd this order or arrangement

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of things, coexifting and linked toge


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"ther but fo as we do not diftinctly un-
"derstand how, caufes in us a confufed
" idea, from whence arises the appearance
"of extenfion." A Peripatetic philofo-

pher being asked, What sort of things the
fenfible fpecies of Aristotle are, answered,
That they are neither entities nor nonen-
tities, but fomething intermediate between
the two.
The famous aftronomer Ifmael
Bulialdus lays down the following propo-
fition, and attempts a mathematical de-
monstration of it, "That light is a mean-
proportional between corporeal fubstance
" and incorporeal."


I close with a curious fort of reafoning, fo fingular indeed as not to come under any of the foregoing heads. The first editions of the latest version of the Bible into English, have the following preface. Another thing we think good to admo"nifh thee of, gentle reader, that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrafing, or to an identity of words, as fome peradventure would wish that we had done, because they obferve, that "fome learned men fomewhere have been as exact as they could be that way. Truly, that we might not vary from the

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"fenfe of that which we have tranflated

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before, if the word fignified the fame in "both places, (for there be fome words "that be not of the fame sense every

where), we were especially careful, and "made a confcience according to our duty. But that we should exprefs the fame notion in the fame particular word; as, for example, if we tranflate the Hebrew or Greek word once by purpose, never to call it intent; if one where journeying, never travelling; if one where think,

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never fuppofe; if one where pain, never "ache; if one where joy, never gladness, "&c.; thus to mince the matter, we

thought to favour more of curiofity than "wifdom, and that rather it would breed "fcorn in the Atheist, than bring profit

to the godly reader. For is the king"dom of God become words or fyllables?

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Why should we be in bondage to them, "if we may be free; use one precisely, "when we may ufe another, no lefs fit, as commodiously? We might also be

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charged by fcoffers, with fome unequal "dealing toward a great number of good English words. For as it is written by a certain great philofopher, that he


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