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which in the world answers the aniinal spirit in man.. Which cwo (if they are two) although invisible and inconceivably small, yer seem the real latent Springs, whereby all the parts of this visible world are moved ; albeit they are not to be regarded as a true cause, but only an instrument of motion; and the instru. ment not as a help to the creator, but only as a' Ggn to the creature..
262. Plocinus supposeth that the soul of the uni. verse is not the original cause or author of the spe. cies, but receives them from intellect, the true. principle of order and distinction, the source and giver of forms. Others consider the vegetative fout only as some lower faculty of a higher soul, which animares the fiery ætherial spirit (d). As for the blors and defects which appear in the course of this world, which some have thought to proceed from a fatality or necessity in nature, and others from an evil principle, that same philosopher obferves, that it may be che governing reason produceth and or. daineth all those things; and, not intending that all parts should be equally good, maketh some worfe chan others by design, as all parts in an animal are not eyes: And in a city, comedy, or picture, all ranks, characters, and colours are not equal or like; even fo exceffes, defects, and contrary qualities, conspire to the beauty and harmony of the world.
263. It cannot be denied, that with respect to the universe of things, we in this mortal state are like men educated in Plato's cave, looking on fha. dows with our backs turned to the light. But though our light be dim, and our situation bad, yet if the best ufe be made of both, perhaps fome. thing may be seen. Proclus, in his commentary, on the theology of Placo, observes ihere are. cwo lat) 178.
forts of philosophers. The one placed body first in the order of beings, and made the faculty of chinking depend thereupon, supposing that the principles of all things are corporeal : thac body moft really or principally exists, and all other things in a secondary sense, and by virtue of that. Ochers, making all corporeal things to be dependent upon soul or mind, think this to exist in the first place and pri. mary sense, and the being of bodies to be altogether derived from, and presuppose that of the mind..
264. Sense and experience acquaint us, with the course and analogy of appearances or natural effects. Thought, reason, intellect, introduce us into the knowledge of their causes. Sensible appearances, though of a flowing, unstable, and uncertain nature, yet having first occupied the mind, they do by an early prevention, render the after talk of thought more difficult: and as they amuse, the eyes and cars, and are more suited to vulgar uses and the mechanicarts of life, they easily obtain a preference, in the opinion of most men, co those superior principles, which are the later growth of the humane mind arrived to maturity and perfection, but, not arfecting the corporeal sense, are thought to be fo tir deficient in point of solidity and reality, sensible and real to common apprehensions being the same thing. Although it be certain, that the principles of science are neither objects of sense nor imagination; and that intellect and reason are alone the sure guides to truth.
265. The successful curiosity of the present age, in arts and experiments and new systems, is apt to flate men, and make them overlook the ancients. Bui notwithstanding that the encouragement and purico princes, and the united endeavours of great cocieties in these later ages, have extended experimental and mechanical knowledge very far, yet it must be owned, that the ancients too were not ignoranc of many things (e), as well in physics as metaphysics, which perhaps are more generally, though not first known in these modern times. i7
266. The Pythagoreans and Platonists had a'notion of the true system of the world. They allowed of mechanical principles, but actuated by foul or mind: they distinguished the primary qualities in bodies from the secondary, making the former to be physical causes, and they understood physical causes in a right sense: they saw thât a mind infinite in power, 'unextended, invisible, immortal, governed, connected and contained all things: they saw there was no fuch thing as real absolute space : thar mind, soul or spirit, truly and really exists: that bodies exist only in a secondary and dependent fense: that the foul is the place of forms: that the fensible qualities are to be regarded as acts only in the cause, and as passions in us: they ačcurately considered the differences of intellect, rational soul, and fensitive foul, with their distinct acts of intellection, reasoning, and senfation, points wherein the Cartesians and their followers, who consider sensation as a mode of thinking, seem to have failed. They knew there was a fubtil æther pervading the whole mass of corporeal beings, and which was itself actually moved and directed by a mind: and that physical causes were only instruments, or rather marks and signs.. ii.
267. Those ancient philosophers understood the generation of animals to consist, in the unfolding and diftending of the minute imperceptible parts of pre-existing animalcules, which passeth for a modern discovery: this they took for the work of nature, but (e) 166, 167, 168, 241, 242, &c.
Sand that phyks and signsierstood the
nature animate and intelligent (): they understood that all things were alive and in motion : they supposed a concord and discord, union and disunion in particles, some attracting, others repelling each other : and that those attractions and repulsions, so various, regular, and useful, could not be accounted for, but by an intelligence prefding and directing all particular mocions, for the conservation and benefit of the whole. · 268. The Ægyptians, who impersonated nature, had made her a diftinct principle, and even deified her under the name of Ilis. But OGris was under. stood to be mind or reason, chief and sovereign of all. Ofiris, if we may believe Plutarch, was the first, pure, unmixed and holy principle, not discernible by che lower faculties ; a glympse whereof like lightening darting forth, irradiates the understanding;. with regard to which Plutarch adds, that Plato and Aristotle termed one part of philosophy itonlook ;, to wit, when having soared above common mixed objects, and go beyond the precincts of sense and opinion, they arrive to contemplate the first and most simple being, free from all matter and composition. This is that doim outws šou of Placo, which employech mind alone; which alone governs the world, and the soul is that which immediately informs and animates nature.
269. Although the Ægyptians did fymbolically represent the supreme divinity sitting on a lotus, and that gesture has been interpreted to signify the most holy and venerable being to bę utterly at rest reposing within himself; yer, for any thing that appears, this gesture mighe denotę dignity as well as repose. And it cannot be denied, that Jamblicus, so knowing in the Ægyptian notions,
taught there was an intellect that proceeded to generation, drawing forth the latent powers into Jight in the formation of things. Nor was this to be understood of an external world, sublisting in real absolute space : For it was a doctrine of those ancient fages, that soul was the place of forms, as may be seen in the cwelfth book of the arcane part of divine wisdom, according to the Ægyprians. This notion was embraced by divers philosophers of Greece, who may be supposed co have derived it from the same source from whence many of their other opinions were drawn. " : ",''? • 270. The doctrine of real absolute external Space, induced some modern philosophers to conclude it was a part or attribute of God, or that God himself was space; inasmuch as incommunicable attributes of the Deity appeared to agree thereto, such as infinity, immutability, indivisi. bility, incorporeity, being uncreated, impassive, without beginning or ending ; not considering that all these negative properties may belong to nothing. For nothing hath no limits, cannot be moved or changed, or divided, is neither created nor destroyed. A different way of thinking appears in the Hermaic as well as other writings of the ancients. With regard to absolute space, it is observed in the Asclepian dialogue, that the word Space or Place hath by it self no meaning; and again, that it is impossible to understand what space alone or pure space is. And Plotinus acknowledgech no place but foul or mind, exprelly affirming that the soul is not in the world, but the world in the soul. · And farther, the place of the soul, faich he, is not body, but soul is in mind, and body in soul. See the third chapter of the fifth book of the fifth Ennead.