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which in the world answers the animal spirit in man.
Which two (if they are two) although invisible and
inconceivably small, yet seem the real latent springs,
whereby all the parts of this visible worldare 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
sign to the creature.

262. Plotinus supposeth that the foul 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 fource and
giver of forms. Others consider the vegetative soul
only as some lower faculty of a higher soul, which
animates the fiery ætherial spirit (d). As for the
blots 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 observes, that
it may be the governing reason produceth and or-
daineth all those things; and, not intending that all
parts should be equally good, maketh fome worfe
than 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 so excesses, 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 sha-
dows with our backs turned to the light. But
though our light be dim, and our situation bad,
yet if the best

use be made of both, perhaps someihing may be seen. . Proclus, in his commentary on the theology of Plato, obferves there are two (d) 178

forts

forts of philosophers. The one placed body first in the order of beings, and made the faculty of thinking depend thereupon, supposing that the principles of all things are corporeal : that body moft really or principally exists, and all other things in a secondary sense, and by virtue of that. Others, making all corporeal things to be dependent upon soul or mind, think this to exist in the first place and primary 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 Inowledge 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 ears, and are more suited to vulgar uses and the mechanic arts of life, they easily obtain a preference, in the opinion of most men, to those superior principles, which are the later growth of the humane nind arrived to maturity and perfection, but, not affecting the corporeal sense, are thought to be so far 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 elate men, and make them overlook the ancients. But notwithstanding that the encouragement and purse of princes, and the united endeavours of great societies in these later ages, have extended experi

mental

mental and mechanical knowledge very far, yet ic must be owned, that the ancients too were not ignorant of many things (e), as well in physics as metaphysics, which perhaps are more generally, though not first known in these modern times.

266. The Pythagoreans and Platonists had a no. tion of the true system of the world. They allowed of mechanical principles, but actuated by soul 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 that a mind infinite in power, unextended, invisible, immortal, governed, connected and contained all things: they saw there was no such thing as real absolute space : that mind, soul or spirit, truly and really exists: that bodies exist only in a secondary and dependant sense: that the soul is the place of forms: that the sensible qualities are to be regarded as acts only in the cause, and as passions in us: they ac: curately considered the differences of intellect, ra. tional soul, and sensitive soul, with their distinct acts of intellection, reasoning, and sensation, points wherein the Cartesians and their followers, who consider sensation as a mode of thinking, seem to have failed. They knew there was a subtil 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.

267. Those ancient philosophers understood the generation of animals to consist, in the unfolding and distending of the minute imperceptible parts of pre-existing animalcules, which passeth for a modern discovery: this they took for the work of nature, but

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(e) 166, 167, 168, 241, 242, &c.

gaturs

nature animate and intelligent (f): they underfood that all things were alive and in motion : they sup. posed a concord and discord, union and disunion in particles, some attracting, others repelling each other; and that those attractions and repulsions, lo various, regular, and useful, could not be accounted for, but by an intelligence presiding and direct. ing all particular motions, for the confervation and benefit of the whole.

268. The Ægyptians, who impersonated nature, had made her a distinct principle, and even deified her under the name of Ilis. But Ofiris was under ftood to be mind or reason, chief and fovereign of all. Ofiris, if we may believe Plutarch, was the first, pure, unmixed and holy principle, not discernible by the lower faculties; a glympse whereof like lightening darting forth, irradiates the under-standing; with regard to which Plutarch adds, that Placo and Arift "le termed one part of philosophy

TOT.xov; to wit, when having soared above common mixed objects, and got beyond the precincts of sense and opinion, they arrive to contemplate the first and most fimple being, free from all matter and composition. This is that doia out as Sca of Plato, which employeth mind alone ; which alone governs the world, and the soul is that which immediately informs and animates nature.

269. Although the Ægyptians did symbolically represent the supreme divinity sitting on a lotus, and that gesture has been interpreted to signify the most holy and venerable being to be utterly at rest reposing within himself; yet, for any thing that appears, this gesture might denote dignity as well as repose. And it cannot be denied, that Jamblicus, fo knowing in the Ægyptian notions,

172

taught

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taught there was an intellect that proceeded to generation, drawing forth the latent powers into light in the formation of things. Nor was this to be understood of an external world, subfifting in teal absolute space : For it was a doctrine of those ancient sages, that soul was the place of forms, as may be seen in the twelfth book of the arcane part of divine wisdom, according to the Ægyptians. This notion was embraced by divers philosophers of Greece, who may be supposed to have derived ic from the same fource from whence many of their other opinions were drawn.

270. The doctrine of real abfolute external & space, induced some modern philosophers to con

clude it was a part or attribute of God, or that God himself was fpace; inasmuch as incommuniCable attributes of the deity appeared to agree thereto, such as infinity, immutability, indivisibility, 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 felf no meaning; and again, that it is impossible to understand what space alone or pure space is. And Plotinus acknowledgeth no place but soul or mind, expresy affirming that the soul is not in the world, but the world in the soul. And farther, the place of the soul, faith he, is not body, but foul is in mind, and body in soul. See the third chapter of the fifth book of the fifth Enead.

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