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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 world are moved; albeit they are not to be regarded as a true cause, but only an instrument of motion; and the instrument not as a help to the creator, but only as a sign to the creature. .,
- 262. Plotinus supposcth that the soul of the universe is not the original cause or author of the species, but receives them from intellect, the true principle of order and distinction, the source and giver of forms. Others consider the vegetative soul only as some lower faculty of a higher foul, which animates the fiery ætherial spirit (d). As for the blots and desects 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 fame philosopher observes, that it may be the governing reason produceth and ordaineth all those things; and, not intending that all parts should be equally good, maketh some worse 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, desects, 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 shadows 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 something may be seen. Proclus, in his commentary on the theology of Plato, observes there arc two sorts 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 most 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 efsects. Thought, reason, intellect, introduce us into the snowlcdge of their causes. Sensible appearances, :hough of a flowing, unstable, and uncertain nature, yet having first occupied the mind, they do by an early prevention, render the after task of thought more difficult: and as they amuse the eyes and ears, and are more suited to vulgar uses and the mechanic arts of lise, they easily obtain a preserence, in the opinion of most men, to those superior principles, which are the later growth of the humane .-nind arrived to maturity and persection, but, not afsecting the corporeal sense, are thought to be so far deficient in point of solidity and reality, sensible and real to common apprehensions being the fame 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 successsul curiosity of the present age, in arts and experiments and new systems, is apt to elate men, and make them overlook the ancient*. But notwithstanding that the encouragement and purse of princes, and the united endeavours of great societies in these later ages, have extended experimental mental and mechanical knowledge very far, yet it must be owned, that the ancients too were not ignorant of many things (<?), as well in physics as metaphysics, which perhaps are more generally, though not first known in these modern times.
266. The Pythagoreans and Platonistshad 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 faw 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 accurately considered the differences of intellect, rational foul, and sensitive soul, with their distinct acts of intellection, reasoning, and senfation, points wherein the Cartesians and their followers, who consider senfation 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 pasieth for a modern discovery: this they took for the work of nature, bu.t
(*) 166, 167, 168, 241, 242, &t.
natw* nature animate and intelligent (f): 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 usesul, could not be accounted for, but by an intelligence presiding and directing all particular motions, for the conservation 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 Ins. But Ofiris was understood to be mind or reason, chief and sovereign os all. Osiris, 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 understanding; with regard to which Plutarch adds, that Plato and Arist Me termed one part of philosophy ta-o5j-7<icoV; 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 simple being, free from all matter and composition. This is rhat wt» Struf S«v of Plato, which employeth mind alone; which alone governs the world, and the foul 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, so knowing in the Ægyptian notions,
taught there was an intellect that proceeded to generation, drawing forth the latent powers into light in die formation of things. Nor was this to be understood of an external world, subsisting in real absolute space: For it was a doctrine of those antient fages, that foul was the place of forms, as may be seen in the twelfth book of the arcane part of divine wisdom, according to the Ægy ptians. This notion was embraced by divers philosophers of Greece, who may be supposed to have derived It from the fame 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, 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 hor destroyed. A difserent way of thinking appears in the Hermaic as well as other writings of the ancients. With regard to absolute space, it i$
word Space or Place hath by it self no meaning 1 and again, that it is impossible to understand what space alone or pure space is. And Plotinus acknowledged no place but foul or mind, exprefly affirming that the foul is not in the world, but the -world in the foul. And farther, the place of the foul, faith he, is not body, but foul is in mind, and body in foul. See the third chapter of the fifth book of the fifth Enead.
observed in the Asclepian dialoi