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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, 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 fign to the creature.
- 262. Plotinus supposeth that the foul of the uni. verse 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 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 natyre, and others from an evil principle, that same philosopher obferves, that it may be the governing reason produceth and ordaineth 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 stare are like men educated in Plato's cave, looking on ihadows 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 someching may be seen. · Proclus, in his commentary on the theology of Plato, observes there are two (d) 178
forts forts of philosophers. The one placed body firft in the order of beings, and made the faculty of think. ing depend thereupon, fupposing that the principles of all chings are corporeal : that body most really or principally exists, and all other things in a secon. dary 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 snowledge of their causes. Sensible appearances, chough 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 life, they easily obtain a preference, in the opinion of most men, to those superior principles, which are the later growth of the humane mind 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 apprehenfions 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 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 metaphyfics, 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 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 that a mind infi. nite in power, unextended, invisible, immortal, governed, connected and contained all things: they faw 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, 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 inftruments, 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 pafseth for a modern discovery: this they took for the work of nature, but
fe) 166, 167, 168, 241, 242, &c.
patyrs nature animate and intelligent (7): they understood that all things were alive and in motion : they fup. posed a concord and discord, union and disunion in particles, fome attracting, ochers repelling each other; and that those attractions and repulsions, fo various, regular, and useful, could not be accounted for, but by an intelligence presiding and direct. ing all particular motions, for the confervacion 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 stood 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 glympfe whereof like lightening darting forth, irradiates the understanding; with regard to which Plutarch adds, that Placo and Arift le termed one part of philosophy ÉTODloxov; 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 goia outws from 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 reprefent the supreme divinity sitting on a lotus, and that gesture has been interpreted to fignify the most holy and venerable being to be utterly ac reft 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,
taught there was an intellect that proceeded to gen! neration, drawing forth the latent powers into : light 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 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 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 i 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 acknowledgech no place but soul or mind, exprefly 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 foul. See the third chapter of the fifth book of the fifth Enead.