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fire, whose particles they attract and adhere to (k), there is produced a new fluid, more volatile than water or earth, and more fixed than fire. Therefore the virtues and operations imputed to air must be ultimately attributed to fire, as that which imparts activity to air itself.

• 164. The element of æthereal fire or light seems to comprehend, in a mixed state, the seeds, the natural causes and forms (g) of all sublunary things. The grosser bodies separate, attract, and repel the several constituent particles of that heterogeneous element; which, being parted from the common mass, make distinct essences, producing and combining together such qualities and properties, as are peculiar to the several subjects, and thence often extracted in essential oils or odoriserous waters, from whence they exhale into the open air, and return into their original element.

165. Blue, red, yellow, and other colours, have been discovered by Sir Ifaac Newton to depei d on the parted rays or particles of light. And in like manner, a particular odour or flavour, seemeth to depend on peculiar particles of light or fire (b); as appears from heats being necessary to all vegetation whatsoever, and from the extreme minuteness and volatility of those vegetable fouls or forms, flying off from the subjects without any sensible diminu ion of their weight. These particles, blended in one common ocean, should seem to conceal the distinct forms, but, parted and attracted by proper subjects, disclose or produce them. As the particles of light, which, when separated, form distinct colours, being blended are lost in one unisorm appearance.

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It 66. Agreeably thereto, an æthereal substance or fire was supposed by Heraclicus to be the ftrd of the generation of all things, or that from which all things drew their original. The Stoics also taught, that all substance was originally fire, and should return to fire: that an active subtile fire was diffused or expanded throughout the whole universe; the several parts whereof were produced, sustained, and held together by it's force. And it Was the opinion of the Pythagoraearis, as Laertius informs us, that heat or fire was the principle of life animating the whole system, and penetrating all the elements (a). The Platonists too, as well as the Pythagoræans, held fire to be the immediate natural agent, or animal spirit; to cherish, to warm, to heat, to enlighten, to vegetate, to produce the digestions, circulations, secretions, and or* ganical motions in all living bodies, vegetable or animal, being efsects of that element, which, as it actuates the macrocosm, so it animates the microcosm. In the Timæus of Plato, there is supposed something like a net of fire, and rays of fire In i human body. Doth not this seem to mean the animal spirit, flowing, or rather darting thro* the nerves?

167. According to the Peripatetics, the form of heaven, or the fiery atthereal substance, contains the forms of all inserior beings (e). It may be faid to teem with forms, and impart them to subjects fitted to receive them. The vital force thereof m the Peripatetic sense is vital to all, but diversly received according to the diversity of the subjects. So all colours are virtually contained in the light 1 but their actual distinctions of blue, red, yellow, and the rest, depend on the disserence of the ob

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jects which it illustrates. Aristotle, in the book De mundo, supposeth a certain fifth essence, an æthereal nature unchangeable and impassive; and next in order a subtile, flaming substance, lighted up, orTet on fire by that æthereal and. divine nature.' He fupposeth, indeed, that God is in heaven, but that his power, or a force derived from him, doth actuate and pervade the universe.

168. If we may credit Plutarch, Empedocles thought æther or heat to be Jupiter. Æther by the ancient philosophers was used to signify promiscuously sometimes fire and sometimes air. For they distinguished two sorts of air. Plato in the; Timæus speaking of air faith there are two kinds, the one more fine and subtile, called æther, the o-' ther more gross and replete with vapours. This æther or purer medium seems to have been the air or principle, from which all things according to Anaximenes derived their birth, and into which they were back again resolved at their death. Hippocrates, in his treaise De diæta, speaketh of a fire pure and invisible} and this fire, according to him, is that which, stirring and giving move1 ment to all things, causes them to appear, or, as he styles it, come into evidence, that is to exist, every one in it's time, and according to its destiny.

169. This pure fire, æther, or substance of light, was accounted in it self invisible and ittiperceptible to all our senses, being perceived only by it's effects, such as heat, flame, and rarefaction. To which we may add, that the moderns pretend farther to have perceived it by weight, inasmuch as the aromatic oils which most abound with fire, as being the most readily and vehemently enfkmed, are above all others the heaviest. And by an experiment of Mr. Homberg's, four ounces of regulus of antimony, being calcined by a burning glass fpr an hour together, were found to have imbibed and fixed seven drams of the substance of light,

170. Such is the rarefying and expansive force of this element, as to produce in an instant of lime the greatest and most stupendous efsects: a sufficient proof not only of the power of fire, but also of the wisdom with which it is managed, and withheld from bursting forth every moment to the utter ravage and destruction of all things. And it is very remarkable, that this fame element, so fierce and destructive, should yet be so variously tempered and applied, as to be withal the falutary warmth, the genial, cherishing, and vital flame os all living creatures. It is not therefore to be wondered that Aristotle thought, the heat of a living body to be somewhat divine and celestial, derived from that pure æther to which he supposed the incorporeal deity (%ut'W eWof) to be immediately united, or on which he supposed it immediately to act. , 171. The Platonists held that intellect resided in foul, and foul in an ætherial vehicle. And that as the foul was a middle nature reconciling intellect with æther; so æther was another middle nature, which reconciled and connected the foul with grosser bodies {d). Galen likewise taught, that, admitting the soul to be incorporeal, it hath for it's immediate tegument or vehicle a body of æther or fire, by the intervention whereof it moveth other bodies and is mutually affected by them. This interior clothing was supposed to remain upon the soul, not only after death, but after the most persect purgation, which in length of time according to the followers of Plato and Pythagoras cleansed the soul,

purumque reliquit

Æthercum sensum aiqqe aurai simplicis ignem.

This tunicle of the soul, whether it be called pure aether, or luciform vehicle, or animal spirit seemeth to be that which moves and acts upon the gross organs, as it is determined by the soul, from which it immediately receives impression, and in which the moving force truly and properly resides. Some moderns have thought fit to deride all that is faid of æthereal vehicles, as mere jargon or words without a meaning. But they should have considered, that all speech concerning the soul is altogether, or for the most part, metaphorical; and that, agreeably thereunto, Plato speaketh of the mind or soul, as a driver that guides and govern a chariot, which is, not unfitly, styled *vyou3\s, a luciform æthereal vehicle, or oxvutt, terms expressive of the purity, lightness, subtilty and mobility of that fine celestial nature, in which the soul immediately resides and operates.

172. It was a tenet of the Stoics that the world was an animal, and that providence answered to the reasonable soul in man. But then the providence or mind was supposed by them to be immediately resident or present in fire, to dwell therein, and to act thereby. Briefly, they conceived God to be an intellectual and fiery spirit, mtvfix voffo» x«) arvfShi. Therefore though they looked on fire (/) as the To SytiMuw or governing principle of the world ; yet ir. was not simply fire, but animated with a mind. .' ..

173. Such are the bright and lively signatures of a divine mind, operating and displaying itself in fire and light throughout the world, that, as Aristotle observes in his book De mundo, all things seem sull of divinities, whose apparitions on all sides strike and dazzle our eyes. And it must be

!/) 166.


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