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owned, the chief philosophers and wise men of antiquity, how much soever they attributed to second causes and the force of fire, yet they supposed a mind or intellect always resident therein, active or provident, retraining it's force and directing it's operations.
174. Thus Hippocrates in his treatise, De dueta, speaks of a strong but invisible fire (£), that rules all things without noise. Herein, faith he, resides soul, understanding, prudence, growth, motion, diminution, change, deep and waking. This is what govern&all things and is never in repose. And (he fame author, in his tract, De carnibus, after a serious preface setting forth that he is about to declare his own opinion, expresseth it in these terms: ♦« That which we call heat &«fj«» appears to me *« something immortal, which understands all •« things, which sees and knows both what is prc* «« sent, and what is to come."
175. This seme is also what Hippocrates calls nature, the author of lise and death, good and evil. It is farther to be noted of this heat, that he maketh k the object of no sense. It is that occult, universal nature, and inward invisible force, which actuates and animates the whole world, and was worshipped by the antients under the name of Saturn; which Vosilus judges, not improbably, to be derived from the Hebrew word Satar, to lye hidden or concealed. And what hath been delivered by Hippocrates agrees with the notions of other philosophers: Hcraclitus, (b) for instance, who held sire to be the principle and cause of the generation of all things, did not mean thereby an inanimate element, but, as he termed it, pv; «'i/£«8v, an everKving fire.
176. Theophrastus, in his Book, De igne* distinguisheth between heat and fire. The first he considers as a principle or cause, not that which appeareth to sense as a passion or accident existing in a subject, and which is in truth the effect of that unseen principle. And it is remarkable, that he resers the treating of this invisible fire or heat, to the "investigation of the first causes. Fire, the principle, is neither generated nor destroyed, is' every where and always present (a); while ics efsects in different times and places shew themselves more or lessj and are very various, soft, and cherishing, or violent and destructive, terrible or' agreeable, conveying good and evil, growth and decay, lise and death, throughout the mundanC system.
- 177. It is allowed by all, that the Greeks deri-' ved much of their philosophy from the Eastern na-' tions. And Heraclitus is thought by some to have drawn his principles from Orpheus, as Or-' pheusdid from the/Egyptians; or, as others write* he had been auditor ot Hippasus a Pythagorean, who held the seme notion ot fire, and might have" derived it from Egypt by his master Pythagoras, who had travelled into Egypt, and been instructed by the fages of that nation. One of whose tenets it was, that fire was the principle of all action J' which is agreeable to the doctrine of the Stoics,' thar the whole of things is administred by a fiery intellectual spirit: In the Asclepian Dialogue, we find this notion, that all parts of the World vegerate by a sine subtil æther, which acts as an engine1 or instruments subject to the will of the suprerhe God. i
178. As the Platonists held intellect to be lodged in soul, and soul in æther (b); so it passeth
(a) 157." (t) 171. . . .
L for for a doctrine of Trismegistus in the Pimander, that mind is cloathed by soul, and soul by spirit. Therefore as the animal spirit of man, being subtil and luminous, is the immediate tegument of the human soul, or that wherein and whereby (he acts; even so the spirit of the world, that active fiery æthereal substance of light, that permeates and animates the whole system, is supposed to cloath the foul; which cloaths the mind of the universe.
179. The Magi likewise faid of God, that he had light for his body and truth for his soul. And in the Chaldaic oracles, all things are supposed to be governed by a »oifov or intellectual fire. And in the fame oracles, the creative mind is skid to be cloathed with fire, 'E«-<r«p»o» ?ru§) Ttvj, which oriental reduplication of the word fire, seems to imply the extreme purity and force thereof. Thus also in the Pfalms, Thou art clothed with light as with a garment. Where, the word rendered light might have been rendered fire, the Hebrew letters being the fame with those in the word which signifies fire, all the difserence being in the pointing, which is justly counted a late invention. That other scripture sentence is remarkable: Who maketh his ministers a flaming fire; which might, perhaps, be rendered more agreeably to the context, as well as consistently with the Hebrew, after this manner: Who maketh flaming fire his ministers; and the whole might run thus: Whomakeih the winds his messengers, and flaming fire his ministers.
'i8cu A-notion of something divine in fire, animating the whole world, and ordering its several parts, was a tenet of Very general extent (j),
I") «S& «*7. 163, 166, 167, 168, 170, 172, 173, if4, »7St »77,
being embraced in the most distant times and places, even among the Chinese themselves; who make tien, æther, or heaven, the sovereign principle, or cause of all things, and teach that the celestial virtue, by them called li, when joined to corporeal substance, doth fashion, distinguish) and specificate all natural beings. This li of the Chinese seems to answer the forms of the Peripatetics. And both bear analogy to the foregoing philosophy of fire.
181. The heaven is supposed pregnant with virtues and forms, which constitute and discriminate the various species of things. And we ha^e more than once observed, that, as the light, fire, or celestial aether, being parted by refracting or reflecting bodies, produced! variety of colours i even so, that fame apparently uniform substance being parted and secreted by the attracting and repelling powers of the divers secretory ducts of plants and animals, that is, by natural chemistry, produceth or imparteth the various specific properties of natural bodies. Whence the tastes and odours and medicinal virtues so various in vegetables.
182. The tien is considered and adored by the learned Chinese, as living and intelligent æther, -the irv£ vof^ov of the Chaldæans and the Stoics. And the worship of things celestials the sun and stars, among the Eastern nations less remote, Was on account of their fiery nature, their heat and light, and the influence thereof. Upon these accounts, the sun was looked on by the Greek theologers as the spirit os the world, and the power of the world. The cleansing quality, the light and heat of fire are natural symbols of purity, knowledge, and power, or, if I may so fay, the.things rhefHi ► - L 2 selves selves so far as they are perceptible to our senses, or in the fame sense as motion is faid to be action. Accordingly, we find a religious regard was paid to fire, both by Greeks and Romans, and indeed by most, if not all, the nations ot the world.
183. The worst)ip of Vesta at Rome was, in truth, the worship of fire.
Nec tu aliud Vestam quam vivam intellige flammam,
faith Ovid in his Fasti. And as in old Rome the eternal fire was religiously kept by virgins, so jn Greece, particularly at Delphi and Athens, it was kept by widows. It is well known that Vulcan or Fire was worshipped with great distinction hy the Ægyptians. The Zabji or Sa» beans are also known to have been worshippers of fire. It appears too from the Chaldaean oracles, that fire was regarded as divine by the fages of that nation. And it is supposed that Urof the Chaldæans was so called from the Hebrew word signifying fire, because fire was pubJickly worshipped in that city. That a religious worship was paid to fire by the ancient Persians and their Magi, is attested by all antiquity. And the sect of Persees, or old Gentils, of whom there are considerable remains at this day both in the Mogols country and in Persia, doth testisy the fame.
184. It doth not seem that their prostrations before the perpetual fires, preserved with great care in their Pyreia, or fire temples, were merely a civil respect, as Dr. Hyde would have it thought. Although he brings good proof that they do not invoke the fire on their altars, or pray to it, or call it God: and that they acknowledge a supreme invisible deity. Civil respects are paid to things