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he thought it came into the blood either by refpiration, or by attraction through the pores. And it must be acknowledged, that somewhat igneous or æthereal brought by the air into the blood seems to nourish, though not the soul it self, yet the interior tunicle of the soul, the auraï Gimplicis ignem,
205. That there is really such a thing as vital flame, actually kindled, nourish'd, and extinguish'd like common fame, and by the fame means, is an opinion of some moderns, particularly of Doctor Willis in his tract De fanguinis accensione: that it requires constant eventilation, through the trachæa and pores of the body, for the discharge of a fuliginous and excrementitious vapour : and that this vital fame, being extremely subtil, mighc not be seen any more than shining Aies or ignes facui by day-light. And yet it hath sometimes become visible on divers persons, of which there, are undoubted instances. This is Dr. Willis's no tion: and perhaps there may be some truth in this, if it be so understood, as that light or fire might indeed constitute the animal spirit or inimediate vehicle of the soul.
206. There have not been wanting chose, who, not content to fuppose light the most pure and refined of all corporeal beings, have gone farther, and bestowed upon it some attributes of a yet higher nature. Julianus the Platonic philofopher, as cited by Ficinus, faith it was a doctrine in the theology of the Phænicians, that there is diffused thoughout the universe, a pellucid and shining nature pure and impassive, the act of a pure intelligence. And Ficinus himself undertakes to prove, that light is incorporeal, by several arguments: Because it enlightens and fills a great space in an instant, and without opposition : Because several lights meet without resisting each other. Because light cannot be defiled by filth of any kind : Be. cause the solar light is not fixed in any subject : Lastly, because it contracts and expands it self to easily without collision, condensation, rarefaction, or delay throughout the vastest space. These reafons are given by Ficinus, in his comment on the first book of the second Ennead of Plotinus.
207. But it is now well known, that light moves, and that it's motion is not instantaneous: that it is capable of condensation, rarefaction, and collision: that it can be mixed with other bodies, enter cheir composition, and increase their weight (@). All which seems sufficiently to overthrow chose arguments of Ficinus, and shew light to be corporeal. There appears indeed some difficulty at first sight, about the non-refiftance of rays or particles of light occurring one to another, in all possible directions or from all points. Particularly, if we suppose the hollow surface of a large sphere, studded with eyes looking inwards one at another, it may perhaps seem hard to conceive, how diftinct rays from every eye should arrive at every other eye without juftling, repel. ling, and confounding each other.
208. But these difficulties may be got over by considering in the first place, that vilible points are not mathematical points, and consequencly that we are not to suppose every point of space a radiating point. Secondly, by granting that many rays do resist and intercept each other, notwithstanding which the act of vision may be performed. Since as every point of the object is not seen, so it is not necessary that rays from every such points arrive at the eye. We often see
(a) 169, 192, 193.
an object, though more dimly, when many rays are intercepted by a gross medium. . 209. Besides we may suppose the particles of light to be indefinitely, small, that is as small as we please, and their aggregate to bear as fmall a proportion to the void as we please, there being nothing in this that contradicts the phænomena, And there needs nothing more in order to conceive the posfibility of rays passing from and to all visible points, although they be not incorpo. real. Suppose a hundred ports placed round a circular sea, and ships sailing from each port to every other ; the larger the fea, and the smaller the vessels are supposed, the less danger will there be of their striking against each other. But as there is by hypothesis no limited proportion between the sea and the ships, the void and solid pirticles of light, so there is no difficulty that can oblige us to conclude the fun's light incorporeal from it's free passage ; especially when there are so many clear proofs of the contrary. As for the difficulty, therefore, attending the supposition of a sphere studded with eyes looking at each other, this is removed only by supposing the particles of light exceeding Imali relatively to the empty Spaces.
210. Plotinus supposeth, that from the sun's light which is corporeal, there springs forth another equivocal light which is incorporeal, and as it were the brightness of the former. Marsilius Ficinus also, observing it to be a doctrine in the Timæus of Plato, that there is an occuli fire or Spiriç diffused throughout the universe, incimates that this fame occult invisible fire or light is, as it were, the sight of the mundane soul. And Plotinus, in his fourth Ennead, sheweth it to be his opinion, that the world seeth it self and all it's N
parts. The Platonic philosophers do wonderfully refinę upon light, and soar very high : from coal to Aame; from fame to light ; from this vilibe light to the occult light of the celeftial or mundane foul, which they supposed to pervade and agitate the fubftance of the universe by it's vigo rous and expansive motion.
211. If we may believe Diogenes Laertius, the Pythagorean philosophers thought there was a čertain pure heat or fire, which had fomewhat divine in it, by the participation whereof men became allied to the Gods. . And according to the Platonists,' heaven is not defined so much by it's local situation, as by it's purity. The purest and most excellent fire, that is heaven, faith Ficinus. And again, the hidden fire that every where ex. erts it felf, he calls celestial. He represents fire as most powerful and active, dividing all things, abhorring all composition or mixture with other bodies. And, as soon as it gets free, relapfing instantly into the common mass of celestial fire, which is every where prefent and latent.
112. This is the general source of life, fpirit, and strength, and, therefore of health to all ani. mals, who constantly receive it's illapses cloached in air, through the lungs and pores of the body. The same spirit imprisoned in food and medicines, is conveyed into the stomach, the bowels, the lacteals, circulated and secreted by the several ducts, and distributed throughout the fyftem (a). Plato in his Timæus enumerating the ignited juices, names wine in the first place, and tar in the fecond. But wine is pressed from the grape, and fermented by human industry. Therefore of all ignited juices purely natural, tar or refin muft in his account be efteemed the first. (a) 376 422 44.
213. The vivifying luminous æther exists in all, places, even the darkest caverns, as is evident from hence, that many animals fee in those dark places, and that fire may be kindled in them by the colifon or actrition of bodies. It is also known that certain persons have fits of seeing in the dark. Tiberius was said to have had this faculty or distemper. I my self knew an ingenious man, who had experienced it several times in himself, And doctor Willis in his tract De sanguinis accensione mentions another of his own knowledge. This luminous æcher, or spirit is therefore said by Virgil, to nourish or cherish the innermost earth, as well as the heavens and celestial bodies.
Principio coelum ac terras, camposque liquentes, *Lucentemque globum Lunæ, Titaniaque astra · Spiricus intus alit. . ; 214. The principles of motion and vegetation in living bodies seem to be delibations from the invisible fire or spirit of the universe (a). Which, though present to all things, is not nevertheless one .way received by, all ; but variously imbibed, attracted, and secreted by the fine capillaries, and exquisite (trainers in the bodies of plants and animals, whereby it becomes mixed and detained in their juices... . . : 215. It hath been thought by some observers of nature, that the fine glandular vessels admit from the common mass of the blood, only such juices as are homogeneous to those, with which they were originally imbued. How they came to be so imbued doth not appear. But thus much is plain ; that fine tubes attract Auids, that the glands are fine tubes, and that they attract very
(a) 43, 1570 164, 'mta