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taught there was an intellect that proceeded to ge. 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 antient sages, 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 Ægyptians. 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 hach 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 wrițings of the ancients. With regard to absolute space, it is observed in the Asclepian dialogue, that the word Space or Place hath by it self 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, exprenly 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 soul is in mind, and body in soul. See the third chapter of the fifth book of the fifth Ennead.
271. Concerning absolute space, that phantome of the mechanic and geometrical philosophers (b); it may suffice to observe, that it is neither perceived by any sense, nor proved by any reaton, and was accordingly treated by the greatest of the ancients as a thing merely visionary. From the notion of abfolute fpace springs that of abfolute motion *; and in these are ultimately founded the notions of external existence, independence, neceffity, and fate. Which fate, the idol of many mióderns, was by old philosophers differently understood, and in such a sense, as not to destroy the QÚTešśroon of God or man. Parmenides, who thought all things to be made by necessity or fate, understood justice and providence to be the same with fate; which, how fixed and cogent foever with respect to man, may yet be voluntary with respect to God. Empedocles declared fate to be a cause using principles and elements. Heraclitus taught that fate was the general reason that runs through the whole nature of the universe; which nature he supposed to be an æthereal body, the feed of the generation of all things. Plato held fate to be the eternal reason or law of nature. Chryfippus supposed that fate was a fpiritual power which disposed the world in order ; that it was the reason and law of those things which are adminis ftred by providence.
(6) 250. . * Our judgment in these matters is not to be over-born by a presumed evidence of mathematical notions and reasonings, since it is plain, the mathematicians of this age embrace obscure notions, and uncertain opinions, and are puzzled about them, contradicting each other and disputing like other men: witness their doctrine of fluxions, about which, within these ten years, I have seen published about twenty tracts and dissertations, whose authors being utterly at variance, and inconsistent with each other, instruct by-landers what to think of their pretensions to evidence.
272. All the foregoing notions of fate, as represented by Plutarch, plainly shew that those antient philosophers did not mean by fate a blind, head-long, unintelligent principle, but an orderly settled course of things conducted by a wise and provident mind. And as for the Ægyptian doctrine, it is indeed asserted in the Pimander, that all things are produced by fate. But Jamblichus, who drew his notions from Ægypt, affirms, that the whole of things is not bound up in fate ; but that there is a principle of the soul higher than nature, whereby we may be raised to an union with the gods, and exempt ourselves from fate. And in the Asclepian dialogue it is expresly said, that fate follows the decrees of God. And indeed, as all the motions in nature are evidently the product of reason (C), it should seem there is no room for necessity, in any other sense than that of a steddy regular course.
273. Blind fate and blind chance are at bottom much the same thing, and one no more intelligible than the other. Such is the mutual relation, connection, motion, and sympathy of the parts of this world, that they seem as it were animated and held together by one foul : and such is their harmony, order, and regular course, as sheweth the soul to be governed and directed by a mind. It was an opinion of remote antiquity that the world was an animal (d). If we may trust the Hermaic writings, the Ægyptians thought all things did partake of life. This opinion was also fo general and current among the Greeks, that Plutarch asserts all others held the world to be an animal, and governa, ed by providence, except Leucippus, Democritus, and Epicurus. And although an animal, contain· (c) 154. (d) 153, 172,
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ing all bodies within it felf, could not be touched or sensibly affected from without ; yet it is plain they attributed to it an inward sense and feeling, as well as appetites and aversions; and that from all the various cones, actions, and passions of the universe, they supposed one symphony, one animal act and life to result.
274. Jamblichus declares the world to be one animal, in which the parts however distant each from other, are nevertheless related and connected by one common nature. And he teacheth, what is also a received notion of the Pythagoreans and Platonics that there is no chasın in nature, but a chain or scale of beings rising by gentle uninterrupted gradations from the lowest to the highest, each nature being informed and perfected by the participation of a higher. As air becomes igneous, To the purest fire becomes animal, and the animal soul becomes intellectual, which is to be understood not of the change of one nature into another, but of the connection of different natures, each lower nature being, according to those philosophers, as it were a receptable or subject for the next above it to reside and act in.
275. It is also the doctrine of Platonic philo. sophers, that intellect is the very life of living things, the first principle and exemplar of all, from whence by different degrees are derived the inferior classes of life; first the rational, then the sensitive, after that the vegetal, but so as in the rational animal there is still somewhat intellectual, again in the sensitive there is somewhat rational, and in the vegetal somewhat sensitive, and lastly in mixt bodies, as metals and mineral, somewhat of vegetation : By which means the whole is thought to be more perfectly connected. Which
doctrine implies that all the faculties, instincts, and motions of inferior beings, in their several respective subordinations, are derived from, and depend upon mind and intellect. '
276. Both Stoics and Platonics held the world to be alive, though sometimes it be mentioned as a sentient animal, sometimes as a plant or vegetable. But in this, notwithstanding what hath been fur. mised by some learned men, there seems to be no atheism. For so long as the world is supposed to be quickened by elementary fire or spirit, which is it self animated by soul, and directed by underItanding, it follows that all parts thereof originally depend upon, and may be reduced unto, the fame indivisible ftem or principle, to wit, a supreme mind; which is the concurrent doctrine of Pytha. goræans, Platonics, and Stoics.
277. There is according to those philosophers a life infused throughout all things: the awe yorpór, mūC Tegevoxdy, an intellectual and artificial fire (e), an inward principle, animal spirit, or natural life producing and forming within as art doth without, regulating, moderating and reconciling the various mocions, qualities and parts of this mundane system. By virtue of this life the great masses are held together in their orderly courses, as well as the minutest particles governed in their natural motions, according to the several laws of attraction, gravity, electricity, magnetism, and the rest. It is this gives instincts, teaches the spider her web, and the bee her honey. This it is that directs the roots of plants to draw forth juices from the earth, and the leaves and cortical vessels to separate and attract such particles, of air, and elementary fire, as fuit their respective natures. . Nacute seems to be not otherwise distin, re) 166, 168, 174, 175, &c.