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guished from the 'anima mundi, than as life is from foul, and, upon the principles of the oldest philosophers, may not improperly or incongruously be styled the life of the world. Some Platonics indeed, regard life as the act of nature, in like manper as intellection is of the mind or intellect. As the first intellect acts by understanding, so nature according to them acts or generates by living. Buç life is the act of the soul, and seems to be very nature it self, which is not the principle, but the result of another, and higher principle, being a lite resulting from soul, as cogitation from intellect. · 279. If nature be the life of the world, animated by one foul, compacted into one frame, and directed or governed in all parts by one mind : This fyftem cannot be accused of atheism.; tho' perhaps it may of mistake or impropriety. And yet, as one presiding mind gives unity to the infinite aggregate of things, by a mutual communion of actions and passions, and an adjustment of parts, causing all to concur in one view to one and the same end, the ultimate and supreme good of the whole, it should seem reasonable to say, with Ocellus Lucanus the Pythagorean, that as life holds together the bodies of animals, the cause whereof is the soul; and as a city is held together by concord, the cause whereof is law; even so the world is held together by har. mony, the cause whereof is God. And in this sense, the world or universe may be considered either as one animal (f) or one city.
280. Aristotle disapproves the opinion of those who hold a soul to be diffused throughout the world, and for this reason, because the elements are not alive. Tho' perhaps it may not be easy to prove, that blood and animal spirit are more alive in man, than water and fire in the world. That phiV 172,-277. .,
losopher, in his books of the foul, remarks upon an opinion set forth in the Orphics, of the foul's entering from the universe into living creatures bed ing born by winds, that this cannot be true of plants or of certain animals which do not breath. But air vessels are by later experiments allowed to be found in all plants and animals. And air may in some sort not improperly be said, to be the car. rier or vehicle of the soul, inasmuch as it is the ven hicle of fire, which is the spirit immediately moved and animated by the foul (8).
· 281. The living fire, the living omniform seminary of the world, and other expressions of the like nature occurring in the ancient and Platonic philosophy, how can they be understood exclufive of light or elemental fire, the particles of which are known to be heterogeneous, and, for ought we know, may some of them be organized, and, notwithstanding their wonderful minuteness, contain original seeds which, being formed and sown in a proper matrix, do gradually unfold and manifest themselves, still growing to a just proportion of the species.
282. May not this æthereal seminary, confiftently with the notions of that philosophy, which afcribed much of generation to celestial influence, be supposed to impregnate plants and animals with the first principles, the stamina, or those animalcules which Piato, in his Timæus, faith are invifible for their smallness, but, being fown in a proper matrix, are therein gradually diftended and exa plicated by nourishment, and at length the animals brought forth to light. Which notion hath been revived and received of late years by many, who perhaps are not aware of it's antiquity, or that it was to be found in Plato. Timæus Locrensis in
(g) 163, 171.
his book of the soul of the world, supposeth even souls to be derived from the celestial luminaries, excepting only the rational or intellectual part. But what influence or influx is there from the celeftial bodies, which hath not light for it's vehicle (a)?
283. What other nature there should be intermediate between the soul of the world (b) and this gross corporeal system, which might be the vehicle of life, or, to use the language of philosophers, might receive or be impressed with the forms of things, is difficult to comprehend. It is a vulgar remark, that the works of art do not bear a nice microscopical inspection, but the more helps are used, and the more nicely you pry into natural productions, the more do you discover of the fine mechanism of nature, which is endless or inexhaustible; new and other parts, more subcile and delicate than the precedent, still continu. ing to offer themselves to view. And these microscopical observations have confirmed the ancient theory concerning generation, delivered in the Timæus of Plato. But that theory or hypothesis, how agreeable soever to modern discoveries, is not alone sufficient to explain the phænomena, without the immediate action of a mind. And Ficinus, notwithstanding what himself and other Platonics say of a plastic nature, is obliged to own, that with the mundane force or soul it is to be understood there is joined an intelligence, upon which the seminal nature constantly depends, and by which it is governed.
284. Alcinous, in his tract of the doctrine of Plato, faith that God hath given the world both mind and soul : others include both in the word foul, and suppose the foul of the world to be God. (a) 43. (b) 171..
Philo appears to be of this opinion in several parts.
Deum namque ire per omnes
rarum, Quemque fibi tenues nascentem arcessere vitas: Thus much the schools of Plato and Pythagoras seem agreed in, to wit, that the soul of the world (6) whether having a distinct mind of its own, or directed by a superior mind (c) doth embrace all it's parts, connect them by an invisible and indissoluble chain, and preserve them ever well ad: justed, and in good order.
285. Naturalists, whole proper province it is to consider phænomiena, experiments, mechanical organs and motions, principally regard the vifible frame of things or corporeal world; suppo-sing foul to be contained in body. And this hypothesis may be tolerated in physics, as it is not neceflary in the arts of dyalling or navigation to mention the true system or earth's motion. But those who, not content with sensible appearances, would penetrate into the real and true causes (the object of theology, metaphysics, or the philosophia prima) will rectify this error, and speak of the world as contained by the soul, and not the foul by the world.
286. Aristotle hath observed there were in: deed some who thought so grolly, ás to suppose the universe to be one only corporeal and extended nature : but in the first book of his Metaphy:
fics he justly remarks they were guilty of a great mia ftake ; forasmuch as they took into their account the elements of corporeal beings alone ; whereas there are incorporeal beings also in the universe ; and while they attempted to assign the causes of generation and corruption, and account for the nature of all things, they did at the same time destroy the very cause of motion.
287. It is a doctrine among other speculations contained in the Hermaic writings, that all things are one. And it is not improbable that Orpheus, Parménides, and others among the Greeks, might. have derived their notion of tó gv, The One, from Ægypt. Tho' that subtil metaphysician Parmenides, in his doctrine of ev Ésas, seems to have added something of his own. If we suppose, that one and the fame mind is the universal principle of order and harmony throughout the world, containing and connecting all it's parts, and giving unity to the. system, there seems to be nothing atheistical or im. pious in this fuppofition.
288. Number is no object of sense : it is an act of the mind. The same thing in a different conception is one or many. Comprehending God and the creatures in one general notion, we may say that all things together make one universe, or tá wâr. But if we fhould say, that all things make one God; this would, indeed, be an erroneous notion of God, but would not amount to atheism, so long as mind or intellect was admitted to be the to yiyeuovirov, the governing part. It is nevertheless more respectful, and consequently the truer notion of God, to suppose him neither made up of parts, nor to be himself a part of any whole whatsoever.
289. All those, who conceived the universe to be an animal, must in consequence of that notion,