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only a pura potentia, a mere possibility. But Anaximander, successor to Thales, is represented as having thought the supreme Deity to be infinite matter. Nevertheless though Plutarch calleth it matter, yet it was simply to drugov, which means · no more than infinite or indefinite. And although the moderns teach that space is real and infinitely extended ; yet if we consider that it is no intellectual notion, nor yet perceived by any of our fenfes, we shall perhaps be inclined to think with Plato in his Timæus, that this alfo is the result of nogorko's vós G or fpurious reasoning, and a kind of waking dream. Plato observes that we dream, as it were, when we think of place, and believe it necessary, that whatever exists should exist in fome place. Which place or space (s) he also obferves is μετ' αναθησίας απloν, that is to be felt as darkness is seen, or silence heard, being a mere privation. .
319. If any one should think to infer the reality or actual being of matter from the modern tenet, that gravity is always proportionable to the quantity of matter, let him but narrowly scan the modern demonftration of that tenet, and he wilt find it to be a vain circle, concluding in truth no. more than this, that gravity is proportionable to weight, that is to it felf. Since matter is conceived only as defect and mere possibility, and since God is absolute perfection and act; it follows there is the greatest distance and opposition imaginable between God and matter. Insomuch that a material God would be altogether inconsistent.
320. The force that produces, the intellect that orders, the goodness that perfects all things, is the supreme being. Evil, defect, negation, is not the object of God's creative power. From (f) 250, 270.
motion the Peripatetics trace out a first immoveable mover. The Platonics make God author of all good, author of no evil, and unchangeable. According to Anaxagoras there was a confused mass of all things in one chaos, but mind supervening, menowv, distinguished and divided them. Anaxagoras, it seems, ascribed the motive faculty to mind, which mind some subsequent philosophers have accurately discriminated from soul and life, ascribing to it the sole faculty of intellection.
321. But still God was supposed the first agent, the source and original of all things, which he produceth, not occasionally or instrumentally - but with actual and real efficacy. Thus, the trea. tise, De fecretiore parte divinæ fapientiæ fecundum Ægyptios, in the tenth book, faith of God, that he is not only the firft agents but also that he it is who truly acts or creates, qui verè efficit.
322. Varro, Tully, and St. Augustin understand the soul to be vis, the power, or force that acts, - moves, enlivens. Now although, in our con
ception, vis, or spirit might be distinguished from mind, it would not thence follow, that it acts blindly or without mind, or that it is not closely connected with intellect. If Plutarch is to be trusted in his account of the opinions of philosophers, Thales held the mind of the world to be God : Democritus held the soul of the world to be an igniform deity (8): Pythagoras taught that God was the monad and the good, or rcgalòr: Socrates also and Plato pronounced him to be the có vi (b), the single, self originate one, essentially good. Each of which appellations and forms of speech directly tends to, and determines in mind, sis tó vão acéude faith- Plutarch. 323.Whence that author concludes, that in the sense (8) 166, 168, 277. (b) 287.
of those philosophers God is a mind, gwersaved not an abstract idea compounded of inconsistencies and prescinded from all real things, as some maderns understand abstraction ; but a really existing spirit, distinct or separate from all sensible and corporeal beings. And although the Stoics are representad as holding a corporeal deity, or that the very system of the world is God, yet it is certain they did not, at bottom, diffent from the forementioned doctrine; v inasmuch as they supposed the world to be an animal, (a) consisting of soul or mind as well as body. . 324. This notion was derived from the Pytha. goreans, who held the world, as Timæus Locrus teacheth, to be one perfect animal, endued with foul and reafon : but then they believed it to have been geneßated : whereas the Stoics looked on the world as the supreme God, including therein mind or intellect. For the elementary fire, or, if one may fo speak, the animal spirit of the world, feemeth, according to them, to have been the vehicle of the soul (b), the vehicle of intellect or võs; since they styled the Divinity wye voegov (c), or intellectual fire.
325. The Ægyptians, if we may credit the Hermaic writings, maintained God to be all things, not only actual but possible. He is styled by them, that which is made and that which is unmade. And therein it is said, shall I praise thee for those things thou hast made manifelt, or for the things thou haft hidden ? therefore, in their sense, to manifeft, was to create ; the things created having been before hidden in God.
326. Now whether the võiç be abstracted from the sensible world, and considered by it self, as distinct fron), and presiding over the created syf(a) 276.279. (6) 277. 284, (c) 272.
tem, or whether the whole universe, including mind together with the mundane body, is conceived to be God (d), and the creatures to be partial manifestations of the divine essence, there is no atheism in either case, whatever misconceptions there may be; so long as mind or intellect is understood to preside over, govern, and conduct the whole frame of things. And this was the general prevailing opinion among the philosophers.
327. Nor if any one, with Aristotle in his Metaphysics, should deny that God knows any thing without himself; seeing that God comprehends all things, could this be juftly pronounced an atheistical opinion. Nor even was the following notion of the same author to be accounted atheism, to wit, that there are some things beneath the knowledge of God, as too mean, base, and vile ; however wrong this notion may be, and unworthy of the divine perfection. 1328. Might we not conceive that God may be said to be all in divers senses; as he is the cause and origine of all beings; as the vgs is the vould, a doctrine both of Platonics and Peripatetics (e); as the vâs is the place of all forms, and as it is the same which comprehends and orders (f) and suftains the whole mundane system. Aristole declares, that the divine force or influence permeates the intire universe (8) and that what the pilot is in a ship, the driver in a chariot, the præcencor in a choir, the law in a city, the general in an army, the same God is in the world. This he amply sets forth in his book De mundo, a treatise which having been anciently ascribed to him, ought not to be set aside from the difference of style, which (as Patricius rightly observes) being in a letter to
(e) 309, 310.
a king, might well be supposed to differ from the other dry and crabbed parts of his writings.
329. And although there are some expressions to be met with in the philosophers, even of the Platonic and Aristotelic fects, which speak of God as mixing with, or pervading all nature and all the elements ; yet this must be explained by force and not by extension, which was never attributed to the mind (b) either by Aristotle or Plato. This they always affirmed to be incorporeal: and, as Plotinus remarks, incorporeal things are distant each from other not by place, but (to use his expreslion) by alterity.
330. These disquisitions will probably seem dry and useless, to such readers as are accustomed to consider only sensible objects. The employment of the mind on things purely intellectual is to moft men irksome: whereas the sensitive powers, by constant use acquire strength. Hence, the objects of sense more forcibly affect us (k), and are too often counted the chief good. For these things men fight, cheat and scramble. Therefore, in order to tame mankind and introduce a sense of virtue, the best humane means is to exercise their understanding, to give them a glympse of another world, superior to the sensible, and while they take pains to cherish and maintain the animal life, to teach them not to neglect the intellectual.
331. Prevailing studies are of no small confequence to a state, the religion, manners and civil government of a country ever taking some bias from it's philosophy, which affects not only the minds of its professors and students, but also the opinions of all the better sort and the practife of the whole people, remorely and consequentially, indeed, though not inconsiderably. Have not the
(5) 290, 293, 297, 319.. (k) 264, 294.