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Itill recovering, and reaching on, and struggling inte the upper region, whereby our natural weakness and blindness may be in some degree remedied, and a taste attained of truth and intellectual life. Beside the constant prevailing opinion of the greatest men of antiquity, that there is both an universal spirit author of life and motion, and an universal mind enlightening and ordering all things, it was a received tenet among them, that there is also to èv or toyodov (a), which they looked on as the fons deitatis, the first hypostasis in the divinity.
342. The one or to gv, being immutable and indivisi ble, always the same and entire, was therefore thought to exist truly and originally, and other things only lo far as they are one and the same, by participation of the tofu. This gives unity, stability,reality to things(b). Plato describes God, as Moses, from his being. ACcording to both, God is he who truly is, ó óvtws WV Change and division were esteemed defects or bad. Evil scatters, divides, destroys : Good, on the contrary, produceth concord and union, assembles, combines, perfects, and preserves entire, The several beings which compose the universe are parts of the fame system, they combine to carry on one end, and perfect one whole. And this aptness and concurrence thereunto furnishes the partial particular idea of good in the distinct creatures. Hence it might have come to pass, that teyadov and có gv were regarded as one, and the same.
343. Light and fight (faith Plato in the sixth book of his Republic) are not the fun ; even so truth and knowledge are not the good itself, altho' they approach thereunto. And again, what the sun is in a visible place with respect to light and things seen, that same is idyatör or good in an intelligible place, with respect to understanding and things understood,
(a) 329. (6)264, 306,
Therefore the good or one is not the light that en dightens, but the source of that light. ! . · 344. Every moment produceth some change in the parts of this visible creation. Something is added or diminished, or altered in effence, quantity, quality, or habitude. Wherefore all generated beings were said by the ancients to be in a perpetual flux (C). And that which, on a confufed and general view, seems one single conftant being, shall upon a nearer inspection appear a continued series of different beings. But God remains for ever one and the same. Therefore, God alone exists. This was the doctrine of Hera clitus, Plato, and other ancients. - . 345. It is the opinion of Plato and his followers, that in the foul of man, prior and superior to intellect, there is somewhat of an higher nature, by virtue of which we are one ; and that by means of our one or unit, we are most closely joined to the deity. And, as by our intellect we touch the divine intellect, even fo by our Tolly or unit the very flower of our essence, as Proclus exprefleth it, we touch the first one. '-. · 346. According to the Platonic philosophy, ens and unum are the same. And consequently our minds participate so far of existence as they do of unity. But it should seem that personality is the indivisible centerof the foul or mind, which is a monad so far forth as she is a person. Therefore person is really that which exists, inasmuch as it participates of the divine unity. In man the monad or indivisible is the autá só avto the self same self or very self, a thing, in the opinion of Socrates, much and narrowly to be inquired into and discussed, to the end that, knowing ourselves, we may know what belongs to us and our happiness. .
. 347. Upon mature reflexion the person or mind of all created beings seemeth alone indivisible, and to. partake most of unity. But sensible things are rather considered as one than truly so, they being in a perpe. . () 394, 336. .
tual flux or succession, ever differing and various. Nem verthelefs, all things together may be considered as one universe (d), one by the connection, relacion and order of it's parts, which is the work of mind whofe unit is by. Platonic, supposed a participation of the first to fv.
348. Socrates, in the Theatetus of Plato, speaketh of two parties of philofophers, the provtes and oi og AoU saoswitas, the Howing philosophers who held all things to be in a perpetual fux, always generating and never existing, and those others who maintained the univerfe to be fixed and immoveable. The difference seems to have been this, that Heraclitus, Protagoras, Empedocles, and in general those of the former feet, considered things sensible and natural; whereas Parmenides and his party considered to trav, not as the sen fible but as the intelligible world (e), abftracted from all sensible things
in . 349. In effect if we mean by things the sensible objects, these, it is evident, are always fowing ; bue if we mean things purely intelligible, then we may fay on the other hand, with equal truth, that they are immoveable and unchangeable. So that those, who thought the whole or το πάν το be εν εσως a fixed or permanent one, seem to have understood the whole of real beings, which, in their sense, was only the intellectual world, not allowing reality of being to things not permanent, . · 350. The displeasure of fome readers may perhaps be incurred, by surprising them into certain reflexions and inquiries for which they have no curiosity.' Bue perhaps some others may be pleased, to find a dry fubject varied by digressions, traced through remote inferences, and carried intoancient times, whose houry maxims (f) scattered in this essay are not proposed as principles, but barely as hints to awaken and exercise the inquiGtive reader, on points not beneath the atı: : May 287, 288. (c) 293, 294, 295. (9) 298, 301. :
Eention of the ablest men. Those great men, Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, the moft confummate in politics, who founded states, or instructed princes, or wrote most accurately on publick government, were at the same time moft acute at all abstracted and sublime speculations; the clearest light being ever necessary to guide the most important actions. And whatever the world thinks, he who hath not much meditated upon God, the humane mind, and the Summum bonum, may possibly make a thriving earthworm, but will most indubitably make a forry patriot and a forry statesman..
-351. According to the nice metaphysics of those ancient philosophers, to ev, being considered as whac was first and simplest in the Deity, was prescindedeven fromentity to which it was thought prior and superior; and is therefore by the Platonics styled super-effential. And in the Parmenides it is said, roer doch not exist; which might seem to imply a negation of the divine being. The truth is, Zeno and Parmenides argued, that a thing existing in time was older and younger than it self; therefore the conftantimmutable to y did not exist in time; and if not in time, then in none of the differences of time past, present, or to come; therefore we cannot say that it was, is, or will be. But nevertheless it is admitted in the same Parmenides, that to yūv is every where present to to by : that is, instead of a temporary succession of moments, there is one eternal now, or, punctum ftans, as it is termed by the schoolmen.
352. The fimplicity of me Ev (the father in the Pythagoric and Platonic trinity) is conceived such as to exclude intellect or mind, to which it is supposed prior., And that hath created a suspicion of atheism in this opinion. For, faith the learned doctor Cud. worth, shall: we say that the first hypoftafis or perfon is aves and ärogos, senseless and irracional, and altogecher devoid of mind and understanding? or would (f) 298, 3011
not'this be to introduce a kind of mysterious atheism To which it may be answered, that whoever acknow, ledgerh the universe to be made and governed by an eternal mind, cannot be justly deemed an atheist (g.) And this was the tenet of those ancient philosophers In the Platonic doctrine, the generation of the vgs of nógos was not contingent but necessary, not temporary but from everlasting. There never was a time supposed wherein to èv subsisted without intellect, the priority having been understood only as a priority of order or conception, but not a priority of age, Therefore, the maintạining a distinction of priority between có gy and vows doth not infer, that the one ever existed without the other. It follows, therefore, that the father or to ay may, in a certain sense, be said to be dves without atheism, or without destroying the notion of a deity; any more than it would destroy the notion of a humane soul, if we should conceive a dis ftinction between self and intellect, or intellect and life. To which we may farther add, that it is a doctrine of Platonics, and agrees with their master's te nets, to say that 70'ev,or the first hypostasis,contains all excellence and perfection, whereof it is the original source, and is eminenter, as the schools speak, intel, lect and life, as well as goodness; while the second hypostasis is essentially-intellect, and by participation goodness and life ; and the third, life essentially, and by participation goodness and intellect.
353. Therefore, the whole being considered, it will not seem just, to fix the imputation of atheism upon those philosophers, who held the doctrine of gó év; whether it be taken in an abstracted or collective, a metaphysical or merely vulgar meaning (b); that is, whether we prescind unity from essence and intellect, since metaphysical distinctions of the divine attributes do not in reality divide them : or whether we consider the universal system of beings, as oneg since the union, connexion, and order of it's mema
(8) 154, 276, 279, 287., (5) 300.