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152. This æther or pure invisible fire, the molt fubtile and elastic of all bodies, seems to pervade and expand it self throughout the whole universe. If air be the immediate agent or inftrument in natural things, it is the pure invisible fire that is the first natural mover or spring, from whence the air derives it's power (a). This mighty agent is every where at hand, ready to break forth into action, if not restrained and governed with the greatest wisdom. Being always restless and in motion, it actuates and enlivens the whole visible mass, is equally fitted to produce and to destroy, distinguishes the various stages of nature, and keeps up the perpetual round of generations and corruptions, pregnant with forms which it conftantly fends forth and "resorbs. So quick in it's motions, fo subtile and penetrating in it's natüre, fo extensive in it's effects, it seemech no a ther than the vegetative foul or vital fpirit of the world.
153. The animal fpirit in man is the instrumental or physical cause both of sense and motion. To suppose senfe in the world, would be gross and unwarranted. But locomotive faculties are evident in all it's parts. The Pythagoreans, Platonists, and Stoics held the world to be an animal. Though some of them have chosen to consider it as a vegetable. However the phænomena and effects do plainly shew there is a fpirit that moves, and a mind or providence that presides. This providence, Plutarch faith, was thought to be in regard to the world, what the foul is in regard to man.
154. The order and course of things, and the experiments we daily make, shew there is a mind that governs' and actuates this mundane system,
(a) 139, 149, 151,
as the proper real agent and cause. And that the inferior instrumental cause is pure æther, fire, or the substance of light (c) which is applied and determined by an infinite mind in the macrocosm or universe, with unlimited power, and according to stated rules; as it is in the microcosm, with limited power and skill by the humane mind. We have no proof either from experiment or reason, of any other agent or efficient cause than mind or spirit. When therefore we speak of cor, poreal agents or corporeal causes, this is to be understood in a different, fubordinate, and improper fense.
155. The principles whereof a thing is com. pounded, the instrument used in its production, and the end for which it was intended, are all in vulgar use termed Causes, though none of them be strictly speaking agent or efficient. There is not any proof that an extended corporeal or mechanical cause doth really and properly act, even mor tion itself being in truth a passion. Therefore though we speak of this fiery substance as acting, yet it is to be understood only as a mean or instrument, which indeed is the case of all mecha. nical causes whatsoever. They are nevertheless sometimes termed agents and causes, although they are by no means active in a strict and proper lige nification. When, therefore, force, power, vid. tue, or action are mentioned as subsisting in an extended and corporeal or mechanical being, this is not to be taken in a true, genuine, and real, but only in a gross and popular sense, which sticks in appearances, and doch not analyse things to their first principles. In compliance with established language, and the use of the world, we must employ the popular current phrase. Buc then in regard to truth we ought to distinguish (c) 29, 37, 136, 149.
its meaning. It may fuffice to have made this declaration once for all, in order to avoid mistakes.
156. The calidum innatum, the vital flame, or animal spirit in man is supposed the cause of all motions, in the several parts of his body, whether voluntary or natural. "That is, it is the instrument, by means whereof the mind exerts and manifests herself in the motions of the body. In the same fense may not fire be said to have force, to operate, and agitate the whole system of the world, which is held together and informed by one presiding mind, and animated throughout by one and the fame fierý substance, as an instrumental and mechanical agent, not as a primary real efficient?
157. This pure spirit or invisible fire is ever ready to exert and shew itself in its effects (d), cherishing, heating, fermenting, dissolving, thi. ning and operating in various manners, where a subject offers to employ or determine its force. It is present in all parts of the earth and firmament, though perhaps latent and unobserved, till some accident produceth it into act, and renders it visible in its effects.
158. There is no effect in nature, great, marvellous, or terrible but proceeds from fire, that diffused and active principle, which at the same time that it shakes the earth and heavens, will enter, divide, and diffolve the smallest, closest, and most compacted bodies. In remote cavities of the earth it remains quiet, till perhaps an accidental spark from the collision of one stone against another kindles an exhalation, that gives birth to an earthquake or tempest, which splits mountains, or overturns cities. This same fire stands unfeen in
the focus of a burning glass, till subjects for it to act upon come in it's way, when it is found to melt, calcine, or vitrify the hardest bodies.
159. No eye could ever hitherto discern, and no sense perceive, the animal spirit in a human body, otherwise than from it's effects. The same may be said of pure fire, or the spirit of the universe, which is perceived only by means of some other bodies, on which it operates, or with which ic is joined. What the chemists say, of being never found alone, might as well be said of
- pure fire.
160. The mind of man acts by an instrument necessarily. The tó vigeuavixòs, or mind presiding in the world, acts by an instrument freely. Without instrumental and second caufis, there could be no regular course of nature. And without a regular course, nature could never be understood. Mankind must always be at a lots, not knowing what to expect, or how to govern themselves, or direct their actions for the obtaining of any end. Therefore in the government of the world physical agents, improperly so called, or mechanical, or Iecond causes, or natural causes, or initruments, are necessary to affift, not the governor, but the governed.
161. In the human body the mind orders and moves the limbs : but the animal spirit is fupposed the immediate physical cause of their mom tion. So likewise in the mundane fystem, a mind presides, but che immediate, mechanical, or inItrumental cause, that moves or animates all it's parts, is the pure elementary fire or spirit of the world. The more fine and subcile parc or spiris is supposed to receive the impressions of the forft mover, and communicate them to the groffer fenGble parts of this world. Motion, though in me.
taphysical rigor and truth a passion or mere effect, yet, in physics, passeth for an action. And by this action all effects are supposed to be produced. Hence the various communications, determinations, accelerations of motion constitute the laws of
162. The pure æther or invisible fire contains parts of different kinds, that are impressed with different forces, or subjected to different laws of motion, attraction, repulsion and expansion, and endued with divers distinct habitudes towards other bodies. These seem to constitute the many various qualities (e), virtues, flavours, odours, and colours, which distinguish natural productions. The different modes of cohæsion, attraction, repulsion and motion, appear to be the source from whence the specific properties are derived, rather than different Thapes or figures. This, as hath been already observed, seems confirmed by the experiment of fixed sales operating one way, notwithstanding the difference of their angles. The original particles productive of odours, flavours, and other proper. ties, as well as of colours, are, one may suspect, all contained and blended together in that universaland original seminary of pure elementary fire ; from which they are diversy separated and attracted, by the various subjects of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms; which thereby become classed into kinds, and endued with those diftinct properties, which continue till their several forms, or specific proportions of fire return into the common mass.
163. As the soul acts immediately on pure fire, so pure fire operates immediately on air. That is the abrasions of all terrestrial things being rendered volatile and elastic by fire ) and at the same time lessening the volatility and expansive force of the (e) 37, 40, 44. () 149, 150, 152.